Baker-Hands bags try hat-trick as Withy Under-14s win well
PUBLISHED: 17:07 11 October 2017
Withycombe Under-14s were 48-5 winners when they entertained Barnstaple at Raleigh Park in what was the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
Barum kicked off and punished an early home mistake to score an early try. Withy did not panic and were soon level. Quick ball from a scrum led to centre Jude Baker-Hands finding himself in space and, still with plenty to do, he ran half the length of the pitch to score under the posts and winger Harry Bennett converted. Soon after, further Withy pressure saw centre Alfie Gillard cut through a gap before releasing to Baker-Hands and he showed a clean set of heels to the chasing defenders before crossing for his second try.
The game continued with some delightful end-to-end action. Barum built a good break and looked set to win a race to the line until a superb last-ditch Gillard tackle denied them a second try. Withy grew in confidence and quick ruck ball ended with the ball arriving with winger Max Richards, who out paced the Barum back line to score the third Withy try and see the hosts into half-time with a 19-5 advantage.
Withy started the second half with a high tempo to their game. They forced Barnstaple to kick out of their 22 and the ball landed in the hands of full back Jack Draper, who promptly beat two would-be tacklers before putting winger Murphy Boltrukiewicz away, and he beat the defence to the corner.
With the visitors tiring, Withy further increased the tempo of their play and, from a scrum, Bennett was given the ball and he powered over. Another scrum soon after, more good handling, and Baker-Hands saw space which he raced through to side step a challenge before crossing to complete his hat-trick of tries.
Prop Jack Ballett was next to bundle his way over and that was followed by a fourth Bennett conversion and it was Bennett who put a polished finish to proceedings with the final try.
The whole Withy pack shone on the day, never budging in scrums and winning the battle in the loose. Joe Dale showed his versatility at flanker and second row. Baker-Hands and Gillard had fine games, and linked well in the centre, while the rest of the backs ran and defended well from first whistle to last.