Bargent try double as slick Cockles win away from home

PUBLISHED: 13:26 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:26 23 October 2018

Sam Fulthorpe in action for Exmouth during the win at Newton Abbot. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Sam Fulthorpe in action for Exmouth during the win at Newton Abbot. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Exmouth recorded their first away win of the South West Premier League season with a 25-21 victory at Newton Abbot.

The two number nines, Sam Fulthorpe of Exmouth and Matt Jess of Newton Abbot in action during the game. Picture CONTRIBUTEDThe two number nines, Sam Fulthorpe of Exmouth and Matt Jess of Newton Abbot in action during the game. Picture CONTRIBUTED

Two early unconverted tries saw the home side into the lead.

During the opening 17 minutes the Cockles were starved of ball possession and so found it difficult to get a foothold on the game.

However, a 20th minute long-range penalty from full-back Tom Whelan got the Cockles up and running in terms of the score board and, from a move that saw the ball journey from the left across field with some terrific phase play and slick handling, Dave Bargent sped away to touch down and reduce the arrears to just two points at 10-8.

The home side then struck with an interception and a length-of-the-pitch sprint to the line, but after several phases, young scrum-half Sam Fulthorpe got his first senior try and the Cockles trooped off at the break trailing 15-13.

Whatever was said during the break, it had the desired effect for, within 60 seconds on the clock, Dave Bargent made a break and a combination of superb strength and determination saw the back row player bag his second try of the game.

Whelan slipped attempting the conversion, but the Cockles held the lead for the first time at 18-15. The next score came when, during a period of end-to-end play, a kick to the corner resulted in a line-out. From an infringement, Newton Abbot collapsing the line-out, the referee had no option but to award a penalty try and the score was now 25-15 to the Cockles with 15 minutes remaining.

The home side were not prepared to lie down and hit back. Putt, who had missed three conversions, finally found his range, slotting two well-taken penalties on 70 minutes and 78 minutes to close the score to one of 25-21 in favour of the visitors.

After taking the option to pick up three points so close to the end of the game, the All Whites were banking on retrieving the ball from kick-off and running back to seal a score for victory.

However, the Exmouth forwards, to their immense credit, battled hard and eventually got in a position for Fulthorpe to launch the ball away to finish the game.

There was a first, 1st XV start for Will Bright in the back row, with new prop Charlie Tribble joining the fray during the second half, and both showed up well in a team performance full of courage.

The final 10 minutes was heart-wrenching for the Cockles contingent, but they ended the match with big smiles in the mini heat-wave.

On Saturday (October 27), the Cockles entertain Old Patesians from Cheltenham.

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