Withy Under-14s get season off to a flying start with big win over Topsham

PUBLISHED: 18:47 13 September 2017

Honiton rugby action

Honiton rugby action

Archant

Withycombe Under-14s got their new season off to a superb start with a 41-5 victory over visiting Topsham Dark Blues.

It took the Withy youngsters just three minutes to make their mark in the contest!

They gathered the ball at the first opportunity and, a few rucks later, scrum half Charlie Passmore picked up from the base and sniped home from close range. Winger Harry Bennett slotted the conversion from wide out.

That set the tone for a confident Withy show; they looked after the ball well, cleaned out in the rucks and passed the ball crisply through the hands in the back line.

More sustained pressure in the Tops half ended with centre Alfie Gillard finding a gap to the line and Bennett duly slotted second successful conversion.

The pattern continued, the home side did not let Topsham settle, and soon afterwards the strong running Jude Baker-Hands, playing his first game for the club in the centre, powered through the defence, side-stepped his way beyond the last two defenders to score the third Withy try and, once more, Bennett added the extras.

From the resulting kick off, prop Joseph Tapp came onto the ball at pace, a clever pass back inside put Topsham under pressure. The ball was passed quickly along the back line, and quick feet by Baker-Hands saw him through a gap before he off-loaded to Bennett to score in the corner.

Topsham then began to apply pressure of their own. They cleverly kicked a penalty to the corner, and, after a period of sustained attacks they were awarded penalty after penalty. They pounded the line, but Withy stood firm. However, when a chance to clear was missed, Tops forced an error and they eventually powered over for a well deserved try.

The last 20 minutes saw Withy again take full control and, after a few near misses, they were awarded a five meter scrum,when full back Charlie skinner was alleged to have been held up over the line.

Number eight Jimmy Griffin cleverly picked up, drew his man, and sent the lively Max Wilkinson over in the corner. There was time for more! Withy gathered the ball from the re-start and, after a few phases of play, winger Max Richards capped a fine performance when he stepped around his man and won the race to the line.

The final Withy try was launched from within their own 22 meter line. Passmore got his hands on the ball and kicked ahead. He chased his own kick and was instrumental in winning the ball at the resulting breakdown.

Quick hands saw the ball passed along the line and Skinner got his well deserved try to complete the scoring.

This was a fine performance against strong opposition. Topsham never gave up and played their part in an entertaining game.

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