Exmouth Nomads win well at Bideford

PUBLISHED: 13:13 07 March 2019

Rugby ball.

Rugby ball.

Archant

Exmouth Nomads were 36-12 winners when they travelled to Bideford.

Testament to the current playing strength at the Imperial Ground it is quite something that, on a day when all three of the Cockles’ senior sides were in action, the third XI were able to travel to North Devon with a squad of 18!

Nomads, playing for the first time in four weeks, started brightly and the opening try came when the Nomads forced a turnover on the Bideford 22-metre line and the backs showed quick hands to release prolific try scorer Ross Matthews to go over in the far corner.

Following a period of pressure by Bideford, the Nomads again stood strong and managed to march Bideford back to the halfway line.

What followed now in the game was extraordinary in that the referee took exception to a number of Exmouth players and dished out yellow cards to Leigh Ellis, Dave Wellbeloved and Charlie Garratt, leaving Nomads to play the following 10 minutes three men down!

However, despite the best efforts of the home side, the Nomads’ defence, and particularly the work of the remaining back rowers Alex Hooper and Martin Westway, was outstanding.

Not to be outdone in the backs, Jake James-Graham and John Jo Burden marshalled the line well, equally dishing out big hits to frustrate Bideford.

Again Exmouth managed to turn over possession and the ball was fed to Bertie Hughes, and, in only his third senior outing for the season, he managed to step his way through a number of defenders and out-pace the cover defence to score an excellent try under the posts with the kick being successfully converted by Glen Layton.

Bideford hit back with a converted try and half-time arrived with Nomads leading 12-7.

The second half was a ‘stop-start’ affair with the referee getting maximum use out of his whistle!

The second half also saw Bideford use all 10 of their replacements!

The second-half tries were scored by the powerful duo of John Jo Burden and Dave Wellbeloved.

The Man of the Match award went to JJ Burden for an all-round outstanding display.

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