Sidmouth Chiefs XV see off Withycombe in swiftly arranged friendly

PUBLISHED: 13:23 29 August 2019

Sidmouth at home to Kingsbridge. shsp 49 18TI 6047. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth at home to Kingsbridge. shsp 49 18TI 6047. Picture: Terry Ife

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A Sidmouth Chiefs XV were 31-21 winners when they hosted Withycombe in a pre-season game, writes Terry O'Brien.

The Chiefs had been set to play Wellington, but the Somerset club were unable to muster a side so Withy stepped in at the last minute and a club squad was raised to play the Devon One team for a contest that was played over three 25 minute sessions.

In the first session, the Sidmouth backs proved to be too strong and ran in three in the first quarter hour.

Sidmouth retained possession for long periods and eventually stretched the Withycombe defence. Quick handling found Chris Higgs in space on the left and he ran in at the corner for an unconverted try.

From the restart kick, a good handling move down the left put Sidmouth back on the attack. Again, they worked the ball through many phases to create an overlap for James Powell to score on the right. The try was unconverted.

Try number three came from a move started deep inside their own half. Sam Meadham finished things off by stepping inside the full back to touch down near the posts. Rabbie Hansford added the conversion.

Withycombe dominated the closing stages of the session and deserved the converted try scored in the final minute.

A much-changed Sidmouth side took the field for the second session and struggled against opponents, who retained possession for long periods.

Withycombe's player-coach Glenn Channing dummied his way through the first line of defence to set up a try for his number eight before adding the conversion.

A scrum against the head set up try number three for the visitors. Direct running and quick recycling created space on the right for a simple run in. Glenn Channing converted to put his Withy 21-17 ahead. Sidmouth did well to prevent any further scores in the remainder of the session.

Withycombe started the third session well but a turnover inside their own 22 led to a fine handling move to take play into the opposing 22. A set move from an attacking scrum sent Tom Hodge on a well-angled run for a try converted by Dan Retter.

The scoring was completed when full-back Sam Cavin joined the line in a move from his own half.

He made the extra man to send Chris Higgs running in from halfway. Dan Retter's conversion completed the scoring.

On Saturday (August 31) Sidmouth Rugby Club will be visiting Sandy Park to support head coach Phil Dolman's benefit match with Dolly's Originals taking on Crawshay's Welsh XV.

The following week (September 7) they open their South West West League campaign away to Cleve.

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