Withycombe Under-14s power into Devon Cup semi-finals after win at Bideford

PUBLISHED: 13:09 14 January 2020

Action from the Withycombe Under-14s Devon Cup win over Bideford. Picture:MARK LONG

Action from the Withycombe Under-14s Devon Cup win over Bideford. Picture:MARK LONG

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Withycombe Under-14s were excellent value for a 33-2 win at a soggy and wind-swept Bideford that booked the Withy youngsters a place in the last four of the Devon Cup.

Action from the Withycombe Under-14s Devon Cup win over Bideford. Picture:MARK LONGAction from the Withycombe Under-14s Devon Cup win over Bideford. Picture:MARK LONG

Withy began on the front foot and the early exchanges were played out deep in the home twenty-two.

Continual pressure forced errors in the home ranks and, after a series of phases moving the ball ever closer to the line, the Withy forwards crashed over for the opening converted score.

Clearly surprised by the start Withy had made and falling behind, Bideford made a determined effort to get back on level terms and, after a period of sustained pressure, moved the ball out wide to score in the corner.

Withy were soon back on the front foot and more fine set plays by the forwards led to a second try and, had it not been for two superb try-saving tackles, Withy would have trooped off at the break with a greater lead than the 14-5 score they went in with!

The second half saw Withy have the strong wind at their backs and, with the surface becoming heavier, it was Withy who continued to dominate.

During the break Withy had been asked to get more control at the breakdown and they duly delivered. Good use of the kicking option was turning Bideford backwards whenever they may have been looking to get onto the front foot themselves and, once Withy worked the ball into good territory they made no mistake adding further scores.

Twice in the space of two minutes Withy exploited gaps in the home defence to burst through and score well-worked tries, one of which was converted.

That effectively ended the game as a contest, though Withy kept looking to play on the front foot and, in the closing moments the forwards trundled forward once more to collectively take the ball over the line for the final score.

The Devon Cup semi-final tie will be at home to Tiverton, with the game being played at Raleigh Park on February 9.


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