Action from Exmouth Nomads game with New Cross at the Imperial on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 7338-15-12SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Exmouth 17, Barkers Butts 15
Exmouth Under-16s edged a thrilling encounter against a very competent touring team from Coventry.
There was a large crowd to watch the match at the Imperial Ground and from the start it was clear the visitors were a team who liked to get the ball wide. The Cockles, despite the impressive Brad Cooke leading the way, as they bossed line-outs in attack and defence, fell behind as it was the visiting side who struck first with a brace of well executed tries through their fleet-footed backs.
The huge Barkers pack dominated the early exchanges, but gradually the Exmouth forwards started to gain momentum and the first half saw the home side end with a flourish as Neil Lawson went over for a try and Brandon Perry slotted the conversion from wide out near the touchline.
It was noticeable that, after the break, the Cockles increased the tempo significantly. Joe Wiley departed the game through injury and this saw Ty Perkin join the game as a guest replacement.
Fabulous work from Will Irving, Connor O’Shaugnessy and the ever-destructive Matt Harris, caught Barkers by surprise. Big hit tackles from all three disrupted the visitor’s pattern of play and the pack began to exercise control on proceedings. Matt Wells and Chris Skinner were industrious and inventive and this added to the problems for the visiting side.
After a series of well executed drives from the forwards, Sam Conway dotted down off the back of a goal line ruck. Further dominance ensured the Exmouth forwards then produced a text book catch and power drive from a lineout with Dan Bradford-Jones crossing for the try which took the Cockles into a 17-10 lead.
In a rare excursion to Exmouth territory, Barkers’ Butts showed they were not ready to concede the game when he nailed the visitor’s third try.
Leading 17-15 with still ten minutes remaining the Cockles then proceeded to repel the very best the visiting side could offer. Showing a real determination and desire, and despite the loss of a player to a yellow card, the Cockles saw the game out with a display of real self-belief that took them to a deserved victory in their final match as an Under-16 team.