Exmouth 36, High Wycombe 3

Exmouth Under-17 marched into the final of the area National Cup competition with a superb all-round performance to bring an extra sparkle to Mothering Sunday at the Imperial Ground.

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The Cockles played with the wind in the first half and a strong, industrious, opening period was rewarded with an opening score in the 15th minute.

A penalty was won five metres from the visitors’ line which skipper Simon Hartery opted to run himself and he ducked underneath a couple of tackles to score and Owen Flinn tucked away the conversion. Ten minutes later the lead was extended when Flinn kicked a penalty after Wycombe were caught offside. Exmouth continued to run the ball back at the visitors at every opportunity, and, just before half time, effectively sealed victory with two splendid tries.

First Sam Conway broke down the blindside before feeding the ball inside to Matt Wells who ran the ball home and then Conway took the ball on, short of the Wycombe line, and barged his way over. Flinn converted the first, but struck an upright with the second and the Cockles went in to the interval with a 22-0 lead.

Wycombe began the second half with more purpose, but with Josh Adams and Matt Wells putting in some strong tackles, the hosts were equal to the best the visitors could offer and a period of pressure saw just the one penalty score conceded by the Cockles.

The lead was further increased when, following a big hit in midfield, Hartery collected the ball and charged his way over from 10-metres out. Flinn’s trusty boot once again added the extras. The final move of the game provided the icing on the Mothers Day cake! Turnover ball was won on the halfway line and passed along the back line to winger Brad Neilson who sprinted down the touchline to score. Flinn had the final word and the Cockles trooped off 36-3 victors.

April 1 provides the teams next challenge for that is the date of the National South Division final against hosts Cleve.

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