Action between Exmouth and Old Reds at the Imperial ground on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 6439-14-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Exmouth 31, Old Redcliffians 17
The Cockles played their penultimate Imperial Ground game of then season and had to dig deep to bag victory against a determined visiting outfit.
Exmouth struggled in the early stages to get any real momentum. A lack of possession and some poor kicking from hand looked to set the stage for a potentially difficult afternoon.
The opening score came from an Andrew Powell penalty when the visitors infringed at the ruck.
Minutes later the Bristol forwards rumbled over the Cockles line as they kept the ball tight and used their size advantage to score a converted try.
Discipline was clearly going to be an issue for the visitors as time and time again they got on the wrong side of match referee Brain Barclay. Twice they illegally stopped a possible Cockles try and twice they lost a player to the sin bin.
The advantage was swiftly taken with first flanker Dave Bargent and then centre Ali Hill cruising over to score. Powell’s trusty boot ensured the conversions were slotted on each occasion and the Cockles went into the break with a 17-7 advantage.
After the restart it was noticeable that the Cockles were looking to run the ball more and, on a sun baked hard surface, the visiting side found it tough going against the pace and guile of the Exmouth backline.
After a couple of gilt edged try scoring opportunities were spurned Paul Morgan settled nerves with well-worked try.
Powell slotted the extras and then nailed the all-important bonus point forth try that he also converted.
With a vocal gathering behind them, the visiting side never gave yup and they were rewarded for their hardy contribution to the game with a brace of late unconverted tries to complete the scoring.
The final score did flatter the Cockles who named Mike Wilson their Man of the Match for his tireless individual performance.
On Saturday the Cockles travel up the North Devon Link Road for the long-awaited semi-final of the Devon Cup at Barnstaple (2.30pm).
The Cockles are holders of the Cup and will be keen to progress to the final, but the two sides are both in good form with the Cockles one place and six points better off than fifth placed Barum in the National Three (SW) table.