Wadebridge 32 - Crediton 17

CREDITON RFC First XV suffered only their second defeat of the season against a rapidly improving Wadebridge side.

Despite taking an early 10-0 lead courtesy of an Oli Down try and a conversion and penalty from Ollie Avery-Wright, Crediton were pegged back on half-time when the home side levelled.

Wadebridge then took the lead early in the second half with a converted try, but a second try for Down converted by Ollie Avery-Wright levelled things up again.

Sadly, tragedy struck when winger Josh Woodland suffered a broken leg after a tackle and which will probably end his season.

The final minutes saw the home side pull away with two further tries plus a conversion and penalty.

Buckfastleigh 12 - Crediton Quins 41

THE Quins XV were on their travels again full of confidence having been awarded an RFU National Team of The Month for November.

This time the Ramblers of Buckfastleigh were the hosts on a cold hill top close to Dartmoor. Crediton elected to kick with the wind and slope behind them, but even with this slight advantage the hosts didn’t want to budge an inch and were taking even shares of the collisions in the forwards.

Buckfastleigh may be at the foot of the league table but they were certainly matching Crediton in the forward exchanges.

In order to gain any advantage, it was clear that Crediton needed to move the ball away from the marauding pack.

Once Crediton did that it was fullback Sam Ronchetti who broke free and ran in for the opening score of the afternoon. The ever versatile Matt Pearce playing in the second row this week was covering all areas of the pitch and tackling anything that moved and he was up in support to touch down near the posts for a try which Owen Cooper converted for a 12-0 lead.

Further well-worked try’s followed for promising youngster Sam Anderson and veteran forward Kevin Ellis, who as would be expected, was on the end of a maul on the stroke of half-time to provide the bonus point try. To their credit, it was the Ramblers who came out of the blocks at the start of the second half and bagged themselves a converted try to reduce the arrears.

The score seemed to give them inspiration and they had the next period of possession forcing the Quins to dig deep in defence. The effort put in by the home side was starting to tell as the legs began to tire and gaps began appearing.

It was Quins lively scrum-half, Fenton Davies who exploited the gaps on two occasions for a couple of tries, Cooper added the extras to one of them. Buckfastleigh responded with a five pointer, but it was appropriate for the Crediton skipper Sam Rowe and shared contender with Ben Rodd for Man of the Match, to finish the days scoring with a try converted by Cooper to round off a good performance against a side that, although struggling, looked better than their league position suggests. The victory (12-41) means that the Quins regained top spot in the league with one game to go before Christmas away at Torrington.

Crediton Thirds 22 - Exeter Engineers 34

As always, the Engineers came with a reputation for expansive running rugby full of pace and invention and in this respect they did not disappoint. However, for those who thought this would simply be one way traffic for 80 minutes there was indeed a surprise in store.

The Thirds put in a magnificent display and earned themselves two bonus points in the process.

The opening 10 minutes was all about the visitors defending their own line which they managed to do and they earned an easy exit when Crediton conceded a penalty to allow them to clear.

Back went the Thirds in attacking mode, but a loose pass ended in the hands of the Engineers’ three quarters, the last place you want to see the ball!

They opened up and spread the ball wide and, very much against the run of play they scored under the posts.

The conversion, simple as it should have been, was charged down by Brad Baker, showing he has not lost any pace over the years.

The lead did not last long and a huge forward effort ended with prop Cameron Vooght forcing his way over and Hayden Hill converting for 7-5 lead.

The visiting backs were always keen to show their handling and passing skills but the tackling of the Thirds was certainly keeping them at bay and it was a tremendous effort again from the forwards that led to another try to extend the lead.

This time the ball came out to scrum-half Joe Warren, who was often a thorn in the side of the Engineers, and he dashed over for a 12-5 lead.

Once again though running from deep always made life difficult for Crediton and another try from long range reduced the deficit to two points and just on half-time, Engineers struck again to lead 15-12 at the interval.

The second half continued much as the first and early pressure from the Thirds went unrewarded and the visitors gradually forced their way back into the game, but on this occasion their handling let them down when home fullback Hill intercepted a loose pass just inside the Crediton half and raced away with two Engineers in hot pursuit.

They did eventually catch him but not before he had grounded the ball for try number three and put Crediton ahead 17-15.

A tremendous piece of opportunism and no shortage of pace and a try that was thoroughly deserved.

Any joy was however short lived as the Engineers stormed back with two tries, one converted to take the game away from us. Prop Dan Vertenten did grab a bonus point try after more good work by the forwards but the final word went to the visitors with on last try to secure their win.

This was an excellent performance from the Thirds with the forwards dominant in the scrum and with Liam Stait and James Timms disrupting the Engineers lineout the visitors never had things their own way.

Scrum-half, Joe Warren was always looking to get the backs moving, flanker Ash Bradnock, a tireless runner, constantly testing the opposition defence and all under the enthusiastic leadership of skipper John Gurzynski who works so hard to get a team out each week.

All the players can be really proud of the effort they put in against arguably the best side in the Merit Table.

Crediton Colts 19 - Cullompton Colts 7

A hastily arranged friendly fixture against Cullompton Colts proved entertaining and enjoyable for players and spectators alike.

A very competitive game ended with the Kirton boys coming out on top with tries from flanker Harvey Murfitt with two and centre Freddie Blackburn with one plus two conversions.

On Saturday, December 10 the First XV will host bottom of the table Bridgwater, whilst the Quins will travel to Torrington - both are league fixtures.

The Third XV host South Molton in the Merit Table whilst the Colts travel to Bideford in the Colts Cup.

Everyone at the Club certainly would want to wish Josh Woodland well and hopefully a speedy recovery.

Paul Harris