Crediton 57 - North Petherton 0
THE Kirton machine continues to roll on with an emphatic victory for Crediton Rugby Club over North Petherton and whilst on current form, a win was almost predictable, the margin of victory most certainly was not.
The two sides have never been separated by more than a single score in previous league games so the manner with which Crediton overwhelmed North Petherton came as something of a surprise.
This was Crediton’s first home game in a month although a few weeks on our travels have not had any adverse effect so far as results are concerned.
The first half was full of scintillating rugby played at a pace that the visitors were simply unable to cope with and before four minutes had elapsed Crediton were 14-0 ahead.
From the very first play of the game, the ball passed through several pairs of hands and fullback Josh Davey was on-hand to touch down with Ollie Avery-Wright (OAW) adding the extras.
The following restart went directly into touch, Crediton were awarded a scrum on the half-way line. Winning good possession Dan Lee picked up at the base and made good ground before passing to Ed Brady, who with some neat exchanges, combined with winger Bobby Jenkin before receiving the final pass to touch down, with OAW adding the extras.
After such a quick start Crediton were very much in the ascendancy and hungry for more success which was not long in coming as they took complete control, winning possession almost at will play was taken deep into the North Petherton “22” playing patiently through several phases and committing the visiting defence before recycling the ball to Josh Lee who forced his way over for an unconverted try.
The restart again proved fatal for the visitors as Josh Lee gathered and once again made ground before offloading to the backs where some good interplay put Bobby Jenkin over in the corner for an unconverted try.
The bonus point secured with only 15 minutes on the clock.
Constant pressure continued and another good break by the influential Dan Lee saw the ball being recycled very quickly through several phases of play before being moved wide to Josh Woodland, who forced his way over in the corner for one of his trademark tries which was unconverted.
Minutes later a penalty kick to Crediton was put deep into the North Petherton half and after winning the line out the forwards set up a well controlled catch and drive with Dan Yendell getting the final touch down and OAW adding the extras.
With half-time approaching Crediton once again won possession in mid-field where good interplay once again among the backs put winger Josh Woodland into space for him to race over in the corner for a try, with OAW adding the extras once again. A 43 point lead at the interval was game over, there was certainly no likelihood for the visitors to make a stunning comeback.
However, they did start the second half with far more aggression and obviously had received a good talking to by their coaching staff during the break!
This coupled with the fact that the weather conditions were worsening with the rain getting heavier, prevented us getting back into the rhythm of the first period.
Indeed it was “22” minutes into the second half before the score was added to.
A good line-out steal by Crediton in the North Petherton half saw another good mauling drive set up and this time it was Jake Clarke who got the final touch down, with OAW converting.
Credit to North Petherton they never stopped competing and at times were testing the Crediton defence, although throughout the afternoon this had always looked solid.
The final score came after 76 minutes on the clock. Ed Brady, who was excellent all afternoon, put pressure on the North Petherton defenders which saw the ball going loose for him to pick up and go over for his second try of the afternoon, OAW again adding the extras.
This was a very comprehensive and focused performance from the players, with well controlled possession, good support play and phases, and very good tempo. Even more satisfying was the nil scoreline against, with only 88 points being scored against Crediton during their first seven games, with 242 points scored for.
It maintains Crediton’s position at the top of the league, three points clear of St Austell and five clear of Sidmouth, two sides that Crediton will come up against over the next four weeks - November will certainly be an interesting month.
As a matter of interest, this is the best start to a season since 2000-01 when the Crediton side won their opening eight games of the season.
South Molton Seconds 10 - Crediton Thirds 15
A VERY welcome and thoroughly deserved victory for the Thirds at South Molton, always a tough place to go at whatever level.
It was an evenly contested game throughout with no quarter asked or given. Hooker Lewis Cook opened the scoring for Crediton with his first ever senior try as he picked up from the base of a ruck and went over from five metres, Hayden Hill converted for a 7-0 lead.
Whether International, Premiership or Devon Merit Table rugby, hookers seem to like getting on the scoresheet in the modern era!
The home side hit back strongly and took the lead with two well worked tries to leave Crediton trailing 7-10 at the interval.
In the second half, the penalty count was mounting for both sides as tempers frayed somewhat.
Hill landed one to level the scores at 10 all.
The handbags continued to be thrown as players on both side were feeling the strain.
Shortly before the final whistle, a really good handling movement ended with scrum-half Elliott White darting through a gap in the home defence to score in the corner.
Despite the frustration, the game was generally played in a good spirit and it is fortunate that it was actually played at all.
The weekend has seen a shortage of referees and it was only due to the generosity of a home supporter with refereeing experience who stepped in at the last minute, that the game got under way.
Tavistock Colts 27 - 12 Crediton Colts
WITH several players unavailable, Crediton travelled to the Moorlanders with the bare 15 and while the result didn’t go their way, the lads played their hearts out and did the club proud.
Crediton’s cause was not helped with a couple of early injuries, but they were grateful to Tavistock for the loan of some players to keep it at 15 a-side.
The home side came out with all guns blazing and, not for the first time this season, Crediton conceded in the opening few minutes.
Crediton’s defence was breached again on 12 minutes and at 10-0 down the signs weren’t good.
Playing up the slope, Crediton players were struggling to get out of their own territory but they were looking more solid and the sting was going out of the Tavvy attack.
It took until around 25 minutes before Crediton had their first foray into the opposition “22” and they were very nearly rewarded with a try, but for the final pass going astray.
This gave the lads some confidence and on their next visit they scored when Harvey Murfitt burrowed over.
The half-time score was 10-5 and with the slope in Crediton’s favour, they were in the game.
The early second half exchanges were pretty even, with play in the middle third of the pitch.
Crediton were winning penalties and kicking to touch but their lineout wasn’t functioning and they couldn’t sustain the pressure.
With 15 minutes gone it was the home side that moved the scoreboard along with an unconverted try. Eight minutes later Crediton replied.
The kicking to touch tactic was abandoned and a tap penalty sent Tariq Sayers on his way to the try line.
With an excellent conversion from Tom Cooper, the score was 15-12 and hopes were high with 12 minutes to go.
Unfortunately, it was not to be and two tries in the final five minutes saw Tavistock take the win 27-12.
While the result was disappointing, there were lots of positives on an afternoon where the spirit of rugby shone through.
Unfortunately, one game that did not get under way was the Second XV League fixture with Exeter Athletic, again the shortage of referees being the issue.
Sadly, we never appreciate referees until we don’t have one and when that happens 30 plus players don’t get to play a game.
On Saturday, October 29, the First XV travel to Sherborne for their first ever fixture there.
The Second XV will be at home against New Cross and the Third XV entertain Brixham Thirds in a friendly.
The Colts will be at home against Ivybridge in a friendly.