Crediton 68 - Burnham-on-Sea 5

CREDITON Rugby Club’s First XV recorded their biggest league win since February 2014 in an encounter with struggling Burnham-on-Sea on Saturday, September 16. 

However, the 10-try demolition of Burnham was not always as easy as the scoreline might suggest and although well beaten, the visitors never gave up the fight and indeed at times stretched Crediton’s defence. 

Generally, the scrums were evenly contested as were the lineouts but the real gulf in class was in the back division and the old adage that the forwards can win you the game but the backs decide by how many, certainly rang true.

The first score came quite quickly when early pressure got Crediton over the line but the ball was held up for a goal line drop-out. 

Unfortunately for Burnham the drop went directly into touch and Crediton came back for a five-metre scrum, which they won, and they moved the ball wide to the right where Jack Arnott finished off. 

Ollie Avery-Wright added the extras. 

On 18 minutes, a superb cross-field kick from Ollie Avery-Wright fell perfectly for Arnott and although Burnham had him covered, they were unable to prevent the off-load to hooker Dan Yendell who went over. Ollie Avery-Wright again converting. 

Burnham had their moments in Crediton’s “22” but were unable to make much headway. 

On 25 minutes, a clean take at the lineout led to a Chris Courtier try with Ollie Avery-Wright maintaining his 100 per cent record with the boot. 

Five minutes later and again it was Jack Arnott making things happen with a superb break down the right touchline and no doubt he could have gone over himself, but with the oncoming defender closing in, his unselfish pass inside to Ollie Down who was better positioned, allowed him to score at the posts. Ollie Avery-Wright finished off the seven pointer. 

The final score of the half was a superb solo effort from Down who danced through three or four tackles to score at the posts giving Ollie Avery-Wright another simple kick.

Ten minutes into the second half and some quick handling ended with Arnott stepping inside the last defender to touch down his second of the game. Sam Westcott came off the bench to replace Josh Lee for his league debut and what a start he had.

Within minutes he was racing clear of the visiting defence to open his scoring account, Ollie Avery-Wright converted for a 47-0 lead. 

Within minutes, Westcott broke clear again before putting Yendell in for his second and another conversion made it 54-0.

Burnham did show signs of life and what they were capable of, forcing Crediton into conceding a few penalties culminating in a try out wide. 

It may have been too little too late for them but nonetheless a score that they deserved. 

Any joy was short lived though and it was another replacement, Mark Lee on for Ollie Clark, who intercepted a long pass to run unopposed and score. Ollie Avery-Wright converted. 

The final score went to Westcott again following a lineout catch and drive. Mark Lee added the extras to complete the scoring.

A good result having bounced back from last week’s loss at Wadebridge. 

It was nice that Crediton converted so many chances into points. 

Clearly, Crediton has pace all through the three-quarter line and perhaps we could make better use of that speed more often. 

The win moves Crediton up the table to third spot behind Topsham and Sidmouth - early days, but there will be many tougher games ahead.

Tavistock Second XV 5 - Crediton Quins 46

The Quins travelled to Tavistock for a friendly against the Moorlanders Second string as neither side had a league game. 

Both sides were keen for a game and Crediton were delighted that Tavistock were happy to play host. 

Tavistock Seconds only entered the league this season and they are keen to do well. 

From Crediton’s perspective it was important to keep the early season momentum going and test themselves against new opponents. 

It took a while to get going and it was winger Matt Dayment who used his pace to take Tavy on out wide and score in the corner. 

Despite that early score, Crediton struggled to find their rhythm but gradually sorted things out and began to play a bit, so much so, that at times it was looking like a training exercise. 

The home side clearly struggled to cope until, once again, Crediton suffered a bit of a slump, energy levels seemed to drop and things got very untidy. However, a frank discussion at the interval and Crediton managed to regain the composure that had been missing. 

Tries came at regular intervals and indeed winger Josh Woodland seemed to recapture his scoring form as he ran in five tries. 

Josh Atkinson and Chris Hooper added tries and Josh Goldman converted two with Tom Ronchetti landing one. 

Tavistock did bag a try of their own but seldom threatened. 

Crediton Third XV 7 - Exmouth Third XV 7

A hard fought battle between two evenly matched teams which could not be separated after 80 minutes and it was generally felt that a draw was a fair result. 

In the first half it was Crediton who held the advantage and a combination of excellent defending and quality attacking ensured Exmouth were on the back foot. 

A superb team try starting from Crediton’s “22”, going through several pairs of hands, ended with flanker Henry Howard scoring under the posts giving fly-half Owen Cooper a simple conversion.

The second half saw a complete turnaround and it was the Cockles who dominated and although Crediton’s defence held firm, they did eventually score in the corner and a good kick levelled things up. 

That is how it remained until the final whistle. 

A special mention for newcomer Bill Halson who played his first game for eight years and proved that those years have not diminished his appetite for the game. 

Hooker Lewis Cook provided a Man of The Match performance completing a number of turnovers during the game. 

In addition he was forced to switch to tight head prop after an injury to skipper John Gurzynski. It was the first time he had played in that position but he did exceptionally well.

All in all it was a great advert for Third XV rugby and the end result seemed to suit everyone.

Bideford Colts 10 - Crediton Colts 35

It has been a tough start to the season for the Colts in terms of results, but a much improved display away at Bideford saw the lads pick up their first win of the season and a maximum five pointer.

Bideford played their part in an entertaining game but Crediton just about had the edge in most areas and played with more direction and purpose than in previous weeks which was pleasing for all to see.

Some early dominance was rewarded with a penalty, which Oscar Sorrell drilled into the corner. 

A lineout catch and drive resulted in a try for Euan Philip.  

Sorrell missed the extras but slotted a penalty shortly after to give Crediton an 8–0 lead.

Crediton continued to apply pressure and the game was being played out in the Bideford half. 

A flowing move, with forwards and backs exchanging passes ended with winger Sam Borthen going over.  

Sorrell was successful with the conversion extending the lead to 15–0.  

A second Sorrell penalty took Crediton 18 points up before they were reduced to 14 men after George Baxter was yellow carded for not retreating 10 metres at a penalty.

The lads held out but right on half-time Bideford got on the scoreboard with a try.  

This was followed by a second, straight after the break to reduce the arrears and make the score 18–10.  

Crediton lost their shape for a bit and Bideford were getting themselves back into the game, and things were getting a little nervy.

Things settled down when Oscar Blackburn broke from a scrum to cross in the corner for an unconverted try and, when Charlie Gribble went over under the sticks, Sorrell converted and Crediton were ahead 30–10.

That wasn’t the end though as Marcus Johns rounded off the afternoon, showing good strength to battle his way over for a full-time score of 35–10.

Still plenty to work on, but well played lads, a cracking performance!

Devon RFU U15 Cup – North Group

Bideford U15 18 - Crediton U15 24

The U15s travelled to Bideford on Sunday, September 17 with high hopes of opening their group campaign with a win, following an encouraging opener against Paignton the week before.

In tricky conditions, both sides looked to play an open brand of rugby but Crediton’s overall control of the game, particularly in the second half, was the difference.

Points were scored with tries from Rhys Ebdy, George Blackburn, Archie Chanin and Will Lewis plus two conversions from Blackburn, but it was a real squad performance that secured the win!

On Saturday, September 23 the First XV travel to Chard, a side that always makes life hard for them. 

The Second XV host Exeter Athletic and the Third XV travel to Tiverton on the evening of Friday, September 22, for a 7.30pm kick-off against Tivvy Thirds. As yet the Colts have no game.

Paul Harris