Crediton 26 - Wellington 12

WITH both the Crediton RFC and Wellington sides occupying joint third spot in the league, with almost identical records, a closely fought contest on Saturday, September 30 was expected and that ultimately proved to be the case. 

In the opening minutes, each side in turn probed away but both defences looked to be in control. 

The deadlock was broken in the 10th minute with sustained pressure close to the visitors line and several phases of play before No8 Ben Wonnacott crashed over, skipper Ollie Avery-Wright added the extras for a 7-0 lead. 

From the restart, the visitors responded strongly but Crediton’s defence was well organised and kept Wellington at bay. 

However, on 27 minutes, Wellington did find a way through. 

After a series of attacks and constant pressure in Crediton’s “22”, gaps began to appear and finally they made the breakthrough with a try and conversion to level the scores.

Both sides continued to test each other but generally, defences cancelled out any major threats until 32 minutes, when Crediton were awarded a penalty five metres out and hooker Dan Yendell was quick to spot an opportunity. He took a quick tap penalty and forced his way over. Ollie Avery-Wright converted for an interval lead of 14-7.

The visitors struck again early in the second half when, from good lineout possession in the Crediton half, their back line made good ground and, aided by a couple of missed tackles eventually scored out wide, although the try was not improved upon. 

Crediton’s response came quickly as they began to dominate territory. 

The backs went through several phases of play before fullback Jack Arnott found space and broke the Wellington line before putting centre Ollie Down in for a try which Ollie Avery-Wright converted. 

Ten minutes later, it was Arnott himself who got on the scoresheet for the all important bonus point try. 

A Wellington attack was stopped half-way and replacement Will Crang turned over possession and the ball was moved quickly through the backs before Arnott went on an arcing run to outpace the remaining Wellington defence to score.

The final quarter saw both sides attack and defend in turn but neither was able to add to their score.

As games go, this was as hard as they come, Wellington are never a easy side to beat and will no doubt be looking to reverse the result when Crediton visit them in January. 

This was the final game of a tough September and four wins from five games is a pretty good return. 

The players can enjoy a week off as Saturday, October 8 is a break week from league rugby. 

The following week Crediton will receive a visit from newly promoted Cullompton who are also going well this season despite an opening game hammering by Topsham.

New Cross 7 - Crediton Quins 48

The Quins travelled to New Cross with a few changes from the previous week and took time to settle into their normal rhythm. 

New Cross has struggled a bit over the past couple of seasons but seem to have turned the corner with an influx of players they have good numbers and hopefully will continue to prosper. 

In the opening stages, New Cross put Crediton under pressure for long spells. Crediton seemed to be slow to get to the breakdown and they were turned over a number of times. 

It was against the run of play that the Quins actually took the lead when, with the referee allowing a penalty advantage, they scored out wide.

The home side hit back and a penalty to the corner, after they had strayed offside, gave them a perfect platform for a driving maul which the Quins struggled to defend and from which they scored, the conversion put them 7-5 ahead.  

Such was the competitive nature of the game that New Cross never allowed the Quins to settle until shortly before the interval when they began to put things together and scored a couple of tries.

In the second half the Quins were much more organised and decisive and tries flowed at regular intervals. 

The home side had no answer to the threats that Crediton posed. 

They did have a number of new players in their side and maybe fitness was a telling factor although, despite the scoreline, they were a very competitive side and given time, they will no doubt cause problems for most clubs in the league.

A word of praise and thanks to the New Cross committee man, Ryan Wotton who, due to the shortage of referees in the county, took on the responsibility of refereeing the game and did an excellent job. 

Crediton players were most grateful to him and 40 players had a game of rugby that they might otherwise not have had.

For the record, the try scorers were; Josh Pearce, Josh Atkinson, Ethan Power, Bobby Jenkin, James Dodge and Chris Hooper with two. Josh Davey and Tom Ronchetti each landed two conversions.

Crediton Thirds 17 - Honiton Seconds 29

The Thirds were somewhat disappointed that Honiton went against the spirit of the competition by adding half-a-dozen First XV players to their squad after their First XV game had been called off. 

Granted, they did not make an appearance until the second half but they made a huge difference. 

Of course there is no guarantee that we would have won, but those changes made certain that we didn’t.

As to the game, Crediton started off very well and for much of the opening period were the stronger side with some direct running maintaining sustained pressure on the visiting defence. 

After going through several phases of play, it was lock forward, Richard Gray who eventually crossed the line for the opening try. 

Honiton then took the lead with a try of their own as they too showed that they had the ability to run with the ball. 

Defensively, it was something of a soft try for Crediton to give away.

The Thirds then lifted their game and spread the ball wide from side-to-side before left wing, Josh Edwards went over for Owen Cooper to convert, 12-7 up. 

The pressure was maintained and Honiton were forced to defend and eventually gave up a penalty. 

The kick to the corner set up a great opportunity and the resulting driving maul took the visitors over their try line and Deyan Tomic touched down. 

The conversion was missed but Crediton reached the interval 17-7 ahead.

The introduction of the replacements by the Honiton side ensured that they dominated the second half and whilst Crediton had the odd moments, the visitors proved too strong and scored 22 unanswered points in the second half.

Crediton Colts 43 - Topsham Colts 19

The Colts proved too strong for their Topsham counterparts and made full use of the slope and breeze advantage in the first half running in six tries without reply for a 38-0 interval lead. 

Topsham did show that they had some strong runners and would certainly pose a threat in the second half. 

Indeed, they outscored Crediton’s three tries to one in the second period but defensively, Crediton were too good to let them get close to catching them on the scoreboard.

Try scorers were Sam Cliff with two, and there was one apiece for Harry Gulley, Ben Harris, Charlie Gribble, Tom Ayre and Oscar Blackburn. Oscar Sorrell landed four conversions.

Saturday, October 7 is a blank weekend for rugby as it is a break weekend for league rugby although the club will be open for RWC games on the big screen. 

However, the Ladies travel to Penryn for a league game on Sunday, October 8, and there are junior boys games in the morning and girls in the afternoon. 

Paul Harris