Sherborne 7 - Crediton 40
DESPITE sitting at the lower end of the table, Sherborne proved tough opponents and whilst the scoreline reflects a comfortable win for us, it does not wholly do justice to the home side performance.
This of course was our first ever visit there and it was great to catch up with former Kirton player Mike Burks who sponsored the game and generally looked after us “oldies” extremely well.
For the first half, Crediton had to face a stiff breeze and a strong sun and after an initial period of pressure from the home side found themselves 0-7 down in 10 minutes.
A loose ball was hacked forward and such are the vagaries of a bouncing rugby ball, our attempt to touch down in goal was thwarted and it bounced nicely for Sherborne to dive on for their try. The conversion a simple one.
Crediton players continued to struggle to get out of their half, kicking their way out was not a real option, but gradually, they worked the ball through the hands and began to dominate possession as they worked our way up field.
On 22 minutes, Crediton forced a five-metre scrum and No 8 Dan Lee got the touch down as they drove over the line.
Skipper Ollie Avery-Wright added the extras to level the scores.
Both defences were on top and some of our handling between backs and forwards was outstanding, but nonetheless, the home side were still making life difficult with some string defending.
The deadlock was broken five minutes before the interval when an excellent free-flowing move ended with winger Josh Woodland going over in the corner, the difficult conversion against the wind struck the upright but bounced the wrong way.
There was still time to add to the score, this time the forwards linked really well and flanker Ben Wonnacott ran a great angle to flat-foot the defence before offloading to lock Josh Lee to go over. OAW landed the conversion for a 19-7 interval lead.
Sherborne came out for the second period seemingly full of intent as they began to put some phases together and threaten our line. Once again though it was outstanding defence that kept them at bay. Just on the hour mark we bagged the bonus point try. With pressure in the home ‘22’ the referee played a good advantage and we swept forward towards the line and it was prop Lance Palmer who, with nimble footwork and a subtle dummy enabled him to race over from two metres. Ollie Avery-Wright converted for 26-7 lead.
The pressure on the home defence was beginning to tell and they started to cough up penalties, to his credit, the referee allowed advantage and five minutes later it was Woodland benefitting from another flowing move to score out wide, Ollie Avery-Wright again landing the two points.
The final try came shortly before time when fullback Josh Davey fielded a clearance kick and ran straight back at the Sherborne defence, his offload to centre Ross Toms was perfectly timed and Tomsy made 20 metres through a couple of tackles before putting that man Woodland in for his hat-trick try.
It has to be said that this was an impressive performance against a side that certainly don’t look like a team in the bottom two.
It is so hard to pick out individuals as this was truly a 15-man game with commitment and quality all over the pitch.
The home supporters too were extremely impressed with our performance, always nice to hear.
That is eight wins from eight games and of course without wishing to tempt fate, that equals our best ever start in the league era.
It was last achieved in the 2000-01 season when we won eight league games on the trot. Beyond that we have to go back to 1977-78 when once again our opening eight games were won
Crediton Quins 38 - New Cross 10
On a sunny but blustery afternoon at Blagdon the Quins looked to get back to winning ways in the league after their disappointing defeat at Cullompton the previous week. Having won the toss, the Crediton skipper Chris Hooper elected to kick off. New Cross a sizeable pack of forwards that looked as hungry for the points as Crediton did.
The opening exchanges saw the Quins on the front foot and although Crediton had some hurried passes and rushed decisions they halted many of the attacks.
However, it was the quick-footed flanker Sam Rowe who broke free from loose tackles to get the days first points, with fly-half Tom Ronchetti kicking the extras. New Cross responded quickly and certainly looked to have the bit between their teeth and, with some slick handling stretched the Quins defence to score out wide for an unconverted try.
The first half continued with even exchanges until the ever impressive youngster Josh Atkinson burst through from 30 meters out to score under the posts for Ronchetti to add extras to leave Crediton 14-5 ahead at the interval.
For the second half the Quins were playing up the slope, and having had few words of advice from the coaches during the break the team began to operate like a well-oiled machine and chances began to come. Joe Dodge playing out of position on the wing finished a well-worked move under the posts, a straightforward two points for Ronchetti.
Veteran forward Kevin Ellis thought it his time to get in on the scoresheet and, having grasped the ball at the back of a maul he wasn’t going to let go until over the line, no conversion to follow on this occasion.
It was New Cross who scored next with the Quins down to 14 men for 10 minutes. During this period there were some notable tackles being put in, notably from the infirm Ben Rodd.
In the back line there was yet another impressive display from first year senior Freddie Bortham at fullback. There were two further scores to come from Crediton, next up scrum-half Fenton Davies who had the defenders guessing all afternoon touched down. To finish, and with what was probably the best move of the day, Joe Dodge got his second try of the day as he darted through a gap that seemed impossible to get through to score out wide. Another excellent performance from the Quins as they go from strength-to-strength with some outstanding young prospects showing good form, exciting times ahead for this group.
Crediton Colts 12 - Ivybridge Colts 36
Games against Ivybridge Colts are always tough and they have consistently been one of the best Colts sides for the past decade.
Crediton worked hard and whilst disappointed with the result, it was a spirited performance with tries coming from Harvey Murfitt and Josh Edwards with Tom Cooper converting one. Murfitt has now scored in each of the last three games.
Tomorrow, Saturday, November 5, the First XV entertain in form Teignmouth in a league game sponsored by Devondale Electrical.
The Quins are also at home to another in-form side, Okehampton in the league.
The Thirds will travel to Ilfracombe for a Merit Table game and the Colts have a friendly at Brixham.