Crediton 45 - North Petherton 27

CREDITON RFC First XV put on a performance that, certainly for the first half, was described by many supporters as the best 40 minutes of rugby seen at the Blagdon Ground for many a year, some superb handling and clever attacking play ensured that the crowd had value for money. 

(Liz Goodman)

(Liz Goodman)

Crediton dominated the first 40 minutes from the kick-off to the interval and were very good value for their 33-5 lead.

An early break from centre, Mark Lee brushed through a few tackles before putting flanker Jake Clarke in for try number one. 

Ollie Avery-Wright converted for a 7-0 lead. 

The fluent and accurate play ensured the game was played at a high tempo, somewhat surprising as the weather had put paid to any full training sessions during the week. 

The lead was increased on 17 minutes when the forwards went through several phases before moving the ball out wide where centre, Ollie Down drew two defenders before putting winger, Josh Woodland in for a try. 

Seven minutes later the visitors conceded a penalty when in a good attacking position and Crediton were able to clear their lines and a bit of good fortune came their way when the visitors knocked on whilst attempting to field the clearance kick. 

The referee allowed an advantage and No8 Ben Wonnacott was quick to react and picked up the loose ball before putting winger Josh Hall in for a try. Ollie Avery-Wright added the two points.

Crediton seemed to be in total control but an unnecessary penalty was conceded and North Petherton cleared to touch in a good attacking position. They won their line out and with a patient build up, forced their way over for an unconverted try.

From the restart, Crediton regained possession and a quick ball going through the hands, lock, Tom Mortimer cut a good angle to score the bonus point try which Ollie Avery-Wright converted. 

With the interval looming, a visiting attack was halted and Crediton turned over possession and set up an attack of their own. 

Good running and handling between fullback Josh Davey and Ollie Down took play deep into the North Petherton half before Davey put Woodland away for a run in for try number five and again, Ollie Avery-Wright landed the extra points.

The second half saw an almost complete turnaround as the visitors found the form they had shown in the past few weeks, as they started with an intensity that had eluded them for the first 40 minutes. 

Crediton suddenly found themselves on the receiving end and under considerable pressure. 

It took six minutes for them to reduce the arrears after controlling possession and another patient build up, they forced their way over for a second try. 

This was followed very soon after by a third. 

After the pressure told, Crediton began to concede penalties and another pick and go try was scored. 

The game had been turned on its head as the visitors became the dominant force and Crediton were losing their composure.

Another try for the visitors not only gave them a bonus point but also made Crediton’s previous seemingly unassailable lead look somewhat precarious.

Fortunately, Crediton regained some momentum and forced a penalty five metres off the visitors line and a classic, if somewhat seldom seen, pushover try from Ben Wonnacott settled the nerves.

Ollie Avery-Wright added the extras. 

North Petherton were not yet finished, but then neither were Crediton and with time running out they broke clear of Crediton’s defence for another unconverted try.

Crediton responded almost immediately when centre Ollie Clark made a smart break and put Josh Hall in for the final score of the game.

For pure entertainment this was a superb game of rugby. 

Who needs RWC anyway when you can watch Kirton each week? 

The last two games have produced 27 tries and 160 points, now that’s what I call rugby!

Newton Abbot II 5 - Crediton Quins 29

The Quins journeyed to Newton Abbot with the aim of ensuring a bonus point win to bring Crediton back on terms with Topsham Seconds at the top of the table. 

A victory by 31 points or more would have put the Quins at the top on point difference. 

Although they started reasonably well, once again they allowed the opposition to open the scoring with an unconverted try. 

Newton did not look like a team struggling near the foot of the table and certainly Crediton’s defence was being tested. 

The Quins were playing some decent rugby but letting Crediton down with some basic handling errors when in good positions. 

In addition, Crediton were a little slow in getting to the breakdown and as a consequence got penalised for the tackled player not releasing the ball as he waited patiently for the support to arrive. 

An injury to winger, Joe Dodge introduced Freddie Blackburn into the fray in the centre with Bobby Saunders moving to the wing. 

The scrums had been evenly contested and shortly before the interval Crediton had a scrum five metres off the home line and No8 Chris Hooper got the touchdown after a superb pushover. 

The conversion attempt from Tom Rochetti drifted wide. 

Within minutes, Rochetti did get on the scoresheet with some deft footwork where he created space for himself to score. He added the extras for a 12-5 lead at half-time. 

In the second half Crediton became almost totally dominant, the forwards caused all sorts of problems for the home eight in the scrum and it was no real surprise that Crediton pulled away to win reasonably comfortably. 

Matt Pearce bagged the third try bouncing off tackles like a human pinball before forcing his way over, Ronchetti converted for 19-5. 

A good move by the backs with the ball going through several pairs of hands before a neat cross kick from Ronchetti set winger, Bobby Jenkin on his way to cross in the corner for the bonus point.

Lock, Josh Atkinson had the final word when he spotted a gap and raced to the corner flag to score out wide and whilst the TMO was unable to come to a decision, the referee decided the ball had been grounded before Atkinson went into touch. 

A final score of 29-5 was reward for a hard-fought game although another seven points would have put the Quins on top of the league.

Whilst Crediton and Topsham have already opened a 13-point game to third place Teignmouth Seconds, eyes will be on the clash at Blagdon on December 2. 

However, that is a month and two league games away and the players must not be distracted from the games against Sidmouth Seconds on Saturday, November 11 and at Teignmouth Seconds the following week, neither of which will be easy.

Crediton Thirds 27 - Bideford Seconds 30

Another tough game for the thirds against a strong Bideford team and once again Crediton proved that they are capable of holding their own against other club’s Second XV. 

Throughout the game Crediton matched the opposition in the scrum and veteran centre Brad Baker showed his versatility by switching to hooker in the second half and he looked as though he had played there week-in-week-out for many a year. 

The early exchanges were evenly contested although the Bideford line speed was quick and Crediton had difficulty in getting through. 

Bideford held the lead for most of the game although they never got sufficiently far ahead to feel comfortable.

A Man of the Match performance from flanker Ben Baxter who was everywhere around the pitch. 

He picked up a couple of tries whilst Joe Warren and Elliott White made an impact off the bench and bagged a try apiece. 

Owen Cooper landed two conversions and Joe Warren one. Cooper also landed a penalty.

With so many players available, Crediton must be the envy of many clubs and they are most grateful to the Bideford players who agreed to let them use 10 replacements in order to give everyone some game time.

On Saturday, November 11 the Chiefs pay a visit to Sidmouth in a top of the table clash and if that was not enough to whet the appetite the game also doubles up as an Intermediate Cup fixture.

The Quins host Sidmouth Seconds whilst the thirds travel to Exmouth.

The Colts host Barnstaple in a game that will decide which of the two finishes fourth in the regional group stage.

Paul Harris