Devonport fortunate to come away with victory after facing Crediton

By Crediton Courier Contributor   |   Crediton Courier Contributor   |
Friday 11th February 2022 10:04 am
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CREDITON RFC

Devonport 16 - Crediton 13

PROMOTION chasing Devonport were given something of a surprise on January 29 when, in all honesty they were somewhat fortunate to come away with the victory.

Certainly, they dominated territory and possession in the first half but, with the advantage of the wind in the first half, they could only turn around with a slender 6-3 lead.

Our defence was outstanding as Devonport and even the home support were full of admiration for the way in which we thwarted all attempts to score in the first half.

The game started in positive fashion as right from the kick off we secured possession and hooker Dan Yendell appeared from nowhere with a great carry and took us close to their line.

An unfortunate indiscretion at the ruck allowed the hosts an easy exit. Devonport began to dominate territory and possession and for much of the half we were very much on the back foot.

The pressure was relieved occasionally but we were unable to set up much in the way of an attacking platform.

A break down the right touchline ended with fullback Josh Davey bundled into touch but generally it was a rearguard action and one which we carried out extremely well.

The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes when we were caught offside and home fly half Richard landed the penalty, he repeated the exercise 10 minutes later when again our over eagerness to defend a ruck produced a penalty.

With the wind in our faces, a six point deficit at the interval would have been a good result for us but even better was the fact that the lead was halved when Devonport were penalised for a high tackle and Ollie Avery-Wright landed the three pointer.

That score seemed to give us some confidence and we came more into the game as an attacking force in the second half and another infringement by the hosts allowed OAW to level the scores.

Devonport eased ahead in somewhat unfortunate fashion.

An attacking scrum 10 metres from our line and their scrum half knocked on as he attempted to pick the ball up, the referee, who had a fine game, was not in a position to see and they set up a maul which led to the try. West converted and we were 13-6 adrift.

With tails up, the home side attacked again and what looked like a certain try was prevented and we turned over possession just short of our line.

However, winger Josh Woodland who had covered across was deemed to have infringed and West increased the lead with a penalty and also taking us out of the bonus point range.

Some fresh legs came on for the final quarter and we began to test the Devonport defence, a nice break from centre Ollie Clark was stopped and gradually, the backs had a little more in the way of opportunities to take the ball on.

The home side were forced into conceding penalties and from one, we went for the lineout option and the resulting maul was finished off when lock Luke Mingo forced his way over, OAW converted and it was a three point game.

For the final minutes it was all Crediton and desperate defending by the hosts eventually drew a penalty right in front of the posts and with the time nearly up, we opted for the scrum.

Whilst one can only admire the bravery of the call to take the scrum with the desire to win the game, perhaps the wiser option would have been to take the points and settle for the draw. A difficult decision to make and of course hindsight is a wonderful thing but whilst we gained possession from the scrum, Devonport eventually turned over possession and kicked to touch to signal the end of the game.

Of course it would be churlish to dwell on a negative after such a superb performance against another of the promotion contenders and a game that we could have won.

However, this was one of the fixtures that count towards the Devon Intermediate Cup and the draw would have put us in the driving position for the final.

Both Devonport and ourselves have to play Sidmouth, we are away on April 2 and Devonport host them the following week. As things stand, all three teams are still in with a chance of making the final.

Devonport Seconds 23 - Crediton Seconds 17

The Quins suffered their first defeat for a while but still came away with a losing bonus point. An entertaining game where Devonport dominated the first half and we dominated the second. Josh Atkinson and Joe Dodge scored the tries with Tom Ronchetti adding the conversions and a penalty.

A rather nice note to finish on came via an email to the Club after the First and Seconds stopped off at Ashburton for refreshment on the way back from Devonport.

The Landlords of The Bay Horse sent the following message - “just a quick note to say what a pleasure it was to host your guys at The Bay Horse, Ashburton this evening. We hope to see you again. Warm Regards, Jason and Lisa”.

Thanks to the players for ensuring CRFC maintains its good name.

Crediton Ladies 71 - Totnes Ladies 5

The ladies took centre stage on February 5, with a league game against Totnes and provided the spectators with some fast flowing rugby that warmed up a rather cold afternoon.

The early stages of the game gave no indication of what was to come as for the first 15 minutes or so it was Totnes who looked to dominate through their bigger pack.

The Crediton defence was outstanding and allowed the visitors very little room although the first few scrums looked ominous from the home perspective.

However, there is no substitute for sheer pace and when you add some quality handling, it was purely a matter of time before the scoreboard would get moving.

The Crediton backs, ably marshalled by fly half Rachel Mortimer soon began to show their qualities and a flowing move down the left was ended when flanker Sarah Kingdon went over for the first try, Mortimer converted for a 7-0 lead.

As Crediton were gaining more possession, so the attacks began to flow, testing the Totnes defence to the limits. However, in fairness to the visitors, they worked extremely hard to stem the tide.

No8 Lorraine Cleverdon-Brend proved a thorn in the Totnes side with her carries and it was no surprise that she scored the next try, converted by Mortimer for a 14-0 lead. As if to prove that Totnes had not simply come to make up the numbers, they managed a score of their own with a score off a maul from close range.

From here on in, it was all about Crediton and once they got into their rhythm, they gave Totnes a torrid time, the scores mounted with fullback Alice Cook always looking to come into the line and create an overlap, indeed she added a brace of tries as did the impressive centre Danni Phillips.

The centre pairing of Phillips and Lauren Woodman had a good understanding and were keen to put the wingers Tess Brock and Alice Mahoney into space.

Scrum half Gemma Carnegie was able to get the ball away quickly allowing Mortimer time to control things from fly half.

Despite conceding weight advantage the Crediton pack gradually got the better of the Totnes eight which eventually provided the platform for the glut of tries in the final quarter of the game.

The front row of Michelle Greedy, Jessica Courtney and Emma Bolt were immense and withstood the early onslaught in the scrums and a major key to success was the mobility of the second rowers Emma Davie and Caitlin Scullion and with the pace in the back row of Natasha Currie, Sarah Kingdon and Lorraine Cleverdon-Brend, the team became unstoppable as the game went on.

The scores rattled up with further tries from Cleverdon-Brend, Mortimer, Kindgon and replacements Ruby Smith and Emily Blatchford.

The introduction of the replacements, Francesca Diepenbroek, Hettie Geering and Amanda Power was seamless and the attacks continued to flow.

This was an all round quality performance from a young side that look to run the ball from anywhere, the handling skills were top drawer and when called upon to defend, the tackles went in.

Totnes to their credit never gave up and indeed at times showed that they were able to cause problems. With a much bigger pack they made life difficult in the early stages but were seldom able to break down the Crediton defence.

Exeter Engineers 28 - Crediton Thirds 19

With the assistance of a couple of Second XV players, the Thirds put in a decent performance against the league leaders Exeter Engineers and earned themselves a losing bonus point.

The forwards dominated the home pack but when the Engineers spread the ball wide, we struggled to cope with their pace.

Chris Hooper bagged a couple of tries together with a penalty try and scrum half Joe Warren added a conversion.

Sidmouth Colts 27 - Crediton Colts 26

This was one of those days that players hope they will learn from. It was a good competitive game with some excellent individual performances.

We had built up a lead but a few errors on our part allowed Sidmouth back into the game.

Things improved in the second half and a late try looked as though we had secured the win but a penalty deep into injury time gave Sidmouth the win. Freddie Blackburn led the way with two tries and three conversions with Freddie Borthen and Joe Wreford each touching down once.

Tomorrow, the First XV are at home against Keynsham, the Quins travel to Paignton and the Colts entertain Exmouth.

Paul Harris

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