Burnham-on-Sea 5 v Crediton 43

DESPITE having won comfortably at home earlier in the season and by a considerable margin, Crediton RFC First XV headed to Somerset with an air of confidence but also aware that they had never previously won at Burnham-on-Sea. 

The respective league positions of the two sides would undoubtedly suggest that Crediton should come away with a victory and maintain pressure on the teams ahead of them in the table.

From the home side’s perspective, they are fighting for survival in this league and would be desperate to get a result.

The opening few minutes produced a pretty even contest but once Crediton had settled, the scores began to mount. 

Pressure on the Burnham line, with a patient build-up, provided the first opening. 

The referee played an advantage and after several “pick and go’s” centre Josh Goldman went in under the sticks to give fly half Mark Lee a simple conversion for a 7-0 lead on 16 minutes. 

More opportunities came and went with a few passes going astray causing moves to break down, however the lead was doubled on 25 minutes when flanker Will Crang found space and darted through for Mark Lee to add the extras.

Burnham came into the game a bit more and their scrum was causing Crediton the odd problem. Interception on half-way by Ed Brady gained 20 metres before he was tackled, but the support was there and the ball eventually reached Goldman who went over for his second of the day, the conversion drifted wide.

Four minutes later and with the interval approaching, the bonus point was secured with try number four.  Again, a flowing three-quarter move and a long pass out to winger Bobby Jenkin who fought off a couple of tackles to touch down for a 24-0 lead at the break.

The home side showed some improvement in the second half and their defence tightened up, but Crediton continued to maintain the momentum albeit they found it harder to make the breakthrough. However, an excellent move from good lineout possession and quick ball to hooker Dan Yendell and on to Goldman, who timed his pass perfectly for No8 Ben Wonnacott to dive over. 

Lee converted for a 31-0 lead. 

The move was repeated a few minutes later and this time it was Goldman who went over to complete his hat-trick.

Almost immediately from the restart, lock forward Matt Arnold broke clear down the left before putting Jenkin clear for a run in under the posts, Lee converted for 43-0.

The final five minutes was all about the home side salvaging some pride and they camped on Crediton’s line forcing a few penalties. Goldman’s eventful day was not yet over as he was yellow carded when the referee ran out of patience with the number of penalties Crediton were conceding. 

In the end, Burnham got the consolation score that they deserved although the easy conversion hit the post.

I suppose it would be churlish to be critical of a performance when Crediton scored seven tries away from home. 

However, it is fair to say Crediton missed out on a few more with the odd handling error and perhaps a lack of awareness of the support either side of the ball carrier. 

That said, this is a young side and the strength in depth is beginning to shine through and Crediton has options in most positions. 

The strength of the Quins has dramatically improved over the past four or five years and the introduction of league rugby for them has accelerated that progress with more meaningful competition.

The teams have a three-week break now which will provide time for injuries to heal – hopefully – and bring even more competition for places, the more headaches for selectors the better!

It is not a complete break from rugby over the Christmas Period as there will be a traditional Boxing Day fixture between teams selected by Bobby Mogford and Toby Newstead for the Lego Builders Cup with kick-off at 12 noon.

The next league games are on Saturday, January 6 when the First XV host Chard, the Quins travel to Exeter Athletic and the Third XV host Tiverton Thirds.

On behalf of Crediton RFC may I take this opportunity to wish all the Courier readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Club Members will have been saddened to learn of the death of Ken Clover after a long illness against which he battled bravely. Ken will always be remembered as a fine player who captained the club and whose talent was spotted in his early career when he was selected for the Devon Colts XV in the early 1960s. 

Ken was Crediton RFC through and through, always supportive, never critical and extremely knowledgeable about the game. 

Crediton Rugby Club will miss him on the touchline supporting and their thoughts are with the family at this very sad time.

Paul Harris