Sidmouth Colts 33 - Crediton Colts 22

WITH none of the senior sides engaged in a game it was left to the Crediton Rugby FC Colts to fly the Kirton flag on Saturday, November 25.

(Jay Harris)

Following the first stage of the Devon RFU Colts Competition, the Kirton lads advanced to the top tier, competing in the Cup group against Ivybridge, Newton Abbot, Sidmouth, Topsham and Barnstaple.

Opening up with an away game at Sidmouth, and a rare opportunity to play at their main ground, there was no doubt it would be a tough game having been beaten comprehensively earlier in the season. 

With the slope in their favour in the first half, the home side started strongly with their fly-half controlling the game and pinning Crediton back into their territory.  

Within 15 minutes they were two converted tries to the good and Crediton were finding it hard to get in the game.

That changed on 20 minutes when Crediton worked some territory and possession, and Charlie Gribble found some space to power over to make it 14-5. 

It felt like Crediton had turned a corner in the game but Sidmouth continued to use the gradient well and another converted try extended their lead to 21-5.  

It was becoming a ding dong encounter and Crediton were next to score, with Charlie Conner getting the five-pointer. 

At 21-10 there were just two minutes left in the half to hold out.  Disappointingly Crediton conceded and turned around at the break 28-10 down.

The first 15 minutes of the second period was played out in the middle of the park but it was the home side who broke the deadlock with an unconverted try.  

At 33-10 Crediton needed a quick response, which they got. Euan Philip crossed for a try and George Baxter converted for 33-17.

Crediton were on top and playing some good rugby and while they may have left themselves too much to do to win the game, they still had a four-try bonus point to play for.

It came with just a couple minutes left on the clock as Ben Wallis showed real pace to finish superbly in the corner. 

Crediton survived some late pressure from the home side and the game finished 33-22.

The performance showed just how far this side has come in a short space of time from a heavy home loss earlier in the season to a game where they ran one of the top three sides in the county close.

Rugby is a game of fine margins and there wasn’t a huge amount of difference between the two sides - well played lads!

Jay Harris

Fixtures this weekend

Sidmouth had a rearranged league game at Chard on Saturday, November 25 and came away with a win that puts them at them at the top of the league whilst Crediton drop to second place.

Crediton First XV’s short trip to fourth placed Topsham on Saturday, December 2 will be a tough game and, according to Topsham, they play the best rugby in their league, clearly a statement of intent and certainly a challenge has been made! 

The Seconds also play Topsham who also claim to play the best rugby in this league too. 

This is a top of the table clash with both sides having gained the maximum 45 points and who have effectively turned this league into a two-horse race. Something has to give so who will blink first?

The Thirds  have another tough Merit Table game against Exeter Engineers who always play a fast, open game. 

That said Crediton are a much improved side and will definitely be in with a shout as the Engineers lost at Barnstaple by a similar score to Crediton.

The Colts have a friendly against Okehampton – is there such a thing?!

Ken Clover continues to support Crediton RFC

Members of Crediton RFC will know that Ken Clover has been unwell recently and, after a spell in hospital, is now at home. 

Ken captained the Club in the 1969-70 season having started his rugby career at Crediton as a Colt in 1960. 

In his playing days, Ken was a formidable back row forward and his qualities were soon recognised when he was selected to represent Devon Colts in 1962 along with four other Crediton players, John Baxter, Roger Labbett, David John and Steve Roche. 

In total Ken played eight games for the County Colts over three seasons missing only a couple of County games in that time. 

In the game against Devon Public and Grammar Schools in December 1962, Ken was named as one of the “stand out forwards” of the game.

Ken made his senior debut for the Club in the 1963-64 season and became a regular in the First XV for the following seven years for a total of 173 games for the First XV. 

In addition, Ken played 76 games for the Quins, 30 for the Thirds and 35 for the Colts for a total of 314 games for the Club. He scored nearly 50 tries in that time.

Once the boots were hung up, Ken continued to serve the Club, firstly on the Social Committee from 1963 through to 1978 and the General Committee from 1975 to 1995.

It is fair to say that Ken “has done his bit” and continues to support the Club for most games. 

Never one to be over critical, Ken has always had a balanced view on games and individual performances as one of those rugby followers who knows his stuff.

Ken coached the juniors for several years and, whilst it was always nice to win, he was never obsessed with results. 

If the lads lost, there would always be something on the plus side to comment on. 

As a coach he would always see the bigger picture, the importance of the team and friendship, and of course Crediton RFC. These are attributes that we all know Ken still holds dear.

I am sure we all wish him well and look forward to seeing him back at the Club in due course.

Paul Harris