Dartmouth RFC 26 South Molton RFC 17
Dartmouth secure impressive win to reach The Devon Cup Final
Dartmouth RFC v SOUTH MOLTON RFC
Devon Junior Cup Semi Final
Dartmouth win 26 – 17
After the previous rounds 'no-show' by Ilfracombe, Dartmouth were relishing the opportunity to
play South Molton at home in the Semi Final of the Devon Junior Cup, one to progress in the competition
against a Totnes XV that had all ready made the final and two, to compare how they would go against a side
that finished third in Devon one, the league that Dartmouth will be playing in next season.
The Darts were at near full strength and were able to name a squad of 22 players for this game as
it was a semi final. All match officials were also supplied by the Devon RFU through the Devon Referees
Society. Both teams match preparation was disrupted by an accident on the M5 which had the knock on
effect of delaying most of the South Molton team, with kick off delayed to 3.30 pm.
When the match did finally start. It was a nervy affair with both sides unable to stamp any
authority on the game and the defences winning over attack, but it was South Molton that blinked first
allowing Dartmouth through Nick Shillabeer a kick at goal, which was unsuccessful. But from the ensuing
poor clearance by South Molton and some pressure from Dartmouth, John Dingle found himself with
some room and scored the first try on the twenty minute mark, Luke Chase attempted to add the
conversion but the kick was off target.
Dartmouth now seemed to be having a bit of a purple patch and scored again through flanker
Ricky Seymour who pounced on a fumble on the Molton try line and was first to dot down, 12 - 0 to
Dartmouth. From the ensuing restart Dingle fielded the ball, but tweaked an old calf injury and was
replaced by Michael Dei. This injury to their captain seemed to momentarily disrupt the up till now great
Dartmouth defence and South Molton scored an unconverted try deep in the corner. With the clock fast
approaching half time, and Dartmouth again applying the pressure, Tom Clark made a great break and
scored just wide off the posts, with Chase having no trouble slotting this one over, for Dartmouth to turn
around 19 - 5 to the good.
As play resumed, the only change that Dartmouth had made was to bring on Karl Caunter for
player/coach Tom Clark as a straight loose forward swap. It was Dartmouth who continued to apply the
tourniquet and were soon on the scoreboard again through flanker Seymour. During the next 10 minutes
Dartmouth made a flurry of changes with Luke Bridgwood and Will Lockerbie replacing Ben Peters who
had taken a hard knock and Ricky Seymour. Lorien Spurdel at scrum half picked up an injury which led to
Josh Bruckner taking over at this position and a now recovered Peters rejoining the game at full back.
Sensing these changes may have disrupted the up till now imperious Dartmouth defence, South Molton
attacked with renewed vigour and scored a try and conversion to bring the score up to 26 - 12.
Dartmouth now emptied their bench when Declan Hammond and Alex Parrot made way for Jack
Stirk and Jamie Kearney. Dartmouth now seemed to settle again and were in control until a yellow card
was awarded against hooker Shillabeer with only 12 minutes to play. With Dartmouth a man down all
the pressure was now coming from the away side, and on the 75th minute they were rewarded with a
try, but were unable to add the extra conversion points, which still meant they had to score twice with
only a few minutes to play, Dartmouth defended well for the remaining time and were elated when the
final whistle was blown and they knew they were in the final. Dartmouth's 'man of the match' was Ricky
Seymour though the whole squad all played their part in the win
So Dartmouth RFC have reached the final of the Devon Junior Cup for the first time in their history.
The match is to be played at the neutral ground of North Tawton RFC on Saturday 22nd April. Dartmouth
Rugby Club will be hiring a coach for the trip for supporters and players, which will probable leave
Dartmouth in the early afternoon for a kick off time off 5.00 pm. We would ask all those who can, to come
on and cheer the Darts and see if they can do a cup and league double, which would be a fitting end to a
Report by Andy Williams