Saturday was the culmination of the Devon Plate competition with the final between Newton Abbot and Plymstock. The teams had met twice during the season with Newton colts winning both games. The first away with a narrow win but the home game was more convincing.
The weather had been wet for a few days so the pitch had softened. The rain held off so a good game was on the cards.
Plymstock kicked off at 1pm straight into the arms of Prop Jon Lacey
. The ball was quickly recycled and the Newton backs were away. The whole of the width of the pitch was used and Plymstock were stretched from the off. Ground was made and the backs used the width again and the ball now came back to the right hand side into the safe hands of winger Robin Whiting who was over for the first try in the corner. The conversion was made good by Harry Laity so within 2 minutes the score stood at 7 – 0.
The game began to settle as Plymstock found their feet. Tackling was fierce from both teams. The ball came loose and was scooped up by Newton’s No 11 Nick Snowden who broke clear and was able to get under the posts for Newton’s second try. Laity took the easy kick and the score climbed to 14 – 0.
Plymstock now attacked needing to get back into the game. Pressure on the newton pack in the ruck resulted in a penalty to Plymstock. Taken quickly another 10m was given for not retiring and the posts were in range. The kick taken by Plymstock’s Adam Popperwell fell short and Newton were let off.
19 minutes into the game and Newton were back on the attack the now famous rolling maul was set up 10m out from the Plymstock Line. An unstoppable drive over the line let Second row Alex
Davey place the ball for another try. The conversion was missed so the score now 19 – 0.
Plymstock could see the game getting away and made a concerted effort for the next 10 minutes. This was spent in the Newton 22 and even over the try line as attack after attack was held up. Newton’s defence by George Lowrey
, Charlie Thomas, Sam Holmes and Lewis Curtis (to name a few) was outstanding. The turnover finally came and Plymstock’s misery was visible when the Newton backs again used the field and Harry Laity made it to the corner for another score. No luck with the conversion so with a few minutes from half time the score stood at 24 - 0 to Newton.
briefed the team to keep up the pressure and keep it simple so not to give the advantage away in the second half.
The second half started much as the first with a quick advance up the field resulting in yet another try for the Newton Colts. This was scored by No 9 Mike Edworthy
. Laity unable to convert which left the score now 29 – 0.
Plymstock Colts had not given up so with a good phase of play made it into the Home team’s 22m area. A well worked forward move saw the score board go the other way with a try and conversion for Plymstock. 29 – 7.
The game now closed down Newton defending and trying not to give anything away. However at the 27 minute mark another breach of the Plymstock defence gave a try to Sam Holmes. No more points from the kick so with 8 minutes to go Plymstock were down 34 – 7.
Just before the final whistle Plymstock who had never given up got their reward. The forward surge proved too much and the final points of the game were to be theirs with another try. This was converted to make the final score 34 – 14.
This was a game worthy of a final. Congratulations to the Newton Colts for the win. Congratulation to the Plymstock Colts who never gave up and played the game in great spirit.
A great end to a great season well done to all the players and coaches.