Teigns stunned in injury time
Defeat grabbed from the jaws of victory
TRIBUTE SOUTH WEST ONE (WEST)
TEIGNMOUTH 29 MATSON 32
At precisely 4.30pm last Saturday a stunned silence fell over Bitton Park, punctuated only by the sound of a couple of dozen Gloucester folk celebrating an incredible and unexpected victory.
Five minutes before, as the match entered injury time, the home side led by 11 points and looked set to continue an unbeaten home record which stretched back to January. And then all hell broke loose and the visitors managed to run in and convert two tries, and the lion’s share of the points were theirs.
None of this looked likely in the first 10 minutes as Teignmouth punched huge holes through the Matson defence to rack up a pair of tries from Will Sowden and Henry Raby. Faolan Lidstone converted the latter, and the Teigns seemed well on their way to a third victory of the season.
Even when Matson finally tested the home defence and found it wanting, as Aaron Tonks ran in his side’s first try, there was little to suggest that this was anything other than a consolation score. Before half time Arron Kelly had barged over the line from 10 metres, and with Lidstone’s conversion the Teigns arrived at the break leading 22-5 and in fine fettle.
Granted the strong breeze now favoured the visitors in the second half, but all they had to show for their efforts in the first quarter of an hour was a Reece Broughton penalty. But alarm bells started to ring when Tonks again found gaps in Teignmouth’s back line and Broughton’s conversion, followed soon after by a penalty, brought Matson to within four points.
But with 11 minutes remaining, Sowden seemed to have wrapped up the win with a try under the posts, and Lidstone added the two points. The home side were certainly confident at that point, given the celebrations that followed, but these proved to be premature.
With 81 minutes showing on the clock the always dangerous winger Aaron Morefield touched down and Broughton’s conversion made it a four point game. At this point the home side started to panic – possession was handed over far too easily on a couple of occasions and Matson, with their tails up, smelt the possibility of a kill.
Sure enough, with the last play of the game, the pressure told. Broughton tapped a penalty five metres out and burrowed over to huge celebrations from his team-mates. His successful conversion signaled the end of the match.
Coach Marc Dibble rued the fact that in the last two weeks a possible 10 points has been whittled down to four by sloppy play at important junctures of the games. However, it should be noted that, with 13 points so far, Teignmouth have exactly 13 points more than they had at this point last season. They’ll be looking to add to that total his week when they travel to Bridgwater for a much-anticipated match against former coach Simon Morrell’s new side.