Colts fall short against Exeter
The newly formed Exeter Athletic side score two late tries to claim victory against the boys in green and black
Withycombe were up against a physically strong Exeter Athletic side that were able to use their extra weight to gain the upper hand at the strums and mauls. However, despite having several of their bigger players unavailable, Withycombe used their skills and teamwork to present strong opposition worthy of a better score.
Exeter got the game under way and kept the ball in the Withy half. Their early pressure gave them the edge they needed to cross the line early in the game after a strong charge down the left side resulted in the first score that was easily converted by the Exeter fly half.
Withycombe dominated after the restart and managed to turn the run of the game by applying pressure on Exeter keeping the ball in the opposite end, eventually forcing a penalty for holding on. Farrant went for the kick and won the first Withy points to bring the score closer.
The next points went again to Exeter as the ball went deep inside the Withy half. Some strong defensive work kept the attackers away from the try line until a scrum was awarded to Withies deep inside their 22. The scrum was turned over and another try was scored for Exeter.
Again from the restart, Withies were pushed back into their 22 which resulted in a yellow card against Withycombe. The free kick was sent to the corner for a 5 metre line-out and another try was scored. The conversion attempt from a difficult angle hit the post but Withycombe were now trailing 17-3.
Withycombe rallied to raise their game and despite being a man down made a big effort to attack. The effort resulted in a scrum and Withies came away with the ball. Exeter gave away a penalty as they tried to defend and Bolwell reacted quickly. He sent the ball out to Josh Arbury who took the ball in to contact. He released the ball to Farrant who passed wide to Dawson who ran the ball to the corner for a try bringing the score to 17-8 at half time.
As the game got back under way Exeter pressed forward again to score. Throughout the game Exeter had been sending long wide passes to the wingers and this had been noted by Withycombe who were positioning themselves ready for the long pass. As the Exeter fly half sent the ball out long and high, Dawson intercepted and touched down between the posts giving Farrant an easy conversion.
Great play by Withycombe as the game resumed saw strong play from the forwards. In a decisive charge Ollie Cowley released Jake Lewis to break free at the half way line with the ball in hand. Shrugging off tacklers, he managed to get within 5 metres of the try line before he was finally stopped. Popping the ball up to Dawson with a brilliant off-load, Dawson ran final distance to score bring the score to 22-20.
As the game was coming close to the end, Withies were unlucky as Exeter rallied with a further two try's to end the game 34-20.