The two teams interrupted their Easter break this evening to play a double header. It was a hard game, both sides attacking and defending well, both try lines getting a hammering.
Tavi started strong keeping Topsham in their half and testing Topsham tackling. Topsham were not found wanting, and they held the home side back; after a tense 12 minutes Tops were in the home 22. From a line-out 5 yards from the Tavi line and from a rolling maul comes Topsham’s first points, a try from Oscar Martin, 0-5.
Tavi come back hard and hammer our line. Despite solid defense of the Topsham line, Tavi forwards crash our line from a penalty and equalize at 18 minutes, 5-5.
Tops head straight back up with the restart, and Fin Marks takes a spectacular catch of our kickoff to take Topsham close to the home line, then a concerted forward attack nails the possession. Tavi close Tops forwards down; rapid ball play from the backs rewards Fin for his catch as he scores Topsham’s second try, 5-10.
The next ten minutes sees Topsham defend their line well from a determined home side, then a Topsham rolling maul takes us to within 5 yards of the Tavi line. Gwyn Parkes taps and goes from a penalty at 5yds, scoring and converting to take Topsham into the lead at half time, 5-17.
Tavi come back from the break hard, Topsham robustly defending. A second attack by Tavi with a rolling maul was again rebuffed by Topsham forwards. Another brave defense, then Tops finally concedes a try from a scrum against them and Tavi convert. 12-17. Now Tavistock players believe they can turn the match over.
Tavistock attack again but Topsham finally turn them over and get back up the field. From a monster scrum close to the home line, George Syrad at No 8 picks up, is tackled, offloads to Alex Taylor who scores 48 minutes into the game, 12-22, and four minutes later, a bulldozing Topsham rolling maul is stopped after for 20 yards, the ball sent down the backs for Ollie Gibbon to score, 12-27. Topsham are looking safe?
Two minutes later and Tops are under pressure again, defending their line against a line out and a rolling maul from which Tavistock score in the corner and convert, 19-27. Tops come back and make 20 yards from a rolling maul midfield, pass down the wing and Ollie Gibbon scores in the corner 19-32.
Seven minutes left, and Tavi make a comeback. Pressure mounts and the home team score from close to our line crashing Topsham defense and convert taking the score to a close 26-32. The last 5 minutes was tense as Topsham defended their line from the final onslaught from the home side, yards from turning the game over. A tough encounter, with some superb attack and defense, both teams can be proud of.