Last year Topsham met Cullompton away as their first match of the season and lost both games. Things looked ominous on the first real cold, wintery December weekend with the Cullompton boys looking a bit bigger than ours.
Tops Pirates v Cullompton U10
The first half went backward and forward with seven tries scored. Cullompton were strong in the ruck and won most of the ball in those areas, Topsham dogged in defence and good passing and team running put them ahead by one try. It could have gone either way in the second half with Cullompton having the slope. Topsham pulled away with another score by Ollie Banwell picking a gap and going through. Cullompton came back in the 25 minute even though Topsham tackled like demons notably by Fred Bishop. Sam Baumber sealed the match in the 28th minute adding to his first score in the first half and his overall good match performance. Note a brilliant last minute passage of passing play by Tops. Congratulations to Henry Guy, who got cruncher of the week and Kieran Davidson for man-of-the-match.
Final score: Topsham 30 – 20 Cullompton
Tops Smugglers v Cullompton U10
Like the matches against Taunton the first saw good passing by Tops and the second more physicality as the ball was kept closer. Cullompton scored first but was quickly answered by two scything scoring runs by Dylan Jenkins. By straight running and winning the mauls and rucks Cullompton came back with two scores before the break. Topsham down 2 tries to 3 at the break.
Most of the second half saw Topsham defending in their own half. This made for a dogged team performance by Tops by tackling and upsetting Cullomptons’ onslaught. But Cullompton had no answer to Topshams pace when the ball eventually got out to Dylan Jenkins, Sam Plumer and by brilliant support play by Marcus Kay, all three enjoyed running tries to finish the game. Leo Knowles got a knock but was pronounced okay by our touchside doctor and paediatrician, well done Leo. Henry Butler was awarded cruncher of the week, Sam Plumer, man-of-the-match, and Fergus Jones played a big part in keeping them out at close quarters to win Player Of The Week. Good to see James Powell and Harry Cleasby, both new to club, getting stuck in.
Final score: Topsham 30 – 15 Cullompton
These were tough matches and Cullompton are a good side, why did we win ? Perhaps it was the dogged enthusiasm that only comes about with enjoying the game, wanting to be there, wanting to be part of the team. Perhaps it’s also got to do with the positive 4 smiling coaches (Chunks, Paul, Adam (great to see you) and Sam), lining up at the end, joking and congratulating. Credit to the boys. Thank you coaches.
Without doubt some of the best rugby the aquad has played this season.It's always pleasing from the coaches perspective when training ground routines pay off in matches & that was certainly the case this week.Emphasis on support play & being vocal was picked up by all players & resulted in one memorable try when Dylan committed the defender & off-loaded to Marcus who was supporting at speed to score unopposed just before the final whistle of game 2.Well done to all the boys who turned out this week.
Paul,Adam,Ian & Sam