Sat 09
Bideford RFC
Bideford in the rain

Bideford in the rain

By Stuart Martin
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The long journey to north Devon was torrential rain the whole way and it was amazing that Bideford could get the game on.

Having spent £100,000 on their pitch the drainage system obviously works well and with only two areas of standing water this must have been the only game on in the south west (almost).

Fortunately the rain stopped just before the start and stayed away the whole game, which Bideford started with intent by piling pressure onto the Tops and forcing mistakes from the boys.

For 15 minutes Topsham struggled to get a foothold in the game and conceded a try and 2 penalty attempts at goal so were pleased to be only 5-0 down from the early onslaught.

From this point on Tops were mostly in control allowing Bideford plenty of possession to wear themselves out in trying to attack in the difficult conditions.

For both teams it was difficult to work any dangerous scoring positions but once Tops got into scoring range they took the opportunities. Firstly after a number of drives toward the line Gwyn Parks at scrum half snipes into the corner from the back of a ruck and using his strength to fend off the opposition.

A difficult conversion was missed and the score is back to parity at 5-5.

From kick off Tops work themselves back toward the scoring zone and again a number of drives sees the ball close to the line and Oz Martin this time gets a cheeky sniping try almost under the posts. Gwyn converts and the score is 5-12.

The second half is mostly a midfield battle, Tops probably play more in Bidefords half but can only manage a single penalty from Gwyn directly in front of the posts from 35m and the game finished at 5-15.

Difficult conditions, the first game post Christmas, long journey, unfamiliar ground can all be reasons for a slightly under par performance. Ultimately the boys played a sensible game allowing Bideford enough possession to exhaust themselves while tops created enough to win. Probably a bit too much trying to play a handling / running game rather than kicking or tucking the ball up the jumper and looking after the ball carrier but lessons learnt I suggest.

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Match date

Sat 09, Jan 2016