Topsham Colts played their first league match in the Devon Cup Merit Table away against Okehampton on Saturday 10th December.
On a heavy pitch Topsham started the game playing down hill and for much of the first half it was an even affair. Neither team were able to run the ball much due to the heavy pitch but both teams put on an outstanding display of exciting, hard rugby. With excellent scrummaging, particularly by prop Ben Boggis, Topsham’s scrum matched up to Okehampton but Okehampton were winning the majority of the lineouts and perhaps had a fraction more of the ball overall.
All square at half time but now Topsham had to play up the hill and much depended on whether Okehampton had the strength and fitness to make this count as legs tired.
They did! In the second period, Topsham barely got out of their half but when they did midway through, were awarded a penalty which was neatly slotted by fly half Ben Ward. 3 – 0 to Topsham with about 15 minutes to go. Okehampton kicked off and camped themselves in Topsham’s half launching attack after attack. Topsham defended superbly with excellent tackling from No. 8 Will Nowell and centre Sam Gibbins. Topsham conceded a penalty which Okehampton put over making it 3 – 3. A number of times Okehampton muscled their way to within inches of Topsham’s line only to be repelled. Eventually the pressure told and Okehampton cut through to score a converted try.
Overall a fair result with Okehampton adapting to the conditions well. Equally though a good start for the new boys playing in Devon’s top league against a strong outfit on home soil.
Man of the Match – Ben Boggis.