Fresh from last week’s encouraging start to the rugby year, the Withy boys knew that they needed to go one further this week and get that much desired Win and with a near full-strength side this was very much on the agenda – even from the warm up!
The game however kicked off and it was looking like another ‘one of those matches’ as an unsettled Withies side allowed the keen Crediton players good ground and the ball was quickly making its way towards the visiting try line. This early pressure continued for a further few minutes, until a forward pass in front of the line gave some needing breathing space for our boys. The early scrum was a good test for the forwards as they managed to slowly work the ball up the slope with several phases going at a time. After 10min the deadlock was broken as the outstretched arm of Jack Fear popped out the mass of bodies and earned Withies their first points. Glenn Channing getting the extras to make it 0-7.
This gave the home side some fire as they kept the lion’s share of the possession and territory for the next quarter of an hour with some top-class defending from the whole side keeping any Crediton attempts at bay. It was a stolen line out from the Withycombe 5m line that set up the next points with multiple runs, hand-offs and a great break from returning Flanker, Neil “Valley” Williams handing the ball to Jack Fear whose outstretched arm was needed again in an almost carbon-copy try. With the confidence beginning to grow, the display of rugby was a treat to all the many visiting supporters who made the trip up the road as there were breaks, runs and hand-offs aplenty, keeping the Crediton players pinned mostly in their own half. It was just before the break when an inside dummy from player-coach Glenn Channing gave him the room to run the ball through the posts with an easy kick at conversion bringing the half time score to 0-21.
This style of flair and passion continued into the second half with Club Captain, Liam Cullen ‘pirouetting’ into a charge-down and crashing onto the free ball almost immediately after the restart. Some great running rugby from new Aussie player Rory Collings and club stalwart Matt Brambles allowed another try on 51min for Max Dix bringing the gap to 33pts.
Crediton didn’t want to be seen as finished though as another string period for them required a series of tryline tackles to deny them any points. On the wing Sam “Bam Bam” Warren was showing his pace as he outrun the Crediton defence twice in quick succession, one being a particularly exciting footrace to put the game to bed with tries in the 60th and 75th minutes. The final blood came immediately after as a well taken ball by Mike Richards was selflessly passed in to Rory Collings in his first try for the club. A final kicked conversion from Joe Blyth brought the game to an end with the final score 0-52.
Today proved to be an outstanding game for the boys and every one of the 21 lads that pulled on the shirt did the club proud.
Speaking in his post-match comments, Head Coach Sam Williams said: “I am hugely pleased by the impact that the players who came off the bench made, and that as a squad our efforts were consistent in intensity and largely in structure throughout….We still have some basics to refine, and some complexity to add, however this was a great way to lead into a rest weekend with no game next Saturday before our first league game.”
The boys will now take this win and use it to build on ready for their first match of the 2019/20 season when they travel to South Devon to play Buckfastleigh Ramblers on the 14th September.