Last Sunday saw the opening game of the U11 season, and Withycombe travelled for a rearranged game against their old rivals Sidmouth. The Sidmouth side have proved to be a bogey side for the young Withies over the past few seasons, but after a great pre season hopes were high for Withycombe.
Travelling with a small squad of 11, and being told they would face Sidmouths A side a tough morning was in the offing.
The game started at a frantic pace with both sides eager to show what had been learnt over the last month. Withycombe were proving strong in the tackle, with Corey Mills, Bobby Pond and Jamie Thompson to the fore. This was being backed up ably at the breakdown by Kieran Long and Ben Jeffery. However it was apparent to all this would be a game of few chances as both defences were on top. Sidmouth were on the board first after some slick hands and a rare missed tackle enabled the attacker to run through to score. Withy were straight back on the front foot and with the width of the field being used by some crisp passing coupled with the pace of Jack McBryan and Jack Macdonald-Brown out wide a constant threat was always being posed.
Withy levelled through Mills after some delightful rugby by the whole team, as Max Rowley and Long turned the ball over at the breakdown. The ball gathered by Lewis Tose, who delivered a man of the match performance for his all round display. His pass set Pond on his way before an offload 10 metres out for Mills to wriggle his way over the line. The first half continued in similar fashion and scores were exchanged to turnaround at 2-2.
The second period saw the introduction of Jamie Rose and Ned Mills, who both put in their best ever Withycombe performance. The Withy defence were now firmly on top and most of the game was being played in Sidmouths half. Another turnover lead to Pond picking up the loose ball before outstripping the home defence to nudge the Withies in front. This was a lead that would not slip, as whenever they may be under any pressure sensible kicking from Tose and Long cleared any danger. With time running out the Withy attack marched down the field before being awarded a penalty 10 metres out. A simple pass to a charging Pond saw only one outcome, a Withy try. And a final scoreline of 2-4 to Withy. A fabulous display of rugby by both these sides who can both look forward to a great season.