Withycombe U11 played host to Crediton at Raleigh Park on Sunday for their last regular season game, in almost tropical conditions.
A depleted Withy squad took to the field against a large and determined Crediton side for what was to be a fast, skill full and well mannered advert for junior rugby.
The visitors were first to score following a solo break from the Kirton star man, which again showed how these Withies take time to wake up, and this proved to be just what they needed. From here it was a very evenly contested encounter. Ben Jeffery was proving to be a colossus at the break down, literally knocking Crediton back time and time again. And with the assistance of the ever improving Cody Bate and Charlie Bagley the young Withies were starting to get some control on the pitch. Scrum half Kieran Long was taking every advantage of this, digging the ball out quickly and showing good distribution skills to get Withycombe on the front foot at every opportunity.
Crediton though are a resilient team with speed to burn, and on many occasions this was put to excellent use, as for at least four scores they simply outpaced the home defence to just keep their noses in front.
The start of the second half is, it is becoming clear, where these Withy kids really start to play. And this game was no different. Corey Mills and Jamie Thompson were now making every tackle and now with Max Rowley now also bossing rucks the momentum was swinging in the Withies direction. Quick ball from Long released Thompson who drew his defender and released a superb pass to release Ned Mills to show the defence a clean pair of heels to score in the corner. Otto Montogomery-Ames made a welcome return and made a real difference as he broke the first line of tacklers on almost every occasion. One of these breaks saw him caught just short of the line, however another quick pass saw Cameron Horne crash over for his first Withycombe try.
As the game came to a close in the heat their were many tired legs and bodies on both sides, but the result had gone the young Withies way. Final score Withycombe 45 Crediton 40.
All in all a fabulous season for this group of players that has seen them progress really well, and with all players back at the start of next season it promises to be a very exciting U12 in prospect. Well done to all.