Team: Ollie Hargreaves, Oliver Tillen, Will McLeod, Harrison Jelley, Rudi Phillips, JJ Slater, Josh Ham (Capt), Jack Scrivens, Oliver Broom, Archie Thornhill
Today we were at one of my favourite clubs, Crediton. I have many happy memories from playing colts rugby here (just a few years ago). As expected the Crediton coaches, and club in general gave us a warm welcome, and a fabulous pitch to play on, complete with full line markings, corner flags and goal posts!!
As with last year the Crediton side came complete with 5 coaches, and 29 players! And to a player the Crediton team dwarfed the Exeter Youth boys with maybe one exception. I’m not sure what they’ve been feeding them on, but we might need to borrow some…
The match began with Exeter Youth playing up quite a steep slope, although as it turned out this was our strongest half of rugby!
The early exchanges were fairly even, although the Youth lads had the edge at the breakdown, not in size but in speed of action. We were getting into the breakdown so quickly that Crediton were struggling to react quickly enough to compete. This ended up in Crediton having to do most of the defending.
As the half wore on, the Youth boys pushed the Crediton boys back into there half and up the slope, and just before half time Ollie Hargreaves broke clear on a mazy run to score the only points of the first half. HT 1-0 Exeter Youth
As the sides swapped halves we all anticipated the game to become more one sided in Exeter’s favour, and almost immediately off the restart Ollie Hargreaves again broke through after some good work from whole team in turning the ball over, making it 2-0 to the Youth lads. Unfortunately, I think our boys assumed that they’d broken Crediton’s resistance at this point and took their foot off the gas. Crediton didn’t need a second invitation and took full advantage of the Youth’s lapse of concentration, powering up the field with a series of drives from their biggest players who were hard to bring down (especially when trying to tackle them to high!!). After one of these drives Crediton moved the ball wide to their player of the match (Charlie), who tiptoed down the touchline to score their first try of the game. Exeter were visibly shocked by this, but didn’t rally and instead let Crediton in for another try which was almost a carbon copy of their first try. Honours were now even, and the Exeter lads decided they were going to up their game. A series of good turnovers from Harrison Jelley, Josh and Will, allowed Rudi Phillips the space to squeeze over for the third try. Crediton managed to steal a late equaliser towards the end of the half. A draw was probably the right result although the Youth lads will no doubt be kicking themselves for a few simple mistakes when they were near the line, when a simple pass to a mate outside in space could have got an easy try or two. That said the lads did tremendously well against a much larger team. FT 3-3 Draw
This was a very tough test of the boys character, and showed their resilience and great teamwork to overcome a much larger team (both in terms of physicality, and in numbers). A very proud bunch of coaches, well done lads!
Todays award winners were;
– Opposition MOM = Ollie Broom (Cornish)
– Parents MOM = Josh Ham
– Coaches MOM = JJ Slater