Devon Plate Final at Cullompton
Kingsbridge U14 v Teignmouth U14.
With the breeze behind them Kingsbridge kicked off for the Plate final against Teignmouth. Both teams seemed evenly matched for the first quarter, with Kings being stronger in open play, forcing Teignmouth mistakes.
Teignmouth had the upper hand in the set pieces, repeatedly winning both line out and scrum. With Teignmouth in possession a Moj Thomas tackle saw the opposition centre spill the ball which was pounced on and a counter attack led to 2 penalties to Kings in the Teignmouth 22.
From a quick tap penalty the ball found Archie Walwyn who opened the scoring.
At the restart Ivor Matthews received the ball, offloading to Alex Thomas who jinxed through to find space, for Archie, Milo Hignett and Marcel Purchase to link together resulting in a second try, converted by Tom Newman.
This second try Teignmouth galvanised and stepped up to keep themselves in the game. This they did by putting repeated pressure on Kings 22. Ben Grose took a nasty fall but courageously made a try saving tackle with only one functioning leg!
The first half saw Kings lose too many set pieces but through good ball handling and solid defence they held Teignmouth to 12 – 0.
The second half saw the Kings kick off bounce before being claimed. Moments later another Kings scrum was lost putting them under pressure resulting in a converted try to Teignmouth. The momentum of the game had swung and Kings defended in their own half. When they did turn over possession they were deemed illegal, giving away a succession of penalties.
Teignmouth kept the ball in their forwards, recognising that the Kings forwards were depleted, managing to batter through a resolute Kings defence with a driving maul to equal the score. The pressure remained on Kings. Solid tackling and good line speed kept the opposition out.
From a 5 meters defending scrum Otis made the best of poor ball, battling his way out to the 22.
With the constant pressure mounting Teignmouth got a last minute penalty, which they chose to kick, to take the lead and with a few minutes still left on the clock the ref decided to call time.
The game seemed to sum up this season for the team. There were some inspired passages of play but the bounce of the ball never seemed to go their way. Teignmouth were worthy winners on the day and Kings can be proud of their resilience and commitment with an injury depleted squad.
Big thanks must got to the coaches for their dedication over the season and to the supportive parents.
Final score Kingsbridge 12 – 15 Teignmouth