Withycombe U14 v Kingsbridge U14

With the season drawing to a close and with just the Plate Final to play next week, Kingsbridge U14s needed a competitive game as part of the final preparation.

Withycombe kindly offered to host and did not disappoint.

The first five intense minutes saw Kings pinned in their 22 by a well organised Withy line who persisted with attack.

Kings were able to regain possession from a kick, which Fynn cleared enabling Will John to chase it down on the wing to cut back in, creating space to take Withy to the other end of the pitch.

A cheeky kick through from Alex Thomas and resolute rucking from Harrison Wood allowed Otis Purchase to scoop up the ball and score, converted by Tom Newman.

Undeterred, Withy came back at Kings with more determined play but Kings, to their credit, soaked up the pressure with a solid defensive line with each wave of attack.

From a line out the ball was passed down the line to powerhouse full back Marcel Purchase, who ran the length of the pitch to score.

After the restart a moment’s lack of concentration caught King’s off guard, allowing Withy to dart through to score.

Kings’ forwards worked tirelessly throughout the game and Alex Baker once again proved what an asset to the team he is becoming with some powerful runs, drawing in three or four opposition before offloading.

The second half saw more committed play from both teams.  Tom Newman showed that there’s more to him than just kicking with his relentless tackling.

Playing up the slope and into the wind, it was now Withy’s turn to feel under pressure, and it wasn’t long before the speedy duo of Will John and Marcel Purchase were linking up to secure another try for the visitors.

It proved to be a particularly good day for the front row as Alex Baker once again made a remarkable drive for the line, taking five players to bring him down, but his efforts were thwarted by a determined Withy defence who managed to prevent the ball from being grounded.

After another try from Marcel, the kick off saw the ball taken by prop Henry Rich who was a man on a mission, putting in a run of which any back would have been proud!

Withy kept up the pressure and never gave up, but as the clock ticked down another try from Marcel sealed the game, bringing the final score to 5 – 29.

Even with a slightly depleted squad and a first run out in a game for one new member, King’s can be proud of a good performance against a strong opposition, proving once again that there is real depth in their squad.