Kings U15’s in Epic Devon Cup Double Bill

So the season drew to an end on Wednesday evening on a windswept pitch at Crediton. The reason? An amazing draw the previous Sunday vs Cullompton in the Devon Cup Final with both teams scoring the same number of tries and conversions. Never in the history of the Cup has this happened, the difference between the teams was paper thin and a draw was probably the fair result. In this first game Cully came out like raging bulls and put Kings on the defensive straight away, they led very quickly and seemed assured and confident that victory would be theirs. The blue and whites had other ideas, and fought back hard, camping on the Cully line but keeping it tight for too many phases and not getting on the scoreboard till late on in the half.

The second half was more of the same until Kings realised that the back line was going to score where the forwards couldn’t. Haydn, Marcus and then Max scored one a piece, each time coming from behind and the match was levelled at full time. Special mention for Ed who played his best rugby of the season with some cracking flanker like tackles from the number 9. Luke also battled through the pain of a dislocated finger, refusing to let a minor flesh wound relegate him to the touchline. There was total commitment from many with Seb, Lewis, Digger, Ryan and Olly putting a massive shift in. Final score 17-17.

So, the battle moved to Crediton, with travelling support of over 400 from KRFC by some counts and over 20 from Cully. The scene was set, both teams unbeaten for the season, both teams at full strength, 30 lads hearts set and minds tuned for victory. Who would taste the sweetness of success on this bleak and windswept night?

The game began much as in the ‘Final 1’, Cully stormed down the pitch with phase after phase of forwards play, well executed and very effective against a shell shocked Kings team. The skipper, Doddy, made a big hit on the fringes and that seemed to wake up the team and we started to motor. Defence was still the order of the day but, as hard as Beno, Henry, Max and Marcus worked Cully breached our defences and with a penalty and well worked try, went in 10-0 at half time. Kings also lost Henry and Haydn to injury, with all wondering if heads might drop in the last 30 minutes of the season.

This is where Caddy, Bewley and Lidstone – the 3 musketeers of the coaching world – stepped in. With the combined oratory skills of Benitez, Castro and Brucie they transformed a half time break into a motivational performance that would have been at home on the Glasto main stage. The lads were re-energised and erupted at the beginning of the second half like Vesuvius on steroids. There followed 20 minutes of virtuoso rugby rewarded with another sublime line and score from Max to make it 10-7. Finn was tireless and commited in attack and defence and the lineout fired well, with Toby pushing hard in all areas of broken play. The subs, Sam and Ethan made a good impact too, Ethan making some crunching tackles on the wing and Sam popping passes and bossing the pack.

Sadly there wasn’t enough time to score again and Cully held on for the win. 120 minutes of rugby and only 3 points in it. What a final, what a game and what a great bunch of lads from both teams. Well done to Cully and see you next season!