Exmouth: 'Heartbreak' for Withycombe RFC as last-minute penalty kick secures win for Hayle

  Posted: 04.10.21 at 09:57 by Adam Curtis


In direct contrast to last weekend, a penalty in final play proves costly for the boys

With the forecast wind and rain coming through in waves at Memorial Park, today’s game was always going to be tough for both sides.

In a game where flowing rugby was to be in short supply, the Withies knew they had to work both hard and smart to get the win.

Early Withy strength meant that the opening ten minutes was played in the home side’s half and when a Withy driving maul was disrupted illegally by Hayle’s scrum half, the referee ran under the posts to award Withy the penalty try and send the infringing player to the bin.

Withy momentum was starting to build, but a couple of penalties to the home side saw them back in their half and in a position to put themselves on the scoreboard with a penalty to put the score at 3-7 as the first quarter drew to an end.

After their penalty, the home side began to grow in confidence and although the conditions were making it difficult for everyone they seemed to be weathering it a little better than us. The Lions would be back on the scoreboard once again when Withy No.8, Vinnie Neath-Rogers saw yellow and the extra man advantage created a gap in defence, leading to Hayle earning themselves a converted try on 34min and take a three point lead into the half time break.

A line-out. Credit: Adam Curtis

As the second half got underway, the conditions began to improve, although with damp ground would still cause issues for the sides. One example being a great break from Withies’ Sam Warren who’s hand off to Paddy Haddad slipped from the hands to allow Hayle to clear.

Haddad made up for the error a few minutes later when another Hayle clearance kick landed in his arms with some empty ground ahead of him. Paddy made good use of that ground and powered towards the line, finishing off with a swan dive over the line to score in the corner. Tom Cooke’s conversion attempt unluckily hit the posts, but Withy we’re back ahead, 10-12 with an hour on the clock.

In what became a disjointed final quarter with many stoppages in play, the Withies tried to play out the game within their half for large parts. Their defensive play was working well though and managed to keep away any breakaway attempts from the lions.

Heartbreak came as the clock turned red. Hayle were awarded a penalty, however subsequent events lead to our boys being marched ten yards down the field, giving Hayle the perfect opportunity to take the lead at the death and with the penalty kick crossing through the posts, the final whistle blew bringing the game to an end with the score 13-12 to the home side.

Lots can be taken from today’s game and although the boys will only take away the losing bonus point as opposed to the full four points, they can use some of the positives of the game into next week when we welcome Tavistock to Raleigh Park (2:30pm).


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