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Sports in Exmouth

Withycombe walking rugby team (Rick Libbey)

Withycombe walking rugby team hosted a tour Salisbury RFC team on Sunday. The game, as always, was played in great spirits and the score as always comes second to the taking part. We welcomed former Withies player Mark Barnard for his first run out and were delighted to see fourteen willing players.

Although Salisbury gave the Withies team a bit of a lesson in some of the finer arts of the game, particularly support play, the home side never gave in and quite frankly when we got to the bar Withycombe looked the stronger outfit! Our thanks to Salisbury who we hope to see again soon.

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A ruck. Credit: Adam Curtis

Final score: Topsham RFC 64 - 9 Withycombe RFC

With the East Devon derby getting underway, Withies started well, putting pressure on the hosts from the start drawing two early penalties; the second of the two penalties gave Vice-Captain Tom Cooke an opportunity to put the boys ahead with a shot at goal. Now three points ahead, Withy continued the pressure and managed to steal the ball from contact to work back up the field. The points tally doubled as the first quarter drew to a close as Cooke slotted his second penalty against the wind to put the score at 6-0.

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Credit: Adam Curtis

Score: Tavistock 43-7 Withycombe RFC

With the ever-growing list of injuries combined with unavailability for the trip to Sandy Park, selection for the game was a challenge for Sam this week, forcing players to play out of their traditional positions. With this being the case, the game was never going to be an easy one. With the Moorlanders starting quickly, Withy were soon pinned into their 22', making the need for early points all the more difficult. However, the early defending moves proved effective and blocked any advances from the hosts. With the confidence growing, the boys made a good account of themselves as a number of them settled into their new roles. The majority of the play remained around the middle third for the half with the only tries of the half going to Tavistock with two similar tries with the ball passing through 3 or 4 sets of hands before scoring. With both conversion attempts going begging, the teams swapped ends at half time with the score at 10-0.

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Credit: Adam Curtis

Score: Plymstock Albion Oaks 60-5 Withycombe RFC

With the slope in our favour in the first half and the strong gusty wind blowing across the pitch, Withy wanted to make a good early impression. This is exactly what they did, dominating early phases of the game to keep oaks largely in their own half. Pressure was converted into points after 7 minutes when Chris Gibbons powered 10m down the left wing to score in the corner. Oaks fought back though and after winning a couple penalties, found themselves pressuring our defence on the 5m line. The boys weathered the storm well until the ball was shipped out wide quickly to open a space and score and level the points to 5-5.

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A ruck. Credit: Adam Curtis

Final score: Cullompton 10-7 Withycombe RFC

With the rain coming down and the gusty wind blowing downfield, the game was always going to be tricky. Withy started well as they showed themselves to be the stronger of the two teams in the early exchanges of the game. This wasn't to say that Cullompton, who went onto the game in third place in the table, weren't looking dangerous themselves; a few breaks down the pitch with the regular use of the chipped kick made them some ground, but each of the early attempts were easily dealt with by Withy.

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