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GALLERY: North Tawton cap fine season by winning Devon Junior Cup

21 Apr 2019 10:38 | Sara Raine

NORTH Tawton capped an impressive season by winning the Devon Junior Cup for the first time in 62 years on Saturday by beating league rivals Exeter Athletic 25-10 at Taw Meadow.

The club were able to add the cup to the Devon One league title they had already won by edging out Exeter, who finished as runners-up.

However the hosts, who had not won the cup since the 1956-57 season, had to do it the hard way in sweltering temperatures on Saturday.

They were trailing 10-3 at the break having been out-played for the opening 40 minutes.

Exeter Athletic dominated possession and territory but they failed to converted all their pressure into points.

They missed 13 points in kicks in the first period, including three penalties inside the opening seven minutes.

North Tawton defended well but eventually Exeter did get the try they threatened in the 28th minute when Raffy Zappia powered over from close range.

But the hosts, who had struggled to get out of their half, cut the gap to two points with a penalty by Gary Sizmur on 35 minutes.

However, in first half injury-time  Exeter number eight Dean Meldon forced his way over the whitewash to give his side a seven point lead at the interval.

But within less than two minutes of the second period, North Tawton were on level terms when full-back Matty Dennis scored and Sizmur converted.

Sizmur missed a penalty before Dennis was yellow carded for North Tawton. However, the teams were evened up when Exeter had Jason Williams sin-binned for a last-gasp high tackle on Craig Dennis, who had made a great break down the wing.

North Tawton finally went in front 10 minutes from time when centre Luke Dennis scored a fine try before replacement Jordan Corthwaite added another in injury-time. With the last play of the game, Sizmur kicked a penalty as North Tawton’s fitness on a hot day showed through.

North Tawton had been losing finalists in 2015 and 2016 so were delighted to finally get their hands back on the Devon Junior Cup, which was first played for in the 1888-89 season.