GALLERY: Okehampton edge out Services to claim league and cup double

22 Apr 2019 11:51 | Devon RFU

OKEHAMPTON added the Devon Senior Shield to the South West One title after narrowly overcoming Devonport Services 24-20 at home on Sunday in a tense final that went right down to the final play.

Services, who had led for a large part of the game, camped on Okehampton’s line in the last minute and could not have come closer to scoring a match-winning try.

But somehow Okehampton, who were down to 14 players at the time, held them out to claim the league and cup double and delight their supporters, who had turned out in force to watch them end their season.

The home crowd were possibly expecting a comfortable win when winger Kieran Lee went over in the left corner for an unconverted try after just seven minutes.

But Services were determined to prove a point after losing 41-7 to Okehampton eight days earlier in their final league game.

And the visitors went in front on 15 minutes when Andy Pond scored from close range after some good pressure. Richard West added the conversion to make it 7-5.

That became 14-5 nine minutes later when Services scored again when West dive over after young scrum-half Dylan Daley had been stopped just short after a great break featuring him and the Matt Gregory. West again converted.

Okehampton did respond and camped in Services’ 22. They had a number of penalties and scrums before prop Pat Nash scored in the 33rd minute. Richard Friend converted to reduce the gap to 14-12.

However, Services went in at the break 17-12 ahead when West, who was in good form with the boot, put over a penalty in first half injury-time.

Okehampton had a great chance at the start of the second half but they knocked on when they looked like they would score.

But eventually they did get a try when scrum-half Joey Bruce broke down the right wing and scored in the corner to level the game at 17-17.

There was controversy in the 69th minute when Services got a penalty at a scrum and tempers flared. It resulted in Okehampton’s prop Rob Dugard getting sent off and Services had Joe Semple sin-binned.

West kicked the resultant penalty to edge his side 20-17 ahead.

But, what turned out to be the match-winning try, came six minutes later. A chip kick to the right corner looked like it was going into touch, but it bounced favourably for Okehampton and Kieran Lee did brilliantly to keep it in and produced a piece of magic to get it to Rhys Palmer inside him and the centre scored. Friend converted to put Okehampton four points in front.

Services, though, threw everything at the hosts in the dying minutes and at one point it looked like they had scored but they were deemed to be just short before they saw and overlap out wide. However, Okehampton did brilliantly to push them into touch as they tried to score in the corner to bring an end to the game.