Devon Under-18s narrowly edged out by Cornwall in county warm-up match
THE thickness of the crossbar was all that separated Devon and Cornwall’s under-18 sides in a county warm-up match at Keyham on Sunday.
Both teams scored three tries apiece, but Cornwall converted two to Devon’s one to narrowly triumphed 19-17.
Devon did have the chance to snatch a draw late on. An Owen Flower try in the left corner pulled them to within two points with the conversion to come, but Tommy Pullinger’s tough kick from the touchline bounced off the crossbar.
Devon certainly had their chances to win the game. They had plenty of possession, but on a number of occasions either made handling errors or were penalised when they got into the 22.
They did start the game the better and scored the opening try after just three minutes when Sidmouth prop Callum Wood crashed over following a line-out. Exmouth’s Harry Ottaway converted well to make it 7-0.
It took a while for Cornwall to get going but they did pull level when Mike Austin scored a converted try from close range.
Devon, though, responded and took a 12-7 half-time lead when Topsham flanker Rudy Evans scored in the left corner.
Cornwall started the second half the better and after intense pressure centre Jordan Smith went over for a fine converted try to put them in front for the first time.
Devon pressed but could not make it tell and Cornwall scored a controversial try through Rory Mead 25 minutes into the second half. The Devon players were unhappy a knock-on had been missed early on as Cornwall took a tap penalty in their own half before breaking up field.
However, the home side dug deep. They pressed and pressed before Kingsbridge lock Flower went over in the left corner. Unfortunately, after the missed conversion there was not time for another Devon attack.
Both Devon and Cornwall are preparing for county games at Weston Hornets in December.
Devon squad: Harrison Slade (Devonport Services RFC), Ben Sapiecha (Topsham RFC), Louis Chapman (Kingsbridge), Tommy Pullinger (Devonport Services RFC), Ethan Mead (Sidmouth RFC), Harry Ottaway (Exmouth RFC), Sam Fulthorpe (Exmouth RFC), Joe Dixon (Kingsbridge RFC), Reece Bartlett (Devonport Services RFC), Callum Wood (Sidmouth RFC), Jack Chapman (Barnstaple RFC), Owen Flower (Kingsbridge RFC), Rudy Evans (Topsham RFC), Adam Northcott (Ivybridge RFC), Joseph Oates (Exmouth RFC), Matt Seager (Exmouth RFC), Louis Coombe (Exeter Youth), Seb Tooke (Kingsbridge RFC), Joel Broadhurst (Newton Abbot RFC), Jasper Cameron (Tavistock RFC), Jonah Moore (Plymouth College), Archie Bagwell (Sidmouth RFC), Sam Rose (Teignmouth RFC), Chris Duringer (Topsham RFC), Joel Ranft (Exmouth RFC).