Late double joy for Devon Schools' Under-16 sides against Somerset
DEVON Schools’ Under-16 A and B teams both secured last minute narrow victories in two evenly contested games against Somerset in the opening games of this season’s county campaign.
The matches were played on Hornets RFC all-weather pitch in bitterly cold conditions with a biting wind.
Playing first, Devon B team started slowly but grew in confidence as the game progressed running with the purpose and supporting well.
They were unable to convert pressure into points due missed opportunities in the cold conditions and Somerset’s stern defence.
Against the run of play Somerset scored a breakaway try just before half-time to give them a 5-0 lead at the break
However, in the second half Devon managed to convert pressure into points when after recycling the ball through several phases Owen Tidball found space to score. Brandon Bonser’s conversion clinched a 7-5 victory.
Unfortunately, in the build up to the try one of the Somerset players suffered a neck injury and the game was curtailed a few minutes short of full-time. The injured player was taken to hospital and happily there is no major damage.
Devon A started their game brightly, but despite a period of pressure were unable to score.
Devon were the more composed team but Somerset’s powerful individual runners often penetrated the Green and Whites’ first line with only scrambled defence keeping them out.
Somerset scored a converted try first from such a breakout to take a 7-0 lead.
Tom Putt, though, snatched an opportunist unconverted try for Devon to pull it back to 7-5.
Soon afterwards Greg Wilce tracked a surging run by Liam Mills to gather the off-load and score. Jake Davey added the conversion to give Devon a 12-7 lead.
On the stroke of half-time Somerset combined well to score an unconverted try to draw level at 12-12.
Devon controlled the first 15 minutes of the second period and a tip on pass by Liam Mills created space for Jake Davey to score in the corner. The try was not converted and Devon led 17-12.
The visitors failed to maintain their composure in the final quarter. Somerset had the majority of the possession and only Devon’s scrambled defence kept them at bay.
With only minutes to go Somerset scored a converted try to take the lead 19-17.
However, almost from the restart Devon were awarded a penalty. Harvey Causer held his nerve to kick the three points and give Devon a 20-19 victory.
Devon would like to thank the officials and especially Hornets RFC for their warm hospitality and for hosting the games on their splendid artificial pitch at short notice due to weather conditions.
Devon Schools’ Under-16s’ next game is at home against North Gloucestershire on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at Keyham, Plymouth. The B team will kick-off at 1.30pm followed by the A team at 2.45pm.
It is intended to hold training on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at Keyham 6.30-8pm - DETAILS TO BE CONFIRMED ON THE DEVON RFU WEBSITE.