South Molton's success in reaching Twickenham is still sinking in
SOUTH Molton’s players are still coming to terms with the fact that in a month’s time they will be running out at Twickenham in a cup final.
The north Devon club’s dream season continued on Saturday when they booked a place in the RFU Junior Vase final by beating Surrey side Chipstead 12-10 in a nail-biting encounter at Unicorn Park.
The trip to Twickenham follows on from their success in winning the David Butt Memorial Trophy and the Devon One title.
They will now face Yorkshire club Old Otliensians, who won the northern section of the Junior Vase, at English rugby’s HQ on Sunday, May 6.
“It is something we weren’t expecting,” said South Molton player Reece Eury. “We kept having a laugh and a joke saying ‘we’re going to Twickenham’ but to actually get there has left most people quite speechless.”
South Molton really had to dig deep to beat Chipstead in muddy conditions on Saturday.
The tie was level at half-time with Chipstead captain Ed Bush putting his side 7-0 up with a try and conversion before Callum Stone cancelled that out with his own try and conversion.
Bush kicked a penalty after the interval to put the visitors 10-7 ahead and that was how it stayed until four minutes before the end when Dan Smith forced his way over the try-line for South Molton.
However, the visitors could still have snatched victory at the death. They were awarded a penalty five metres from the try line. It was on the touchline and so they opted to tap it, only to knock the ball on.
“It really went right to the wire,” said Eury.
But South Molton were helped by a bumper and passionate crowd.
“There was such an atmosphere in the clubhouse,” said Eury. “God knows how many people were watching, but all four sides of the pitch were covered, the balcony was covered and the clubhouse was full.
“I would have thought there must have been 400-plus people there, at least.
“I don’t know when our club would have ever seen a crowd like that.”
To cap a good weekend for South Molton their young back Dan Johnston scored a try as Devon Under-20s beat Essex 46-0 to reach the semi-finals of their County Championship section.
The club are also still in the Devon Junior Cup and will play North Tawton on Tuesday night in the quarter-finals.