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Positives for Devon Under-18s despite Berkshire defeat

02 Dec 2018 21:42 | Sara Raine

DEVON Under-18 suffered a 25-10 defeat to Berkshire in their opening South West Counties’ fixture at Hornets on Sunday.

However, there were plenty of positives from the young Devon side against strong opponents.

Head coach Glenn Channing said afterwards: “Having had a few brief chats with the South West selectors after the game they were very complementary of the young Devon side and said it was one of the best Devon teams they’ve seen, which puts us in good stead as the majority of them are still under-17s.”

Devon started well and took the lead through a try by Tavistock prop Toby Teague.

The Green and Whites withheld a lot of pressure from Berkshire but eventually the opposition did level with a well-worked pick-and-go try.

Devon have two tries disallowed in the latter stages of the first half and Berkshire then scored with pretty much the last play of the half from a similar pick-and-go move.

Both teams made changes at the break and it was Berkshire who started the brighter and caught Devon asleep as they ran in two tries in quick succession from smart back play.

Once Devon woke up with some big, strong runs from forwards Pete Keanie, Toby Churcher and Cameron Duncan, they started to get some momentum back.

However, from a dropped ball the Berkshire’s winger scored an opportunist try.

As the game was drawing to a close, Devon spent 10 minutes attacking the opposition line with a variety of attacks, which led to the ‘try of the game’ in the words of the Berkshire coach. The forwards produced a great platform for the backs to strike, with Bertie Hughes making the original break and then linking up with Ivybridge flyer Matt Burns, who still had a lot to do but he beat three to four covering defenders to score with the last play of the game.

Devon team: 15 James Paxman (Tavistock), 14 Bertie Hughes (Exmouth), 13 Ben Sapiecha (Topsham), 12 Sam White (Brixham), 11 Matt Burns (Ivybridge), 10 Euan Kent (Barnstaple), 9 Tom Pearson (Tavistock), 1 Jacob Gould (Devonport Services), 2 Ben Jago (Barnstaple), 3 Toby Teague (Tavistock), 4 Jack Bull (Exeter Athletic), 5 Toby Churcher (Kingsbridge), 6 Pete Keanie (Plymstock Albion Oaks), 7 Freddie Herring (Exeter Saracens), 8 Cameron Duncan (Topsham). Reps:  16  Jed Reid (Topsham), 17 Herbie Owen (Devonport Services), 18 Henry Rich (Kingsbridge), 19 Alex Bates (Kingsbridge), 20 Lewis Sharam (Kingsbridge), 21 George Down (South Molton), 22 Tom Newman (Kingsbridge), 23 Finn Turley (Tavistock)