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Devon Schools' Under-16s open season with a win

06 Jan 2019 23:50 | Sara Raine

DEVON Schools’ under-16 A team got their season off to a winning start with a 16-10 victory over Somerset A at Ivybridge RFC on Sunday.

Two tries by powerful flanker Pierre Mayer and two penalties from Ben Leetham secured them the win in a competitive match at Cross-in-Hand.

Devon were trailing 7-5 at the break having gone in front in the seventh minute with Mayer’s first try, which came from a good move from a scrum.

Somerset hit back with a converted try down the right wing on 17 minutes, but neither side could add any further points in the opening period, with Devon missing a penalty just before the break.

The hosts, however, really stepped up the pace after the interval. It took them just over 60 seconds to go in front when Mayer made a great run and held off three players to touch down.

Somerset responded with a penalty two minutes later to level the match, but two penalties in the space of four minutes by Leetham were enough to see Devon home.

Devon’s B team, though, could not quite make it a win double on Sunday. They narrowly lost 19-17 to Somerset B in the second match of the afternoon.

Somerset B  had a lot of possession in the first 30 minutes and took the lead with a converted try from a five-metre scrum after they had been held up over the line seconds earlier.

But Devon reduced the gap to two points on the stroke of half-time when they produced a great scrum on Somerset’s line and number eight Alex Sheridan went over.

The hosts had a lot more possession second half and their scrum caused Somerset a lot of problems. They nearly scored five minutes after the interval after a good break from the backs. Although they did not get the ball over the line on that occasion they did score seconds later after more good scrum work by the pack. And, again, it was number eight Sheridan who went over to put his side 10-7 ahead.

Somewhat against the run of play, Somerset scored a converted try from a catch-and-drive move 10 minutes later to retake the lead. That was followed four minutes before the end by another try in the same corner after they went down the short side from a five-metre scrum.

But Devon showed plenty of spirit to keep battling and they got a deserved third try when winger Josh Gillard used his pace to go over in the right corner and Harry Washington added the conversion.

Devon A: Kai Clayton, Mat Shaw-Smith, Kian Gentry, Joe Blackburn, Kieran Oldham, Tom Kilmartin, Finn Musgrove, Finlay Keywood, Will Cornish, Solly Stinchcombe, Hamish Harris, Tom Chapman, Pierre Mayer, James Hocking, George Shirley, Ben Spence, Harry Emmett, Liam Clever, Jack Curry, Ben Leetham, Archie Bryan, Toby Lean, Ben Bingham.

Devon B:  Jordan Cooke, Freddie Brinicombe, George Copley, Harry Washington, Ben Parsons, George Caton-Pike, Sam Steel, Toby Redwood, Ben Keylock, Ben Owens, Alex Radcliffe, Owen Martin, Bertie Wotton, Harrison Sime, Alex Sheridan, Alex Collins, Sunny Walker, Ethan Kelly, Ollie Banwell, Olly Latto, Alex Maciver-Redwood, Torin Peel, Josh Gillard, Louis Plumley.