13 Oct '21

Bideford U15s Kick Off Season with Hard Fought Win

Bideford 8-0 Tavistock

The eagerly awaited return to match play was evident- months of training without opposition and new law changes at U15 level left players and supporters with much closeted energy and pre-match nerves!

The now U15 side contained a few new names to the team sheet, namely ‘The Twinettes’ Rueben and Sam Peart, Co second rows and the re-joining of Henry ‘Loosehead’ Pope, prop and Tyler ‘Right-Wing’ Short, wing, were all made welcome alongside the established players – It was also fantastic to see Monty ‘I left my boots at home’ Olde, back in the team after his serious leg injury.  The unusual sunshine and excellent conditions suited Bideford as they sized up the vast Tavistock 1st XV pitch, whilst looking fab in the new kit, kindly sponsored by Jamie Carss.

The first 10 minutes were physical, intense and fearless, with both teams entering into the match as if they had been playing for weeks.  Tavi’s ¾ line were enormous, but with an abundance of crunching tackles, Bidee stopped any offense in their tracks.

A turnover ball from a good kick and chase gave a penalty opportunity to Sandy Carrick – 3 points were kicked a la Owen Farrell!  Lack of match practice was evident particularly around the rucks and some ‘interesting’ refereeing decisions confused the players at times.  There was some strong three- quarter play that saw Harvey ‘the bull’ Foreman and Finn ‘snakey’ Johnston making good yardage with a supply of ball fed from Charlie ‘scrum-half’ Stevenson.  This was of all of course secured by a strong forward platform in both scrums and loose play (Joe ‘Dad’s writing this report’ Westcott’s words of course – typical forward!) and ably assisted by Tom ‘I’m too good looking for a hooker’ Holme.

The half time team talk by the coaches was direct and any first half negatives were aired and dealt with in preparation for the second half. Half time score 3-0 – this also gave time for Marley ‘Super supportive waterboy’ Carss to replenish the much-needed fluids.

The second half did not disappoint and both teams continued with the barrage of attacking play and ruthless defence from end to end.  Bideford obviously had taken on board the half time wisdom with greater control at rucks, supplying some quality ball for the backs to play their part with Henry ‘ snipper’ Cousins steeling opposition ball.  The conditions and pitch size suited a wider game, but some clever tactical decisions by captain Amos ‘Route 0.5’ Waters assisted by Will ‘tallest bloke on the pitch’ Bliss, gave Bidee some near misses close to the try line with a bombarding of attacking close play.  A tactical switch to bring on James ‘Tough Finger’ Cresswell, fooled the opposition.

As the game continued it was evident that the score was always going to be close – some good interplay and fluent back play allowed Finn ‘corner flag’ Johnson to fly the last 15 meters scoring in the corner to relieve the pressure in the 51st minute.  A good attempt at the conversion left Bidee 8-0 up.

A final flurry of play was inevitable by the Tavi boys; some excellent back play by their sizable centres left their left winger in space heading for the corner …. This was until Curly ‘the destroyer’ Jarrett flew towards the corner flag and made an epic try saving tackle, with a huge sigh of relief by all.

Bide saw out the intensity of the final minutes taking a punishing array of tackles and attempts to infiltrate their gain line.  Bidee’s defence stood strong, and all players should be proud of their commitment in this area of the game.

Final whistle blew and the referee debriefed both sides with apologies and lack of clarity in some instances!! We all need a referee, so no hard feelings Tavi!  The Bidee boys were quick out the showers  (well those who dipped a toe!) and ready for after match photos and match tea, serenaded by Tavi’s rendition of ‘Sweet Caroline’ – What will Bidee boys offer in their first home game next Sunday v Launceston?!!

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