“A proud moment and a fitting tribute to such a dedicated team”
Clubhouse Manager, Bee Jenkins
Topsham Colts Win the Shield Final beating Teignmouth Colts 18-24.
Match report from Head Coach, Dave MacLellan
After what has been a season full of drama, a wonderful match was played at Sandy Park to a large appreciative crowd.
The season to date had seen us compete twice before , Teignmouth winning away by 1 point and us coming away from them winning by 18 points . So all to play for.
The match started well with Teignmouth pressing into the Topsham 22. Within three minutes our old habits had re-appeared and we were penalised at the resultant breakdown, they kicked the conversion 3-0 to Teignmouth.
The tempo and quality of the game was very high and it wasn't too long before Topsham were down the far end of the pitch, pressing home their own advantage, with some deft handling and fine forward play Tops crossed the white wash just underneath the post the score was now 3-7.
From the kick-off they again drove back into the 22, the breakdown play at this point is formidable and we are struggling to compete without giving away penalties. This time however we manage to repel them and take ourselves to the far end of the pitch .We exert a huge amount of pressure and with the forwards hammering at the try line and taking the ball on, some quick thinking from our halfbacks sees us stepping through the centres to score our second try 3-14 .
We kick a little bit too long from the kick-off, this gives there forwards time to gather and rumble up the pitch with a few missed tackles (going too high). Yet again poor discipline/too eager at the breakdown lets us down and we concede another penalty it is now 6-14.
We then gain territory and with a few lovely moves through the backs we look to have scored in the corner, some brilliant defending just keeping us out. They tear down the pitch after some interesting decisions from the officials, having been allowed to wheel the scrum 90° the 8 picks up (5m from their own line ) this puts them back into our 22, it is a fantastic piece of running, we then appear to turn them over only to have one of our back rowers yellow carded. Not what you need in the cup final. They then decide to go for the corner and are thinking about a catch and drive try we win the ariel battle head back up their end of the pitch. Halftime score 6-19 to us.
Calm discussions at half-time highlighted the fact that we need to chop tackle the bigger forwards and if we could get the ball out wide we were making big inroads. No competing at the breakdown as this was costing us so much territory. We also knew that we had not yet won this game, not by a long way .
The second half started in a similar vein their forwards carrying the ball hard our backs and back row certainly putting in a big shift in terms of defence. It wasn't very long before they find themselves 5m out and with a series of pick and goes they find a chink in armour and score. 13-19.
For the next 8 to 10 minutes we managed to put them under a lot of pressure not quite crossing to score we were still very much up for the fight and really quite dominant in several parts of the field, it was with a quick breakaway they managed to get one almost full length of the field before some fine defence stopped them again about the 22.
We managed to turn them over and make her own break to halfway with the ball squirted out of a resultant ruck and one of our halfbacks managed to make it to the 10 m line before a superb tap tackle stopped him, he then offloaded and from a resultant bit of play they were awarded a free kick . They then clear their lines and win the resultant line out and find themselves knocking on the door though great forward drives, our defending nearly kept them out. Try.
18-19 this was a true thrilling cup final.
The play has been physical, intense and thrilling .
There are a few unsung heroes doing a lot of hard work and as coaches we are very proud of the whole squad, but we're not ready to leave this party. 5 mins on the match clock, we manage to get hold of the ball and start a series of brutal forward drives, keeping their defence keen, and we now know all we have to do is earn the right to go wide. We suck in a lot of defenders and push wide from our own 1 , there is still a lot to be done and quick thinking and great hands sees our Rt winger turn on the after burners and eludes the covering defence to score in the corner . 18-24
We miss the conversion from the touch line, and have to hold onto the ball for the last 2 mins, which we manage ..
A fantastic final to be involved with and a great squad got their rewards . There were a few boys who were unlucky not to be selected, however we can only ever have 22 boys in a squad .
Try scorers were Ollie Gibbon x2 , Will Bird and Jack Silvester x 2
Conversations Zac MacLellan
A huge thanks to the players that turned up suited and booted, our senior colts who have survived our regime for 12 years, to all the parents and families that have bought into Topsham RFC family.
Dave , Malcolm , Daz ,Seb and Wiil . Cheers
Updated 20:57 - 21 May 2017 by B Jenkins