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Supermarine 1XV 26 - Devizes 2XV 17

Ian Diddams  Wednesday, October 31, 2001  13:59 GMT

In an at times classic encounter that ebbed and flowed, especially in the second half, Devizes 2XV were finally sunk by Supermarine's 1XV with just ten minutes of the game remaining.  It was imperative that Devizes 2XV proved rather more shipshape than they had the previous week, when Ivel Barbarians had milked them of everything going, whilst the cream of the team were absent; and, while some periods of the game saw Devizes in the doldrums, they showed that they were capable of better things for much of the second half.

Devizes were able to field a much more familiar looking team than the previous week's outing, but were still without Skipper, Dyton; and, with an interesting mixture in the front row, seeing Chris Combe return to front row duties at hooker, with Charlie Rudler adding ballast to the tight head.  The match started with Supermarine in full sail but Devizes repelling boarders adequately ... until, that is, winger Will Crosby took an unfortunate blow to the head and, whilst he was still groggy, Supermarine launched a blind side fusillade and the winger cannoned the hapless Crosby aside as he scored in the corner, the conversion going wide, to place Supermarine 5 - 0 up.  Following this shot across the bows, Devizes found a little more wind and the next 20 minutes were fairly inconclusive, as the two sides wallowed in some uninspiring error-strewn play.  This said, Devizes were beginning to keel-haul their way back into contention with some good pressure and territorial play, until a break down in the backs gave Supermarine a chance to take play back to Devizes own 22, before scoring their second try shortly after; the conversion gave them a slightly fortuitous 12 - 0 lead.  Not to be outdone though, the salty old seadogs of Devizes pack rectified matters somewhat by scoring a timely and tidy pushover try, having moments earlier spurned the chance to give their backs the ball, with a four man overlap beckoning.  A rum smile for Devizes then, as Doug Bryant's conversion sailed over to leave them 12 -7 down at half time.

Skipper-for-the-day Gingham's half time motivational speech was simple - he expected every man to do his duty; and Devizes called upon their sub, Adrian Heneghan. And so it was to be - water boy Diddams returned from his filling duties to find Devizes had scored quickly upon the restart, but had then been caught becalmed as Supermarine took a speedy kick-off and scored themselves as a result, to place the scores at 19 - 14.  Devizes probably enjoyed their best phase of the game at this stage, although still unable to really dominate and make good passages of play tell; but Doug Bryant fired a penalty between the Supermarine posts, to pull them back to 19 - 17.  However, Supermarine's first team fitness paid off in the final 10 minutes as they scored the clinching try to hold them in good stead at 26 - 17 and Victory.

In truth, Devizes never really did enough to win the match - an improvement on the previous week's performance certainly; but, with main personnel missing and a couple of emergency selections, it was always going to be tough against a first team. However, it is to their credit that they came back to take the lead at one stage and again to narrow the gap to just 2 points. Overall the side and its management can take some relative kudos from this result.

Side : Jim "Walk The" Plank; Chris Coombe; Charlie Rudler; Mike "Lost at Sea" Tipple; Mark Hill; Tim Gibbs; Sergeant-at-Arms, Keith Ewart; Jamie Martin; (A.Heneghan); Mike Litchwark-the-plank; Doug Bryant; Darren Penny; Ian "Captain" Cook; Will Crosby; Jamie Walker-the-plank [That's enough walking the plank jokes, Didds!]; and Rear Admiral, Mark Gingham.


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