Teignmouth 17 – Kingsbridge 34
Kingsbridge Colts triumph in the Devon Shield Final.
This was the last game of the season for the Kingsbridge Colts and a return visit to play Teignmouth in the Devon Colts Shield Final.
The visitors won the toss and chose to kick into the wind, immediately putting pressure on the Teignmouth catcher, but the home team’s intention was to move the ball wide using their strike runner and play maker Sam Simmons as the point of attack. Within minutes the home team had scored a converted try, 7-0. Once again off the kick off Kingsbridge were put under more pressure and were reduced to 14 men when Andrew Merrin was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on. The visitors were now having to work hard at their defence to stop the Teignmouth attempts to score and were awarded a penalty for a ruck infringement which gave the visitors a chance to clear their lines. Kingsbridge now had the opportunity to start building a platform which the forwards did, this giving both the backs and forwards the attacking platform to move up field into the Teignmouth half, with Kellan Gorman making some of his trade mark sniping runs around the rucks. It was from one of breaks that the home team gave away a penalty in front of the posts which George Banfield converted, 7-3.
The visitor’s forwards were starting to dominate the tight with Marcus Tooke, Tom Beattie and Will Hurst in the front row not giving the Teignmouth front row any room to get comfortable. In the loose play the pack were rucking tight and giving good ball for Matt Hodgson to use with Gareth Townsend at inside centre. Kingsbridge were able to feel confident in moving the ball through the hands, but there was always the threat of a strong counter attack from Teignmouth to contend with when they jumped on any error. With the lineout working well and Kingsbridge using this to their advantage, they moved the play back into the Teignmouth half driving the ball up field through the forwards with Marcus Tooke making some of his rampaging runs,. Eventually, the driving play made space for Gareth Townsend to go over and score following quick ball from a ruck, which George Banfield converted, 7-10. Kingsbridge were now dominating the play and started to put attacks wide and tight, with the forwards giving the platform for the backs to use the ball but Teignmouth’s defence held up. The visitors were eventually rewarded with a converted try from Kellan Gorman twisting his way over the line, 7-17. With half time approaching Kingsbridge had the opportunity to put the game completely out of Teignmouth’s reach, moving the ball wide with George Banfield joining the line but over running the ball to only knock on. In the scrum that followed Kingsbridge put the home team under extreme pressure, with Teignmouth trying to move the ball out of defence to clear their lines with no success due to the visitor’s strong attacking line and the half ended with Kingsbridge on top.
The second half started with the visitors using the wind to their advantage, camping on the Teignmouth 22 meter line. Once again Andrew Wheeler, Ashok Lynn-Bertoli, Loius Kirkup, Jack Phillips and Andrew Merrin were causing all kinds of problems for the home team in the rucks and chasing down the home team not giving them any room to play. Following a ruck on the left side of the field, Kingsbridge moved the ball right with Rhys Lamble going over for a converted try, 7-24. Kingsbridge were now able to use their substutes to affect with DJ Foale on for Jack Evans chasing down the Teignmouth full back and winger putting them under tremendous pressure to clear the ball.. Kingsbridge were now well on top of the play and it was Andrew Merrin who was next to score following good ball won from the forwards and driving through the Teignmouth defence with George Banfield converting. 7-31. The game was now out of the home teams reach and the introduction of James Barlow and Harry Pilling in the front row for Marcus Tooke and Will Hurst who both had their best games of the season, did not give the home team a rest in the set piece. Kingsbridge were now winning ball at will and were awarded a penalty for a Teignmouth infringement that earnt a yellow card and was converted by George Banfield, 7-34.
The game was now coming into the closing minutes and Teignmouth were not going to let Kingsbridge off without out testing the visitors defence to the full and were eventually awarded a penalty in front of the posts 10-34. Teignmouth then put together another wave of attacks but the Kingsbridge defence was not going to let them in easily but the home team were have the last score of the game, 17-34.
This was a fantastic performance by the Kingsbridge Colts lead by their captain Jack Phillips. The forwards were outstanding giving the home team no chance in the contest for the ball in all aspects of the game, not losing a lineout, winning the rucks and mauling the Teignmouth pack off the park. The front row of Hurst, Pilling, Tooke, Barlow and Beattie gave the home team no room to work in and the back five of Merrin, Phillips, Bishop, Wheeler, Kirkup and Ashok Lynn-Bertoli chasing down the home team, for this performance they were awarded the ‘Man of The Match’ by Mr England Supporter.
George Banfield’s kicking was out of the top drawer with all his conversions and penalties, improving as the season progressed. The half back pairing of Kellan Gorman and Matt Hodgson gave the rest of the team an excellent platform to play from, giving the centre partnerships of Gareth Townsend, Alex Allen and Rhys Lamble some fantastic lines to run into the heart of the Teignmouth defence and the wingers of Jack Evans, Callum Churchill, DJ Foale and Jake Rankin tackling and running hard, with George Banfield at full back making some try saving tackles and well timed runs into the line.
This was the first time that any Colts team from Kingsbridge has won a trophy and thanks goes to all those club members who have helped throughout the season in training, the 2nd team players who have joined in the training with the colts which has been invaluable to their progress, the coaching team of Tim Beattie and Ian Johnston.
This win is testament to the player’s work ethic and mental attitude throughout the season.