Sidmouth Under-13s were looking at disappointment when scheduled opponents Wellington cancelled, writes Jane Pepper.

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However, they say every cloud has a silver lining, and we were fortunate enough, in the run up to our forthcoming cup game, to have the valuable opportunity to switch training for match play against the much improved Exmouth Under-13s who kindly stepped in at the 12th hour.

A cracking match ensued, away at Exmouth in weather more suited to sunbathing than rugby!

In the first thirty seconds, outside centre Will Counsell produced a mesmeric run and try, converted by fly half Jake Allen.

Then youngster then scored an immediate second, this time under the posts!

The teams inconsistent rucking created a pendulum swing between attack and defence and Exmouth came back before another score from young Counsell.

Scrum half Will Down’s creative play produced some superb teamwork and the opportunity for captain and No 8 Max Moore to pop over the line.

The hosts were next to score with an unconverted and, despite being two forwards down, Sidmouth won the ball often enough for the backs to enable the side to troop off at the break with a 19-10 advantage.

Allen kicked off the second half with a try followed by a flurry of four further tries from Counsell, one offloaded by Wing Tom Kennaugh, one converted by Counsell and two converted by Allen.

Despite two more unconverted tries from Exmouth, Sidmouth were not to be denied and ended the game as convincing 50-20 winners.

It was certainly a challenging match in which the team will hopefully have learnt much and gained further match time in preparation for this coming Sunday’s cup semi-final at Brixham.