Both sides set out strongly and continued the good skills and work rate from the previous fixture, end to end it began and with strong defence from both teams a stalemate was evident. Brixham playing up the slope and into a wind in the first half were first to strike, several phases from the Brixham pack who took control of the breakdowns for most of the game allowed the backline to spin out wide and find Jason Capaldi an overlap, after cutting back inside to beat the fullback he scored out wide, McKee pushed the conversion wide struggling with the wind.
Devonport were spurred on by the deficit and worked hard to gain ground and score a well worked team try again out wide and unconverted, the remainder of the half was played by both sides well and with little errors from either and great defence no more scores were forthcoming. Both sides had put on a great show, the only area for improvements for both was the support at the breakdowns as several penalties to both were awarded for failure to release on the ground, on a positive note it showed great skills from both sets of tacklers to spring to their feet and challenge for the ball.
HT Brixham 5-5 Devonport Services
Brixham had the pitch and the wind in their favour in the second half, a bonus as they had lost the toss. They started strongly and a great set of driving forwards made it difficult for Services to hold back the powerful Fishermen, as they made ground up the pitch centre Ed Simpson was driven strongly over the line, but again resolute defence saw several players hold up his effort over the line. The resulting scum saw Brixham 8 Joss Greenway pick from the base and power over to take the lead again. Conversion missed but lead gained. Back came Services with some of their own quality ball retention and completed several well worked phases to score out wide and with a quality kick take them into the lead for the first time in the fixture.
This is the point that in previous seasons Brixham may have struggled to continue competing, but no such thing today. Again the forwards caused issues for Services with patience and great ground gaining moves, McKee kicked deep from a penalty to set up a lineout on the 22, Brixham set up a maul and started to drive Harry Davies was in control of the ball and the movement and chose his moment to peel off up the blind side and although great challenges came from the winger and fullback they were no match for his pace and skill, again scored out wide without conversion. Brixham had regained the lead with less than 10m remaining 15-12. Devonport soon were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but opted to tap and go, Brixham’s defense remained strong and another turnover allowed one last attack, Dylan Griffiths broke loose and was not to be stopped on his way under the posts, McKee converted and with less than a minute remaining Brixham had a strong lead.
The restart and last play lasted for several minutes with Services pressing hard and awarded several penalties, they gave all as they had done from the start but were again turned over and Brixham kicked the ball out to gain what has been a first victory over a very strong Devonport side for several years.
Needs to be commented on that the game was highly competitive and physical from both sides but with great discipline and sportsmanship which was a credit to the teams and coaches of both.
McKee x 1Follow