Withycombe put on 35 unanswered points in the second half against New Cross, to steer themselves to an eighth successive league win in South Devon.
As the game kicked off, it was the home side of New Cross that showed the early initiative with some good pressure pinning Withies in their own half. However, an intercepted pass by the visitors’ Paddy Haddad saw the ball swiftly make its way towards the New Cross try line.
It would’ve made the distance had it not been for a good tackle in their 22 to take the ball into touch. The resulting lineout was taken and the maul driven in the direction of the line with Matt Brambles grounding the ball in the corner. The early kick from Will Hockin was good, giving the Withies an early 7pt lead on 4 minutes.
This try steadied the play a little, allowing both sides some time with the ball. A couple of quick penalties gave New Cross some ground, which they were unable to capitalise on, with a kick at goal coming off the posts! Shortly after this, a break from Luke Davis gave the Withies some running space, his pass to George Toomey was recycled out to Neil Williams who made his way down the right-hand side of the pitch to score and increase the points gap to 12 points.
This gap wasn’t to last long as a stray pass was intercepted by the New Cross fly half, Ryan Wotton, who was able to open up down the touch line and run under the posts, allowing himself an easy extra two points from the conversion.
Once again, the game settled down with the sides sharing the possession until a sleepy period of play from Withycombe was punished with another interception try.
This time, an attempted chip kick was plucked out the air by fly half Wotton who scored once again, this time in the corner. The kick was wide, levelling the scores at 12-12 after 34min. This try though awakened Withycombe and a great team effort from the side saw them move the ball swiftly down the pitch to allow Sam Warren to score in that right corner once again. With the conversion attempt hitting the posts, the half was brought to an end at 12-17.
The second half started much better with a series of penalties being awarded to Withycombe from inside the New Cross 22, on the third time of asking, the scrum was driven well over the line, with the ball falling to Mike Richards to touch down.
It was on 55min when the dynamics of the previously close game changed as New Cross Number 8, Tom Osborn, saw yellow after tackling a player without the ball. The loss of a player hit the home side hard with two tries in the 10min period from Paddy Haddad giving the visitors a sudden 26-point lead.
The dominance in possession and territory continued for the majority of the second half, however, a try saving tackle from them denied Neil Williams a try on 70min, with the ball being knocked out of his hands as he dived over the line. This wasn’t to deter him as two minutes later, Williams pounded towards the line, making no mistake to score his second try of the game and his tenth of the season.
The scoring wasn’t over as there was still time for one more! A quick tap-penalty was taken by the Withies Club Captain, Liam Cullen around 10 metres from the try line. The quick tap was followed by a determined run down the middle of the pitch, stretching over the try line to score under the posts, bringing three defenders with him! The final conversion was good, bringing the game to an end with the final score 12-52.
Withycombe – 12
New Cross – 52