This was the clash of the top two – North Tawton, the league leaders and Exeter Athletic sitting in second place with a game in hand, so there was a lot to play for. The Exeter team arrived looking very confident.
It was a pretty even first 10 minutes. An early penalty to North Tawton got the score board moving with a successful kick made by James Bowden.
More than ever the extra weight of the opposing pack gave the North Tawton team a lot of work to do just to break even, the much heavier Exeter team really making the extra pounds count. The first try of the match came on the 24 minute mark and was scored by the visitors Exeter. A missed conversion but a successful penalty later on meant Exeter went into the break leading 8 points to 3.
Right from the whistle the North Tawton side looked like wanting to take the fight to the away side and showed glimpses of the running ball in hand rugby we know they are capable of but again the referee penalised the home team, allowing Exeter to extend their lead.
North Tawton heads didn’t drop at this point and, in fact, the tempo went up a notch and they were awarded with a very deserved try for Si Cox. The kick was missed but still took the score to 8 – 11 and renewed the hope for the home supporters.
As was the way of the afternoon in general, North Tawton gave away another penalty and the 3 points that go with it to move the score on to 8 – 14. A late flurry into the Exeter half not long after proved too late to change the outcome and the Tawts lost for the first time this season.
North Tawton – 8
Exeter Athletic – 14