Family fortune as Withycombe sneak win

PUBLISHED: 07:48 28 November 2013 | UPDATED: 07:48 28 November 2013

Withycombe RFC hosted a friendly match against Effingham and Leatherhead on Saturday, 31 August. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exsp 0999-36-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

Withycombe RFC hosted a friendly match against Effingham and Leatherhead on Saturday, 31 August. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exsp 0999-36-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on Photo Orders

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Old Plymothian and Mannameadian 6, Withycombe 13

Three pairs of brothers helped Withycombe to a laboured victory in fine winter conditions in Plymouth on Saturday.

Dave and Mike Richards, John and Joe Parkin, and Aaron and Sam Conway all started at King George V playing fields, watched by their fathers Merv, Shaun and Paul respectively, who have all previously played for the club!

The game will not likely rank in the fondest of their memories of the club however; both teams will feel they could and should have done a lot better.

Withycombe started strongly enough, an early surge from George Toomey forcing OPM to concede a penalty which Jack Pugsley converted.

Withycombe took their foot off the pedal after that, with OPM making inroads into Withy territory. After drawing level, the hosts missed a further two penalty kicks at goal before Withycombe struck with their first meaningful attack since Toomey’s break. Jon Axon’s run barged four defenders out of the way, before a nice piece of skill from Sam Conway kept the ball infield as he was bundled into touch, with Mike Richards’ hamstrings somehow allowing him to pick the ball off his bootlaces and flop over from a couple of yards out.

The game turned round at 8-3, and this time it was Withycombe’s turn to rue missed penalty opportunities, Jack Pugsley missing three attempts at goal that would have put the game beyond doubt, given the attacking on show. OPM drew themselves to within two points with a penalty kick with 20 minutes to go, only for Joe Parkin to pounce on a ball that squirmed out of the back of an OPM scrum soon after, dashing ten yards to score.

Withycombe held on to escape Plymouth with four points.

The first XV have a bye next week, but travel to Penzance the following Saturday, whilst the 2nd XV look to return to winning ways when they host Bideford in the Merit Table.

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