Cockles punished for indiscipline and individual errors in Ivybridge defeat
PUBLISHED: 09:36 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:36 02 October 2018
Exmouth suffered a second successive South West Premier defeat when they were beaten 41-31 on the artificial surface at Ivybridge.
Beaten, the Cockles may well have been, but the fact is that were it not for the clinical punishment by the home side of some indiscipline and simple individual errors, then the Cockles faithful would have been celebrating a fourth win in five league outings so far this season.
At Ivybridge, against a confident home side that had won all four of the league fixtures so far this term, the Cockles made a strong start, but, the early season Achilles heel that is basic error making, an early infringement saw the home side open the scoring with a penalty.
The Cockles’ response was excellent and, for the next 20 minutes, they bossed the game, looking very comfortable on the home club’s new artificial surface.
Stunning team tries from Dave Bargent on 10 minutes and Jack Downie on 28 minutes, both converted by Tom Whelan to see the Cockles into a deserved 14-3 lead.
Occasionally, a team is vulnerable just after they have scored and so it proved as the hosts crossed the whitewash with a 31st minute try and followed that with a 34th minute penalty to reduce the Cockles lead to a single point at 14-13.
Simple errors and generosity with the penalty count were going to cost dear. The Cockles lost Connor O’Shaughnessy to a yellow card just before the break.
The interval helped stabilise things for the Cockles, who, despite still being a man down, started the second half well and extended the lead with a long-range Whelan penalty.
However, nine minutes into the second half, with the Cockles still a man light, the home forward pack took serious advantage, being awarded a penalty try for a collapsed scrum. This heralded a six-minute spell where Ivybridge turned the screw and effectively closed out the game scoring two further tries to move into a commanding 34-17 lead.
The Cockles dug deep and showed true spirit and determination to grab a try through Sam Whitehead with the extras by George Meadow closing the gap to 24-34.
However, on 60 minutes, Ivybridge breached the defence, going over for their final converted score to move into a 41-24 lead.
The final 10 minutes were all about the Cockles and their endeavours to seek a bonus point fourth try and they got it when, right on time, skipper Jack Fahy went over after some patient work from the forwards.
It was left to Meadows to convert with the final action of the contest, one that need [STEVE - something amiss in this sentence] with the Cockles beaten by a margin of just 10 points.
If the Cockles can eradicate the issue of indiscipline and occasional individual error making then, by continuing to perform, with the style and desire they have shown over the first few weeks of the season, they will be rewarded. This Saturday (October 6), the Cockles are in home action when they entertain Maidenhead.