Exmouth maintain winning momentum
Exmouth set themselves up nicely for the National Three South West top-of-the table clash against Weston-super-Mare next Saturday with a 20-12 win at Amersham.
Victory hoisted Exmouth four point clear of Weston in second place with four games left to play.
Leaders London Irish Wild Geese are only five points ahead of the Cockles – and they have to visit the Imperial Ground before the season is over. Exmouth were overwhelming favourites to win at Amersham on league form, but it was a game director of rugby Chris Wright was glad to see the back of.
"We had to move to a second team pitch when we got there because of the conditions, which wasn't ideal but better than having to find another date to go there at this stage of the season," said Wright.
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"I felt we were all over them for a lot of the game, but were not clinical enough with our chances. When that happens you can be made to pay.
"Ultimately, we went away with a squad which wasn't as strong as we would have liked and did a job."
Amersham were 9-7 up at half time thanks to three penalties in response to a Mike Wilson try that Andrew Powell converted.
A Dave Kimberley try, plus two Powell penalties and another conversion, nudged Exmouth over the horizon.
Barnstaple breezed into the final of the Devon Cup thanks to a 41-12 win at Sidmouth.
Barnstaple had a game plan – strangle Sidmouth up front – and deployed it from the start.
"Our plan was to impose our authority on the set pieces – and that's precisely what we did," said Barnstaple's director of rugby Kevin Squire.
"I know some Sidmouth supporters were disappointed we did not show a bit more flair, but that was never on our agenda."
Barum will visit either Exmouth or Newton Abbot, who have to play their semi-final on Easter Saturday.
All Sidmouth could do in the wake of their defeat was lick their wounds. "Physically and emotionally the guys invested a lot in the game, but I'll be honest and say it is a struggle to take any positives from it," player-coach Jason Luff said.
"Barnstaple found our weakness and were quick to exploit it, well marshalled by Tom Skelding and Steve Perry."
Saturday's postponed Tribute Cornwall Cup semi-final between Wadebridge and St Ives will be played at St Austell this Wednesday (7pm).
Camborne were given a walkover in the other semi-final by Bude, who could not raise a team.