A FIRED-up home team took the fight to the visitors with a powerful opening half, writes Chris Mallinson.

Harry set the tone, chasing down Euan’s well-weighted kick-off with a big first hit knocking the catcher backwards.

Crediton’s fly half caught a flat pass standing still seconds before being hit by Wilf who picked him off his feet and drove him back five yards with Joseph piling in for good measure.

With Crediton back peddling, Oke pressed forward as Zac and Jacob harried the defence into knocking on. Winning a penalty at the resulting scrum, Oke kicked to the corner to set up a lineout 10 yards from the line. In a move straight off the training ground, Jacob’s perfect throw was caught by Charlie and popped to Wilf running from deep on a loop round the back of the line out and fending off defenders to score under the posts.

From the restart, both teams traded possession with the ball overturned repeatedly in the rucks. Crediton inched their way down the pitch before unlocking the home defence by stabbing a kick through for the winger to pounce and score in the corner.

The visitors tried to repeat the move only to pick out Ciaran who skipped through the chasing attackers to take play back into the Crediton half. Strong work in the ruck from JJ kept the ball alive, Stanley fizzed a pass out to Euan who found Amos in an inch of space and set off like a gazelle turning the defenders inside out to score an excellent try with Louis’s kick adding the extra two points.

Oke kept up the pressure with excellent line speed in defence especially from Harry, Stanley and Jacob giving Crediton no time to settle on the ball. Forcing handling errors from the visitors, Oke seized on loose ball with Dylan and Freddy smashing holes in the defensive line.

As Oke stretched the game out both Louis and JJ were unlucky not to score with the try line within touching distance. Crediton were scrambling on their own line to repel Oke attacks as Euan and Joseph marshalled the backs flowing forward.

Crediton finally managed to kick the ball clear only for it to be gobbled up by Ciaran who sold dummy after dummy as he zig-zagged his way through to score Oke’s third try. Oke relaxed slightly in the second half and, sensing an opportunity, Crediton hit back with two quick tries to level the scores.

Having not fully capitalised on all their chances in the first half, Oke had to move up a gear to stop the game moving away from them. As the half wore on, Oke grew increasingly dominate in the scrum and controlled the midfield with Euan and Amos repeatedly breaking the gain line.

Big tackles from Zac and Mikey snuffed out the few Crediton attacks whilst Jake bundled his opposite winger into touch to prevent a breakaway. As the pressure built, Crediton’s discipline started to slip and they found themselves retreating after repeated infringements.

Wilf seized the opportunity to take a quick tap penalty 10 yards out and crashed over in the corner to re-gain the lead. With the clock ticking down, Crediton continued to fight and finally managed to secure decent lineout ball and drive over to score a late try to level the match.