Tuesday 20 November, 2018, by John Sprague
Following DHSOB finding they couldn’t raise a side for the Devon Cup match at Salcombe, OPM very kindly stepped in to give the Salcombe faithful a home match. Earlier in the season the Crabs had done the same for OPM and found themselves up against the Plymouth side’s 1st team who were trying to build confidence following a heavy defeat in Devon 1 the previous week. Salcombe lost that match 8-11 but aquitted themselves well with only 1 on the bench. Since then the Crabs have strengthened their squad considerably and thus were looking forward to a good result.
OPM also turned up with only one replacement but fielded a heavy looking squad who might be expected to make life difficult in the set. Right from the ko Salcombe went deep in the OPM half and won the scrum and drove over en masse with Man of the Match Toby Woods getting his first try of the afternoon, 7-0 within 2 minutes of the start. This was quickly followed by a charge down by Kieron Clarke who gathered the ball to score under the posts and enable his brother Lee to add the extras for 14-0 inside 5 minutes. Kieron next made a fine solo break but his sprint speed let him down as he was caught from behind by the OPM hooker! However brother Lee was on hand to take the off load and score wide out for 19-0.
Next on the board was Chris Drew making a welcome return to the colours who collected a nicely timed pass from Liam Wills who had made one of his typically coruscating breaks through the middle and further first half tries went to Charlie Rawlinson and Marco Alfano-Rogers, both using pace and power to shrug off the opposition and bring up a half time score of 38-0.
The second half went much like the first, OPM competed hard but were outplayed everywhere. Alfano-Rogers next scored another 3 tries in quick succession, some solo efforts, some by being in the right place at the right time and Rawlinson, Drew and Woods all got their second tries of the afternoon so with 12 tries, 7 converted by Lee Clarke the final score was 74-0.
While this was an easy canter for the Crabs before next weeks Merit Table match against Kingsbridge, it was gratifying to see that few opportunities to score were messed up and critically when OPM attacked that defence had not been forgotton. Loose ball was fiercely fought for with Toby Woods foremost in securing turnover, 6 alone to his credit, and with his tries and consistent tackling he well deserved the MoM award in the bar later, and he won the drink-off there too!