Sat 10 Mar 2018
Devizes lost out in a hard fought battle against Swanage & Wareham on Saturday. After a lengthy bus journey which took longer than anticipated and ate into the pre-match warm up, Devizes were hoping to bounce back after a terrible result at North Dorset three weeks previous. Alex Pattle made his first start of the season at loosehead, with Seb Hutchings returning to the fold at hooker alongside Matt Bishop, returning to start for the first time in a few weeks at tigthead. In the backs, Travis Orwin had to pull out last minute due to personal reasons and therefore Matty Holloran started on the wing and Sam Jones moved into the centres.
From the off the home side pressurised Devizes who were punished for some ill discipline, however despite their best attempts, the Devizes defence held firm. Playing into the coastal breeze it was tough for Devizes to get any sort of territory and spent the majority of the half camped inside their own territory. Swans tried to hit back and were nearly through allbeit for some excellent tackling from the away side.
Despite this, the home side ramped up the pressure and although the Devizes defence repelled everything that Swans threw at them, the Swans fly half Steve Woolley managed to jink his way through and reach for the line. Woolley converted his own try to make it 7-0.
Devizes responded with some solid carrying from Craig Bryant, Lewis Paget and Josh Gould, however couldn't get the necessary territory to get points on the board.
The second half continued in the same vein with defences on top. Despite having the advantage of the breeze, Devizes weren't able to benefit from this and midway through the second half, Swans dealt a hammer blow as a grubber kick bounced horribly for wing Matty Holloran to allow the Swans wing to dot down. A tricky conversion was expertly converted by Woolley.
Devizes continued to dominate in the set piece, but were hampered by silly errors and a highly motivated home side playing in front of their 3rd XV who had finished early, alongside a healthy support. Despite both sides being reduced to fourteen men late on (Lewis Dodds being sin binned for Devizes), Devizes could not find a way through.
Congratulations to Swans. A great club and thoroughly deserving of their win on Saturday. We hope you continue to pick up wins where needed to prevent relegation. For Devizes, an improved performance from the North Dorset game but making errors at key times. Up next, league leaders Sherborne at home, 2.30pm Kick Off.
Devizes 1st XV:
1. Pattle (16. Burton, 70) 2. Hutchings 3. Bishop 4. C.Paget 5. L. Paget (17. I. Gould, 58) 6. Bryant 7. Martin 8. J. Gould (c) 9. Bramwell 10. Brown 11. Holloran 12. Jones 13. Dodds 14. Strong 15. Barter
Player of the Match: Sam Jones