South Molton edge local derby with Torrington

North Devon Gazette

Jake Cook banged over a last-minute penalty to seal South Molton an 11-7 win over Torrington in the Devon One derby at Donnacroft.Â

For Torrington it was a bitter defeat to take as they led for most of the game and were still in front with six minutes to go. Having a penalty advantage awarded then wiped out when they were in the five-metre zone did Torrie no favours.Â

Neil Edwards, the South Molton team manager, admitted his side were not at their best but did show some fight when it mattered.Â

“Basically, we did not play the way we should have,” said Edwards. “Torrington knew what to do, as they kept us in our half for all of the first 40 minutes.Â

“Five minutes into the second half we made a change and scored a try through George Down, who was the player who went on.”Â

The fight continued with a Jake Cook penalty and when Torrington gave another away with 30 seconds to go, he kicked that one as well.Â

Zerran Bell, Torrington coach, said: “It was a really great effort from the guys. The pack was bolstered by being at home and having our farmers available.Â

“We dominated most of the game but could not find a way to break down a strong South Molton defence.”Â

The breakthrough came when Torrie counter-attacked after Toby Hookway picked off a Molton clearance kick then set up Cameron Valley to dance over. Aiden Guppy converted for a 7-0 lead.Â

Molton got back to 7-5 down when Down crossed and for a while Torrington became penalty prone.Â

Once Torrington found a way to control the tackle area, with man of the match David Ross prominent, the penalty count receded.Â

It stayed 7-5 until that fateful last five minutes when Cook settled the outcome of the game.Â

Bell said despite the result his team could feel proud of their performance. “This was a massive step-up against a very good South Molton side,” said Bell.Â

South Molton are at home to bottom side Buckfastleigh this Saturday. Torrington trek to Plymouth to meet Tamar Saracens.Â