Molton win 29-8 to lift trophy honouring former club coach and player David Butt

South Molton lifted the David Butt Memorial Trophy on Sunday. Picture: SLRMedia/Devon RFUSouth Molton lifted the David Butt Memorial Trophy on Sunday. Picture: SLRMedia/Devon RFU

Number eight Dan Smith scored two tries in the final 10 minutes as South Molton beat Dartmouth 29-8 to claim the David Butt Memorial Trophy at Barnstaple.

South Molton’s win at Pottington Road had special significance for the Devon One side as former county chairman David Butt had played and coached at their club.

“It was a bit special for us in many ways,” said Molton president Trevor Frost, who played in the same side as Butt.

“To win Dave’s cup with members of his family watching was a proud moment.

“It was a great day out for us, well organised by Devon and staged by Barnstaple.

“Dartmouth contributed hugely to the occasion and were the best side we have played all season.”

The Men in Black always looked in control of the final with their powerful pack dominating, particularly at the scrums.

“Our front five was a lot stronger than Dartmouth’s and denied them a platform,” said Frost.

“Without supplies of ball it was a struggle for them, although their back row put up a real fight.”

Molton led 13-3 at the break and although Dartmouth closed the gap at the start of the second half, South Molton finished strongly.

Callum Stone kicked two early penalties to put Molton 6-0 up.

Luke Chase missed a penalty for Dartmouth on 22 minutes, then slotted one eight minutes later.

Within seconds of the restart, South Molton scored the game’s opening try when full-back Dan Johnson danced through Dartmouth’s defence to score under the posts and give stand-off Stone an easy conversion.

Dartmouth scrum-half Henry McCready started the second half with a try from a quick tap penalty on 44 minutes to close the gap to 13-8.

South Molton prevented their opponents from building on that with Stone kicking two penalties to edge them 19-8 up. The second one came after Dartmouth’s experienced hooker Nick Shillabeer had been sin-binned.

Just as Shillabeer was returning, South Molton put the game beyond Darts when the powerful Smith crossed on the left after intense pressure.

With a minute to go, Smith added a second try, this time on the right.

South Molton captain Ben Gatehouse said: “There are a lot of people at South Molton who knew David personally or were even coached by him,

“One of our coaches, James Stoneman, was coached by David at South Molton, so it does mean something on a personal level for the club.”

“We were just going to use this competition like a pre-season, but we have just gone from strength-to-strength.

“When we realised there was a chance of winning it then it was all hands on deck and there was a buzz around the club. It is a really positive thing for the club.”

League rugby starts for South Molton this Saturday with a home game against Topsham in Devon One.