South Molton gave it their all but it wasn’t enough as their Twickenham adventure ended in heartache.
Old Otliensians defeated South Molton RFC 32-21 to clinch the RFU Junior Vase in front of a shirt-sleeved crowd at the home of rugby.
The Yorkshire outfit struck after just four minutes, through winger Connor Bateman.
South Molton’s woes continued from the restart, as lock Jeremy Darley was shown a yellow card after making a seatbelt tackle. Old Otliensians capitalised on their extra man advantage immediately, as wing Alistair Booth scythed through the Blacks’ line before offloading to centre William Eaves.
South Molton continued to play to their strengths by keeping it tight, and forced repeated scrum penalties, with fly-half Callum Stone slotting three penalties in the first 40.
Old Otliensians got their third try, via captain Sam Featherstone, and their fourth on the stroke of half time courtesy of full-back Murphy. Two successful conversions made it 24-9 at the break.
South Molton started the second half stronger, and scored their first try of the match through scrum half Zak Stoneman, who combined with No.8 Daniel Smith off the base of a five -metre scrum.
Continued pressure on the Old Otliensians scrum handed South Molton a foothold in the game, as Otliensians prop Daniel Stevens was sent to the bin. Shortly after, Molton’s Smith duly barrelled over from the base of another strong scrum. Stoneman’s kick cut the deficit to just three points.
Another yellow for South Molton in the shape of substitute prop David Kift gave Old Otliensians a momentum shift, and they scored try number five through outside centre Luke Cowdell.
A further three points from man of the match Coper gave Old Otliensians an 11 point lead in the dying embers of the match, and sealed Molton’s fate.