Superb South Molton display on a difficult day for the club

South Molton RFC

South Molton RFC - Credit: South Molton RFC

South Molton defeated Exeter Athletic 36-21 in Devon One in an emotional day for the club following the death of prop forward Ben Warren. 

Warren, who was 31 and the son of former South Molton chairman Gordon Warren, died unexpectedly in hospital, where he was being treated for an infection. 

As South Molton postponed last Saturday’s away game at Dartmouth as a mark of respect, the match against the Athletic was the first time the club had been together since Warren’s tragic death. 

The thoughts and prayers of everyone in North Devon rugby and the local community are with Ben’s family this Christmas. 

Three tries in quick succession in the first half paved the way for South Molton to win the game, which was preceded by a minute’s silence observed by players and spectators. 

Simon Murch, a veteran front-row forward, put South Molton ahead on the end of a 30-metre dash for the line. Jake Cook converted. 

The Athletic came back with a try and conversion to square it again at 7-all. 

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Neil Edwards, the South Molton team manager, said the players ‘knew what had to be done’ and did it. 

“Scott Warren-Williams (head coach) reminded the lads of the game plan and it took effect with back-to-back tries from Matt Hurrell, Hugo Mitchell and Murch again,” said Edwards. 

Three conversions from Cook took the tally to 26-7 before the Athletic sneaked in for a try and converted it just before half time 

Warren-Williams tweaked the game plan during the half-time break and the results were instantaneous. 

“George Down went over before we could even say ‘let's go Molton’, Followed by a well-worked try in the corner by Aiden Humphries,” said Edwards. 

“From then, it was all about ball retention and not doing anything silly as the weather and pitch were against both sides.” 

The Athletic wriggled over for a try deep into stoppage time. South Molton are without a game in Devon One this Saturday. 

South Molton 2nds went down to a 17-7 defeat at home to Barnstaple 3rds in an entertaining game, with Sam Howard taking player of the match. 

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