On a beautiful winter’s day, Okehampton Under-15s hosted a back-to-back matches against Bideford and Tavistock teams, writes Chris Mallinson. 

Okey made the perfect start as Wilf chased down the kick off, jackaling the ball to draw a penalty. With Bideford napping, Wilf took a quick tap and go, barrelling over from 20 yards to open the scoring in the corner. 

A long range restart pushed play back to Okey’s line. Having secured the ball from the lineout, Euan set off on a breakout run up to the halfway line. 

Okey hit the rucks hard and Stanley kept the phases moving quickly as powerful runs from Dylan Sullivan and Wilf drove into the opposition 22 before Euan took over to replace heft with finesse by cutting back inside to score under the posts before converting his own score. 

Okey were straight back on the scoreboard with a third try as Harry took a superb catch from a steepling clearance kick, running from deep to beat three defenders before shipping the ball down the line via Charlie and Dylan Shayler who found Amos running a wickedly curving angle to score. 

Bideford struggled to get a foothold in the game as Oke’s tackling snuffed out any signs of a comeback. Big hits from Jacob and Euan folded their opposite numbers in half with Ethan and Zac particularly strong in the counter ruck to regain possession. 

Each time Bideford tried to kick their way out of trouble, Joe and Harry were on hand to run the ball straight back into contact to keep all the play in the opposition half. 

Wilf showed great awareness to snaffle an overthrown ball from the back of a Bideford lineout and set off on a trademark bullocking run before offloading to Louis who spun through two tackles finding Ethan and Joe running great support lines. 

Dylan Sullivan took up the charge, crashing through traffic before being brought down a metre short of the line. Despite the entire Bideford team being camped on the line Jacob managed to muscle his way over to dot down under the posts with Euan again adding the two points. 

Another fine all-round team performance to successfully shut Bideford out of the game.


Having comprehensively dispatched Bideford, Okey’s tails were up as they eyed up a repeat performance against Tavistock, writes Chris Mallinson. 

It was a similarly swift start for the home side. 

From the opening scrum, Wilf picked up from number 8 and exploited an under-defended blind side to score under the posts with Euan adding the conversion. 

The Okehampton forwards destroyed the Tavistock scrum, repeatedly pushing them off the ball. The continual pressure and excellent line speed kept Tavy backpedalling furiously, forcing the scrum half to fling a wild pass which was superbly intercepted one-handed by Euan slicing through the defence to score. 

Such was the level of Okehampton’s dominance in the scrum, the referee moved to uncontested scrums. This provided little respite to Tavistock as Okey were relentless with their front-foot attacking play. The backs relished the space afforded to them by the by forward dominance. 

With Joe pulling the strings, Amos, Euan and Louis ranged freely from side to side as they probed for an opening. 

Harry, secure at fullback, took an athletic overhead catch from an attempted clearance kick and set off on a long run feeding Amos who outpaced two defenders before unleashing Louis on the wing who showed great strength to brush off attempted tackles to score in the corner. 

Not to be outdone by the backs, the forwards showed they could cause their own form of havoc as Dylan Sullivan tore holes in the defence, leaving tacklers trailing in his wake before Charlie pinned back his ears to stretch the defence out wide passing out to Wilf who straightened up and fed Ethan running a loop on the outside to score a popular try. 

Tavistock did not let their heads drop and came out much stronger in the second half going through multiple phases but struggling to really break the gain line. 

Two massive, quick fire defensive hits from JJ rocked Tavi back, Zac seized the loose ball charging down the pitch and fed Amos who skipped through several tackles before finding Joe who fired out a long-range pass to Louis on the wing to score his second try. 

Jacob and Dylan Shalyer continually harried the Tavistock team with sniping runs and chopping tackles. Under severe pressure, Tavy tried to kick their way out of trouble only for Amos to charge down the attempted clearance and scamper away to score. 

With the clock ticking down, JJ caught the restart kick and finding himself in space set off on a galloping run from his own 10-metre line into the opposition 22 before selflessly popping the ball to Wilf running a great supporting line to finish the game off in style with a final try.