Crediton gained promotion to South West One West after holding out in the last seconds of their playoff with Midsomer Norton on an extremely windy afternoon at Norton Down.

The wind was as strong as anybody can remember, making passing into it almost impossible, and resulted in a war of attrition for the majority of the game.

Despite the conditions, both teams can be proud of the rugby played, with 100% commitment in defence and at the breakdown by all involved. Midsomer Norton started strongly down the slope and scored two tries through Sam Knight and Jamie Rose, but Crediton managed a driving-maul try of their own before a superb conversion using the wind to make the score 12-7.

Crediton had the advantage of the elements in the second period. Midsomer Norton carried well and stuck to their defensive task heroically, but could not prevent Crediton from taking a decisive lead with only a few minutes left on the clock. There was still time for more drama as, in the last play of the game, Midsomer Norton were adjudged to have knocked-on whilst driving over the line from a five-metre scrum. A total of three disallowed tries during the game highlights just how close it was.

Hugh Jeffery out-did himself with the worst pun of the year so far on Twitter, “Crediton where Crediton’s due”, but this was fitting as the opposition showed tremendous heart and determination – especially in defence, where they refused to be beaten.

After the game, players and supporters alike were philosophical about the result, drinking together in a freezing cold, rattling tent until the beer ran out whilst reminiscing about the good old days when we had a clubhouse. It’s been a great season, and everyone is looking forward to resting up for a week until they embark upon a tour to Brighton next weekend.

Special mention should go to Chris Harper, who performed adequately in his role as Assistant Tee-Man. Fraser Collins (Senior Tee-Man) said: “Wurzel was nervous before hand, but I talked him through it and I think he may be ready for a Senior Tee-Man role in future, ‘if selected’!”

Martin Blackmore