Crediton gained promotion to South West One West after holding out in the last seconds of their play-off 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