Hill bids to retain cup at expense of Brixham
Exmouth intend to keep a tight grip on the Devon Cup when they defend it against Brixham in tomorrow's final at Astley Park (2.30pm).
The Cockles beat Newton Abbot 12 months ago to lift the trophy, which Devon clubs first contested way back in 1888.
Exmouth head coach Jon Hill has a healthy respect for Brixham, who will be joining the Cockles in National Three South West next season after winning South West One.
While the respect is there, Hill also knows who he is backing to win. "My players are hungry for success and well motivated for the challenge of going to Brixham and winning," said Hill.
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"Brixham have had a good season and are used to winning, which is a nice habit to have. Since Christmas we have won 12 of 13 games and scored 440 points, so we have some good habits of our own.
"It won't be easy for us, but I would hope we have a bit too much for Brixham all round."
Brixham did not win South West One by being shy and coach Dan Parkes says they will not be deferential in any way to Exmouth.
"Our players are excited about pitting themselves against Exmouth and not worried about it, which sum up our attitude," said Parkes. "We know we will have to lay out our defence from the start and probably play with an intensity we haven't had to do all season.
"A cornerstone of our league season has been solid defence and we have to keep doing what we have been doing. The same goes for when we attack. We know what works for us."
Brixham will have a squad of 22 for the game, which means finding an additional five replacements for the bench.
One of them is likely to be veteran full-back Mathew Dempsey, who is about to make semi-retirement permanent.
Dempsey made his Brixham debut back in 1996 and, other than a brief spell at Plymouth Albion, has been there ever since.
"Matt was telling me recently he has six losers medals from Devon Cup finals and wanted one last chance to be a winner," said Parkes. "He has been a fantastic servant to Brixham over many years and it would be fitting for him to say his farewells to the game in a final and clutching a winners' medal at last."
Exeter College became British colleges champions by beating Sale Sharks Academy 27-7 this week. Man of the match Ben King scored two tries with additional touch downs from George Meadows and Paul Davis putting game beyond the highly-rated Sharks youngsters in the British Colleges League final.