Ivybridge and Plymstock Albion Oaks ready for promotion deciders

ivyIVYBRIDGE RFC face possibly the biggest game in their history on Saturday when they travel to Towcestrians in the South West One play-offs.

The winner will be promoted into National Three South West – level five in the English club rugby pyramid.

Plymstock Albion Oaks will also be aiming for promotion this weekend. The Devon One runners-up travel to Cornwall One runners-up Veor to battle it out for a place in the Cornwall/Devon League.

If Ivybridge and Plymstock can win their promotion play-off matches this weekend it would cap quite a successful season for Plymouth Combination sides.

Saltash, Plymouth Argaum and Tamar Saracens have already secured promotion from their respectively divisions.

Saltash booked their place in the Western Counties West League by claiming runners-up spot in the Cornwall/Devon League.

Argaum will be playing in Cornwall/Devon next season after winning the Devon One title, while Tamar Saracens, who won the RNEC Cup on Wednesday, came runners-up in Devon Two.

If Ivybridge are promoted then they will be just two levels lower than Plymouth Albion, who have been relegated to National One, when just over a year ago there were five levels between them.

Graham Dawe, who recently returned to Albion as director of rugby, believes having more successful sides in the area can only benefit the region.

“It would be great if some of these teams can go all the way through to level four or five,” said Dawe.

“All successful teams have got plans and good structures and know where they want to get to. They have good coaching and some outstanding players.

“It is no coincidence that Ivybridge are doing well as they have a really good junior set-up and good links with the school.

“Argaum have got a great culture there and Saltash are a very tight, committed club.

“It is good to see these teams doing so well.”

If Ivybridge are to book their place in level five then they are going to have to overcome a tough Towcestrians side.

They came second in South West One East behind former Albion captain Danny Thomas’ Chippenham team. Towcestrians only lost five matches all season and finished with 103 points.

Ivybridge finished runners-up in South West One West, losing eight and finished with 94 points in South West One West.

It is difficult to compare the two leagues but Ivybridge have spoken to Thomas ahead of Saturday’s match to get his views on their opponents. Towcestrians did beat Thomas’ side just two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Oaks will be hoping to continue the form they have shown in recent weeks when they travel down to Veor.

Oaks only lost three matches all season and last week beat third-placed St Columba & Torpoint 69-0.


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