IVYBRIDGE play the first of five consecutive Devon derby matches tomorrow when they travel to Barnstaple in National Three South West (2.30pm).
The South Hams side follow their trip to Barum with home league games against Exmouth and Brixham, before taking on Teignmouth in the county cup and then travelling to Newton Abbot in the league.
“All these Devon derbies in the league does make for good publicity,” said Ivybridge team manager Neil Thomson.
It is strange that having moved up to National Three South West, Ivybridge, who were at home last week, will not venture outside their own county until October 24.
Barnstaple, Exmouth, Brixham and Newton Abbot all finished in the top eight last season so Ivybridge know the next few weeks could give them a clear indication of where they stand in the league following their promotion from South West One West.
Ivybridge did get off to a good start last Saturday with a 13-9 opening day win over Old Patesians. However, despite the victory everyone at Cross-in-Hand felt the team did not really play to their potential.
“It was the first game of the season, the lads had done a lot in pre-season and they were all on edge trying to do their best,” said Thomson. “But like with cooking, sometimes you don’t get what you expect.
“We just made a few unforced errors, but the important thing was we got the four points for the win. After one game we are halfway up the table and I would like to see us at least there after Saturday.
“But even if you lose at this level you have to be fighting for bonus points. They are essential, especially in away games.”
Barnstaple caused a shock on the opening day by beating last season’s runners-up and fellow Devonians Exmouth 23-20.
“This will be Barnstaple’s second home game in a row,” said Thomson. “They beat Exmouth last week and by all accounts they blew them away early so we have to get ready for their early blast.”
Ivybridge, who have been struggling with a few injuries, are boosted by the return of player-coach Gareth Elliot and Devon lock Dom Loomes.”