IVYBRIDGE coach Lewis Paterson says beating last season’s runners-up Exmouth is a ‘massive confidence boost’ for his young side.
The Bridgers claimed a bonus point 29-20 victory over Jon Hill’s team at Cross-in-Hand on Saturday.
It was their second win in three games since their promotion into National Three South West and sees them sit fourth in the table.
Their only defeat came last weekend when they were narrowly beaten 25-23 at Barnstaple.
“It is a massive confidence boost,” said Paterson.
“The players are on a massive high.
“Myself and Gareth Elliott are going to have to bring them back down but we going to let the boys enjoy it for the moment.
“We’ll have a look at the video but there is still so much we can improve on.”
This time two years ago Ivybridge were playing in Western Counties West but they are certainly proving themselves at level five.
“We are in a league we feel we should be,” said Paterson.
However, there is no chance Ivybridge will be getting carried away by their start.
“It is still early days,” said Paterson. “Last year we won seven games on the bounce with maximum points but then last five in a row.
“My and Gareth are just taking it week by week.”
He added: “We are a team that has been built up over two years. We have worked with these players from Western Counties West and we’ve been able to develop players and systems and it’s starting to play-off. We have a real club ethos.
“We are just hoping we can keep it going, so that we can be in a good position by Christmas.”
Paterson admitted he did take a lot of personal pleasure from Saturday’s win over Exmouth and admitted it was the best of his coaching career.
“For me personally it was, coming against a side as good as Exmouth, who are coached by my old coach Jon Hill, who I have a lot of respect for,” said Paterson.
“But I can’t take all the credit. Gareth Elliott has put in such a massive shift with the forwards and the video analysis stuff.
“We are still missing a couple of line-out options, but we have got that depth now.”
Exmouth, who had hammered Lydney 55-10 the previous week, went in front with an early penalty, but Ivybridge hit back with an unconverted try by Matt Finn.
The visitors responded with a Dan Powell converted try to go 10-5 up, but their lead did not last long as Mike Cox, making his 100th first team appearance for the Bridgers, went over under the posts and Matt Grieveson converted to make it 12-10.
In a tit-for-tact first half, Exmouth went ahead again with a Powell penalty before the home team secured a 19-13 half-time advantage with a Tom Scoles try, converted by Grieveson.
Grieveson edged Ivybridge further ahead after the break with a penalty.
However, Exmouth pulled to within two points with a Matt Ryan try. They then missed a penalty before Scoles secured the win for the home team with a converted try in the corner.
Meanwhile, Devonport Services continued their impressive start to the season in Western Counties West with a 27-21 win at Saltash.
It was Services’ third consecutive bonus-point victory which keeps them at the top of the table.
However, Saltash made them work extremely hard to keep hold of their unbeaten run and they deserved a losing bonus point for their efforts.
The newly-promoted Ashes have won one game – away at Cullompton – and picked up bonus points from narrow defeats to the top two sides, Services and Kingsbridge.
Max Venables put Saltash ahead with an early penalty before a converted try by Matt Gregory edged Services 7-3 in front.
However, tries by Will Morton and Jay Carroll gave the home team a 15-7 lead.
But back came Services, who went 24-15 up at the break, with Ben McGowan, Will Seinhausen and Rocky Young crossing to secure the visitors the bonus point.
After the interval, Venables and Anstis exchanged penalties before Saltash’s kicker added another to secure his team a point.
In the Cornwall/Devon League there was a first defeat for Plymouth Argaum, who narrowly went down 25-24 at Falmouth, who remain unbeaten.
It had looked like newly-promoted Argaum were going to claim a third consecutive victory but a last minute penalty secure the home team the four points.
Courtney Richards and Tom Richards scored tries for Argaum, with the later kicking the rest of their points. Falmouth only managed one try but kicked six penalties.
Tavistock finally got off the mark in Cornwall/Devon League following their relegation last season.
After two matches they sat rooted to the bottom after back-to-back away defeats, but on their own soil they beat Newquay 16-11 thanks to an Andy Williams try and 11 points from the boot of Gareth Lovell.
Plymstock Albion Oaks are still waiting for their first home win since their promotion into the league. They lost 38-27 on Saturday to unbeaten leaders Withycombe.
Player-coach Tim Mathias did score two tries for Oaks, who sit eighth in the table.
In Devon One, OPMs were left frustrated after their opening league match with St Columba and Torpoint had to be classed as friendly as there was no official referee. OPMs won the ‘friendly’ 68-0.
Tamar Saracens had to settle for just a bonus point from their opener at North Tawton. They lost 8-5 to the team they had beaten at home the previous week in the cup.
Both newly-promoted sides are expected to be pushing for promotion this season.