IVYBRIDGE Rugby Club were left to rue another frustrating week as they were narrowly beaten 8-3 by second-placed Old Redcliffians in the wind and rain at Cross-in-Hand.
It was the second Saturday running Ivybridge had lost by one score in National Three South West.
In fact, of their four defeats since their promotion, three have been by five points or less.
“It was another one that got away from us,” said team manager Neil Thomson.
“When you dominated two games in a row you expect to come away with at least one win.”
Ivybridge, who were celebrating their 40th anniversary on Saturday, felt they did score a ‘winning’ try with eight minutes to go but it was not given by the referee.
The South Hams side were also frustrated they did not take advantage of a red card to an Old Redcliffians player in the 50th minute for foul play.
“It was disappointing against seven forwards, but conditions just beat us,” said Thomson. “They (Old Redcliffians) also defended really well.
“Their defensive game won them the match. Like I said, it was another one that got away from us and we can’t afford to keep doing that.”
Ivybridge’s only points came from a first half Matt Grieveson penalty. He did have the chance to put his side in front at the break but he slipped as he kicked another penalty and sliced the ball.
Devonport Services’ form in Western Counties West is becoming a major worry.
Services have not won since September 19 and on Saturday managed to blow a 12-3 lead at home to struggling Torquay Athletic and lose 16-15.
Tries by Dan Edgecombe and Matt Morrison had put them in front before Tics’ comeback.
The loss has dropped them down to ninth in the table with the teams below them creeping up.
Saltash, who sit in fifth, were without a match at the weekend after their game against Okehampton was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
In Cornwall/Devon League, Plymstock Albion Oaks continued their good run of form with a 24-0 home win over Hayle in difficult conditions at Horsham Fields.
Kirk Tunnicliffe, Tim Mathias, Joe Marshall and Jack Hardman went over for their tries.
It was Oaks’ fifth straight win and keeps them fifth but they have opened up an seven point gap ahead of sixth-placed Plymouth Argaum, who suffered a third defeat in a row with a 19-6 loss at title-hopeful St Ives.
Argaum have had a tough run of fixtures recently, but they will be aiming to get back to winning ways next weekend when they entertain Bodmin at home.
Captain Tom Richards scored Argaum’s only points, with two penalties.
In Devon One, Tamar Saracens have moved up to second after returning to winning ways with a 14-5 home success over South Molton, who they had beaten earlier in the season in the RFU Junior Vase.
After a draw and a defeat in their last two matches, Saracens coach Stuart Busfield was pleased to see his team win again but was disappointed they were unable to pick up a valuable bonus point after making a great start to the match.
Saracens scored two early tries courtesy of new signing James Hannaford and Joe Wyatt, both of which were converted by the ever-reliable Tom Rigby, but then conditions worsened and the home side struggled to adapt to them.
“It was really tough,” said Busfield. “In the first 10-15 minutes conditions weren’t too bad and we were able to play a bit but then it just became about forwards.
“It also got a bit tetchy. It was not a great game to watch. They scored a try at the end of the first half to make it interesting.
“It was a ‘W’ but after scoring two tries so quickly I felt we should have got the bonus point.
“However, we’ve got to be pleased with the win and I was proud of all the guys, but particularly the front five for the way they scrummed.
“They (South Molton) didn’t get a bonus point, so that’s another positive.”
Conditions were so bad that Saracens will not be able to train on their pitch this week.
Another disappointment for the home side was that Dave Chorley badly dislocated his shoulder at the end of the first half.
OPMs hopes of keeping up the pressure on the top sides suffered a setback when they were beaten 18-6 at home by Topsham.
Two Gavin Rea penalties were all the Old Boys could show for the efforts in the wet conditions where Topsham’s pack got on top.