IVYBRIDGE produced their worst performance of the season, according to team manager Neil Thomson, as they were beaten 22-19 at home by bottom club Chippenham in National Three South West.
Chippenham arrived at Cross-in-Hand without a win to their name this season following promotion, but they managed to return home with four points after injury-hit Ivybridge failed to build on a 12-0 lead.
“It was hugely disappointing,” said Thomson. “It was our worst performance of the season.
“The first 10 minutes we played our attacking game like we had done the week before against Hornets and scored two good tries.
“But then we started missing tackles, kicking badly and just got sucked into their game. We just made too many unforced errors.
“In the second half we had 25-30 minutes on their line but they defended really well, but we just got sucked into the middle of the field. Yet they got in our half once second half and scored.
“It was just a bad day at the office. We just have to go away and learn from it.”
Thomson added: “This is a crazy league. Everyone can beat everyone, but we need to try and dig out a couple of wins now.”
George de Mendonca and Peter Abraham scored first half tries for Ivybridge, with Matt Grieveson converting.
Matt Finn then added a late touchdown, which Billy Pinkus converted, to at least secure Ivybridge a bonus point in their final home match of 2015.
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
IN Western Counties West, Devonport Services produced another impressive home display to beat leaders Kingsbridge 19-13.
The match ended less than 10 minutes early due to an injury to the referee, so Services will have to wait to see if the result stands.
Services do seem to save their best performances for their meetings with the top teams. In their last home match they also beat promotion-chasing Exeter University.
Mano Tokoisuana and Matt Gregory scored Services’ tries, with Matt Anstis kicking three penalties.
Saltash find themselves in a worrying position after a fifth straight defeat.
They went down 21-8 at home to second-placed Exeter University, which leaves them just one point off second-from-bottom in a tight league where just six points separate sixth from 13th.
PLYMOUTH Argaum’s director of rugby Dave Sansom was thrilled with his team’s 16-10 derby win over Plymstock Albion Oaks at Horsham Fields.
Oaks had not been beaten since September, but Argaum managed to do what eight of their Cornwall/Devon League rivals had failed to do.
Argaum, who had pipped Oaks to the Devon One title last season, were 8-0 up at the break with an early Tom Richards penalty and an Ellery Jones try on 20 minutes.
But after the interval Oaks came back and went 10-8 up with tries by player-coach Richard West and Kirk Tunnicliff.
In the last 20 minutes, Argaum started to force Oaks back into their own 22 and the plan worked, with the visitors winning a penalty that Richards put over to edge them 11-10 in front.
And Argaum sealed the win with a try by lock Nick Carter right on the stroke of full-time.
“It was a good day,” said Sansom. “We played the conditions very well.
“They had gone eight games without losing but we went up there feeling quite confident, even though were missing a few players.
“We were up for the challenge. You always get up for local derbies and we were fired up by the fact that they had gone eight games unbeaten.”
He added: “Derby wins are special, but I am quite proud to see both teams doing well in Cornwall/Devon after promotion.”
Oaks’ defeat drops them down to fifth in the table. Argaum stay eighth, but they are 11 points ahead of ninth place Bodmin and only three points off sixth-placed Pirates Amateurs.
“Like I’ve said before, I think we will be a really good side after Christmas,” said Sansom. “We are now getting a few players back from injury. We have had a lot missing.”
Elsewhere in Cornwall/Devon, Tavistock went down 31-0 at fellow strugglers Honiton, who had only won one previous match before Saturday.
The Sandy Park side are just one point off the bottom three and look like they are going to face a real dog-fight to avoid a second successive relegation.
TAMAR Saracens’ promotion chase is back on after their 55-0 away victory over struggling St Columba & Torpoint, according to coach Stuart Busfield.
Fourth-placed Saracens find themselves just three points off second place Topsham, having already played the top three away.
Busfield was just delighted his team collected a full five points across the Tamar, despite having a number of key players missing and having not played a league game for a month, with this fixture having twice been postponed due to the weather.
“As a whole the team played really well and everyone enjoyed their rugby,” said Busfield.
“Some of our handling was superb and we could have scored more points, but all credit to St Columba they did not capitulate, they battled right to the end.
“Our promotion chase is back on. Hopefully, next week against New Cross we can build again.
“This league, though, is as strong as it has ever been. It is a really tough league. All credit to local rugby as the levels are going up and up.”
Joe Wyatt was the star of the show for Tamar Saracens on Saturday. Due to absences, he was moved from full-back to centre and he scored four tries.
Blake Smith, back from sea, also impressed on his return with two tries and five conversions. Sam Parker also collected a brace, with Liam Cadd adding Sarries’ other try.
Meanwhile, an OPMs XV scored a late try to edge out a DHSOB XV in a friendly at Brickfields, played after Albion’s National One match with Loughborough Students.
Temesi, Tulete and Fraser Tatchell scored tries for DHSOB, with Peter Carter adding one conversion.