TAMAR Saracens reached the RFU South West Junior Vase final with an impressive 29-8 victory over Cornish side Veor at Brickfields on Saturday.
The Devon One club will now play Gloucestershire outfit Widdon Old Boys away in the regional final on February 6. The winner will progress through to the national stages, with a Twickenham cup final appearance up for grabs.
“This is the furthest Tamar Saracens have ever been,” said delighted coach Stuart Busfield.
“We are so proud to be representing Devon and now Devon and Cornwall. It is a proud moment for the club.”
Saracens were forced to move Saturday’s cup game from Parkway to Brickfields as their pitch was unplayable.
The Ernesettle-based club were grateful National One side Albion allowed them to use their training pitch and changing rooms. The match attracted a decent crowd of around 150 people.
“We got quite a good crowd, especially considering the weather,” said Busfield. “Guys from other clubs came to support us and there were a few Plymouth Albion scarfs on show.”
Saracens ran in four tries to one against their Cornwall One opponents, who lie second in their league. Three of those tries came in the first half.
Veor camped on Saracens’ line for the first 15 minutes but the Plymouth team weathered the early storm from the Cornish side’s big forwards and then dominated the rest of the match.
“We had 15 minutes defending but then went right up the other end and scored a penalty. That must have been disheartening for them,” said Busfield, whose team then scored three relatively quick tries.
Ryan Dingle, Aaron Webb, Ritchie Bush and Tom Rigby scored Saracens’ tries, with Rigby kicking the rest of the points.
Prop Barry Sheldon was Saracens’ man of the match, but forward Ed Cox had a big game in the first half.
“We did dominant the game and the scoreline does not really reflect our grip on the match,” added Busfield.
Saracens would have liked a home draw in the South West final, but say they are looking forward to heading to Widdon, who are coached by former Gloucester player Adam Eustace.
“We are all geared up for a trip up there on February 6,” said Busfield. “They are keen to have a second team fixture as well so we are going to take the whole club and have a family day out.”
Meanwhile, the league rugby programme was hit by a number of postponed matches due to the bad weather.
Ivybridge’s home game against Barnstaple, Plymouth Argaum’s trip to Hayle, Tavistock’s home game with Pirates Amateurs and OPMs’ trip to Totnes were all postponed.
However, Western Counties West strugglers Saltash and Devonport Services both played, but neither could pick up any points to help lift them out of the bottom three.
Saltash’s poor run of form continued when they were beaten 40-0 by visitors Cullompton on a muddy Moorlands Lane pitch.
Cullompton led 28-0 at the break thanks to an early Will Denford try and two from full-back Adam Pearce.
Tom Harold, Harry Allbrook and Denford went over for further scores in the second half for the visitors.
Devonport Services, who will be Saltash’s opponents next week, also had a disappointing afternoon, losing 28-8 away at Truro.
In the Cornwall/Devon League, fifth-placed Plymstock Albion Oaks bounced back from back-to-back losses before Christmas by beating Bodmin 25-12.