Rugby

RUGBY ROUND-UP: Ivybridge positive after pushing Brixham all the way

Devonport Services' seconds battle hard against their Exmouth counterparts at Keyham. The visitors showed their higher league class to win 72-0. Picture by Mark Andrews)

Devonport Services seconds battle hard against their Exmouth counterparts at Keyham. The visitors showed their higher league class to win 72-0. Picture by Mark Andrews)

Lewis PatersonIVYBRIDGE may have heartbreakingly lost by a single point away at Brixham, but player-coach Lewis Paterson insisted there were loads of positives for his side.

The Bridgers were beaten 13-12 at Astley Park in their first game since December 19.

Ivybridge had been 13-0 down to promotion-hopefuls Brixham, but mounted a fight-back and had the chance to win the National Three South West match at the death.

Although they could not snatch victory and claim the double over their Devon rivals, Paterson was anything but down.

“We are really positive about it,” said Paterson. “We had gone a month without playing and went to Brixham, who are a quality side, especially at home, and we really stuck to our game-plan.

“There were just so many positives to take from the match. Everyone lifted their game and did what was required.”

He added: “We went 13-0 down and at half-time it was 13-5, but we clawed it back and won the second half and we should have won it at the end.

“We had a line-out to win the game but they (Brixham) took a big risk and defended it well.

“However, if someone had said at the start of the season you would beat Brixham at home and then go to their place and lose by just one point, I would not have believed them and we were not supposed to be at that level yet.

“So that has to give us loads of confidence.

“Obviously, four points would have been nice, but we have come away with a point.”

Ivybridge stay in ninth spot with games in hand, but 11th-placed Dings Crusaders are only two points behind them now.

Next weekend, the Bridgers have a vital home match against fellow Devon outfit Newton Abbot, who sit 10th, once place and one point behind them.

Former Ivybridge player Scott Puleston scored two early tries for Brixham, with former Albion and Bristol fly-half Ed Barnes kicking a penalty.

But Ivybridge’s James Sloan got them back in the game with a try from a line-out and after the interval back-rower Joe Walker also crossed from a similar move, with Billy Pinkus kicking the conversion to set up a thrilling ending.

“It was a really good, tough Devon derby,” said Paterson. “It was exciting to watch.”

Back-row forwards Alex ‘Reggie’ Hall and Gareth Elliott impressed for Ivybridge.

WESTERN COUNTIES WEST

SALTASH’S hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the Cornwall/Devon League are looking slimmer every week.

The Moorlands Lane side’s losing run, which stretches back to the end of October, continued on Saturday when they were beaten 28-13 at home by Truro.

Saltash did produce some good moments of play, but Truro’s pack won them the match.

The Bridgers, who had Max Venables scoring all their points on Saturday, find themselves five points off safety now.

Devonport Services have moved clear of the drop zone after claiming their second successive victory.

The city side secured a vital 15-8 win away at 12th-placed St Austell, which has lifted them up to eighth.

A late converted try by Phil Wilson won them the game in Cornwall, with fellow forward Andy Pond having scored their opener.

CORNWALL/DEVON

TAVISTOCK find themselves in the Cornwall/Devon League relegation zone after losing 37-0 at home to local rivals Plymouth Argaum.

Tavvy, who were in Western Counties West last season, battled hard first half but Argaum took total control in the second period, scoring 27 points as the home side found themselves first down to 14 and then 13 men due to injuries.

Argaum led 10-0 at the break thanks to a converted penalty try and a Tom Richards penalty.

Dan James, Mason Edwards, Tom Worboys (2) and Mike Hunt added further tries in the second period.

Argaum are up to sixth in the table now after completing the double this season over Tavistock.

Their city rivals, Plymstock Albion Oaks, though, are even higher. They moved up to fourth after crushing Exeter Saracens 80-0 at Horsham Fields.

Oaks scored 13 tries in total, with Dom Summers collecting a hat-trick.

DEVON ONE

Tamar SaracensTAMAR Saracens moved up to third in Devon One, with a game in hand, after beating fellow promotion-hopefuls Topsham 12-0 at the Parkway.

However, despite the vital victory, there was a bit of frustration in the Saracens camp that they did not pick up a bonus point.

“We are really disappointed not to take a bonus point as we were 12-0 up at half-time,” said coach Stuart Busfield.

“The first half we were well on top, but they (Topsham) came out a different team second half. It was very similar to the game up at their place. But the plus was they did not score second half this time. Our defence was brilliant.

“This win has opened it up for us. The objective was just to get the win, but when we were 12-0 up at half-time we were saying ‘let’s go get the bonus point’, but they did come back well.”

Ritchie Bush and Jack Martin scored Saracens’ tries, with Tom Rigby, who surprisingly missed an early penalty almost in front of the posts, kicking a tough conversion.

Saracens, who also fielded a second team against OPM IIs on Saturday, are now just one point behind second-placed North Tawton with a game in hand.

A ring-rusty OPMs, who had not played since December 19, were well beaten 61-7 by the ever-improving New Cross.

New Cross could certainly have a say in the promotion race after claiming their third straight league win and sixth in all competitions.

OPMs stay third-from-bottom but they have now played a game more than second-from-bottom Totnes, who are just a point behind.

St Columba & Torpoint’s match with Totnes was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Defiance Field.

DEVON TWO

OLD TECHS are the new leaders of Devon Two after beating city rivals DHSOB 24-12 at Stonehouse Creek.

It completed a hat-trick of victories for Old Techs over DHSOB this season, but once again they were made to work hard for their win.

Dartmouth also leapfrogged long-time leaders Ilfracombe, who were without a game at the weekend, after they beat Plympton Victoria 41-5.

Just six points now separate the top five teams in Devon Two and the battle for promotion is likely to go right to the wire.

Old Techs have played more games than most of their rivals, but they have the points in the bag.

DHSOB, who sit at the bottom after having 25 points deducted for a registration error, and Plym Vic could yet have a big say on who does go up or reaches the play-offs.

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