IVYBRIDGE player-coach Lewis Paterson praised his team’s character for coming from behind in tough conditions to claim a vital 11-9 Devon derby win over Newton Abbot at Cross-in-Hand.
The victory, Ivybridge’s second over the All Whites this season, has seen them move four points ahead of Newton Abbot with two games in hand.
Ivybridge have remained in ninth spot in National Three South West but they are 17 points clear of the relegation places and are only 10 points of sixth spot having played less games.
Newton Abbot, who are 11th the table, led 9-3 at the break at a rain-soaked Cross-in-Hand with three penalties from former Plymouth Albion youngster Rob Avery-Wright.
Matt Grieveson had kicked Ivybridge’s only points in the first half.
But after the interval, replacement back George De Mendonca pulled his side to within a point before Grieveson kicked a penalty to edge them in front with 15 minutes to go. It was a lead they were able to hand on to and claim their first home victory of 2016 on their vice-presidents’ day.
“The team showed a lot of character,” said Paterson, who was delighted his side kept their try line intact.
“Newton Abbot are a good club and they made it hard work for us. We knew they would be scrapping for everything due to their league position and because we had beaten them up at their place.”
Paterson praised the work-rate of his team and felt, once again, there were a lot of positives to come out of the game.
“We have got some breathing space now and some games to catch up on,” he added.
“Apart from the games against Cleve and Lydney we’ve picked up points in every match this season.
“But we can’t relax. We want to show we can compete against every team in this league.”
Mike Cox claimed Ivybridge’s man of the match award, but Paterson said all 18 players deserved praise for the win.
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
DEVONPORT Services made it three wins in a row by overcoming Sidmouth 31-11 in a crucial match at Keyham.
The city side would have enjoyed the victory as Sidmouth had narrowly beaten them twice in the space of seven days at the start of October.
The East Devon side won 27-24 at the Rectory in the cup before triumphing 24-22 at their place in the league.
The third meeting was tight in the first half but Services pulled away in the second period to also claim the bonus point for scoring four tries.
Luke Stannard (2), Andy Pond and Matt Gregory scored tries for Services, with the experienced Matt Anstis kicking the rest of their points.
Services stay in eighth spot in the Western Counties West table but they are now eight points off the relegation zone, but Sidmouth are just one point off it.
Saltash’s hopes of escaping the drop were not helped by a 45-0 thrashing at Wadebridge, who had started the day just five points above the Moorlands Lane side.
Wadebridge’s win has moved them up to ninth and boosted their hopes of staying up.
Saltash have now lost 10 games in a row, but at least Services’ victory over Sidmouth, means they are still only five points off safety.
IN-FORM Plymouth Argaum had no problems seeing off bottom club Newquay Hornets at a wet Bickleigh Down.
Argaum ran in 10 tries to win 64-0 in a match that ended early due to the poor conditions.
The home side were 22-0 up at the break thanks to tries by Lewis Chick, Jamie Burton, Mike Hunt and Dan Smith.
They should have been further ahead but did not have their kicking boots on in the opening 40 minutes.
However, second half they upped their game and added six converted tries courtesy of Tom Worboys (2), Jake Turfrey, Mason Edwards, Aaron Anderson-Smith and a penalty try. Tom Richards and Turfrey both added three second half conversions.
“We started slow and could not get the ball to stick in the first 15 minutes,” said director of rugby Dave Sansom. “But second half we really kicked on.”
Argaum have now won their last five matches and are level on points with fifth-placed Falmouth with a game in hand.
“We had a good run at the start of the season and then a run of losses but we have got a run going again,” said Sansom.
That run, though, will be tested next weekend when they travel to Pirates Amateurs.
The Pirates beat fourth-placed Plymstock Albion Oaks 20-7 in Penzance on Saturday.
Oaks had been 17-0 down but a penalty try got them back into the match but they could not manage anymore points.
The Pirates are seventh, just three points behind Argaum.
For the second week running, relegation-threatened Tavistock did not manage to score a single point.
Having lost 37-0 at Argaum last weekend, they were beaten 61-0 at leaders Bude.
PROMOTION-hopefuls Tamar Saracens saw two vital points snatched from their grasp with the last kick of the game in their home match with in-form New Cross.
Saracens were leading 15-12 with time virtually up but the visitors were awarded a penalty, which they kicked to earn a 15-15 draw.
Saracens have dropped down to third, with Topsham leapfrogging above them after beating St Columba & Torpoint 39-7 at home. Topsham, though, have played a game more than Tamar Saracens.
Ryan Dingle and Liam Cadd scored tries for Sarries, with James Hannaford kicking a conversion and a second half penalty on the muddy Parkway pitch.
Bottom side St Columba & Torpoint did show plenty of spirit at Topsham but their promotion-chasing hosts just had too much for them.
However, Mike Grieve did manage an intercept try, which was converted by Ben Green.
OPMs are in real trouble at the foot of Devon One. They lost 10-3 to relegation rivals Totnes on Saturday.
OPMs thought they had rescued a draw late on but they were ruled to have been held up over the try.
The defeats sees Totnes move above them with a game in hand. OPMs really need to dig deep now to get out of the bottom two and avoid a second successive relegation.
DHSOB’s Devon Two home match with Torrington and Plympton Victoria’s game at Salcombe were both postponed due to waterlogged pitches.