IVYBRIDGE will be hoping they can gain revenge for their 39-17 league defeat at Exmouth on Saturday when the sides meet again on Wednesday night at Cross-in-Hand in the Devon Cup.
The Bridgers paid for a slow start in the National Three South West match at the Imperial Ground and were trailing 22-0 at half-time.
They went 32-0 behind straight after the interval but then made a fight of it with young back Billy Pinkus scoring two tries and kicking seven points. However, it was not enough to return with anything.
Player-coach Lewis Paterson admitted he was disappointed with his side’s display against title-chasing Exmouth, who they had beaten 29-20 earlier in the season.
And he is hoping they will be better come the county cup semi-final in mid-week.
“We can’t hide away from this defeat,” said Paterson.
“Exmouth are a good side, with a strong pack and a strong scrum, but we let them get momentum early.
“We were a different side to the one that beat Lydney (38-0) the previous week.
“Exmouth were really up for it and they are strong. They are top for a reason and they showed that on Saturday, but we were not on point with things we normally do.
“Towards the end we played some really good rugby, but it was a shame it took so long to do that.
“We came out of the blocks really slow, which was unlike what we did against Lydney.
“But there were some positives and we did see where they were weak and strong and that has highlighted areas for us on Wednesday.
“We’ll have people coming back into the team for that match and, hopefully, it will be a different type of a game.”
The win took Exmouth top of National Three South West table above Devon rivals Barnstaple.
In the Cornwall/Devon League, Plymstock Albion Oaks enjoyed a tremendous 12-3 win at RFU Senior Vase semi-finalists Withycombe.
Fourth-placed Oaks became only the third team this season to beat the east Devon side.
The loss was a big blow to Withycombe’s promotion hopes. They could have moved up to second with a game in hand had they won on Saturday.
For Oaks the victory should guarantee them a top five finish in their first season back in the Cornwall/Devon League.
Jack Hardman and Brett Tunnicliffe scored the tries that secured them the four points.
However, there was disappointment for city neighbours Plymouth Argaum, who have dropped down to seventh place after suffering a surprise last-gasp 13-10 defeat at Hayle.
Argaum had beaten Hayle 47-3 at the start of the season, but the Cornish side have improved considerably as the campaign has gone on. In their last home match they drew 15-15 with Plymstock Albion Oaks.
It was looking like Hayle would collect another draw with Saturday’s match all-square at 10-10 going into injury-time, but the home side were then awarded a penalty that they put over to secure the four points and leave Argaum frustrated from another trip to Cornwall.
Calum Mills scored Argaum’s only try with Tom Richards converting and kicking a first half penalty.
Relegation-threatened Tavistock produced an encouraging display but eventually went down 45-19 to promotion-chasing St Ives, with the visitors scoring a couple of late tries to make the victory look more comfortable that it actually was.
Tavistock stay third from bottom, level on points with 11th-placed Honiton, but with a game in hand.
Tavvy still have Honiton to play at home and bottom side Newquay to face away, so they will be hopeful they can stay up.
AN understrength Tamar Saracens side dug deep to claim a vital 13-10 away victory at in-form Totnes and boost their Devon One title hopes.
Saracens were missing a number of key players, including goalkicker Tom Rigby.
In Rigby’s absence, it was left to number eight Aaron Webb to kick what proved to be a match-winning three points in the second half.
Saracens had led 10-3 at the break with two tries from line-out moves by Tom Siggery, but neither were converted.
Webb’s penalty in front of the posts put Sarries 13-3 up, but then Totnes, who had earned a draw at Parkway in October, came back and could have snatched victory at the end.
“It was a very, very tight game,” said Tamar Saracens coach Stuart Busfield.
“They dominated the last part of the game, but we managed to hold out.
“It was tough, but it was a credit to the club that we were able to win with so many players unavailable.
“When it got really tough our character came through.
“John Toner played at nine. He’s probably not played a full game for six or seven years, but he played the whole match and played really well. His experience was vital.
“The win has put us into second and guys are believing now.
“What was good on Saturday is that we were able to take a first and a second team to Totnes.”
Saracens expect to play a cup match next weekend, before entertaining Wessex in a possible title-decider at Parkway on March 26.
But while Saracens have their eyes on promotion, it looks like OPMs will be joining St Columba & Torpoint in dropping out of Devon One.
OPMs went down 24-13 at home to North Tawton in a match they could not really afford to lose.
With third-from-bottom South Molton beating St Columba 40-0 on Saturday, OPMs find themselves seven points from safety and having played two more games than South Molton.
OPMs could be relegated next weekend if they fail to beat leaders Wessex and South Molton beat North Tawton.
Meanwhile, in the Ellis Trophy, Devonport Services IIIs beat OPMs Jesters 46-0, while Plymstock Albion Oaks IIIs overcame DHSOB Wizards 35-5 at Brickfields.