IVYBRIDGE will be looking to make it three wins in a row on Saturday when they entertain Old Centralians at Cross-in-Hand (2.30pm).
The match is Ivybridge’s penultimate home fixture of an encouraging first season in National Three South West.
Last week’s win over Chippenham lifted the South Hams side up to eighth in the table.
Although they have not got anything but pride resting on this weekend’s match, it is a vital one for Old Centralians, who are battling with Newton Abbot to stay in the division.
The Gloucestershire side sit six points ahead of the Devon All Whites with three games to go.
If Ivybridge could win and claim the double Old Centralians, who they beat 13-12 in December, then they would be doing their county neighbours a major favour.
However, they want a victory for themselves more than anything, according to young scrum-half Ben Watts, who made his Devon senior debut on Wednesday night against the Royal Navy.
“We are looking to finish the season on a high now and try and get as far up the table as we can,” he said.
“They (Old Centralians) are on a good run so it will be a good test against them.
“It is one of the last home games of the season so, hopefully, we can put on a good show for the crowd, who have been supporting us all season.”
Watts, 21, was joined in the Devon squad on Wednesday night by his club team-mates Charlie Briant, Lewis Paterson, Jon Morgan, Nathan Reeves, Tom Scoles, Dom Loomes and Jay Geraty.
“We’ve had quite a good season really with it being our first in National Three,” said Watts. “And it is nice to be rewarded with so many players in the Devon squad.
“It was my first time playing for Devon so it was quite a big honour.”
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
SALTASH could be relegated this weekend if they don’t pick up any points at home to Tiverton and Sidmouth and Wadebridge both win.
The Ashes have picked up form in recent weeks but it is likely to be too little too late whatever happens on Saturday.
They sit 10 points away from safety with four games to go, but two of those matches are against second-placed Okehampton and one is against leaders Kingsbridge.
Their opponents this weekend, Tiverton, sit in sixth place, but the one hope for Saltash is that the mid-Devon side don’t travel well. They have not won away from home in 2016.
Meanwhile, Devonport Services will be playing their third match within a week when they host Cullompton at the Rectory on Saturday.
Services have had a tough seven days as they travelled to leaders Kingsbridge last Saturday and then to Okehampton on Wednesday evening.
But the city side have come out of both games with credit and returned with a hard-earned bonus point from a 41-30 defeat under temporary floodlights at Okehampton.
However, Services have some battered and bruised bodies after playing the top two teams in the space of five days.
Cullompton sit one place and eight points above Services, with a game in hand, but the city side have not given up on overtaking them.
Team manager Kieran Leach said: “We have had two great performances against the top two in the league, Kingsbridge and Okehampton.
“We held Kingsbrige to 7-3 with 15 minutes to go but then fell away conceding three tries.
“We then went to Okehampton on Wednesday and went 12-0 up in as many minutes then dropped off tackles and found ourselves behind. The lads never gave up and in the darkness almost, we managed to secure a losing bonus point.”
However, that game took its toll on Services with lock Luke Berry suffering an ankle injury. His place is taken by Alex Matthews. Marine Phil Wilson is away on exercise and his absence hands Josh Morrison a first appearance of the season.
Services: Jamie Shone, Luke Lomas, Josh Morrison, Eddie McGinley, Ben McGowan, Callum Perkins, Alex Percival, Kelli Bainivalu, Matt Anstis, Luke Stannard, Jason Money, Joe Daley, Sean Dunn, Stan Matthews, Dax Daku, Andy Pond,Dan Edgcumbe, Ty Busfield,
TAVISTOCK travel to relegation-rivals Hayle is a massive match in the Cornwall/Devon League.
Tavvy go into the game sitting in the final relegation place but they are only four points behind Hayle with a game in hand.
Both sides still have bottom club Newquay Hornets to play, so the winner of this weekend’s clash would be favourites to stay up.
Tavvy go into the fixture boosted by their 13-11 win over Honiton last weekend.
Meanwhile, Plymouth Argaum and Paignton will be battling it out for seventh and eighth spot when they meet in south Devon.
Argaum sit seventh at the moment, one point ahead of Paignton.
“It should be an interesting game,” said Argaum’s director of rugby Dave Sansom.
“We could swap places but I don’t think either of us are that bothered. We just want to have a good game of rugby.
“There is not one game where I have felt we have got a hiding. There were two games where the scores looked a bit one-sided – a 28-3 defeat at Bude and a 37-7 loss at Withycombe. But against Bude didn’t actually didn’t get into our 22 that much and Withycombe scored 14 points in the last few minutes.
“We’ve not been decked in any game. I think we have fronted up really well all season.
“The last six weeks I think we should have won more games than we have, but I’ve been quite happy because we’ve played so well and been close to more wins with a load of injuries.
“We went into last week’s game with Plymstock with a light squad but still should have won. We’ve used quite a few second team players and they have been brilliant and quite a few will keep their places.
“We’ve also got a few colts we are looking to bring into the first team, so it’s quite exciting times for us.”
Fourth-placed Plymstock Albion Oaks entertain leaders Bude at Horsham Fields on Saturday.
Bude just need one point to secure the title.
DEVON ONE AND TWO
TAMAR Saracens are hoping to celebrate their Devon One title success in style on Saturday when they host North Tawton at Parkway.
Sarries secured a second successive promotion last weekend with a 27-12 victory at South Molton.
To celebrate a tremendous season, Saracens are making a day of it on Saturday. The club’s under-10s will play Torpoint Tigers at 12noon before the first team take on North Tawton at 2.30pm. Then immediately after that the two Devon clubs will play a second team fixture.
“It should be a good day,” said coach Stuart Busfield.
“We are really looking forward to this weekend it will be nice to have a game without any pressure.
“We just have our own pride to play for.
“North Tawton are the only team we have not beaten yet after we lost to them (8-5) on the opening day of the season.
“I’m almost glad we did lose that game as it helped push us forward.”
North Tawton also edged Saracens out to the Devon Two crown last season, with the Plymouth team unhappy that a couple of teams pulled out of fixtures that affected their hopes.
Busfield says that Saracens are already preparing for life in the Cornwall/Devon League.
But whereas Tamar Saracens will be celebrating on the last day of the season, the mood might be a bit different at Defiance Field where already relegated St Columba & Torpoint and OPMs meet.
Both clubs will want to end difficult campaigns on a high.
Saints says they want to show their credentials for next season against OPMs.
Although they have had a poor season, the one positive has been the emergence of youngsters Taylor Hill, Conor Harris, Terry Thomas and Hakim Bembridge.
The quartet have been part of the Devonport Albion College Rugby Academy and the training they have received from Plymouth Albion has helped them push for first team squad places.
Saints coach Damo Chambers will give them an opportunity to prove their worth in the last game and two remaining club friendlies.
Alongside these four, Saints are boosted by the return of player-coach Chambers at number eight, back-rower Dave Hussey and captain Sam Winfield. But James Dolman is ruled out with a finger injury.
Saints are strengthened in the backs with the return of experienced players Lee White and Del Jenkins but are without Matt Davey (ankle), Matt Price (work), Luke Richards (wedding) and most notably playmaker Ben Green, who was supposed to be playing his last game for the club before he moves away. The club’s top points scorer suffered a broken leg and ruptured ankle ligaments at a sevens tournament midweek with work and will be out for around four months.Sa
Saints: Lee White, Ben Holmes, Del Jenkins, Nathan Lacey, Jon Adams, Josh Willcocks, Sam Winfield (capt), Neal Walters, Mike Grieve, Adrian Kenyon, Conor Harris, Aiden Nethercot, Dave Hussey, Damo Chambers. Reps: Terry Thomas, TBC, TBC
In Devon Two, Plympton Victoria host DHSOB in the battle of the bottom teams.
The sides only met last month at Brickfields in a charity day. DHSOB wanted it as a league game but Plym Vic did not want to forfeit home advantage and so it was played as a friendly.
Ironically, Plym Vic won 36-0 and that would have been their first win of the season had they agreed to it being a league game.
DHSOB are expected to be a lot stronger this weekend.
The Old Boys have a busy weekend as their Wizards team have a Pederick Cup semi-final against Plymouth University at Stonehouse Creek. The winner will play in the final at the Rectory on Wednesday night.
OLD TECHS have their eyes on reaching the Lockie Cup final.
The Weston Mill-based Devon Two club will take on Devonport Services IIs this weekend at home in the semi-finals.
Old Techs edged out a Tamar Saracens XV 3-0 last Sunday in a hastily arranged quarter-final.
Saracens had played South Molton the day before, where they had won the Devon One title.
“The match was a typical derby game with no-one giving an inch,” said Old Techs’ Shaun Bedford-Smith on last Sunday’s 3-0 win. “Defence from both sides was good and halfway through you could tell whoever scored was going to win the game.”
Old Techs did that with a Billy Evans penalty. They now want to reach the final and try and win the Lockie Cup for the first time in 16 years.
“We want to try and salvage something from our season after coming third in the league and missing out on promotion,” said Bedford-Smith.
“This is something to aim for and finish our season off on a high.
“It will be a hard game. Devonport Services have a big pool of players to pick from and you don’t know who they will have available so you don’t know what to expect.”
View South West rugby fixtures HERE