RUGBY ROUND-UP: Ivybridge overcome sending off to end April unbeaten

Lewis Paterson Ivybridge v Barnstaple

IVYBRIDGE overcame the early dismissal of winger Hayden Coles to end their season with a fifth straight National Three South West victory.

The Bridgers triumphed 22-13 over Dings Crusaders at Cross-in-Hand thanks to a Joe Walker try and five penalties and a conversion from Billy Pinkus.

Coles was sent off for a dangerous tackle from a restart midway through the first half.

“It was just unfortunate,” said player-coach Lewis Paterson. “He committed himself to the tackle, so we were down to 14 early on, but we still managed to get a win against a good side like Dings.

“It was a good game. Dings arrived needing a point to be totally save, but we were determined to spoil their party.

“We went well, especially as we had a fair amount of forwards missing. I had to start at number eight, which was enjoyable.

“We did play some really good rugby and took our points well.”

Ivybridge, who had claimed back-to-back promotions, finished eighth in their first campaign at level five. They started and ended the season brilliantly and Paterson admits next year the goal will be to keep their form going during the middle part of the campaign.

“It was a fantastic season really,” said Paterson. “We can now build for next year.

“When we look back we have beaten Exmouth, who won the league, and Barnstaple have got promoted and they finished eighth last year. We have got the capability to be a top four side.

“I can’t thank the lads enough for the season and also the supporters and Gareth Elliott. Unfortunately, Gareth is not going to be around next season and he has been fantastic for us. His shoes will be big ones to fill, but I am currently speaking to a people about being our forwards coach next year.

“But this has been a brilliant season for us. I’m really happy with it.”

Meanwhile, Tavistock survived a comeback from bottom side Newquay to earn a 15-15 away draw to secure their Cornwall/Devon League status.

After their brilliant win over Falmouth last week, Tavistock headed to Newquay knowing they needed just a point for safety.

They did look like they were going to cruise to victory when Doug Lloyd, Ben Hadfield and Gareth Mason scored early tries to put them 15-0 up.

But Newquay hit back second half and Tavistock were hanging on at the end, but they did just enough to survive.

With Saltash returning to the division after a season in Western Counties West and Tamar Saracens coming up from Devon One, the Cornwall/Devon League will be a good one next year for Plymouth Combination sides.

Saltash’s final match in Western Counties West ended with a 68-0 home defeat at the hands of Okehampton, who won the title.

Plymstock Albion Oaks finished their league season in the Cornwall/Devon League with a 29-17 away win at Paignton.

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