Rebuilding OPMs are hoping for a memorable weekend


OPMs have a big weekend planned at their King George V Playing Fields home.

On Saturday, they play their first home match of the season when they host fellow Devon Two side Dartmouth in round two of the David Butt Memorial Trophy.

Then on Sunday they are holding a family fun day between 12noon and 4pm, which will include fun rugby games, a senior touch tournament, tug-of-war, a bouncy castle, stalls, a barbecue and a bar.

Officials are hoping by the time their fun day comes around the club will be celebrating their first win of the season.

It had looked like they were going to get a victory last weekend when they travelled to Devon One side Totnes in Group C of the David Butt Trophy.

They dominated possession but ended up narrowly losing 5-3.

“We were very pleased with the performance, but disappointed at the same time,” admitted club chairman Matt Glastonbury.

“It was a really wet day but we felt we controlled pretty much all the game albeit without creating too much, but at the same time we felt we totally nullified them.

“We took quite a lot of positives out of game, as they are a league above us, but we played really well.

“The difference was just one quick-tap penalty and they scored in the corner.”

The Old Boys are hoping they can build on those positives this weekend against Dartmouth.

“We are really looking forward to our first home game,” said Glastonbury. “We’ve had good numbers at training and throughout pre-season. There is a lot of competition for places.

“We have not played Dartmouth for a few seasons, so we are really looking forward to getting home and playing them on our field. It will be our first chance to test ourselves at Devon Two level. It will be good to see how we fare and how pre-season has been for us.”

Both OPMs and Dartmouth have enjoyed better times than they are currently experiencing.

“We’ve played them in Devon One and I think also in Devon & Cornwall during my time,” said Glastonbury.

OPMs have suffered two consecutive relegations to find themselves in the bottom tier of league rugby.

Two seasons ago they were in the Cornwall/Devon League.

They are now on to their third coach since then, with Howard Turner stepping up to replace Leigh Puttock this summer.

Glastonbury hopes the club can eventually work their way back up the leagues, but admits this season is about rebuilding and bringing fun back into the club.

“Our target this year is to be a social rugby side,” he said. “We want to put the fun into rugby. There’s nothing worse than losing every week, so we want to start winning some games and enjoying ourselves.

“We want a good social year. If that then provides promotion as well then that’s fantastic.

“We do want to get back to where we were eventually, but our main aim is to keep a group of players together and enjoy our rugby week-in, week-out.”

He added: “We don’t see ourselves as a Devon Two club and, if I’m honest, we don’t see ourselves as Devon One, but it’s happened. That’s the way it goes.

“I’ve been with the club coming up for 20 years now and you do have peaks and troughs. We’ve had very highs but now we are at the other side of it. But we’ll bounce back, I’m very confident of that.

“Looking at the numbers, the positivity and attitudes we are seeing at the club then I’m hoping this year will be a positive one.”

OPMs are the only Plymouth Combination team in Group C of the David Butt Trophy.

As well as Devon One side Totnes and league rivals Dartmouth they will face Salcombe, another Devon Two outfit.

OPMs are quite happy with the group they are in, which means they avoid more local derbies with their league and Lockie Cup rivals Old Techs, DHSOB, St Columba/Torpoint and Plympton Victoria, who are all in Group D.

“We think having this cup competition is a really good thing,” said Glastonbury.

“And we were really pleased with our group. We are looking to test ourselves.

“We were relegated last year and we need to know where we sit with a new bunch of players. We have got Dartmouth from Devon Two but equally we relishing the chance to play a Devon One team as well. We want to improve and the only way to do that properly is by playing teams of a higher standard.

“This cup competition is also great as we want games every week – we want to be playing regular rugby.”

The fixtures in Group D on Saturday, see Old Techs and Plym Vic, who both won their opening games last weekend, meet at Weston Mill, while struggling sides St Columba and DHSOB are due to clash at Defiance Field.

Plym Vic won for the first time on the opening day of the season since 2007 by beating St Columba 10-0 last weekend.

They know they will face a much tougher test against Old Techs, who finished third in Devon Two last year and last Saturday hammered 11-man DHSOB 105-15.

Plym Vic are keen to build on their win and Old Techs want more of a test than they got last week.

“We’ve got a couple missing and it will be interesting to see how it goes,” said Old Techs chairman David Evans. “But we are feeling pretty positive.

“We have got a stronger squad that last season.”

Meanwhile, DHSOB are hoping they can bounce back after their hammering against Old Techs.

They know their chances of getting a win this weekend against Saints will depend on the availability of their Fijian players.

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