IVYBRIDGE turned on the style in the second half against Salisbury at Cross-in-Hand on Saturday to make it two wins out of two in National Three South West.
The Bridgers trailed 12-8 at the break against their newly-promoted opponents, but they eventually ran out 32-15 winners.
Salisbury dominated the first 20 minutes, with their half-backs impressing, and Ivybridge had to defend really well.
The visitors took the lead with Dan Hammond scoring in the left corner after a cleaver kick through to make it 5-0 in the 19th minute .
Ivybridge, who were struggling with their line-out, had hardly had any meaningful territory but a Billy Pinkus penalty on 22 minutes, which bounced on top of the crossbar before going over, changed the momentum of the game.
The home side, who suffered a blow losing Dom Loomes to an injury on 28 minutes, took the lead in the 36th minute through a Pinkus try in the corner.
He missed a penalty seconds earlier but it worked out well as he scored from the resultant drop-out.
It looked like Ivybridge would go in at the break in front, but they lost the ball attacking and Salisbury scored a converted counterattack try with the last play of the half through replacement full-back Tom Pottage.
That four-point deficit, however, was wiped out pretty quickly after the interval when Jamie Tripcony went over for his first competitive Ivybridge try from a good maul. Pinkus added the conversion to put the Greens 15-12 in front.
Salisbury levelled almost immediately through a Robbie Keith penalty, but then player-coach Lewis Paterson scored a great try made by his impressive centre partner Sam Kingscott, which Pinkus converted, to put them 22-15 up.
Pinkus missed a penalty on 59 minutes as Salisbury were reduced to 14 men for a professional foul but then Ivybridge also found themselves a man short when Tripcony was yellow carded eight minutes later.
But while he was off the field, the Bridgers, with Kingscott really standing out, scored an all-important fourth when Damon Akerman went over in the clubhouse corner. The try was a result of Ivybridge pressuring Salisbury on their own line.
And, with almost the last play of the game, prop Matt Finn scored a great try on the right after good work by his fellow front-row colleague Nathan Reeves.
Ivybridge coach Paterson, who had to come off with a calf problem after scoring in the 50th minute, was delighted his team never let up, despite going behind twice in the first half.
“They (Salisbury) are a good side and I think they’ll do well in the league,” said Paterson.
“It was a case of who could maintain the pressure and keep on top of it.
“I just felt in that game we were relentless. We never gave up and just kept plying on the pressure and in time they broke.
“They did score a couple of good tries in the first half but there still seemed to be a calm atmosphere amongst our team. We just stuck to the job and showed massively good character.”
Ivybridge did not allow the fact that Salisbury scored with the last play of the first half affect them.
“They scored a good breakaway try, but we walked in the changing room and just said ‘we are doing well, but there’s areas we can improve on, let’s just get back out there and get the upper hand’, which we did,” said Paterson.
“We went back out second half and scored some fantastic tries. To get the bonus point was massive.”
After two consecutive wins Ivybridge are third in the table. Next Saturday they play their first away game when they visit Paterson and Tripcony’s former club Launceston.
Picture gallery of this game available at the bottom of this page.
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
DEVONPORT Services produced an impressive defensive display to claim their first win of the season at home to St Ives.
Services, who had narrowly lost 22-19 to a last minute penalty the week before at Bude, triumphed 29-23 at the Rectory on Saturday.
St Ives dominated possession but Services were hard to break down and clinical in attack.
“We did not have much ball, even though we were at home,” admitted joint coach Mike Lewis. “We probably only had the ball for 20 minutes. They put quite a lot of pressure on us, but when we got in the final third we probably took 70 per cent of our chances, even if it was only three points.
“They did throw everything at us but our defence was fantastic.”
He added: “We’re really happy, but it was a tough, old affair.
“They are a big side, just like Bude last week, but I think we managed them (St Ives) a lot better at scrum and maul time. There was an improvement from last week.
“All the boys are really happy, although they were struggling to show it afterwards as they were exhausted. They ran their legs off.
“The team worked really hard. Our defence was just fantastic.”
Services led 13-9 at the break with summer scrum-half signing Brandon Andrews scoring a try and Matt Anstis kicking a conversion and two penalties.
St Ives hit back after the interval with a converted try but two Anstis penalties put Services 19-16 up.
Andrews then showed great skill and strength to avoid a host of St Ives players to score following a line-out.
Services, though, could not kill off St Ives, who closed to within one score and then nearly won the match right at the death.
Devonport handed starts to colts Devon Brown at hooker and Toby Knowles at centre.
Knowles was Services’ man-of-the-match with some tremendous tackling.
TAVISTOCK proudly sit in the top three of the Cornwall/Devon League after another tremendous second half display.
Last weekend in their opening match, Tavistock ran in three second half tries courtesy of centre Luke Northmore to triumph 23-7 at home to Honiton.
On Saturday, Northmore went one better by scoring four times in the final 40 minutes as Tavvy beat new boys Lanner 35-19 away.
Unfortunately, for Tavistock, Northmore, who has been outstanding for them, is going away to university in Cardiff this week.
The first half was a low scoring affair at Lanner, with the home side leading 9-6.
Lanner were bigger up front, but Tavvy fronted up well and their fitness told after the interval, even though they suffered a few injuries and had scrum-half Jack Glover sin-binned.
Tavistock coach Hammy Kerswill said: “We knew through speaking to Tamar (Saracens) that they (Lanner) were big up front, but we had a guest coaching session on defending line-outs on Thursday and the boys fronted up very well and our fitness told second half.
“Full credit to Lanner, they will turn over a lot of sides on their pitch and if they can get a squad to travel well I think they will shock a number of teams.”
It was a good day for Tavistock with their second team opening up their Armada League campaign by also winning 35-19 against Tamar Saracens.
Plymouth Argaum were the only other Plymouth Combination side to win in the Cornwall/Devon League on Saturday.
They claimed an impressive 25-20 win over last year’s third-placed side Withycombe at Bickleigh Down.
Centre Ali Murray inspired Argaum to their first win of the season after their frustrating 6-0 defeat the previous week against Pirates Amateurs.
Prop Mason Edwards put Argaum ahead on 10 minutes with a try, which was converted by Murray.
Murray then kicked a penalty to edge his side 10-0 in front, before Withycombe took control.
The visitors kicked a penalty and scored a try to go in at the break just 10-8 down before they took the lead for the first time with a try after the interval.
But Argaum, with seven home-grown players in their side, hit back with a try by back Troy Gobey, who started on the wing but moved to centre due to a knee injury to captain for the day Dan James.
Murray converted to make it 17-13 to Argaum.
Withycombe, who reached Twickenham last season, went 20-17 in front with a converted try, but Matt Bankfield scored a third touch-down for the home team before Murray sealed the win with a late drop-goal.
Club spokesman Stuart Quarterman said: “It was another good battle and similar to last week with is competing massively up front but this time we managed to engineer some gaps.”
Tamar Saracens coach Stuart Busfield believes his newly-promoted team maybe suffering from stage fright after losing 31-20 away at Paignton.
It was Sarries first away game in the Cornwall/Devon League and followed on from their 3-0 home win over Lanner.
Although his team do have one victory to their name, Busfield does not feel they have come close to playing to their potential in either of their first two games.
“We were absolutely shocking on Saturday,” admitted Busfield. “We looked like we had never played together before.
“But we have to try and take the positives out of it. We did score 20 points away from home, which is no mean feat, but the guys are so down on themselves as in the first two games they have played nowhere near their potential.
“It does feel like a bit of stage fright.”
Busfield felt his team were too slow to realise how to play Paignton. Once they started using their forwards they did some damage.
“We did come back into the game but it was too late,” said Busfield. “We do have to be quicker and smarter at learning what opposition weakness are.
“We were short of a few players but that’s no excuse.”
Tom Siggery, Clint Millar and Jack Martin scored tries for Sarries, with Tom Rigby kicking a penalty and conversion.
Winger Richard Bains was Sarries man-of-the-match with a number of try-saving tackles. James Hannaford also impressed with his physicality, which was an area the city side lacked generally.
There was also disappointment for Plymstock Albion Oaks and Saltash.
An understrength Oaks team, who had beaten Penryn in their first match, went down 45-17 away at Pirates Amateurs, while Saltash remain winless following their relegation after losing 35-24 at Penryn, who dropped out of Western Counties West with them in April.
Saltash did pick up a try scoring bonus point, with Ollie Mulberry (2), Will Morton and Joe Ronayne touching down for the visitors.
DAVID BUTT MEMORIAL TROPHY
OLD Techs look like favourites to reach the knockout stages of the David Butt Trophy after they beat Plympton Victoria 67-5 at Weston Mill on Saturday.
The victory followed on from their 105-15 success over a weak DHSOB side the previous week to leave them topping Group D after two of the six pool matches.
Matt Simmons led the way for Old Techs with four tries. Billy Evans, Jack Courtney, Joel Dickin, Eddie Ramaazani and Joe Bailey also got on the scoresheet.
The defeat brought Plym Vic down to earth after they had beaten St Columba/Torpoint the previous Saturday.
St Columba sit bottom of Group D after DHSOB were given a walkover on Saturday.
DHSOB were expecting to play Saints at Defiance Field, but their hosts called the game off saying they had not been able to confirm the match.
The organisers of the competition, though, did award DHSOB the win.
“We had a team and we were up for it,” said DHSOB’s director of rugby Mike Freeman, whose side had played with 11 players the previous week.
Meanwhile, OPMs have given themselves a chance of progressing in Group C with a 25-15 home win over Dartmouth.
It was their first win of the season, having narrowly lost 5-3 the previous week at Totnes, who hammered Salcombe 40-10 in the other Group C fixture on Saturday.
Matt Naylor scored two tries for OPMs, with Martin Skelley also crossing for a try. Gavin Rea added the extras.
Club spokesman Richard Atkinson said: “It was a great win. The teams were evenly matched in forwards but OPMs had pace outside.”