IVYBRIDGE player-coach Lewis Paterson says his team will go into the second third of the season in confident mood.
The Bridgers lie fourth in National Three South West after playing nine of their 26 games. Leaders Camborne sit six points ahead of them, second-placed Old Redcliffians are just two in front and third-placed Dings Crusaders only one point ahead.
The league takes a break for county cups this weekend, but when it returns Ivybridge will face a crucial month with matches against Brixham, Lydney, Cleve and Dings.
Fifth-placed Brixham will be first up for them, but Paterson feels his team are more prepared for the second third of the season this year than they were last.
“We are sat where we are and feeling quite confident,” said Paterson. “We have only lost to the top two teams and have got some really good wins under our belt.
“Bracknell are a very good side at home. It is a difficult place to go, but we returned with five points.
“We have now got a week off before we play Brixham.”
On Ivybridge’s next four fixtures, Paterson added: “We are going to be playing teams that love this part of the season.
“They are all very good sides who love this weather, but we have a bit of momentum and we are keen to carry that forward.
“We’ve also got some players coming back and it will be brilliant to have selection headaches.”
Matt Grieveson, Seb Slade and Pete Abrahams are among the players expected to be back pushing for a spot in Ivybridge’s team after missing their trip to Bracknell.
“We’ve got a really good opportunity to put a really strong side out against Brixham,” said Paterson.
“Brixham are a very good forwards team and they’ve had some good results recently. They are only five points behind us in the league.
“But we have been in this league for a year now and we know Brixham and we know what to expect.
“What we have on our side is that unpredictability. Our scrum and front-row have been phenomenal this year. I would say it is up there with the strongest front-rows in the league and we have to capitalise on that as well. We have definitely got some size in our pack now.
“We just have to train hard this week.”
As a level five club, Ivybridge have a bye through to the quarter-finals of the Devon Senior Cup.
They will play Tiverton in the last eight on February 4.
They are the only club from the Plymouth and district region left in the competition after Devonport Services lost to Crediton in the first round and Plymouth Argaum and Tamar Saracens pulled out of their games against Teignmouth and Okehampton, respectively.
In Devon Junior Cup which will be played in March, Old Techs have been handed a home tie against higher league Totnes, who they beat in the semi-finals of the David Butt Trophy, Plympton Victoria will host OPMs and DHSOB will entertain Salcombe.