Old Techs hope it will be third time lucky as they face DHSOB in the Lockie Cup final

OLD Techs are hoping it will be third time lucky for them in a final tonight when they face DHSOB in the Lockie Cup at the Rectory (7.30pm).

Techs have narrowly lost both the David Butt Memorial Trophy and the Devon Junior Vase finals this season.

They were beaten 21-15 by Devon One side New Cross in the David Butt Trophy and then on Saturday lost 12-10 to another Devon One outfit, Exeter Saracens, in the Devon Junior Vase after seeing one kick bounce of the post and another miss right at the death.

But they are hoping they can overcome DHSOB and retain the Lockie Cup, which they won for the first time in 16 years last season.

“We’ve lost two finals by a small margin and we have to try and change that on Wednesday,” said Techs coach Shaun Bedford-Smith, whose side have won promotion to Devon One after finishing as runners-up to Dartmouth in Devon Two this term.

Old Techs winning the Lockie Cup last April

“We would like to finish on a high and retain the Lockie Cup. Not many clubs retain it.

“We should have a lot of support on Wednesday and we are looking forward to it.

“But we know we are in for a tough night. You know if they (DHSOB) are near full strength then it is going to be a close game.

“We’ve got a game-plan and, hopefully, the guys can stick to that.”

He added: “We’ve had some hard games to get to the final. We’ve had to beat Saltash, then we played Marjons and then OPMs. We have worked hard to get to the final and there’s no give-me games.

“We are missing six or seven players, but that’s happened all season and the guys coming in have all played a lot of league games.”

Bedford-Smith is hoping his team can get over the disappointment of losing to Exeter Saracens on Saturday in the Devon Junior Vase at North Tawton.

“People were saying after Saturday’s game ‘how did you lose that?’ and ‘you should have won’.

“In one way that makes you feel better, but it also makes you feel worse as well because you starting thinking yourself ‘how did you lose it?’

“We probably had 70 per cent possession in the second half, but as I said to the players afterwards hopefully we can learn from losses.

“We have to pick up on what we did wrong to lose and basically that was not putting our chances away. We had plenty of possession but we just did not take the right decisions at the right times.

“We just have to get a bit more clinical.

“Hopefully, we take what we learnt from Saturday’s loss into this game and next season.

“It was just little things. We hit the post and then we had the kick to level the game at the end. I felt if it had gone into extra-time we were fitter than them and I think we would have gone on to win it.”

One player who Techs will be missing is goalkicker Paul Ansell, who suffered a broken arm in Saturday’s Devon Junior Vase final.

“He suffered a clean break on his forearm. He was having two plates fitted,” said Bedford-Smith.

“It’s going to be a long recovery for him and he is pretty down at the moment as he’s self-employed.”

DHSOB know what it is like to lose three finals in a season as they did it last year.

They lost in the Pedrick, RNEC and Devon Junior Vase finals in 2015/16.

They have reached the Lockie Cup final this year by beating Devonport Services IIs, Peninsula Medical School and Plymouth University.

DHSOB’s director of rugby Mike Freeman said: “We respect Old Techs and they are on a high after winning promotion.

“We are missing two or three of our key Fijian players but we have got a reasonable team out. The big questions are whether we are strong enough up front, fit enough and organised enough to beat Old Techs, but I would like to think we will test them.

“We have got some size in our backline and we just have to try and execute our game-plan.

“We are looking forward to it. Hopefully, it will be a good night and will be a good way to close the season.”

Among the players DHSOB are missing are Shawn Mucunabitu and Taniela Savou.

Prior to the Lockie Cup, which is the last Plymouth Combination final of the season, Saltash IIIs will take on Plymouth University IV in the Ellis Trophy. That match kicks off at the Rectory at 6pm.

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