Rugby

Plymstock Albion Oaks and Ivybridge secure hard-earned pre-season derby wins

FOUR of the region’s rugby clubs continued their preparations for the new season on Thursday evening.

At Cross-in-Hand, Ivybridge overcame Devonport Services 24-14, while at Horsham Fields, Plymstock Albion Oaks edged out Tamar Saracens 15-5 in a tight contest.

South West Premier side Ivybridge went 12-0 up in the first half, but Western Counties West outfit Services hit back with an Andy Pond try and then a 50-metre effort by Matt Gregory. Both tries were converted by Tom West which put the visitors 14-12 in front.

However, higher league Ivybridge scored two late tries to secure the win. They will continue their preparations for the 2017/18 campaign on Saturday when they host Cullompton.

Meanwhile, there was little to choose between Oaks and Saracens at Horsham Fields under Plymstock’s new floodlights.

In a feisty contest, Cornwall/Devon League side Oaks took the lead in the eighth minute with a penalty from player-coach Tom Richards.

But Devon One outfit Tamar Saracens hit back on 14 minutes with an unconverted try on the left by Ryan Deacon following good pressure on the line.

Seven minutes later Oaks restored their lead with a converted try by flanker Dan Romang following a penalty.

That made it 10-5, which was how it stayed until half-time, although Saracens did waste a great chance just before the break.

Tamar dominated the scrums, but struggled a bit with their line-out. They also produced some good backs moves but on three occasions dropped the ball with the try-line within sight.

Oaks, with their speedy backs, relied quite heavily on a kick-and-chase game, which did help create their winning try on 62 minutes.

That came after both sides had been reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes after tempers flared.

Seconds after play resumed, Oaks kicked forward and won the ball back and quickly went left where 17-year-old Regan Spencer went over on his debut for the first team.

Saracens created a good chance late on with some impressive link-up play but the final pass was knocked on.

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