IVYBRIDGE and Tavistock both continued their build-ups for the new rugby season with narrow wins on Thursday evening.
Ivybridge overcame a Taunton XV 19-17 at Cross-in-Hand, while Tavistock edged out North Tawton 19-18 away.
Ivybridge went behind early on after conceding an unconverted try following a penalty, but they hit back to take a 7-5 lead with a converted try by Jordan Anderton.
Player-coach Lewis Paterson came close to scoring on 25 minutes, but two minutes later the Bridgers did increase their advantage to 12-5 when Anderton scored a second try – pouncing on a loose ball after pressure on Taunton’s line. Mitch Pinkus brilliantly converted from out wide.
That was how the game stayed until half-time.
Taunton, though, levelled the match straight after the break with a pushover try.
Ivybridge then had to be at their best to deny them a third try six minutes later.
The home team’s backs always looked dangerous when they got the ball and on 55 minutes Ivybridge scored a third try with Tom Scoles crossing after some great passing across the line. Mitch Pinkus converted to put the South Hams side 19-12 in front.
Damon Akerman thought he was going to score a memorable individual try on 63 minutes but harshly the referee pulled play back for crossing.
Taunton finished strongly and Ivybridge had a man sin-binned. While the home team were down to 14 men, the visitors scored on the left, but crucially could not convert the touch-down and Ivybridge hung on for the win.
Meanwhile, Tavistock survived a late scare to beat North Tawton, who hit the crossbar with a last-gasp kick that would have won them game.
North Tawton took the lead with a try by in the corner by Simon Quick.
But Tavistock hit back after turning their hosts over at a scrum and producing some good off-loading before Mark Friend scored. Ben Hadfield converted.
Tavistock added to their account when Andrew Schuttacker finished off a move led by Theo Counsins.
But North Tawton claimed a controversial late first half unconverted try by David Fewings to close the gap to 12-10 at the break.
Tavistock scored the try of the game after the interval. They went through 13 phases before the influential Schuttacker went over for his second try of the match.
Tavistock had Andrew Craddock sin-binned and North Tawton took three points from a penalty to close the gap to 19-13.
And late on North Tawton scored a try, but they missed the conversion and then hit the bar with a penalty in injury-time.
Devonport Services and Saltash will be in action on Friday evening when they meet each other at the Rectory (7.15pm).