IVYBRIDGE secured their first win of the season in the South West Premier League with a 19-10 success away at Lydney.
The Bridgers had lost on their previous visits to Regentsholme, but they were in no mood to suffer another defeat after crashing to Dings Crusaders and Exmouth in their opening two games of the campaign.
After going behind to a penalty kick, Ivybridge took an half-time lead in Gloucestershire thanks to an impressive try by scrum-half Ben Watts, which Matt Grieveson converted.
In the second half, prop Jon Morgan added a second touch-down from close range before replacement Hayden Coles went over from a maul and Mitch Pinkus converted.
Ivybridge thought they had scored another try that would have given them a bonus point but it was not given.
However, they were just happy for a win after losing 40-29 to Exmouth and 55-7 at Dings.
“It was good and it was a monkey off our back,” said Ivybridge coach Lewis Paterson.
“It was our first win of the season, our first win ever at Lydney and it was a win on the road early doors.
“Those are massive positives for the lads and it’s a huge confidence boost.
“The score really does not reflect the game. We were immense in defence and there were a lot of unanswered points we left out there.
“We were in their 22 for long periods of time and we definitely scored another try but the ref deemed that it was knocked forward, but it was off one of their players’ hands.
“But at the end of the day we were in complete control of the game.”
Wes Vermigle, Ivybridge’s 18-year-old prop who was making his first league start, picked up the man of the match award.
“He was immense,” said Paterson. “It was a really big performance from an 18-year-old up at Lydney.”
Paterson added: “Now we have that win, hopefully, that will relax everyone and we will play even better.”
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
DEVONPORT Services returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 28-22 home victory over Truro.
Mike Lewis’ side did miss out on a try-scoring bonus point for the first time this season, but they were just happy to win after narrowly losing 36-34 at Torquay seven days earlier.
“After last week it was important to get back on track,” said Devonport team manager Kieran Leach. “It was wet and slippery, but we defended better than last week.
“I think because we knew it would be more physical we were ready.
“We played better and were physical in the rucks and maul. We were on top again in the scrums and line-outs and they had a big pack. There were plenty of positives.”
Services and Truro had finished third and fourth last season and played out a 27-27 draw at the Rectory in April.
“I think Truro will be there around the top at the end of the season,” said Leach.
Services came out fired up and took the game to Truro.
The visitors had two players sin-binned inside the first 10 minutes but Devonport could not turn their pressure into points.
However, eventually they did get the try they threatened when lock Adrian Montague got the ball down and Richard West converted.
But Truro came straight back at them and outside centre Luke Tidball scored an unconverted try.
Two West penalties edged Services 13-5 ahead before the visitors closed the gap again when Josh Symons went over in the corner.
Just before the break, Matt Gregory crossed from a line-out to give Devonport an 18-10 advantage.
Truro picked up another yellow card after the interval and West kicked a penalty to edge Services 11 points in front.
However, in an enthralling contest, Truro came back with a converted try by Jack Tidball, which made it 21-17.
Services went 28-17 ahead with a try by Joe Daley, which was started by a great break from Joe Wyatt and then involved Ben Morris.
Truro then had a player sent off for striking Daley before West was yellow carded for Services.
With time nearly up Truro flanker Ben Teasdale scored following a kick and chase that secured the Cornish side two bonus points.
PLYMOUTH Argaum claimed their first win of the season with a 10-5 victory over Tavistock at Bickleigh Down.
Argaum have not lost to Tavistock since their promotion to the Cornwall/Devon League in 2015 and they deservedly won this latest contest.
Their victory should have been greater. They had one try controversially disallowed and then wasted a host of other chances.
Tavistock, fresh from a big win over Pirates Amateurs the week before, started well playing down the slope and dominated the first 20 minutes, but then lost their way and Argaum, with their scrum impressing, took command.
The visitors struggled to get out of their half for the rest of the match, yet did have one late chance to snatch victory but could not take it.
Argaum coach Mark Sullivan was just glad his team did not pay at the end for not converting all their chances earlier in the game.
“I was confident in our defence, as that is really strong. They didn’t lose their heads, but it was a bit nerve-wracking,” he said.
Sullivan, though, was delighted his team are off the mark after defeats against Saltash and Plymstock Albion Oaks.
“The guys have been anxious for that win,” he said. “We did make hard work of it as we didn’t connect everything together. I think we were actually more fragmented than we have been for the last two games.
“But our scrum functioned really well and our line-out is getting better.
“We are still developing our game-plan. We are kicking better, but not as well as we should be.”
He added: “I think we probably should have had three or four tries, to be honest.
“We also turned down three kicks where we would have probably got those points, but just getting the win was very important for us.
“From my perspective, it is again a step us as it’s a win. It does demonstrate that when it gets difficult and the weather is difficult we can still hold our own.
“And the great thing is that we have strength in depth as we had a second team, Wanderers as we call them, that played really well (on Saturday) and I know I can slot people in.
“You can pull out a lot of real positives, but there’s always stuff to work on.
“What was interesting is that although it was a win the team weren’t pleased with it, so there is more to come.”
Tavistock took the lead with a try from close range by Andrew Griffiths on 16 minutes.
Ten minutes later Argaum should have scored after turning Tavistock over at a scrum on their line. Somehow, though, Tavistock denied the home team.
However, three minutes later Argaum did get a try when Tom Holiday went over from close range and Al Murray converted.
Argaum knocked on with the try line at their mercy in the 31st minute before Callum Mills thought he had scored in the right corner. The referee, though, ruled he had been held up and Argaum were unable to make the five-metre scrum tell.
The home team wasted two great chances at the start of the second half before turning down a couple of kicks at goal.
However, eventually they did go for the posts and Murray put over the kick to edge Argaum five points clear.
That nearly wasn’t enough of a lead, but Tavistock could not take advantage at the death.
Their coach Hammy Kerswill was disappointed with the result and performance.
The visitors were not helped by losing Mark Webber will illness on the day.
“The first half we did not make the most of the slope,” said Kerswill.
“The first 10 minutes we were on fire. If only we could have kept that momentum up.
“We started well against them which in previous years we haven’t done.”
“I think if it had stayed dry we might have had a better shot, but the weather second half went more in their favour than us.”
The one positive for Tavistock was their defence. They denied Argaum on a host of occasions and that nearly gave them a chance to win the game at the end.
“We did defend well, but there were a few handling errors that let them have the ball for too long really,” said Kerswill.
SALTASH kept up their 100 per cent record in the league with a 35-10 victory away at Plymstock Albion Oaks.
Both teams went into the game unbeaten – Saltash having picked up bonus point wins over Pirates Amateurs and Argaum and Oaks having overcome Argaum and drawn away at Withycombe.
But it was Saltash who showed why they are one of the favourites for the title with a clinical display, which saw the run in six tries.
Harrison Reburn gave the visitors the lead with a penalty before Will Morton went over for their first try on 14 minutes.
Plymstock’s Tom Richards kicked a penalty but then Saltash number eight Steve Hillman scored two tries to give his side an 18-3 lead at the break.
Winger Tom Martin then made it 23-3 after the interval when he scored with a kick and chase.
Ashes flanker Phil Eatwell then ran 60 metres after an interception to put the game well-truly beyond doubt.
Oaks flanker George Hamblin did managed to get a try back for his team but the last word went to Saltash, with Martin claiming his second touch-down of the game.
Oaks player-coach Callum Cload, who missed the match due to injury, believes his team have to learn from the loss.
“Saltash are always near the top,” he said. “They did their bits right and we didn’t do our bits as well as we could have.
“The scoreline is probably a bit generous but that’s due to our poor execution.
“At the moment it is a whole new set-up at the club and boys are still getting used to it. They are learning every game. We’ll learn a lot from this game.
“I think from this it is a case of righting our wrongs, learning from it and make sure we are better next week.”
DAVID BUTT MEMORIAL TROPHY
OLD Techs suffered their first defeat of the season when they were beaten 25-10 by league rivals Dartmouth at Weston Mill.
Dartmouth’s victory moves them four points clear of Techs in Pool C of the cup competition with three games to go.
Techs chairman David Evans said: “We were very poor, to be fair. We had a strong side out, but we never got going.
“We were beaten by a better side, you just have to say that sometimes.”
Dartmouth did the damage in the first half.
They went 20-0 up with tries from Dominic Calvert and Henry McCreedy, with Nick Shillabeer kicking the rest of their points.
Techs did get a try back just before half-time courtesy of number eight Neil Herbert.
The second half was even with Martin Jarvis scoring a try for Techs and Gary Rooney one for Dartmouth.
Evans added: “It is still early days and it is the David Butt Memorial Trophy, not the league.
“We didn’t play last week, which is not an excuse; it’s just the way it is.
“But it is a long, old season. They turned us over down here at the start of last year. They put 37 points on us in the league, but then we went up to their place and beat them.
“It is disappointing, but we just have to move on. We have OPMs next week.”
OPMs got their first win in Pool C by overcoming Salcombe 17-0 away.
The visitors dominated territory and possession, but in wet conditions they struggled to turn it into points.
Matt Thompson gave the Old Boys the lead with a try in the corner in the 10th minute.
But then OPMs had to wait until the last 15 minutes to score again.
Martin Skelley scored a stunning individual try on 65 minutes, which Sammie Matts converted, before lock Billy Garrett crossed in the corner five minutes from time.
OPMs captain Henry Matthews said: “The weather had a bit of an affect. It absolutely hammered down for the first 20 minutes and the ground did not recover.
“We would probably say we weren’t at our best.
“I think we made a lot of mistakes – handling mistakes but also decisions as well – doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.
“We ran well and got into their 22, but we butchered chances when we were there.
“But overall we are happy with a win, but we did leave it a little bit late.”
Tamar Saracens and Plympton Victoria both had walkovers in Pool D of the competition.
St Columba & Torpoint pulled out of playing Tamar Saracens, who instead played Liskeard-Looe in a friendly, which they lost 16-10.
Ryan Deacon scored Sarries only try with Lewis Swatton kicking a penalty and a conversion.
DHSOB were unable to raise a side to play Plympton Victoria, who ended up taking on OPMs second team at Marsh Mills. Plym Vic won the game 48-26.