Gallery / Rugby

RUGBY REPORTS: Pinkus helps inspire Ivybridge to second successive away win

OPMs attack against Old Techs in the David Butt Memorial Trophy

MITCH PINKUS scored 17 points as Ivybridge beat Newbury Blues 22-13 at Monks Lane to claim a second successive away victory.

Ivybridge, who had overcome Lydney away the previous week, took control of Saturday’s game in the second half.

The match was finely poised at 10-10 at the break, with Charlie Briant scoring the visitors’ only try in the first 40 minutes.

Newbury did go 13-10 ahead early in the second period before Pinkus inspired Ivybridge with two chip-and-chase tries.

“It was a very good result,” said Ivybridge player-coach Lewis Paterson. “We went behind early on and were 10-3 down for a bit, but we scored a good try to level it up and I think we were in control.

“We went up with a young side and our attitude was fantastic. We were really calm and controlled. It was nice to see the maturity in a young squad.

“I think the most positive thing again was that we left so many points out on the pitch. I think it is coming that we are going to get a big win because we are starting to open up teams and making lots of breaks.”

He added: “To have two away wins back-to-back is huge. We didn’t know what to expect from Newbury so it was nice to just focus on ourselves and make sure we were doing the right things.

“Now we just need to work on trying to be a bit more clinical.”

WESTERN COUNTIES WEST

DEVONPORT Services claimed their first away win of the season with a 35-10 victory at Burnham-on-Sea.

The bonus-point success leaves Services second in the table, level on points with leaders Kingsbridge.

Coach Mike Lewis, though, felt his team, whose only defeat this season was a 36-34 reverse at Torquay, made hard work of picking five points in Somerset.

“I am pretty chuffed with the result, but we went a long way about getting it,” said Lewis.

“It wasn’t a classic – there were quite a few mistakes.

“But it is a tough trip. I know it is only one-and-a-half hours to travel, but these guys are not used to travelling that far to play rugby.”

Services had lost at Burnham towards the end of last season after making a really slow start to that game in March.

This time around they made the best possible of starts, going 12-0 up after 15 minutes thanks to tries by Adrian Montague and Andy Pond.

But Services then let Burnham back into the game and the home team closed to within two points at the break.

“At half-time it looked like it could go either way,” said Lewis.

“They (Burnham) had the momentum, but we managed to get the first score in the second half, which put them on the back foot and we just kept the scoreboard ticking from there.”

After the break Matt Gregory and Chad Brading went over for further tries with West converting both and also adding a drop-goal and penalty.

Devonport really should have had two more tries through Toby Knowles and Sam Bennett.

CORNWALL/DEVON LEAGUE

TAVISTOCK produced one of the performances of the day in the Cornwall/Devon League to beat Plymstock Albion Oaks 29-0.

The Sandy Park club scored five unanswered tries on their vice-presidents and sponsors’ day.

Three of those touch-downs came in the first half as they led 17-0 at the break.

Teenager Ethan Lamerton gave them the lead in the first five minutes when he finished off a breakaway move involving Ash Miller and Josh Langton.

Tavistock, with Phil Wilson impressing at hooker, then quickly went 10-0 up when Mark Friend found himself on the end of a move and he handed off the last man to score.

After their defeat to Argaum the previous week, Tavistock had done some scrumming work with former player Darren Chapple.

The extra work on their scrum in training paid off on Saturday. They enjoyed the upper hand in the set piece and before half-time were awarded a penalty try after pushing Oaks back from a five-metre scrum.

After the interval they scored another try from the set-piece. They opted for two scrums from penalties and on the second one Andrew Schuttaker dropped on the ball to claim the all-important fourth try.

Youngster Lamerton, playing on the wing, then added his second try when he ran in from around 30 metres

“It was a complete performance,” said Tavistock coach Hammy Kerswill afterwards.

“They have been one of our bogey teams so to beat them quite comfortably and right the wrongs from last week was really good.

“Our scrum was really positive and we won every line-out.

“We were a bit flat the last 10 minutes. We had to defend but we did it very well. We have not yet conceded at home.”

Plymstock coach Callum Cload did not make any excuses for his team’s loss.

“We were shocking,” was his honest assessment. “We trained really well during the week and felt really positive going into the game, but conceded two soft tries inside the first five minutes and heads just dropped really.

“There was not much resilience from the boys. We could not really put anything together.

“I suppose one positive is that other teams did not really runaway from us. Everyone that we wanted to lose did, but we lost as well so could not capitalise.

“It is now just a case of reviewing how things are done, not what is done.

“It is a learning curve. We have changed a lot this season. Once everything has been fully learnt I think we will be very good.”

Plymouth Argaum made it two wins in a row with a 33-22 victory away at Torrington on Saturday.

Argaum, who had kick-started their season the week before with a home win over Tavistock, took a 19-5 half-time lead.

But in the second period they had three players sin-binned and Torrington came back.

Argaum, though, were able to keep their hosts from getting too close to them.

John Fulton was their key man, scoring a hat-trick of tries, with their other try coming from Brad Westell.

“I am really, really happy with the win, but we know we let ourselves down in certain areas,” said Argaum coach Mark Sullivan afterwards.

“If you ask the players they will say they are happy with the tries they scored but not necessarily happy with the way they played.

“We were strong up front, but we picked up a number of yellow cards for various reasons and were down to 12 players at one point, but that shows the resolve of the team to be able to hold them and still play.

“I felt the players played the game-plan they wanted to, but Torrington did get into us and we did lose our heads here and there.

“But I am so chuffed for the lads with this win because we had our two centres out so we were bringing people in from the second team and this just demonstrates the depth that we have now. We can now bring two or three people in and still put together the game and get the win at the end of it.”

Saltash suffered their first defeat of the season when they surprisingly went down 22-10 away at Withycombe.

The Ashes had gone into the match as the only team to have claimed bonus point wins in their opening three matches, but they returned from Exmouth totally empty handed.

Playing down the slope, they did make a good start and took the lead on 12 minutes when Will Morton made a 60-metre break before off-loading to Alex Thomson.

Withycombe pulled level but Saltash again went in front on 32 minutes when Kieran Downs went over in the corner.

But just before the break, Withycombe went 12-10 ahead with a converted try and the hosts did not look back in the second period.

DAVID BUTT MEMORIAL TROPHY

GAVIN REA ended his OPMs career in style by kicking 10 points as they overcome big rivals Old Techs 20-15 at home in Pool C of the David Butt Memorial Trophy.

Rea was captain of OPMs for the day and he was in fine form with the boot, kicking two tricky conversions and two penalties.

OPMs were clinical in the first half and lead 20-5 at the break, but then had to defend for most of the second period.

Techs, using their forward game, camped on OPMs line for much of the second half, but the home side defended well. It was only in injury-time that the visitors got within a score.

Techs did end up scoring three tries to OPMs’ two, but they did not kick any conversions and could not deny Rae a memorable final match.

“It was good to get the win,” said Rea, who is moving away from Plymouth for work. “The boys were really up for it and it was a pleasure to play my last game with them.

“Everyone was up for it and they were all supporting me. It was great.”

He added: “It was hard work. We didn’t get any ball second half, but everyone dug in and stuck it out.”

Old Techs chairman David Evans said: “For the third game on the trot we have given the opposition quite a big lead.

“I think against these guys (OPMs) in the first game we were 10-0 down within a few minutes and we did it again. We were 17-0 down this time and that leaves a pretty steep hill to climb.

“Second half we dominated and over the game we scored three tries to their two, but obviously Gavin, on his last game, was kicking them from everywhere anytime we gave a penalty away in the half.

“We said in the changing room if we had played 80 minutes like the second 40 we would have won the game.

“We are still not clinical enough at the moment. We need to be more clinical. We put lots of pressure on and then we relieve the pressure ourselves, with a knock-on or a penalty.”

Some poor kicking in open play contributed to Techs’ downfall in the first half.

OPMs winger Martin Skelley scored a good try down the left in the sixth minute after Techs had kicked a ball straight to the home team trying to clear their lines.

They then failed to find touch with a penalty ahead of OPMs’ second try, which came on 14 minutes from fellow winger Chris Harmer, who got injured in the process.

Rea converted both early tries and then added a penalty on 24 minutes.

Techs did get back into the game with a try from close range from Neil Herbert, but Rea, who finished with 100 per cent kicking record, put OPMs 15 points ahead at the break with another penalty.

From the restart, Techs camped on OPMs’ line. They should have scored after going for line-out after line-out following a host of penalties but just could not get over the whitewash.

They eventually did in the 54th minute courtesy of Matt Simmonds, but then had to wait until injury-time to score again through Danny Bond after OPMs had finally been shown a yellow card for the number of penalties given away.

Techs had two minutes to try and snatch victory but could not take it.

St Columba & Torpoint claimed their first win of the season with a 43-24 Pool D victory over Plympton Victoria at Defiance Field.

The victory made up for Saints’ narrow last-gasp 33-31 loss at Marsh Mills on the opening day of the season.

“It was a good win,” said Saints’ coach Damien Chambers. “They (Plym Vic) have got an amazing centre, who always scores tries against us, but we did very well overall.

“We have got good numbers this season but everyone is very young people. We just want to try and fulfil every league fixture this season.”

Scrum-half Lewis Stuart, prop Mike Greaves, Mo Morris and Stu Simmonds were among Saints’ points scorer, while Sam Stockdale scored a hat-trick of tries and two conversions for Plym Vic, with Nathan Couzens also touching down for a try for the visitors.

Plym Vic spokesman Chris Hunt said: “We played well in 10 or 15 minute blocks but that was not enough to win the game.

“When we weren’t playing well we let them back into it and they took their opportunities well.

“They stuck some tries in and we couldn’t keep up. We got a bit behind and then it is difficult to get back up to speed when you have fallen off that intensity.”

Tamar Saracens had another walkover in the same group as DHSOB once again were unable to get a team out.

However, Saracens did beat the Peninsula Medical School in a second team fixture and will play the Royal Navy Western Region on Wednesday at the Rectory.

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