IVYBRIDGE made it three wins in a row with a hard-earned 28-3 victory over Hornets in wet conditions at Cross-in-Hand.
The home team scored three unanswered tries courtesy of Tom Scoles (2) and Pete Abrahams.
But it was their defence that caught the eye in only their second match of the season at Cross-in-Hand.
Hornets had plenty of possession and territory but were unable to cross Ivybridge’s line once.
Ivybridge, on the other hand, more often than not came away with points from trips into Hornets’ half, with some clever kicks from their backs proving crucial.
Mitch Pinkus gave them the lead in the fourth minute with a penalty. He then kicked another six minutes later to put them 6-0 up.
The Bridgers had the better of the opening quarter and on 16 minutes they scored the game’s opening try when a clever short line-out resulted in Abrahams scoring in the left corner. Mitch Pinkus, who once again had his kicking boots on, brilliantly converted.
Abrahams, who had been switched to flanker from the second-row, had a big game for Ivybridge.
But after that try, Hornets got into the match. They reduced the gap to 13-3 with a penalty on 21 minutes and then had a number of chances to score. They were held up over the line in the 39th minute and Ivybridge then defended well from the five-metre scrum.
With the last play of the half, Ivybridge were awarded a penalty on the halfway line. Mitch Pinkus went for goal but he did not connect properly with this effort.
However, after the break he did kick a penalty before winger Scoles finished off a great team try on 49 minutes. He went over in the left corner after some great passing and link-up play from an attack started on the other wing by Billy Pinkus. Mitch Pinkus added the tough conversion to make it 23-3.
Ivybridge then had replacement and former Hornets player Sean Disney yellow carded just minutes after coming on to the field, but they did well with 14 men. Paterson was just denied a try by going inches into touch after a great low swerving kick by Mitch Pinkus.
Paterson then tried a similar kick on 65 minutes and Hornets failed to gather the ball and actually somehow deflected it back five metres into the in-goal area where Scoles dived on it for his second try of the game.
Hornets pressed and pressed late on but still could not get over the whitewash.
“The thing that has been winning us games in the last few weeks has been our defence,” said Ivybridge player-coach Paterson.
“Losing the first two games by such a big margin, we had to go back and get a reaction – not beating ourselves up – we wanted a bit more faith and discipline in terms of defence.
“We have now only conceded two tries in three games, which is massive. Also not many teams are getting penalty kicks against us, that just shows our discipline.
“It was also nice to string a few bits of attack together. We kept them pinned in the 22. It wasn’t anything too fancy, but we are chipping away at the wins.
“We are coming away with ‘Ws’ and that’s all we can ask for.”
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
DEVONPORT Services are the new leaders of Western Counties West after impressively beating Chard 27-5 at the Rectory on Saturday.
Chard, relegated from South West One, arrived in Plymouth without a defeat to their name this season, but they were always second best against Services.
The home team got the best possible of starts when they won a five-metre scrum from the kick-off and scored from it, with Toby Knowles going over in the corner. Richard West converted to make it 7-0.
“We got off to the perfect start, we could have asked for better,” said team manager Kieran Leach.
Services camped in Chard’s half for the next half-an-hour, but the visitors defended well.
Chard hardly got out of their half and on one of the few occasions they did, Services counter-attacked and Knowles scored again after good hands by the forwards.
They then added another try just before half-time when Royal Navy full-back Rhys Williams, back from a tour to America, went over in the corner. West converted to make it 19-0 at half-time.
However, Chard scored straight after the break through Joe Mainwaring after a quick penalty.
West kicked a penalty to make it 22-5 before prop Mika Waqa finished the scoring with a try out wide.
“They (Chard) were a tough side,” added Leach. “Anyone who comes down from the South West league are going to be good.
“It was a tough game, but we got the win and bonus point. We kept our phases and patterns and our penalty count was down.”
PLYMSTOCK Albion Oaks returned to winning ways in style on Saturday after back-to-back defeats.
They hammered Torrington 57-11 to claim their first home victory of the campaign.
It was just what the Staddiscombe-based side needed after disappointing losses to Tavistock and Saltash.
“It was loads better than last week and exactly what we needed,” said coach Callum Cload.
“Torrington were good opposition, but we were clinical.”
He added: “It was not just about getting the win, but showing other teams in the league what we can do.”
The star of the show for Oaks was 17-year-old winger Regan Spencer, who was making his first senior league start.
He scored four tries after being promoted from the colts side.
Oaks led 26-6 at the break, despite not having the elements in their favour.
“The conditions did not favour us at all but the boys performed all the skills and executed them perfectly,” said Cload.
They then continued their form after the interval to finish with nine tries.
Apart from Spencer their other try scorers were number eight Jack Hardman (2), centre Tom Jordan, flanker George Hamblin and full-back Joe Rider. Tom Richards added six conversions.
Oaks’ win has moved them up to fifth in the table.
Saltash stay third behind Honiton and Penryn after beating Tavistock 37-10 at Moorlands Lane.
It was the perfect response for the Ashes to their surprising 22-10 defeat at Withycombe the previous week.
Tavistock, fresh from their big win over Plymstock Albion Oaks the previous week, were hoping they might be able to pull off a shock result in Cornwall, but they were not helped by losing captain Andrew Schuttkacker to injury in the warm-up.
The visitors, however, made a great start and took a 5-0 lead with a try by Phil Wilson from close range.
Tavistock held Saltash well in the opening quarter but on 23 minutes the home team finally got off the mark with a penalty from fly-half Harrison Reburn.
That seemed to give them impetus and almost immediately scored their first try when flanker Phil Eatwell fed winger Tom Martin to run in from 40-metres.
Reburn added the conversion and on 30 minutes the Ashes went over again following a well-worked move on the left which saw Lewis Wells score. Reburn again converted to put Saltash 17-5 up.
Tavistock gave themselves hope with a try by Jack Glover but before the break Reburn kicked another penalty to make the half-time score 20-10 in Ashes’ favour.
The second half was much of a stalemate as the wet conditions made handling difficult.
It was not until the 68th minute that Saltash scored again through centre Jason Carroll, converted by replacement fly-half Kieran Down.
The hosts sealed the bonus point with a try from skipper Ryan Rayner, converted by Reburn, who added a last minute penalty for the 37-10 win.
“We had a great first half,” said Tavistock coach Hammy Kerswill. “But they had a little too much out wide.
“However, considering poor availability and losing Shooie (Schuttkacker) it was a very spirited display.”
Plymouth Argaum’s mini winning run came crashing to an end as they were beaten 50-0 by promotion-chasing Wellington at a wet and miserable Bickleigh Down.
Argaum had overcome Torrington and Tavistock in their previous games, but Wellington, who were playing in Western Counties West last season and are coached by former Plymouth Albion boss Graham Dawe, were a different class.
Wellington, who had put 97 points on Pirates Amateurs the week before, scored eight tries, five in the second half when they were playing down the slope.
Among their scorers were father and son Tim and Cory Jenkinson.
The visitors’ other points came from tries by Micky Norman (2) Chris Kitto, Tyler Hart, Sandy Liddle and Danny Lee, with Alex Davey kicking five conversions.
DAVID BUTT TROPHY
TAMAR Saracens will play Dartmouth at home on October 14 for a place in the David Butt Trophy final.
Saracens’ place in the semi-finals was confirmed after they received a walkover against Plympton Victoria, meaning they finished top of Pool D.
Dartmouth, meanwhile, have topped Pool C after they beat OPMs 36-8.
OPMs had to win at Wessex Way to give themselves or Old Techs the chance to top the group.
But Dartmouth, having struggled to beat OPMs three weeks early, were in impressive form.
The home team led 12-3 at the break, with OPMs’ only points come from a Harry Kandampully penalty.
Dartmouth then pulled away in the second period with only Lewis Harmer offering any OPMs response.
Old Techs knew their chances of progressing were slim and, with availability problems, they used their match with Salcombe to have a look at different personal in different positions.
They managed to win 14-8 and end a two-game losing streak but they were not at their best in horrible conditions at Weston Mill.
All their points came in the first half with Jack Courtney and James Tregale scoring tries and Ryan Tunnicliffe adding two conversions.
“We had 15 or 16 people unavailable this week, so we tried players in different positions.
“We also lost Matt Simmonds early on. He cut the bottom of his chin and had to go to hospital for stitches.
“It was a bit of a mix-and-match team and the weather played a major part, but we won.
“We didn’t play particularly well. We weren’t very clinical, but it is what it is.
“They (Salcombe) are not a bad side. They dug in and fought for the ball.
“We were just grateful that they came down as it was our sponsors and old boys’ day.”
In the other David Butt Trophy game, St Columba & Torpoint beat DHSOB 49-10 at Stonehouse Creek.
With DSHOB still having availability problems the match ended up 10-a-side, but it was the first game the Old Boys had played for four weeks.
Lewis Stuart and Nathan Lacey were among St Columba’s scorers.