IVYBRIDGE suffered their first defeat of 2018 when they were beaten 23-16 by struggling Hornets on the Somerset club’s artificial surface at Hutton Moor.
The Bridgers went 10-3 up in the South West Premier League match with a Luke Martell penalty and then a converted try by player-coach Lewis Paterson.
But Hornets levelled the contest just before the break and then scored a winning try in the second period while the visitors were down to 14 men for 10 minutes.
Ivybridge’s second half points came from penalties by Martell and a long-range effort by Mitch Pinkus.
The win moved Hornets of the foot off the table and has given them hope of closing the gap on the teams in front of them. It was the Somerset club’s second successive home win, having beaten Exmouth in the last game at Hutton Moor.
“It was very frustrating,” said Ivybridge coach Paterson. “It was just one of those games where we didn’t put the nails into the coffin. We had territory but we just did not convert it into points.
“However, fair play to Hornets, they really are good at home.
“I said at half-time that we had given them hope and they were going to come out firing and that is exactly what they did. They took their points well. They have a very young goalkicker and he seemed to hit everything whenever we made a mistake.
“When they had a young kicker like that we really needed to improve our discipline.
“But we came away with a point. I know they were bottom of the league but they have turned over some good teams at home so we always knew it would be a big challenge.
“It now has to be a learning curve to move forward again. Things are not always going to go our way and, hopefully, we can learn from it and build for next week.”
Plymstock Albion Oaks were relieved to claim a 10-8 away win in horrible conditions at Torrington.
They led 10-3 at half-time in the Cornwall/Devon League match, with Tom Richards kicking a penalty and then Corey Jamieson scoring a converted try under the posts just before the break.
Oaks had the wind in their favour second half, but could not add to their tally and right at the death Torrington scored a try out wide. However, fortunately, they were unable to add the conversion.
Oaks coach Callum Cload admitted he was relieved to have picked up the four points from a match that was a potential banana skin, especially in the poor conditions.
“It wasn’t a pitch for rugby,” said Cload. “It was 0-0 for about 30 minutes. Both teams defended really well.”
Cload thought his team had taken a hold of the game when Jamieson scored just before the break, but he was impressed with how bottom side Torrington responded to that blow.
“To be fair to Torrington they really came out (in the second half) and fought hard and scored in the corner with the last play of the game,” he said.
“It was a game which was more about mind over physicality. The boys really dug in and it’s a tick in the box for us.”
The only other two Plymouth Combination teams to play on Saturday were Old Techs and OPMs.
Old Techs remain at the foot of Devon One after they lost 25-0 to leaders Topsham.
The Exeter side, though, praised the Weston Mill club after they made it hard for them to secure the bonus point.
In the end Topsham did get the four tries they wanted courtesy of James Tapp, Max Brind, Aidan Drew and Tom Hubble.
OPMs moved up to third in Devon Two after beating Salcombe 24-0 at Brickfields.
The match had to be moved to Plymouth Albion’s top pitch as King George V Playing Fields were out of bounds.
OPMs have the best defensive record in the division and have not conceded a single try yet in a home game.
And they continued that form, despite the change of venues. They also managed to score four tries to pick up a full five points.
Billy Garrett and Mark Hardie both scored twice for them, with Sammy Matts added two conversions.
They could put themselves back in the promotion race next weekend if they were to beat unbeaten league leaders Buckfastleigh away.
Meanwhile at Keyham, Devonport Services colts entertained their Ivybridge counterparts after their Devon Merit Table clash with South Molton was postponed.
The teams played out a good match, which Services just edged 20-17.