SOUTH West Premier League side Ivybridge dug deep in the second half to see off Plymstock Albion Oaks on Wednesday evening in a pre-season match.
The Bridgers eventually ran out 45-10 winners against the Cornwall/Devon League outfit.
However, they had only been 14-5 up at the break and Oaks were still in the game until the 60th minute mark.
Nathan Reeves and George Wilson scored tries for Ivybridge in the first half, while Tom Richards crossed for Oaks.
In the second period, Reeves, Adam Clayson, Charlie Briant (2) and Bradley Legg scored for Ivybridge, with Jack Green scoring an interception try for Oaks.
Despite the scoreline, Oaks took plenty of positives from their opening pre-season game.
“It was a development Ivybridge side, but they were strong. They did convincingly win in the end, but we stuck with them for large portions of the game.
“There’s lots of little things for us to work on – forward fitness being one of them – but hopefully when we play teams at Cornwall/Devon level we will be all right.”
New signings Billy Evans and Will Booth got the chance to impress in the centre for Oaks.
“We have got a go-forward centre partnership now,” said Cload. “We have changed the dynamic of how we play which will hopefully be more apt for the Cornwall/Devon League.
“We have also got some good colts coming through.”
Oaks will also play Saltash and Tamar Saracens in pre-season. However, they are set to lose Cload before the league campaign starts as he has been offered a coaching career in Holland.
Ivybridge, meanwhile, will continue their pre-season campaign away at National Two South side Taunton on Saturday. The Bridgers had intended to take two teams to that game, but due to a wedding and Broadmasters they are struggling for numbers and so will just travel with one side.
They had opened their pre-season campaign at the weekend with a 38-0 home win over Western Counties West side Kingsbridge, with all the points coming in the second period.
Kingsbridge will be Devonport Services’ opponents on Friday night (7.15pm). The South Hams club will visit the Rectory for Services’ first pre-season game.
The two clubs were in the same division last term and played out to close matches.