Devonport Services overcome Oaks in competitive pre-season match at Horsham Fields

DEVONPORT Services and Plymstock Albion Oaks continued their build-up for the new rugby season with a competitive ‘friendly’ match at Horsham Fields on Tuesday evening.

Newly-promoted South West One side Services triumphed 17-5 against Cornwall/Devon League outfit Oaks, but both clubs took a lot from the game.

Devonport used the last minute fixture to have a look at a number of youngsters and players that did not feature against Kingsbridge last Friday, while Oaks took the chance to field a couple of prospective players and build on their performance against Ivybridge last week.

Oaks had beaten Services’ second team in April’s Lockie Cup final, but Devonport never really looked like losing on Tuesday. However, Plymstock gave them a really good test, especially in the first and final quarters.

Services took a 7-0 lead in the 16th minute when centre Toby Knowles scored a well-worked try under the posts after good play from a line-out.

But Oaks cut the gap when summer signing Will Booth scored on the right. Fellow new centre arrival Billy Evans, though, couldn’t add the conversion.

Both sides had players sin-binned but there was no further scoring in the first half.

Services came out strong in the second period after making a number of changes. Andy Pond nearly scored in the left corner but tried to off-load on the try line only to pass to an Oaks player.

However, on 52 minutes the visitors did take the lead when winger Matt Middlemiss scored on the right after good play from a five-metre scrum on the left.

And six minutes later youngster Liam Jarvis crossed from close range for a third try for Services.

In the final 20 minutes, Oaks did have a lot of pressure on Devonport’s line, but the visitors defended well.

Services will next play Ivybridge at the Rectory on Friday, while Oaks will visit Saltash on Saturday.

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