IVYBRIDGE were delighted to return home with a full five points from a tricky trip to bottom side Old Patesians.
The Bridgers ran in six tries to win 36-13 in a match played on a sloping pitch and in windy conditions.
The visitors played into the wind first half and managed to build up a 24-6 lead.
“We opted to play against the wind first half and actually that was when we played our best rugby,” said coach Jamie Tripcony. “As we weren’t able to kick we had to play a lot and so we knew our work-rate and energy had to be high to get ourselves out of our own half.
“We kept the ball really well in the first half.”
Tripcony knew Ivybridge could not afford to underestimate their Gloucestershire hosts, despite the fact that they had lost all their matches since their promotion from South West One East.
“We touched on that a lot during the week,” said Tripcony. “You can’t underestimate going away from home especially to these big Gloucestershire and Bristol teams. Going anywhere away from home is a tough ask, so we are very pleased that we managed to get a bonus point win.”
Billy Pinkus scored two tries for Ivybridge with their others coming from captain Charlie Briant, a fine individual effort from Matt Grieveson, who was playing at fly-half, number eight Robin Luscombe and young centre Will Lamont.
Ivybridge now have a weekend off, which Tripcony would rather not have.
“The break is going to be frustrating as we have been slowly building up our momentum again after losing away at Maidenhead,” he said. “We just want the games coming thick and fast.”
SOUTH WEST ONE & WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
DEVONPORT Services maintained their winning run at home with a 21-12 victory over a physical Keynsham side at the Rectory.
It was Services’ sixth win of the season and fourth at home since their promotion and came courtesy of tries by Matt Anstis, Ty Colwill and Rhys Williams.
However, despite the victory, Devonport’s coach Mike Lewis was not happy. He felt his team made harder work of the victory than they should have done.
“It was hard work,” he said. “We just make it hard for ourselves and made a rod for our own back.
“Sometimes we have to think about how we approach a game.
“We have been saying for three weeks about the approach we want to take as we have proved it works well in training and when we have done it in glimpses in games, but we have gone into the game and done something slightly different and off-beat which we haven’t practiced.
“I know I am sounding like we have lost when we have actually won, but we have let them (Keynsham) into the game. Yeah they are a good side but we gave them too much respect.
“And if we do that when we come up against bigger and better teams then we are going to come unstuck.
“Look at what happened against Okehampton. We have Launceston in a couple of weeks who are flying and if we do the same we are definitely not going to come away with a 21-12 win. This is why I get frustrated as I know there are better teams out there who I know we will have to play better against to do well, especially away.
“A win sometimes covers up cracks and I want to make it apparent that we have to win well.
“We let them carry a bit too much; we let them go that one step further and that gave them a head of steam.”
Keynsham had a massive pack and in the opening stages Services struggled at the scrums. The visitors did get an early penalty from the first scrum but they missed it.
There was little to note in the opening quarter with both teams testing each other out in the middle of the field.
However, the deadlock was finally broken on 26 minutes when Anstis scored under the posts after a great drive from Services following a line-out 24 metres out. Anstis also converted to make it 7-0.
In the closing stages of the first half, Keynsham had three scrums 10 metres out but a good tackle from Keir Murphy pushed the visitors into touch and relieved the pressure.
Services doubled their lead eight minutes into the second half when, after another good drive from a line-out, prop Ty Colwill scored. Anstis again converted.
But in the 54th minute the influential Murphy was sin-binned and Keynsham took advantage of the extra man to cut the gap to seven points with a good try.
Services, though, replied instantly with Williams picking off a poor Keynsham pass and running in to score a breakaway try, which Anstis converted.
Two minutes into injury-time, Keynsham claimed a second try but they missed the conversion and then opted not to go for kick from a penalty that could have earned them a bonus point.
In Western Counties West, Saltash gave unbeaten Crediton a major scare at Blagdon.
The Ashes, who went into the match on a three game winning run, led 8-7 at the break and were still in front with 10 minutes to go. However, second-placed Crediton dug deep and scored two late tries to win 19-8.
It was cruel that Saltash did not even pick up a bonus point for their efforts in east Devon, but their performance against a team riding high at the top end of the table will give them massive confidence.
Saltash had opened the scoring with a try down the wing by Harrison Reburn.
Crediton, though, hit back with a try by former Exeter Chiefs and Launceston player Jason Luff, which was converted, to put the hosts 7-5 ahead.
But Kieran Down edged Saltash back in front before the break and they stayed there until 10 minutes before time when Mark Lock went over from a drive and then Luff added his second.
PLYMSTOCK Albion Oaks find themselves three points clear at the top of the Cornwall/Devon League after they beat Lanner 16-6 away and Penryn lost at Bude.
Oaks really had to dig deep in Cornwall against a Lanner side previously unbeaten on their own soil. But Plymstock did enough to make it nine wins out of nine.
“It was one of the hardest games we have played this season,” said player-coach Aiden Taylor.
“You couldn’t kick the ball because of the wind and their pitch is wider than it is long. It is a horrible place to go and I can see why Honiton came unstuck there.
“But a win is a win and we are nine out of nine now. We have a rest week before we have Hayle where we will be looking to make it 10 out of 10.”
There was nothing in the game first half with the sides going in at the break level at 6-6. Al Murray kicked two monster long-range efforts for Oaks in the first 40 minutes before Corey Jamieson and Joe Brearley added second half tries.
“We are doing really well and there is a massive buzz around the club,” said Taylor. “Nine out of nine, you can’t really ask for anymore, but we just have to keep grounded. We are just trying to keep level headed and take one game at a time.”
However, there was more disappointment on their travels for Plymouth Argaum and Tavistock.
Tavistock lost 34-0 away at Topsham, while Argaum went down 47-21 at previously winless Hayle. Neither Tavistock nor Argaum have managed a win yet away from home.
Tavistock coach Hammy Kerswill felt belief let his side down against Topsham, who are gradually climbing the table after coming up from Devon One.
“I was impressed with Topsham,” said Kerswill. “They were good. Their speed to the breakdown and out wide was really good. They were clinical.
“We actually started really, really well. We put together some really good stuff, but from a turnover in their own half they ended up scoring. It was completely against the run of play and our heads dropped.”
He added: “There were glimpses of some good stuff, but ultimately the belief was not there. Upstairs we lost it and our ball retention was really poor at the breakdowns.”
Topsham led 15-0 at the break, but Tavistock, who impressed in the scrums, thought they might get a penalty try just before the break when they had four penalties in a row, but nothing came their way.
“If we had scored just before half-time we would have had some momentum,” said Kerswill. “We might still have struggled to win but I think it would have been a lot closer.”
Injury-hit Argaum were frustrated not to return with anything from bottom side Hayle. They could only manage three tries in Cornwall which came courtesy of JaKe Turfery (2) and Tom Worboys. Turfery kicked the conversions.
Elsewhere, Liskeard-Looe secured their third win of the season with a narrow 20-17 away victory at struggling Withycombe.
DEVON ONE AND DEVON MERIT TABLE
OPMs were ‘gutted’ after conceding a controversial drop-goal with the last play of the game to lose 9-8 at Buckfastleigh on Saturday.
The Old Boys were leading 8-6 with time virtually up on the clock. But they gave away a penalty and had a player sin-binned for a high tackle and Buckfastleigh went for goal. Harry Laity missed the penalty kick in the wind and OPMs grounded it in their in-goal area thinking time was up.
However, the referee decided there was still time for one more play and ruled that OPMs have taken the ball into their in-goal area and awarded Buckfastleigh a five-metre scrum. The scrum then went uncontested due to an injury to a Buckfastleigh player and from the set-piece, the hosts went inside and Laity dropped a goal to win the match.
“We are absolutely gutted,” said OPMs captain Billy Garratt.
The Old boys were 6-5 down at the break, with Laity kicking two penalties for the hosts and Garratt scoring a try from the back of a good scrum.
With 15 minutes to go Sammie Matts, returning from a wrist injury, came on and kicked a penalty to edge OPMs in front. It looked like they might become the first team outside the top three to beat Buckfastleigh until the late drama.
Despite the disappointment, OPMs were proud of their performance and Garratt felt there were plenty of positives.
“Our defence was incredible,” he said. “We have got back to that place where we are not letting tries in. As much as they tried they could not score.”
Old Techs were another team frustrated by late decisions in a game.
They lost 22-12 away at struggling Totnes after the hosts scored a late converted try after Techs had been reduced to 13 players.
The visitors, who had been struggling again to get a side out due to injuries and unavailabilities, were off the pace in the first half and trailed 15-0.
But they reduced that to 15-12 with a try from birthday both Bryan Milford and another from prop Rudi Baker, which Billy Evans converted.
But then the visitors, without star centre Matt Simmonds and goalkicker Joel Dicken, had two players sin-binned and Totnes scored to seal only their second win of the season.
“It was a little bit frustrating to be honest,” said chairman Dave Evans.
“They scored with the last play of the game when we were two players short.
“The first half we were poor. They (Totnes) were not very good, but we weren’t very good either. We really should have won.
“But our army lads should be back on November 12 and we’ve also got boys coming back from injury as well. I seriously think after Christmas we will be a far stronger side.
The positions between fourth and 10th change nearly every week in a tight Devon One.
Tamar Saracens dropped from seventh to second-from-bottom after losing 28-12 away at the inconsistent Torrington, who moved from ninth to fifth with their win.
In the Devon Merit Table, St Columba & Torpoint ended Torquay Athletic II’s unbeaten start to the season with a 29-12 win at Defiance Field.
That bonus point victory moves Oaks up to fourth in the standings. Nobody else in Division Two South & West have claimed anywhere close to as many bonus points as St Columba.
Saints, playing their first match in four weeks, were under pressure early on but took the lead with a try by Mike Grieve, which was converted by scrum-half Nathan Lacey.
Centre Kieron Simmons then added a second try for the hosts on 20 minutes.
Torquay suffered some injuries and the game went to 14-a-side and the visitors pulled a try back.
Grieve added a second before winger James Mitchell claimed their fourth. Grieve then claimed his hat-trick before a late consolation effort for Torquay.
DHSOB found in-form Salcombe too strong for them at Twomeads and lost 59-3.
Salcombe’s win took them to the top of the table with five league victories out of five.
DHSOB’s only points in the game came in the first half courtesy of a penalty.
Salcombe scored four tries in the opening 40 minutes to lead 24-3 before adding six more after the break.
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