Rugby

Ivybridge’s Paterson is considering his options for the 2019-20 rugby season

IVYBRIDGE’S player-coach Lewis Paterson says he is weighing up his options for next season.

Paterson is considering whether to just concentrate on playing or look to continue his coaching career away from Cross-in-Hand.

Ivybridge, who last weekend guaranteed their highest league finish in their history, are going to be bringing in a new head coach for 2019-20, which leaves Paterson, who has been combining that role with playing for a number of years, with a big decision to make.

“They (Ivybridge) have decided not to renew my contract,” admitted Paterson, who helped the club win promotion to level five after joining them from Launceston.

“We didn’t have a meeting or anything, it was just a quick phone call to say that they weren’t renewing my contract because they had someone else. It does feel like a lot of hard work that I’d done for the club had been pushed aside, but that is not anything to do with the players, the club or supporters. It was not their decision and they have been absolutely brilliant.”

He added: “There’s a lot of opportunities that have arisen for me – a lot of higher clubs offering me the chance to put a coaching CV forward – but it is just about weighing it all up. This club (Ivybridge) is my first love and do I just want to finish my playing days here?”

Paterson thought Ivybridge would be ending their season with a second successive Devon Cup final.

They won it for the first time in their history last year and the club thought they would have the chance to defend it on Easter Saturday after beating Brixham 37-28 last weekend.

This year, instead of having separate cup games, the finalists have been decided on their record against other county teams in their league fixtures. An internal ‘Devon League’ has been running and Ivybridge thought they had finished second in that table behind Barnstaple to book a spot in the final.

Exmouth did have the same number of points as them, but Ivybridge had more wins and a better points difference. However, rather than take wins or points difference as the first determining factor when separating two teams with the same number of points, Devon’s cup organisers said it was in the rules that the head-to-head record between the two clubs level on points counted first. Ivybridge and Exmouth both beat each other at their own grounds but Exmouth scored one more point over the two games – they lost 41-31 at Cross-in-Hand but won 43-32 at the Imperial Ground – so it has been ruled that they will play Barnstaple in the final on April 20, despite not winning as many Devon derbies over the season.

It means Ivybridge’s final game of 2018-19 will be this Saturday when they travel across the Tamar to play Camborne.

Meanwhile, Tavistock and Saltash II will meet tonight at Moorlands Lane to decide who will play Tamar Saracens in next Wednesday’s RNEC Cup final.

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