Rugby

Devonport Services look to cause an upset in Devon Senior Shield final

Services in action against Okehampton last weekend (picture by Mark Andrews)

DEVONPORT Services’ first team will end their season on Sunday when they play Okehampton away in the Devon Senior Shield final (3pm).

The teams only met last weekend with Okehampton winning 41-7 at the Rectory to seal the South West One title.

Okes, coached by former Plymouth Albion players Gareth Evans, Bevan Armitage and Rob Dugard, want a league and cup double, but Services are hoping they can cause a shock at Showfield.

The hosts will be overwhelming favourites having won the league title, already beaten Services 41-7 and 49-5 this season and with the fact that Devonport have lost their last six matches and have a host of players unavailable for the final.

But Devonport coach Mike Lewis believes his team are keen to prove a point and end their season on a high.

“Some of our more senior players, who have been there every week, are really excited for it and think we have got a chance,” he said.

“We know we made a few silly errors last weekend and were a bit poor around the contact area, but the players have been trying to put right all week. They know what they have to change.

“Some of the guys are really keen to put wrongs right.”

Lewis would have loved the chance to pick from a full squad but with the game falling on Easter Sunday he has a host of unavailable players to add to those already missing through injury.

“What we are finding is that because the game is on Easter Sunday our Fijian contingent have church and other guys have got family commitments. Lots of players said they could play for the twos on the Saturday and in the Lockie Cup next Wednesday, but just can’t do the Sunday.

“It has also been a long season and others players are carrying injuries. We have 16 injured this week.

“It does seem to have been a particularly long season this year. Obviously, it the same length as any other, but every game has been a real tough one. We beat Coney Hill by 70 points at home but that was a real graft for us and we had to work hard for each try and picked up three injuries. Yet that was our easiest game.

“This season has been a real adjustment for some guys with the physicality in this league and the intensity of each game. Hopefully, we’ll be used to it for next year.

“But it is always nice to end the season with a cup final and we will still have a decent team.”

Plymstock Albion Oaks should have also been playing in a Devon cup final this weekend but that has been postponed to next Saturday due to Honiton’s involvement in the RFU Senior Vase semi-finals.

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