IVYBRIDGE continued their unbeaten start to the season with an impressive 36-33 victory away at Maidenhead.
The Berkshire club had finished third last term and are known for their good home record, but Ivybridge went there missing a number of players and still returned with a full five points.
They ran in five tries on their first trip out of Devon this campaign and Maidenhead’s backs coach and World Cup winner Will Greenwood admitted the Bridgers ‘totally deserved an outstanding away win.’
Ivybridge, who had scored 11 tries against Launceston the previous week, made a great start in Berkshire and went 21-5 up thanks to touch-downs by Charlie Briant, Ben Watts and Jay Geraty, all of which were converted by Matt Grieveson.
But Maidenhead hit back and scored three unanswered tries to take a 26-21 lead at half-time.
Grieveson cut that gap with a penalty straight after the break before centre Will Lamont put his side back in front with a try, which Grieveson converted.
And it got better for the Bridgers when winger Tom Scoles scored an interception try to put his side 36-26 up. Maidenhead did add a late score but Ivybridge were able to hang on for the bonus point victory.
“We’re very happy; it was a great win,” said Ivybridge coach Jamie Tripcony afterwards.
“We started very well and got ourselves a few scores up, which is always nice, but Maidenhead are an incredibly strong side at home. They have quite a direct game-plan and we worked on that during the week. (Head coach) Gareth (Elliott) put some structures in place to try and stop them at source and for most of the time we did that, but not for all of the game. But when any team has momentum they are quite difficult to stop.
“Yet we were really pleased with the effort the guys showed. We had huge commitment and endeavour and they really put their bodies on the line to get a huge five-point away win.
He added: “We were missing one or two and had a few late changes, but that shows the strength in depth we have at Ivybridge at the minute.”
WESTERN COUNTIES WEST AND CORNWALL/DEVON LEAGUE
SALTASH came agonisingly close to causing an upset in Western Counties West on Saturday.
The Ashes visited Teignmouth, who were playing in South West One last season.
The south Devon club had won two out of their opening three games, with their only defeat a two-point loss to Honiton.
Saltash, in contrast, had lost their opening three matches but they pushed Teignmouth all the way before narrowly going down 23-18.
They did pick up a losing bonus point and, although they are bottom of the table at the end of the first month, they have played three out of their opening four games away from home.
They were winning 15-10 midway through the first half at Bitton Park, thanks to tries by James Moriaty and Will Morton, but crucially let in two tries before half-time to trail 20-15.
In the second half both teams cancelled each other out a bit and were only able to add a penalty apiece, with Kieron Down kicking Saltash’s.
“It’s a new team, a young one at that, trying a new process,” said Saltash’s player-coach Lewis Well. “It’ll take time but we are certainly going in the right direction.”
In the Cornwall/Devon League, Plymstock Albion Oaks put their poor record at Tavistock behind them to triumph 19-12 and make it four wins out of four.
Conditions did not help either side and both made plenty of mistakes in a poor, stop-start clash which was not helped by the referee.
Green added a second try just before half-time, which was converted by Hayden Coles, to give his side a 12-0 lead at the break.
That became 19-0 within 10 minutes of the re-start when prop James MacFarlane went over from close range and Coles again added the extras.
But Tavistock, who are yet to win a game this season, did finish strongly and Jack Easton scored two tries for them – one with the last play of the game while Oaks were down to 14 men – to secure them a bonus point.
Oaks player-coach Aiden Taylor said: “It’s a result away from home, so I’m happy with that, but I wasn’t happy with the way we conceded that try (at the end) and I feel we left another point out on the pitch.
“We had them on the ropes at times. You saw when it was dry we tore them to pieces, but then the rain came. We had a game-plan to keep it in their half, but that didn’t quite work out. Yet we have to be quite happy to come away to our bogey side, where we lost last year, and come away with four points.”
Tavistock coach Darren Chapple said: “The last 20 minutes we actually showed how we can play, but for the first 60 we didn’t really turn up. We were a bit disjointed and fair play to Oaks, they played better for 60 minutes than we did in our 20. You have to take your hat off to them – they deserved their win.
“But if the game had lasted another 10 minutes then it would have been interesting.”
He added: “A couple of things did not bounce our way, but you make your own luck.
“We had a couple of yellow cards as well early on which did not help our cause. We played for 20 minutes right in the middle of the game with 14 men.”
DEVON ONE AND DEVON MERIT TABLE
TAMAR Saracens made it three wins out of three in Devon One thanks to a strong second half showing away at OPMs.
Sarries triumphed 24-3 at King George V Playing Fields, but at half-time the game was scoreless at 0-0.
Neither side could find any cutting edge in the first 40 minutes of the derby fixture. But after the break the visitors scored three tries to end OPMs’ unbeaten start to the campaign.
Lewis Swatton and Sammie Matts exchanged penalties after half-time before Ryan Deacon got the game’s first try, which Swatton converted.
Chey Bryce then went over for Sarries, with Swatton again adding the extras, before summer arrival Elliott Jones scored for the second week running and Swatton again converted.
“I think we should have scored in the first half, but our final pass did not go to hand,” said Saracens head coach Pete Lethbridge. “But second half we just turned it up a little bit.
“I’m happy with that. It was a good performance by the lads. Our line speed was impressive. There are still things to work on but overall it was good.”
The other Plymouth derby on Saturday in Devon One – Old Techs v Plymouth Argaum – ended in a 10-10 draw.
It was the second week running Argaum had drawn a big derby clash, having shared the spoils with OPMs seven days earlier.
Former Techs captain Billy Evans, who left the Weston Mill club just before the start of the season to join Argaum, put his new side 3-0 ahead with a penalty.
But the hosts hit back with a try from Matt Simmonds after good play from a scrum. Ryan Tunnicliffe added the conversion to put Techs 7-3 ahead.
In a match littered with handling errors in the wet conditions, Argaum, who had been hit with a number of late drop-outs, restored their lead with a try by Ryan Chivers, back playing the 15-man game after a summer playing rugby league. Evans’ conversion bounded off the crossbar before going over to give the Roborough-based a 10-7 half-time lead.
Chances were few and far between in the second period but Techs, without a win yet this season, earned two points in their opening home match thanks to a Tunnicliffe penalty.
In the Devon Merit Table Division Two, St Columba & Torpoint narrowly lost 7-6 at home to Brixham Albion, while Tavistock II triumphed 27-12 away at Oaks II.
Plympton Victoria’s match with OPM II was only an Ellis Trophy fixture and not a joint league and cup game.
Plym Vic lost the cup tie 36-0 after an inspiration display by their former player Sam Stockdale.
“We did not play well,” admitted Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt. “We knew what Sam Stockdale could do but we didn’t close him down enough. I think he scored all-but one of their tries and that one he passed to someone else after crossing the line.
“But we should have done better. We did not attack too well – we never really got any moves going.”
DHSOB pulled out of visiting Salcombe in the Merit Table.
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