IVYBRIDGE endured another frustrating afternoon as they were beaten 26-7 away at second-placed Weston-super-Mare on Saturday in the South West Premier.
The Bridgers, who have not won since Christmas, had some good spells against Weston but could not turn their pressure into points, unlike their hosts.
“We started well and got some good line breaks but just could not find the final pass,” said player-coach Jamie Tripcony.
“We just did not get into our rhythm and, fair play to Weston, they took their chances.”
Tripcony added: “We are absolutely desperate for a win and we just have to keep working hard and re-group.”
Weston went in front on four minutes when they stole an Ivybridge line-out and Kyran Devitt touched down for a converted try.
Ivybridge then had some really good pressure but the hosts defended really well and made a couple of try-saving tackles.
The South Hams club should have scored but didn’t and Weston made them pay on 30 minutes by disrupting another Ivybridge line-out close to their line that allowed Brad Talbot to touch down.
And Ivybridge suffered another kick in the teeth when lock Tom Sugg scored to give his side a 19 point lead.
After the break, Ivybridge finally managed to get some points on the board when influential centre Charlie Briant touch-down for a converted try.
But they were unable to add to that tally and Weston eventually secured the try-scoring bonus point when prop Ollie Streeter crossed.
Life does not get any easier for Ivybridge who take on league leaders and Devon rivals Barnstaple in their next match.
SOUTH WEST ONE AND WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
PROMOTION-chasing Devonport Services dropped more valuable points on Saturday as they had to settle for a 20-20 draw away at 11th-placed Cleve in South West One.
Services are finding it tough on their travels in 2020. They are still to win on the road since the turn of the year, having also drawn at Sidmouth and lost at Bridgwater.
They did out-score Cleve four tries to three to also pick up a bonus point on Saturday, but they were not able to convert any of their touch-downs in the wind.
“We played some good rugby – some expansive stuff – but we just did not execute well enough,” said Services head coac Mike Lewis.
“Cleve had quite a good side out and they have got a bit form going. We always seem to play teams when they are in form.
“But if we had just got a couple of kicks or executed better we would have won.”
Services were always behind at Cleve. They went 3-0 down before coming back with a try by Corey Jamieson. Cleve, though, then went 15-5 ahead before Dylan Daley reduced the gap to 15-10 at half-time with a try.
After the interval Matt Gregory got Devonport’s third try when he went over in the corner after the visitors attacked down the blindside.
But Cleve went 20-15 ahead before Richard West pulled Services level with 15 minutes to go with a drive from the back of a maul.
“I think if the game had gone on a bit long we would have won,” said Lewis. “But we are just not playing for a full 80 minutes at the moment.”
Services stay in second place, but Hornets are the new leaders after they hammered previous table toppers Chew Valley 53-13 away.
In Western Counties West, Saltash stay at the foot of the table after losing 27-3 at league leaders Wellington, who have not lost at home for nearly 18 months.
The Ashes, though, will take confidence from how they played in Somerset, especially in the second half.
Wellington took the lead in the first minute when Nev Pitman broke through to score and Hooper converted. Full-back Hooper then kicked a penalty to put them 10-0.
Saltash’s only points of the afternoon came on 15 minutes when Kieran Down kicked a penalty to reduce the gap to seven points.
The visitors had some good pressure after that but Wellington defended well and then scored two tries before half-time courtesy of George Hodgson and Cam Venn to lead 22-3.
Saltash did have a lot of the play second half but just could not break down Wellington’s defence and 12 minutes from time the home club secured the bonus point when Chris Kitto went over.
CORNWALL/DEVON LEAGUE AND DEVON MERIT TABLE
Tom Richards kicked a late penalty to seal the win and the double over the Cornish club, who they had also beaten at Horsham Fields in October.
The victory has increased Oaks’ chances of securing second spot. They are now just five points behind Paignton with a game in hand. Third-placed Oaks also now have a seven-point advantage on fourth-placed Pirates Amateurs, who lost to Bude on Saturday.
“It is all to play for now,” admitted Oaks’ player-coach Aiden Taylor. “It’s just a case of who slips up.”
Taylor was full of praise for the way his team played down in Cornwall.
“We were fantastic,” he said. “Everyone who stepped on the pitch did a job.
“We said beforehand that we would just come down and play some rugby and we did and scored some fantastic tries.
“We had some massive ball carriers and we bullied them in the pack
“I think we did leave some points on the pitch, but, as I said, we did score some fantastic tries.”
Plymstock played into the wind first half and were only 22-20 down at half-time, with number eight Dave Byng, fly-half Richards and flanker Sam Snell scoring tries and Richards kicking a conversion and a penalty.
After the interval, Oaks went 27-22 in front with a try by Kieran Jamieson, which Richards converted.
Truro, though, hit back and went 36-27 ahead, only for Plymstock to snatch victory late on.
Richards got a second try, which he also converted, before adding a match-winning penalty in the closing stages.
Tavistock were unable to pick up another points in their battle to try and stay in the league as they were beaten 45-10 away at in-form Topsham.
Tavistock were in the match in the first half and were only 18-7 down at the break but after an injury to Ethan Lamerton they lost their way and Topsham showed why they have won their last four games.
Full-back Luke Edwardson scored four tries for the hosts, who also had fellow backs Ollie Gibbon, James Emmett and Jiggy Tapp touching down.
Tavistock had Lamerton scoring their only try before getting injured, with Rhys Davies converting and kicking a penalty.
“Topsham move the ball so well and we didn’t have much answer to their pace after the 45-minute mark,” admitted Tavistock’s Hammy Kerswill.
“Lots of injuries affected our continuity.”
Liskeard-Looe, in 11th spot, are five points clear of Tavistock with two games in hand after they drew 10-10 with Veor. Jordan Smith scored two tries for Liskeard.
In the Devon Merit Table, DHSOB continued their impressive winning run by beating St Columba & Torpoint 48-0 at Defiance Field.
The Old Boys have now won six league games in a row and could yet secure a top four finish.
St Columba, with a 18-man squad, did actually dominate the opening quarter but just could not score and, against the run of play, Shawn Mucunabitu gave DHSOB the lead with a try, which he also converted, on the visitors’ first foray into Saints’ half.
Jone Keni then scored from the halfway line, with Mucunabitu converting again, and on the stroke of half-time, Ben Vulavula increased the Old Boys’ lead with a third try, which Mucunabitu again converted.
After the interval Atu Kovela bagged two quick tries before loose-head prop Dion Allison crossed the whitewash.
Keni then got his second down the touchline before winger Toby Finch finished off a good move.