RUGBY: Trio ready for Friday night action, while Techs to honour former president

IVYBRIDGE, Devonport Services and Saltash are all in Friday night action as the region’s rugby clubs continue their preparations for the 2021-22 season.

Services and Saltash will meet at the Rectory under floodlights (7.15pm). It will be Devonport’s third pre-season fixture, having played higher league Brixham and Ivybridge in the last two weeks.

But for Cornwall/Devon League side Saltash it will be their first run out of pre-season.

South West Premier outfit Ivybridge, meanwhile, will host a Taunton XV at Cross-in-Hand.

Ivybridge’s first team narrowly lost away to higher league Barnstaple in their opening pre-season match and then snatched a narrow 5-0 away win over lower league Services at the Rectory last Friday.

The match against Taunton will be the first home game for their senior side.

Their young second team – the Vandals – played Western Counties West side Kingsbridge on Wednesday night at Cross-in-Hand and went down 39-12.

The Vandals team included many players who have just moved up from colts and they battled hard against a strong Kingsbridge outfit, who dominated the scrums. With 20 minutes to go the Bridgers were only three points behind at 15-12 – but Kingsbridge’s experience and strength told in the final quarter.

Young scrum-half Luke Evans scored an interception try in the first half for Ivybridge before Hamish Harris added one from close range in the second period.

Kingsbridge had Joe Banfield scoring a hat-trick, with Jake Vincent bagging two and George Banfield and Ben Newman also crossing the whitewash.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Old Techs will pay tribute to their former club president John Boasden, who died earlier this year.

People from the club were unable to attend his funeral due to Covid restrictions and so have organised a President’s Game against fellow Devon One side Plymouth Argaum at Weston Mill to honour his life.

Boasden had been an active member of Techs for at least 75 years. He was fixture secretary for 44 years, starting in 1946, and then in 1988 became club president.

His wish was for his ashes to be scattered on the pitch, which will be done at 12.45pm on Saturday with family and friends present. There will then be a buffet in the bar before the game kicks off at 2.30pm. The whole club will then celebrate Boasden’s life in the clubhouse afterwards.

Techs and Argaum have both played one pre-season match each. Argaum lost to Western Counties side Wadebridge, while Techs drew with Plymstock Albion Oaks in mid-week.

Fellow Devon One side Tamar Saracens will also continue their pre-season preparations when they host Cornish club Veor at the Parkway (2.30pm). Sarries got their warm-up games underway last weekend against Tavistock.

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