TAVISTOCK edged out Plymouth Combination rivals Saltash in a low-scoring re-arranged Cornwall/Devon League match at Moorlands Lane on Saturday.
The visitors triumphed 10-6 in a game that had to be replayed after it was abandoned two weeks ago due to a serious injury to Tavistock’s Rhys Davies.
Saltash, still looking for their first win of the season, had been 5-0 up in that first match and they took the lead again on Saturday with a penalty from Kieran Down.
Midway through the first half, Tavistock, playing down the slope, hit back and Jack Easton scored in the corner.
On the stroke of half-time, Tavistock got a second try when centre Jake Le Gassick scored in the same downhill corner to give the visitors a 10-3 lead at the break.
There were no more scores until 11 minutes from time when Down kicked another penalty to close the gap to four points.
Saltash tried everything to snatch the win but Tavistock were able to hold out.
“Two years ago as soon as they got that second penalty I think we would have capitulated,” said Tavistock player-coach Hammy Kerswill. “So, in that sense it is a huge win for us.”
He added: “It was a game that could have gone either way. It was quite a scrappy with lots of penalties both ways.
“Our back-row was outstanding. We had a lot of crucial turnovers at crucial times and I think that is what won us the game. Our scrum was dominant again.”
Saltash’s big ball carriers like Lewis Well, Ryan Rayner and Devon Murray-Bennett did cause some problems in the middle of the park for Tavistock, but the visitors defended their 22 well.
“Our tackle height was too high and we let them get over the gain-line too easy at times, but it is an away win. We did a job, but they (Saltash) are far better than where they are in the league.”
It was a good day for Tavistock as their second team beat Plymstock Albion Oaks II 32-17 in a joint Ellis Trophy and Devon Merit Table fixture.
But it was a disappointing day for Plymstock as their first team were also knocked out of a cup competition. They lost 40-28 at home to the Peninsula Medical School in the Lockie Cup.
The cup tie was tight in the first half with just one score in it. The makeshift Oaks side were quite dominant up front, but as the game went on the Medics’ speed and fitness proved decisive.
Both teams scored four converted tries apiece, but four penalties for the Medics’ Mike Howell turned out to be the difference.
Howell also added a try and four conversions, with Archie Gillies getting two tries for the visitors to go with one from Ioan Phillips.
Oaks’ tries came from Alex Thomas, Mike Hunt, Aiden Taylor and Andrew Webb, with Al Murray kicking four conversions.
In the Devon Merit Table, Plymouth Fijians claimed a second consecutive win as they beat a University of Plymouth side 50-12 at Stonehouse Creek.
The Fijians, who had beaten Plympton Victoria 87-7 in their last match, were three tries to one up at half-time on Saturday.
They scored eight tries in total, with Shawn Mucunabitu getting two and Atu Kovula, Rabs Seru, Apete Badui, Aka Riva, Lemeki and Silivario Tuvunivono also going over. Riva got three conversions and Badui two.
Their only defeat so far this season is a one-score loss away at Torquay Athletic II.
The Fijians were grateful for the university for taking the fixture at short notice. The game featured as part of their national day celebrations.
In Division One of the Devon Merit Table, Ivybridge II beat their Newton Abbot counterparts 17-9 away, while Devonport Services II edged out Cullompton II 19-14 away.
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