IVYBRIDGE secured their first away win of the season in style on Saturday as they beat former National League side Bournemouth 41-29.
It was their second successive South West Premier victory, having beaten Royal Wootton Bassett 56-31 at home the previous week.
They had to do it the hard way at Bournemouth having gone 14-0 down early on, but they turned it around well and were leading 32-17 early in the second half.
Cameron Setter, back in the team after missing last week’s game, started the comeback with an interception try.
Fellow centre Charlie Briant then added one of his own to pull the teams level.
The Bridgers were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes then but it did not hamper them and Briant got a second try to put them 19-14 ahead. Bournemouth’s Ryan Morrell and Ivybridge’s Matt Grieveson exchanged penalties as the visitors went in at half-time 22-17 ahead.
At the start of the second period, forward George Wilson scored Ivybridge’s fourth try following a quick tap penalty and then fit-again Tom Scoles broke through Bournemouth’s defence for a fifth.
Grieveson then kicked three penalties to keep Bournemouth from getting too close.
“We are very happy with that – it was a good away win,” said Ivybridge’s director of rugby Jamie Tripcony.
“We talked a lot about building on last week and making sure it wasn’t just a one-off game.
“The guys really worked hard during the week and trained really well.”
He added: “We got off to a slow start and they (Bournemouth) got a couple of scores in front, but we then managed to bring it level and from that moment on we really took hold of the game, which was really pleasing.
“We played in the right areas and made sure our basics were spot on – and for the majority of the game they were. That, along with a real hunger to defend and work hard for each other, showed what we can do.
“We have certainly progressed again, which is nice.
“What was really pleasing was our game management and how we finished off the game.
“At the moment we seem to be progressing each time we play and we are pleased with that.”
SOUTH WEST ONE WEST
DEVONPORT Services picked up yet another home win as they beat Keynsham 21-14 at the Rectory on Saturday.
Although Services, unbeaten at home since April 2019, did frustratingly miss out on a bonus-point fourth try they are keeping the pressure fellow high-flyers St Austell and Chew Valley.
They lead 7-0 at half-time with a try by Joe Daley, who had to play at hooker on Saturday in the absence of Sam Bennett.
In the second period they went 14-0 with another touch-down by Daley before Keynsham responded with one of their own.
Centre Tom Richards continued his hot-scoring rate with Devonport’s third try but as the hosts went looking for a fourth they were caught by Keynsham to set up nervous ending, despite the visitors going down to 14 men after picking up a red card.
“We probably tried to play for that bonus point a little too early in the game,” said Services’ Stuart Busfield. “We scored the third try and then tried to play out from our 22 in the hunt for the bonus and that is when they scored their second try.
“You would have thought we had lost the game at the end because the chaps were so disappointed (not to get a bonus). But I take heart out of that disappointment because it shows how much they care and they realised we were the better team.”
He added: “They (Keynsham) had some really big ball carriers, which should have really have caused us more problems than it did. We actually handled it very well, particularly in the red zone. Our defence was outstanding to be fair.
“Were we only one try better than them? No. We were certainly the better team for long periods but the score was a credit to them (Keynsham) and the way they played.
“The biggest thing I am proud of the boys about is that we encountered another Crediton situation, where the opposition went into disrupt mode after our first try. It made it an interesting encounter and a very tough game. But instead of responding the way we did against Crediton we were able to keep our shape.
“Things weren’t quite flowing as we would expect them to but it is never going to when you are playing a team that are disrupting you.
“If we take a positive away from the game it is that we were able to deal with that disruptive mentality and keep our shape and scored some nice tries.
“It was certainly a tough encounter but the boys coped with the physicality well. It was a really good test for us.”
Busfield had praise for Joe Daley for stepping in at hooker and impressing with two tries as the front-row again caught the eye, along with the rest of the pack.
TAVISTOCK head coach Joel Caddy was full of praise for the way his injury-hit team responded to last week’s horror show against Topsham.
The Sandy Park club were beaten 72-0 at home last Saturday but went to fourth-placed Torquay, who are unbeaten on their own ground, and pushed them all the way before going down 19-7.
Andrew Schuttkacker got Tavistock’s only try, which Jack Easton converted. Both those players had missed last week’s game.
“To be honest, I was pretty chuffed with the performance,” said Caddy after Saturday’s game.
“We maybe fluffed our lines a bit two or three times. We maybe got carried away a bit and if we had just been a bit more patient something more might have come out of it. But, all in all, it was a good game.
“After last week’s result the lads put a bit of pride back in the shirt. I can’t grumble with their effort.
“Obviously we don’t really want to be losing games but overall it was a pretty good display.”
He added: “Last week was just one of those games where everything went against us and everything went right for them (Topsham). They have got a pretty good backline – one or two of those players are possibly playing well below the level they should be playing at.
“But this week we were a lot better in most parts of the game than we possibly have been for a few weeks.
“Another day, if some passes had maybe gone to hand and people hadn’t got white-line fever a couple of times, it might have been a different result, but like I said, I can’t grumble with the lads for the effort they put in.
“Several lads stepped up from the Moorlanders (Tavistock’s second team). George Cole made his debut on the wing and he looked pretty handy. Unfortunately, we lost another two players to injury, which seems to be our season at the moment.”
Saltash, who had finally got their first win of the season last week by hammering Torquay 43-17 at home, had to settle for only a losing bonus point at Cornish rivals Veor on Saturday, losing 29-23.
The Ashes travelled to Veor with a much-changed team and found themselves 17-6 behind at the interval.
Kieran Down kicked two first half penalties for the visitors, who picked up a yellow card in the first period as Veor scored three tries.
After the interval, Veor went 24-6 up before Saltash, with Liall Honey impressing in the pack and out-of-position Phil Eatwell making good breaks at centre, came to life and started to match their hosts, who are sixth in the table.
Kieran Down scored a converted try in the 54th minute before Steve Hillman barged over five minutes from time.
Down then kicked a penalty to move Saltash to within a score with three minutes to go to set up a tense finish, but the visitors were unable to snatch the win at the death.
Plymstock Albion Oaks’ up-and-down season continued as they lost 37-20 at bogey team Bude.
Bude are unbeaten at home this term and sit second in the table so Oaks always knew it was going to be a tough ask in north Cornwall.
They did score three tries but it was just not enough to come away with any points.
Front-row forwards Aiden Taylor and Andrew Webb touched down for Oaks to go with a penalty try.
Liskeard-Looe just cannot buy a win this season. On Saturday they narrowly went down 19-14 at home to Newquay.
It was another game they could have won. It followed on from a 5-3 loss to Withycombe, a 14-13 reverse at Hayle and a 20-20 with Cullompton.
DEVON ONE AND DEVON MERIT TABLE
A TRY with the last play of the game secured Tamar Saracens a full five points as they beat Salcombe 22-0 at home.
It did look like Sarries were going to miss out on a valuable bonus point but in the 10th-minute of added on time, replacement Ed Cox got over in the right corner.
Sarries had made hard work of getting the five points against an improving Salcombe team, who had former Plymouth Albion flanker Eoghan Grace playing at fly-half.
Grace came up against his former Albion team-mate Davy McGregor, who started at number eight for Saracens. Both have gone into coaching at Devon One level this season.
Sarries played some good rugby at times in the first half, with the likes of speedy back Frazer Tatchell and Joe Wyatt looking dangerous.
Nine minutes later Sarries thought they had scored another in the same corner but it was not given.
However, three minutes before half-time the second try finally came when Joey Pook got the ball down from a catch-and-drive move and Dan Best added the conversion.
The second half was very stop-start and the game really struggled to flow.
Salcombe did press more but never really looked like breaking through Sarries’ defence.
The home team had another try disallowed in the 58th minute but they kept the pressure on and McGregor did get his side’s third try following a five-metre scrum.
There was very little to get excited about in the final 20 minutes of the game but with time up, Sarries got a penalty and they went for the corner and eventually Cox got over.
“It was better than last week (against Argaum), but it was very frustrating not to put them away earlier,” said Tamar Saracens’ PeteLethbridge.
“They (Salcombe) have got a good little set-up, but we just have to learn to kill teams off. We haven’t got there yet, but it is getting there.
“We also have to learn to play the ref better as well, but overall I’m happy with the result.
“The line-out could have been better, but the scrummaging could not have gone better and the backs played really well with what ball they had.”
Old Techs ran in eight tries away at Buckfastleigh to secure their biggest win of the season with a 50-3 triumph.
Techs had the bonus point wrapped up at half-time but they did not let up in the second period.
The Weston Mill club were boosted by having forwards Steve Wilkinson and James Douglas back after missing most of the season and by having a new-look backline that featured former Plymstock Albion Oaks players Brett Tunniclffe, Will Booth and Ben Hockey as well as new fly-half Tom Ryan and wingers Watisoni Radaubale and Dan Pullen. Matt Simmonds and Billy Evans played in the back-row.
Pullen ended up with a hat-trick of tries, Simmonds and Hockey both got two with Rudi Baker getting their other. Evans kicked five conversions.
“We played really well,” said Techs chairman Dave Evans. “It was a really decent performance.
“It is quite exciting to start getting everyone back.
“It was exciting to watch. We were pretty clinical on the whole. It was a decent performance.
“But they (Buckfastleigh) were game and really tried right to the end – they never gave up – and they were really good hosts as well. It was a decent day.”
OPMs are up to second in the table after they beat Dartmouth 26-14 away.
But the Old Boys did make hard work off seeing off Dartmouth, who started with 14 players and at one point even went down to 12.
OPMs were given a shock when Dartmouth went 14-0 up after just 23 minutes, but the visitors pulled a try back before half-time courtesy of Myles Connell, which Sammy Matts converted.
The second half did belong to the Old Boys. James Robinson got a second try for them just three minutes after the interval before top try-scorer Fred Smale got one on 55 minutes to put his side in front for the first time.
Shaun Grundy then got the all-important fourth in the 63rd minute.
Plymouth Argaum’s shocking away form continued on Saturday as they lost 50-11 to previously winless Torrington.
Argaum again had a makeshift team for an away fixture. Their side looked nothing like the one that has pushed Tamar Saracens so hard at home the previous week.
They did actually take the lead with a Cheyenne Edwards penalty, but then Torrington, who had handed Techs a walkover last week, got on top.
Edwards did kick another penalty second half to go with a try by Adi Hitchins, who had also scored in the away game at South Molton.
In the Devon Merit Table, Plympton Victoria lost 34-17 to the University of Plymouth at King George V Playing Fields.
Connor Archer scored both Plym Vic’s tries with Jordan Blair kicking a conversion and a penalty.
“The lads played pretty well,” said Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt. “It was just a case of the students having superior fitness. They are young and fit and reasonably well drilled and had lots of numbers and were able to make 12 interchanges.
“We did well in the areas you would expect us to – scrum and line-out etc – and we were quite pleased with our performance.”