IVYBRIDGE jumped up two places in the South West Premier League table by claiming a bonus-point away win at bottom side Royal Wootton Bassett.
Tries by winger Harrison Legge, centre Charlie Briant, flanker Alex Garner and number Adam Northcott helped them to a 27-18 victory that lifts them to seventh in the standings.
“The league is so tight at the minute that you can never underestimate winning away from home,” said director of rugby Jamie Tripcony afterwards.
“It was very pleasing as you can’t ask for much more than getting a five-point win.”
The first half was tight and was evenly balanced at 13-13 at the break.
“We chose to play against the wind first half so we were quite pleased with that (the half-time score),” said Tripcony.
“The conditions weren’t great so it was a bit scrappy, but we managed to get a foothold in the second half and push away.”
He added: “It was quite an intense game and the most pleasing thing was our defensive display in the last 10 minutes when we were right on our line. The guys really showed some great endeavour and some real good resilience to keep them out. They kept on working hard and putting in good tackles and shots, which was really pleasing.”
Backs Legge and Briant crossed in the first half for Ivybridge, with back-row forwards Garner and Northcott going over in the second period.
“They were all well-worked tries,” said Tripcony. “We went through out systems and managed to break them down eventually.”
Meanwhile, Ivybridge’s second team stay top of the Devon Merit Table Division One after beating their Devonport Services counterparts 47-0 at Cross-in-Hand on Saturday.
John Readey scored two tries, with Theo Clarke, Ben Hooper and Giles Clarke among their other try scorers.
SOUTH WEST ONE WEST
DEVONPORT Services have dropped down to fifth in the tight South West One West table after having to settle for 19-19 draw away at Wellington, who had started the day in 11th spot.
Having been 12-5 down, Services came back and were 19-12 ahead going into the final few minutes, but their Somerset hosts, who have an impressive home record, snatched a share of the points with a last-gasp converted try.
Although disappointed not to win, Devonport, who finished the match with 14 men after fly-half Richard West was sent off, felt they had to look at the away draw positively, especially with title-rivals St Austell slipping up at home to Sidmouth and third-placed Lydney losing to leaders Chew Valley.
“We’ll take the draw,” said West. “Obviously, we would have liked to have got the win but they (Wellington) played well.
“I thought we played well and it was a good game, but they just snatched a draw at the end.
“They got down in our 22 and just played phases and scored just wide of the posts.
“It was a shame, but the lads played well. We had four changes the night before, but we adapted well.
“We dominated in the scrum, but we didn’t get much from it.”
Services were missing a number of players, including captain Matt Gregory, centre Tom Richards and lock James McQuillan, and they handed a debut to winger Joe Rider, who has joined them from Saltash.
Rider had a hand in Services’ opening try as he found space and set up speedy full-back Matt Neyle to score.
But Wellington, under the watchful eye of Cornwall coach and former Plymouth Albion boss Graham Dawe, hit back and went 12-5 ahead with tries by Liam Phillips and Ash Harney.
Services levelled the match before half-time when they were awarded a penalty try from a scrum and after the break Toby Knowles timed a run perfectly to take a pass from West and burst through to score and put his side 19-12.
It looked like Devonport were going to hang on for the win, despite having West red carded for alleged dissent. But, right at the death, Wellington, who have claimed back-to-back promotions to come up from the Cornwall/Devon League, scored through George Hodgson and full-back Alex Davey calmly added the conversion to give his side a share of the points.
SALTASH came so close to securing their first double of the season as they narrowly lost 32-27 away at Torquay Athletic.
The Ashes had shocked the Tics earlier in the season when they beat them 43-17 at Moorlands Lane.
And had they been more clinical with their finishing in south Devon on Saturday they could easily have beaten them again.
As it was, they did return with two bonus points for scoring four tries and finishing within seven points of their opponents in an entertaining fixture, despite the poor weather.
Saltash took the lead after only three minutes with an unconverted try down the left wing by fly-half Kieran Down.
But Torquay replied with a penalty before Danny Snook scored a well-taken try to put Saltash 10-3 ahead.
The hosts equalised with a converted try on 19 minutes but not long later Saltash got a third try through Ryan Cruickshanks, which Down converted.
Torquay, though, responded well and went 22-17 ahead at the break with two tries.
Saltash came out brightly for the second half but unfortunately lost lock Joe Ronayne with a shoulder injury.
The visitors produced some good running and handing, but errors stopped them from improving their score until the dangerous Cruickshanks ran through the home defence on 58 minutes for an excellent score.
Torquay then missed a penalty before going back into the lead following a kick ahead on 63 minutes and further increased their score to 32-22 five minutes later with their fifth try.
The game became a bit heated, but five minutes from time Jay Moriarty scored a try to close the gap to one score.
Saltash, with youngster Lewis Woolaway impressing in the pack and Cruickshanks in the backs, went looking for a last-gasp winning try, but it would not come and they had to settle for the two points.
It was not a good day for the Plymouth Combination sides in the Cornwall/Devon League with Tavistock, Plymstock Albion Oaks and Liskeard-Looe also losing.
Tavistock suffered a second heavy defeat of the season to title-chasing Topsham.
The Sandy Park club had been beaten 72-0 by the Exeter side in October and on Saturday went down 62-17 at Bonfire Field.
They did manage three tries this time around. Backs Conor Packwood and George Hillson scored in the first half, while forward Martin Budden crossed the whitewash in the second period.
Plymstock Albion Oaks’ poor away form continued as they lost 22-7 at Cornish side Veor on Saturday.
Oaks, who sit fifth in the table, have won all-but one of their home league games this season but have only managed two wins on their travels.
They were missing a number of key players for the trip to Cornwall and sixth-placed Veor adapted to the horrible conditions the better.
Liskeard-Looe came agonisingly close to claiming their first away win as they narrowly lost 13-10 at Withycombe.
TAMAR Saracens made it a clean sweep of Plymouth derby victories this season as they narrowly edged out city rivals Plymouth Argaum 12-5 in a poor spectacle of an affair at the Parkway.
The stop-start game played in horrible conditions was eventually decided by a 73rd-minute penalty try.
There were a couple of talking points in the second half of the tight contest as 10 minutes before awarding the penalty try the referee had showed a second yellow card – and with a red – to Tamar Saracens’ number eight Sini Manu.
“The weather conditions were atrocious and I couldn’t understand some of the decisions, but we dogged it out,” said Tamar Saracens’ Pete Lethbridge.
“It was a hard-fought game, but enjoyable in the terms that we got the win.
“We’re happy we got a win but that’s about as much as I can really say about that game.”
Argaum’s head coach Brett Stroud said: “I thought we were the better side, but we just didn’t get in the right areas and that’s what it’s about – that and the set-piece. Our scrums went well but our line-out was poor.
“The conditions didn’t help and the refereeing didn’t help, but the boys stuck to it.”
He added: “It wasn’t a great watch to be fair, but I asked the boys to turn up and they did.
“I am proud of the boys. We showed up, but we didn’t kill the game off when we should have. We should have been in better positions, our kick game wasn’t the best and our line-outs weren’t great. We just weren’t clinical enough.
“We played Old Techs last week and got a win, but we didn’t start very well in that game, but this time we started really well and got straight into the game, but didn’t get what we deserved in the end.”
It was definitely a game that will not live long in the memory. Both teams made a lot of mistakes and there were a lot of penalties awarded.
Argaum made a decent start, but it was actually Saracens who took the lead when winger Gareth Morgan scored a good try in the left corner.
But Argaum quickly levelled when, on their first real foray into Sarries’ 22, they scored on the right through fly-half Billy Stockwell. The visitors were unlucky with the touchline conversion as the ball bounced off the upright.
Five minutes before half-time Sarries had Manu yellow carded at a ruck. Argaum got the penalty but rather than attempt a kick at goal they went for the corner but kicked it dead.
The visitors did have some good pressure just before the break but eventually their handling let them down.
There was nothing noteworthy until late in the second half when Manu was shown another yellow card and with it a red.
Sarries felt aggrieved and it seemed to inspire them up as they finally put some real pressure on Argaum’s line. They got penalty after penalty before the referee decided to award them a penalty try.
There was still time for Argaum to try and hit back but they could not get themselves in the right area of the pitch to launch a serious attack.
After a tough start to 2022, Old Techs returned to winning ways in style by beating struggling Torrington 45-5 at Weston Mill.
Techs had been struggling for players in recent weeks but welcomed back a number this weekend.
“Torrington didn’t have a bad side,” said Techs chairman David Evans. “Conditions were awful, but this weekend we had 22 players available.
“It meant that this week when people got tired we could bring other players on.
“It was nice to get a win. It is our first this year as our last was when we put 40-odd points on Totnes (December 18).
“But Torrington didn’t roll over – they kept fighting, so fair play to them.
“It was a good win in awful conditions, but despite the conditions our handling was decent.”
Techs led 17-5 at the break with the returning Rudi Baker, playing at hooker, getting them off the mark before fly-half Tom Ryan scored and then number eight Danny Bond went over.
After the interval, Techs, who had Kyle Hookway impressing on his return, really took command. They got a penalty try at a scrum before Derek Ingleson went over and then winger Johnny Young before Baker capped his man-of-the-match display with a second try.
Devon under-20 player Fred Smale once again starred for OPMs as they beat bottom side Buckfastleigh 35-3.
Smale once again scored a hat-trick of tries and also added five conversions to finish the day with an impressive individual haul of 25 points.
He has now scored more than 20 tries this season and his side still have six games to go.
OPMs opened the scoring after just two minutes when Pete Regan cross for a try, which Smale converted.
Then Aaron Stapleton bagged the Old Boys’ second on 12 minutes, which again was converted by Smale.
The young full-back then got his first try on 19 minutes before he added a second six minutes before half-time as OPMs led 28-3.
Conditions did not help the visitors in the second half and they could only add one more try with Smale crossing in the 55th minute.
“It’s a bonus point win, so we are really happy,” said OPMs coach Rick Orkney.
In the Devon Merit Table, Plympton Victoria were disappointed with their display as they lost 44-5 to Tavistock II. Dan Warne scored their only points in horrible conditions at St Mary’s.
“We just weren’t really in it,” admitted Plym Vic’s Chris Hunt. “Our defence didn’t knock people down. It was just one of those days.
“I think we could – and should – have done a bit better, but the positives were that we had a team, plus subs, and had a game.”
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