IVYBRIDGE made it two wins out of two in Regional One South West on Saturday with a 45-27 home victory over Weston-super-Mare.
Weston had done the double over the Bridgers last season, but Ivybridge always looked like they would triumph this time around, although they did make it a bit harder work than it needed to be in the second half with two yellow cards.
Having narrowly beaten Exmouth at home on the opening day, Ivybridge are the early leaders of the division, where already eight of the 12 teams have tasted a defeat.
“We’re very happy with a five point win,” said Ivybridge’s director of rugby Jamie Tripcony.
“We are very pleased with the way the guys have bought into the systems and that showed again this week.
“The conditions allowed us to play a bit more this week, but we did make things slightly difficult for ourselves with a couple of sin-binnings so the guys really had to dig deep. However, their attitude and work-rate in those periods and the ability to stay calm as a team really helped. That was pleasing to see. The guys certainly dug deep for each other.”
He added: “We’ve had a good pre-season under our belts and we turned up well last weekend and did the same this week.
“Full credit to Weston, they had a very good scrum that caused us a lot of problems, but we were able to adapt and overcome that problem, so that was also pleasing from our point of view.”
Ivybridge took an early lead with a penalty by Matt Grieveson, but that was cancelled out 12 minutes later by one from Weston’s Archie Tilsey.
However, another Grieveson penalty and tries by Adam Northcott and Ben Watts put Ivybridge 21-6 up at half-time.
They increased their advantage after the interval when they were awarded a penalty try, but then had Will Peakman yellow carded for a technical infringement and Weston took advantage to close the gap with tries by Jack Press and Cameron Malson.
But nearly as soon as Peakman returned to the field he scored a try himself to give his side more breathing space.
However, Ivybridge soon found themselves a man short again when Owen Garner was yellow carded and Weston again took advantage to score a try through Joe Burgess.
But the hosts remained composed and made totally sure on the win late on with a Charlie Briant try.
Devonport Services’ home match with Camborne was postponed at the request of the Royal Navy following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Camborne said they wanted to play but that the postponement was upheld by the South West organising committee.
COUNTIES ONE WESTERN WEST
PLYMSTOCK Albion Oaks never recovered from a poor start as they were beaten 59-15 at Kingsbridge in their first away game in Western West.
Oaks, who had triumphed against Falmouth at home in their opening game, were without Harvey Courtis, Sean Wills, Corey Jamieson, Lewis Paterson, Ryan McKibbin, Owen Koehler and Elliot Hill and found Kingsbridge just too strong for them on the day.
Kingsbridge had finished in the top seven of Western Counties West last term so Oaks always knew it was going to be a difficult fixture.
“It was a bit of a tough day,” said player-coach Aiden Taylor. “We had a few lads missing.
“They (Kingsbridge) are a good team. Their backline is very good – they’ve got some very good players in there – and they put us to the sword, but I think we gifted them five tries.
“We were 12 points down in the first five minutes from not exiting properly and not kicking properly.”
He added: “It is what it is. It is a tough loss, but we have a home game next week against Paignton so we need to bounce back.
“It is going to be a tough season but if we can win our home games we should be all right.”
Hooker Taylor made it three tries in his opening two games with a touch down at High House. Pete Keanie kicked a penalty and Oaks were also awarded a penalty try, which Taylor says was down to head coach Dan Parkes, who started the match in the absence of props Courtis and Wills.
“He was our man of the match,” said Taylor. “He played 70 minutes at 49 and the penalty try that we got was all down to him.”
COUNTIES 2 CORNWALL
SALTASH have made a dream start to the 2022-23 Counties Two Cornwall season.
After hammering Camborne School of Mines 66-0 in their opening fixture, they then beat Hayle 74-0 away on Saturday to take an early lead in the table.
They have certainly continued their form from the end of last term, but already the new Counties Two Cornwall division is looking like two different leagues in one, which is what everyone feared.
On Saturday in that division there were two walkovers and two 70-point victories, which will have officials worrying.
Saltash were a massive 43-0 up at half-time on Saturday against a Hayle side, who tried their best but were no match for their south east Cornwall visitors.
The Ashes ended up scoring 12 tries, with their backs again running riot.
Saltash took less than two minutes to open the scoring with a try by Greg Eatwell, which was quickly followed by one from youngster Oli Crawford, who came into the side on Saturday.
The Ashes, with Lewis Stuart helping to pull the strings, were playing some incisive rugby and soon increased their lead with a Danny Snook try which was converted.
After 18 minutes, back Andy Walsh touched down and two minutes later Greg Eatwell went over under the posts for another try, which again was converted by full-back Ryan Cruickshanks to make it 31-0.
Walsh and Ryan Rayner added further tries, one converted, before the break to make it 43-0.
And the second half was only three minutes old when skipper Jay Moriarty scored a converted try on the left wing.
Cruickshanks then got a try and added the extras to make it 57-0.
Saltash then crossed the Hayle line on three more occasions before the end through Greg Eatwell and Ryan Cruickshanks (2).
With three tries and seven conversions, Cruickshanks ended the day with 29 points for Saltash, who had handed a debut to Matt Cocker in the second-row.
The visitors did not threaten the home line until the final stages but could not put any points on the board.
The one game in Counties Two Cornwall that was competitive on Saturday was at Lux Park where Liskeard-Looe narrowly lost 16-14 to Veor.
Liskeard paid for a slow start, going in at the break 13-0 down after giving away a couple of penalties and an interception try.
They went 16-0 down early in the second period but then the Lions rallied and really took the game to Veor.
Andrew Rowe got them back in the match with a try, which Mike McCarthy converted, and then they scored again with a great chip over the top and gather which allowed Kieran Underhill to touchdown under the posts. McCarthy added the extras but Liskeard just could not find a late winning score.
COUNTIES 2 DEVON
TAVISTOCK are the early leaders of the Counties Two Devon league after they claimed a second successive bonus point win on Saturday at South Molton.
After seeing off North Tawton 33-13 at home on the opening day, Tavistock overcame South Molton 31-24 away at the weekend.
Tavistock looked to be cruising to victory at Unicorn Park as they went 24-3 up at half-time, but they then wasted a host of chances and South Molton came back and snatched a losing bonus point.
“It’s probably lucky I don’t have any hair to lose,” admitted Tavistock’s head coach Joel Caddy afterwards.
“First half we were outstanding and we were 24-3 up at half-time. We were looking really good.
“Second half South Molton did come back at us but if you were writing a movie you would call it ‘101 ways to lose a game’. We did our best to throw it away.
“I think we knocked it on four times over the try line when attempting to score and then another time we were held up – that was probably five tries we should have scored. They were unforced mistakes as well.
“But we got the five points and so are happy with that. If we get five points every week, even if we only win by two points, then we are going to go pretty well.
“All in all it was a pretty good day for the club as the second team and colts also won.”
Ethan Lamerton got Tavistock off the mark with their first try, which was followed by one by Jared Hunter before Lamerton got another.
Scrum-half George Hillson got his customary try before Josh O’Neill scored the vital touch down when he dived on a loose ball in the in-goal area.
Caddy had praise for youngster Freddie Fuller, who came on for his debut in an unfamiliar position.
Ivybridge II got their first win of the season in Counties 2 Devon when they beat Barnstaple II 15-7 away.
Ben Hooper scored two tries for the Bridgers’ second team to go with one for fellow forward Jake Winters.
“That was a huge win away at Barnstaple,” said Ivybridge’s director of rugby Jamie Tripcony.
Devonport Services II’s game away at Honiton was postponed.
COUNTIES 3 DEVON WEST
TAMAR Saracens have 10 points out of 10 after their opening two games after seeing off city rivals Plymouth Argaum 40-28 in front of a decent crowd at a sunny Bickleigh Down on Saturday.
Sarries always had the edge in the game, with new scrum-half Matt Cates pulling the strings before having to go off, and they went 33-7 up.
But Argaum, despite missing key players like Jake Turfrey, Tom Worboys, Dan Smith and Cheyenne Edwards, showed good spirit and finished strongly to claim a try-scoring bonus point.
Both clubs felt there were positives from the entertaining game.
“It was better than last week,” said Tamar Saracens’ director of rugby Pete Lethbridge. “We gave away a couple of soft tries in the second half, but overall it was encouraging.
“The boys are playing with a bit of freedom, which (coaches) Mike (Lewis) Arran (Webb) and Cory (Moore) have brought in.
“It was just disappointing letting in those two tries in the last 10 minutes, but it’s good to get another 40-point win in our second game. And Argaum is always a tough place to come.
“There is still a lot to work on, but we’re really happy.”
Argaum’s new head coach Dean Avery said: “I am really proud of the boys. We had a lot of new guys come in for this game.
“The scrums were going back first half, but we managed to sort it out second half and that put us on the front foot and we got some points.
“Our backs are dangerous – we just need to continue going through our systems – but I am much more happier this week than I was last week. The overall performance was really good.
“Tamar Saracens are a good team. Fair play to Mike Lewis, he has drilled them well. They have a big set of forwards and they pushed us around a bit. They certainly deserved their win, but we stuck with them and got four tries and we maybe could have got within seven at the end.”
It got better for the visitors on 16 minutes when Ryan Currie scored after a great break started by full-back Frazer Tatchell, who chipped over Argaum’s defence and collected before off-loading inside. Best again converted to make it 14-0.
Argaum did not have much territory early on but when they did get into Saracens’ 22 they did score with Tom Holliday crossing from close range after the hosts ran a couple of penalties.
However, almost immediately the visitors hit back with former Hornets scrum-half Cates showing his speed to score a second try and make the half-time score 19-7.
In the opening 16 minutes of the second half, Saracens went 33-7 ahead with two more tries. The first came from the dangerous Tatchell before Marc Cioffi went over from close range. Both were converted by Lewis Swatton.
Holliday got a second for Argaum to cut the gap but a converted try by Richard Bush put Sarries 40-14 ahead.
However, in the final 10 minutes Argaum really came to life and influential centre Jack Morris scored two tries, one after a great break by Owen Goucher, to secure his team a bonus point. Billy Stockwell converted all four of the home side’s tries.
Old Techs were left with mixed feelings after narrowly losing 18-9 at home to Newton Abbot II in their opening Devon West fixture.
Techs were frustrated they did not get anything out of the game after the visitors scored a late try and penalty but were pleased with their performances against a side that had put 68 points on Oaks II the previous week.
“A lot of our army boys were out, but we actually played well and we were always in the game,” said Techs chairman David Evans.
“That was our first proper game and there’s a lot for us to build on.
“They scored a breakaway try near the end which made the scoreline a bit more flattering. Their game-management was good and their line-out was good – you can see they are a well-drilled side.”
Techs were frustrated a couple of times to be penalised when on Newton Abbot’s line.
Tom Ryan scored two first half penalties for Techs, who trailed 10-6 at the break, before Billy Evans closed the gap with another penalty in the second half before Newton Abbot sealed the game late on.
OPMs do not start their Devon East season until next week, but they warmed up for their opening game against Exeter Athletic with a 59-14 pre-season victory over Saltash II.
They led 21-0 at half-time thanks to two tries by Corbin Turner and one from Pete Regan, who converted them all.
In the second period, Kallan Malone, Mylo Connell, James Mitchell, Dan Bristow, Lewis Harmer and Regan added further touch-downs.
The Devon Merit Table games featuring Plymouth Fijians and DHSOB were both postponed.
Tavistock IIs ended up playing Torquay IIs in a friendly and won 30-21.
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