IVYBRIDGE suffered a third successive defeat in Regional One South West on Saturday as they were beaten 22-10 away at Lydney.
For the second week running the Bridgers paid for a slow start.
They found themselves 19-0 down at Regent Street before making a game of it second half with a try by Kristian Davies and a conversion and penalty from Matt Grieveson.
“We talked during the week about how a trip to Lydney was going to be tough,” said Ivybridge’s director of rugby Jamie Tripcony. “It has always been a tough place to go and play rugby.
“There were a few changes to the side this weekend, but coupled with that was a real opportunity for guys. We were really excited for those guys getting an opportunity.
“And everyone took that opportunity well, even if the scoreline maybe says differently.
“That’s good first-team minutes, which is really important for our development as a whole squad.”
He added: “It was tough. We didn’t start very well and we were three scores down at half-time.
“But at half-time we were able to voice where we were and where we wanted to be and we worked really hard that second half and put a lot more pride back in the shirt.
“We were able to go through the systems we wanted to and we fronted up defensively well, but ultimately we just gave ourselves too much to do.
“Lydney for 80 per cent of the game had a good control of it – they played their pitch very well.”
Ivybridge have shown this season that they can come back into games.
“That is a positive thing – the guys don’t give up and keep working hard for each other and they certainly did that this weekend,” said Tripcony.
“We feel we were better than last weekend, but we weren’t as good as we know we can be.
“So, with a good run of games coming up, we have to be on the money.
“We are going to be working really hard on Wednesday and Thursday – we have to work harder than we have ever worked before – to make sure we can try and turn teams over coming our way in the next four or five weeks.”
Ivybridge face two big games in the coming weeks, with Launceston visiting Cross-in-Hand this coming weekend and then they make the short trip to the Rectory the following Saturday to play Devonport Services.
DEVONPORT Services II have moved clear of the relegation zone in Counties Two Devon with a 57-14 away win at bottom side Brixham II.
It Services II’s first win in four games and they are up to eighth in the table.
They were stronger than in previous weeks on Saturday, with first team players Dylan Daley and James Hocking making their comebacks from injury and Joe Daley also getting some game-time after missing a couple of games.
Services II ended up scoring nine tries at Astley Park, with Toby Lean bagging two and Joe Daley, Joe McKinley, Ciaran Poat, Luke Stannard, Josh Hemmings, Matt Scott and Dylan Daley also crossing the whitewash. Tom West added six conversions.
In Counties Two Cornwall, Saltash were handed yet another walkover, this time by Helston.
The points they picked up means they move back up to second in the table, ahead of this coming weekend’s big match with leaders St Ives. Saltash, who have only been beaten once all season, have to win that game to keep alive their hopes of the title and promotion.
CUP holders Tavistock eased through to this year’s semi-finals of the Lockie Cup by beating the Peninsula Medical School 43-17 at Sandy Park on Saturday.
Tavistock were 43-5 up after 50 minutes, but they took their foot of the gas a bit in the second half and the Medics, with Plymouth Albion and Devonport Services back Tom Davies in their side, came back and finished the game strongly.
“It was a strange game,” said Tavistock head coach Joel Caddy. “We had quite a lot of players unavailable but still picked a decent side, however, even the warm-up was slightly flat and we started flat.
“We gave away silly penalties and we did not seem to play that well, but still scored 40-odd points.
“We had spurts in the game, but the second half they had nothing to lose and threw caution to the wind.
“We did finish with four lads under-19 in the backs and one in the forwards, so we have got a pretty young side.”
The Medics started the better and took an early lead with an unconverted try from close range by Toby Pye.
But then Tavistock got going and scored five tries in 20-odd minutes.
Winger Ed Tait got them underway with a try in the left corner, which was followed by two from full-back Jack Le Gassick in the opposite corner as Tavistock used the width of the pitch well.
Hooker Jack Lewis then scored a fine try, that George Hillson converted, before Martin Budden crossed for one on the same side to make the half-time score 29-5.
Tavistock took just four minutes of the second half to bag a sixth touch-down. Good runs by Le Gassick and Budden set up number eight Jamie Legg to score under the posts.
Lewis then got a second after the home side had pushed the Medics off a scrum to make it 43-5.
Both teams made changes at that point and it was the Medics who then had the better of the rest of the game.
Impressive number eight Adam Aslam-Baskeyfield scored a fine try for the Medics before lock Morgan Drewson scored in the left corner after the visitors had been held up over the line a couple of minutes earlier.
COUNTIES THREE DEVON WEST
LEADERS Plymouth Argaum have moved seven points clear of their city and title rivals Tamar Saracens after an eventful weekend in Devon West.
Argaum picked up a comfortable five points against Paignton II. Their hosts were short of players and so handed Argaum the walkover just before the game started, but the Plymouth side then lent them some players so that a game could be played, which ended after 50 minutes with Argaum winning 63-0.
Meanwhile, Tamar Saracens were beaten 34-14 by a strong Newton Abbot II side.
With no first team match, Newton Abbot were stronger than they have been in recent weeks and had former Argaum forward Ryan Chivers inspiring them from the back-row.
Newton Abbot II did have plenty of experience in their forwards with McKenzie Strath and Aaron Kelly also in their pack and the hosts pulled away in the second period.
In the first half, Sarries were only 5-0 behind, but then went 34-0 down after picking up three yellow cards in 15 minutes before finding some form in the closing stages.
“We did not really get going,” admitted Sarries’ director of rugby Pete Lethbridge. “They had a very good side out and were very quick at the breakdown.
“They were the better side on the day. In the final 10-15 minutes we finally woke up and scored two tries.”
Marc Cioffi and Jacob Blasdale scored Sarries’ tries, with Lewis Swatton converting them both.
The defeat has dropped Sarries down to third in the table, with Topsham II moving back up to second after they beat Salcombe 33-0 at home.
Argaum are five points clear of Topsham II, but they still have to visit them, Newton Abbot and Salcombe and have a derby match against Old Techs this coming weekend.
Argaum were frustrated with their trip to Paignton II as they did not know what was happening.
Paignton only had 11 players and at first it looked like they were going to play ‘Game On’ and Argam were going to reduce their side down to 12, but then Paignton did not have a front-row and wanted to start with uncontested scrums before agreeing to just hand the win to Argaum and share players to make a proper game.
“In the end they conceded the game about 10 minutes before kick-off so we then gave them four players – Dan Smith, Tom Worboys, Dan Bolt and Preston Wilkins – four of our best really,” said Argaum head coach Dean Avery.
“It was a frustrating day, but the main thing is we got a game and all our players were really good throughout. I was really impressed with our players when I asked for volunteers to go and play for them. Eight of them in the end played for them. It just goes to show what we are about.
“We ran in a lot of tries. It was 63-0 and 10 minutes into the second half when they had someone down injured and they said do you mind if we call the game, so that was that.”
New signing James Green scored two tries for Argaum, with Owen Gocher and Billy Stockwell also bagging two, while Chris Perkins, Dan Smith and Tom Mann also scored the whitewash.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Old Techs who were beaten 45-22 away at Teignmouth II.
Techs had comfortably overcome title-chasing Topsham II the week before, but had to make some changes for their trip to south Devon and paid for a poor second half.
They had been 15-12 up in the first half, but just lost their way after the interval.
“I don’t know what happened,” admitted Techs chairman David Evans. “But they had a good side out.
“We started off really well and were quite dominant but for whatever reason we imploded. It was disappointing.”
Tom Ryan scored Techs’ first try after number eight Billy Evans had broken from the back of a scrum. Ryan converted his try. Then Phil Flowers scored a second try and Ryan kicked a penalty.
Ryan scored a second converted try after the interval, but it was not enough for Techs to get anything out of the game.
DEVON MERIT TABLE
SALTASH II overcame a spirited Plympton Victoria side 24-12 at Moorlands Lane on Saturday in a competitive Devon Merit Table clash.
Plym Vic really battled hard against quite a strong Saltash II side. Their defence was particularly impressive and Saltash had to wait until deep in injury-time to score a fourth try.
Saltash’s Jack Thorn and Plym Vic’s Kobe Bryant exchanged early tries but after that there was no scoring until the final couple of minutes of the first half when the hosts scored two late tries to go 19-5 ahead.
The Ashes had plenty of pressure, but Plym Vic just kept defending well.
However, the breakthrough came in the 38th minute when Plym Vic had an attempted clearing kick charged down on their line and the ball fell for Devon Marshall to touch it down and Ryan Cruickshanks added the conversion.
And it got better for the Saltash team in first-half injury-time when centre Tom Hollyman scored after a good run and kick through by Cruickshanks.
Plym Vic thought they had scored with the last play of the half, but they were ruled to have gone into touch.
There was no scoring in the opening 30 minutes of the second period as both teams cancelled each other out. The referee did let the game flow at the breakdowns which resulted in plenty of turnovers.
In the 70th minute, Plym Vic got back into the game when fly-half Jordan Blair scored after a kick over the top to make it 19-10.
But Saltash upped their game in the closing stages and after Fin Jones had been held up, Steve Kelly scored with the last play.
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