RUGBY ROUND-UP: Tavistock suffer a rare defeat, while OPMs secure Mayflower 400 Trophy

COUNTIES Two Devon champions Tavistock suffered another unhappy trip to Withycombe on Saturday as they were beaten 36-14 in their final Devon Junior Cup group match.

It was a dead rubber for Tavistock, who went into the fixture having already secured top spot in their group, but Withycombe knew they needed to win to keep in the race to top their pool and secure a home semi-final.

Tavistock, who were missing a number of players, were 14-5 up after 45 minutes at Raleigh Park with tries from Hammy Kerswill and Liam Watts, but they lost couple of players with injury, including influential scrum-half George Hillson, and things went against them in the second period.

Tavistock had beaten Withycombe 76-10 at home in the league in January, but they have now lost on their last three trips to Raleigh Park, including earlier in the season when they went down 22-12 – one of just two league defeats during the whole of their campaign.

Tavistock head coach Joel Caddy admitted it was ‘not a great day at the office’ for his side, who struggled to get to grips with the referee.

“We had a lot of players missing and we started the game with six front-rowers in the pack,” said Caddy.

“And we didn’t help ourselves at times, but we felt we were getting pinged for stuff they weren’t getting pinged for. We didn’t seem able to be able to compete at the breakdown.”

Tavistock are now waiting to see if Hillson will be fit for Lockie Cup final and Devon Junior Cup semi-final after damaging his ankle in tackle in the first half on Saturday.

Having trailed 14-5, Withycombe score five tries in the final 25 minutes. Mike Richards got two tries for the home team, while Tommy Foa, Callum Tose, Billy Sharland and Ben Bolwell also touched down for the hosts.

Counties Three Devon East champions OPMs won the Mayflower 400 Trophy by beating Devon West side Dartmouth 29-12 away on Saturday.

OPMs used the game to have a look at some colts and forwards Ellis Foale and Alberton Borneo both made their debuts for the first teams.

Flanker Foale celebrated his appearance with a try just before half-time to give OPMs the lead.

Dartmouth had taken an early lead before OPMs responded with a try by Sammy Matts.

The hosts did go 12-7 up with a second try before Matts kicked a penalty and then Foale scored.

After the interval OPMs pulled away with full-back Fred Smal scoring two tries, which were both converted by Matts.

Meanwhile, OPMs’ Matt Smale and Ethan Millard will both start for Devon Under-20s in their second County Championship group match of season against Somerset at Brixham on Sunday.

Also named in Devon’s starting line-up are Plymstock Albion Oaks’ Harvey Courtis, Ivybridge’s Jacob Winters and Jacob Gaskin, Devonport Services’ Isaiah Akinrowo and Marjon’s Fraswer Felton, while Tavistock’s Jack Giddy and Freddy Fuller, an Plymstock’s Duncn Bibby are named on the bench.

Devon narrowly beat Cornwall in their opening group game at Plymouth but they know they need to make home advantage tell again this weekend ahead of a tough trip to Gloucestershire on April 23.

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