BARNSTAPLE hope to have flanker and captain Winston James fit and healthy for Saturday’s Pottington Road showdown with Chippenham.

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James was taken to hospital for a check up after suffering a neck injury in the 24-3 defeat at Brixham last Saturday.

The game at Astley Park was halted for 15 minutes while James was treated on the pitch.

A trip to casualty was recommended as a precaution, but nothing serious was found and James was released within an hour.

So good news for James, but the prognosis for injured stand-off Steve Perry isn’t so good.

“Steve only lasted 14 minutes before going off with a knee injury, and it looks like he could be standing on the sidelines for a while,” said Barnstaple’s director of rugby Kevin Squire.

Barum have lost two in a row now and need a win against Chippenham to avoid dropping into the bottom half of the table.

Squire had few complaints about the defeat at Brixham, although he felt Barum didn’t do too much to help their own cause at times.

“Brixham were fit, aggressive in the right way and bang up for it – the hallmarks of a good side,” said Squire

“Over the past couple of years they have become a force in Devon rugby and can go on to better things.We had a dodgy start as missed tackles cost us two early tries and we were 14 points down before we knew it. Brixham’s third try was down to good, expansive play when they created an overlap.

“In the second half I felt we were the better side and did everything but score. We had chances and I thought we were in for a try, but were called back for a forward pass. What was disappointing was to let them in for a bonus point try.”

Barnstaple’s three points came from a penalty kicked by Josh Squire.

BIDEFORD RECORD GOES

BIDEFORD’S unbeaten record in the Western Counties division went out of the window when they lost 33-31 at Ivybridge.

Adam Bradley and Ollie Wickett swapped penalties early on before Ivybridge’s Rory Wakeling put Luke Martell over for Bradley to give Ivybridge a 10-3 lead with the conversion.

Bideford levelled when a high-kick bounced up kindly for scrum-half Chris Snell, who scampered over for Wickett to convert,

When Ivybridge were turned over in midfield Bideford got the ball out to prolific finisher Sam Olde, whose inevitable try was improved by Wickett.

A catch-and-drive try credited to Simon Bright and converted by Wickett stretched the Bideford advantage.

When flanker Richie Norman joined up with the backs to cruise over, Wickett converted for a 31-10 Bideford lead.

Right on half time Ivybridge ran a penalty move and Tom Scoles got over.

Ivybridge came out for the second half looking to get back in the game and it didn’t take long before Tommy Newman went in under the bar and Bradley converted,

A Bradley penalty trimmed the lead then Mike Cox finished off a three-man overlap with a try that left a point in it.

Four minutes into time added on Bradley popped over the winning kick.

Bideford will be looking to make up for the dropped points by beating Kingsbridge at King George’s Field this Saturday.

MOLTON CLOSE ON LEADERS

SOUTH Molton are only one point behind leaders University of Exeter at the top of Devon One after winning 23-13 at Topsham.

The visitors edged a low-scoring opening period 6-5 courtesy of two penalties from Steven Ayres.

Topsham enjoyed a period of heavy pressure at the start of the second period, only to then see their opponents move the ball down the other end of the pitch and score through Reece Andrews.

Jack Knowles kicked a penalty for Tops before Dan Smith’s try extended South Molton’s lead.

The hosts continued to pile the pressure on their visitors, but their performance was littered with errors as the South Molton defence stood firm.

When the visiting side were awarded a penalty try, converted by Steven Ayres it looked bleak for Topsham, whose late try changed nothing.

FIRST WIN FOR TORRIE ...

A dominant second-half performance saw Torrington beat Salcombe 27-12 to claim their first win of the Devon One season.

Victory was sweet for the hosts who haven’t often been on the right side of the result over the past couple of seasons.

They didn’t have it easy against a Salcombe side who showed their fighting spirit in winning from 14-0 down last weekend against Topsham.

The hosts got on the board in the first half with a try from fly-half Craig Hooper which was converted by Nick Evans, who also added a penalty kick.

Salcombe though always remained in contention, mainly thanks to the kicking of Chris Drew who notched three penalty efforts before the break.

Within minutes of the second half restarting Charlie Bazell’s try gave the home side hope of victory and when Blain Quinlan added another following a quickly taken tap penalty all looked good for Torrington.

Salcombe responded with another Drew penalty but they didn’t have another fightback in them.

...AND FOR COMBE

Ilfracombe picked up their first victory of the season, winning 34-13 at Buckfastleigh in Devon Two.

First half scores from Matt Thomas, Sam Morgan-Russell and Sam Taylor put the visitors well in control, Buckfastleigh managing only two Steve Chapple penalties.

Greg Robinson crossed for the Ramblers after the break, but further Ilfracombe scores for Thomas and Harrison Perrin secured a bonus point victory.

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