Wednesday, September 25, 2013
This weekend’s rugby round-up
BARNSTAPLE had three players sin-binned but held out under pressure to beat Amersham 19-7 at Pottington Road.
It was all penalties in the first half with newcomer Matt Down landing a couple to put Barum 6-0 up.
Down kicked a third penalty in the second half for a 9-0 lead.
Thirteen minutes from time Barum skipper Winston James went over and at 14-0 it looked all over.
The cardings started when Jon Down was binned and Amersham scored a try and converted from the next play.
Barum replied with Luke Berry going in for a corner try and a 19-7 lead.
Then it got a bit more fractious. Firstly, Barum lock Tom Skelding and opposite number Jono Bradbury were yellow-carded for fighting.
Then skipper James made the mistake of getting involved, earning himself a yellow card. To make matters worse tempers flared on the way to the sin-bin after James exchanged differences of opinion with an Amersham replacement and had to be helped away.
Barnstaple are away to Avonmouth Old Boys this Saturday.
BIDEFORD may have had a rough start in South West One following promotion, but there’s no gloom and doom at King George’s.
Defeats by Bridgwater, St Austell and 16-7 Camborne last Saturday were not the start Bideford were hoping for in their first season at level six on the league ladder.
It”s not that long ago - 2007 to be exact - that Bideford were still a Devon One side. That”s level nine in ladder terms.
Bideford have come a long way in a short time and no one knows that better than current director of rugby James Morris.
Morris was the promotion-wining captain when Bideford left Devon One and was still playing the odd game two years ago when they won the Cornwall & Devon Division.
Bideford haven’t had a lot of luck with injuries in the opening weeks of the season. But when the squad is back at full strength Morris is confident the team will more than hold their own.
“Put it this way, we feel we are in the right division for our ability and not at all out of our depth,” said Morris.
“Bridgwater beat us in our first game, but they did the same to Camborne last Saturday and were top of the table after two matches.
‘to lose against St Austell was disappointing as we did better than that against them last year when we were in the same division.”
Bideford do have experienced players in the backs, but the problem is they haven’t seen much of them so far.
‘the average age of the side is 23 or 24 and I think there are only two players - Harvey Brown and Neil Giddy - who are over 30.
‘there are some real youngsters in the pack, Will Copp and Ollie Sanders, and it will take a game or two for them to bed in.
“So far we have been mixing it up front without any trouble. If we have a problem it is in the backs, where we lack some sharpness and maybe a bit of experience?”
Bideford haven’t seen veteran centre Andy Loosemore (shoulder) yet - and lost midfield men James Buckland and Adam Crouch to injuries after the Bridgwater game.
“When you have a young side you need a few older heads in there, just to make use of their experience,” said Morris.
“I wouldn’t say we are struggling in the backs, but that is where we need players like Giddy and Wickett who have been around a long time.
‘there is talk of Andrew Shapland-McKenzie coming out of retirement - and if he does that will help.”
Having worked hard to get to South West One in a relatively short time, Bideford don’t want to slip back.
‘the ambition is to stay up and I am confident we will win the games which will enable us to do that,” said Morris.
Bideford are back at King George V this Saturday for the visit of Chard.
TWO tries in the final 10 minutes stole a 20-16 victory for South Molton at Old technicians, leaving them riding high in second place in Devon One.
Techs led the game at half time and again with just 10 minutes remaining but by their own admission took their foot off the gas allowing their visitors to come out on top.~
Billy Evans opened the scoring with a penalty before Techs’ flanker Phil Ingleson’s try extended that advantage.
Ed Verney replied with a try for South Molton before the break and a penalty from Steve Ayre after the interval pulled the scores level.
Techs’ fly-half Evans landed a monster penalty to edge the hosts back in front.
Molton rocked their hosts with tries from Ollie Shadick and then another for Verney, touching down from the back of a rolling maul.
From the verge of victory the home side were left needing a late try from Tom James just to earn a losing bonus point.
Molton play Totnes at Unicorn Park this Saturday in the RFU National Vase.
Torrington remembered how it feels to win away from home with a 41-3 at Plympton-Victoria in Devon Two.
Plym Vic competed well in the early stages limiting the visitors to two penalty kicks from Sam Britten however once No.8 Connor Kendrew got the first try of the game the floodgates opened.
Kendrew went on to score a hat-trick and Dale Sayer crossed twice for the rampant visitors.
Ilfracombe were beaten 39-9 by Devon Two leaders Tamar Saracens.