North Devon rugby roundup

Joseph Bulmer

BIDEFORD went through the 50-point barrier for the second match in a row as they took another step closer to promotion by winning 55-13 at Teignmouth. There aren’t too many people - if any - in the division who can see Bideford missing out now. Eleven points from the seven games left - that’s three wins - will ensure Bideford promotion as no one other than second-placed St Austell could catch them in a division which has two automatic promotion places. The only down side to this win was that Bideford skipper Andy McKenzie-Shapland ended up in Torbay Hospital being checked over for a suspected broken ankle. Full-back Chris Snell scored a try in the first few minutes and by half time the tally was 26-8. The only interruptions to the one-way traffic were tries by Byron Woods in the first half and Colin Aldworth in the second for Teignmouth. Sam Olde finished with a try hat-trick for Bideford on his wing and James Buckland had two more on the other flank. Snell claimed two, as did James O’Sullivan. Ollie Wicket converted five from nine.

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BARNSTAPLE are only one place and seven points off the National Three South West relegation zone after suffering a 63-12 pasting away to leaders Hartpury College. Hartpury ran in nine tries, all of them converted, while Barnstaple managed scores from Luke Berry and Mike Sumner in reply. It looked one sided, but Barum coach Danny Thomas said his men did all that was asked of them. “We matched Hartpury for physicality and put in long periods of hard defensive effort,” said Thomas. “When we did get the ball we managed to create some decent scoring chances and we did put two of them away.” Barnstaple have a busy weekend coming up, starting with a league visit from Redingensians on Saturday. Sunday sees Newton Abbot at Pottington Road in the semi-finals of the Devon Senior Cup.

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TORRINGTON’S poor form on the road continued with an 83-12 defeat at Hayle. It was 12-6 to Hayle with half an hour gone. Then the home side cut loose with four tries in the 10 minutes before half time. Andy Manning kicked four penalties for the visitors.

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SOUTH Molton are now looking nervously over their shoulder after dipping to an 8-6 defeat at OPMs in Plymouth. A losing bonus point moves them three points ahead of the drop zone but only after playing two games more than fellow strugglers New Cross. At half time the visitors were on course for a crucial victory, holding a one-point lead. Two penalties from Mark Drayton gave South Molton the points while OPM had responded with a try. OPM kicked a penalty in the second half.

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SOUTH Molton won an entertaining contest with Bideford Nomads 24-7, courtesy of a purple patch in the first quarter of the second half when they ran in two quick tries without reply. South Molton took an early lead with a converted try and it took a long period of pressure before Nomads brought the scores level with flying winger Mitch Barclay bursting through from half way to touch down under the posts. Mark North added the two points. The second half was one-way for 20 minutes as the home side brought on fresh legs. That Nomads conceded no more points in the final 20 minutes was testament to their bravery and resilience. Nomads took the game back to Molton and battled to get over the try line in an effort to reduce the deficit. The Molton defence was solid however and a bruising finale brought the game to a premature end when a clash of heads inflicted a nasty eye wound to the Nomad prop Jamie Evans. Nomads’ scrum-half Mike Powe took the Man of the Match honours with an immense display of tackling. Other lively performances came from wings Curtis May and Ryan Hickman with prop Andrew Beachamp and second rows Stephen Durdy and Geb Norris constantly in the thick of the action.

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ILFRACOMBE’S match against Devonport HSOB’s at Stonehouse Creek was postponed.

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