BARNSTAPLE look in good shape for the National Three opener away to Oxford Harlequins this Saturday after hitting Bideford with six of the best in their final warm-up game before the serious stuff starts.
Barum wing Toby Williamson dashed over for a try hat-trick in a game which seldom reached any great heights.
Barnstaple, who play two divisions higher than Bideford, always had a bit too much firepower for the visitors.
Bideford spoiled around the breakdowns to slow Barum’s ball and, as a result, the game never really flowed.
To make matters worse there was a 25-minute stoppage during the game when Bideford flanker Nathan Giddy went down in agony with what looked like a fracture dislocation of one of his ankles.
The match never really recovered from the momentum lost during the stoppage.
Williamson crossed for one try in the first half. Linford Brock also went in, as did Josh Squire, who also slotted a couple of conversions.
Pat Sanders kicked a penalty for Bideford, who trailed 19-3 at the break.
Williamson (2) and new player-coach Steve Perry went in for Barum after the break. Squire converted all three.
Final score: Barnstaple 40, Bideford 3.
l BIDEFORD, so close to the Western Counties play-offs last season, are on the road to Torquay.
The Tics got the best of Bideford in both league games this season and went on to reach the play-offs.
How the game pans out will give some indication who to watch out for this season.
l SOUTH Molton have no 1st XV game this Saturday. However, a Unicorns squad go to Tiverton for a training game.
Likewise, Ilfracombe are without a 1st XV, although there is colts action at Brimlands, where Barnstaple are the visitors.
Torrington have no game.