The Brixham bogey struck again for Barnstaple as they went down 39-34 at Astley Park in National Three South West.

Barum have now lost four in a row away to Brixham and last won there back in 2010 when they triumphed over the Fishermen in the Devon Cup final.

The latest meeting was a close-run thing that could have gone either way.

Brixham only got their noses ahead with seven minutes to play and were relieved to hear the final whistle.

With both sides having won their two previous league matches, a hard contest was anticipated and so it proved.

Barnstaple led for virtually all of the first half and Brixham had to overturn an eight point half-time deficit.

After Brixham kicked off, Barnstaple were straight on the offensive and after two minutes had the lead with a Jordan Petherbridge drop-goal.

From the restart it took them just five minutes of attacking before a rolling maul gained them good yards and a try when the ball was released to their backs. Chris Lowrie bagged the try with Petherbridge converting.

Brixham scored from the restart. They recovered the ball, set up an attack, and centre Tom McLean went through the middle to score under the posts. Ed Barnes added the conversion.

Barnstaple restarted and, as Brixham had, recovered the ball and scored their second converted try by outflanking the Brixham defence. Petherbridge took all seven points.

Twelve minutes played and there were already 24 points on the scoreboard.

Midway through the half, a strong run from Brixham left wing Cody Dyer was halted five metres out. He off-loaded to flanker Rhys Cattell who had little left to do to score a try.

Barnstaple continued to have the better of the play and stretched their lead to 20-12 with a Petherbridge penalty just before the break.

Brixham attacked from the restart. From a quick tap penalty, McLean went over for his second try. Barnes converted to leave Brixham just one point behind.

More attacking by Brixham put them ahead for the first time when full-back Tom Goodman touched down. Barnes’ conversion gave them a six-point lead.

It only lasted five minutes. Barnstaple spun the ball out across the field for Winston James to score. The conversion put them back ahead.

Barnes converted a penalty to regain a slender lead as the game entered its final quarter.

Five minutes later and a line-out catch and drive brought a converted Petherbridge try and put the visitors ahead again.

But the tide quickly turned again when Brixham edged themselves back in front.

From a scrum 30 metres out, the ball found replacement centre Jarryd Harris on an angled run that penetrated the defence and took him to the tryline near the posts.

Barnes converted and slotted a penalty a few minutes later to clinch the match.

Barnstaple have a fourth successive Devon derby this Saturday when Newton Abbot await them at Pottington Road.