Bideford see half-time lead turn into 54-17 defeat

Bideford’s worries at the foot of the Tribute South West One West table deepened when they were thumped 54-17 away to table-topping University of Exeter.

When Bideford were 10-5 up at half time, there was some hope of springing a shock, similar to the one Teignmouth delivered the Students seven days earlier.

The long-term leaders upped the pace in the second half to score seven tries – all of them converted – to preserve their 10-point lead over Drybrook at the top of the table.

Defeat dropped Bideford into the bottom three as North Petherton’s win at Matson moved them ahead of the North Devon side.

With eight matches to go there is plenty of time for Bideford to climb the table.

Bradley Goaman, Bideford’s team manager, said it would help if the club’s injury list started to shorten.

“Exeter were at full strength and we put in a decent performance for much of the game,” said Goaman.

“We were disappointed not to manage one more try to collect a bonus point.

“This Saturday’s match against Keynsham is a must-win game for us –and we hope to have a few key players back after injury. Our injury list is ridiculous.”

Bideford lost the scrum-half services of T J Hyam for the rest of the season in the defeat by Drybrook seven days earlier.

Richard Allin played his first game for two years as a stand-in scrum-half to get Bideford out of a spot.

“Richard had a very good game and brought a lot of energy to the team,” said Goaman.