It was a close call at King George’s on Saturday when Bideford took on league leaders University of Exeter

In the thick of the action....Bideford's patched up Jon Down gets caught after bursting through the centre of the Exeter University line in their second half fight back against the league leaders. Picture: Kevin CrowlIn the thick of the action....Bideford's patched up Jon Down gets caught after bursting through the centre of the Exeter University line in their second half fight back against the league leaders. Picture: Kevin Crowl

Bideford gave Tribute South West One West leaders University of Exeter a run for their money before slipping to a 27-23 defeat at King George’s.

Bideford had a point to prove after their ton-up drubbing at Drybrook and, in front of a bumper 400-plus crowd bolstered by sponsors and vice-presidents, were determined to prove it.

Bideford led 15-7 at half time and were 23-15 up as time ticked down.

The Students had a bit more gas in the tank when it mattered and used it to come from behind to win.

The faces say it all........Bideford's Chris Snell shows the disappointment of a narrow defeat whilst his brother George shows the bruises and bloodied face after a great fight back against league leaders Exeter University. Picture: Kevin CrowlThe faces say it all........Bideford's Chris Snell shows the disappointment of a narrow defeat whilst his brother George shows the bruises and bloodied face after a great fight back against league leaders Exeter University. Picture: Kevin Crowl

“They are a class side but they knew they had been in a game at the end of 80 minutes,” said Bideford team manager Bradley Goaman.

“They keep coming at you and we just got tired keeping them out.

“Some teams would be glad to take a bonus point off the University, but we felt disappointed not to win.

“I would go as far to say we played better than in any other game this season.”

Paul Thomas, Rob Elliot and Dean Folland were the Bideford try scorers. Chris Snell kicked the goals.

Debutant Luke Bliss scored the winning try for the University five minutes from time, having come off the bench to go in the second row.

Harvey North, Max Himbury and Guy Snowball scored the other tries for the students, who had former Barnstaple player Isaac Hydleman on kicking duty.