Ilfracombe made a mockery of their position at the foot of the Devon One table by giving unbeaten leaders Withycombe a huge scare before conceding a 31-19 defeat.

The boys in blue led three times during the game, but two late tries pulled Withycombe clear to continue their perfect record this season.

It was a remarkable turnaround for the Brimlanders, who had been unable to raise a side seven days earlier to visit Plymouth side OPM.

John Bates, Ilfracombe's team manager, said: "I don't think anybody would have expected us to land a punch this weekend, but we did more than that, and are actually really disappointed not to have taken the win.

"Withycombe were very humble in victory and they won't mind me saying that the scoreline was very flattering in the end.

"This was a great performance from Ilfracombe and if we'd had a bit more luck we'd be talking about a famous win."

Combe took the lead after five minutes when full-back Radford Chugg went over after good work from the pack.

Withycombe responded with their own five-pointer, before Ilfracombe came back again. Turning down a kickable penalty in favour of a scrum, a solid shove allowed space for Scott Alexander to go over for a try which was converted by his centre partner Rob Holmes.

Withycombe came back with their own converted try in the final minute of the half to level things at 12-12 at the break.

Ilfracombe, now playing up the hill, regained the lead when more good work from the pack mauled the boys in the blue close to the line. The ball was spun wide for Chugg to go over for his second, again converted by Holmes.

Withycombe restored parity mid-way through the second half, but as Ilfracombe looked to push for victory, two late tries sealed it for the visitors.

Ilfracombe are at home to Old Technicians this Saturday.

Torrington, who had no game in Devon One last Saturday, are away to Buckfastleigh Ramblers.

South Molton's problems at the wrong end of the Cornwall and Devon table continued when they lost 20-9 at home in a rearranged game against Bude.

Molton were competitive against Bude, but paid for a costly failing.

"We just can't seem to convert possession into points," said skipper Reece Eury.

Three Ben Smart penalties were all Molton could muster.

The fight against relegation resumes this Saturday with a trip to Liskeard-Looe.