KINGSBRIDGE 22 points TORQUAY 30
Kingsbridge came up just short of causing an upset on Saturday when they entertained high flying Torquay at sundrenched High House on Saturday in the Western Counties (West) league.
Cheered on by a large contingent of past players, who had been enjoying their annual lunch and get together at the club, the hosts soaked up early pressure from the ‘Tics’ before taking the lead in the 10th minute with a try that will take a lot of beating this season.
After the hosts had missed with a penalty kick at goal, Torquay restarted with a long drop out that sailed into the Kingsbridge 22. The ball was fielded by number 8 Jack Cope who opted to run the ball back out of defence. Cope weaved his way through the advancing Torquay defence on a stunning 50 yard break before offloading to winger James Trout near the Torquay 22. He in turn found vice captain Matt Gibbens in support and he rounded the superb move by scoring near the posts. Scrum half Matt Barlow added the conversion to put Kingsbridge 7-0 ahead.
Torquay reduced the deficit with a penalty on 13 minutes and then took the lead with an opportunist try as having given away a penalty near half way the Kingsbridge defence turned its back allowing a clear run through to the line. A further converted try on 24 minutes gave the visitors a 7-15 lead which they carried into half time.
Barlow reduced the deficit with a penalty early in the second half to make the score 10-15 before the hosts levelled the scores with a second try of their own. A loose Torquay kick was fielded by full back Ben Newman and he found support from centre Ed Lennon and fly half Tom Speechly who in turn put winger George Eynon-Lewis away on the overlap to score in the corner and make the score 15-15.
Stung into action Torquay came back strongly and took the lead again with a penalty to make it 15-18 and then they scored their third try of the afternoon to make it 15-25. Their fourth try of the game, which earned them a bonus point, came six minutes from time and extended their lead to 15-30.
Kingsbridge however weren’t going to lie down even at this late stage and were rewarded for their hard work by scoring a third try with two minutes left. A quickly taken tap penalty from Barlow was taken on by Cope and he found Gibbens in support who in turn sent Eynon-Lewis in for his second from ten yards. Barlow was successful with the conversion to reduce the deficit to just eight points but there was insufficient time for the hosts to reduce the deficit further.
Whilst this may have been their fourth loss in five league matches this season, the young Kingsbridge side can take a number of positives out of the performance and this will hopefully stand them in good stead for upcoming matches.
This Saturday sees Kingsbridge travel to face Truro in the league. The A XV will be entertaining Brixham III’s in Devon Merit Table 2 at High House at 3pm. The Colts are currently without a match this weekend.
Saturday morning will again see the clubhouse open for breakfast when England will face France in the Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals at 8.30 am. The match will be broadcast on the big screens in the clubhouse for members and visitors.
As stated the Kingsbridge club held its annual Past Players Day on Saturday with 60 players attending an excellent lunchtime meal in the clubhouse prior to the league match with Torquay. Those attending this event has steadily increased in numbers over the past couple of seasons and, this year saw a number of ex players travel from around the country for a reunion with past team mates. In all there were ten past 1st XV captains in attendance and representatives of the past six decades of Kingsbridge teams.