TIVERTON 24 points KINGSBRIDGE 27
A converted try with one minute remaining on the clock saw Kingsbridge finally record their first league victory of the season on Saturday when they travelled to East Devon to face Tiverton.
Last weekend they had lost the match, to St Ives, in the dying minutes whereas on this occasion they were the ones to inflict the same onto their hosts. The Blue and Whites probably just about deserved their victory but they certainly went about achieving it the hard way and kept their supporters on the edge of their seats right up until the final whistle.
The hosts had taken the lead in the 3rd minute when unsurprisingly Kingsbridge had given away a penalty in their own 22 and Tiverton gratefully accepted the offer to take the lead. Kingsbridge then missed the chance to level the scores on 5 minutes when they were off target with a penalty of their own.
On 12 minutes however Kingsbridge took the lead when a scrum deep in the Tivvy 22 saw number eight Jack Cope draw the defence and offload to scrum half Matt Barlow to scooted over to touchdown. The conversion went wide but Kingsbridge led 3-5. A Tiverton penalty 2 minutes later saw them retake the lead again before the Blue and Whites went back in front again on 16 minutes.
A superb counter attack from the visitors took play from the Kingsbridge 22, courtesy of a searing 50 yard break from centre Ed Lennon, deep into the Tiverton half. With excellent support from winger Jim Trout and Captain Neil Darke, they were able to send scrum half Barlow into the corner to score his second try of the half. The conversion was missed and another penalty went wide shortly afterwards but Kingsbridge still held a narrow 6-10 lead.
Tiverton crossed over for a try of their own to take the lead for the third time at 11-10 before Barlow took over the kicking duties to score a penalty and put Kingsbridge back in front again at 11-13 after 32 minutes.
Kingsbridge still had time remaining in the half to score their third try as number 8 Jack Cope picked up from the base of a five metre scrum and power over from short range. Barlow added the conversion to see Kingsbridge lead 11-20 at the interval.
One of Kingsbridge’s let downs so far this season is seeing a half time lead overturned during the second half – and this match proved to be no exception. Poor defending close to the line saw the hosts add their second try, which with the conversion reduced the deficit to 18-20. Two more indiscretions from the Blue and Whites also saw the hosts add two more penalties to put them into a 24-20 lead with play into the final quarter.
With time running out Tiverton set up camp deep in the Kingsbridge half, looking to extend their lead further. However Kingsbridge turned over possession and scrum half Barlow found himself in acres of space pursued by the Tiverton defence. Looking odds on to score Barlow was unlucky to be held up over the Tiverton line. Thankfully the visitors were able to take swift possession from the ensuing scrum for the back line to combine to put centre Lennon in near the posts to score with one minute remaining on the clock. Barlow’s successful conversion put Kingsbridge 3 points clear and the team were able to keep possession direct from the kick off to run out narrow winners.
This Saturday will see Kingsbridge entertain local rivals Torquay, in the league, at High House at 3pm. The game will be preceded by this year’s annual Past Players Lunch which will be held in the clubhouse at 12.00 noon. Tickets for the event are £10 each and can be booked by contacting the Club Chairman Phil Darke on 01548 561089 / 07803 709687 or Club Secretary Martin Newman on 01548 853976 / 07974 803735.
The A XV travel to face Torquay 3rds in the Devon Merit table whilst the Colts entertain Tavistock Colts on the Longfield Pitch at 2.30 pm in the Colts Merit Table.
Saturday morning will again see the clubhouse open for breakfast when England play Scotland in the Rugby World Cup at 8.30 am. The match will be broadcast on the big screens in the clubhouse for members and visitors.