Welcome back my friends and what a weekend of rugby we have for you this week both at home and on the road as we await the spills and thrills of week 4. Today at Pottington Road we welcome back the Chiefs as they prepare to battle fellow devonians Devonport in another derby match. The Buccaneers are also at home this weekend and desperate to have a game after last weekends was called off through no fault of their own, today they match up against Bideford II. On the road Athletic hope to build on their first home win of the season last Saturday when they play Withycombe. Before all that though some club news to whet your appetites
There was a very good turnout for the players reunion lunch last weekend as friends old and new reacquainted themselves over a delicious lunch before cheering on the present Chiefs team to victory against Brixham a fortnight ago.
U12’s Tesco Bag Packing
Our under 12s spent last Saturday bag packing in Tesco’s in order to raise funds for their summer tour to Butlin’s Minehead. The boys (and siblings) were super polite and helpful and represented the club brilliantly. Any donations will be greatly appreciated. Please contact Dave Slee from the Under 12s or a member of the junior team.
Last weekend saw the Chiefs suffer their first loss of the season in what was described as a tense and punishing day against a very a difficult opponent, Chew Valley, who were 2nd last season which included a home win over champions Camborne. The game itself was for 60 minutes nip and tuck as Barnstaple, opening the scoring from the outset to lead 0-7 as Captain Sam Roberts went over after just 7 minutes, only for Chew Valley to fight back the lead 17-7 but two penalties in three minutes from Jake Murphy to end the half brought the Chiefs right back into it 17-13.
The second half saw Barnstaple take the lead with 2 more penalties and with 20 minutes left were leading 17-19 with all to play for. Unfortunately, that was the last score for the Chiefs as Chew Valley dominated the last 20 minutes to win 35-19. So a tough day for the Chiefs and one I expect they will relish the chance of avenge when Chew Valley visit.
Today though I another day and visitors Devonport will provide another stern test for the Chiefs as they have had a fabulous start to their seasonnwith three wins and currently sit in second place with maximum points. Wins over Matson, Okehampton away and last weekend putting 50 past St. Austell does mean that this promises to be another bignchallenge for the Chiefs and the makings of an exciting game of rugby. In fact, this will be the first competitive game between these two teams since the 2006/07 season where the Chiefs had a 100%nrecord winning the league with 22 wins from 22 matches and gaining promotion to Tribute South West 2 West as champions.
The Chiefs to face Devonport does so without a couple of important names missing from the squad as both Tyler Gordon-Oke and Jake Murphy are not available today. THat does mean a chance for both Kyran McManus who starts his first game for the Chiefs for over a season, and Conor Swan who starts his first game of the season, not bad replacements I must say. Here then is you chiefs team to face Devonport.
Barnstaple Athletic celebrated their first win of the season with a convincing performance against South Molton, beating them 33-0 here at Pottington Road last Saturday. The Tic’s defence was outstanding throughout the game, keeping their opponents scoreless in front of roughly a hundred or so supporters which was encouraging although it would have been great to have seen many more.
Athletic took some time to feel their way into this game coming off the back of two successive close fought loses in previous weeks and the match started evenly with both teams kicking, given the wet conditions on the pitch. South Molton were the first to apply any pressure but Athletics defence were able to hold quite comfortably, something which continued throughout the game, and this pressure soon fizzled out. Barnstaple’s attack proved much more fruitful and it soon became noticeable that South Molton’s defence would struggle and a bit more precision with their handling would have reaped even higher rewards for the Tic’s. In any event when Cameron Grizzle-Johnson sped past two players on the outside he laid a lovely inside ball to Dylan Kingdon in acres of space to go over for Barnstaple’s first try. The second try again came from more pressure in South Molton’s half which resulted in a scrum following a knock on, which Joe Messenger took the ball straight through their defence. With Cameron kicking both conversions Athletic went in at the break 14-0 up.
The second half proved even more fruitful for the Tic’s as almost immediately a lineout from a penalty kick saw Captain Scott Incledon go over unopposed from a well worked short corner. Luke Knight, following a couple of quick steps saw his path to the try line cleared to go over and when Josh Hill added Barnstaple’s fifth it was quite evident that Athletic were in total charge of the match. Cameron Grizzle-Johnson kicked a further two conversions to complete the scoring and secure a well-deserved victory for Barnstaple.
The standout feature off this game was of course Athletic’s defence which only allowed if memory serves me well, just the one chance of any pressure in Athletics 22, which is absolutely amazing. It did take a while for the Tic’s to get out of first gear and that probably was due to a combination of wet conditions and not having the confidence of a win yet this season, but hopefully that second half performance plus their overall defensive stance will provide Athletic with all the confidence they will need going forward.
Today they again have a tough test, travelling to Withycombe who are currently in third place with three wins and last season challenged Athletic for that third spot all the way to the end of the season. Last season Athletic did do the double over in two very close games. At withycombe the Tic’s won 10-17 at Withycombe then in the last game of the season beat them at home 15-7. So I expect Athletic to not take anything for granted and will be super focused for this match. Here then is your Athletic team travelling to Withycombe.
Bucc’s and Colts
The Bucc’s would have been enormously frustrated at not having a game last weekend as South Molton could not put a team together and are yet to play their next game following that excellent 17-31 bonus point win against Ilfracombe in week one of the season.
Today should be much more fruitful as I very much doubt Bideford would pass up the chance to take on the Bucc’s. It is a game that should be a joy to watch and will provide plenty of excitement. Kick-off is 2.30pm
The Bucc’s next game is also at home next weekend against Ilfracombe and kick off is again 2.30pm. Before all that they have this game to navigate first and here is your Bucc’s team to do just that.
No Colts game this weekend but they are back in action on the 30th where they will be travelling to Devonport.
So there you have ladies and gentleman, that’s it for another weekend, don’t forget after the Chiefs game the club will be showing England v Chile and after that the big one South Africa v Ireland which kicks off at 8pm
The Chiefs hit the road again next weekend where they visit Exmouth so I expect to see plenty of you up there for that one. Then it’s a week off for all our rugby teams andthe Chiefs are back on home soil on the 14th October, Blimey Christmas is catching up fast isn’t it, with another massive Devon derby as Ivybridge will be visiting Pottington Road and what a game that promises to be.
Can’t make Exmouth well we have Athletic v Devonport II and the Bucc’s v Ilfracombe both kick off at 2.30pm. The Colts are on the road at Devonport before returning to home soil on the 14th to face Topsham.
Good luck to all our teams playing today and I really hope we get to see some exciting rugby catch up next weekend.