Devon Two: Old Techs ready to end 10-year wait for promotion
OLD TECHS can end a 10-year wait for Devon One rugby if they beat Ilfracombe at Weston Mill tomorrow (2.30pm).
According to rapid calculations made last weekend after Devon Two leaders Techs saw off DHSOB 66-7, the Weston Mill side were promoted.
But according to club spokesman Shaun Bedford-Smith, that isn't quite the case.
"We're nearly there," he said. "But we're not quite there yet.
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"If we win tomorrow, then we are up, but even then we won't be taking our feet off the gas, because we want to go up as champions, not just runners-up.
"The fact is, though, that if we lose our three remaining games without gaining any bonus points and Plymouth Argaum win their four games with bonus points, mathematically they can overtake us."
Techs have 56 points and can potentially land 71. Argaum, in fourth place with 38, can amass 58.
Completely out of the title picture is third-placed North Tawton, who have three games remaining, but can only raise a total of 54 points.
St Columba and Torpoint, second with 46, also have four games remaining and can reach 66 points.
Argaum boss Dave Sansom, however, does not think his side are quite ready to make the jump to Devon One.
His team face lowly DHSOB at Bickleigh Down tomorrow and Sansom said: "You've got to ask yourself if we would have been ready if we had got promoted.
"Would it have been a case of getting promoted and coming straight back down again?
"If we had won last week, then maybe we would have had a chance of promotion, but not now.
"We've come a long way over the last couple of years – we've got a good bunch of players, a good committee and a good club.
"But we've got a couple of areas in the team where we're a bit light and we've got a few players identified for next season. We'll see where we are then."
Lowly Old Boys are braced for a Plymouth Argaum backlash at Bickleigh Down tomorrow.
Two defeats in a row for the hosts, said Devonport chief Mike Freeman, will sharpen Argaum's ambition to vent their frustration on the struggling visitors.
The Old Boys were mauled 66-9 by Techs last weekend, but Freeman believes the spirit among his troops is good.
Freeman said: "I fully expect Argaum to take it out on us tomorrow, but we'll do our best, as always."
ST COLUMBA and Torpoint take on the formidableTamar Saracens at Defiance Field (2.30pm).
Sarries, who have had an influx of players from the former Plymouth Barbarians, have made a habit of taking top-four scalps recently.
They handed leaders Techs their only defeat of the season and probably ended Plymouth Argaum's promotion hopes.
Saints boss Chris Goodman clashes with Sarries coach Dan Leeson in what is almost a teacher-pupil situation.
Goodman said: "I was Dan Leeson's PE teacher and I have always got on well with him.
"He's a good lad with boundless enthusiasm and passion, so we expect a hard battle and one that will set the tone for our push to promotion in these final four very vital games."
Powerful centre Barney Owles is unavailable and Lee White is suffering with a back injury.
Saints (from): Sam Winfield, James Dolman, Mike Grieve, Paul Walters, Damien Chambers, Steve Lister, Martin Reeds, Dave Hussey, Matt Grieve, Ben Green, Mark Irwin, Kev Hunt, Tom Green, Dayle Hallam, Luke Richards, Struann Hendy-Crouch, Jason Deane, Shaun Hall
SARRIES joint head coach Leeson admitted he wished his new players had arrived sooner.
The city team have been dashing up the league since the arrival of several former Plymouth Barbarians.
He said: "We made a couple of signings at the beginning of the season which didn't quite work out.
"But we were very flattered when the players from Barbarians decided to join us.
"It might have made a difference earlier in the season, but now we can look ahead to next season."
Sarries were picking their squad last night.