Old Techs prove a point against higher league opponents Topsham
DEVON JUNIOR CUP Old Technicians…23 Topsham…10
DEVON Two leaders Old Techs demonstrated they can live in the league above them as they gunned down Devon One's Topsham at Weston Mill.
In conditions more suited to scuba diving, Techs survived a late Topsham come-back to put themselves in the next round and in the mood for their first league match of the year at Plympton Victoria on Saturday.
Techs took the lead when Neil Herbert forced his way over the visitors' try-line, although Topsham got back into the hunt with a penalty. However, Billy Evans ran in Techs' second touchdown to give his side a 10-3 half-time lead.
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Topsham fought back furiously in the second half, scoring a converted try to get within two points of their hosts, but Evans manufactured a move which saw him unloading the ball to winger Tom James, who scored with practically his first touch of the match.
That try gave Techs valuable breathing space and the pressure was further eased when Evans notched a penalty to hand Techs an 18-10 advantage. With practically the final play of the game, Herbert set up Derek Ingleson to touch down the final try.
Assistant head coach Shaun Bedford-Smith said afterwards: "After last week's defeat by Devonport Services seconds in the Lockie Cup, we looked to improve a few things, made a few changes and it worked well.
"Losing last week was probably a good thing for us, because you get too used to winning and think you've only got to turn up to win a game. Sometimes you get a kick up the backside and it does you good.
"It was a good team performance – we had to soak up some pressure from Topsham and it got very close at one point, but we kept them out."
DEVON One's Totnes knew too much for a spirited yet error-ridden DHSOB side at the wrong end of Devon Two.
The game was played in sub-aqua conditions at Stonehouse Creek, but DHSOB boss Mike Freeman was pleased with his rebuilding side's performance, despite the fact he got little more out of the tie apart from soaking wet.
Chairman of rugby Freeman joked: "The Creek definitely lived up to its name and we were playing in the deep end."
He added: "I was dead chuffed with the boys, in spite of the fact that we gave them (Totnes) 14 points through our own mistakes. The trouble is, when you make mistakes against a side from a higher league, you get punished for them and that's what happened.
"However, we took the game to them and we showed great spirit throughout the match. The one consolation is that we go into the Devon Junior Plate because we were first-round losers."
LOCKIE CUP Plymouth Argaum…7 Saltash II…3
PLYMOUTH Argaum said goodbye to one trophy and – possibly – hello to another as they battled through to the semi-finals of the Lockie Cup.
While they were winning at Bickleigh Down, Argaum's second team were losing 46-0 at Saltash III (veterans) in the Ellis Trophy, which the city side won last season to bag their first silverware in years.
Argaum's seconds were clearly feeling the effects of the sickness bug which has swept through the club and which helped force the city side out of the Devon Junior Cup last week, as they could barely scrape up enough players to make the trip.
The city side's first team, however, had enough energy left to see off Saltash IIs and will have home advantage when they face Devonport Services in the semi-final.
Argaum head coach Dave Sansom still had to resort to bringing in second teamers as some of his regulars are still unwell.
"I think the players who weren't ill last week have gone down with it this week," said Sansom, who was faced with the unpleasant sight of some of his players vomiting during the match against Salcombe.
"However, it was a well contested game, although the conditions were atrocious. I have to say the players who came in for me did a great job. The second team had 21 players which they could call on and yet I believe they only took 13 to Saltash."
Argaum had most of the game, but couldn't make their possession count where it hurt the visitors, inside their own 22. But a move created by Mason Edwards saw Ben Glanfield run in the only try of the game, the conversion being kicked by Tom Richards and it was enough to see Argaum through to the semis.
Saltash kept in touch with a penalty and Sansom added: "They (Saltash) hung in there and in the last 15 minutes they could have pinched it."
FORMER Plymouth Albion star Steve Walklin was among Saltash Veterans' scorers in their win over Argaum seconds.