Techs think title race will go right down to the wire
OLD Techs stalwart Shaun Bedford-Smith is convinced the Devon Two title race will go to the last week of the season.
Techs, for the first time in years, are top of the division with a five-point gap over second-placed Plymouth Argaum.
Over the past two years, the Weston Mill-based side have come close to promotion, but have just fallen at the final fence.
Bedford-Smith, though, reckons there are four teams still in the hunt.
He said: "There's us and Argaum, plus St Columba and Torpoint and North Tawton.
"I still think there's a long way to go yet – there's a lot to play for in the second half of the season.
"I'd much rather be where we are in the table than anywhere else and a five-point cushion over the next team could be a lot worse.
"Some of the other sides have picked up more bonus points than we have and I told the lads after the last game to keep plugging away and play each game as it comes along.
"We shouldn't be worried about what other teams are doing – all we have to do is to keep winning.
"I think it's in the last three years that we have started to improve.
"Starting a second team to create competition among the players has really worked.
"Before that, though, we weren't really doing well and we were struggling."
Techs are unbeaten in the league this season, having created a streak which goes back eight matches.
Their next league match is on January 19, when they face bottom side Plympton Victoria at Marsh Mills.
Before that, Techs play Devonport Services II in the Lockie Cup tomorrow, then Topsham in the Devon Junior Plate on January 12.
Bedford-Smith said: "I'm glad that we have some competitive games before our next league match.
"It wouldn't be so good if we played matches that didn't really mean a lot."
Full-back Bedford-Smith added: "When you're at the top of the league, everybody is chasing you and trying to shoot you down.
"It's important that the lads don't sit back and think we've won it, because there's still going to be a lot of twists and turns during the rest of the season."
Tomorrow, the Devon Two leaders take on Services seconds in the Lockie Cup at Weston Mill (2.30pm) wanting to repeat (old) history.
More than a decade ago, Techs won the annual competition three times in a row.
The only other team to do that was, you guessed it, Old Techs in the 1970s-80s.
Bedford-Smith made it clear Techs did not intend to rest players because the fixture is a cup game.
He said: "We want to go as far as we can in the cup and, hopefully, we will have a full side out. We won't be taking it easy.
"I think the last time we won the Lockie Cup was in 2001, which was a long time ago, although we did win another cup, the Ellis, about four years ago."