Newton Abbot win battle against Exmouth
Newton Abbot did their talking on the pitch against Exmouth to win the National Three South West Devon derby at Rackerhayes 22-15.
To say there is no love lost between the clubs is something of an understatement – as proved by Exmouth coach Jon Hill's pre-match comments.
Newton Abbot captain Ben Cole read out a selection of Hill's newspaper cuttings on the subject to his troops in the dressing room before the game, which no doubt raised the temperature further.
Exmouth's best spell came in the last ten minutes when Newton were reduced to 13 men due to sin-binnings, but what was a 15-point gap at the start was always going to be too wide to bridge.
Hill was a little less chirpy after the game, although he clearly found it hard to be too generous to Newton Abbot.
"Newton Abbot were good value for their victory and took their opportunities well," said Hill.
"They capitalised on our errors, which were uncharacteristically high for us in a disappointing performance.
"Newton defended very well and had the better of us in many aspects of play."
Roy Henderson, Newton Abbot's director of rugby, had a few kind words for Exmouth but some barbs of his own after knocking the Cockles off the top of the table.
Henderson said: "So who forced Exmouth into making such those mistakes? They only had one good spell in the match which was the last ten minutes when we had two forwards in the sin-bin.
"I think Exmouth will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season, but on this occasion they lost it in the press before the game even started."
Brett Stroud and Ed McGinley had a try in each half for Newton Abbot. Rob Avery-Wright kicked for penalties.
George Savage and Jack Fahey were Exmouth's try scorers. Andrew Powell kicked a penalty and a conversion.
Barnstaple lost 24-7 to Redingensians, which was a better result than it seemed according to Barum's director of rugby Kevin Squire.
"Redingensians may not be the force they were last season, but they remain a decent side," said Squire.
"Defensively we put in a magnificent effort to keep them to 12-7 at half-time and for most of the second half."
Linford Brock dashed over after five minutes for Barum with Luke Berry converting.
Wing Aron Struminski scored a try hat-trick to help put Taunton 19-11 up at Chinnor in National Two South, but they could not hold on in the second half and lost 29-19.