Friday 13th November 2009 12:00 am

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OUR hosts certainly belied their lowly league position with a dogged display of spoiling rugby.

Whilst it was never apparent that we would lose the game, we were never allowed to run away with it either and the irony was that the side at the foot of the table scored more points against us than any other team.

An early Rob Milton penalty got the scoreboard moving and after a couple of scares where the Plymstock driving maul edged towards our line, we did gain possession and get into their '22'.

However, we got turned over but Milton charged down the clearance kick and caught the ball to run in under the posts and convert.

The hosts reduced the arrears with a penalty from long distance but our lead was increased when scrum-half Dave Rich popped up to grab a try which Milton converted.

Another Plymstock penalty cut the deficit just before the interval.

With the advantage of the slope in the second half, it all looked pretty straightforward and when winger Matt Shapland scorched in a rout looked on the cards.

The home side had other ideas and a penalty for them was soon added to with a try off a driving maul to leave them a mere eight points adrift.

Centre Matt Walton then went on one of his trademark runs and touched down and then Milton landed another penalty before coming off injured with, it transpired, a broken hand.

Plymstock used the driving maul to good effect and they bagged another converted try.

The final few minutes was constant pressure on their line and we were eventually awarded a penalty try as the home side infringed one time too many for the referee's liking. Alex Goldman landed the conversion.


Barnstaple Seconds 29

Crediton Seconds 10

The 'Quins worked extremely hard and the game only went away from them in the final quarter.

Scott Baker scored the try with Dan Howard landing a conversion and a penalty.


Barnstaple Colts 10

Crediton Colts 10

In an evenly contested game, Crediton would have hoped to have beaten Barnstaple but in the end a draw was deemed a fair result.

Jack Hookway grabbed a try with Rob Avery-Wright adding a conversion and a penalty.

Crediton 63

Saltash 7

The opening 30 minutes gave little indication of what was to come in the last 30 as Saltash kept us pinned in our own '22' for almost the entire opening half hour.

The fact that we defended well was of course the main reason for keeping our line intact.

However, on only two occasions did we cross the half-way line and scored a try both times which knocked the stuffing out of the visitors.

Add to that a third try before the interval and we were well and truly in the driving seat.

After soaking up the early pressure, our first try came after 12 minutes when we battled our way to half-way and centre Mike Pearce broke a couple of tackles before floating a long pass out to winger Matt Shapland who outpaced the Saltash defence to dot down the first of his five tries for the day.

Saltash hit back and applied more pressure but were unable to break through and again we managed to force play into their '22' and hooker Bobby Mogford broke from a driving maul to put Shapland away for his second on the half hour, Dan Howard landed the conversion.

We gradually began to exert a little more authority on the game and as the interval approached Mogford again peeled off a driving maul to race over himself for a half time lead of 17-0.

It took 10 minutes of the second period to register another score with a combined effort from the forwards as a touchline move ended with lock Eddie Yeandle find prop Paul Thomas who crashed over.

The visitors then had a player sin-binned but immediately reduced the arrears with a try off a driving maul which was converted.

This seemed to sting every Crediton player into action and the final half hour yielded a further seven tries without reply as the pressure on Saltash was relentless.

Fly-half Alex Goldman put in a superb tackle and the forwards then turned over possession. George Savage made the first break and slipped a pass to fullback Neil Branton and then on to Dan Howard who touched down in the corner.

A good three-quarter move ended with Shapland going over in the other corner for his hat-trick.

Replacement centre Tom Gaughan then put in a clever cross kick to the corner and again it was Shapland who got there first to touch down.

Flanker Peter Cann was the next to get on the scoresheet after another break from Savage with Mogford in support who put Cann away under the posts.

Lock Mark Gulley then forced his way over from 10 metres, this time centre Ross Gillon converted.

The tidal wave continued and Shapland made one for himself with a weaving run from 30 metres and managed to get in under the posts, Gillon landing another conversion.

A long clearance from Howard put us in the Saltash '22' and Gulley pounced on a loose ball before putting Cann in for his second and our final try of the day.

Another encouraging performance making it five successive wins and we have rattled up 31 tries in the process.

Matt Shapland's haul of five tries is the second time this feat has been achieved in league rugby. Phil Dellamuro scored five in March 1990 against Wadebridge in a 68-6 win.

Tries were only valued at four points at the time. Another scorer on that day was Alan Westcott.

There have been a number of other occasions when five tries were scored by one individual in a game and even six's seven's and an eight.

Also encouraging were the performances of centre Ross Gillon making his First Fifteen debut and Tom Gaughan also a centre who came on as a replacement.

Both impressed and the competition for places is certainly hotting up.


Cullompton Seconds 10

Crediton Seconds 10

The 'Quins felt a little hard done by having had the better of things for most of the game and indeed were 10-0 ahead until the final 10 minutes when Cully hit back to square the game.

Jonny Brimacombe and Greg Lewis were the try scorers.


Crediton Hornets 8

Cullompton Thirds 28

The Hornets suffered their first defeat of the season and surrendered top spot in the Three NE Merit Table to Cullompton.

As with the 'Quins it was the final quarter of the game when it all went wrong.

The start to the season has been most encouraging for the Hornets and Ade Peirce is doing a great job getting a side out every week and with replacements.

Forthcoming fixtures

November 21: First Fifteen v Bideford (Devon Intermediate Cup); Second Fifteen v Brixham (DMT 1); South Molton Seconds v Hornets (DMT 3NE); Colts v Brixham.

November 28: First Fifteen v Stithians (D & C); Ivybridge Seconds v 'Quins (DMT 1); Hornets v Ivybridge Thirds; Colts TBA.


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