North Tawton 20 - Ivybridge Seconds 17

NORTH Tawton RFC welcomed Ivybridge Seconds to Taw Meadows last weekend for their first game of 2023.

After a poor start to the season, recent performances have been much improved, earning the team three wins out of the last six games.

This fixture saw the return of two players, Gary Sizmur and Tom Chisholm, for their first appearances in the league this season. Good to see you both back out on the pitch!

The weather conditions before the game were not great and gave many the impression the game would be slow and unlikely to be much of a spectacle. This was not the case!

The opening five minutes saw both teams opt for two styles of play.

North Tawton were keen to keep the ball in-hand where Ivybridge looked to go for territory, kicking the ball deep into the Tawts half.

Following a couple of scrums and a good break by the Tawts, the home side found themselves a few metres away from the try line. The ball made its was out to James Miller who barged his way over the line to score his fifth try of the season. The conversion unsuccessful, the score 5-0 to the Tawts. 

From the restart Ivybridge looked determined to return the favour.

Following a knock on by the Tawts, Ivybridge secured the ball and made some hard carries. The ball was passed out to their winger who broke a couple of tackles to go over the try line.  The kick was missed bringing the score level to 5-5.

With the wet conditions the ball was difficult to control for both teams so the following 10 minutes saw several scrums which both teams had success with.

The Tawts tried keeping the ball in-hand but the final pass/break was missing. Ivybridge again used their number 10s boot to try and keep North Tawton pinned in their half. 

Following a succession of infringements Ivybrige were given a yellow card and the Tawts had an opportunity to kick for the posts. Number 10 Liam Pyle got the three points on offer putting the Tawts 8-5 up.

A few minutes later North Tawton were forced into their first change of the day after full back Ben Sharp suffered an injury.  We hope it is not as bad as first feared and to see you back on the pitch soon.

Two minutes before the half-time whistle Ivybridge scored their second try of the day after a break again the run of play. The conversion successful the score at half-time 8-12. 

The second half saw North Tawton start with a bit more determination and confidence in their play.

Some big tackles from Simon Quick, James Miller and Aiden Jeffery were keeping the Ivybridge forwards from making any breaks through the defence. Backs Gary Sizmur and Ryan Gross were trying to open up the game a little more but couldn’t quite find the gap to break through. 

Ten minutes into the second half North Tawton had two attacking line-outs five metres out but on both occasions the Ivybridge defence did its job disrupting the drive and the ball was lost.

On the second occasion Ivybridge broke down the wing causing issues for the retreating defence of North Tawton. Shortly after they got their third try of the game, the conversion missed, the score now 8-17 to the away side.

The home support were now looking for a reaction from the players with half an hour to go and they got one.

Ivybridge were again reduced to 14 following another yellow card following successive infringements.

The game became more frantic and some hard carries from Simon Quick, Tom Stevens and Tom Chisholm began to open the game up more with both teams defensive line looking out of shape.

After some good attacking phases Ivybridge turned over the ball on their 10 metre line.

The clearance kick was charged down by Simon Cox and the ball was collected by Liam Pyle who went over the line for his second try of the season.  The conversion hit the post and landed the wrong side, the score 13-17.

From the restart the Tawts looked the far better side and momentum had shifted in their favour.

A little chip over the Ivybridge defence on the half way line was taken well by Liam and the Tawts made a good break down the wing.

The Ivybridge backs brought Liam down but the ball made its way to Tom Chisholm who managed to break a couple of tackles and dot the ball down between the posts for a try on his return to the team.  The extras were added by James Bowden, the score 20-17. 

The final 10 minutes saw North Tawton turn attack to defence and Ivybridge threw everything they had at the Tawts.

Ivybridge had the opportunity to draw the scores level when given a penalty but opted to kick the ball into the corner for an attacking line out.

The Tawts defence was excellent with the team working together to make their tackles, pushing Ivybridge back.

A couple of minutes to go and North Tawton were shown a yellow card for not rolling away in the tackle but this didn’t phase the team and with 15 seconds to go Ivybridge knocked the ball on a few metres out.

The Tawts secured the ball from the scrum, and with time being called, Gary Sizmur kicked the ball out to touch to end the game much to the relief of the home spectators.

This was a great team performance, one which I would like to give everyone praise as each player stood up and gave a good account of themselves.

The Man of the Match was awarded to Number 8, Simon Quick, who was industrious in attack and defence.

The result doesn’t take the team up a position in the league but makes sure they are making ground on the teams above them who we still have to play the majority of in the second half of the season. 

This coming weekend the team travel to Barnstaple Seconds for an earlier kick off of 2pm. The team as always looks forward to seeing your support!

Jabby Fewings