FOR their only pre-season fixture of the year, North Tawton welcomed Tavistock Seconds to Taw Meadows on a rather wet Friday evening under the lights on August 25.

There have been a few changes to the team this year with a few players moving on to pastures new but also some fresh faces joining the squad with the game being their first appearance for the club.

Players Jake Chisholm, Peter Gillard, Tim Gower, Damon Clarke and Tom Clemmet all making their first appearance for the club.

Due to the amount of players available for both teams the clubs agreed to play four x 20 minutes as to allow rotation of players.

The first opening minutes were predictably scrappy, which was expected with the conditions, and most players getting back into the swing of things.

Unfortunately only a few minutes in, the Tawts lost their Captain James Miller, to a knee injury, which we hope does not keep him out for too long.

The Tawts were playing with great confidence with some good breaks through the Tavi defence from Simon Quick, Gary Sizmur and Jake Chisholm.

Despite this a few handling errors began to creep in to give Tavi some reprieve.

Tavistock were also trying to carry hard into contact and also using their kicking game to put the Tawts back three under pressure by kicking deep to corner.

Two minutes before the end of the opening 20 minutes the Tawts found themselves only a couple metres short of the Tavi try line.

After a few crash balls from the forwards, Mike Young crashed over the line to score North Tawton’s first try of the game. Fly-half Liam Pyle added the extras, the score 7-0.

The next 20 minutes offered very much the same as the first.

It would be fair to say North Tawton were taking control of the game with their defence working well to keep Tavistock out of getting any rhythm going.

The game was 10 minutes into the Second quarter and North Tawton scored their second try.

North Tawton found themselves with an attacking scrum a few metres short of Tavistocks try line.

The scrum had been performing well most of the game and a great drive saw Peter Gillard score from the back of the scrum on his debut. Liam again added the extras, the score 14-0.

North Tawton used the momentum well and only a few minutes later scored their third try of the game.

A great kick by Gary Sizmur saw the Tawts gain an attacking line out five meters out.

A long throw over the pack was then taken by Gary Sizmur who darted his way over the line to score his first try of the game. A missed conversion the score now 19-0.

This saw a reaction for Tavistock and the closing minutes of the Second quarter, the away side started to gain some momentum and begin to find some holes in the Tawts defence.

As the third quarter began, Tavistock came out and began to take a grip of the game.

Tavistock began to get the ball out wide, trying to stretch the Tawts defence. Some good breaks by Tavistock’s backs almost put them through.

Some good covering tackles by the Tawts forced some handling errors and gave some relief to the home fans.

Eventually Tavistock got the try their play deserved and took the score to 19-7.

From the restart and against the run of play, North Tawton found themselves in an attacking position.

With a penalty advantage, Liam attempted a cross field kick. Winger Archie Taylor kept the ball alive and gained another penalty.

A quick tap by Ryan Gross was passed out to Gary Sizmur waiting on the wing to dive over in the corner. The extras added by Liam, the score 26-7.

Despite this, Tavistock were still playing the better rugby, stretching the Tawts defence and aiming to break down the wings.

One break down the wing and the scrambling defence tried to stop the try.

North Tawton were reduced to 14 players with a yellow card given for a no arms tackle. Tavistock tried to make the extra man count by the third quarter, which finished 26-7.

The last quarter was a much more even affair, with both teams trying to play quick back despite the slippery conditions.

North Tawton saw another casualty and they lost hooker Stuart Bennie to a knee injury. We also hope this doesn’t keep him out for too long.

Club coach Simon Quick scored a try for the Tawts after some good carries from the forward pack. The try well deserved for Simon who had been carrying the ball hard all game.

Tavistock also had some joy in this quarter by scoring another try to take the final score to 33-12.

Overall some really good positives to take from the game for the Tawts.

A good debut for all players and some standout performances by the usual suspects. There is still plenty for Coach Simon Quick to work on but this performance gives him a good platform to work on for the season ahead.

Man of the match for North Tawton was Michael Young.

North Tawton RFC would like to thank kit sponsors Lamisell for sponsoring the game and the supporters who made their way down to watch.

North Tawton begin the competitive season on Saturday, September 2, with a home fixture against Withycombe.

by Jabby Fewings