Cornwall & Devon

Wellington 75, Torrington 3

After gaining promotion the week before following the hard fought victory over Honiton, the R&Bs welcomed Torrington to The Athletic Field last Saturday in the knowledge that a victory would see them crowned Cornwall & Devon 2017/18 League Champions, writes Allyn Chetland.

It was a complete opposite situation for Torrington, who already knew they were regulated before the game started and were struggling to field a team to fulfil the fixture during the preceding week.

For some it might have been the easy option to give the R&Bs a walk over, however to their immense credit Torrington chose not to go down this path and fulfilled the league fixture.

Micky Norman returned to the Wellington starting XV in place of the injured Danny Lee, rotation in the front row saw Josh Hancock starting in the front row with Ryan Marke moving to bench and Corey Jenkinson started at scrum-half with father Tim also taking a place on the bench. Ben Gamlin took the 3rd & final place on the bench. 

The R&Bs went into the match full of confidence and as the score would suggest went onto dominate all aspects of the game.

Torrington tried their best to stem the onslaught of tries but their efforts ultimately proved to be in vain.

Torrington had a solitary chance to score after the R&Bs gave away a penalty at ruck, which was duly taken, and it must said was thoroughly deserved for the effort and passion that they put into what was always going to be a lost cause.

For the R&Bs it was pleasing to see all the patterns and moves practised on the training paddock, to score some delightful tries, being put into operation on match day.

The R&B’s try scorers were; Tyler Hart (3), George Hodgson (2), Ben Gamlin (2) with Joe Dyke, captain Patrick Jarman, Micky Norman, Nev Pitman, Liam Phillips and Alex Davey scoring one try each.

Alex Davey kicked two conversions whilst Micky Norman & Josh Hancock kicked one each.

As the final whistle blew the bubbly started flowing as The R&Bs began celebrating being crowned Cornwall & Devon League Champions 2017/18 – a thoroughly deserved honour eventually running out 9 points clear of their nearest rivals.

This was the R&Bs' 23rd consecutive league victory which is testament to all the hard work that has been have put in, especially by the players, since pre-season training started back in early July 2017.

However, the season is not yet finished, one more game to go for the team.

Tonight (Tuesday) sees Wellington travel to North Petherton RFC to take on Winscombe RFC in the final of the Somerset Vase (7.30pm).

Wincombe play in a league above the R&Bs so the team will have their work cut out to bring the cup back to The Athletic Ground.

Team: J.Hancock, J.Dyke, L.Wadham, R.Walker, W.Hinchcliffe, C.Kitto, L.Phillips, M.Norman, C.Jenkinson, P.Jarman (c), G,Hodgson, C,Batts, N.Pitman, T.Hart, A.Davey, R.Marke, T.Jenkinson, B.Gamlin

Western Counties play-off
Wiveliscombe 12, Barton Hill 15

WIVELISCOMBE just missed out on promotion to Western Counties North and will remain in the Somerset Premier next season, writes Roger Bellamy.

There was little to choose between Wivey and visitors Barton Hill, except for the latter's ability to keep ball amongst their forwards, starving the home team of possession for large periods of the game.

Spectators had turned out in good numbers, hoping to see Wivey make the step up the leagues, but the home team went behind early on, with Nathan Coe finishing off good work by his fellow forwards.

Captain Nick Yiasoumi added the extras to put the visitors 7-0 up.

Playing down the slope, the hosts never found the form that they had shown throughout this season.

The visiting defence was tested on the odd occasion but Wivey's free-flowing game never really materialised.

The home forwards made some good outings into the Barton Hill 22 and were successful on one such occasion, when prop Matthew Ellis – Wivey's man of the match – forced his way over the try-line. 

Centre Dan Quick converted to level the score at 7-7. 

Both teams had their moments throughout the remainder of the first half, but the score remained the same at the interval.

Wivey would have to show good resolve playing up the slope in the second period and they started well enough, constructing some decent phases of play. 

The three-quarters found some space and were rewarded with a try from Jake Sharland in the top corner. 

The conversion was missed, and so the hosts' lead was 12-7.

Barton Hill realised they had to keep the game tight and this they did very well, with their robust forwards making yards through driving mauls and round the corner plays. 

Wivey had no answer and started to upset the referee with their defensive tactics, losing a player to the bin and Yiasoumi closing the gap to 12-10 with a penalty.

The home side's hopes of holding on to their narrow lead were dashed when a second yellow card reduced them to 13 players. 

The visitors maintained their driving play through the forwards, giving them good field position and enabling their three-quarters to score the winning try through winger Sam Grant.

Wivey, back up to 14 players tried in vain to retrieve the situation, Barton Hill coming away as 15-12 victors.