Devon and Cornwall League

Okehampton 22

Minehead Barbarians 7

THIS was another victory but the level of performance from the Okes was several notches down from recent weeks.

Although Okehampton are sitting comfortably in fifth place with nothing to aim for, this was however disappointing in both overall performance and that they did not win by a greater margin.

Uphill from the off, Okehampton started with attacking intent. They took an early lead when good driving play from the pack created an attacking opportunity on the blind side and winger Matt Dennis gleefully accepted the scoring pass to cross for the opener. Fly half Carl Poynton slotted an impressive extra two.

Minehead contested fiercely, exactly what you'd expect from a side still deeply embroiled in relegation battle and it was the Somerset visitors who were next on the board as they levelled the scores. An inside pass from the outside centre saw the left winger cut a supporting angle; he slipped the tackler's grasp and crossed to the right of the posts for a converted try.

At 7-7 the Okes tried to up the pace but the rainy conditions was influencing proceedings heavily as spillages abounded.

The Okes had the edge at scrum time though and that was to be the main force behind their next score. From one such set piece, the Okes drove the visitors backwards and number eight Sam Turner grounded the ball to regain the lead. Within ten minutes came the move of the match. From another scrum, scrum half Joey Bruce broke up the narrow side; he fed Gareth Espin who put top try scorer Rob Fishleigh away on the overlap to cross in the clubhouse corner to make it 17-7 at the interval.

The Okes dominated the second period down the slope. They were encamped almost continuously within the opposition 22 but failed to pile on the expected points. Credit to the visitors who defended with gusto, and who even tried to move the ball adventurously at times from deep.

The only score of the second period came when like last week, centre Luke Honeychurch hacked on a loose ball. Left winger Matt Dennis won the foot race to score his brace. Unconverted, the score remained at 22-7.

l This week the Okes are away to Newquay Hornets, ko 2.30pm.

Merit league

Okehampton seconds 45

Sidmouth seconds 3

OKEHAMPTON found it hard to deal with the uncontested scrums due to Sidmouth not having a recognised front row.

Sidmouth scored first with a penalty and after Okes stopped making unforced errors, the tries followed, the first by Dave Wills and next by Danny Carey after a good forward drive. Buzz Brimacombe converted.

At half time, and with the twos now playing down the slope expectations were high for a win. The seconds were on top and the tries followed man of the match Danny Carey bagging his second try with Buzz converting.

The seconds upped the pace of the game which resulted in Simon Bennett crashing over for a try; captain Simon Griffiths scored next, Buzz converting. Now with the Okehampton pack dominant, the backs had time and space to move the ball and two excellent tries followed the first by Pete Herrod-Tayor and the second by Dave Wills, Buzz converting both.

This was another strong performance by Oke seconds.