Tribute Devon 2 League
North Tawton 32
THE start of this match was marked by a one-minute silence in respect for a young Totnes rugby player who had died earlier in the week.
With the wind at their backs Tawton weathered early pressure and a three-quarter move across the field from the back of a lineout took the ball to centre Johnny Grayling. He charged over the line to score a good individual try. The conversion was pulled wide.
Intelligent use of the wind by fly half Rob North kept Buckfastleigh pinned back and they were penalised for holding on after the tackle to give scrum half David Fewings a penalty kick to the posts. This was well struck and North Tawton moved into a lead of 8-0 after 20 minutes.
Keith Jones, captain, and the other flanker, made a searing break off the back of a loose maul and sprinted for the line. He was held at the five-metre line but a pass out to his centre Simon Quick put him through for the second try. The conversion by Fewings followed and North Tawton moved to 15-0 ahead.
Buckfastleigh mounted a rare attack through good loose mauling by their pack. This was the one area where they were having some success and from a maul about five metres from Tawton's line scrum half Bairstow picked up and darted over for their first score, consolidated by the conversion by fly half Steve Chappel.
Tawton mounted another good attack and hooker Alfie May picked up a ball off the back of a loose maul close to the Buckfastleigh line. He bundled his way through the defensive tackles to touch down almost behind the posts. David Fewings completed the conversion.
Superb recycling of the ball kept the match moving at breakneck speed and a third try was almost inevitable. It came following a long kick up field by Tawton full back Tom Davis which he followed up well and charged down the Buckfastleigh clearance. The ball was hacked away only to be cleaned up by wing Mike Symons. He ran the ball straight back and laid off a pass to second row Mike Young who went over for the try. This time the conversion was missed.
In the second half the hopes of Buckfastleigh benefiting from the wind advantage were dashed by a crucial early try for North Tawton. A tap penalty by David Fewings caught them off guard and he made good ground, spinning out of tackles. He fed a pass to supporting centre Simon Quick who finished off the try. The conversion was just missed.
Buckfastleigh threw everything they had into the attack and got some return for their efforts. Two well-taken tries by centre Greg Robinson and conversions by fly half Chappel pulled the scoreline back to 32-21 in favour of North Tawton.
LEFT: North Tawton's lineout jumpers Rob McBain (foreground) and Clint Brown (background) dominate a Buckfastleigh throw.
Picture by Pete Hoggins