North Tawton 20
(Match abandoned after 65 minutes)
NORTH Tawton made the long journey south knowing that a win at third place Salcombe would see them definitely promoted into Devon one next season.
Salcombe, however, had yet to lose at home and mathematically could still be promoted themselves.
The Crabs started the better of the two sides as they set up camp in the North Tawton 22 for the first 10 minutes of the game.
Tawton did defend ferociously against the slope with Simon Quick and Tom Phillips particularly dominating around the fringes. Salcombe kept up the pressure and were eventually awarded a penalty which just drifted wide of the uprights. This opened up an opportunity for North Tawton to clear their lines but they soon found themselves back under the cosh as Salcombe's big carrying forwards drew in enough defenders for their winger Darren Clarke to find some space out wide for the opening try of the game.
North Tawton continued to defend for much of the half and went 10-0 down after Chris Drew made amends for his previous penalty miss on 33 minutes. This unfamiliar position North Tawton found themselves in did force a change in gears as stand in captain Bill Sharp utilised turn over ball to release Alex Dennis on a mazy run before feeding Ben Sharp for a well taken try to make it 10-5 at half-time.
Despite being under intense pressure for the majority of the first half, the visitors with the slope were confident of reversing the deficit.
They made a start only 30 seconds into the second half when Alex Dennis converted a penalty in front of the sticks.
Drew quickly cancelled out Dennis' effort to bring the score to 13-8 but favours started to turn North Tawton's way as a potential knock on was missed by the official and sub Alfie May came off the bench to put the visitors into the lead.
Much of the play remained in the one half; North Tawton started to throw the ball about with much success as Jake Ayris scooped the ball from his feet to finish off a fine team score.
Just as North Tawton got going the game was unfortunately abandoned due to a neck injury to Salcombe's Mark Parnowski on the 65 minute mark. North Tawton will now have to wait to see if the games result stands or a replay is in order after the Devon RFU make their decision.