North Tawton 27

ON a glorious sunny afternoon North Tawton were looking to beat a solid looking Buckfastleigh rugby side to take a place in the Devon shield final, which is to be played at Taw Meadow on April 22 — North Tawton RFC being awarded the Devon finals day

North Tawton kicked off the first half playing up the hill and the first few exchanges saw a few knock ons from both sides and it was 37minutes into the game before the first score – a converted try to Buckfast to make it 7-0 to the home side. It did not take long for the visitors to respond with a well worked try by number five Ed Riches for 7-5. After the hard work of getting the first of their tries, North Tawton seem to doze a tad and Buckfast took advantage to score their second try - a good run from deep to touch down and a conversion to take the score to 14-5 in the home side’s favour.

Just before the half time whistle North Tawton were awarded a penalty almost right in front of the posts, which was kicked by Dave Fewings to make the half-time score 14-8 to Buckfast.

The second half got underway with Tawton now playing down the slope and they seemed to have found some confidence to play their game; a try by hooker Matt Baker and a good kick from Dave Fewings gave North Tawton the lead for the first time, 14-15.

Try as they did Buckfast could not break the Tawton defence, with some good covering play by the away side and poor handling letting the home side down at vital moments. Unfortunately for the visitors Matt Baker had to leave the field with sun stroke.

Then man of the match, North Tawton’s Matty Dennis charged forward down the touch lines to score two tries in the final third of the match – these with a successful conversion by Dave Fewings took the score to 14-27 to the visitors.

The last few minutes of the game was marred for North Tawton by Dennis taking a nasty knock to the head before he left the pitch to a well deserved round of applause.

It was not the best North Tawton had played this season but it was a workman like performance from everybody that got the job done, a job that now gives them the chance to get some revenge over Torrington in the shield final at Taw Meadow on April 22.