Tribute Western Counties West

Kingsbridge 24, Devonport 8

This was one of the Blue and Whites' best performances so far this season as they completed the league double over Devonport at High House on Satur­day.

Kingsbridge had achieved a 10-22 bonus point win when the two teams first met back in September, but the visitors had gained some notable victories since then and are the only team to have defeated league leaders Exeter University so far this season.

Kingsbridge are currently fielding a very young squad due to injuries and unavailabilites, but this did nothing to stop them from showing the home supporters just what they are capable of.

Despite being a much smaller team all round, they proved that size doesn't always matter with the forwards in outstanding form in the scrum and the backs showing some scintillating pace and dogged defence out wide.

The hosts, with the wind at their backs, started by far the brighter and took the lead early through a George Banfield penalty.

The home team then increased their lead as a quick tap penalty on the five-metre line saw the Devonport defence tied in when the ball was switched wide, allowing full-back Ban­field to cross wide out. Banfield converted his own try to see Kings go clear at 10-0.

Only six minutes later and the home side pulled further ahead. A Kingsbridge rolling maul near the visitors' 22 saw Couch release the ball to the loitering Jack Cope, who dummied his way through the first line of defence before powering over the line and gaining the second touchdown of the half.

Banfield was again on target with the conversion to see the lead extended to 17-0.

Devonport reduced the deficit five minutes before the interval with a catch-and-drive move from a five-metre line-out to leave the score at 17-5 at half time.

The question at the start of the second half was whether Kings secured enough points in the first half with the wind at their backs.

Devonport were first on the board as Kings were caught offside and they duly converted the penalty to re­duce the score to 17-8.

However, Kings came back strongly and forced their way back downfield, where a powerful break from centre James Trout took play to within five metres of the Devon­port line.

From the ensuing ruck scrum-half Couch popped a neat inside pass to flanker Ali Hamilton to crash through near the posts to score the hosts' third try. Banfield's fourth successful kick saw Kings move further ahead at 24-8.

With 10 minutes remaining the hosts would have had hopes of securing the bonus-point try and when they were awarded a five-metre scrum they looked as if they would secure it.

Regrettably, the ball was knocked on and the chance was missed. This, however, should not detract from a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining victory that pushes Kings back up to fourth in the table.

This Saturday sees Kingsbridge travel to face league leaders Exeter University, while the A XV return to Merit Table action with the visit of Bide­ford to High House at 2.30pm. The Colts host Honiton Colts on the Longfield Pitch at 2pm in the Devon Colts Merit Table.

Kingsbridge RFC are delighted to announce that three of their players have been selected to play for Devon Under 20s on Sunday as the county side take on Gloucestershire at Cinderford. George Banfield, Jack Fergus­son and Matthew Allen have all represented KRFC 1st XV this season and this recognition shows the hard work that the players have put in this season.