Bridge suffer narrow defeat as Reds' defence holds firm
National League Three South West
Old Redcliffians 8
Ivybridge face a trip to Lydney, near Gloucester, tomorrow, where they will be hoping to halt a run of three defeats in a row writes Tim Leigh.
Lydney, currently sixth in the table, kick off a tough run of games for the Bridge, who welcome seventh-placed Bournemouth to Cross-in-Hand the week after before travelling to Hornets, who sit fifth, on December 5.
They then have what on paper looks an easier game when they welcome the league’s bottom club, Chippenham, on December 12.
Ivybridge are still within touching distance of the upper reaches of the table, but senior coach Neil Thomson knows his side can’t afford to lose the winning habit they seemed to have nailed down early in the season.
He said: ‘We’ve now had a couple of losses on the trot and we’re down to ninth from second. We’re only six points off second, but we’ve got a tough month coming up and we need to start winning again.
‘There’s still a good atmosphere at training and we’re getting good numbers, Don Loomes and Gareth Elliot are missing for the Lydney game, but George deMendonca is in the squad, he’s been playing really well for the development team and has his confidence back.
‘The forecast looks like it’s going to be a bit better this weekend, so hopefully we’ll be able to play some rugby.’
Last weekend saw Ivybridge narrowly lose to second-placed Old Redcliffians in a low-scoring encounter, going down 3-8, despite the visitors being reduced to 14 men in the second half.
The only try of the game was scored at the end of the first half when Ivybridge couldn’t hold on to an up and under, allowing the Reds winger to pick up and dot down. A sole Matt Grieveson penalty was all Ivybridge had to show for their efforts.
This loss followed on from another close defeat the week before, 14-11 at Dings Crusaders.
Speaking about the Old Reds game, Thomson said: ‘I thought we were the better team again, we must have had around 65 per cent possession, good line-out, good scrum, but they defended very well, even when they were down to 14 men.
‘You look at their points for and against, they’re obviously a very good side defensively and they showed that.
‘They’re obviously second in the table for a reason but I think it shows that the teams in this league can beat each other, leaders Barnstaple only won by a single point.
‘The weather didn’t make for a great game and unfortunately when we got in to the red zone we made quite a few unforced errors.
‘There were a couple of incidents that could have gone our way, (fly-half) Matt Grieveson slipped while taking a kick that would have put us 6-5 up when they were at 14 men, then there was a cross-kick that just plugged in the outfield to give their defender an extra couple of yards to get back to it.
‘It’s unfortunate it’s got away from us.’
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