Kingsbridge A XV 41,

KINGSBRIDGE A XV kicked off their new 2015-2016 campaign with the first-ever visit of Devon One club New Cross to High House last Saturday.

The match day squad included a few members of the first XV squad who were un­available for the warm-up match with Paign­ton the previous week to give them some match time prior to the start of the new league season, which kicks off this week.

The Blue and Whites – sporting their cracking new hooped shirts – started strongly as they scored almost immediately from the kick off.

A break along the top touchline from winger Alex Allen saw him pass inside to full-back George Banfield, who beat the final de­fender to touch down. Banfield added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

The visitors, however, came back strongly and soon moved into a 7-12 lead with two tries, the second of which was converted and came from a short-range tap penalty through their string set of forwards.

Back came Kings­bridge again with a second try from Banfield, who crossed over wide out following a quickly taken tap penalty to make the score 12-12.

Winger Allen then crossed over wide on the overlap for the home team’s third try before the visitors rounded off a five-metre catch and drive move to take the score to 19-17 at the end of the second quarter.

Banfield completed his hat-trick early in the third quarter following an excellent break in the New Cross 22 from replacement Keilan Gorman and added the conversion himself to extend the hosts lead to 26-17.

Back came New Cross again with another converted score to close the gap to 26-24 with a try wide out from a tap penalty.

A try under the posts from home centre Dave Stephens, following a break off the base of the scrum from number eight Matt Hamilton, saw the home team pull away again to 31-24.

New Cross scored a further converted try to reduce the deficit back to 31-29 before the hosts pulled away with two tries late in the game.

The first saw winger Allen cross over in the top corner after being put clear on the overlap, while opposite winger James Oggelsby rounded off the scoring with the home team’s seventh try of the game. A great warm-up for the A XV squad ahead of their new season.

This Saturday sees the 1st XV kick off their Western Counties West league campaign with a trip to league new boys Saltash. The A XV are without a game while the Colts XV will entertain Saltash Colts in a friendly at High House at 3pm.

This evening (Friday) sees the first registration evening for the Kingsbridge junior section from 6.30pm.

All existing and prospective new players are welcome, with training for age groups from under sixes to under 11s from 6.30pm to 7.30pm and for age groups from under 12s to under 15s from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.

The club is also running two girls age groups again this year with training for both the under 13s and under 15s taking place from 7.30pm. Training for the under 16s takes place on Wednesday evenings this season from 7pm.