The R&Bs travelled to North Devon in what was always going to be a difficult & tricky encounter despite the hosts lowly league position, writes Allyn Chetland. Prop Ollie Price & fullback George Hodgson were both unavailable so Ryan Marke & Alex Davey stepped into the starting XV with Will Hinchcliffe & Tyler Hart taking places on the bench.
As the score would suggest this was a game of attrition played in very heavy conditions under foot and at times monsoon rain. Credit where credit is due the hosts dominated territory & possession throughout the game adapting to the conditions better than The R&Bs. Despite this advantage Bideford could not break down The R&Bs superb defensive performance by the whole of the team with Alex Davey & Ash Harney putting in huge try saving tackles when tries seemed a certainty.
For their defensive work alone The R&Bs deserved to take points away from this encounter. When The R&Bs did get their hands on the ball they looked the more dangerous of the teams but unfortunately these periods were few and far between. Chris Kitto was The R&Bs try scorer immediately after the re-start to even the scores following an excellent & well executed attack, Captain Paddy Jarman unfortunately hit the woodwork with conversion from wide out.
Liam Phillips was a thorn in Bideford’s side all game and Cam Venn looked like he is getting back to his best after 6 weeks on the sidelines. Chris Batts tackled & ran hard all game whilst winger Harney always was a threat out wide with ball in hand.
Next week The R&Bs welcome Credition to The Athletic Ground – the Devon side are lying 3rd in the league, one place above The R&Bs. When the sides met at the beginning of the season The R&Bs lost by a single point, The R&Bs final kick of the game going just wide. This is sure to be another tough and gruelling encounter so to make amends for the early season loss The R&Bs will need to be firing on all cylinders.
Squad: J.Richards, J.Dyke, R.Marke, R.Walker, C.Kitto, D.Lee, L.Phillips, M.Walker, D.Goldstone, P.Jarman(c), A.Harney, V.Gordon, C.Batts, N.Pitman, A.Davey, C.Venn, T.Hart, W.Hinchcliffe