KINGSBRIDGE 19 Points BIDEFORD 31
KINGSBRIDGE welcomed Bideford to High House for their first home league match of the new season, in the South West One league on Saturday.
Kingsbridge were without a number of first choice players through injury and unavailability, which gave several younger players the chance to stake their claim for a regular starting place in the team.
The visitors opened the scoring, to lead 0-3, after just 4 minutes as Kingsbridge were caught offside in midfield. However Kings George Jones, making his 1st XV debut at fly half, levelled the score at 3-3, after 6 minutes, as he slotted his first kick at goal when Bideford were also caught offside. Five minutes later he scored his second penalty to put Kingsbridge 6-3 ahead before Bideford missed their next kick at goal from in front of the posts.
On 24 minutes Jones scored his third penalty to take the score to 9-3 in the hosts favour before the visitors crossed over for the first try of the match on 31 minutes. After taking a quick tap penalty in the Kingsbridge 22, the Bideford forwards caught the Kingsbridge defence off guard and, despite more than a hint of the ball being dropped over the line, the try was awarded and the subsequent conversion saw Bideford go 9-10 ahead.
The hosts fought back strongly and returned play to the visitors half. Bideford attempted to clear their 22 with a long kick downfield which was fielded by Stu Winzer, who fed the ball onto full back George Banfield on the Kingsbridge ten metre line. Banfield spotted a gap in the forwards defence and weaved his way through to find himself in the clear in the Bideford 22 and whilst he was tap tackled near the line he managed to scramble his way over to touch down for a superb individual try. Jones was again on target with the conversion to put Kingsbridge into the lead 16-10 at half time.
Unfortunately the home lead did not last long into the second half as the visitors hit back soon after the break with a catch and drive line out try to retake the lead at 16-17. They then extended that lead 15 minutes into the second half as they overturned a Kingsbridge five metre scrum for their number 8 to touch down near the posts. The simple conversion was added to see the visitors pull clear at 16-24.
Kingsbridge were not done however as they put themselves back within striking distance through a fourth successful George Jones penalty, 15 minutes from time, to reduce the deficit to 19-24. However it was the visitors who had the final say as they crossed over from a rolling maul following a line out on the Kingsbridge 22 to score their fourth try and take their lead out to 19-31.
There are certainly good signs in the Kingsbridge side playing at this new level and it can surely be only a matter of time before the first win comes their way to settle the nerves.
This weekend sees the 1st XV travel to face current league leaders Weston-super-Mare whilst the A XV will be entertaining Ivybridge II’s at High House at 3pm. Kingsbridge Colts travel the relatively short distance to face Plymstock Colts in the Devon Colts Merit Table.