KINGSBRIDGE A XV kicked off the new 2016-2017 season, last Saturday, with the visit of Devon One League side New Cross to High House.

The game, being an early season warm up for both clubs, saw the match played in four quarters enabling both teams to change players regularly as well as taking water on board in the hot August sunshine.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring after 15 minutes of the opening quarter as they crossed over from close range through the forwards. Back came the hosts however as they fought back downfield and scored their opening try through fly half George Banfield to leave the score at 5-7.

The hosts took the lead during the second quarter as a charge down kick from number 8 and captain Jeff Merrin saw play taken deep into the New Cross 22 from where lock James Palmer crossed over to score his debut try since joining the club from Salcombe to make the score 10-14.

The third quarter saw Kingsbridge move into the lead for the first time as the hosts turned over a New Cross five metre line out where the ball fell invitingly to flanker Ali Hamilton who went over the line for what is best described as a rather fortuitous touchdown. Banfield’s successful conversion saw the score move to 17-14.

In the final quarter New Cross retook the lead after a loose Kingsbridge kick in attack in the visitors half saw New Cross counter attack and exploit the hosts on the overlap as they ran in from 70 metres to touch down near the posts. The conversion put them 17-21 ahead with ten minutes remaining.

Kingsbridge however were not to be out done as they took play deep into the visitors half where they won a penalty on the 22. A quick tap saw the ball moved along the back line and good work from winger Alex Allen and full back James Oggelsby saw the ball switched back inside for centre Freddie Buckle to gain the touchdown. Banfield converted again to put Kingsbridge back in front at 24-21.

The final few minutes were played out in mid field as the hosts hung on for a well fought and deserved victory.

This weekend sees the 1st XV start their new league campaign in South West One, following their promotion at the end of last season, with a trip to face Thornbury. Kingsbridge A XV do not have a match on Kingsbridge Show day but the Colts travel to face South Molton Colts for a friendly.

Friday sees the first Juniors training and registration evening from 6.30 pm for all age groups from Under 6’s to Under 16’s including the three girls teams (Under 13’s, Under 15’s and Under 18’s).