Match Reports - BRFC

Go to content

Main menu:

Match Reports

FIRST XV
For programme notes, including published team lists, click HERE
29th April 2017  Brixham 35  Okehampton 20
In the last 16 years Brixham have been defeated in tghe Devon Cup Final six times – four of these losses coming at Astley Park.  Would 2017 be the year when they won it on home turf?  A bright sunny day provided almost ideal conditions and a large crowd a great atmosphere.
Within five minutes Brixham had their noses in front when full-back Ben Lovell kicked a penalty goal.  It was not to last long.  After the restart they found themselves penned into their own half and after a series of attacking phases by Okes a gap appeared and the try-line was crossed.  The conversion failed but Brixham now knew that the visitors meant business.
On the quarter-hour markBrixham regained the lead.  Fourteen phases of play, mostly involving the forwards edged them ever closer to the try line and ended with lock Malcolm Onsando touching down.  Lovell missed the extras.
For the next fifteen minutes Brixham failed to create any continuity and had to cope with the lively Okehampton backs.  As a result much of the play was in the Brixham half.  After a clearance kick to the Okes 10 metre line, the lineout was stolen by Onsando and Brixham strung a series of phases together to get close to the whitewash.  
Okes held out but when they failed to clear their lines Brixham again went through an attacking sequence.  Eleven phases later, and five metres out, Okehampton conceded a penalty.  This was taken quickly and prop Russ Morris crashed over for a try, converted by Lovell.
A long-range penalty for the visitors narrowed the gap but Brixham took their 15-8 lead to the interval.
Okehampton missed a penalty early in the second period but reduced their deficit to two points with a n unconverted try in the playground corner after ten minutes.
The Brixham lead was restored  when Russ Morris crossed for his second try.  As before this came after a long succession of attacking phases as the defence was stretched one way and the other.  Lovell converted.
Further attacking was rewarded with two penalties, courtesy of Lovell’s boot.  With ten minutes to play Brixham had a fifteen point lead but Okes were on the offensive.  For a while the defense held out but a good angled run by Okes’ winger took him through for a converted try.
A brief Brixham attack gained nothing and when the visitors countered Brixham conceded a penalty in front of the posts and a player to the sin-bin.  The kick was badly missed, to the relief of the Brixham supporters, and the game entered injury time.
The drop-out restart was semi-charged down but centre Tom McLean recovered the ball and ran through the defence to set up another attacking position.  Okehampton conceded a penalty but the kick was missed.  After Brixham regained the ball from the drop-out, it went to centre Marc Koteczky whose run took him towards the line from thirty metres out.  
The last defender failed to do enough to stop the arms-length touchdown.  Outside-half Ed Barnes added the conversion and the referee immediately blew for time.
Okehampton had been beaten but Brixham knew they had been in a hard game.
Players and supporters alike could not celebrate the return of the Cup to Astley Park.

22nd April 2017  Brixham 23  Newton Abbot 29
With the Devon Cup final next weekend this was not the result that Brixham were looking for.  The defeat means that they have finished their league season in mid-table.
Early pressure took Brixham close to the try-line but the Newton defence was up to the task and held out.  When Newton attacked they could not cross the whitewash either but took the lead with a penalty goal.
On the 15 minute mark the lead was doubled with a drop-goal but Brixham returned to the attack and after a jinking run by winger Elliot Bryers that took him to within 5 metres the ball went infield and prop Declan Sexton crossed between the posts for a try.  Ben Lovell converted and Brixham were ahead.
It was short-lived.  In quick succession Newton scored two penalty goals and Brixham had a man in the sin-bin.  In the following ten minutes Brixham conceded two tries, the first from an interception while they were in a promising attacking position, the second after a brief Newton attacking spell when the Fishermen’s defensive net was unexpectedly holed.
With the conversions Brixham had a big deficit to overhaul.  Brixham continued to make most of the running but could find no way through and two missed penalty attempts left them trailing 26-7 at the interval.
The second period witnessed little action to trouble the scoreboard.  Within five minutes a penalty extended the visitors’ lead, cancelled out by one by Ben Lovell for Brixham.
With Newton on top at scrum-time, and assisted by good positional kicking, much of the second-half action was in the Brixham half.  The Brixham defence held firm, as did the Newton one when required.  With time nearly up Brixham showed what they can do.
Eleven phases of play with some neat offload s and bursts of speed thrown in took them from their own 22 to the Newton line.  From a scrum in front of the posts, three pairs of hands took the ball wide and flanker Scott Puleston went over for a try.
After the restart a similar passage of play took Brixham to the Newton line and culminated with a quickly taken tap penalty and winger Matt Limmer touching down.  The conversions failed and Brixham trailed by six points.  There was still time for an epic comeback – but not enough to realise it.
The last game of the season will be the Devon Cup Final at Astley Park; Brixham’s opponents will be Okehampton.

8th April 2017  Bromsgrove 17  Brixham 21
First half
Nice club here in Bromsgrove, sun is out BBQ lit and bars open...All good
Just before kick off at Bromsgrove. Good luck Fishermen.
Game on..
Great attack from Billy Roberts, just short of line.
Great attack from Bromsgrove and what should have been a try but forward pass
Brixham look to have edge in scrum, very hard pitch today.
Still no score as teams sort each other out. 8mins played
Bromsgrove pen chance from 40m as Brixham not rolling away.
Kick is good...Bromsgrove 3-0 Brixham 10mins played, Brixham lineout needs to settle, no Malc today.
Unlucky Bromsgrove as ref called back for advantage just as they ran clear, to be fair ref never would have guessed lucky bounce.
Now Brixham try disallowed for Limmer as forward pass
Brixham pen chance now from 40m
Lovell kicks and its good Bromsgrove 3-3 Brixham
Try Joe Lovell...great hands from backs...Lovell converts Bromsgrove 3-10 Brixham 25mins played
Bromsgrove still attack but Brixham defense is good today 30mins played
Bit of a rugby tennis half this as Bromsgrove kick again, but good tactics this time 5m line to Bromsgrove
More great defence from Brixham but another pen for Bromsgrove on brix line.
Again Brixham turn over and clear lines.
Try under posts for Bromsgrove after much possession, deserved Bromsgrove 10-10 Brixham 42mins,  first half still.
HT Bromsgrove 10-10 Brixham
Great to see so many travelling supporters again, on behalf of the club many thanks for the outstanding support home and especially away.

Match report, twitter style, thanks to Steve McKee
Second half
Brixham attack but give away pen on line
Brixham scrum in Bromsgrove 22
Pack drive for a pen, Lovell points at sticks....
Kick is pulled wide still 10-10
Lovell kicks Brixham into 22 for lineout
Another pen for Brixham and Lovell tries again.....
This time its good Bromsgrove 10-13 Brixham 53mins played ish.
Bromsgrove interception try, a mile offside but given.....Bromsgrove 17-13 Brixham 55mins played.
Brixham back on attack, held up over line
Brixham dominate every scrum and pen given against on 5m line attacking .
Just not happening right now for Brixham.
Massive overlap for Brixham as Sam Thomas finishes in corner for Brixham..
Bromsgrove 17-18 Brixham with kick to come from Lovell....
Kick just wide Bromsgrove 17-18 Brixham about 15mins to play.
Great stuff from Worthington as he wins a lineout for Brixham
Massive flare up on pitch by both sides
Ref speaks to captains “no more”
Now Brixham have scrum on Bromsgrove 22
McGregor over line but held up, Brixham 5m scrum....
Brixham held up again over line...5m scrum again.
Brixham drive Bromsgrove off ball for pen, Lovell points to posts...
Kick is good ...and FT Bromsgrove 17-21 Brixham
Thanks to Bromsgrove for a great day today at your club, good luck next season.

1st April 2017  Brixham 38  Camborne 14
Each year the South-West group of referees award a cup to the club that does most to look after the match officials.  Last year Brixham were joint winners with Bournemouth, this year they narrowly beat their visitors to gain the cup, presented by Terry Friend on behalf of the officials to Ray Gardner, Club President.
With the season drawing to a close, Brixham gave debuts to two players – Jesse Lowe from the Colts and Matt Limmer who has joined from Torquay
The game started in drizzle and after a brief respite continued in pouring rain.  These were not ideal conditions but Brixham had the slope in the first half and would look to build a defensible lead.
The Fishermen had the better of the early stages, going through the phases using both their big men and the backs.  Camborne weathered the ten minute early storm and went upfield to lay siege to the Brixham line.  The ten minute spell ended with Brixham again on the offensive.
The scoreboard saw no action in all this but Brixham were denied an almost certain try on the half-hour mark due to a forward pass.  Another brief attacking spell went unrewarded but the next Brixham attack ended with a penalty goal, kicked by Ben Lovell.
With ten minutes of the first half remaining three points was not the lead that Brixham wanted.  Pressure on the Camborne line took the Fishermen close to the Brixham line before hooker Davy McGregor dived over.
From the restart Brixham were straight back on attack and a second try came quickly.  Camborne were looking to clear their lines after a scrum on the 22 but the kick was too low and charged down by Dom Connor who won the race to touch down.
Half time was close but again Brixham attacked from the restart. A lineout on halfway provided the platform and after an initial break by McGregor he found No 8 Sam Thomas in support.  His 35 metre run to the line was virtually unopposed.
With Lovell’s three conversions the Fishermen had rapidly built a 24-0 lead at the break. Seven minutes into the second period Brixham had the chance to extend it but Lovell’s penalty from halfway was just short.
A spell of Camborne pressure failed to penetrate the defensive net and in the worsening weather both sides were making handling errors.
Midway through the period Brixham earned a bonus point with their fourth try.  After a lineout on the visitors’ 22 Sam Thomas made the first break, continued by Scott Puleston and McGregor, finished by winger Elliot Bryers under the posts.
Further Brixham pressure won them a scrum on the 5 metre line.  Brixham were penalised, Camborne took it quickly but spilt the ball.  Centre Mark Koteczky snapped it up and danced through four defenders on his way to the line.
With Lovell’s conversions Brixham were 38-0 ahead. With ten minutes left on the watch the Cornishmen’s preferred tactic of kicking for position at last bore fruit and the discomfort of being nilled was avoided.
Camborne got down to Mudstone corner and Brixham could not get out.  A succession of scrums and attacks on the line eventually brought a penalty try and conversion.  The last move of the match saw Brixham concede a second try but the contest had long been won.
The last game of the season will be the Devon Cup Final at Astley Park; Brixham’s opponents will be either Bideford or Okehampton.

25th March 2017  Launceston 17  Brixham 18
The Fishermen delivered a blow to the Cornish All Blacks’ hopes of avoiding relegation by snatching victory with the final kick of the game.  Brixham never showed the dominance they had against Ivybridge last weekend in the Cup and always knew that, with their opponents fighting for survival, it was going to be tough in Cornwall.
Launceston took a very early lead.  After several phases of play had taken them close to the try-line n they crossed it in the right corner.  The conversion attempt failed but they had their noses where they wanted them – in front.
On twelve minutes Brixham struck back.  Having done most of the attacking since falling behind they were threatening the homesters line when the referee spotted a defensive infringement.  Full-back Ben Lovell slotted the penalty.
From this point most of the play was in midfield, with the defences on top.  Midway through the half Brixham survived a succession of scrums on their 5 metre line. A spell of Brixham attacking then followed.  Pressure on the Launceston line brought nothing.  
Shortly afterwards they attacked from a scrum on the halfway line and winger Elliot Bryers outpaced the defence to score a try and put Brixham ahead.  Lovell’s conversion attempt into the wind went wide.
Just before the break Launceston were ahead again.  Picking up the ball at a ruck in midfield one of their forwards saw space ahead of him and charged though to the line.  The conversion was good and the partisan supporters were ecstatic.
The first ten minutes of the second period saw first Brixham, then Launceston, pressurising each others’ line with the defences holding firm.  On the 15 minute mark Brixham were again close to the line and looked to have scored a try from a quickly taken tap penalty.
The referee called play back and Lovell took three points with a penalty goal to leave the Fishermen a point behind.  With play mainly between the 22s the scoreline of 12-11 meant that the next score could be crucial.  Launceston nearly broke the deadlock with a break down the left wing – halted by Ben Lovell’s try-saving tackle into touch.
A long distance penalty attempt by Lovell could have put Brixham ahead but fell just short and a second attack by Launceston down the left ended with a knock-on.  Brixham were awarded a scrum ten metres out but lost the ball – the home pack pushed over for a try.  
The conversion was missed but they had a six point lead with just a minute left on the clock.  The importance of that miss was yet to be realised.
Once Brixham had regained possession after the restart they retained possession, making small gains of yards but no mistakes.  After twenty phases of possession they were still in midfield but Launceston conceded a penalty.  
Brixham took it quickly and a break by Ed Barnes took them close to the line.  Six more phases of the forwards edging closer and the ball went slightly wider to flanker Joe Lovell.  His intended tackler missed his mark and left a space for Joe to dive over.
His cousin, Ben Lovell, now had the conversion to win the game.  He did the necessary and Brixham recrossed the border with the victory.  Launceston now have only three games left to secure their National League place.

18th March 2017  Brixham 38  Ivybridge 25  (Devon Cup S/F)
After losing at home to Ivybridge in last week’s league match, the Fishermen got their revenge by running in five tries to secure their place in the Devon Cup Final for the third year running.
Ivybridge, playing with the wind and down the slope, got the perfect start.  When Brixham failed to handle the kick-off they won a five-metre scrum and were eventually awarded a penalty try from the set piece, which was easily converted.
They continued to make most of the running and went ten points ahead in the 12th minute with a penalty goal.
Brixham, though, did not let their heads drop and almost immediately reduced the deficit to three points with a try from close range by lock Adam Thomas, which Ben Lovell converted.
Just over midway through the half Lovell missed a penalty to pull Brixham level and a minute later Pinkus kicked one from the halfway line for Ivybridge to put them13-7 up.
Brixham had been under pressure at scrum-time but now began to dominate the game despite playing against the elements.  Quick pick-and-go play from the Brixham pack had them knocking on the Ivybridge try-line and though one touchdown was disallowed they reduced the arrears with another Lovell penalty.
An Ivybridge penalty chance went awry and with half-time looming Brixham got their noses in front.  Persistent attacking had been met with staunch Ivybridge defence but when this was deemed illegal the Bridgers lost a man to the sin bin.  Brixham took advantage of that yellow card to score through prop Dom O’Connor. He went over from close range and Lovell converted to bring the opening period to a close.  Brixham were leading 17-13.
Within two minutes of the restart Brixham increased their advantage with a try by flanker Joe Lovell, which his cousin, Ben, converted.
Brixham continued to press down the slope and the visitors appeared to have little to offer other than a resolute defence.  A second yellow card hampered their efforts and midway through the half Brixham scored two tries to stretch their lead.
Centre Marc Koteczky went over from close range for the first of these after another spell of attacking phases by Brixham. He was followed onto the scoresheet by hooker Kyle Cane who scored from a catch-and-drive move. Lovell converted both to make it 38-13.
Whether Brixham took their foot off the gas or not, Ivybridge finished strongly and with seven minutes remaining scored in the top corner.  The conversion was missed but they were immediately back on the attack.
Brixham then had two players sin-binned in the space of a minute and Ivybridge took advantage with their full-back crossing unopposed on the left after going wide following three five-metre scrums.  This was converted but further Ivybridge pressure brought no reward as the Fishermen saw the game out.
The Devon Cup Final will be at Astley Park; Brixham’s opponents will be either Bideford or Okehampton.

11th March 2017  Brixham 30  Ivybridge 34
For the Brixham faithful this was a disappointing game.  Some debatable refereeing decisions and none of the luck were against them and the fact that the ref ended the game in the 78th minute, robbed them of a glorious finale.
To be fair the Ivybridge positional kicking was excellent throughout and the visitors have not got where they are without being a thoroughly competent team.
Four tries apiece made for excellent entertainment and will make next week’s match one to savour.
Brixham were on the attack from the start and took the lead in the third minute.  A number of phases of attacking play, switching the point of attack, culminated with flanker Joe Lovell brought down inches from the try-line.  Lock Adam Thomas only needed to pick up and dive over.  Unexpectedly Ed Barnes missed the conversion.
Three minutes later an Ivybridge attacking spell ended with a penalty kick to get them on the scoreboard too.  From the restart it was Brixham attacking again and this spell also ended with a penalty which was unsuccessful.
Ivybridge scored their first try on 15 minutes. The ball was hacked through and full-back Tom Goodman was deemed to have carried it over.  After the resultant 5 metre scrum Brixham held out against the initial Ivybridge pressure but when the ball was grounded at the base of the upright the visitors had a try.  The conversion put them ahead.
Multi-phase attacking from Brixham was held out by Ivybridge but was rewarded by a successful Barnes penalty to reduce the deficit to two points.
That was as close as Brixham were to get.  On 25 minutes the ivybridge winger chipped ahead and the ball bounced perfectly for him to collect and score a, converted,try. Minutes later, after a spell of Brixham attacking, it got worse for Brixham when a clearance kick was deflected off an Ivybridge player’s back and fell perfectly for them to attack.  The ball went right and the try-scorer was unopposed.  The touchline conversion attempt was perfect.
Brixham were back in the game before half-time with a try from a catch and drive by hooker Kyle Cane.  Barnes converted to leave Ivybridge leading 24-15 at the break.
The Fishermen needed a good start to the second period but Ivybridge made most of the running in the early stages and kept Brixham penned back. Eight minutes in Ivybridge were awarded a penalty try for a dangerous tackle stopping Ivybridge from scoring following a great break. Not only was a penalty try awarded, but Brixham lost a man to the sin bin.
Despite being a man down Brixham took the game to the visitors with a spell of pressure inside their 22.  Ivybridge lost a man to the sin-bin and Brixham got a try back when No 8 Sam Thomas went over following a 5 metre lineout, catch and drive.  The conversion attempt by Ben Lovell failed but he made some amends with a penalty goal later.
With the game entering the final quarter were near the halfway line.  Back-chat cost Brixham 10 metres and made it kickable.  It was and Ivy led by eleven points.
Brixham regrouped and spent most of the remainder of the game on the attack, with Ivybridge defending well. Eventually they did score when Joe Lovell crossed near the posts and Ben Lovell converted to put Brixham just four points behind.
Both teams were expecting to go back for the restart for at least one more play, but, surprisingly, the referee blew for full-time.
The teams have to meet again next Saturday at Astley Park in the semi-final of the Devon Senior Cup.


4th March 2017  Hornets 20  Brixham 22
In the past two seasons Brixham have snatched dramatic last minute victories at Hornets.  On the new, RFU-funded, artificial pitch at “the Nest” the homesters were clearly not wanting a repeat performance.  Three yellow cards during the game were unhelpful to the Brixham cause.
In the opening thirty minutes Brixham were outplayed by the hosts who had built up a 15 point lead with three unconverted tries.
Having already missed one glorious chance when the ball was dropped over the line, Hornets had to wait till the fifteenth minute for the opening score.  After a series of scrums close to the try line one of their locks was propelled over close to the posts.  The conversion should have been straightforward but Brixham centre Tom McLean had other ideas and charged it down.
Neither the second try, just over five minutes later, nor the third, on the thirty minute mark, were converted.
Brixham needed to wake up, and did.  For the first time they had possession in the Hornets 22 and after over a dozen phases of play were rewarded with a penalty.  Outside-half Ed Barnes slotted it to get the Fishermen on the scoreboard.
From the restart Brixham were straight back on the attack and after again going through a series of phases No 8 Sam Thomas went over for a try; Barnes added the extras.
Again Brixham were on the offensive from the restart.  More phases and Brixham were close to scoring in the left corner.  The ball went out across the park and centre Elliot Bryers was brought down just short; full back Tom Goodman in support at pace dived over the line.  Barnes converted, Brixham led 17-10 and it was half-time.
In the second period Brixham started by taking the ball to their hosts but could find no way through the defences.  Hornets rode the opening storm and within ten minutes had reclaimed the lead with their fourth, unconverted, try.
A long period when Brixham dominated possession – despite having a man in the bin- finally ended when McLean went over for a try.  The conversion was missed off the post but the Fishermen had regained the lead.
The final stages saw both teams having periods of pressure but unable to get through.  Brixham were down to 14 again but were in search of a fourth try and bonus point – Hornets were looking for the win.  For much of the time the former looked more likely but neither happened.
18th February 2017  Brixham 29  Dings Crusaders 12
Bristol-based Dings were looking for a result to bolster their promotion chances but found the Fishermen a difficult nut to crack.  Despite Dings dominating much of the second half the Brixham defence held firm.  The unseasonal sunshine and firm pitch contributed towards an excellent match in front of a large crowd.
In the opening exchanges there was little between the two sides with only a penalty attempt each.  Dings missed theirs, but Brixham’s Ben Lovell slotted his to put the Fishermen ahead.
On the fifteen minute mark Brixham extended their lead when winger Elliot Bryers was put through to touch down by the posts.  Lovell converted.  Within five minutes the lead increased again.  No 8 Sam Thomas made the initial break to give Brixham an attacking position before flyhalf Ed Barnes split the defence.  Lock Jordan Watson was on hand to finish the move with a try under the posts and give Lovell an easy conversion.
The visitors got on the scoreboard with a try in the corner after several attacking phases stretched the defence a bit too far but the extras went missing.
As the first half drew to its close Brixham were again on the attack and after the referee gave Dings a yellow card Lovell slotted his second penalty.  His third came on the stroke of half-time to leave Brixham 23-5 ahead at the break.
Playing uphill in the second period Dings took the game to Brixham and set up camp in the home 22.  Brixham saw yellow twice in quick succession and Dings reduced their arrears when their pack drove over for a try and conversion.
Despite being two men down Brixham attacked from the restart and Lovell slotted his fourth penalty from wide out but this was little more than a blip in the fairly constant Dings pressure.
On the hour mark another Brixham attacking move enabled Lovell to increase his penalty tally to five when Dings again saw the yellow card but for the remainder of the match Dings maintained the pressure on Brixham – to no avail.


11th February 2017  Cleve 23  Brixham 7
Sorry, no match report - maybe later!
4th February 2017  Brixham 55  Newton Abbot 20 - Devon Cup Quarter-Final
The Devon Cup has long meant a lot to Brixham.  With Newton just above them in the League and after some recent disappointing performances, Brixham expected a tough quarter-final clash.  So where did it all go right?  After an opening half in which the teams took turns to score, Brixham turned around just 22-20 in front.  In the second period Newton scarcely had a sniff at scoring while Brixham had five tries, plus other opportunities.
In the slippery conditions both sides made mistakes but, perhaps, Brixham made fewer.  Despite most of the tries being scored by the forwards it was not so much a battle of the packs as Newton might have wished and the Brixham support play and recycling made the difference.
With the pitch in good condition despite the rain, Newton had the wind and slope in their favour.  Brixham were penalised at the first scrum and the All Whites were ahead by three points.  Ben Lovell equalised for Brixham soon after and the Fishermen were ahead after eight minutes when prop Russ Morris broke clear from a ruck on the 22 and dived over unchallenged; Lovell converting.
Newton attacked from the restart and were held but when a Brixham lineout went astray they were back on level terms – Newton running the ball through the unsuspecting defence.
The restart kick was reclaimed by Brixham winger Billy Roberts.  His run made good yards and three quick phases later flanker Scott Puleston was over in the top corner for a try.  Lovell missed the touchline conversion.
After an attacking spell a rolling maul earned Newton a try to level the scores – 15 all within the space of twenty minutes!  The conversion put them ahead.
Brixham took little time to regain the lead.  Several attacking phases took Brixham to the Newton 22 and No 8 Sam Thomas broke through to threaten the line – his smart offload to flanker Joe Lovell secured the converted try.
The scoring rate slowed.  Newton spent some time in the Brixham half trying to punch through with their forwards to no avail.  Brixham went upfield and were denied their fourth try when Morris was penalised for a double movement - though both the spectators and opposition initially thought the try was given!
Newton slotted a long-distance penalty at the end of the half to leave them two points adrift at the break.
The second half began with Brixham in attacking mode and scrum-half Martin Worthington came close to crossing the whitewash after just two minutes.  On the seven minute mark the Fishermen restarted the scoreboard.  
A scrum on halfway; Sam Thomas off the back to within 15 metres of the line, two phases later and the ball found Russ Morris in midfield.  The efforts of five defenders were not enough to deny him his second try.  Lovell converted.
Seven minutes more and Brixham thought they had another try when a 5 metre catch and drive ploy crossed the line.  Newton were penalised and were again on the next attempt.  On the third go the referee awarded Brixham a penalty try (easy conversion) and Newton got a yellow card.
The third Brixham try of the second half soon followed.  After some scrappy play in midfield Worthington emerged with the ball and carved deep into the Newton defence before being brought down.  The ball was recycled quickly and lock Malcolm Onsando was on hand to score his maiden try for Brixham in exuberant fashion.
Newton were now 23 points behind and chasing the game.  Their efforts were not aided by handling and kicking errors and their defence was tested by Brixham’s persistent offence.
With less than ten minutes remaining Brixham struck again.  Newton were attacking in midfield.  A neat chip kick was intended for their winger but was fielded by centre Tom McLean.  He evaded a number of Newton players before being brought down short of the line and full-back Tom Goodman was also unsuccessful in his thrust for the try-line.  The ball went left where winger Billy Roberts had more success!  Lovell had no such luck with the conversion!
A minute later Brixham broke the half-century when Noah Nash broke through in midfield.  His run took him halfway to the try-line; hooker Kyle Cain in support did the second half and celebratory dive over the line.  Ed Barnes added the conversion and the scoring was complete.
And then the rain started ...


28th January 2017  Brixham 49  Lydney 38
For the second week running, Brixham welcomed a team threatened with relegation to Astley Park.  For the second time they encountered a team keen to avoid demotion.
The Fishermen had something of a dream start.  Brixham kicked off, Lydney kicked the ball back and Brixham recovered it and ran it straight back – centre Tom McLean racing 70 metres to dive over in the top corner.  He was soon followed to the same location by full-back Tom Goodman and, with both tries converted, Brixham were 14 points up after less than ten minutes.
Midway thought the first half the Severnsiders halved the deficit when an angled run took their winger through the Brixham defence to set up their opening try.
A lineout just outside the Lydney 22 gave Brixham the platform to increase their lead; the ball went across the park where No 8 Sam Thomas showed his pace to carve through for the third try in the top corner and a third conversion from Ben Lovell.
Lydney responded to this score immediately.  Following the restart the Brixham clearance kick was charged down and the visitors claimed a touchdown - but only after the referee consulted the “try scorer”.
Brixham attacked from the restart but, in their effort to continue the offensive after threatening the Lydney line, conceded an interception.  The Lydney full-back ran clear to score in Mudstone corner to reduce the Brixham lead to four points.
With their tails now up, the visitors enjoyed a spell of attacking pressure.  A penalty goal was missed but a try took them into the lead when their lock forward burst through the centre of a ruck.  The conversion left Brixham 3 points adrift with the break imminent.
Brixham attacked from the restart and while crossing the whitewash eluded them a penalty goal from Lovell ensured that the turned around on level terms – 24 points apiece.
Early pressure in the second half brought two penalty goals for Brixham to ease them ahead, with Lydney players receiving yellow cards for their transgressions.  A fourth, bonus-point earning, try for Brixham looked increasingly likely.  Replacement hooker Kyle Cain secured it when he dived over under the posts
Lydney failed to secure the restart and prop Russ Morris made 50 metres before he was pulled down just short of the try-line.  The attack continued and ended with a low chip kick from centre Ed Barnes.  Goodman gathered the ball to dive over in the corner.
With the game entering the final quarter Brixham were well ahead and doing all of the attacking.  Their sixth try was claimed by Martin Worthington when he ran through to the posts.  Lovell converted and Brixham had a 49-24 lead.
Brixham might have felt the game was over, and Lydney heads might have dropped at this point.  While Brixham had their opportunities to score, the visitors kept going and their two converted tries in the final minutes dulled the gloss on the Brixham performance somewhat.


21st January 2017  Brixham 13  Salisbury 16
After the disappointing defeat at Bracknell last week, Brixham were back at Astley park for relegation-threatened Salisbury.  The visitors brought vocal support and a well organised game plan based on their heavy pack.
Brixham had a brief attacking spell at the start of the game but were then penned into their own half for most of the next thirty minutes.  
Having been forced to defend close to their line on several occasions Brixham went behind when the visitors scored a pushover try.  The conversion and a subsequent penalty left the Fishermen ten points behind.  Brixham began to come back into the game but their efforts were impeded by errors and infringements.
A second penalty five minutes before the interval increased the deficit but Brixham were on the scoreboard just before the break when Ben Lovell slotted a penalty.
The opening plays of the second half were in the middle of the pitch but Salisbury increased their lead to 16-3 with a long range penalty.
Midway through the second period Brixham began to get on top and had a spell when they were camped on the Salisbury line.  They could not break through, even when the visitors lost a player to the sin bin.  Brixham continued to test the Salisbury defences but, as earlier, errors and penalties prevented point-scoring.
Five minutes from time, with Salisbury again having a man in the bin, Brixham got some reward.  The visitors were penalised at a 5 metre scrum; Brixham took a quick penalty and the ball went wide for winger Tom Goodman to squeeze over in the corner.  Lovell missed the conversion.
From the restart Salisbury reclaimed the ball and attempted a drop goal.  It was short and wide and Brixham elected to run the ball back.  Nine phases of play, and 90 seconds later, outside half  Ed Barnes had space for an easy run to the whitewash.  Lovell hurried the conversion, but missed.
Time enough for the restart, but little more.  Salisbury had the points they need in their relegation fight, Brixham only disappointment.


14th January 2017  Bracknell 24  Brixham 19
Sorry, no match report - maybe later!
7th January 2017  Brixham 29  Bournemouth 29
Before Saturday’s match both sides were comfortably mid-table – the result leaves them almost where they started!  Back in September Brixham travelled to Bournemouth and lost 44-26; to an extent, therefore, they were looking for revenge.
The Fishermen were never behind in the match, and had something of a dream start with a try in the opening minutes.  Several attacking phases involving both backs and forwards concluded with a looped pass from outside-half Ed Barnes to centre Martin Worthington who crossed in the Mudstone corner unopposed.
Within ten minutes they had a second try after an attack down the left found Barnes in space with scrum-half Noah Nash in support and Worthington available to finish off by the posts.
Full-back Ben Lovell slotted both conversions but Brixham went off the boil a little and allowed the visitors back into the game. Twice, with Brixham attacking, mistakes were made and on both occasions Bournemouth’s flying welsh winger ran up the pitch to score.  With only one converted Brixham were back down to a 2 point lead.
A converted try apiece meant that the margin remained the same at the interval.  Centre Tom McLean intercepted in midfield and ran through for Brixham’s third try before the visitors replied with their third.   
In the second period Brixham extended their lead when Ben Lovell potted a penalty goal, the effect was nullified when Bournemouth did the same.
With play swinging from end to end the excitement levels were maintained throughout and when winger Elliot Bryers sidestepped his way over in the top corner it looked as if Brixham would secure the spoils.  The conversion was missed but Bournemouth struck back at the other end with a converted try to level the scores.
The last 10 minutes were fast and furious with Brixham having the best of the chances without putting them away.
After a storming run prop Russ Morris was denied a try on the line (knocked on according to the referee) and Ben Lovell missed a penalty he would normally kick with his eyes shut!

17th December 2016  Old Redcliffians 39  Brixham 20
The last match before the Festive break took Brixham to Bristol and a clash with third-placed Old Redcliffians.  The result drops the Fishermen down to sixth over Christmas.  With several enforced changes Brixham were not at full strength and the replacements did nothing to let the side down.
Old Reds took the lead with a penalty goal but Brixham took the lead with the opening try of the match on twelve minutes.    Old Reds had a scrum deep in their 22 but their No 8 lost the ball.  Brixham recovered it and centre Tom McLean made the initial break, bursting through tackles before passing on to Elliot Bryers who had Tom Goodman in support to touch down.  Ben Lovell added the conversion.
A second penalty for the hosts narrowed the gap and a third, midway through the half, took them ahead.  This was almost immediately followed by an unconverted try when the Reds winger won the chase for a chip over the Brixham defence.
A period of pressure brought the homesters a second try, also unconverted.  A five metre lineout usually brings a catch and drive but Reds used a well-rehearsed move to go over on the blind side.
Brixham attacked form the restart, stringing together a series of phases close to the home line.  A tackle involving no arms brought the period to an abrupt end and Lovell kicked the resultant penalty to reduce the deficit to 19-10.
Both sides had their moments in the remaining ten minutes of the first half but the score remained unchanged.
In the second period Brixham had the advantage of the considerable slope and harboured hopes of using it to overturn the nine point deficit.  Within five minutes they had made inroads.  A series of attacks ended with a penalty, slotted by Lovell.
Old Reds retaliated soon after.  Their attacking phases were also halted by a penalty offence and the three points restored their lead.
With the game about to enter the final quarter, an attack up the left wing By Old Reds, with missed tackles by Brixham, virtually sealed the match.  The conversion put the hosts 16 points ahead and Brixham would need at least three scores to win.
The Fishermen now did much of the attacking but were undone when a kick ahead was gathered by the Reds winger in his own 22 – and raced up the touchline to score in the top corner.
Brixham returned to the offensive but despite their endeavour could find no way through, or around, the defence.  They did have one break through when a lineout, catch and drive enabled hooker Kyle Cane to touch down for a try, converted by Lovell.
Almost straight from the restart Old Reds had their fifth try, their speedy right wing sprinting up the touchline to touch down after a Brixham error.
Brixham were on the attack when time was blown and returned home to the mince pies with the knowledge that the game was far closer than the result suggested.


10th December 2016  Brixham 27  Bromsgrove 5
Transferred (against their wishes) to the South West Division, Bromsgrove have found the going tough this season.  Despite being bottom of the League table with just a solitary win, they made Brixham work hard for the win and their efforts were rewarded with a late try.
In driving misty rain, and a pitch that was very wet on top, the game was never going to be a classic but Brixham conjured up the tries that earned a win and a bonus point, and might have had more.
Honours in the opening period were even and Bromsgrove might have taken the lead with a penalty goal that was badly missed.
Midway through the half Brixham took the lead with a brace of tries.
The opening one stemmed from a kick ahead by outside-half Ed Barnes.  Bromsgrove’s winger failed to gather the ball but Brixham’s Elliot Bryers did and fed flanker Billy Roberts who passed quickly on to No 8 Sam Thomas to go over the whitewash.  Ben Lovell added the conversion.
The second try followed soon after.  After an initial break by Sam Thomas, the ball was quickly recycled through several pairs of hands to outside-half Ed Barnes who went over unopposed on the left with an overlap available outside him.
For the remainder of the first half Brixham continually tested the visitors’ defence but were unable to add to their twelve point lead though they went very close on occasions.
The second period saw Brixham remaining on top – and still finding no way through.efforts by the forwards to punch holes came to naught but it seemed only a matter of time before the scoreboard changed.
Brixham’s third try started with a run by flanker Joe Lovell which turned the defence.  The ball was rapidly moved on to centre Connor Bedwell who found a gap large enough to glide through on his way to a diving touchdown.
More attacking ended with a penalty goal from Ben Lovell before Brixham scored the important (bonus point earning) fourth try.  From a lineout on the Bromsgrove 22, the subsequent maul made just a couple of yards before the ball was fed out to backs.  A pop pass from Barnes found winger Tom Goodman at pace and through to the line.
Brixham had the game safe but the last ten minutes belonged very much to Bromsgrove.  Aided by Brixham infringements and penalty kicks, they kept the Fishermen penned into the Mudstone End and desperately defending the line.  The defence was nearly successful.  Bromsgrove crossed for a try and the failed conversion brought the final whistle.
3rd December 2016  Camborne 32  Brixham 17
By a quirk in the fixture list, and results to date, Brixham had the top two in the league and the bottom side to play in December.  The trip to league leaders Camborne on Saturday was never going to be an easy one but the game was closer than the scoreline suggests.
Brixham had rather the better of the early exchanges and took the lead after just ten minutes.  A lineout on the Camborne 22 was followed by a ruck and when the ball was released winger Tom Goodman burst through the middle and released centre Tom MacLean to touch down for a try.  Ben Lovell added the extras.
The hosts were stunned and went straight onto the offensive.  A period of pressure close to the Brixham line failed to break the defence but they were rewarded with a penalty goal.
For the next twenty minutes the Fishermen enjoyed the majority of possession and territory but could not break through the Cherry & White defence; attacks both by the forwards and backs were repulsed without seriously threatening the try-line.   
Having soaked up the pressure, Camborne relieved it with some powerful running that took them close to the Brixham line.  Several attacking phases later and they had their second score – another penalty goal.
Before the interval Camborne launched one more threatening attack but Brixham continued to have the edge and turned around 7-6 ahead.
Camborne came out for the second half fired up and when Brixham failed to deal with the restart kick launched their first attack and scored a try, converted, in the Clubhouse corner to take the lead.
Brixham immediately put their hosts under pressure, winning a Camborne lineout on the five metre line but could only take advantage of the possession gained with a penalty goal.  Camborne held out, attacked again and a second try followed.  Less than ten minutes into the half and they held a 20-10 lead.
In the second period the heavier Camborne pack began to dominate the scrums but Brixham continued to have territorial advantage and their running game nearly broke through on a number of occasions – not least when lock Malcolm Onsando was brought down just short of the line.
Midway through the second period Brixham narrowed the gap.  A five metre lineout brought the near obligatory catch and drive and flanker Joe Lovell peeled off to dive over for a try.  Ben Lovell added the extras and the match was anyone’s heading into the final quarter.
Camborne went on to dominate the quarter and Brixham found it increasingly difficult to get out of their own half.  With their pack now on top they opted for scrums rather than penalty kicks and scored two tries in very similar fashion; releasing the ball on the blind side with the Brixham pack going backwards.
At the final whistle Brixham could reflect on the fact that, but for some handling errors, they might have won the match; Camborne on overcoming one of their strictest tests of the season.


26th November 2016  Brixham 17  Launceston 10
After relegation last season the Cornish All Blacks have had a poor start this time around.  Despite this, the Fishermen were severely tested on Saturday and if the Launceston kicker had his kicking boots on the result could have been different.  Brixham got the league points to keep them in fifth place but the losing bonus point Launceston received will be of little use in their struggle to avoid a second relegation.
Playing uphill at the start the visitors opened up with great intent and while their attacks seldom got past the 22 Brixham were on the back foot for much of the opening quarter.  While their running game made few inroads, Launceston had two scoring opportunities but both penalty kicks went wide.
The Blacks eventually took the lead with a try.  After their forwards had pressed close to the line the ball went out to the wing for the opening score, though the conversion was narrowly missed.
On the 30 minute mark Brixham got onto the scoreboard when a powerful run by flanker Sam Thomas from midfield ended with scrum-half Noah Nash touching down under the posts.  Ben Lovell added the conversion and the Fishermen were ahead.
Shortly before the interval the lead was extended.  A spell of attacking by Brixham finished with a Launceston player seeing yellow and Ben Lovell scoring a penalty.
With Launceston having a player in the sin-bin Brixham needed to take advantage in the opening minutes of the second half.  Brixham’s attacking went through numerous phases without cracking the Launceston defence – until the ball went out to the left wing where Nash was on hand to go over for his second try.  Lovell converted from the touchline.
The second period saw both sides going through attacking phases but with the defences on top.  Launceston scored a second try in the Mudstone corner but failed to add the extras.  Brixham were attacking when the final whistle blew.

19th November 2016  Ivybridge 29  Brixham 20
Brixham’s winning run came to an end at Ivybridge on Saturday in a game that they might feel they should not have lost.  Ivybridge took their chances well and, to be fair, luck was probably on their side.
A warm welcome to Brixham supporters in the programme and the incessant drumming and football-crowd-like singing of the Ivybridge faithful made for an exciting afternoon.
The opening exchanges saw the sides feeling each other out; Brixham having far the better of the play.  The first thirty minutes followed this pattern; Brixham unable to get through but Ivybridge offering little in reply.
Around the half hour mark the impasse was broken.  A debatable high tackle gave Ivybridge a penalty and a close range lineout.  And the opening score.  With the Ivybridge maul approaching the try-line the referee awarded them a penalty try!  No warning to Brixham and no obvious offence, but the homesters found themselves seven points ahead.
Just minutes later and the lead was increased.  Ivybridge ran back out of defence, Brixham stopped the run but the ball went loose from the ruck to an Ivybridge player.  His chip ahead was touched down over the line despite the protestations of Brixham that their man had got there first!
Brixham continued to do most of the pressing and were rewarded with a penalty goal from Ben Lovell and as the first half drew to a close were edging closer to the Ivybridge line.  Disaster!  An intercepted pass deep in the 22 and the hosts ran the ball back for a try under the posts and a 21-3 halftime lead.
Brixham began the second period in good heart and after winning the aerial ping-pong match set out to attack the Ivybridge line.  Two minutes in and a chip kick over the encroaching defence looked a good way to proceed.  Another disaster.  Charged down, the ball fell kindly to Ivybridge and another breakaway run to the line.  Brixham’s mountain just got higher.
The next Brixham attack brought the first joy to the Fishermen.  A penalty got them a lineout 20 metres out and the catch and drive slowly made progress with, ultimately, Sam Thomas peeling off to touch down.  Lovell added the conversion.
A brief flurry of Ivybridge attacking was defended well before Brixham again made their way downfield and secured a penalty goal to reduce the deficit.
Another Ivybridge flurry ended with them getting a penalty for a Brixham scrummage offence and with fifteen minutes remaining they led 29-13
Brixham had a chance to draw closer through a lineout catch and drive but were held out; Ivy had an opportunity at the other end.  With five minutes remaining a run by prop Russ Morris broke the home defence followed by another by Tom MacLean created space for winger Rhys Williams to dive over.  Lovell converted and the deficit was down to 9 points.
There it remained.  Brixham might have got another score late on to earn a losing bonus point but it was not to be.

5th November 2016  Brixham 26  Hornets 23
Saturday’s win over Hornets meant that the two sides swapped places in the league.  A free-flowing game saw two fairly evenly-matched sides committed to attacking rugby.
Brixham had the wind and slope in their favour in the first half and probably felt that establishing a clear lead by half-time would be necessary.
Honours were even in the opening exchanges as the two sides felt each other out.  Hornets took the lead with a penalty goal after 15 minutes but Brixham soon overturned this when centre Elliot Bryers  spotted a chink in the visitors’ defences, weaved through and released his winger, Connor Bedwell, to score a try in Mudstone corner.  Ben Lovell missed the conversion from wide out.
Five minutes later and the narrow Brixham lead had been extended.  A strong run out of defence by No 8 Billy Roberts; followed by another from Russ Morris and then the backs resulted in winger Tom Goodman being brought down just short of the try-line.  With Hornets struggling to get back into defensive shape flanker Adam Thomas picked up the ball at the ruck and dived over.  Lovell added the extras.
After Brixham won a lineout on the Hornets 22 the rolling maul made little headway but flanker Joe Lovell broke away from it with the ball on the blindside and ran in for the third Brixham try.  With Lovell adding the conversion Brixham now had a 19-3 lead with almost ten minutes to play before the break.
Brixham contained the attacking threats of the visitors and came closest to scoring in the remaining time but the scoreboard was unmoved.
Within two minutes of the restart Hornets had reduced the deficit.  A good running play by their backs was halted just short of the line, Hornets took a quick tap penalty and crossed the whitewash.  They failed to convert but were back in the hunt.
Two minutes later their next attack ended with Brixham penalised on their own 22 in front of the posts.  The penalty goal atoned for the miss of the conversion.
With Hornets’ tails up, Brixham were stretched defensively on occasions – a yellow card did not help their cause.  The defence held out and midway through the half Brixham were on the attack.  Centre A run by centre Tom McLean saw him power through the first line of defence before having the ball illegally stripped from him.  In the confusion of a developing maul he retrieved it and completed his try-scoring run.  Lovell converted and Brixham had the lead out to 26-11.
Hornets still had some sting and a spell of attacking ended with them crossing in the left corner – having come close on the right in the previous phase. The conversion failed but there was still time for a comeback.
15 minutes to play and Hornets now needed two scores to win; or one to secure a losing bonus point.  The back and fro nature of the game continued and Brixham, in the shape of Tom McLean, came close to sealing it but he was bundled into touch.  Brixham were enjoying the better of the play and denying Hornets scoring opportunities.
With time running out Hornets launched their last ditch attacks. Brixham were pegged back on their line.  For the last move of the match Hornets had a scrum 5 metres out.  From the base their influential No 8 picked up and went over for a try  The touchline conversion was immediately followed by the final whistle.
29th October 2016  Dings Crusaders 16  Brixham 10
Brixham’s visit to North Bristol on Saturday ended in disappointment.  The partial supporters on both sides were agreed that it was one of the best games of rugby they have seen though a low scoreline and just two tries might suggest otherwise.  Both sides were fully committed to their causes and the result was in doubt to the final whistle.
Dings attacked from the outset and were rewarded with a penalty goal in the second minute.  Brixham then had their turn in attack and were back on level terms just three minutes later.
Dings then took the lead on ten minutes with a second penalty and though they had been making much of the running; Brixham began to come back into the game.  A chance from a penalty goal and another from a short range lineout went begging  and on the half-hour another Brixham penalty attempt failed.
Brixham made no mistake with their next scoring opportunity.  When Dings spilt the ball on attack, Brixham countered.  Tom McLean made good yards up the right  flank and four phases later a neat chip through was collected and the move was finished off by scrum-half Noah Nash going over for a try.  Lovell converted.
With the half time break imminent Dings, for the first time, threatened close to the Brixham line.  The Fishermen looked to have contained the threat but after a scrum on the 5 metre line  Brixham were back in the realm of desperate defence.  They held out against a series of short range attacks but when the ball went wide a Brixham defender lost his footing and Dings were in for a converted try.  This late score meant that it was 13-10 to the hosts at the break.
Dings started the second period on the offensive and a penalty 10 minutes into the half extended their lead.
The game now developed into a series of attacks and counter-attacks with both sides having periods of territorial dominance but neither able to make a decisive breakthrough.
With the game still winnable, Brixham threw everything into the last five minutes.  Multiple attacking phases stretched the home defence but there was no way through.

22nd October 2016  Brixham 25  Cleve 20
After last week’s break from League action both sides were keen to continue the improvements they had showed prior to it.  Cleve, reportedly, were strengthened by fresh faces and players coming back into the team.  So too were Brixham, however.
With the lead changing hands frequently during the game the result was in doubt up to the final whistle and the large crowd were treated to an exciting match.  There were periods when one side or the other were dominant, but also periods of attacking and countering.
In the first half Cleve had the wind at their backs, while Brixham had the slope in their favour.  In the opening stages the visitors made the most of their advantage, keeping Brixham pegged back into their own half.  After 15 minutes they were duly rewarded.  After a period of attacking close to the line a gap appeared and the opening try was scored near the top corner.  Cleve failed to add the extras but had the lead.
It did not last too long.  A strong run by prop Russ Morris set up an attacking position for Brixham. After a number of phases Morris was on hand to tidy up the ball at a ruck and dive over for an equalising try.  Ben Lovell’s conversion attempt went wide off the post.
Almost immediately Cleve were ahead with a penalty goal but, again, the lead was not to last long.  Brixham’s attacking play took them close to the line and they won a five-metre scrum.  From the back No.8 William Roberts picked up, ran around the scrum and dived over for his first try for the Fishermen.  On a day that proved tricky for the kickers, Lovell failed to convert.
Cleve had the chance to regain the lead with a penalty but before half-time had done so with their second try.  A Brixham clearance kick was recovered and run back with interest.  The jinking run of the Cleve centre found him a way through the Brixham defences to give his team a 13-10 interval lead.
As Cleve had dominated the opening stages of the first half, so Brixham did of the second period.  Within ten minutes they had regained the lead.  A sequence of attacking phases culminated with the ball released to the backs where debutant Elliot Briers latched onto a short pass from outside-half Ed Barnes.  His pace and angle took him over the whitewash.  The conversion was missed.
The scoring seesaw continued.  With the game approaching its final quarter Cleve attacks took them close to the Brixham line and their big lock dived over for a try following a ruck.  Again no conversion!
The restart kick by Brixham seemed to be of no interest to Cleve and Russ Morris recovered it and set off for the line.  His intended pass to players in support was deliberately knocked on by the defence.  A Brixham penalty, lineout and ruck followed with flanker Joe Lovell finishing off with a short range try.  Lovell added the extras and Brixham led 22-20
A penalty by Lovell extended the lead and set up a final quarter which saw Cleve pounding against the Brixham defences and virtually camped in the Brixham 22.  Potentially kickable penalties were spurned in favour of lineouts and scrums, all to no avail.  Brixham held out to the end.
8th October 2016  Lydney 15  Brixham 17
Regentsholme on the banks of the Severn has always been a tough place for visiting sides and Saturday proved to be no different than many in the past in that respect.
Brixham took the lead after just five minutes with a penalty goal from Ben Lovell when the homesters went offside at a ruck.  At this point Lydney had barely touched the ball or got it out of their own half.
After regaining the ball from the restart they virtually set up camp in the Brixham half, going through the phases as they sought for gaps in the Brixham defence and starving the Fishermen of possession.
Midway through the first half Brixham did get their hands on the ball and a penetrating run by centre Tom McLean was carried on by winger Connor Bedwell who was brought down just short of the try-line.  Lydney were penalised for a defensive infraction and Brixham opted for a 5 metre lineout.  
Lydney might have expected a catch and drive but hooker Chey Bryce threw to Russ Morris at the front of the line, collected a swift return pass and went over in the corner for a try.  Lovell was unsuccessful with the touchline conversion.
Ten minutes of, mainly, Lydney attacking play resulted in them getting on the scoreboard.  A catch and drive try, converted, left them just a point behind.  Lovell extended the gap to four with a long-range penalty that just crept over the bar; Lydney soon clawed it back with a penalty that bounced over off the crossbar.
At the break Lydney could reflect on the fact that, while they had enjoyed more of the possession and territory than Brixham, they had failed to capitalise on it.
For the opening ten minutes of the second half this pattern continued with Brixham penned into their own half and clearance kicks only temporarily relieving the pressure.  Brixham lost one to the sin bin after stopping a threatening rolling maul and the Lydney offensive continued.
Finally, almost halfway through the half, their attacking bore fruit with an unconverted try in the corner to take them four points in front.  In the final quarter Lydney stuck to their game plan, going through the pases and retaining possession.  A rare Brixham foray into the homesters half brought a penalty within Lovell’s range.  The kick was good and the Lydney lead was down to a single point.
This score ushered in a more open period of play and runs by both Brixham wingers threatened to break through.  With ten minutes left another kickable penalty for Brixham put them back in the lead but the game was still anyone’s.
Brixham continued to defend as they had throughout; Lydney could not, or would not, change their game plan.  The final whistle brought relief to Brixham and the rewards for their fine efforts.
1st October 2016  Salisbury 21  Brixham 26
Newly promoted Salisbury have, like Camborne, established their credentials in National 3 and the Fishermen’s visit to Wiltshire was expected to prove a stern test.
The game opened in the rain and Brixham established a very early lead when Ben Lovell slotted a penalty goal.  This was soon extended.  After winger Tom Goodman went close to scoring the opening try a couple of phases of forward attacks culminated in No 8 Dom Connor crossing the line from short range.  Lovell missed the conversion but the lead was increased again when he nailed a second penalty attempt.
Salisbury got on the scoreboard with a penalty but a third Lovell penalty restored the Brixham lead.  As the sun began to shine, midway through the first half, Salisbury began to put more pressure on the Brixham defence.  After a five metre scrum and probing by their forwards the ball went out and the flyhalf burst through for an unconverted try.
From the restart Salisbury ran the ball back through the Brixham defence.  As the attack was halted Brixham committed an offence and a yellow card.  Salisbury gratefully kicked the penalty to trail by three points.
They soon had the lead when a strong run through the centre ended with a try under the posts. A straightforward conversion followed and the lead was further extended by a penalty goal.
On the stroke of half-time Brixham, now back to full strength, scored their second try to bring the scoreline level.  A lineout in the Salisbury 22 was secured and the ball went infield.  Goodman took a short pass, at pace, to burst through to the posts.
21 points apiece at the break and both sides believed they could win it.
From the restart Salisbury attacked but could make little progress.  The ball was spilt and Brixham counter-attacked.  Strong running by centre Tom McLean, lock Malcolm Onsando and scrum-half Noah Nash took Brixham to within touching distance of the line but the final pass went awry.  Brixham took the resulting scrum against the head and the ball made its way across the park for Goodman to touch down.  Lovell’s touchline conversion was denied by the post but Brixham were in the lead again.
The final thirty-five minutes of the game provided lots of action – but no further scores and no kickable opportunities either.  The defences were able to cope with the attacking efforts, assisted to some degree by handling errors.
Neither side was able to establish any territorial advantage and exert any prolonged pressure so the spectators were treated to a game that ebbed and flowed.  Towards the end Salisbury did put some strain on Brixham but the defensive cordon held firm and the Fishermen had secured their haul of points.
24th September 2016  Brixham 33  Bracknell 17
After a difficult start to the season the Fishermen needed a victory to settle their nerves.  On Saturday veteran Mike Beeson returned to the pack for his National League debut and Brixham had their strongest side of the season on the park.
Brixham were on the attack from the outset but their early efforts were thwarted and the game began to ebb and flow.  On ten minutes after another attack broke down, the visitors had a scrum on their own 5 metre line and the chance to clear the danger.  Unfortunately for them the pass from the scrum was fumbled; Brixham recovered the ball and centre Tom McLean was in for the opening score.  Full-back Ben Lovell added the extras.
For much of the rest of the first half Brixham were unable to get as close to the try-line.  Bracknell enjoyed much of the possession and the Fishermen had to endure considerable pressure.  Two unconverted tries took Bracknell into the lead.  As the break approached Brixham began to get back into the game and the visitors lost a lock-forward to the sin-bin for an ill-advised tackle.  10-7 to the visitors was not what the Brixham supporters wanted.
Brixham retired to the changing rooms during the interval and the team talk obviously had the desired effect.  In the second half the Fishermen scored four fine tries and withstood a sustained period of Bracknell pressure even when reduced, at one stage, to 13 men by yellow cards.
In the opening minutes of the half, with Bracknell still a man down, Brixham regained the lead when outside-half Martin Worthington scored a try.  After a scrum near halfway he spotted a gap and weaved through the defence to touch down under the posts.  Lovell had an easy kick despite the strong wind blowing across the pitch.  A later penalty attempt went wide.
The Brixham lead was extended when the visitors spilt the ball in midfield and McLean powered through to the posts and another straightforward conversion.  Brixham were now 21-10 ahead but Bracknell had not given up.  They powered upfield and a period of attacking had them camped on the Brixham line.
A yellow card for Brixham intensified the pressure and when the visitors took a scrum against the head they had an easy run in for a converted try.  The lead was down to just four points.
Further attacking by Bracknell followed and a second yellow card for Brixham.  The Fishermen weathered the storm and conceded nothing.  Brixham were able to attack again but another penalty goal attempt by Lovell was missed.
His next kick of consequence brought the try of the match.  A kick through the defence was collected by centre Connor Bedwell just inside the touchline and with his momentum threatening to take him over it he flicked the ball inside to winger Tom Goodman en route to the whitewash.  Lovell converted and Brixham had a good lead again.
They wanted more.  With time running out, they had a period of pressure on the Bracknell line but the efforts of the pack, and the backs, foundered on resolute defence.  Bracknell still had time to launch an attack that could bring them a fourth try and valuable bonus points.  In their efforts to break through a pass near midway was intercepted and prop Russ Morris ran clear, unopposed, to drop over in the corner for Brixham’s fifth try.  Lovell’s failed conversion attempt brought the final whistle.
17th September 2016  Bournemouth 44  Brixham 26
With just a draw from their first three games, this has been Brixham's worst start to a league season for many years.  Bournemouth has rarely been a happy hunting ground for Brixham and so it was on Saturday.
The hosts took the lead after a couple of minutes with a penalty goal and extended it soon after.  An attack down their left wing; a neat kick through the defence, collected and passed on for an easy run to the whitewash.
From the restart Brixham were on the attack and after several phases of play the ball went out to winger JP Simonetti.  As he was brought down agonisingly close to the try line his leg was broken to add more pain.
After a lengthy delay while the ambulance attended, Brixham were back in the game with a try, unconverted by Davey McGregor.  Bournemouth then ran in two tries under the posts to leave the Fishermen well adrift with half-time approaching but before the interval Brixham got one back.  Flanker Joe Lovell, among the backs squeezed over wide on the left. Brixham were 24-12 behind.
After the restart Bournemouth extended their lead with another penalty goal and went well clear with two tries in quick succession; both wingers racing in to touch down under the posts to give their kicker an easier task.  With 20 minutes or so to play, another penalty goal put the game beyond reach for Brixham.
Beyond reach, but Brixham had much the better of the final quarter and two tries earned them a valuable bonus point.  Prop Russ Morris and Joe Lovell both went over from short range after rucks on the Bournemouth line.  Ben Lovell added the conversions.
With a lengthy injury list already affecting team selection, and despite having to cope with the loss of Simonetti for much of the match, and centre Connor Bedwell (concussion) for part of it,  Brixham were by no means outclassed.
10th September 2016  Brixham 19  Old Redcliffians 41
In the first home game of the season the Fishermen were soundly defeated by their Bristol visitors.  With a number of players missing or carrying injuries, and with the new faces yet to bed into the team, Brixham knew that this would be a tough test.
Playing with the wind and slope in the first period the Fishermen needed to establish a lead but it was not to be.  Their early attacking was held by the Reds defence, and when they attempted to run back a clearance kick an intercepted pass gave the visitors the opening score with a try under the posts.
From the restart Brixham attacked and were rewarded when Reds were caught offside.  Ben Lovell slotted the penalty to put them on the scoreboard.  A penalty apiece followed but the visitors were beginning to enjoy rather more of the possession and territory.  Midway through the half they extended their lead with a second try when a missed tackle allowed them to create a hole in the defensive line.
Lovell slotted his third penalty before Brixham opened their try-scoring account thanks to a fine individual effort by centre Connor Bedwell.  When the ball was released to the backs following a lineout on the Reds 22 he spotted a way through a cluster of defenders and eluded the cover defence to touch down.  Lovell added the extras to leave Brixham a point behind with half-time approaching.
Just two minutes later a similar jinking run by an old Reds player took him almost to the try line.  The player following up had little difficulty covering the final couple of yards and the converted try left Brixham trailing 24-16 at the break.
The first 5 minutes of the second half saw Brixham on the offensive.  A lineout foul earned one of the visiting forwards a yellow card and Brixham began to pressurise the defence.  A long passage of play saw them go through seventeen phases of play, moving the ball from side to side but failing to find chinks in a well organised defence.  When a subsequent attack broke down in midfield the ball went loose and the visitors were able to run clean through the Brixham line for their fourth, converted try.
For the remainder of the second half Brixham were generally on the defensive and unable to launch any more concerted attacks.  A penalty goal apiece was all that troubled the scoreboard until the very end when a solo run by the Old Reds powerful centre took him through the tiring tacklers to touch down.  The conversion was the last kick.

3rd September 2016  Newton Abbot 9  Brixham 9
Clashes with Newton Abbot are often close-run affairs and this one was no different - albeit providing little excitement or spectacle to make it stick in the mind.  The new season started with miserable weather in Devon.  This contributed nothing to the local derby at Rackerhayes.  The game started in the rain and while the slick surface made it difficult for the players to keep their footing, the wet conditions made handling difficult too.  Defences were on top throughout the game and neither side looked likely to score a try.
With the game largely confined to the centre of the pitch even penalty scoring attempts were few.  Newton converted two and Brixham one before the interval and turned around 6-3 ahead.  After the break the lead was extended with another penalty goal.  As the game proceeded Brixham began to have something of an edge and Ben Lovell brought the scores level with two more goals.  The final moments could have seen the game go either way but Lovell's last minute attempt from the touchline was wide.

 
Back to content | Back to main menu