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FIRST XV
For programme notes, including published team lists, click HERE
11th November 2017  Newbury Blues 14  Brixham 23
A second trip to Berkshire but a rather different result from last week.
Injuries and unavailabilities ensured that the Brixham teamsheet had an unusual look to it but the replacements more than held their own.  Early pressure from Newbury was efficiently repulsed and when Brixham attacked they made good ground through their forwards and the astute kicking of Tom Putt.
On the 15 minute mark Brixham deservedly opened the scoring.  A penalty popped into the corner by Putt; a lineout catch and drive and hooker Koree Britton over for a try.  Putt converted from wide on the clubhouse side.
A short spell of pressure from the hosts followed before Brixham were back on offence, going through multiple phases and virtually setting up camp in the Newbury 22.
Brixham extended their lead to ten points with a Putt penalty on the half-hour which again spurred Newbury onto attack.  Brixham held them but after five minutes a clearance kick was charged down and the hosts scored a try under the posts.
In the time remaining in the first half neither side could assert dominance.  Putt narrowly missed a penalty from the halfway line but Brixham turned around 10-7 ahead.
The early minutes of the second period saw a repeat of the patterns from the first half – Brixham making yards through their multi-phase, forward based attacks; Newbury trying to spin the ball to their backs.  Five minutes in the Brixham lead was extended with a Putt penalty goal.
The lead was not to last long, however.  A suspiciously forward pass gave Newbury an opportunity to attack and from the ensuing play they worked a converted try to put them a point ahead.
The Fishermen took the game to their hosts but were thwarted by refereeing decisions and errors.  Brixham had the momentum and the Newbury lead never seemed likely to last.  A lineout 15 metres out provided the starting point.  Eight phases of play with the all of the forwards involved in making small gains were concluded by prop Joel Armitage touching down between the posts.  Putt converted and Brixham were six points ahead.
Minutes later and the lead was up to nine when Putt kicked a penalty but there were still fifteen minutes to play.  A chance for Newbury to narrow the gap was missed when a penalty in front of the posts was missed.  Brixham too had kickable penalty chances but spurned them in the hunt for tries.
With Brixham keeping the ball tight they ensured that Newbury had little possession or territory.  When the final whistle blew Newbury were attacking in search of at least a losing point but the Brixham defence held firm to secure a good away win.
4th November 2017  Maidenhead 52  Brixham 30
According to the Maidenhead Advertiser:
Maidenhead turned up the pace to produce a stunning second half performance which decimated a talented Brixham side at Braywick.
Maids scored eight tries to the visitors' three and came from 16-14 down at the break to deservedly win by 22 points.
The visitors led at half-time through a last minute try from Koree Britton which was converted by Tom Putt, who also added three penalties in the first 40 minutes - the first a top drawer effort from just shy of the half-way line.
Mais notched tries from centre Ed Keohane and scrum-half Mark Childerhouse, both converted by Keohane, but will have gone in at half-time sore to turn over possession as much as they did.
The second half clicked for Maids who brought on flanker Will Cadden and winger Jaryd Robinson which energised them, bringing about a 20 minute spell which effectively won them the match.
Robinson scored with almost his first touch of the match to which were added tries from No8 Dave Cole, off the back of a scrum, and fullback Perry Jansen who ran almost 90 metres following an interception.
Maids went on to score another three tries through Keohane, Robinson - on the end of a stunning multi-phase move - and Alex French after great ball scounging from George Blewitt.
Brixham managed two touchdowns of their own - from Russ Morris and JP Simonetti, but they had been playing catch-up.  Something they never completed.
28th October 2017  Brixham 42  Hornets 17
Three wins in a row have lifted Brixham from the bottom of the league table into the top half.  The visitors from Weston have also had a poor start to the season and were keen to improve their position also.
Brixham had the better of the opening exchanges keeping the Hornets penned into their own half.  On the ten minute mark Brixham pressed close to the try line and forced a scrum five metres out.
Number 8 Sam Thomas peeled off the scrum to touch down with little opposition and centre Tom Putt added the conversion.
Tom McLean was denied a try after he recovered a Putt chip over the defence and ran clear; the referee had evidently spotted something wrong!  However he did go back to a penalty for Brixham which set up an attacking spell close to the Hornets line,
Prop Dominic Connor rounded off five phases of forward drives by crossing for a try.  
The restart brought an immediate resumption of Brixham offense.  Hooker Koree Britton received it and made good yards before offloading.  Centre Tom McLean made further territory and Connor took the ball into the 22 before being brought down.  The ball was recycled quickly and passed out for lock Shek Sheriff to cross the line in the Mudstone corner.
Hornets struck back immediately.  An attack down the right was halted but when the ball went crossfield they had an overlap and a simple try.
The Brixham response was just as immediate.  An attack down the left was halted just short of the line but released quickly to fly-half Martin Worthington who slipped through the disorganised defence to dot down under the posts.
Four tries (all converted by Tom Putt) meant that Brixham had a bonus point within 30 minutes.
In the time remaining in the first half there was no further scoring though when lemons time arrived it was Hornets looking for a score.
Hornets had the slope adavantage for the second half but their start was disappointing.  The kick off was collected by Sheriff who set off upfield brushing off tackles until we was taken down just inside the 22.  The ball spun swiftly to the right where McLean burst through and offloaded to full-back Tom Goodman who scored a try, converted by Putt.
Within five minutes Hornets had their second score when a period of attacking phases ended with their flyhalf drifting through the Brixham net for a converted try.
As the second half progressed both sides had their attacking spells but added nothing to the score.  Ten minutes from time the visitors’ hopes were raised with their third try.  If they were to lose at least a fourth try would earn them a bonus point.
Before they could even mount an attack Brixham had increased the lead with their sixth; Tom McLean bursting through the centre to secure it.  Putt was again successful with the conversion.
Hornets never gave up but found the Brixham defence in a mean mood and no thing else troubled the scorers.



21st October 2017  Ivybridge 7   Brixham 24
According to the Plymouth Sports Gazette:
IVYBRIDGE suffered a disappointing 24-7 home defeat to Devon rivals Brixham at Cross-in-Hand on Saturday.  The Bridgers were always second best in the match and did not even take full advantage when they had a two extra men for a spell.  The home team just had no spark and made too many errors.

Brixham, on the hand, had plenty of energy and power and, apart from a mad period in the second half – where they had three players yellow carded and conceded a penalty try, did exactly what they had to do to win on a horrible afternoon.  The Fisherman were also boosted by being able to start Russell Morris and Koree Britton alongside each other for the first time in their front-row. They both had big games after injuries in Brixham’s  pack.
Former Plymouth Albion back Tom Putt also had a massive match for the visitors in the backs. His long-range kicking out of hand in bad conditions constantly put the visitors in the right areas of the field.  Ivybridge’s kicking was unusually poor and they generally appeared to struggle with the wet and windy conditions.

Ivybridge made the worst possible starts. From the kick-off Brixham got the ball and put phase after phase together for two minutes before scrum-half Noah Nash scored and Putt converted.
Putt missed a penalty six minutes later, but did add one on 12 minutes to put his side 10-0 up.  Ivybridge did not get into Brixham’s half until the 15th minute and only had one real chance in the half which came when a high kick by Mitch Pinkus was collected by Paterson, who kicked forward himself. He and Damon Akerman chased the ball but Brixham just got to it before either could ground it.
Pinkus did try a long range penalty on 37 minutes but in the windy conditions it was off-target.

Early in the second half tempers flared and the referee sin-binned player-coaches Paterson and Martin Worthington.
Four minutes later Brixham had Morris also yellow-carded, but within two minutes they scored a second try when a long pass by Putt created space and ended up with Connor Bedwell scoring. Putt added the conversion to make it 17-0.  Brixham then found themselves down to 12 men when former Gloucester hooker Britton was yellow carded.

With both Morris and Britton off the field, Ivybridge opted for a scrum from the penalty and it was no surprise that the home team got the push on and got a penalty try.
But that was as good as it got for the Bridgers and two minutes from time the influential Sam Thomas added a third try for Brixham, which Putt, who only missed one kick out of five in gale-force conditions, converted.

7th October 2017  Brixham 29  Lydney 15
At Astley Park, on Saturday, Brixham moved off the bottom of the league table.  Malcolm Onsando, playing his last game for Brixham before returning to Kenya helped to secure the Fishermen’s first win of the season – all he missed out on was to score!
With the wind and slope in their favour in the first half Brixham attacked from the start.  After five minutes of battering away at the visitors’ defence thought they had taken the lead when a long pass put winger Jesse Lowe through.  The referee saw what no-one at Brixham did – a forward pass – and denied the try.
The Brixham offensive continued.  At first Lydney were unable to get out of their own 22 but when they kept ball in hand they enjoyed more success.  Their attacks, however, came to naught.
Midway through the first half Brixham edged ahead.  Lydney were penalised at a scrum in front of their posts and fly-half Tom Putt slotted the posts.
Just minutes later the lead was extended when the Brixham centres combined forces – Tom McLean’s burst sucked in the defence and Connor Bedwell went over for a try in the corner. Putt converted.
Brixham’s pressure kept Lydney penned back but could not be turned into any more points.  As the half was drawing to a conclusion Lydney once more enjoyed an attacking spell.  In defending, Brixham lost a player to the sin-bin.  Lydney kicked the ensuing penalty.
Both sides enjoyed periods of attacking up to the interval but Lydney had the best of it.  An unconverted try in the corner was the last act of the half and Brixham turned around just 10-8 ahead.
With the elements now in their favour the Gloucester boys could feel optimistic.  For ten minutes they were the team on top but the Fishermens defences held firm.  
The tide of the game changed when Tom Putt picked up a loose ball in the Brixham half.  His sidesteps split the onrushing visitors and his break took him up to the 22.  Lydney halted the attack but Brixham got a penalty.  Scrum-half Noah Nash took it quickly and put Martin Worthington over by the posts.  Putt converted easily.
Brixham’s subsequent attacking brought no reward but when Lydney responded in kind they narrowed the gap.  A neat chip over the Brixham defence being collected in the air and touched down.  The final quarter would be tense.
Brixham knew this was a game they had to win and for five minutes drove ever closer to the try-line.  Eventually No 8 Sam Thomas crashed over for a try.  Putt converted and Brixham had a nine point lead.
Lydney attacked and came within inches of scoring a try.  Brixham held out and were back on the attack when Lydney thought they had scored with an interception try – the ref was sure the player was offside and ruled it out.  Brixham kicked the penalty to the corner for a 5metre lineout, catch and drive.  From said drive Sam Thomas peeled off and looped around to score his second try in the corner.
Putt missed the conversion and while Lydney ended the game on the offensive there was too little time left.


30th September 2017  Exmouth 16   Brixham 15
Five games into the season and Brixham are still looking for their first win.  Exmouth’s Imperial Ground has never been a happy hunting place for the Fishermen but they held the lead for most of the match and were, rightly, disappointed with the final score.
They took the lead within two minutes when quick hands and support play took them from just outside their own 22 to score in the corner.  Debutant winger Andre Simonetti grounding for the try.
For the rest of the first quarter play was mostly in the Cockles’ half but the hosts withstood the Brixham attacks largely with the help of Brixham’s handling errors and infringements. The next ten minutes were in the centre of the park and while Exmouth clearly had the edge in the scrums their backs looked far from threatening.
Exmouth got on the scoreboard with a long-distance penalty goal on the 30 minute mark and a second a few minutes later put them a point ahead.  It was not a lead that would last till the break.
A Brixham lineout ten metres from the Exmouth line failed to produce a catch-and drive but several phases of attacking by the forwards took them ever nearer to the whitewash before flanker Jordan Watson reached it for a try near the posts.  Tom Putt converted to leave Brixham 12-6 ahead at lemons time.
The third quarter was uneventful in terms of scoring but Brixham’s defences were tested by the homesters attacks.  Midway through the half a Brixham breakthrough by lock Shek Sheriff was pulled back for a possibly forward pass but soon afterwards penetrating runs by props Russ Morris and Dom Connor set up a kickable penalty chance.
Putt duly converted it and Brixham had extended the lead to nine points.  Exmouth now enjoyed possibly their best period of the match in which every breakdown seemed to end with a scrum to them..  Despite their possession the Brixham defence held them out.
A lineout to Exmouth ten metres out brought them some reward.  The pack set up a drive and, aided by the weight of some of their backs drove over for a try.  The conversion reduced the Brixham lead to two points.
A second Exmouth attempt at a catch and drive failed when Brixham stole the lineout ball and an Exmouth penalty attempt soon after also failed.  With just minutes left a second penalty succeeded and Exmouth had the lead.
Brixham had too little time to regain it and just a losing league bonus point to show for their efforts.
23rd September 2017  Brixham 28  Dings Crusaders 34
Brixham have had a poor start to the season and the table-topping visitors from Bristol were expected to provide a tough test.  Injuries forced the Fishermen to make changes to their team but that does not constitute an excuse.  Dings possibly deserved the win but Brixham made it exciting to the very end.
The opening twelve minutes belonged entirely to Dings.  Brixham had only touched the ball on a couple of occasions and at the end of the period were already ten points in arrears.  Dings had gone through numerous phases of possession and were rewarded with a try in each corner.
After the second restart Brixham were able to play some rugby but their first attacking spell ended with a missed penalty.
Midway through the half the task confronting Brixham grew larger when Dings scored a third try and conversion.  Although the visitors’ defence was well organised Brixham were able to make progress  when they attacked.  Scrum-half Kier Murphy was denied a try when a jinking run took him over – held up according to the referee – and Brixham then spent most of the remainder of the half camped in the Dings 22.
Where the forwards had attempted, and failed to power their way over the line, centre Connor Bedwell found a different way through.  The ball was passed wide and he took it at pace; his angled run took him to a try near the posts.  Tom Putt converted and Brixham trailed 17-7.
Dings came close to an immediate response and while Brixham held out defensively it was the visitors who had the final say – an unconverted try in the Mudstone corner extended their lead to fifteen points at the break.
A converted try five minutes into the second period stretched the Dings lead and the game looked well and truly up for Brixham.  The Fishermen had other ideas and started to take the offensive.  Flanker Scott Puleston was denied a try (held up?) and winger (and replacement scrum-half) Noah Nash just failed to collect a chip through that would have left him clear.
Much effort but no reward for Brixham.  The game was already in its final quarter before they got any.  A 5 metre lineout and maul culminated in the pack driving over.  Hooker Kyle Cane grounding under a pile of bodies.
Two minutes later and Brixham had another converted try. Lock Malcolm Onsando started it, running from deep; centre Tom McLean and Tom Putt carried on the attack before Noah Nash did the final 20 metres to the posts.
A few minutes later and Brixham had an historic comeback in sight!  Bedwell latched onto a chip kick from Putt that bounced wickedly over the Dings fullback and raced towards the posts for a try.  With Putt having converted all the tries Brixham were just a point behind with ten minutes or so remaining.
Dings had conceded the tries while they were a man short (in the sinbin)  Restored to their full complement they  started to go through their attacking phases.  When an unexpected gap occurred in the Brixham midfield they capitalised with an unconverted try and their lead was back up to six points.
Brixham could still win and tried everything they knew in the time remaining; Dings defended strongly, avoided a last minute defeat and remain top of the league table.


16th September 2017  Cleve 20   Brixham 11
Three points from three matches is all that Brixham have to show for the opening games.  Although all three games have been close, the injuries picked up on Saturday things are not making things look too bright with two of the promotion favourites up next.
Brixham had the better of the first half in terms of territory and possession but statistics don’t win games.  An early try scoring opportunity was lost when the ball was spilt forward and several other chances went begging as Brixham were unable to make the most of the line-breaks they created.
A penalty goal from the boot of Tom Putt gave the Fishermen the lead just before the break but  when a high ball was misfielded shortly afterwards the Cleve winger was on hand to recover it and score a try in the corner.
A five points to three deficit at the break was increased five minutes into the second half when Cleve scored a try from a short range lineout, going round the back to touch down.
After their first half “dominance” Brixham found themselves much more on the back foot in the second period and the hosts could rue a number of chances that they missed.
The more so when, from a lineout outside the Cleve 22, a brief rolling maul formed and Brixham hooker Koree Britton peeled off with the ball.  His offload was passed on to winger JP Simonetti who touched down at armslength in the corner.  The conversion was missed.
With the game entering the final quarter Cleve restored their lead with a try off the back of a 5metre scrum – after Brixham had halted a couple of runs for the line.  Brixham reduced the deficit to six points with a Putt penalty after a promising attack was halted and with the homesters now leading by six points the game was still there for Brixham.
The desire and ambition was there, the ability to break through the Cleve defence was not.  Cleve made the game safe with a penalty goal and seemed relieved at the finish.
9th September 2017  Brixham 20  Camborne 21
Brixham had their first home league game on Saturday and for the second week running a close affair left them disappointed.
In the first half Brixham played down towards the Mudstone End and in the opening exchanges totally dominated possession.  Threatening the try line is one thing, scoring is totally different.  Camborne went upfield to threaten themselves and a penalty goal on the 12 minute mark put them ahead.  A second attempt shortly after could have doubled their lead but came back off the post.
Brixham went back on the attack but a chance to level the scores was missed when Tom Putt put his kick just wide.  A second attempt soon after was also unsuccessful.
With half-time approaching a brief spell of attacking by the visitors resulted in a converted try and a ten point lead.
In the time remaining Brixham mounted almost continuous offence but all their efforts were pointless and the half-time whistle ended when Brixham were denied a try.
In the first half Brixham showed glimpses of what they could do but were let down by mistakes – not to mention the efforts of a well-organised defence.
Brixham were on top in the opening minutes of the second period and sowed that they could penetrate, rather than just stretch the visitors’ defence.  The path over the try-line was shown by outside half Tom Putt who double stepped the Camborne defence to score under posts from halfway.  Just minutes after, following a scrum on halfway, centre Tom McLean burst through before offloading to winger Connor Bedwell who touched down in style.  Putt converted both and Brixham led 14-10.
The lead did not last long.  When Brixham attempted to run the ball from deep a fumble gifted possession to Camborne and an unconverted try put them a point in front.
With both defences holding firm only penalty goals troubled the scoreboard in the final stages. The Camborne lead was extended to four points before Brixham reduced it to one again with twenty minutes remaining.
Brixham regained the lead when Putt scored his second penalty but this was short-lived as Camborne retaliated in like fashion and their one point margin remained till the end.


2nd September 2017  Weston s Mare 21   Brixham 21
A draw to start the season!

 
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