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FIRST XV
For programme notes, including published team lists, click HERE
21st April 2018  Brixham 21  Weston -s- Mare 17
Brixham needed this win to ensure that they remain in the South-West Premier League.  A four try bonus point was what they really wanted but results elsewhere rendered this unnecessary and Newbury Blues and Exmouth have games next week that will resolve the relegation battle.
With some of their youth sides on tour in Brixham Weston had far more support at Astley Park than they might normally have.  The sunny weather made for an intriguing match but for the Fishermen’s supporters it was a tense affair.
As in previous weeks Brixham were weakened in the pack by injuries, etc and clearly this is an area they need to work upon during the close season – though there is still the defence of the Devon Cup to worry about.
Brixham played down the slope in the first half and it soon became apparent that the visitors had the edge in the scrums.  By contrast the Brixham backs were threatening from the outset and the positional kicking of Tom Putt gained many valuable yards.
Most of the play in the opening quarter was in the Weston half and Brixham eventually took the lead with a penalty kick.
On 25 minutes Brixham thought they had scored the opening try in the Mudstone Corner but the referee went back for a much earlier Weston offence.  Tom Putt slotted the penalty to increase the Brixham lead.
Weston began to get more into the game and only solid Brixham defence prevented what looked sure to be a try.  More pressure by the visitors put them on the scoreboard with a penalty goal and they then continued to push Brixham back.
With half-time approaching Weston took the lead.  While their backs had been unable to break through the Brixham defences a chip kick over the top and a lucky bounce produced the desired result - a converted try.
Brixham responded with the final attack of the first half and a Tom Putt penalty goal was the last action.  Brixham turned around 10-9 behind.
Almost immediately from the resumption Brixham took the lead.  Swift hands sent the ball to full-back Conner Bedwell who spotted and ran through a gap.  The last defender might have got him but Tom Maclean was up in support and crossed the line by the posts in celebratory fashion.  Putt converted.
The second half developed into a struggle between the 22’s with solid defences, handling errors and the referee’s whistle preventing either side from establishing any real momentum.
With about ten minutes left Brixham were in an attacking position and the referee was playing advantage for a penalty against the visitors.  Putt deftly chipped into space behind the defence where a kindly bounce took the ball into the hands of Maclean, chasing up, who dived over for a try.
The extras were missed but Weston needed at least two scores to win.  The first of these came soon.  A 5 metre lineout led to the expected drive and while the initial thrusts were repelled the ball was taken over.  The conversion left them needing just a try for victory.
Unfortunately Brixham were not in a generous mode.  The tackling was superb and when they had the ball it was very much a matter of going through phases of possession.  
The teams will lock horns in the League again next season.
14th April 2018  Bracknell 29  Brixham 25
Brixham’s league season will end as at began – with a match against Weston-super-Mare.  The difference is that this is a match that will have an impact on relegation from the Southwest Premier Division.  The Fishermen need to win to ensure that they don’t fill the remaining drop spot.
Victory at Bracknell would have ensured their safety and they led for most of the game.  Unfortunately they could not hang on to the lead as the hosts scored two late tries.
With a pack seriously weakened by injuries and unavailabilities, Brixham were usually under pressure in the set-pieces though the backs looked dangerous with the ball in hand.
Brixham took an early lead.  From a lineout on the right the ball went crossfield where full-back Conner Bedwell weaved his way through the defence to touch down near the posts.  Tom Putt converted.
Bracknell were soon on the scoreboard.  When Brixham were penalised at a scrum close to their line a quickly taken penalty set up a try for their forwards before the Brixham defence got organised.  The conversion was missed to leave the Fishermen two points ahead.
The lead went back to seven points when Brixham scored their second try.  Bracknell were attacking on the right but prop Joel Armitage stole the ball and set off upfield.  The yards he made were greater in impact than distance and the ball was recycled quickly and went through the Brixham backs before winger JP Simonetti crossed the whitewash.
A second try for the hosts before halftime meant that the game was evenly poised with Brixham leading 12-10.
In the second period Brixham started brightly and had Bracknell defending in front of their clubhouse.  They extended their lead when Bracknell tried to run the ball out of defence from a scrum ten metres out from their line.  A one-handed pass to their winger might have been intercepted by Simonetti but was not.  He stole it from the intended receivers hands and shot over for a try.  Putt converted.
Further Brixham attacking took them close to the line but not over it.  Two penalties from the boot of Tom Putt increased the Fishermen’s catch but Bracknell had the better of the second half.  Three tries, one with the last move of the match, were enough to give them the victory.
7th April 2018  Brixham 18  Bournemouth 31
Brixham have never beaten Bournemouth in a League fixture.  With the visitors still looking towards a promotion playoff spot and Brixham not clear of relegation concerns a tough struggle was to be expected.
In the second minute Brixham’s task got tougher.  When the visiting scrum-half picked the ball out of a ruck in midfield he saw a gap and went clean through to score under the posts.
A Tom Putt penalty from the halfway line put the Fishermen on the scoreboard shortly after and the game then began to develop into a midfield battle as the teams explored each others strengths and weaknesses.  On the twelve minute mark a penalty for Bournemouth restored their seven point lead.
Two Brixham attacks in quick succession ended with Bournemouth infringing – Putt slotted the penalties and there was only one point in it as the first quarter ended.  A try up the right wing soon extended the visitors’ lead but the conversion failed.
The period up to half-time saw Bournemouth enjoy more of the possession but the Brixham defence contained them.  When Brixham attacked they found the visiting defence equally unyielding.  However this was not always lawful and three penalties by Putt gave Brixham an 18-15 lead at the break.
In the third quarter Brixham enjoyed the better of the play but could find no gaps and, as Bournemouth’s discipline was improved, had no penalty chances.  At the end of the quarter Bournemouth launched a prolonged attack and regained the lead with a converted try.
Five minutes later and another multi-phase attack ended with a penalty for Bournemouth and another one soon followed to extend their lead to ten points.  Bournemouth always looked dangerous on the counter-attack
Brixham were on the attack for much of the closing stages but could find no way through the well-drilled defence.  A disallowed try for prop Matt Skeet was as close as they got while the visitors added another penalty goal before full time was sounded.
24th March 2018  Newton Abbot 25 Brixham 33
Report to follow ....
17th March 2018  Brixham 6  Maidenhead 0
A fortnight ago the snow associated with the “Beast From The East” forced its postponement.  The rearranged game on Saturday was played out in squally snow blown in on the latest easterly winds.
The combination of poor weather and the counter-attractions of the 6 Nations games meant that fewer spectators than normal watched the match.  With such a low scoreline it would be apparent that the game was not filled with running rugby and thrilling tries.  The lack of these did not detract from an enthralling game, however.
With Maidenhead chasing a promotion play-off spot and Brixham not entirely safe from relegation both teams had plenty of motivation and their efforts were prodigious.
Brixham started with the wind and snow at their backs, playing uphill in the first half.  In the opening quarter much of the play was in midfield with offensive action confined largely to the forwards going through phases of possession.  Twice Brixham had lineouts close to the visitors’ try line but could not work a catch and drive to cross it.
Brixham took the lead when Tom Putt slotted a penalty on the 23 minute mark.  This signalled a long period when Maidenhead were on top and the Brixham defence had to be resolute in their own 22.
At half time both teams retired to the warmth and shelter of the dressing rooms for a slightly elongated break.  When they resumed the snow had somewhat reduced in intensity but the game maintained its own.
Brixham started the brighter but Maidenhead soon got back into the game and tested the Brixham defences through both their forwards and backs.  A rare visit to the Maidenhead half gave Brixham the chance to increase their lead but Putt’s kick went astray.
More attacking from Maidenhead gave them no scoring opportunities as the Fishermen withstood the pressure and worked back upfield.  Midway through the half a yellow card for Maidenhead and another penalty chance.  On this occasion Putt was successful and Brixham had doubled their lead.
Within minutes Maidenhead offended again when a Brixham rolling maul was brought down just short of the line.  Another kick at goal for Putt but a second miss.
Brixham continued to press but it was by no means one-way traffic and with just six points in it either side could win.  With time running out Brixham dominated possession for a long period going through phases.  They only made ground slowly but the hard yards won ate up the clock.
Eventually they were penalised on the Maidenhead 22 and the visitors clearly realised that this would be their last chance.  A “Hail Mary” type kick upfield for their winger to run on to was the chosen option.  Scrum-half Noah Nash had covered back and cleared the ball safely to touch and brought the final whistle.
10th March 2018  Brixham 19  Newbury Blues 12
With both sides hovering above the relegation battle this was a “must-win” game for both.  Despite the previous days rain the pitch was in good shape and the travelling Blues fans made for a good atmosphere in a game that produced a tense finish.  The Fishermen were forced to dig deep and hold their nerves in the ten minutes of added time to close out the win.
Early pressure from Brixham tested the visitors’ defence and they took the lead when Tom Putt slotted a penalty goal after 12 minutes.  More pressure from the Brixham pack kept Newbury defending in their own 22 but the chances refused to be converted into points.
After a period of such pressure Brixham eventually got over the try-line when centre Connor Bedwell ran through a gap to touch down.  Putt added the extras and later added a penalty for a 13-0 lead at the break.  By this time Brixham had lost skipper Adam Thomas with a broken arm and he was replaced by Calum Smith.
The second half started with Brixham still on the front foot but the Newbury defence was resilient.  A number of penalty chances were spurned in the hope of securing larger spoils but Putt took one to extend the lead.
As the second period progressed the Blues used the slope to greater advantage and with more of the ball started to test the Fishermen’s defences.  Half way through the half a try, unconverted, got Newbury on the board and buoyed their spirits.  A fourth penalty from Putt gave Brixham some margin of safety but there were still ten minutes left on the clock.
Most of this time was spent pounding at the Brixham defences and with their pack getting on top a penalty try was a suitable reward and gave them at least a losing bonus point.
With injury time still to be added more was within their reach.  Ten minutes still remained on the refs watch and for most of it Newbury were camped on the Brixham line.  The final act was a 5 metre scrum to Newbury when Brixham offended.  The ball should have been won by Newbury but it emerged on the Brixham side, was cleared to touch and the final whistle blew!
17th February 2018  Hornets 44  Brixham 40
After the joys of the Astley Park mud last weekend Brixham enjoyed the artificial turf at Hornets and a very different game.  Hornets may be bottom of the league but still retain hopes of avoiding relegation.
Early pressure from Brixham took them close to the homesters line but a penalty goal from Tom Putt was their sole reward.  Hornets struck back quickly.  A tap penalty on halfway, taken quickly, found the Brixham defence wanting and a try in the corner put Hornets ahead.
From the restart Brixham were back on the attack but handling errors frustrated their efforts.  A breakaway attack by the hosts looked to have put the Fishermen in trouble but a wayward pass was intercepted by winger JP Simonetti who raced up the wing to touch down under the posts.  Putt had an easy conversion and Brixham led 10-7.
More attacking from the Fishermen culminated in hooker Koree Britton scoring a try, converted by Putt, and by the end of the first quarter Brixham led 17-7.
The second quarter saw hostilities confined largely to the middle of the pitch.  Another tap penalty brought the hosts a second, converted try and just before the break Putt slotted a penalty to give Brixham a 20-14 interval lead.
Hornets had the better of play after the break and a penalty goal and converted try took them into the lead.  Putt cut the deficit with a penalty for Brixham but within minutes this was countered by a Hornets try in the corner which put them 29-23 ahead.
Two minutes later and another Putt penalty got the gap down again.  Brixham were containing the Hornets attacking efforts to midfield and took the lead when scrum-half Noah Nash intercepted on the half-way line and ran through to the posts.
As the game entered the final quarter a penalty to Hornets left Brixham leading 33-32 but the Fishermen weredisrupted by injuries to various players.  A try in the corner put Hornets ahead and another followed shortly after when Brixham fumbled a Hornets clearance kick.  The conversion put Hornets 44-33 ahead.
In the final minutes Brixham launched a series of attacks and several players were close to scoring.  Eventually a score did come, in the last minute, when No 8 Sam Thomas powered over.  His try, and the conversion, earned Brixham two bonus points (4-try and losing-margin) and made the defeat somewhat less bitter than it might have been.
10th February 2018  Brixham 28  Exmouth 0
The driving drizzle and an already damp pitch were never likely to produce a classic game of rugby.  The spectators were thus not disappointed.  A game of two halves, as they say, was, however, not without its interesting moments.  For both sides, throughout the match, handling errors were frequent and establishing any continuity was a problem.
Brixham started playing down the slope and with the wind behind them.  However in the opening passages they struggled to make that advantage count and play was restricted mainly to the middle of the pitch.  Gradually Brixham got on top and had the Cockles penned back into their 22.
The opening score came on the eighteen minute mark when, after a probe by No 8 Sam Thomas the ball came to prop Russ Morris.  From a standing start he eluded the attentions of the Exmouth defence and set off towards the line where the Brixham forwards propelled him over the line.  Tom Putt added the conversion.
From this point the Brixham pressure was resumed, only penalties and mistakes helping Exmouth to clear their lines.  Another score seemed likely but failed to come immediately despite the efforts of the Brixham pack..When Brixham were penalised at a scrum 5 metres out another chance seemed to have gone but the clearing kick went awry.
It failed to make touch, was thrown inside and from 30 metres out Sam Thomas ran through unopposed to the posts to touch down.  Putt converted and Brixham led 14-0 with 24 minutes gone.
Exmouth restarted but were immediately under pressure from a Brixham clearance.  Sterling efforts by the Brixham forwards failed to get through the visitors’ defence.  With half time approaching Exmouth worked their way upfield and started to test the Fishermen’s defensive resolve.
On the stroke of half-time Brixham halted an Exmouth attack twenty metres from their own line and turned the ball over.  Scrum-half Noah Nash opted for attack from depth and ran through the Exmouth defenders before being brought down just short of the line.  Up in support, Dom Connor picked up his pop pass to go over the line for a try.  Putt converted and Brixham turned around 21-0 ahead.
Brixham, and the referee, changed their shirts at the break.  The drizzle, but not the wind, abated but the mud had already been churned up and identifying players in the second period was not easy.
Neither was the ball-handling improved.  The difference in the second period was that whereas Brixham had enjoyed the majority of territorial advantage in the first half, Exmouth were dominant in the second.
The Cockles huffed, puffed, and put everything into attempting to score tries but found Brixham at their resolute best.  As the clock ticked over Brixham only created one scoring chance when a chip over the Exmouth defence in midfield, followed by some neat footwork made a Brixham try look likely.  The ball was not picked up cleanly and the chance went begging.
The efforts of Exmouth continued to the end.  Brixham defended heroically even when reduced to fourteen men by a yellow card.  The success of the Brixham defence was crowned at the finale with a bonus point winning try.
A last Brixham flourish took them up to the Exmouth 22 and a penalty against the defenders.  A tap by Putt and Russ Morris had the ball.  His pirouette took him away from two tacklers, his pace and strength took him to the line for a try.  Putt converted and brought the final whistle.
3rd February 2018  Brixham 27  Ivybridge 27
A high scoring draw – four tries (and a bonus point) to Brixham but a less satisfactory 3 tries to the visitors gave an exciting game but in the context of the league situation a result that pleased neither side.  Brixham led 15-3 at the break but it was not quite enough to defend when playing uphill in the second half.
Brixham were on the offensive from the outset and had the lead in the first three minutes when Tom Putt stroked over a penalty goal.  More attacking from the Fishermen kept the Bridgers penned back but additional points eluded them until prop Russ Morris burst through for a try.
When the ball went loose at a ruck on the Ivybridge 22 he picked up, brushed off one tackler and was clear to the line.  Putt converted to extend the lead to ten points.
A spell of dominance by the visitors ensued but Brixham withstood the pressure.   Ivybridge were forced to settle for a penalty to get themselves on the scoreboard.
The second  quarter saw Brixham once more on top and threatening the Ivybridge line but handling mistakes and other errors frustrated them.   With the first half drawing to a close Brixham rolled forward from a lineout some twenty metres out.
When the ball was released it left outside-half Tom Putt only a few metres short of the Mudstone Corner whitewash and a try. His conversion was wide but Brixham were able to turn around 15-3 ahead.
Brixham had the better of the opening ten minutes of the second period.  Penalties for lineout catch and drives brought nothing and other attacking options were similarly fruitless.
On the fifteen minute mark Ivybridge showed the potency of their own back division by running in a try three-quarters of the length of the pitch.  The conversion, and a penalty goal soon after, left Ivybridge just two points behind.
This was followed by a probing run up the left touchline which gave Ivybridge a good attacking position but the chance went missing.  Brixham returned to the top end.  A penalty, lineout and drive brought a try for hooker Koree Britton.  Putt’s conversion attempt was foiled by the post and the Brixham lead was seven points as the game entered the final quarter.
Five minutes of, mainly, Ivybridge pressure ended with the visitors scoring a try in the playground corner.  A touchline conversion and the scores were level.
After a spell of Brixham pressure by the forwards made little impact the ball went out to the backs where No 8 Sam Thomas was waiting for his moment.  Two tacklers missed him, a third was brushed off as he picked up speed and then there was nothing to halt his dive over the line.  Putt converted to restore the 7 point margin with just minutes remaining.
Ivybridge still wanted something from the game and laid siege to the Brixham line.  After their forwards failed to cross it the ball went right and with the last move of the game a try, and conversion, got them the draw.
13th January 2018  Lydney 24  Brixham 0
A heavy pitch on the banks of the Severn saw the Fishermen face relegation-haunted Lydney.  Not a must-win game for Brixham but close to it.  With four yellow cards the Brixham performance was “flat”; Lydney took their chances well and Brixham returned to port pointless.
Lydney took the lead in the third minute after a brief spell of forward pressure when their winger cut through close to the breakdown and touched down near to the posts.
After the restart Brixham had a period of attacking phases but an interception took Lydney back upfield.  The Fishermen defended well but penalties kept them penned back into the 22 and eventually Lydney found a way through, on the 20 minute mark, from a quickly taken tap penalty for their second try.
Again Brixham were attacking from the restart.  Two possibly kickable penalties were turned down in favour of kicks to the corner for lineout catches and drives.  Neither were successful.  The hosts swiftly progressed upfield and after finding the Brixham defence in disarray secured a third try.
Another restart, another period of Brixham pressure.  Penalties close to the try-line were taken as scrums.  Lydney survived but struggled to get out of their own half.  The interval came withBrixham’s pressure bringing no reward and a seventeen point deficit.
Lydney had the better of the opening exchanges in the second period and, rightly or wrongly, had the benefit of almost all of the refereeing decisions. Fifteen minutes in and they had secured a fourth try.  A free-kick close to the Brixham try-line taken quickly found the Brixham defence in tatters and a gap towards the whitewash.
In the final quarter both sides had opportunities and, on balance, Brixham were on top.  Despite their edge the Fishermen were unable to create any clear scoring chances.
13th January 2018  Dings Crusaders 37  Brixham 26
Dings Crusaders remain top of the League following this win but Brixham slipped slightly closer to the relegation battle.  A cold January day in North Bristol on a pitch hemmed in by housebuilding sites seemed an unlikely place for an epic battle and it was not one.
For fifteen minutes there was little in it .  Dings then broke the deadlock with a penalty goal.
From the restart Brixham were on the attack and had Dings penned into their own 22.  A lineout close to the line set up a Brixham attack and the forwards made the hard yards through a number of phases before the ball was released and stand-off Tom Putt dived over for a try.
Dings were back on the attack but Brixham stunned them with a second try.  Winger JP Simonetti intercepted and ran clear for a try under the posts and an easy conversion for Putt.
This was a good as it got for Brixham.  Before the break the hosts scored two tries - both as a result of forward pressure - to take a 15-12 lead.
Just minutes into the second period Dings had a third try when a Brixham clearance kick was run back along the touchline for a try in the corner and the fourth followed soon after.  A chip kick over the Brixham defence fell kindly for their centre who crossed the line unopposed.
A penalty goal for Dings extended their lead but Brixham were still mounting attacks but, having set up a good position, the ball was intercepted by Dings' winger for a 75 metre dash to the try-line.
Dings were well in front but Brixham remained competitive and two tries from close range by Joe Lovell earned them a four-try bonus point and got the deficit back to eleven points.
The next target would be to secure a losing bonus point but the try that would have earned this never came and it was Dings who were pressing when the final whistle sounded.
7th January 2018  Brixham 21  Cleve 17
Brixham lost to Cleve early in the season up in Bristol and, with the middle of the League table somewhat congested, this was a game they dearly wanted to win.  With the return of Tom MacLean from injury and Tom Putt from suspension they were reinforced but they were also lacking other experienced and influential players.
The opening quarter did not exactly go to plan.  Playing down the slope, but into the easterly wind, they struggled to achieve much in terms of either possession or territory.  Cleve went through the phases with both their pack and backs and the Fishermen were almost constantly on the defensive.
A penalty goal after five minutes put the visitors ahead but the Brixham line was not crossed.  A second penalty twenty minutes later increased the Cleve lead but from this point on Brixham got more into the game.
The last ten minutes of the opening half saw Brixham virtually camped on the visitors’ line.  Twice the ball was adjudged “held up” over it; a chip over the defence just carried the dead-ball line and the final move of the match saw a charged down clearance kick also elude Brixham’s fingers.
Six points to nil down at the break was disappointing.
Brixham began the second period in the same attacking frame of mind but the results were the same.  The Cleve defence held out before the game became more open.
Cleve extended their lead to fourteen points with an unconverted try and a penalty goal and the clock ticked onwards.
With less than fifteen minutes remaining Brixham got themselves on the scoreboard.  A number of attacking phases by the forwards culminated with flanker Dom Connor going over for a try.  Brixham were straight back on the offensive with the forwards continuing to make hard yards.
The pressure told when another spell resulted in another close range try.  Unusually it was not a forward at the bottom with the ball but full-back Tom Goodman.  Tom Putt converted both tries and Brixham were on level terms.
Parity was short-lived.  Cleve added another penalty to go ahead again and started to keep Brixham down at the Mudstone end.  Brixham began to need something special and when they attempted to run the ball out of defence found it.  Centre Jesse Lowe spotted an opening, ran through and jinked past the defenders before being hauled down.  In support he found prop Russ Morris who made it to within five metres of the line.
Brixham recycled the ball and three phases later hooker Koree Britton crashed over for a try.  Putt again converted and Brixham were four points ahead with just a minute left on the watch.
Cleve were stung and in the time remaining threw everything at Brixham.  Needing more than a penalty they kept the ball alive with scrums every time the increasingly anxious Brixham defence were caught offside.  The minute stretched on to eight or nine and Cleve were camped in the Brixham 22.
A Cleve scrum on the five metre line, reset twice, and their pack was heading towards the whitewash ...  The referee blew up and indicated that they had committed an offence in the scrum.  Brixham penalty and the ball was joyously despatched to end the game.
16th December 2017  Camborne 33  Brixham 13
The Christmas break sees Brixham in the bottom half of the table after this defeat in Cornwall.
Brixham kicked off down the slope and made much of the running in the opening fifteen minutes.  After a spell of pressure a penalty goal struck by Connor Bedwell gave the Fishermen the lead.  It lasted less than a minute.   From a scrum after the restart the Camborne back-row burst through the Brixham defence and with support on hand a try under the posts was the result.
Brixham continued to dominate in terms of both possession and territory and ten minutes later had taken back the lead with a try following a lineout catch and drive.  With the conversion missed, the lead was just a single point.
Camborne now began to get on top and Brixham were unable to get through the Cornish defence.  Five minutes before the break the hosts took a lead they were never to relinquish.  After a ruck on the Brixham 22 their centre found the line, and had the pace to go through for a try.
The half-time Camborne lead of 14-8 was probably just what they wanted with the slope and playing into their favourite corner to come.
The opening ten minutes of the second period were notable for the number of penalties conceded by Brixham who, as a result, found themselves penned back with their backs to the line.  A yellow card at the end of that time compounded their woes, followed immediately by a Camborne try in Clubhouse corner.
Five minutes later they had their fourth try when a chip over the Brixham defence fell just right for them.
When Brixham were restored to their proper compliment they resumed taking the game to the hosts; but found no way through.  With something over ten minutes they did score a second try when a Camborne kick over the maul was charged down by Nathan Riley.  JP Simonetti recovered the ball to go in for a try in the corner.
In the dying minutes a break by Shek Sherrif deserved better than it received.  The referee did not like the hand-off on the man who tackled him; awarded a yellow card and allowed Camborne to take a quick penalty and gain field position near the Brixham line.  The last act of the game was a 5metre lineout to Camborne, resulting in their fifth try.
9th December 2017  Brixham 47  Bracknell 31
Brixham had the winning bonus point secured by halftime but let Bracknell back into the game in the second period.  With the season at its halfway mark Brixham are just below the middle of the table but their poor early-season form is now behind them.
Brixham had the better of the opening fifteen minutes and got close to the line on a couple of occasions through forward thrusts.  It took the Simonetti brothers to break the deadlock, however; JP’s break putting Andre over for the opening try.  In the absence of Tom Putt, winger Connor Bedwell took over kicking duties and slotted the conversion.
Bracknell were on the board soon after with a try following a five-metre lineout and thought they had the lead almost immediately after the restart after a run by their powerful No 8.  Unfortunately his chip kick ahead had bounced in touch before the winger collected to run clear.
The second quarter belonged decisively to the Fishermen who maintained an almost continuous offence.  Scrum-half Noah Nash claimed the second try.  His long pass found Bedwell in space on the right and when he was brought down was on hand to touch down.  Bedwell converted.
Nash scored Brixham’s third try after a break by Martin Worthington, followed by flanker Joe Lovell, put him clear under the posts.  Bedwell duly converted.
The fourth try and a bonus point followed soon after.  A lineout to Brixham s10 metres out, a catch and drive and hooker Koree Britton  grounded the ball.  Bedwell’s kicking accuracy failed him on this occasion.
A similar lineout on the opposite side of the posts soon after resulted in the same thing – Britton touching down after the drive.  Bedwell regained his bearings for the conversion.  Brixham led by 33 points to 5 at the break and seemed to have the game wrapped up.
Within five minutes of the restart the lead had increased.  After a series of attacks by the forwards had been stopped just short of the line the ball went wide to the right where fullback Tom Goodman crossed for a try.  Bedwell converted and the Fishermen were sailing away.
Having a commanding lead was no reason for complacency and Bracknell had not lost their ambition.  Three tries for the visitors, the last from an interception, earned them a four-try bonus point
Despite the reduced lead, Brixham were still doing most of the attacking; Bracknell being reliant on counter attacks from deep.  Pressure on the visitors line brought try number 7 for Brixham when flanker Joe Lovell went over; Bedwell converted from wide on the right.
A fifth, converted, try for Bracknell followed soon after but the scoring had come to an end.  In the ten minutes remaining Brixham remained on top but were unable to find a way through.





2nd December 2017  Bournemouth 57  Brixham 30
Bournemouth has never been a happy hunting ground for the Fishermen - and so it proved again on Saturday.
It was wet, windy and miserable at Bournemouth.
The opening minutes were all pressure from Bournemouth, well defended by Brixham.  Conceding penalties close to their own line had Brixham decidedly on the back foot and the hosts took the lead when a 5 metre scrum was driven over for the opening Bournemouth try on the 10 minute mark.
The next ten minutes were played almost entirely in the Bournemouth half with Tom Putt’s kicking gaining much valuable yardage.  Although Brixham were unable to string many phases of possession together they levelled the scores when No 8 Sam Thomas peeled off a scrum and scrum-half Noah Nash finished out wide.  Putt’s conversion made it 7 all.
A penalty goal apiece kept the scoreboard moving before a multiphase Bournemouth attacking spell ended with a try near the posts.
Brixham soon hit back.  An attempted drop-goal from Putt came back off the post but the referee was playing advantage and his penalty attempt was more successful.
Bournemouth held a lead of four points as halftime beckoned but in the five minutes of time available this was stretched to thirteen.  Two tries (one converted) sandwiched a penalty goal for Brixham leaving the score 29-16 at the break.
Brixham needed a strong second half and made a good start as handling errors began to creep into Bournemouth's game, but they still looked dangerous
With both defences good the third quarter of the game was played mainly in the middle of the pitch and was pointless scorewise.
The fourth quarter was anything but.  Brixham were reduced to 14 men by a red card and Bournemouth took full advantage with three converted tries for a 50-16 lead
Even with five minutes left Brixham had not given up.  After one attack they were awarded a penalty try; a second concluded with fullback Tom Goodman going over from close range.
A fourth, bonus point, try was beyond them however and Bournemouth had the last word – a converted try was the final action of the game.

25th November 2017  Brixham 33  Newton Abbot 20
Brixham had a host of injury and unavailability problems but the replacements more than held their own as the league leaders were toppled.
In the first half Brixham played uphill and into the breeze.  Within five minutes they were in front when their first attacking spell resulted in a penalty – slotted by Tom Putt.
After ten minutes or so of sparring in the midfield area Newton got into a good attacking position and after a Brixham error had a scrum on the 5 metre line.  A neat move off the back and a try in the corner put them ahead.
A further fifteen minutes of to and fro in the middle ended with Brixham threatening the Newton line but their only reward was a second Putt penalty.  At the other end, two minutes later, a penalty goal restored the Newton lead.
With the Fishermen closing down the visitors’ dangerous back division and the Newton line-outs misfiring at times Brixham started to get on top. Their next attacking move gave them a lead they would not surrender – Jamie Hext going clear down the right wing before touching down by the posts.  Putt converted for a 13-10 lead at the break.
Five minutes into the second period Tom Putt slotted his third penalty,  Brixham went straight back on the offensive from the restart.  After an attack down the right was brought up short the ball went crossfield where Tom Goodman scored in the left corner.  A difficult conversion for Putt sailed between the posts.
A rare Newton backs move showed how dangerous they could be and brought a try but the conversion was missed.  The Brixham lead was still eight points.
In the sixteenth minute Brixham thought they had a third try when prop Russ Morris crashed over but were denied by the ref who had spotted a knock-on in the preceding line-out.  Brixham followed with a period of intense pressure on the All Whites defence.  Penalty offences helped Newton relieve the pressure but rarely got them out of their own half for long.
With the game in to the final quarter prop Dominic Connor’s run from a lineout on the visitors’ 22 looked certain to have scored a try but he was hauled down short.  The ruck was quick and Adam Thomas only had to pick up and fall over the line to obtain the five points.  Putt added the extra two.
Newton were shaken but not out of it.  Almost from the restart their pack combined to maul over for a try but the conversion went wide.  In their subsequent efforts the positional kicking they had relied on was replaced by running the ball whenever possible.  
The Brixham defence made no mistakes and when Putt slotted his fourth penalty the Newton task was rendered even harder.  Newton were still attacking in the last few minutes but Brixham held firm and denied them even a losing bonus point.




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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