Scores and match reports from the last ten seasons
- not a complete record unfortunately -
MATCH REPORTS 2009/10
8th May 2010 DEVON SENIOR CUP FINAL BRIXHAM 25 BARNSTAPLE 28
The Fishermen failed to end Barnstaple's domination of the Devon Cup but it was far too close for comfort for the holders.
Barnstaple were quick off their blocks and two tries saw them 12-0 ahead within ten minutes. A Ben Lovell penalty crept over the crossbar to get Brixham on the scoreboard but when Barnstaple put their winger clear for a try midway through the first half it looked as though Brixham's hopes had been dashed.
Lovell narrowed the gap with a penalty goal and before the break Brixham were back in the game. Play broke down in midfield, flanker Bryan Crichton hacked the ball ahead and winger Tom Goodman won the chase to ground the ball for a try. Trailing 17-11 at half-time and the Fishermen could sense an upset. In the scrums they were under pressure and had lost both Martin and Kyle Browne to injuries but the replacements underlined Brixham's increasing strength in their squad.
Brixham had the better of the play in the second period and the boot of Lovell brought them level with two more penalty goals in the opening minutes. Further Brixham pressure saw them take the lead when the backs combined for centre Tom McLean to score a try in the corner. When the Barnstaple full-back appeared to knock the ball on in his own 22 Brixham expected to have an attacking scrum - only the ref waved play on and the visitors raced down the touchline for a try to level things up again.
A long range penalty with the aid of the wind put Barnstaple back in front; only for Lovell to equalise with his fifth goal. Ten minutes to go and all to play for. A well-struck drop goal for the visitors gave them the advantage and though Brixham pressed to the end there was no way through. Barnstaple welcomed the final whistle with relief and took the Cup back to North Devon again; Brixham can look back on a season that was nearly, but not quite, glorious - but still one well worth celebrating.
24th April 2010 BRIXHAM 52 SIDMOUTH 10 - DEVON CUP S/F
Sidmouth have had a good run at the end of their 125th anniversary season but hopes that they could finish it off by hosting the Devon Senior Cup Final were dashed at Astley Park. They had no answer to the pace of Brixham which produced seven tries.
Brixham had the better of the opening exchanges and after 15 minutes had established a 9-3 lead thanks to three penalty goals from Ben Lovell.
Any jangling nerves Brixham might have had were eased by the opening try. No 8 Martin Browne broke off a scrum and brother Kyle finished the move. Lovell converted to put the Fishermen clear. Brixham were on top but Sidmouth had chances too. Two penalty attempts went astray before Brixham extended the lead; a strong run by prop Mike Beeson setting up Cory Moore for a try. Lovell added the extras. Before the break came Sidmouth missed a penalty and a drop goal to turn around 23-3 behind.
Sidmouth needed to score quickly in the second period to get back into the game - and did. A break by their No 8 was finished off with a try under the posts; easily converted. From the restart Brixham were straight back at them and attacking phases took them to within 10 yards of the Sidmouth line. An overlap on the blind-side of a ruck was well spotted by Moore and flanker Dylan Flashman scored a try in the corner. He was soon followed over the line by Kyle Browne - finishing off a move and taking Dempsey's pass to go clear.
Brixham had a winning margin and rang the changes in the second half to give all of the substitutes some game-time. Sidmouth's attempts to narrow the gap found no chinks in the home defence and before the fat lady could sing Brixham ran in three more tries. A stolen line-out ball and quick passing set Matt Dempsey clear for the first. Brixham had shown against Torquay how dangerous they could be attacking from deep positions and did so again. Two tries for winger Tom Goodman resulted from these but he was denied his hat-trick in the closing minutes when his touch-down was disallowed for an offence earlier in the move.
10th April 2010 TORQUAY 20 BRIXHAM 44
A bright sunny day on the English Riviera. Torquay wanted to win to avoid the possibility of relegation; Brixham to ensure third position ahead of Paignton. Torquay had the power of their pack; Brixham had the pace. All the ingredients for a classic confrontation with the added bonus of winning the Brewer Cup.
Torquay had the better of the opening exchanges but Brixham opened the scoring when outside-half Ben Lovell stroked home a penalty goal. Torquay still retained the edge but missed the chance to level the scores with a penalty and to go ahead when a try was disallowed for a forward pass. Moments later their forwards drove over for a try and power was winning. Brixham struck back with Lovell's second penalty. With the Brixham pack under pressure a scrum in midfield was not an ideal platform for scoring but Martin Browne had other ideas. Picking up from the base he broke clear and his pace took him clear to score from 40 metres out. Lovell converted for the Fishermen. Before half-time he added a second try but Torquay replied with a converted try to leave Brixham 18-12 up at the break.
In the second period Brixham made fewer handling errors than in the first and soon extended their lead. Centre Kyle Browne ran through the Torquay defence from the halfway line to score under the posts and hand Lovell an easy conversion. Torquay slotted a penalty to keep their hopes alive before lock Dylan Flashman repeated Browne's feat by running in from midfield for a try. Fullback Jamie Shone took over the kicking duties and obliged with a conversion. In the second half Torquay had clearly decided that pack-power alone was not enough and launched their backs on occasions - rewarded when a neat cross kick by Maddick secured a try in the corner. They might have felt that a 12 point deficit was not insurmountable but were rapidly disabused of notions of victory. Ross Edwards' kick ahead was caught on the full by Martin Browne who completed his hat-trick by touching down after another powerful run. Shone added the conversion. Not to be outdone, his brother Kyle then completed the scoring with his own second try - running in from the halfway line; evading tacklers as he did so and not needing the support that was constantly at his shoulder.
3rd April 2010 NEWTON ABBOT 10 BRIXHAM 22
Brixham advanced to the semi-finals of the Devon Cup with a convincing win over the All Whites. Brixham outplayed Newton in a recent league match at Astley Park and took their confidence over to Rackerhayes for a repeat performance.
Playing into the breeze, Brixham had their hosts under pressure in the opening exchanges but found themselves trailing on the quarter-hour mark when Newton ran the ball at them and created an overlap on the left win. The try was not converted. Brixham continued to press close to the Newton line but could not find the final move to score. Not all of Newton's methods of defending their line were quite within the laws of the game and two penalties were conceded - both converted into points by outside-half Ben Lovell to edge the Fishermen ahead. It wasn't all one-way traffic but nearly so. After more attacking, flanker Brian Crichton thought he had scored a try for Brixham; only to be denied due to an earlier knock-on. All the pressure brought no more points and Brixham would have gone into the interval behind if Newton had scored the long-range penalty with the last kick of the half.
The second period was more to and fro with both sides creating scoring chances. A third penalty from Lovell increased Brixham's lead but from the restart only a last-gasp tackle kept them ahead when Newton attacked down the left wing. More Brixham attacking, but no scoring. Lovell missed with a drop-goal attempt and a penalty kick before extending the lead to 12-5 with another one. With the game slipping away from them Newton launched an attack that brought them to a 5metre lineout. A classic catch and drive ended with a try and set up a tense last fifteen minutes. Lovell slotted his fifth penalty to ease the Fishermen's fears but the icing on the cake was provided by winger Cory Moore who finished off a backs move by racing in to touch down under the posts. Lovell's conversion brought the final whistle.
27th March 2010 BRIXHAM 45 ST MARYS OB 10
For the last home league game of the season Brixham welcomed already-relegated St Mary's Old Boys from Bristol. A shower of rain just before kick-off made the pitch sticky and ball-handling was difficult for both sides.
Brixham got off to a flying start when flanker Brian Crichton, back from injury, went through for a try in the third minute and Ben Lovell added the conversion. St Mary's might be doomed but played with pride throughout and took the lead after ten minutes. A penalty goal was rapidly followed by a converted try and Brixham knew it wasn't going to be an easy game.
A brace of tries in quick succession midway through the half settled their nerves with winger Tom Goodman and debutant centre Tom McLean touching down, Lovell's conversions were true.
Before half-time St Mary's had a penalty goal attempt but the kick mirrored their poor season; sailing well wide. Flanker Dylan Flashman completed the first half scoring with a try, after making a strong break, but Lovell missed the difficult conversion.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half saw Brixham struggling to get their hands on the ball. St Mary's may have dominated possession but had no cutting edge and failed to threaten the Brixham line. By contrast Brixham looked dangerous whenever they had the ball and could, without the errors, have scored more points than they did. Three second-half tries, two converted by Lovell, eased them to a comfortable victory with Ross Edwards, Mike Beeson and Flashman touching down.
20th March 2010 ST IVES 22 BRIXHAM 13
13th March 2010 BRIXHAM 36 SIDMOUTH 3
Blue skies, bright sunlight and a dry pitch were ideal conditions for a sparkling game of rugby. Although Brixham were forced to make changes due to injury problems this was not evident as they dominated the first half.
Early pressure from the Fishermen and penalties conceded by Sidmouth brought an opening try when hooker Dean Avery was propelled over the line by the pack. Sidmouth failed to hit back quickly when a penalty goal attempt went wide and were soon further behind. From a scrum in front of the posts scrum-half Mark Harvey came away from the base and the Sidmouth defence parted to allow him an easy passage to the try-line. Another scrum midway through the half provided the next opportunity. Brixham won it against the head, winger Cory Moore made a break and Harvey was on hand to finish off. Ben Lovell converted from the touchline (having missed the first two attempts) and Brixham had a 17 point lead.
Four minutes later the slick passing of Brixham was finished by the strong running of centre Kyle Browne who touched down for the fourth try, converted by Lovell.
Sidmouth got on the scoreboard with a penalty goal but Brixham finished the half in style. A good break from flanker Dylan Flashman, quickly recycled ball and passing through the backs enabled full-back Jamie Shone to go over. Lovell's conversion gave Brixham a 31-3 lead at the break.
The second period proved the adage that rugby is a game of two halves. Sidmouth adopted a limited game-plan with their forwards making all the headway and their backs virtually spectators. Despite having almost all the possession the policy failed to produce dividends. The Brixham defence, under pressure, kept the line intact and Sidmouth were even denied any kickable penalties. In the final seconds a rare Brixham attack provided the icing on the victory cake when No 8 Martin Browne finished off the move with a well-deserved try.
6th March 2010 PAIGNTON 10 BRIXHAM 10
In the context of the chase for promotion this was an unsatisfactory result for Brixham. For supporters of either side it left them with much to talk about and "what-ifs" to ponder. As a local derby it had all the passion and excitement one could wish for with the result in doubt up to the final whistle.
Paignton had far the better of the opening exchanges and had Brixham penned into their own half for much of the opening quarter. Their attacking proved pointless as they were unable to penetrate the defences. A two-minute period midway through the half broke the deadlock. A passage of attacking play took Brixham into the Paignton 22 for the first time and culminated in hooker Dean Avery going over for a try. Ben Lovell added the conversion and Brixham had the lead.
Paignton came back strongly from the setback but Brixham began to enjoy a greater share of possession. Paignton failed to narrow the gap when a penalty goal went wide and Brixham failed to extend their lead when a Lovell drop-goal went astray.
In the second half Brixham had the advantage of the strong, cold, wind and pressed strongly in the opening minutes. Brixham had the wind but Paignton had the fire and, as in the first half, threatened the Brixham line. A missed drop-goal was immediately followed by a successful penalty kick and Paignton were on the scoreboard. Another penalty kick failed when it rebounded off the post but Paignton went into the final quarter with a narrow lead after a converted try.
For Paignton this was the high-water mark and the tide turned in Brixham's favour and they began to mount sustained passages of attacking play. When flanker Sam Thomas went over in the corner the Brixham fans cheered. Unfortunately he had released the ball too soon - no try. Three minutes later Lovell brought the scores level with a penalty but missed the chance to win the game when another attempt went wide.
Brixham pressed to the end and also had to contend with Paignton counter-attacks but ran out of time to secure the win they really needed.
27th Feb 2010 CHOSEN HILL 13 BRIXHAM 15
On Saturday Chosen Hill in Churchdown, Gloucestershire, were the hosts to Brixham for the first time. Brixham were forced to make changes to the side which had beaten Newton Abbot so convincingly the previous week. Lee Squire, Dan Ritson and Tom Goodman were unavailable and Luke Maggs, who had been selected, went down with a tummy bug. They were replaced by Ewan Campbell, Sam Thomas and Ben Cotton. Campbell and Cotton were making their first appearances in the First XV this season.
If Health and Safety Inspectors had anything to do with rugby pitches the game would have been ruled out on safety grounds. In the half hour preceding the early kick-off the clouds opened and delivered what seemed to be an endless amount of rain, which continued at intervals throughout the game making the pitch virtually impossible to play on.
Brixham won the toss and elected to play up the hill. Early exchanges were shared but in the 12th minute Brixham tried to run the ball out of defence. When it went to ground it was hacked on by Chosen Hill's right wing Mark Yemm who scored a try in the corner.
Soon after Brixham fell further behind when they were caught offside which allowed the home skipper Andy King to kick the goal to make it 8-0 to Chosen Hill.
Dylan Flashman had to leave the field with an injured shoulder on the half-hour mark -which put him out of the Devon U 20 team to face Gloucester at Cleve on Sunday. He was replaced by Sam Thomas (who was also selected for Devon U20s).
Brixham went further behind when they again attempted to play rugby with a ball which was like a bar of soap. Another fly kick from Yemm was rewarded by his second try.
Before the break Brixham got on the scoreboard after they were awarded a penalty. Ben Lovell kicked it to reduce the lead 13-3 at the break.
Stern words from coach Dan Parkes at half time had the desired effect on Brixham. They were virtually camped on the Chosen Hill line before Martin Browne picked up from the base of a scrum and was driven over for a try. Lovell converted to get Brixham within three points.
Brixham had certainly upped their game and were using the conditions to their advantage. They kept driving at the Chosen Hill line which finally broke when Mike Beeson was driven over for Brixham's second try to give Brixham the lead.
With 10 minutes to go Brixham took their feet off the pedals and allowed Chosen Hill to get close to their line and gave away several penalties. Two certain chances to win the game slid wide off the boot of King (who normally would have had no trouble burying other sides) and Brixham travelled home with the two League points.
Report - Danny Irvine
20th Feb 2010 BRIXHAM 15 NEWTON ABBOT 14
A still, crisp afternoon and some early spring sunshine created a good atmosphere for this important local derby. Brixham needed to win to keep their promotion chances alive while Newton were keen to kill the Brixham dreams and boost their own chance.
Brixham fell behind after just two minutes when the Newton full-back Mike Saxon slotted a long-range penalty goal but had their visitors under pressure from the restart and soon got their noses in front. A poor clearance kick gave Brixham a lineout inside the Newton 22. The forwards secured the ball and drove forward through a couple of phases before releasing prop Lee Squire to rumble over for a try. Outside-half Ben Lovell narrowly missed the conversion.
Newton Abbot regained the lead on the 15 minute mark courtesy of a second Saxon penalty and began to dominate the game. Ten minutes or more of pressure on the Brixham line found no flaws or gaps in the home defence. Newton came away empty-handed after their efforts and lost the lead. Brixham opted to run the ball out of defence; winger Tom Goodman made a break and had centre Kyle Browne in support to finish off by touching down under the posts. Lovell had a straightforward conversion. Brixham extended their lead to 15-6 when Lovell slotted a penalty goal but the first half ended with Newton Abbot again testing the homesters defensive resolve.
The second half began as the first had ended with Newton on top in terms of possession and territory. Ten minutes into the half and they had reduced the arrears when their forwards drove over for a try. Saxon missed the conversion but a penalty goal three minutes later reduced the arrears to a single point. Unfortunately for Newton the tide had now turned. Brixham began to put the Newton scrum under pressure and spent much of the remainder of the game in the Newton half.
Brixham might have felt they deserved a penalty try after a series of penalties and 5 metre scrums but the referee had other ideas. Wingers Jamie Shone and Tom Goodman were both denied tries in the closing stages. A chip ahead for Shone bounced up nicely for him to collect and run in - but cruelly bounced far too high while Goodman collected a crossfield kick perfectly and had the line at his mercy only to be called back for an earlier penalty infringement.
Despite the close score this was an exciting and tense affair for both teams and their supporters.
13th Feb 2010 IVYBRIDGE 3 BRIXHAM 57
In the first ten minutes of the game Ivybridge scarcely laid a finger on the ball. Each time they kicked off Brixham secured the ball and drove at their hosts. A few phases of play took them into the Ivybridge half; Ivybridge were penalised and stand-off Ben Lovell kicked the resultant penalty. Four times the pattern was repeated. On the fifth occasion, three minutes later, the kick rebounded off the upright.
Another restart and again Brixham attacked - but with a difference. The ball was spun out along the backs for Tom Goodman to touch down in the corner. Lovell missed the difficult conversion. The next Brixham attack was also finished by Goodman under the posts to make Lovell's job easier. Midway through the first period and Brixham had 24 points on the board.
Ivybridge got three points back with a penalty goal but Brixham continued to drive them backwards and scored two more tries before the interval. A five metre lineout provided the platform for the first when hooker Dean Avery touched down after several phases of forward driving. The forwards did all the hard work before the ball was spun out wide across the pitch for a touchdown. Lovell added both conversions and Brixham led 38-3 at the break.
Ivybridge were more fired up in the second half and Brixham were less dominant. Where the first half had been almost error-free the odd mistakes crept in in the second. It took fifteen minutes of play before the scoreboard moved again. A storming run by Dylan Flashman took him through the first line of defence and left flanker Dan Ritson, in support, free to score a try under the posts; converted by Lovell.
With Brixham failing to capitalise on the half-chances they created, and having to do some defensive work as well, there was less than ten minutes of normal time left before they increased their lead. Camped on the Ivybridge line the forwards were unable to get over but eventually a break occurred for Lovell to score a try which he also converted. Further Brixham pressure resulted in a disallowed try when the ball was held up but from the resultant 5m scrum the ball was spun out along the backs for an unconverted try in the corner.
Ivybridge probably deserved a consolation try but didn't get one. Pressure on the Brixham line and a series of short-range penalties found the Black & White (really it was pink) defence unyielding and the final whistle came too soon for the homesters.
6th Feb 2010 YATTON 3 BRIXHAM 34
"When we scored our first try straight from the kick off there were only 33 seconds registered on the video camera.
With a score of 29 - 4 at half time an anticipated cricket score did not materalise. The second half was a dreary stalemate strewn with errors and penalties and our insistance in thowing to the back of the line out in a strong breeze which reduced the flowing nature of the first half to a pleasant memory." - Mike Keast
The Fishermen had a dream start to the day when they collected the Yatton kick off and drove up field to release the backs. Full back Matthew Dempsey who had joined the line scored in the corner with only 60 seconds on the clock. No 10 Ben Lovell converted to make it 7-0. Direct from the kick off Brixham carried out the same proceedure with skipper for the day Michael Beeson crossing with Lovell again adding the points to double the score.
In the 14th Minute Brixham were camped in the Yatton 22. Yatton gave away a simple penalty for Lovell to increase the lead to 17-0
On the 25th minute Yatton, who were under constant pressure, failed to clear their line and allowed young flanker Sam Thomas to touch down for try number three. Lovell again converted to make it 24-0
Again and again the Brixham backs poured forward before, finally, Tom Goodman scored in the right corner to make it 29-0.
With time running out in the half Yatton finally got into the Brixham 22. where Brixham gave away a penalty which was scored by No 9 George Osborne. Half time 29-3
In the second half Brixham were forced on the defensive by Yatton tactics of keeping a line of defenders across the park.
Brixham also fell foul of the referee who picked up 8 line outs as not straight and awarded 9 penalties to Yatton. In the 74th Minute Brixham finally broke clear of the shackles with Goodman going over for his second try. Dempsey who had taken over the kicking from Lovell (who had been replaced by Jamie Shone) hit the post with the conversion.
30th Jan 2010 BRIXHAM 9 HARTPURY 23
The all-conquering College side paid their first visit to Astley Park on Saturday. They found Brixham, weakened by injuries to key players and unavailabilities, up for the contest and the margin of their win flattered them.
Brixham started strongly and had Hartpury on their back feet for the opening five minutes but when the visitors attacked they reaped immediate rewards, spinning the ball out for a try in the corner. Undaunted, Brixham pressed forward. Outside-half Ben Lovell saw his first attempted penalty goal go wide but Brixham continued to enjoy more of the possession and territory and on 25 minutes reduced the arrears when Lovell slotted a penalty.
Five minutes later and Hartpury went further ahead. After a spell of pressure by their forwards the ball was touched doewn for the second time; but again the conversion attempt failed. Further Brixham pressure at the end of the half brought Lovell a second penalty and the Fishermen turned around just 10-6 behind.
From the restart Brixham had the edge but could find no way through or around the College defence. Against the run of play Hartpury scored a third, unconverted, try. A penalty goal apiece midway through the half meant that Brixham started the final quarter nine points adrift. Brixham missed the chance to narrow the margin when Lovell missed a penalty from wide out but continued to test the visitors defence.
The superior fitness of Hartpury ensured that Brixham would not take their 100% record. Brixham spent most of the last ten minutes penned back but with the defence holding firm. There was an element of luck (as ever with a bouncing rugby ball) that enabled Hartpury to score their fourth try. The missed conversion was the last act of a game that even left the visitors' coaches wondering how Brixham had lost the previous two league games.
23rd Jan 2010 CULLOMPTON 18 BRIXHAM 11
16th Jan 2010 BRIXHAM 9 CLEVEDON 19
Brixham returned to league rugby after the festivities and freeze on Saturday. And returned to a rude awakening and their first home defeat of the campaign.
Against a lively and committed Clevedon side they were under pressure from the opening whistle. The visitors were committed to playing a tight game using their forwards to make progress. After eight minutes they spun the ball wide and found enough space to go over in the corner for the opening try.
With little possession Brixham were penned back in their own half and the game was in its second quarter before their first attack. A penalty kick from centre Ben Lovell reduced the arrears but the visitors continued to dominate up to the break.
Stern words from coach Dan Parkes during the interval had the desired affect as Brixham attacked from the outset of the second period. A penalty goal from Lovell put Brixham ahead but the lead was not to last long. Clevedon profited from a mistake in the Brixham defence when a Clevedon kick ahead was not dealt with. They crossed for a converted try.
Brixham were having a better second half but were unable to find any gaps. Unforced errors, in handling and kicking, meant they were unable to develop any sustained pressure. A third penalty goal from Lovell brought the gap back to just three points but a second kick and chase by Clevedon and a mistake in the home defence resulted in another try. Ten points behind with ten minutes to play. Brixham could find no way through.
12th Dec 2009 BRIXHAM 24 AVONMOUTH 10
Avonmouth, after a poor start to the season have been on a winning streak and posed a large potential banana-skin to the Fishermen. Both sides were changed from the previous week - Brixham had their first choice front row but Avonmouth were without their regular half-back pairing.
Three yellow cards saw Brixham reduced to seven forwards for almost half the match - which disrupted them a little. The first sin-binning came in the third minute but during its ten minute duration Brixham had put as many points on the board. First over the try line was centre Kyle Browne who didn't need the man outside him as he ran in. He was followed by winger Tom Goodman. Avonmouth had won a scrum against the head in midfield but when they passed the ball out Goodman intercepted and ran it in. Full-back Matthew Dempsey missed both conversions from wide out.
Fifteen minutes into the game and the match was virtually won. The Brixham forwards pressed on the Avonmouth line and, after several phases, over it. No 8 Martin Browne touched down and Dempsey added the extras.
Avonmouth got on the scoreboard with a penalty goal but Brixham were dominant and before half-time had extended the lead. A typical Dempsey jinking run took him in for Brixham's fourth try; his conversion gave his team a 24-3 interval lead.
In the second half the visitors had far too much possession and, with the wind behind them, play was largely in the Brixham half. The wise old heads in the Avonmouth pack had decided to keep it tight and drive through the middle. The game suffered as a spectacle. Brixham's defence held them at bay and they rarely seriously threatened to score. A passage of play ten minutes from time enabled them to lay siege to the Brixham line and, eventually, the 'Mouth forwards worked a deserved try. Having gained more scoreline respectability, the final ten minutes were fairly nondescript.
5th Dec 2009 ST MARYS OB 3 BRIXHAM 13
Despite forced changes to their line-up, atrocious conditions and some unwanted injuries, Brixham won the game with a good second half display.
Brixham lost the toss and St Mary's choose to play down hill with the wind.
Brixham had the opportunity to open the scoring when St Marys were penalised in the third minute for not releasing. Ben Lovell, playing at fullback, pushed his kick wide of the post to let St Mary's off.
In the 10th minute Lovell had a second chance when St Mary's were penalised for not binding. His kick was taken by the wind and went wide. These misses seemed to galvanise St Mary's forwards to greater things and they pushed Brixhams defence to the limits. So much so that they ignored a couple of kickable penalties in order to have a go at getting a try from close in.
In the 30th minute they gave up trying and went for the goal when Brixham were penalised for not binding. Centre David Hastie kicked the goal to give St Mary's a deserved half time lead of 3-0.
The conditions were getting worse all the time. Handling conditions were becoming a nightmare and the ball was like a bar of soap. Despites this the Brixham Coach, Dan Parkes, was not amused at half time and the players felt his tongue.
From the restart Brixham upped the tempo and laid siege to the Old Boys line. The Old Boys Finally cracked when they failed to release the ball. Centre Matthew Dempsey took over the kicking duties and kicked the goal to bring the scores level.
The Fishermen were now having the best of the close quarters. Parkes made some tactical changes with Tom Clark and Dylan Flashman replacing Nick Stoneman and Steve Trust. Dylan had been left out to concentrate on the Devon U20 trial tomorrow.
With Clark now throwing the ball in at the line out. Brixham line out improved and it was from one of these close to the Old Boys line that Brixham won clean ball and drove over. Skipper Adam Thomas touched down for a try converted by Dempsey to make it 10-3.
Within minutes of each other Adam Thomas and then Tom Clark were carried off with ankle and leg injuries...Nick Stoneman replaced Tom Clark but Brixham had to play out what was thought to be the last few minutes a man short. Unfortunately for them the referee had different ideas and play continued for another 15 minutes. Brixham's 14 men defended exceptionally well and when Brixham were awarded a penalty for St Mary's going in on the side Dempsey kicked it from half way to seal the game.
Brixham were forced to make changes from their normal starting lineup with Crusaders hooker Michael Shears and prop Joe Bennetts drafted in to replace Michael Beeson and Matthew Skeet who were not available. With regular prop Dean Oram laid off under the RFU guidelines for concussion and Lee Squire also unavailable, Tom Clark (a former Brixham Colt at Gloucester University) came in as front row replacement.
28th Nov 2009 BRIXHAM 13 ST IVES 7
Bad weather is not really conducive to good rugby but Brixham and St Ives produced an interesting, and at times exciting, contest on Saturday.
Brixham had the better of the early exchanges and took the lead after just three minutes. From a close-range lineout the ball was spun out for winger Tom Goodman to go in under the posts. Full-back Matt Dempsey added the conversion.
Brixham continued to have the edge in the first quarter but were unable to add to their score, with the worsening conditions making handling difficult. St Ives concentrated on using their forwards to make hard yards against the Brixham defence and had much the better of the second quarter. Their forwards combined to drive over for a try which levelled the scores and Brixham remained largely penned back until the break.
From the restart Brixham were determined not to allow the visitors to impose their style of play upon them and with just two minutes on the clock Brixham were denied a certain try (for the second week running) when the final pass was deemed to have been forward. Regaining the lead did not take long, however. A storming run by No.8 Martin Browne broke through the defence and when St Ives were penalised for an offence at an ensuing ruck Dempsey was able to slot a penalty goal.
A very similar offence ten minutes later brought the same end result and Brixham were 13-7 ahead.
St Ives continued to play to their pack but Brixham provided the more adventurous and exciting play. The slippery ball made errors almost inevitable and though they came close on occasions Brixham were unable to add to their tally. The final whistle brought relief from the cold driving drizzle to the referee, players and spectators alike.
21st Nov 2009 SIDMOUTH 0 BRIXHAM 14
Brixham avoided a potential banana skin at Sidmouth on Saturday. Miserable weather, a muddy pitch and a team desperate to climb away from the relegation zone were not the ingredients for a great spectacle and the counter attraction of televised internationals restricted the crowd to the die-hards and the crazy.
Brixham won the game in the first quarter. Playing up the slope, and with the advantage of the strong wind, they got off to a great start and with just three minutes gone went ahead. A forward drive took them over the line near the corner flag for Mike Beeson(?) to ground the ball. Matt Dempsey slotted the difficult conversion.
Brixham continued to apply pressure and only last ditch defence by Sidmouth prevented them from extending their lead on two occasions. The first came when scrum-half Cory Moore broke through in midfield; prop Nick Stoneman in support was brought down just short of the try line. Tom Goodman on the right wing suffered the same when his run up the touchline was halted. When Brixham turned the ball over in midfield and fed the ball out to Goodman he again sped toward the line but his grubber kick confused the defence and he won the chase to touch down. Dempsey converted and with 17 minutes on the clock Brixham were deservedly 14-0 ahead.
With the playing conditions getting no better the game settled down to a slogging match with neither side able to make much impact or develop any consistent pressure.
On the stroke of half-time Brixham ran the ball out of defence and with good handling created a breach in the home defence and men to spare to run in their third try - only to be denied by the referee for a forward pass.
Play in the second half never rose to any great heights as Sidmouth concentrated on trying to batter a way through with their forwards. Brixham had a few opportunities to increase their lead but could find no way through. Less than fifteen minutes remained before Sidmouth had their first real scoring opportunity but a penalty attempt in front of the posts went astray. A second opportunity was rejected in favour of a quick tap penalty and the ensuing play took them close to the Brixham line. Unfortunately the defence was at home to snuff out their attack.
7th Nov 2009 BRIXHAM 18 PAIGNTON 8
Brixham edged out Paignton in a typically tense local derby on Saturday. With the wind at their backs in the first half the Fishermen pressed straight from the kick-off and with just two minutes on the clock were threatening the Paignton line. Only for the visitors' flying winger Jimmy Bearsdsmore to intercept a Brixham pass in his own 22 and race up the touchline to score the opening try. Brixham returned to the offensive and the play was almost entirely in the Paignton half. Brixham failed to find many chinks in the Paignton defence but took the lead when the ball went wide on the left for a try in the corner and a touchline conversion by Ben Lovell.
Two penalties from the boot of Lovell (and two uncharacteristic misses) saw the Fishermen heading into halftime with a 13-5 lead. In the conditions, this scoreline was probably more satisfactory to the visitors. With the break looming Paignton, for the first time in the match, took the action into the Brixham half but their only reward - a penalty goal attempt - went wide.
Within two minutes of the restart they had reduced the deficit with a Matt Jackson penalty. Paignton failed to take full advantage from the wind in the secxond half which developed into a ding-dong battle with the defences on top. Brixham doubled their lead midway through when Mark Harvey was on hand to finish a move with a try but scoring chances for either side were few.
In the coming weeks Brixham can look forward to games with two of the leagues strugglers - plus a return trip to Newton Abbot in the Devon Cup.
31st Oct 2009 NEWTON ABBOT 15 BRIXHAM 9
Brixham slipped to third place in the League after losing at Rackerhayes. Neither set of supporters had much to cheer about during a game that had few highlights.
Brixham started brightly and took the lead through a Ben Lovell penalty after three minutes but could not increase it as the All Whites concentrated on Plan A - driving play by their forwards supported by positional kicking. In the tenth minute this was rewarded with the opening try - from a lineout close to the Brixham line a catch-and-drive resulted in a touchdown and successful conversion.
Brixham looked dangerous when they ran kicks back at Newton but basic errors robbed them of much possession and they struggled to create phases of play that would have kept Newton under pressure.
Defence against Newton's forward drives was the order of the day for Brixham and they were successful for the remainder of the first half. Their occasional attacking flurries brought reward just before the break with a second Lovell penalty and turned around 7-6 behind.
The pattern of play in the second period was similar. Newton's pack was successfully held out several times by Brixham's forwards before another catch and drive produced the second try. The conversion attempt failed off the post and Brixham were six points adrift.
In the final quarter Brixham realised that the game was still winnable. Lovell slotted a third penalty to narrow the gap. After winger Jamie Shone narrowly failed to get to the try-line, and Newton conceded a penalty, Lovell had the chance to level the scores but his kick was just wide.
A ding-dong final period ensued and the travelling supporters were just starting to cheer when a Newton attack broke down and an interception left Brixham's backs with a clear run-in to the line. Only for the referee to call them back to an earlier offence and award a penalty to Newton. After the successful kick there was too little time left for Brixham.
24th Oct 2009 BRIXHAM 54 IVYBRIDGE 6
Brixham bounced back from the defeat at Hartpury in emphatic style. The forced changes to the team did not disrupt their play and the Fishermen produced some of the best rugby seen at Astley Park for several years.
Playing up the slope and into the strong wind The Fishermen had their visitors under pressure from the kick-off. An early opportunity to take the lead was missed when Ben Lovell's penalty attempt cam back off the post but almost immediately after centre Kyle Browne finished off a move by the backs to cross for the opening try. Immediately after the restart kick Ivybridge were awarded a penalty which got them on the scoreboard but Brixham were coping better with the conditions and a penalty from Lovell midway through the half extended the lead.
The Brixham pack were more than holding their own against the Bridgers big forwards and they combined for the second try; Mike Beeson touching down under a sea of bodies after a forward drive.
Out among the backs Brixham had more pace and flair than the visitors and Matt Dempsey finished a move, and extended the lead, with a try in the corner. Ivybridge managed a second penalty before the break.
In the second period, without the wind to assist in gaining ground from clearance kicks, Ivybridge were under virtually continuous pressure. Two tries by winger Jamie Shone in the left corner - both converted - and a penalty goal by Dempsey pulled Brixham well clear.
Two more tries in quick succession midway through the half but the result well beyond doubt. The first was a solo effort by centre Steve Worth, breaking through several tackles in the process; the second was finished by Dempsey who converted both.
In the final fifteen minutes Brixham were denied two more tries due to forward passes but their good handling and support play were rewarded at the end when winger Tom Goodman crossed for Brixham's eighth and final try.
17th Oct 2009 HARTPURY COLLEGE 47 BRIXHAM 6
Hartpury were clearly taking seriously this fixture with joint leaders Brixham as they fielded their strongest posible team, even recalling their no 8 who was originally selected as a Gloucester replacement.
A high intensity start by them tested the Fishermen,s defensive capabilities to the full and it was ten minutes into the game before they scored their first try from a counter attack started in their own half when Brixham kicked away possession.
With limited ball the attacking opportunities for Brixham were limited and the remaining scores of the half by the hosts came from deep following poor defensive kicking and not helped by hooker Dan Stead being sin binned for a professional foul..
Brixham got on the scoreboard with two Ben Lovell penalties resulting in a half time scor of 27-6.
The second half continued in a similar manner with Brixham valiantly repelling a tide of attacking play, Following Dan Stead's dismissal for a second yellow card offence Brixham had to play the remainder of the game with 14 men. Reorganisation by both sides following injury disrupted the flow of the game for a while but Hartpury attacked strongly in the final quarter scoring 4 tries wide out on the right when Brixham ran out of defensive players.
After the game the coaching staff of Hartpury were highly complimentary of the Brixham performance but when all was said and done the Fishermen were outplayed by an extremely fit and well drilled team with many high potential players on view.
Brixham came out of this game with a considerable amount of credit
Hartpury College did Brixham the honour of parading their full first team to play Brixham for the first time this season. Hartpury made eight changes from the side that played Avonmouth and included Welsh Full International Nathan Thomas (5 Caps) in their team.
Hartpury opened the scoring in the 9th minute when a wayward Brixham kick found the safe hands of outside-half Sam Dimmick who put winger Chris Hawkins away on the left to score in the corner which Dimmick converted. On the 18th minute Dimmick added a drop goal to make it 10.0
Brixham got some points back when Hartpury were penalised for hands in the ruck and Lovell's kick made it 10-3.
Brixham were reduced to 14 men when hooker Dan Stead was sin binned for playing the ball on the ground.
In the 33rd minute Hartpury increased their lead with a try from their other winger James Love.
Brixham had to make changes when Skipper Adam Thomas had to leave the field with a twisted knee to be replaced by Dylan Flashman...
Hartpury were penalised on the kick off for failing to release which allowed Lovell to kick his second goal and reduce the deficit to 15-6. Brixham were again punished from a wayward kick which allowed No 14 James Love to gallop over to increase the lead 20-6
In the sixth minute of first-half extra time centre Jean Botha broke clear to score and Dimmick converted to give Hartpury a half time lead of 27-6.
At half time Brixham were forced to make another change. Steve Worth came on for Ross Edwards whose ankle was giving him repeated problems. This caused other midfield changes. In the first minute of the second half Brixham knew it was not to be their afternoon when Stead was penalised for a late tackle on the scrum half and his second yellow card. Further changes were now necessary with flanker Dan Ritson moved up to hooker.
Brixham were putting up a terrific fight but were being overwhelmed by numbers. Two tries on the right in quick succession by Love, one converted by Dimmick, increased Hartpury's lead to 37 -6.
Brixham had to replace to injured prop Dean Oram with Joe Bennetts (who is also a student at Hartpury). With stand in captain Nathan Riley urging his men forward at every opportunity. Brixham gave away the ball in the tackle which allowed centre Wallace to gallop through to make it 42 6
With time running out Brixham's depleted numbers were trying to force a score when they lost the ball in the tackle which allowed Love to complete his hat trick.
Brixham coach Dan Parkes summed up the afternoon in a simple fashion "we were beaten by a far better side. Who would on the day have beaten teams from National 2 if not higher?". "The Brixham team deserve the highest praise for the way they conducted themselves here this afternoon and never gave in".
10th Oct 2009 BRIXHAM 32 CULLOMPTON 13
Brixham recorded their sixth win on Saturday to retain their 100% record and top spot in the League, but were made to work hard for it by a spirited Cullompton side.
Brixham were ahead within a minute. A deep kick-off put Cullompton under pressure. Their clearance kick was charged down; Brixham won a 5 metre lineout, secured the ball and the forwards drove over the line. Hooker Dan Stead grounded the ball for the try converted by centre Ben Lovell.
The first half then developed into a ding-dong tussle. Against the wind and slope, Cullompton tried to use their forwards to make headway but found Brixham unyielding. The decisive attacks came from the Brixham backs and two similar attacks midway through the half extended the lead. On both occasions the ball was spun out to the left for a try in the corner. The first was scored by fullback Steve Worth, the second by debutant winger Tom Goodman. Lovell missed both conversions in the tricky wind.
A period of Brixham pressure on the Cullompton line found no openings and Lovell opted for a drop-goal to extend the lead. Brixham would probably have settled for a 20 point lead at the break but it wasn't to be. Just before the break winger Matt Dempsey recovered the ball in his own half and set off on a mazy, jinking, run that confused and split the defence. Several pairs of hands later the ball ended up with flanker Dan Ritson who headed for the posts and almost crawled over the line for the try. Lovell's conversion made it 27-0 at the break.
In the second period things started badly for Brixham when the restart kick was knocked on. Cullompton had an attacking position and made it count when they used their backs to cross for a try in the corner. Brixham had been shaken and within five minutes were rattled a bit more when the visitors' backs stretched the Brixham defence again and scored a second try.
With Cullompton running the ball back at every opportunity Brixham were kept penned back and had few attacking opportunities. Cullompton narrowed the gap with a penalty goal but as the half progressed found few chinks in the Brixham defence and the Fishermen had the final say in proceedings. No 8 Martin Browne broke from a scrum on the Cullompton 22 and found space in front of him. With only the fullback in the way an offload put Ritson in for his second try and the victory was secured.
3rd Oct 2009 CLEVEDON 10 BRIXHAM 25
Brixham travelled to Clevedon in a hopeful mood having won their first four league games. Clevedon, on their last outing, lost to Avonmouuth, whom Brixham had already beaten.
Brixham made changes to the starting line up. With Mike Beeson injured, Dan Stead came in to deputise at hooker. Cory Moore also started.
The Fishermen won the toss and elected to take the strong wind and play up against the slope.
Brixham opened the scoring in the fifth minute when the ball was spun wide for centre Kyle Browne to dart over in the corner for a try which centre Ben Lovell converted.
Clevedon were not giving anything away and in the 26th minute, from one of their well practiced moves, produced a try for centre Rory Biggins. The conversion attempt was carried away by the gale force wind.
In the 36th minute Clevedon were caught for a high tackle on Ross Edwards. Lovell made no mistake with the penalty and increased Brixham's lead to 10 -5. which they held until the break.
The travelling faithful were now looking at the sky and hoping that the wind might drop away but within a few minutes Brixham had increased their lead. They moved the ball wide for Kyle Browne who broke through a tackle and went over near the posts. Lovell converted.
Ten minutes into the second period and Lovell had another opportunity to kick into the gale when Brixham were awarded a penalty for offside. Another successful kick gave the Fishermen a 20-5 lead.
Brixham went further ahead when they won a lineout on the Clevedon line. Prop Lee Squire was able to drive for the line before offloading to flanker Alun Glanvill who dived over in the corner. Converting from the touchline was asking too much of Lovell's ability in the conditions.
Dead on the end of normal playing time, with flanker Bryan Crichton having a rest in the bin, Clevedon managed to win some loose ball and drove over the line, the try claimed by lock Ben Chase.
The referee, Mr Parsons of the Bristol Society, found 8 minutes of injury time but the Fishermen had little trouble in defending until he blew time.
This was another excellent away win for Brixham to add to the one against Avonmouth. The President of Clevedon, Mike Thomas, was very gracious in defeat, saying that on the day they had lost to a better side.
Sept 26th 2009 BRIXHAM 31 CHOSEN HILL 16
Brixham's bright start to the season continued on Saturday with victory over Chosen Hill who were making their first visit to Astley Park. Brixham's errors meant that the margin of victory was less than it could have been but four wins out of four are what really count.
An aggressive start saw Brixham pounding the visitors defence in the opening minutes and two penalties from Matt Dempsey set the scoreboard going. For most of the rest of the first half the play was fairly evenly contested. Chosen Hill got themselves on the board with a penalty after 15 minutes. Dempsey slotted a third for Brixham and Chosen Hill reduced the gap to three points with their second.
In the last ten minutes of the half Brixham effectively won the game. After attacking down the right the ball went out through the backs for Dempsey to cross in the corner. Shortly after the Brixham pack combined to drive over the line, flanker Alun Glanvill grounding the ball. Dempsey missed both conversions but Brixham had a 19-6 lead at the break.
Within a minute of the restart the lead was increased. Chosen Hill were attacking and chipped the ball over the Brixham backs. Straight into the arms of Dempsey on his own 22. He evaded all attempted tackles and ran the ball in for his second try.
Chosen Hill scored a third penalty goal and, with less than 15 minutes to go, a try.
A clearance kick out of defence by Brixham was charged down and the visitors were virtually gifted a try under the posts and an easy conversion. Whatever hopes they had for a comeback were dashed in the closing minutes. Brixham's pack pounded the try line and crossed it twice but both were disallowed. Finally the backs combined to put Kyle Browne free to run the ball in.
With the last kick of the match Ben Lovell slotted the conversion.
Sept 19th 2009 BRIXHAM 44 YATTON 7
Brixham took a very early lead on Saturday when centre Karl Browne rounded off their first attacking move with his maiden try. Fullback Ben Lovell missed the conversion from the touchline.
The lead did not last long. Yatton attacked from the restart but when a Brixham clearance kick was charged down the visitors capitalised with a try under the posts and easy extras.
Brixham were straight back on the attack and on the ten minute mark Lovell kicked a penalty to get ahead, thanks to an upright.
In what developed into an evenly contested first half Yatton had two chances to regain the lead midway through but both long-range penalty kicks fell short. Instead, Brixham increased their lead with a second Lovell penalty and on the stroke of half-time extended it when their forwards drove over the line for flanker Sam Thomas to ground for a try. With Ben Lovell injured from an earlier incident Matt Dempsey stepped up to add the conversion.
Two minutes into the second half and winger Dempsey wrong-footed three defenders before crossing for a try which he converted. After the near parity in the opening stages of the game the Fishermen had opened up a 25-7 lead which they were unlikely to give up.
Ten minutes later and the Brixham pack again combined to give prop Lee Squire a touchdown amid a sea of bodies; Dempsey again added the conversion.
The game was delayed for over thirty minutes, while awaiting an ambulance, following a neck injury to one of the Yatton props. When play resumed it was the visitors who started most brightly and Brixham had to be on their toes to keep them out.
Unlike Yatton. when the Fishermen did attack they were rewarded. From a chip kick over the defence Brixham won a 5metre scrum and from an ensuing ruck Squire was in position to grab a second try. Dempsey missed the conversion,
Yatton, to their credit, never gave up the game but equally were never able to create any real scoring opportunities. Brixham sealed the game late on when flanker Bryan Crichton came away from a ruck with the ball 30 metres out and ran in virtually unopposed to give Dempsey his easiest conversion of the game.
Sept 12th 2009 AVONMOUTH OB 13 BRIXHAM 19
Brixham must have thought here we go again Avonmouth prop and skipper Grant Briton fly kicked the ball through a melee of players which bounced the wrong way for the covering Brixham defence allowing the ball to be won back by the Avonmouth backs coming up in a line and they moved it to right wing Andy Russell who was allowed space to run in a try and Avonmouth a 7pt lean in the fifth minute.
Brixham went further behind on the 10th minute when were adjudged to have come off side and the penalty kick went over. Brixham rallied immediately and forced play up the field for Avonmouth to be caught offside. Ben Lovell mad no mistake with the kick to put Brixham on the scoreboard 10-3.
Brixham forwards were dominating the line out and forcing Avonmouth into errors, it was from one Avonmouth error that Brixham won quick ball and moved left to allow Alex Brown to squeeze over in the corner. Lovell converted to make 10-0. Within seconds of the restart flanker Alun Glanvill was sent to the bin for persistent offside. Belvin made no mistake with the kick to put Avonmouth back into the lead.
With time running out in the half Brixham's forwards got themselves back into Avonmouth 22 when they were again penalised for offside. Lovell again made no mistake and the score was back to evens - 13-13 and half time.
Brixham's forwards were give the Avonmouth eight a very hard time forcing them into error after error. A very different story to last season when Avonmouth held the upper hand it was these errors in the 54th and 85th minutes that allowed Lovell to land two further penalties. Brixham's defence was tested in the closing minutes but held firm
September 5th 2009 BRIXHAM 23 TORQUAY 8
The first League game of the season threw up the first local derby - something neither side would really have wished for. Despite having scored almost 50 points against Tiverton in the Devon Cup last week Torquay were well beaten and the margin should have been greater if Brixham had converted more of their possession into points.
Brixham went behind after just five minutes to a penalty goal from halfway but this only spurred them on and they were almost immediately back on level terms. Brixham attacked from the restart. Although Ben Lovell's drop goal attempt went just wide the referee was playing advantage and Lovell slotted the penalty. Five minutes later and another Brixham attack. Torquay's defence went offside and gave Lovell another penalty goal - Brixham ahead 6-3.
Midway through the first half and the Brixham forwards drove towards the line and prop Joe Bennetts touched down for a try beneath the mass of bodies; Lovell missed the conversion.
Torquay now began to show a little more interest in offense but got no more reward than a second long distance penalty attempt. This fell short but a couple of minutes later they ran in a try. Not something they created, however, but resulting from an interception in midfield when Brixham were attacking.
Brixham restored their lead to 14-8 with the last kick of the first half when Lovell slotted his third penalty.
The second period was very similar - Brixham enjoyed most of the possession and kept Torquay penned back but were unable to create the breaks that would have resulted in tries. Lovell added three further penalties to boost Brixham's winning margin.
Friday 21st August 2009 Brixham Team 12 Westcountry Warriors 8 (friendly)
Saturday 22nd August 2009 Brixham Team 12 Devonport Services 7 (friendly)
MATCH REPORTS 2008/9
Saturday 25th April 2009 PAIGNTON RESERVES 12 CRUSADERS 20
Saturday 18th April 2009 NEWTON ABBOT 35 BRIXHAM 13
The final league fixture of the season took Brixham to the attractive ground of Newton Abbot.
With the referee keen to enforce the laws around the tackle area Brixham were the beneficiaries in the opening minutes and two penalties from Ben Lovell eased them ahead. With the Brixham pack holding their own it was the Newton backs who caused the trouble and began to keep Brixham penned back. A try in the corner got Newton onto the scoreboard midway through the half and two penalties put them 11-6 ahead. Each side missed a further penalty before the break but Brixham were still in the game.
Ten minutes into the second half and it was lost. Fast running, good passing and poor takles earned the Whites two tries (and a conversion) and Brixham were chasing the game. Two more tries midway through the half put Newton out of sight.
Brixham rallied late on and substitute Nathan Dallow went over for a try converted by Lovell which was some consolation to the Fishermen.
Saturday 11th April 2009 CRUSADERS 14 BOURNEVILLE 66
Saturday 4th April 2009 BRIXHAM 9 TAUNTON 67
One thing the Fishermen didn't need at the end of a difficult season was the visit of unbeaten League leaders Taunton. Another was to face them with a side weakened by injury problems. Although the Brixham pack did well to handle their counterparts the pace of the Taunton backs and the good support-play was the real difference between the teams.
For the first twenty minutes the exchanges between the sides were fairly even. Two penalty goals from Ben Lovell were the fruits of Brixham attacking; against which a penalty and a converted try were enough to put Taunton ahead. The visitors then began to dominate proceedings and before half time had added two further tries, both converted. Brixham added a third Lovell penalty just before the break.
In the second period there was little for the Brixham supporters to cheer about. Taunton had Brixham under virtually continuous pressure and the one-way traffic provided them with six tries, five conversions and a penalty goal.
Saturday 28th March 2009 YATTON 16 BRIXHAM 16
CRUSADERS 20 EXMOUTH RESERVES 22
With the First XV away at Yatton the Crusaders and Exmouth Reserves were the main attraction at Astley Park on Saturday. Four tries in the opening 13 minutes set the scene and neither side, or the referee, seemed to know who had won at the end of an exciting, and close-fought game.
Exmouth started at top speed and within three minutes had the lead through a well-worked try. Five minutes later and their lead was 12 points after a second try. Nathan Dallow had missed a penalty for Brixham before this but soon made amends when he was on hand to finish a move with a try. Minutes later he turned provider, putting wing Antony Soper clear to touch down. Unfortunately Dallow's kicking boots were misfiring in the crosswind and neither conversion was successful.
Exmouth extended their lead with a penalty but Brixham were back on level terms at the interval when prop John Laing finished off a period of forward pressure with an unconverted try.
Seven minutes into the second half and Brixham went into the lead when scrum-half Jason Rowe popped up on the right wing to score Brixham's fourth try. Exmouth now concentrated on using the power of their forwards and for much of the half Brixham were compelled to defend. Five minutes camped on the Brixham line brought the try, and conversion, to put them ahead but they were unable to breach the Brixham defence again. Two penalty kicks were the only clearcut scoring chances they got and both went begging.
Saturday 14th March 2009 CRUSADERS 19 TORQUAY EXTRAS 22
With the first team in League action away at Avonmouth the Brixham second string - the Crusaders - held centre stage at Astley Park in a friendly with their Torquay equivalents. Brixham were missing some regular faces but the missed tackles by the Fishermen proved decisive.
Brixham missed the opportunity to go ahead after seven minutes when a penalty attempt went wide but Torquay attacked from the resulting 22 metre drop out and seconds later touched down for the opening, converted, try.
Midway through the first half Brixham were back on level terms midway through the first half when full back Jonny Brown crossed for a try which he also converted.
The parity was short-lived. Two tries in quick succession gave Torquay a 17-7 lead at the break.
After the interval Brixham conceded a fourth try to fall further behind but came back at Torquay late on. Brown notched a second try before winger Antony Soper showed the visitors a clean pair of heels when he crossed the line. Steve Worth's conversion pulled the deficit back to three points but Brixham were unable to make this up in the remaining time.
Saturday 7th March 2009 BRIXHAM 30 WALCOT 17
Saturday's win over Walcot, from Bath, took Brixham up to fifth place in the League table; overtaking Torquay in the process. The game was not an exciting spectacle but Brixham were solid when they needed to be and showed flair when they had the opportunity.
Walcot missed an early opportunity to take the lead with a penalty from the halfway line. With the wind and the slope in their favour the visitors kept pegging Brixham back into their own half when unforced errors by the Fishermen turned the ball over.
Midway through the first half Brixham broke the deadlock when a run and chip ahead by winger Adam Chadwick was finished off by centre James Agates touching down for a try. Ben Lovell was unsuccessful with the conversion. Walcot missed a second long-range penalty before Lovell made amends with a penalty. Brixham had an eight point lead with half-time looming but when Walcot ran the ball out of defence they found a gaping hole in the centre and ran through to touch down under the posts. The conversion ensured that Brixham had the narrowest of leads when they turned around.
In the second period Brixham started strongly and a multi-phase attack was rounded off when Nathan Riley found a path to the line. His try was converted by Lovell to restore the eight point gap.
With the elements in their favour Brixham began to get on top but Walcot always posed a threat with the good passing and support play of their back division. Penalties were traded midway through the half before hooker Matt Skeet made the game safe for Brixham with a try; converted by Lovell. With five minutes remaining the victory was ensured when Lovell and winger Dan Grinrod combined to put the latter clear in the corner. Lovell's conversion attempt was a "poster".
In the last move of the game Walcot finished the scoring with their second converted try.
CRUSADERS 5 BARNSTAPLE 13
Saturday 28th February 2009 CRUSADERS 79 DARTMOUTH 7
Brixham Crusaders met a rather outclassed Dartmouth side on Saturday and had nine different try-scorers; in total they crossed the line thirteen times.
Brixham got off to a racing start when they gathered the kick off. A couple of passes found the ball in the hands of winger James Nash who ran through to the Darts 22. A quick recycle and lock Andy Hawkes crashed over in the corner for the opening try.
Dartmouth pressure then tested the Crusaders' defensive skills but Brixham held firm and extended their lead with tries from centre Dan Grinrod and scrum-half Paul Lidster - both converted by full-back Guy Marler.
Another brief spell of Dartmouth pressure got them points on the board. A neat move by their backs created a gap in the centre and this was duly exploited with a try under the posts and conversion.
Injuries to Dartmouth players and a lack of replacements did not help their cause and Brixham took control. Lidster and winger Tim Bumby both scored tries (converted by Marler) before the forwards, through Ryan Bradfield and Alun Glanvill, rounded off the first half proceedings with unconverted tries.
In the second half Brixham began to run the ball on every opportunity as the visitors tired and added 6 more tries. Ben Cotton, Andy Penhaligon, Nash and Bumby all got on the scoresheet, Lidster completed his hat-trick and either Bradfield or Glanvill (I think) rounded off the touchdowns. Marler got three more conversions.
Saturday 21st February 2009 ST IVES 34 BRIXHAM 10
CRUSADERS 46 IVYBRIDGE RESERVES 5
Brixham Crusaders had far too much class and pace for the Ivybridge side, running in seven tries with both forwards and backs getting onto the scoresheet.
In fairly ideal kicking conditions both sides missed early penalty attempts before Nathan Dallow slotted the posts to give Brixham the lead. Centre Tim Bumby and prop Darren Levett both touched down for tries to extend the Brixham lead but Dallow missed both conversions. On his third attempt he was successful, converting his own try to give Brixham a 20-0 lead at the break.
After the interval the Crusaders were well on top for the first twenty minutes and put the result well beyond doubt. Winger Sam Dodge very nearly got to the corner for a try but was forced into touch. After the resulting line-out centre Ben Cotton finished off the Brixham attack with a try. Dallow added the extras.
Another Brixham attack resulted in a five-metre line-out; lock Andy Hawkes took the ball at the front and three strides to dive over for a try in the corner.
From the restart Brixham gathered the ball, Bumby broke through the centre and hooker Joe Lovell was on hand to cross near the posts. Dallow needed one of the uprights to get the ball over for the conversion.
Two minutes later, with Ivybridge attacking, Hawkes intercepted on his own 22 and broke clear. A much longer run enabled him to touch down under the posts and give Dallow an easy kick.
Twenty minutes remained and Brixham were approaching the half-century but they took their feet off the gas. Ivybridge scored a try to avoid the whitewash and Brixham failed to score again.
Saturday 14th February 2009 BRIXHAM 34 ST MARYS OB 15
Brixham bounced back from their heavy defeat at Barnstaple last week with a good win in the League on Saturday.
Brixham started slowly - or at any rate slower than the visitors. Almost from the kick-off they were caught offside but the penalty attempt went wide. Five minutes later and a second kick put them three points down. The St Mary's lead did not last long. Brixhams first visit to the opposition 22 resulted in a penalty which Ben Lovell landed to level the scores. Five minutes later and Brixham were attacking again - culminating in Jake Lawrence going over for the opening try, converted by Lovell.
A second Lovell penalty increased the lead but St Marys were back in the game after a forward drive brought them a try just before half-time. After a first half in which honours were virtually even, Brixham were leading 13-8 at the break.
In the second half Brixham began to get on top but missed an early opportunity to increase their lead when Lovell's penalty attempt went wide. Brixham's normally reliable defensive tackling allowed the visitors few opportunities. Winning opposition line-out ball and pressurising the visitors on their scrums kept Brixham on the front foot and eventually cracks were found in the St Marys defence. Three tries, all converted by Lovell, were the result. The first saw winger Adam Chadwick finish off a move by crossing the line to touch down under the posts; the second was finished off by Lovell wide on the left. Rounding off a fine day for the forwards, flanker Jack Linley-Shaw scored the third, going over under the posts.
In injury time St Marys got a second, consolation, try.
Cullompton Res 20 Crusaders 23
Saturday 31st January 2009 TORQUAY 20 BRIXHAM 12
Brixham missed the chance to get revenge for their earlier defeat and go above Torquay in the League on Saturday.
There was little between the sides though the Torquay backs made more ground than their Brixham counterparts and wasted, or lost, less of the possession they had.
Brixham went ahead in the third minute with a Ben Lovell penalty but this was short-lived as Torquay replied in kind. Midway through the first half both sides missed penalties as play swung both ways.
Torquay began to enjoy more of the possession and territory as at first half went on but Brixham regained the lead through a second Lovell penalty. A spell of Tics pressure then penned the Fishermen back and from a lineout close to the Brixham line the Torquay forwards and backs combined to craft a try. The conversion took them to the break 10-6 ahead.
In the second half Torquay continued to have the edge but Lovell reduced the lead with his third penalty midway through. A further penalty apiece and Torquay were leading 13-12 with ten minutes remaining. Brixham were now pushing Torquay back but were undone when Torquay kicked for the corner and there winger was judged to be impeded in the chase for the ball. Torquay were awarded a penalty try and an easy conversion; Brixham had too little time to get back into the match and lost the latest Battle of the Bay.
CRUSADERS 6 TORQUAY EXTRAS 0
Saturday 24th January 2009 BRIXHAM 30 PAIGNTON 6
Brixham bounced back from their setback at Sidmouth with a deserved win over Paignton.
With the advantages of both the wind and the slope Brixham enjoyed the better of the early exchanges. Centre Ben Lovell kicked them ahead with a penalty after ten minutes but Paignton swiftly replied. Two more Lovell penalties midway through the half re-established the lead but Brixham were unable to break the Cherries' defence and turned around 9-3 ahead after a dull first half.
With the elements now in their favour Paignton probably thought they had done enough to set up a win. Three minutes into the second half they narrowed the gap with a penalty goal. From the restart Brixham attacked and Lovell restored the six-point lead when his fourth penalty squeezed over the crossbar.
Five minutes later Brixham, or rather Lovell, extended the lead. Fast hands sped the ball out to the right flank and Lovell was on hand to finish the move by touching down in the corner. His conversion attempt, into the wind, went wide but a penalty kick minutes later was true and the Fishermen led 20-6.
Paignton now enjoyed their best period of the game and for ten minutes had Brixham penned back into their own 22 and defending ferociously. The visitors could not breach the defences and when Brixham cleared their lines and attacked again were rewarded with another penalty. Lovell, for the sixth time, was successful.
Having withstood everything that Paignton could throw at them it was Brixham who finished strongly. A period of forward pressure culminated in flanker Alun Glanvill crossing the line - only for the referee to judge that the ball had been help up. From the resulting 5 metre scrum No 8 Nathan Riley broke off the back to score a try, converted by Lovell, and secure the victory.
Saturday 17th January 2009 SIDMOUTH 20 BRIXHAM 9
The only senior game on Saturday saw Brixham's winning run come to an end at Sidmouth in the rearranged League match. The Brixham forwards did all the hard work in preventing the Sidmouth pack from gaining much ground with their pickup and drives but were unable to make much headway themselves.
In the opening ten minutes the two sides traded missed penalties but Sidmouth then got on top and had Brixham pegged back. The Sidmouth backs looked lively on the few occasions their pack gave them the ball but were unable to create any openings. Having withstood the homesters attacks Brixham came back into the game in the last ten minutes of the first half and two penalties from Ben Lovell took them to a 6-0 interval lead.
Sidmouth were back on top after the break but missed an opportunity to reduce the deficit when they missed a penalty in front of the posts. Brixham were able to clear their lines minutes later released the ball to the backs. A one-handed catch by Dempsey allowed him to break the home defence and put Jonny Brown in at the corner. Unfortunately the referee had seen a forward pass and the try was disallowed.
Almost immediately Sidmouth had scored one at the opposite end when poor tackling allowed them to break through the Brixham lines. The conversion gave them a one point lead. Two Sidmouth penalties and one in reply from Brixham took the lead to four points before Sidmouth found another gap in the Brixham defence to run through for a second try and conversion
Saturday 10th January 2009 BRIXHAM 21 TIVERTON 5
With the frozen pitch at Sidmouth causing the cancellation of their League game Brixham hastily brought forward their Devon Cup tie with Tiverton.
With the slope and wind against them in the first half Brixham struggled to make many inroads in the first half. Their typically determined tackling snuffed out Tiverton's attempts to run the ball but their own efforts were frustrated by handling errors and an equally robust defence.
The first half had its moments of excitement but neither side came very close to scoring and was pointless.
From the restart Brixham were on the attack and after just three minutes had broken the stalemate when Ben Lovell kicked a penalty. The lead was short-lived. From a scrum in their own half Tiverton mounted an attack when their scrum-half evaded four tackles to break clear and the move was finished off with a try in the corner.
With Brixham on top territorially the visitors spent most of the time defending and two further penalties from Lovell were sufficient reward to ease Brixham back into the lead. When Tiverton restarted after the second of these the ball went out to Brixham's Jonny Brown. A deft kick over the defence and an unexpectedly good bounce enabled him to reclaim the ball with the opposition wrongfooted and go over in the corner for a try.
With ten minutes remaining Tiverton had no time to rue the bad break they had just sustained but were unable to make much headway in their efforts to make amends. With the final whistle due a break from halfway by Mat Dempsey split the Tiverton defence. Ross Edwards continued the move and was on hand to finish it off with a touchdown in the corner. Lovell added the conversion and the referee had seen enough to blow for "no side."
CRUSADERS 23 SIDMOUTH RESERVES 12
Saturday 3rd January 2009 BRIXHAM 16 ST IVES 11
Brixham started the New Year with the rearranged League fixture against St Ives and looking to repeat the form they showed against Clevedon just before Christmas.
From the opening whistle they showed they meant business and had the visitors on the defensive. An early opportunity to take the lead went missing when Ben Lovell put his first penalty goal attempt just wide. On the ten minute mark his second attempt was better and Brixham had the lead. Strong and committed tackling halted St Ives in their tracks and the Fishermen continued to press forward. Midway through the first half found Brixham again on the attack and a jinking run from Jake Lawrence took him through the visitors' defence and over the line for a try; converted by Lovell.
Brixham created more opportunities as they continued to dominate but were only rewarded with a second penalty from Lovell and turned around 13-0 in front.
With the slope in their favour in the second half Brixham looked to extend their lead but the Cornishmen were not about to go down without a fight. From the outset they pushed Brixham back. With the Brixham defence resolute they could find no way through in their early attacks. Plan B was a well-worked move from a 5 metre lineout and resulted in a try after seven minutes play. A penalty goal followed five minutes later and the Brixham lead was down to 5 points.
Brixham regrouped, snuffed out the St Ives attacks and began to mount their own offensives. With less than a quarter of an hour remaining they gained some breathing space scorewise when Lovell slotted his third penalty goal but this was short lived as St Ives replied in kind. The final ten minutes were tense as one slip by the Brixham defence could have cost the game but they held firm and secured a hard earned victory.
Saturday 3rd January 2009 CRUSADERS 27 NEWTON ABBOT 10
ALBION 27 TOTNES 12
Saturday 20th December 2008 BRIXHAM 38 CLEVEDON 5
Playing down the slope Brixham attacked from the off and had the lead after six minutes. Centre Alex Brown shrugged off his opposite number and created an opening to go over in the corner for a try, converted by full-back Ben Lovell.
The Fishermen were unable to extend their lead and Clevedon reduced it to just two points with a try midway through the first period. Neither side was able to dominate proceedings but Brixham established a healthy lead by the interval with two further tries. Lovell nipped over for the first followed shortly afterwards by Brown with almost a carbon-copy of his opening effort to give Brixham a 17-5 margin at the break.
In the second period Brixham had an early opportunity to increase their lead but Lovell's penalty went wide and they were then penned back into their own half. Solid defensive work kept the visitors at bay for almost 15 minutes. When Brixham did attack, however, their efforts were not unrewarded. Lovell finished off a move with a try and his conversion attempt, courtesy of ricochets off both posts, dropped over for the two extra points. A further five minutes of Clevedon pressure was also to no avail and when Brixham ran the ball out of defence winger Tim Bumby was in for Brixham's fifth try. Lovell's conversion was successful without the aid of the woodwork.
Three minutes later and the backs combined again for Ross Edwards to score the final try and give Lovell a last conversion.
DARTMOUTH 0 CRUSADERS 52
Saturday 6th December 2008 TAUNTON 50 BRIXHAM 7
Brixham were forced to make seven changes from the side that lost narrowly to Newton Abbot the previous week and were severely disrupted by injuries during the game.
Veteran 45 year old utility prop/lock Colin Champion was pressed into service when colt Darren Levett (in to replace injured Dean Oram) dropped out. Michael Slater replaced the injured Anthony Soper. Matthew Skeet came in as hooker. Andrew Hawkes replaced Nathan Riley who was unavailable and Sam Thomas replaced the injured Alun Glanvill. Colin was making his first XV debut.
Taunton opened the scoring with a try in the 10th minute when they drove Brixham back 20 meters in a very tight driving maul. In the 27th minute Brixham No 5 Andrew Hawkes made a break down the middle which was carried on by Ben Lovell to score a try and kick the goal. Brixham now held a slender 7-5 lead but were soon behind again when Taunton were awarded a penalty for Brixham not being back 5 meters from a ruck. They went further ahead with a similar penalty for the same offence, to make it 11-7. It was at this point that Brixham No 8 Ryan Bradfield went down and the referee ordered both teams off into the dressing rooms to wait for the arrival of the ambulance. 30 minutes elapsed before play restarted. Ryan had recovered sufficiently to walk off the pitch. He took no further part in the game.
Five minutes into the second half Taunton were awarded a third penalty again for offside at a ruck.. It was at this point that Brixham had to make further changes when skipper Adam Thomas was replaced by Colin Horrocks. At the next scrum hooker Matthew Skeet injured his shoulder and left the field. He was replaced in the pack by wing Paul Lidster changing to flanker allowing Tim Bumby to come on to the wing.
All these disruptions were giving the Brixham forwards no time to settle down and gave Taunton a bigger advantage resulting in them scoring two pushover tries. In the 68 minute again from a scrum directly in front of the Brixham posts. Taunton won the scrum against the head; another try resulted and Brixham fell further behind . A lucky break enabled Taunton wing David Webber to run the length of the field to score under the posts and with the floodlights on Brixham allowed Taunton a final shout with a late try .
Despite the heavy score the Brixham players never lost their composure or courage.
CRUSADERS 18 TIVERTON RESERVES 3
Tiverton opened the scoring with a long-range penalty goal in the fourth minute but their lead was short-lived. From the restart Brixham were on the attack and flanker Ross Fletcher went over in the corner for the opening try. Jake Lawrence failed with the conversion. Another Brixham attack seven minutes later and the ball went out through the backs for Dan Grinrod to dash in for the second try in the opposite corner.
Midway through the half the Tiverton pack launched waves of attack on the Brixham line from close range but when the Crusaders eventually cleared their lines they increased their lead through a Lawrence penalty. More pressure from Tiverton only won them a penalty kick but this went wide and Brixham went further ahead when Alex Parrott touched down just before half-time.
The second half brought no further scores. Tiverton seemed determined to use their forwards to batter a way through the Crusaders but made little headway and created no real scoring chances. Brixham's backs looked dangerous on occasions but the best opportunity, midway through the half, went begging. Grinrod had the try-line at his mercy but failed to catch the greasy ball after a neat cross-kick from Lawrence.
Saturday 29th November 2008 BRIXHAM 13 NEWTON ABBOT 20
Brixham put in a spirited performance against the All Whites on Saturday but effectively lost the game in the first ten minutes. In the other seventy they created enough chances to have won the game but failed to capitalise on them.
Almost from the kick-off the visitors were in front when Brixham were penalised for offside. Eight minutes later, with Brixham defending, a clearance kick was charged down and Newton collected it to run in under the posts for an easily converted try.
Brixham then began to exert some pressure on Newton which brought two penalties kicked by Ben Lovell to reduce the Newton lead. A third, which would have reduced it to a single point, slid under the crossbar. Brixham continued to attack but Newton turned around 13-6 ahead after converting a penalty with the last kick of the first half.
Brixham opened strongly in the second period - to no avail - before Newton got back into the game. Several minutes of pressure on the Brixham line, and a missed penalty kick, eventually resulted in a forward drive and a try. The conversion gave Newton some breathing space.
Brixham had not given up on the game and returned to the attack and set the scene for an exciting last ten minutes when their forwards drove No 8 Ryan Bradfield over for a try converted by Lovell.
The last ten minutes were not as exciting as they could have been. Newton's forwards starved Brixham of possession and ran the clock down.
NEWTON ABBOT RESERVES 32 CRUSADERS 27
ALBION 46 NEWTON THIRDS 20
Saturday 22nd November 2008 CRUSADERS 15 BARNSTAPLE RESERVES 26
ALBION v OPM III
Saturday 15th November 2008 CLEVEDON 10 BRIXHAM 17
Brixham fielded a team consisting of 15 former Brixham Colts giving first team debuts to Sam Thomas and Chris Harper. Altogether Brixham made 8 changes to the team which lost to Sidmouth at home the previous Saturday. Not available or injured were Nathan Dallow. Matt Dempsey. Adam Chadwick. Iain Johnson. Mark Harvey. Gareth Williams. Tristan Forster and Tom Winfield. Replacing them were Alex Brown, Mike Slater, Ross Edwards, Jonny Brown, Ewan Campbell, Ryan Bradfield.,Sam Thomas and Chris Harper. In addition Brixham made three positional changes Ben Lovell moved to full back, Dan Grinrod went to wing and Nathan Riley went back to lock.
Brixham lost the toss and kicked off with the wind behind them and opened the scoring in the 25th second when a defensive kick from the start was charged down and wing Anthony Soper was at hand to score his fourth try of the season. No 15 Ben Lovell converted with a great kick to make it 7-0. In the 8th minute Brixham went further ahead when Clevedon were penalised in front of their posts for killing the ball. Lovell converted the penalty to make it 10-0.
Conditions were getting worse by the minute, players couldn’t hold their feet, and the ball was like a piece of lard. Brixham attacked the Clevedon backs and forced them into errors resulting in scrum half Jonny Brown pinching the ball. He raced through the gap to score near the posts to give Lovell a easy conversation 17-0.
In the 8th minute of injury time Brixham were penalised and Soper given a yellow card for killing the ball. No 9 Steve Johnson kicked the goal to make it 17-3 at the break.
With 65 minutes on the clock Brixham made changes. Ewan Campbell came on for Nick Stoneman and was penalised in his first scrum and in the second scrum was further penalised and given a yellow card. It was from this penalty that Clevedon got to the Brixham 5 meter line and drove Brixham back to score a push over try by No 8 Chris Page converted by Johnson to make it 17-10.
Clevedon were having the best of the forward exchanges and drove Brixham back. Brixham defences held and following a breakout Brixham were awarded a penalty some 40 meters out. Lovell kicked the goal. Both touch judges raised their flags only for the referee to disallow the kick, as he believed the ball had gone wide.
With the light fading fast one got the impression that the teams were to stay on the pitch until Clevedon scored again. However after 14 minutes of “injury “ time the referee finally blew for No Side.
The Brixham man of the match was without any doubt Skipper Adam Thomas who had one of his best games for some time.
Friday 14th November 2008 CRUSADERS 28 EXETER UNIVERSITY RESERVES 13
The students gave the Crusaders a shock by playing a game unlike that of any of the normal opponents - attacking at pace from all parts of the field. In the first period Brixham struggled to cope with them. Twice they took the lead with penalty goals; only for the students to reply in kind. A forward drive brought Brixham the opening try but before half-time Exeter had crossed the Brixham line to equalise and the conversion gave them an interval lead.
In the second half the Crusaders coped better with their opponents and enjoyed the best of the play. A try, conversion and penalty eased them ahead before Jake Lawrence applied the coup de grace with a beautiful touchdown; his conversion was the final act of the game.
Saturday 8th November 2008 BRIXHAM 11 SIDMOUTH 15
A third of the way through their League campaign and Brixham are in mid-table. They don’t concede many points but their own scoring record is poor.
On Saturday against Sidmouth, Brixham had the better of the opening exchanges with their pack battering the visitors’. On eight minutes their efforts should have been rewarded with a try but the referee was unsighted and could not award it. A penalty goal kicked by Ben Lovell a minute later gave them the lead but this was soon cancelled out by a Sidmouth penalty.
Another penalty each kept the scores level with half-time approaching. More Brixham pressure took them close before the ball was released for winger Antony Soper to touch down in the corner. Before the break Sidmouth got another penalty to reduce Brixham’s lead to 11-9.
The second half was a dour affair. Sidmouth dominated possession but were rarely able to threaten the Brixham line in the face of resolute defence and Brixham failed to make the most of the little ball they had. Sidmouth took the lead with a penalty goal after fifteen minutes but despite their pressure were unable to add to it.
Late on Brixham rallied and were close to scoring when winger Adam Chadwick was bundled into touch in the corner but Sidmouth cleared their lines.
A Brixham attack in injury time gave Brixham the opportunity to save the game but in the swirling wind Lovell’s penalty kick went just wide. Sidmouth got back into the Brixham half and, having decided that the try line was beyond them, settled for the drop goal that sealed their victory.
SIDMOUTH RESERVES 12 CRUSADERS 19
Brixham travelled to Sidmouth with high expectations of recording another victory and although they came away with the points they were forced to work for every point.
Sidmouth started the stronger and forced Brixham to concede a number of penalties and they soon raced into a 12 point lead courtesy of their fly half's Boot. Brixham did attempt to run the ball at every chance they got but could not break through the Sidmouth defence. From a line out in the Sidmouth 22 the Brixham pack drove forward and they were rewarded with a try from prop Matt Skeet crashing over from five yards.
Brixham started the second half strongly and with backs and forwards combining well it was not long before Matt Skeet added his second try of the day bringing Brixham level on points. The second half saw both defences working hard as no further scores were added. With 15 minutes to go Brixham were awarded a penalty try after Sidmouth continually infringing at the breakdown.. The last 10 minutes saw Brixham down to 14 men when replacement Sean Onslow earned a needless yellow card. Brixhams defence managed to hold out and the final score finished 19 to 12 in Brixhams favour.
Saturday 1st November 2008 PAIGNTON 6 BRIXHAM 12
Brixham ended their losing run on Saturday but the game at a wet and windy Queen's Park on Saturday was not one to enthuse over.
The Fishermen got off to a nightmare start. They were penalised immediately after receiving the kick-off and three points behind in the first minute. Three minutes later they were back on level terms when Ben Lovell slotted a penalty and the game settled down to a fairly dour and error-strewn affair. Midway through the first period the two sides traded penalties - both being caught offside while defending - and the 6 - 6 scoreline at the interval was probably a fair reflection of the play.
In the second period Brixham had the edge territorially but were unable to break the Cherries' defence. Their pressure eventually brought rewards and Lovell successfully converted two out of three penalties to ease Brixham six points ahead with ten minutes on the clock. Paignton roused themselves for a desparate final effort and came close to giving Brixham a nightmare finale - only to see the ball dropped inches short of the line in the last move of the match.
CRUSADERS 41 PAIGNTON 13
ALBION 7 IVYBRIDGE III 8
Saturday 25th October 2008 BRIXHAM 11 TORQUAY 16
Astley Park was the scene of a typically robust local derby on Saturday. Brixham suffered another League defeat but might have some cause for complaint about the penalty try which Torquay were awarded.
In the first half Torquay had the advantage of the wind and slope and were clearly looking to establish a good lead. With Brixham struggling in the lineouts they were pinned back for much of the half but Torquay had their own problems conceding penalties. Torquay had two opportunities to take the lead but both penalty goal attemps failed and it was Brixham who drew first blood when Ben Lovell slotted his penalty midway through the half. Torquay levelled the scores late on but a 3-3 scoreline was not what they wanted.
The two sides traded penalties in the opening minutes of the second half before Torquay edged ahead with their third penalty. Brixham were enjoying somewhat more of the play and regained the lead when the ball went from one wing to the other to allow Antony Soper to touch down in the corner for the opening try midway through the half. Torquay's better support play enabled them to launch waves of attack and appeared to have scored when their winger crossed the line. Unfortunately he had already dropped the ball but having been tackled afterwards Torquay were dubiously awarded a penalty try and an easy conversion.
Brixham attacked strongly in the final minutes but were unable to breach the Torquay defence and while they might also have deserved a penalty try it was not to be.
TORQUAY EXTRAS 10 CRUSADERS 25
Brixham came away with a well earned victory in this merit table clash. For the first 15 minutes the sides were evenly matched with both defences holding. The first try came from Full Back Chris Harper showing some good football skills by latching on to a kick through and out pacing the Torquay winger. The Brixham backs attempted to try and run the ball at every chance and Adam Chadwick finished of a move that saw the ball spun through the hands to score out wide. Another such move saw Adam grab his second Try and with both converted. Brixham could have been further ahead but Adam missed his hat trick chance by over running a kick through and missing the ball completely on the Try line. Brixham took a 19 - 0 lead at half time.
Torquay started the second half strongly and Forced Brixham on the back foot and were rewarded with a well taken Try. The Penalty count increased for both sides in the second half and Brixham increased their lead to 22-5 . Torquay added another Try which again went unconverted. The final word went to Brixham with another penalty. There were excellent performances from former Torquay player Tom Winfield and centre Mike Slater.
Team manager Keith Walker is pleased with the way Brixham are now playing and believes this is down to the fact that nearly all the squad of around 25 players are now training regularly and with the inclusion of John Lovell on the coaching staff are now reaping the rewards.
ALBION 22 TORQUAY III 51
Saturday 18th October 2008 NEWTON ABBOT 15 BRIXHAM 6
CRUSADERS 41 TAUNTON II 15
Brixham carried on from last week by scoring early through second row forward Sam Thomas scoring after a forward drive from a line out. Again forwards and backs were working well together which led to winger Peter Chart scoring out wide. The Brixham backs continued to dominate the game and after a sustained period of pressure Jake Lawrence scored with a well worked move through the centre. A further try was added by centre and man of the match Alex Brown. Late in the second half saw the loss of Peter Chart having just returned from a Hamstring injury with suspected Knee ligament damage. Taunton managed to score just before the half time whistle with a quick tap penalty to reduce the deficit to 24-5
The second half saw Taunton raise their game fearing a big loss and they were rewarded with another try. With changes made, Brixham managed to increase their lead with Alex Brown grabbing his second try of the match. Taunton responded well with a sustained period of pressure , forcing Brixham to concede a number of penalties and mistakes and they crossed the line again to reduce Brixham's lead. Brixham finished the stronger with tries from prop Nick Stoneman (his first for 18 months) and a fine individual effort from winger Adam Chadwick.
Saturday 11th October 2008 ST MARYS OB 27 BRIXHAM 13
CRUSADERS 62 CULLOMPTON 10
Brixham finally showed what can be done when the backs receive quality ball from the forwards. Brixham opened their account in the first 5 minutes with 2 tries from winger Dan Grinrod and outside half Jake Lawrence.
With a lead of 12 - 0 Brixham then allowed Cully back into the game with a converted try and a penalty. Brixham upped a gear and with some quality handling the backs added two more scores through Adam Chadwick and another from Dan Grinrod.
The second half saw Brixham dominate up front and allowed the backs to show their skills with notable performances from Alex Brown and Hank Hendrickson. With Brixham attempting to run the ball from virtually every opportunity further tries were added from Dan Grinrod ( to complete his hat trick ) and from man of the match Jason Rowe. Brixham then made a number of changes and continued to apply pressure and ran in a further 4 tries from James Nash, Matt Skeet and 2 from replacement wing Guy Marler. Six of the 10 scores were converted by Jake Lawrence.
Saturday 4th October BRIXHAM 12 ST IVES 6 (Match abandoned after 48 minutes)
When the referee Paul Roberts from Berkshire hobbled off eight minutes into the second half - having twisted his ankle - it condemned the two teams to do it all again as no replacement was available.
Brixham kicked off with the rain-laden wind and slope in their favour and within two minutes had taken the lead. St Ives were caught offside when Brixham attacked and Ben Lovell landed a penalty goal. With ten minutes on the clock Brixham's second foray into the visitors' 22 resulted in a second penalty and doubled their lead. With Brixham keen to build a lead before having to face the elements in the second half - and St Ives equally keen on preventing them - the next ten minutes saw the two sides trading penalties. In the miserable conditions neither side was able to break through the others defence. Late in the half St Ives came close; but had to settle for a penalty goal before Lovell restored Brixhams six point lead with his fourth successful kick.
Brixham probably felt that they had not done enough in the first half and the scene was set for an exciting, if nerve-wracking second half. Eight minutes of play, and with Brixham in an attacking position, was all there was.
Saturday 27th September WALCOT OB 18 BRIXHAM 23
Brixham's first awayday of the season was to Bath and newly promoted Walcot Old Boys. Tries from Paul Lidster and Gareth Williams and conversions and a penalty from Ben Lovell saw the Fishermen into a 17-0 lead. In the second period all the good work was nearly undone when the home side hit back with a three-try burst. These, plus a penalty goal, took them ahead. Late on two kicks by Ben Lovell sorted things out for Brixham; his drop-goal put them back ahead and a penalty goal settled things.
CRUSADERS 7 LISKEARD-LOOE 10
Antony Soper ran around the Liskeard defence for Brixham's solitary try but the home side struggled to cope with the Cornish pack. Lack of quality ball strangled the Brixham attack. Late on a shoulder-check prevented Soper from retrieving his chip ahead which could have been a match-saver for Brixham.
ALBION 24 TIVERTON 3rds 12
Saturday 20th September BRIXHAM 9 AVONMOUTH OB 25
Astley Park on Saturday was a busy place with all four of the senior sides playing at home. Three wins out of four was a good result but the First XV were disappointing - going down to newly promoted Avonmouth.
In the opening stages of the game Brixham had the edge, slightly, but had little possession and made little of what they had. Brixham took the lead on eight minutes with a Ben Lovell penalty but went behind midway through the first half to an unconverted try. From the restart Brixham were on the attack and a second Lovell penalty got the lead back.
With Brixham having problems at the set-pieces they were forced on to the defensive and Avonmouth ran in two tries exploiting errors in the centre. A third penalty late in the half reduced the margin to 19-9 at the interval.
In the second period Brixham had slightly more of the ball and had their visitors under some pressure but could not create the breaks they needed against a well-organised and committed defence. Two penalty goals for Avonmouth extended their lead and added to the Brixham misery.
BRIXHAM CRUSADERS 25 BARNSTAPLE RESERVES 17
The Crusaders got off to a flying start when winger Antony Soper went over for a try in the second minute. The two sides then traded penalty goals before Paul Lidster crossed for the second Brixham try. James Onslow converted. Before the interval Brixham added two further tries from Nathan Dallow and James Lund and turned around 25-3 ahead.
In the second period Barnstaple were dominant and Brixham were on the back foot. Two converted tries narrowed the gap but the Crusaders held out for the victory.
BRIXHAM ALBION 31 PLYMSTOCK RESERVES 14
Saturday 13th September BRIXHAM 26 YATTON 10
Brixham got their League campaign off to a winning start at Astley Park on Saturday. Resplendent in their new cerise (pink?) change strip they had too much pace for their visitors. While the margin of victory could have been greater it was a satisfactory performance.
From the kick-off the Fishermen had Yatton on the back foot and reward for the early pressure soon came from the boot of Ben Lovell when he landed a penalty goal.
More pressure from Brixham saw their pack drive to within two metres of the tryline and when the ball was recycled fast hands in the backs resulted in full-back Matt Dempsey touching down under the posts. Lovell slotted the conversion.
Brixham continued to press forward but failed to cross the try line and were rewarded for their efforts only by two further penalties from Lovell. As the half-time whistle approached Yatton began to come back into the game and a late penalty goal reduced the Brixham lead to 16-3 at the interval.
In the opening phases of the second period Brixham again had the upper hand and Lovell's fourth penalty extended their lead. Yatton might have been down but they were not yet out of it and play was more evenly balanced for much of the rest of the game. With ten minutes left a scrum in midfield did not seem to be a good attacking platform but a break by flanker Tristan Forster took him through and scrum-half Mark Harvey completed the move by touching down under the posts; Lovell adding the extras.
In the dying minutes a rare lapse in the Brixham defence let Yatton through for a try but it was mission accomplished for the Fishermen.
EXMOUTH RESERVES 29 CRUSADERS 5
Sunday 7th September BRIXHAM 36 DEVON PRESIDENTS XV 3
After three warm-up matches away from home Brixham returned to the new changing rooms and refurbished clubhouse. The match was closer than the scoreline might suggest but Brixham made the most of their scoring chances while their defence was solid.
Winger Tim Bumby opened the scoring for Brixham with a try in the right-hand corner in the opening minutes but were then penned back by the Presidents XV for over a quarter of an hour. The only reward the Presidents XV got for their efforts was a penalty goal and Brixham were on the attack from the restart.
They had soon extended their lead after Peter Chart touched down in the same spot as Bumby had earlier. Fifteen minutes of open play and Brixham got their third try when Matt Dempsey chose the same spot to ground the ball. Having missed twice with conversion attempts from the touchline Ben Lovell had got his bearings and was successful at his third attempt to give Brixham a 17-3 interval lead.
Jack Linley-Shaw got Brixham off to a dream start in the second half by finishing off a passing move by scoring a try under the posts - giving Lovell an easy conversion. Ten minutes later the Brixham pack combined to force hooker Dean Avery over the line for his maiden try for the Fishermen.
Brixham had the game won but still had to work hard to keep out the visitors. The victory was secured when Dempsey scored his second try; Ross Edwards' conversion was the last act of the match.
Match Reports 2007/8
Sunday 20th April 2008
DEVON UNDER 13s FESTIVAL
Cup Winners - SIDMOUTH Runners up - BARNSTAPLE
Plate Winners - TAVISTOCK Runners up - TOPSHAM
Saturday 19th April 2008 Brixham 6 Newton Abbot 15 (League)
Saturday 12th April 2008 Taunton 24 Brixham 19 (League)
Saturday 5th April 2008 Brixham 28 Paignton 30 (Friendly)
Paignton might have won the game but did they do enough to prove that they will be able to hold their own in SW Two next season?
Both sides had players out – for various reasons – but while Brixham plugged their gaps from within their visitors brought in players from elsewhere. OK, Exeter to be exact.
Brixham leaked points through missed tackles as they have for much of the season and contributed to their own downfall. – but might have stolen a victory at the end.
Paignton went ahead in the sixth minute when Brixham were on the offensive. Running the ball from deep in their own half, the visitors evaded several tackles to open the scoring with an unconverted try. Three penalties from Ben Lovell for Brixham and two from Paignton’s James Onslow followed as the game went from one end to the other. Paignton extended their lead with an unconverted try from their “guest” flanker but Brixham levelled the score by half time when outside half Ross Edwards went over for a try converted with the last kick of the half by Lovell.
Ten minutes into the second half and Paignton were ahead again when they were awarded a penalty try (converted by Onslow). Twenty minutes of endeavour by both sides later and another Paignton try, and Onslow conversion, put Brixham 30-16 behind.
For the remainder of the match the Fishermen showed the Cherries what they were made of and attacked incessantly. Andy Hawkes, on for injured captain Adam Thomas, piled over for a try followed minutes later by replacement prop Steve Green (playing his first game for how long?). The conversion by Ben Lovell narrowed the deficit to two points.
From the restart Brixham forced Paignton into errors and a penalty. In the blustery wind Lovell was unsuccessful with his kick and Paignton had the win. Much relief to the mid-Bay side – but no disgrace to the homesters and we look forward to League meetings next season.
Saturday 29th March 2008 Brixham 0 Yatton 0 (League)
In rugby drawn games are uncommon but pointless draws are rare. On Saturday Brixham and Yatton contrived such a scoreline – with a little assistance from a cold strong wind blowing across a sticky muddy pitch.
Brixham had a less than ideal start when prop Matthew Skeet injured his knee in the second minute and left the field on a stretcher. The ten minute delay while he received medical attention disrupted both teams’ pre-match plans and the game lacked any real continuity. Yatton withstood early pressure from Brixham and as the first half wore on began to have the better of the play. The visitors missed two opportunities to break the deadlock – both penalty goal attempts failing in the wind.
In the second period neither side was able to dominate proceedings and it seemed like a single score – of any kind – would be enough for victory. A score never came and the final whistle brought relief to all of the spectators and players.
Tiverton Reserves 6 Brixham Crusaders 19
Tiverton Thirds 22 Brixham Albion 8
Saturday 8th March 2008 Brixham 0 Barnstaple 19 (League)
Barnstaple virtually guaranteed themselves a promotion play-off with their win at Astley Park on Saturday while Brixham remain safe in the middle of the league table.
Brixham opened brightly and had an early opportunity to take the lead. Ben Lovell missed the penalty goal. Barnstaple now began to get control of the game and their well drilled pack and pacy backs had Brixham on the back foot for much of the first half. With little possession Brixham could make no use of the strong wind and the slope.
Barnstaple opened the scoring with a try on the half-hour mark and added another before half-time to turn around 12-0 ahead.
With the elements in their favour in the second half it seemed that Barnstaple would pile on the points. Four minutes in and they added a third try and conversion – the writing was on the wall for Brixham.
They read the words but ignored the script and kept the visitors under pressure for much of the second period. Unfortunately the Barum defence kept them at bay and when they had the ball astute kicking pushed Brixham well back into their own half.
For much of this season Brixham have lacked the bite to turn pressure into points and this match was no exception.
Saturday 1st March 2008 Hornets 18 Brixham 13 (League)
Brixham Crusaders 86 Crediton Reserves 5 (Merit)
14 tries and eight conversions - seven tries in each half.
Brixham Colts 0 Crediton Colts 13 (Friendly)
Saturday 23rd February 2008 Barton Hill 11 Brixham 20 (League)
Having convincingly beaten table-topping Exmouth last week, the Fishermen travelled to Bristol on Saturday to take on Barton Hill who are involved in the relegation dogfight.
Barton Hill started strongly and in the first half put Brixham under some pressure. With half time approaching all they had to show for their efforts were two penalty goals – but these had been cancelled out by Ben Lovell who had slotted a brace for Brixham. A try shortly before the break gave the hosts an 11-6 lead but in the second period Brixham showed more of the form that had toppled Exmouth.
With their forwards getting on top Brixham took the lead when hooker Dan Stead went over for a try converted by Lovell. The same combination later extended the lead for Brixham. The Fishermen withstood a late rally by Barton Hill and wrapped up a good away win.
Sunday 17th February 2008 Brixham 29 Newton Abbot 18 (Under 16s – Fishermens Cup)
Saturday 16th February 2008 Brixham 20 Exmouth 0 (League)
Brixham played their best rugby of the season on Saturday and humbled league leaders Exmouth at Astley Park. The victory owed much to the great team effort of the Brixham side – exemplified by the fact that it was one of the normally unsung heroes – a prop forward – who was selected as man of the match.
With the biting wind at their backs in the first half Exmouth clearly intended to build a comfortable lead. Brixham failed to get the ball to go the requisite 10 metres from the kick-off – and gave possession away immediately but this was virtually the only mistake they made. At the resulting scrum they disrupted the Exmouth pack and continued to do so throughout the game.
For the first ten minutes Brixham attacked the Exmouth line but missed the opportunity to take the lead when a Ben Lovell penalty went wide. Exmouth then mounted a brief spell of pressure but they went similarly unrewarded.
The remainder of the first period saw Brixham dominating territorially with their pack denying the visitors much useable possession from set pieces. With five minutes of the first half remaining the Exmouth defence were caught offside and Ben Lovell successfully kicked the penalty which got Brixham ahead at the break.
Behind at half time and with the wind now in Brixham’s favour, the Exmouth game-plan was in tatters. To make matters worse Brixham were in no mood to allow them back into the game. Three minutes into the second half and Brixham were pressing the Exmouth line. When the ball was recycled from a maul centre Jake Lawrence spotted a gap in the Exmouth defence and nipped in from ten metres for a try under the posts. Lovell added the conversion.
Ten minutes later and Brixham were still on the offensive. Lovell’s kicking boot added another penalty to the tally.
Exmouth mounted only one attack worthy of the name in the second period but the home defence held firm and as the game moved into its closing stages it was virtually continuous Brixham pressure. In the dying seconds Exmouth, in desperation, tried to run the ball out of defence but when the ball went loose it was snaffled by Brixham winger Peter Chart who evaded the vestiges of an Exmouth defence to ground the ball near the posts.
Lovell added the conversion and the referee had seen enough and blew for time.
Sunday 10th February 2008 Paignton 17 Brixham 20 (Under 16s – Fishermens Cup)
Brixham completed the double over Paignton in a thrilling contest on Sunday and remain in second place in the Fishermen’s Cup table. Paignton led for most of the match but Brixham were deserving winners.
Paignton opened the scoring with a penalty goal but this was cancelled out almost immediately when Cody Dyer kicked one for Brixham. Paignton regained the lead after they won a lineout 5 metres from the line. A classic catch and drive that Brixham could not halt was rewarded with a try. Paignton extended their lead with a drop goal which bounced over off the cross bar and went further ahead with a penalty goal.
At half-time Brixham trailed 14-3 but stern coaching had them more fired up for the second period. Tom McLean started the fightback when he won the chase for a kick ahead to touch down for a try. Paignton responded with another penalty goal before McLean touched down for a second try after good handling by the Brixham backs.
With Dyer missing both conversions Paignton had a 17-13 lead with ten minutes remaining.
Brixham spent this time testing the Paignton defences and with just a minute left Zac Gillies went over in the corner for the try that put Brixham in the lead for the first time. Dyer landed a difficult conversion and there was not enough time left for the host to recover the game.
Saturday 9th February 2008 St Marys OB 32 Brixham 10 (League)
Brixham Crusaders 22 Sidmouth Reserves 7
The last two Crusaders games have been mismatches and resulted in heavy defeats. Saturday saw a return to Merit Table action and a much less one-sided contest.
Both sides had opportunities to score in the opening exchanges but Sidmouth had the edge and deservedly went ahead with a converted try midway through the first half. A subsequent penalty attempt fell short and Brixham began to get back into the game. Roger Chadwick kicked a penalty that left them trailing 7-3 at half-time.
The second period saw Brixham increase the pressure on Sidmouth and after a typical run by replacement prop Lee Squire had disrupted their defence, centre Aurin Parham went through for a try by the posts. Chadwick converted and Brixham had their noses in front.
Further attacks kept them in the Sidmouth half and after a 5 metre scrum the other prop – Corne Van Deventer – burrowed over for a try, Chadwick again adding the extras. With the Brixham pack dominating the scrums Sidmouth struggled to get useful possession and Brixham wrapped the game up when their backs combined to give winger Antony Soper space to go over in the corner.
Brixham Colts 26 Wiveliscombe Colts 14
For the first 20 minutes Brixham seemed to be still in the changing rooms and did not start playing rugby until they were 14 points adrift. Eventually they were fairly comfortable winners.
Saturday 2nd February 2008 Brixham Colts 14 Bridgwater Colts 26 (Friendly)
Two evenly matched teams provided an entertaining contest on Saturday. Brixham weathered early pressure from their guests and had generally the better of the first half. Two tries, both converted by Nathan Dallow, took them to a 14-0 interval lead.
Early in the second period the visitors’ pack gave Brixham a demonstration of how a rolling maul should be done. From virtually the halfway line they powered towards the Brixham line but, once halted, were able to quickly release the ball to their No 8 to cross for a try. The conversion cut the Brixham lead to seven points.
As the second half progressed neither side was able to make a scoring break as play swung from end to end. With ten minutes left Bridgwater created a gap and the resulting try narrowed the gap to just two points. A subsequent Brixham attack went unrewarded when Dallow’s penalty attempt rebounded from the post and the visitors were back on the offensive and crossed for a third try under the posts; easily converted.
Brixham could not get enough good possession in the remaining time and Bridgwater rounded the game off deep in injury time with a fourth try. The touchline conversion sailed through to end the match.
Saturday 26th January 2008 Brixham 12 Torquay 7 (League)
Saturday’s League encounter was the third meeting of the local rivals this season. Torquay had won the earlier matches but both were close games and Brixham had something to prove.
Brixham attacked straight from the start. The early pressure was rewarded with a penalty but Matt Dempsey’s kick went just wide. Torquay began to get back into the match but with Ben Passenger’s kicking game off colour could not pin Brixham back as much as they had in the previous encounters. Several phases of attack by Brixham midway through the first half broke the deadlock. Winger Peter Chart spotted a gap in the visitors defence and broke through to touch down under the posts – Dempsey added the conversion.
With the play evenly balanced both sides had opportunities to kick penalty goals but the score stayed at 7-0 to the interval.
Torquay pressed from the restart but a drop goal attempt went begging and Brixham weathered the storm. Ten minutes into the second period and Brixham extended their lead. Sustained assaults on the Torquay line were rewarded when the forwards drove over the line and flanker Alun Glanvill grounded the ball. Dempsey missed the conversion. The extended lead did not last long. Five minutes of attack by the Torquay pack culminated in the ball being passed out for their centre to expose a chink in the Fishermens defence and score a try. The conversion cut the Brixham lead to five points and set up a tense finale.
As the referees watch ticked down Torquay had the better of things territorially and Brixham’s defence was tested. Late on there was a five minute spell when Torquay were camped in the home 22. Heroic defence kept them at bay and with no penalties conceded during the period Brixham were able to clear their lines.
The final whistle brought relief to the home fans but the visiting supporters had little to complain about. On the day the better team won.
Saturday 19th January 2008 Brixham Crusaders 5 Launceston Development XV 99
Against the development team of a National One side, Brixham’s second string were, on paper, likely to face a daunting prospect. From the moment when Launceston ran the ball at Brixham in the second minute for their opening try the result was never in much doubt.
The strong running of their back-row forwards and the pace and handling skills of their backs produced five more tries before Brixham got on the scoreboard. A kick ahead by Ross Edwards saw the ball heading over the dead ball line but Antony Soper got the Brixham points when his fingertips grounded the ball. Another try from Launceston closed the first half and they turned around 39-5 ahead.
Launceston did not need the slope or the wind in the second period and ran in another ten tries to complete the rout.
The First XV match at Barton Hill was cancelled due to the state of their pitch.
Saturday 12th January 2008 Brixham 3 Torquay 16 (Devon Cup Q/F)
Despite Friday’s rain the pitch at Astley Park had dried out sufficiently for this Devon Cup quarter final match. The rain that fell throughout the game made handling difficult for both sides and spectating unpleasant.
Brixham opened strongly and were straight on the attack. Within five minutes they had the lead. Torquay offended at a scrum in front of their posts and Matthew Dempsey waited till the ball had split the uprights before saying thank you. Five minutes later Brixham thought they had extended their lead when the backs put fullback Nigel Southcombe clear and he touched down in the corner – only to be pulled back for a forward pass earlier in the move.
Torquay now began to get into the game more and a try from their winger put them ahead. Local derbies often get passionate and tempers get frayed. In this case to such an extent that the referee issued five yellow cards within less than ten minutes.
With halftime approaching Brixham could have gone back ahead but Dempsey’s penalty rebounded off the post. Torquay were not so unlucky minutes later with a penalty attempt and turned around with an 8-3 lead.
In the second period, with the slope in their favour and the driving drizzle at their backs, Torquay were on top. Brixham were reduced to living on scraps of possession and could mount no sustained attacks on the Torquay line. At the other end of the pitch their defence against the visitors pack held firm and Torquay could only add two scores – an unconverted try and a penalty.
Saturday 5th January 2008 Brixham 21 Camborne 12 (League)
A spate of injuries have prevented Brixham from having a settled side and results in the first half of the season have been mixed. A win against bottom of the table Camborne was just what the doctor ordered.
Brixham opened brightly and their first attack resulted in an early lead. The Camborne defence was caught offside and Sean Onslow gratefully slotted the penalty.
For the next 25 minutes Brixham rarely got out of their own half. Astute kicking by the visitors kept the Fishermen penned back in defence. When their backs failed to make progress the Cornish forwards took over and contrived two tries for a 12-3 lead.
Brixham’s second attack did not happen until the thirty-second minute – but received no reward when Onslow’s penalty kick unaccountably went wide. For the remaindere of the first half it was virtually all Brixham but the Camborne defence held firm under considerable pressure and maintained their sides lead.
Playing down the slope in the second period, Brixham started as they had finished the first – pressing the Camborne defence. Four minutes in and the deficit was reduced to 12-6 with an Onslow penalty. With Camborne now playing entirely in their own half Brixham were constantly attacking but finding no gaps. A lineout close to the visitors’ line provided the platform for the forwards who drove over the line; Alun Glanvill grounding the ball for a try. The difficult conversion attempt failed and Brixham were now just a point behind with 20 minutes to go.
Camborne saw the game slipping away from them and mounted their first serious attack of the half. Brixham were under a brief period of pressure but weathered the flurry and were back on the attack.
Ten minutes from time and the ball was spun wide through the backs and full-back Nigel Southcombe was over in the corner for the try that put the Fishermen ahead. As the clock ticked down it was still Brixham attacking and in the final move of the match No 8 Chris Dorling went over for the try that wrapped up the victory.
Wednesday 26th December 2007 Club XV 5 Presidents XV 37
Saturday 22nd December 2007 Paignton 13 Brixham 18 (Friendly)
Saturday 15th December 2007 Clevedon 31 Brixham 8 (League)
Brixham Crusaders 0 Kingsbridge 31
Brixham Albion 10 Devonport Services Reserves 17
Saturday 1st December 2007 Brixham 9 Taunton 9 (League)
Brixham bounced back from their recent series of poor results by holding promotion-chasing Taunton in a tight contest at Astley Park. Taunton might reflect on the fact that the scoreline would have been different but for two two tries disallowed for forward passes – but Brixham were also disallowed a try when prop Matt Skeet broke clear with the line at his mercy.
The scoring - six penalty goals – does scant justice to an intriguing contest. Brixham went behind after just two minutes but drew level and took the lead with two kicks from Sean Onslow. Taunton had the opportunity to turn around on level terms but a kick late in the first half went awry.
Having had the assistance of the slope and a strong wind in the first half – and only being three points ahead – Brixham might have expected to struggle in the second period.
Taunton, however, proved unable to take advantage of the elements and Brixham extended their lead when Onslow converted his third penalty attempt from a difficult angle when the ball squeezed over. Taunton replied almost immediately with their second penalty goal – and a little help from the post
With 15 minutes remaining Onslow had another opportunity to show his kicking prowess but his kick fell short – the same fate befell the Taunton kicker Jon Martin just a minute later.
With the clock ticking down Taunton threw everything into attack and when Brixham were caught offside at a ruck were awarded the penalty to level the scores.
The final whistle brought the season to its halfway point and Brixham are firmly in mid-table. Brixham have suffered a lot through injuries so far but with the pack producing another excellent performance and the defensive errors cut out the side can look forward to the second half of the season with confidence.
Saturday 24th November 2007 Newton Abbot 21 Brixham 6 (League)
Brixham Crusaders 20 Newton Reserves 25
Saturday 17th November 2007 Brixham 6 Exmouth 38 (Intermediate Cup)
Saturday 10th November 2007 Brixham 15 Clevedon 30 (League)
Saltash 3 Brixham Crusaders 57 (Friendly)
Saturday 3rd November 2007 Camborne 7 Brixham 7 (League)
Brixham Crusaders 22 Ivybridge Reserves 20 (Merit)
Brixham took the lead with their first attack with a try when the forwards drove a maul over the line but the conversion was awry. Almost immediately after the restart Ivybridge were awarded a penalty and duly got themselves on the scoreboard. Another restart, another Brixham attack and a second try in the corner (and another conversion missed). Minutes later it was all-square when Ivybridge scored a converted try.
Twenty points in ten minutes - it could not go on this way! Ivybridge began to dominate territorially - aided by the tendency of the Fishermen to throw lineout balls away. Ivybridge took the lead through a penalty goal but got little reward for their efforts and turned around 17-13 behind when Brixham scored a converted try in the last minute of the half.
The second half saw Ivybridge continuing to have the territorial advantage but Brixham now had the lineouts sorted out and were under less pressure. Lack of discipline among the visitors' players also aided the Crusaders cause but Ivbridge went back in front with a converted try. In the last ten minutes Brixham continually probed the defense and after a succession of penalties close to the Ivybridge line achieved the winning score with a try in the corner. One minute of subsequent play was not enough for the visitors.
Brixham Colts 0 Ivybridge Colts 5 (Merit)
Saturday 27th October 2007 Brixham 16 Barton Hill 8 (League)
A dull, drizzly day was matched by a contest that failed to shed much brightness.
Brixham started well and within five minutes had the lead. Their opening attacks culminated in a 5 metre scrum and scrum-half Sean Onslow scampered over near the corner for a try.
Barton Hill had not come down to be steamrollered and for most of the first half it was they who were on the attack. Several times they threatened the Brixham line but their sole reward was a penalty goal. With the interval beckoning Brixham launched a rare attack and Phil Maddick converted a penalty to see the lead restored at half-time.
With the slope and wind in their favour Brixham were under far less pressure in the second half. A high tackle on winger Matt Dudleston gave Maddick his second penalty goal and Brixham began to dominate proceedings. The forwards drove close to, and over, the goal line on occasions but the decisive score came with only five minutes left when the backs combined to put centre Darren Coles over for a try in the corner.
Barton Hill got a try back in injury time but the Fishermen had the win.
Saturday 20th October 2007 Torquay 14 Brixham 8 (League)
Brixham have the most miserly defence in the League but, like England, don't score enough tries. On the balance of play this was probably a fair result but Brixham can reflect on the fact that if they had made more of their chances in the first quarter it would have been their hosts playing catch up.
Dropped balls, penalties at rucks and mauls and other mistakes left Brixham with far less possession than the Tics but Torquay were unable to do much with it in the face of the Brixham defence and their only try came from a set piece move from a 5 metre scrum. The Brixham try also started from a set piece - a lineout on the 22 - from which Lee Squire made a typical break to set up Ryan Bradfield. Brixham claimed a second try when Chris Dorling went over but the referee was unsighted and said he had been held up.
Another away defeat but Brixham can look on many positive aspects of the performance and the negatives are all things that will be addressed.
Brixham Crusaders 6 Torquay Extras 20 (Merit)
Torquay III 42 Brixham Albion 5 (Merit)
Brixham Colts 3 Torquay Colts 44 (Merit)
Saturday 13th October 2007 Brixham Colts 45 Honiton Colts 3
Sunday 7th October 2007 Brixham Colts 39 Wiveliscombe Colts 10 (National Cup)
Saturday 6th October 2007 Brixham 16 St Marys OB 5 (League)
Saturday 29th September 2007 Exmouth 16 Brixham 14 (League)
Brixham travelled to Exmouth hoping for a good performance in conditions at Exmouth were excellent for rugby.
Centre Phillip Maddick opened the scoring for Brixham with a well-struck penalty when Exmouth were caught offside and went further ahead in the 10th minute when Brixham stretched the Exmouth defence right and left before putting standoff Jake Lawrence in for a try to make it 8-0. Brixham went further ahead in the 23rd and 25th minutes with further penalties from Maddick to give Brixham a 14-point lead. Before the break Exmouth skipper Mike Wathes scored a try from a mix up in the Brixham defence to make it 14-5 at half-time to Brixham.
Brixham lost Tim Bumby with a calf injury at the start of the second half and he was replaced by Ross Edwards. Tim had been very forceful coming into the line and causing problems to the Exmouth defence. Nathan Riley also came on for Andy Hawkes.who was not feeling well.
Ten minutes into the second half Brixham were penalised for not releasing which allowed John Boltrukiewicz to kick an easy goal to reduce Brixham’s lead to 14-8.
Five minutes later Exmouth penned Brixham back into the right hand corner which allowed them to create space for centre Dave Sleeman to squeeze over to make 14-13..
Boltrukiewicz missed the conversion and had two further chances to put Exmouth in front which he also missed before being replaced by Richard Caddywould in the closing minutes.
Three minutes into injury time Brixham flanker Andrew Penhaligon (who had a very fine game) had to come off with a neck injury and was replaced by the front row replacement Matthew Skeet which meant that Brixham had to make positional changes.
In the very first scrum Skeet was penalised for “boring in” which allowed Caddywould to kick a penalty to give Exmouth the lead 14-16 - the final score.
The Brixham coaching team were very unhappy at the last refereeing decision but were full of praise for taking on the league leaders in such a fashion.
The side was without wing Adam Chadwick (school visit to France), Ben Lovell (shoulder injury), prop Lee Squire (foot), prop/hooker Dan Stead (knee), lock and captain Adam Thomas (shoulder), flankers Alun Glanvill (ribs) and Dan Ritson (cheekbone) and winger James Agates (knee). Chris Dorling was making a comeback in the Crusaders.
One of the positives of Saturdays games was that despite the long injury list and unavailabilities (48} Brixham still fielded 3 Senior sides and a Colts team.
Brixham Crusaders 8 Exmouth Reserves 40
Brixham Colts 20 Exmouth Colts 12
Saturday 22nd September 2007 Brixham 24 Hornets 8 (League)
The Fishermen were on the attack from the kick off and with only three minutes on the clock had taken the lead. Quick passing along the backs sped the ball to fullback Tim Bumby who crossed in the corner for the opening try. The touchline conversion by centre Phil Maddick split the posts for a seven point lead. Further pressure by Brixham in the next fifteen minutes saw them camped in the Hornets half but their sole reward was a penalty by Maddick to extend the lead.
This score stimulated Hornets who then had an attacking spell but the home defence held them at bay. The rest of the first half was played mainly between the 22's with neither side able to create any openings but on the stroke of halftime Hornets were successful with a penalty to get on the scoreboard.
The second period opened with Hornets in an attacking mood and Brixham on the back foot. The visitors' pressure eventually led to a try after 13 minutes but the conversion fell short and Brixham still had a narrow lead. Brixham responded almost immediately with their first real attack of the second half. A charging run by prop Lee Squire upset the Hornets defence and several passes later winger Adam Chadwick scored a try in the corner. Maddick was successful with his second touchline conversion.
The remaining 25 minutes of the game was almost a repeat of the closing stages of the first - both sides failing to create any openings or exert any consistent pressure. With the game already in injury time Hornets launched a final attack but when this broke down Brixham were able to break out of defence. Two passes later and stand-off Jake Lawrence crossed the line unopposed for a try. Maddicks conversion was the final nail in Hornets' coffin.
Crediton Reserves 12 Brixham Crusaders 31 (Merit)
Brixham Albion 26 Bideford Reserves 12 (Merit)
Sunday 16th September 2007 Under 16s - Brixham 17 Devonport Services 20 (Fishermens Cup)
Saturday 15th September 2007 Barnstaple 13 Brixham 6 (League)
Brixham Crusaders 30 Barnstaple Reserves 38 (Merit)
New Cross v Brixham Albion
Brixham Colts 27 Barnstaple Colts 12
Saturday 8th September 2007 Yatton 12 Brixham 20 (League)
Brixham Crusaders 43 Tiverton Reserves 31 (Merit Table)
Brixham Albion 21 Tiverton Thirds 7
Saturday 1st September 2007 Brixham v Redruth Dev XV
Saturday 25th August 2007 Brixham 5 Coney Hill 17 (Friendly)
The sun shone and the temperature was hot but both sides enjoyed a useful warm-up game for their forthcoming League campaigns. Rugby matches are often a game of two halves but this one was not. It was a game of three thirds. To a biased supporter of the Fishermen the result was probably a draw but the scoreline says different.
Brixham started brightly and opened the scoring after eight minutes when scrum-half Corey Moore finished off a move with a try in the left corner. Though Brixham were slightly on top they found it difficult to break down the Coney Hill defence but should have added to their score following a strong run by No 8 Chris Dorling. Instead they found themselves back on level terms when a missed tackle enabled the visitors to break through the middle and go over the line. The conversion attempt came back off the post and honours were even in the first period.
Brixham made a number of changes for the second period and were forced to defend for most of it. Coney Hill took the lead midway through when they created a overlap on the left and scored their second try but Brixham began to get back into the game in the last ten minutes but were unable to convert their pressure into points. The second period, on the balance of play went to the Hill.
More changes in the line-up for Brixham in the third period and the Fishermen dominated territorially. Unfortunately the visitors' defence was too well organised and the attacks only came close to scoring. With the referee already thinking about his shower Coney Hill paid virtually their only visit to the Brixham half. A well-worked move in midfield and their winger, having come out of position, found a gap in the middle to run in under the posts. The conversion was the last kick of the game.
Saturday 11th August 2007 Red v Blacks (Practice match)
With persistent driving rain and a pitch that the weather had turned into more of a paddy field than a sports ground, the opening practice match provided little of a spectacle for the hardy souls who ventured up to Astley Park on Saturday.
Given the conditions the coaches and management can have learned little from the display. The greasy ball was difficult to handle and mistakes abounded when any form of passing play was attempted. As a result the match descended into a squabble of mauls between the two packs. Even the attempt by one of the packs to make progress by means of an old-fashioned dribble by the forwards came to naught in the pond in front of the grandstand.
The only score of the match came late on when a rolling maul rumbled and squelched over 60 metres.to the try line - the scorer was indistinguishable when the mass of bodies was sorted out.
If this was not the game that you saw, don't worry, I am just practising writing fiction!
Sunday April 29th 2007 Devon Colts Cup Final- BRIXHAM 15 EXETER CHIEFS 22
For the second year running Brixham missed the chance to bring the Devon Colts Cup back to Astley Park – but it was a close run thing and they can count themselves unlucky.
Exeter took the lead early on with two penalties from their outside half Stuart Evans but Brixham were soon on the scoreboard when Jonny Brown dropped a goal. With play swinging from end to end Exeter restored their six point lead with another Evans penalty.
From the restart Brixham were on the attack and winger Anthony Soper was on hand to finish off a move with a try in the corner. Richard Champion missed the conversion. It was now Exeter’s turn to attack and the Brixham defence held firm as the visitors pressed close to the line but, having withstood the pressure, Brixham were caught offside and Evans slotted his fourth penalty for Exeter.
A period of Brixham offense then developed but Brixham were forced to make adjustments when No8 Aurin Parham left the field with a shoulder injury. Shortly after a quickly taken tap penalty enabled captain Joe Lovell to cross for a try. Champion’s conversion with the last kick of the half saw Brixham turn around 15-12 ahead.
Five minutes into the second period Exeter got back on level terms – Brixham caught offside – Evans with the penalty. With the defences on top play continued to go from end to end. Brixham soaked up a sustained period of pressure from Exeter before a lengthy intermission. Exeter winger Mike Darch went down in a tackle and thirty minutes of treatment ensued before he left the field in an ambulance.
Eight minutes left on the watch and the visitors restarted on the attack. Brixham held firm but a debatable penalty for a high tackle looked to have given Exeter a winning kick at goal. Instead a tap penalty and a try – converted by Evans’ sure foot – and a seven point margin. Brixham could do nothing in the four minutes remaining and the cup had flown the coop.
Sunday April 22nd 2007 Under 15s Devon Plate Final- BRIXHAM 30 TAVISTOCK 7
Another good all-round performance, capped off with a hat-trick of tries by Guy Armitage, brought the Devon Under 15s Plate back to Brixham on Sunday. To win it they had to travel to Exeter and enjoy the facilities of the new Sandy Park Stadium.
During the opening exchanges both teams showed signs of nerves and were guilty of making mistakes but Brixham settled more quickly and opened the scoring when Guy Armitage crossed for a try in the corner. From that point they never looked back or in any trouble. Two penalty goals from Josh Fitton saw them through to an 11-0 interval lead.
After the break Armitage scored another try, converted by Fitton, to increase the lead before Joe Brooks made the game safe for the young Fishermen As Brixham relaxed, Tavistock began to get back into the game and reduced the arrears with a converted try before Armitage sealed their fate with his third try.
Armitage’s tries were not enough to earn him the Man of the Match – that honour went to Tom McLean.
Brixham had warmed up for their final with a short tour to South Wales last weekend when they had an opportunity to view another rugby ground – the Cardiff Millenium Stadium – and play against some leading Welsh teams. Brixham lost to Dinas Powys, the West Wales champions, 25-7 and came third in a tournament but these games provided valuable experience.
Next weekend Brixham have two important end-of-season fixtures. On Saturday the First XV travel to Bournemouth for a promotion play-off for the vacant spot in South West One.
On Sunday afternoon attention will be back at Astley Park for the final of the Devon Colts Cup when Brixham will face Exeter Chiefs in what promises to be an exciting encounter.
Sunday April 15th 2007 BRIXHAM COLTS 16 SIDMOUTH COLTS 12
Having won the South & West Merit Table, the prize for the Colts was a semi-final place in the Devon Colts Cup. Their opponents on Sunday – Sidmouth – were runners up in the North& East Table so a full-blooded encounter between two fairly evenly matched teams was on the cards.
The first scoring opportunity fell to the visitors after five minutes but the penalty attempt went wide and the game settled down into an intriguing battle as both sides sought to impose themselves. Midway through the first half Brixham began to put some pressure on with a series of scrums and lineouts close to the Sidmouth line. From the last of these a rolling maul developed and Brixham’s captain – hooker Joe Lovell – peeled off to dive over for a try. Jonny Brown added the conversion from the touchline.
Sidmouth enjoyed more possession and territorial advantage as the half went on but could find no way though and at the interval trailed 7-0.
Brixham had the marginal advantage of the slope in the second half and extended their lead five minutes in with a penalty from Brown. This early setback spurred Sidmouth who soon got themselves on the scoreboard. A rolling maul trundled over 30 metres towards the Brixham line and was finished off with a try. The conversion was missed but it was now game-on.
Both sides threw everything into attack but the defences held up well. Brixham extended their lead when Brown unexpectedly dropped a goal and took the margin up to 11 points minutes later when he slotted his second penalty. Sidmouth struck back with a converted penalty to set up a tense last five minutes but it was Brixham on the attack when the final whistle blew.
Brixham will, for the second year running, host the final of the Devon Colts Cup. This will take place on Sunday April 29 when the opposition will be Exeter – who narrowly beat Teignmouth in the other semi-final.
Saturday April 14th 2007 BRIXHAM 19 TAUNTON 32
Taunton visited Brixham knowing that they needed to win to avoid being relegated and their team was boosted by the presence of some “irregulars”. They have had a number of Fijians on their books all season but they have often been unavailable. On Saturday they made the difference.
Brixham started strongly and only a last minute tackle prevented winger Peter Chart giving them the lead in the second minute. Further attacks soon brought fruit when lock Adam Thomas went over for a try. With Taunton having two men sin-binned shortly afterwards Brixham failed to make the numerical advantage count and Taunton scored a try, and conversion, that put them ahead. Brixham regained the lead midway through the half when a chip-kick over the defence was reclaimed by Chart and fullback Steve Worth finished off by crossing the line. Ben Lovell added the conversion.
Taunton now began to but Brixham under sustained pressure and drew level just before half-time with their second try.
The second half saw Taunton continue to press for the victory they needed. A penalty, a converted try and another penalty put them 25-12 ahead with fifteen minutes remaining. Brixham now began to get back into the match and a foray into the Taunton half yielded a 5 metre lineout. A catch and drive was finished off by Chris Dorling touching down for a try. From the touchline Lovell added the conversion. Brixham now began to exert more pressure on the Taunton defence in search of the match-winning try. It did not come, however, and in the dying minutes Taunton ran the ball out of defence before finishing off at the other end with a match-winner of their own.
Taunton deserved the win on the day but Brixham have a more important game to come on April 28 when they travel to Bournemouth for a promotion play-off.
Saturday April 7th 2007 BRIXHAM 101 TOURING TEAMS 22
Brixham’s senior players enjoyed the Saturday sunshine by hosting touring sides from Canvey Island and Lichfield. With some players being rested, injured or otherwise unavailable all three Brixham teams had a mix ‘n match quality to them.
BRIXHAM ALBION 19 CANVEY ISLAND “B” 10
Brixham Albion took the field at noon and had the closest match. All of the scoring took place in the first half.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 46 CANVEY ISLAND “A” 12
Veteran Paul Bayley made a comeback in this match in a new position – that of scrum-half while lock-forward Andy Hawkes also tried out in a new position – at centre.
Up front the sides were fairly evenly matched but Brixham had too much pace and guile for the visitors and three converted tries and a dropped goal gave them a 24-0 interval lead. Another try followed immediately after the restart but the islanders then enjoyed their best period of the game. Attacking the Brixham line their forwards drove over from a tap-penalty and ten minutes later a loopy pass in midfield was intercepted for a second try. Having conceded two scores Brixham finished off in style with three more tries in quick succession before the referee blew time early to allow the tourists extra drinking time.
BRIXHAM 36 LICHFIELD 0
The scoreline suggests a more one-sided contest than was actually the case but Brixham had the game won by half-time. Lock forward Chris Dorling opened the scoring after just three minutes with a powerful run; stretching to touch down as the defence pulled him down. Brixham continued to press and midway through the half the forwards combined to catch and drive over from a 5 metre lineout.
With half-time looming Brixham put the game out of Lichfield’s grasp with three more tries in quick succession. A run by winger Paul Lidster was finished off by full-back Steve Worth and they were followed on to the scoresheet by flanker Dan Ritson and centre James Otutaha. Outside half Ben Lovell converted the last two tries for a 29-0 interval lead.
In the second period Brixham made a number of substitutions and the game was more evenly contested. Brixham could only cross the tourists line once more when a run by centre Jared Stanford was finished off with a try by Lovell. Rather than taking the conversion himself the duty fell to Chris Dorling. He duly took the Brixham points tally over the century but the kick was neither as long, or difficult, as it will have been when he retells the story.
Next week Brixham have their final league game of the season when Taunton visit Astley Park on Saturday. The following (Sunday) afternoon the Colts are in Devon Cup semi-final action against Sidmouth. Both games promise to be exciting encounters.
Wednesday April 4th 2007 BRIXHAM COLTS 17 TORQUAY COLTS 5
Having cancelled the planned fixture on Saturday due to the lack of a referee, this game was rearranged at short notice to enable the sides to complete their Merit Table matches.
Brixham were on top from the kick off and kept play in the Torquay half. Within ten minutes they had taken the lead through a Richard Champion penalty goal. Further pressure brought another penalty, but this went wide, and on two occasions Brixham were denied tries by the Torquay defence when just metres from the line.
Brixham were having the best of it but Torquay also had their moments and with five minutes of the first half remaining went into the lead. A five metre lineout gave their pack the opportunity to catch the ball and drive over for a try; the conversion attempt failed. Their lead was short-lived. In the time remaining Brixham resumed their offensive and the boot of Champion kicked two more penalties. A 9-5 interval lead was, perhaps, less than Brixham deserved.
In the second half the heavy Torquay pack continued to cause Brixham problems and the play went from end to end. With both teams’ defence holding firm there were few clear-cut scoring opportunities. Brixham extended their lead with Champion’s fourth penalty goal and eventually made the game safe with a try ten minutes from time. A long kick down the right touchline caught the Torquay defence out and Brixham secured the ball in the corner for Sam Dodge (?) to dive over.
Brixham Colts can now look forward to the semi-final of the Devon Colts Cup and will play Sidmouth on Sunday April 15 at Astley Park
Saturday March 31st 2007 TORQUAY 10 BRIXHAM 13
Brixham booked their place in the promotion play-offs with a positive second-half performance against the only side capable of stopping them.
Having been caught cold by Newton last week, and needing to beat Brixham, Torquay started the game at high speed and dominated the proceedings in the first half. With a gusty wind behind them Torquay were camped in the Brixham half for virtually all of the first period.
Their first scoring opportunity came after eight minutes – a penalty in front of the posts. Despair for the home support as it went wide. Four minutes later and another penalty attempt – wide out on the left – went through the posts and Torquay were deservedly in front. Another four minutes and another penalty was missed but Torquay were well on top. They soon extended their lead when a chip kick through was fumbled by Brixham and the Torquay player following up had only to fall on it for a try. A successful conversion meant that Brixham were ten points adrift with only twenty minutes played.
Torquay continued to dominate and only resolute defence kept them at bay. Another penalty attempt was missed before halftime but Torquay had kept Brixham under the cosh and turned around confident of victory.
The second half was a different story. Although the wind had abated Torquay were struggling to get out of their own half. In the set pieces Brixham were no longer suffering but began to get on top. Pounding by the forwards and runs by the backs failed to penetrate the Torquay defence and two penalty goals were missed by Brixham in the first twenty minutes of the second half. On the third occasion outside-half Ben Lovell slotted the kick to give Brixham points on the scoreboard. From the restart Brixham were back on the attack. A scrum in midfield, a break by scrum-half Mark Harvey and the ball passed out to winger Adam Chadwick. With space and pace to spare he touched down under the posts and Lovell had an easy conversion to level the scores.
Fifteen minutes on the watch and all to play for. Torquay made incursions into the Brixham half and missed two more penalties. Brixham came back and took the lead with a penalty by Lovell. Brixham missed another penalty – as did Torquay – before the final whistle brought celebration to that half of the crowd that had travelled over to see the game.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 3 TORQUAY RESERVES 29
There is no truth in the rumour that this defeat was the responsibility of replacement Michael Shears. If Sean had scored some points it could all have been very different!
TORQUAY THIRDS 43 BRIXHAM ALBION 37
Saturday March 24th 2007 With no First XV fixture this week the rugby action at Astley Park was restricted to friendlies on Saturday
BRIXHAM RESERVES 72 WINSLOW 5
Brixham’s second string had far too much pace and power for their Buckinghamshire visitors and ran in twelve tries in a one-sided match that the referee mercifully cut short.
Peter Chart grabbed two tries on his return to Astley Park. Sean Onslow also touched down for a brace (to add to his five conversions) the rest being shared out by the rest of the team.
BRIXHAM ALBION 22 TEIGNMOUTH RESERVES 0
Brixham were on top for much of the first half but could only score once – a try for Roger Chadwick. In the second period Teignmouth had much more of the play but were held out by the Albion defence. Having only a five point lead Brixham weathered the storm and extended their lead with two further tries from winger Aaron Manning and replacement scrum-half Jason Rowe. Chadwick converted the first of these.
In the last move of the game another replacement - Jason Ellis - added the coup de grace with his second try of the afternoon – having earlier crossed the line for the Reserves.
IVYBRIDGE COLTS 10 BRIXHAM COLTS 25
A below-strength Colts team recorded another Merit Table victory on Saturday which virtually ensures them a place in the Devon Colts Cup semi-finals. In the first half, aided by the wind and slope, they built a healthy lead which they were able to defend in the second period.
On Sunday the Brixham Under 15s were in action at Astley Park – in the semi-finals of the Devon Plate
BRIXHAM 37 EXMOUTH 5
A tight first half saw play swing from end to end but Brixham made the most of the opportunities. A try from Josh Fitton and a penalty goal from Cody Dyer earned them an 8-0 interval lead.
In the second half the Brixham pack began to get on top and create more opportunities for the backs. They stretched away with two tries for Guy Armitage and one each from Charlie Hawkins and Joe Brooks. Fitton slotted three conversions and a penalty.
An unconverted try was the only Exmouth riposte as the steadily improving Brixham squad booked their place in the Final – due to take place at Teignmouth in four weeks time. Tom McLean did not make it onto the scoresheet but was awarded the Man of the Match.
Saturday March 17th 2007 CAMBORNE 18 BRIXHAM 15
BRIXHAM RESERVES 24 TIVERTON RESERVES 14
Brixham Reserves maintained their challenge to defend the Devon One Merit Table Championship on Saturday with their thirteenth win of the campaign.
Tiverton, with the advantage of the slope and the wind, were slightly on top in the early exchanges but went behind after 25 minutes when Brixham’s fullback Sean Onslow went over for a try. Having got the lead, Brixham began to get on top but could not extend their lead before the interval.
Five minutes into the second half, with Tiverton attacking, Brixham stole the ball on halfway and passed quickly out to winger Tim Bumby who had enough pace to touch down under the posts. An easy conversion for Onslow ensued. Three minutes later and Bumby again finished off a move in the same manner; Onslow repeating the conversion and a five point interval lead was up to 19 points.
Tiverton now began to get back into the game and their forward pressure soon resulted in a converted try. Another one followed and the Brixham lead was back down to five points with a quarter of an hour to play. Having let things slip Brixham finished the game off with their fourth try. An attack down the right was stopped inches short of the line but the ball was quickly recycled and passed across the pitch for Luke Maggs to score in the left corner.
When Colin Champion took the field as a replacement prop he made a bit of history. On the pitch already was his son Richard at outside half. This is the first time for many years that a father and son have played together in the Brixham colours.
Saturday March 10th 2007 BRIXHAM 27 CHELTENHAM NORTH 10
Brixham reinforced their second place in the League with a solid, if unexciting win over mid-table opposition. The Fishermen had enough of the game to have won much more comfortably but were let down by handling errors.
Cheltenham had the opportunity to take the lead in the first minute but their penalty attempt went wide. A similar fate awaited Brixham when Matt Dempsey had a shot at goal. With the wind and the slope in their favour the visitors had Brixham penned back in the early stages and took the lead with a penalty goal midway through the half.
With their pack playing well Brixham launched a series of attacks and shortly before half-time took the lead. A break by scrum-half Mark Harvey split the defence and flanker Dan Ritson was on hand to crash over for a try; Dempsey adding the conversion. The lead was short-lived. Another Brixham attack minutes later broke down in midfield and the Cheltenham centre picked up the loose ball. From halfway he went through to touch down under the posts to give an easy conversion and a 10-7 lead to the visitors.
A minute into the second period and Brixham were back on level terms when Dempsey slotted a penalty. As the second period proceeded Brixham’s pack began to dominate but their attacking efforts were largely in vain. Midway through the half the stalemate was broken when Chris Dorling broke free from a ruck in midfield and centre James Otutaha finished off the move with an unconverted try.
Brixham were well on top but the five point lead was precarious. Not until five minutes from the end was it extended. A run by prop Lee Squire was finished off with a try by flanker Shane Poynton, again unconverted, but Brixham had saved the best until the end.
In time added on Dorling again made a break and hooker Dan Stead received the ball 20 metres out. A neat (but unexpected) chip kick over the defence; a kindly bounce and he regathered it to dive over for a try. Dempsey added the conversion and Brixham were home and dry.
Both the Reserves and Colts were in Merit Table action on Saturday and secured victories that keep them at the top of their Leagues.
Brixham Reserves 29 Crediton 20
Tavistock Colts 7 Brixham Colts 34
On Sunday the under 15’s graced the main pitch in a Devon Plate Quarter-Final tie
Brixham 17 Tiverton 8
Two well-matched sides provided an exciting encounter in the spring sunshine. Brixham took the lead early on from a tap penalty 15 metres out when prop Charlie Hawkins crashed over for a try. With neither side able to dominate, play went from end to end and Tiverton narrowed the gap before half-time with a penalty goal.
In the second half the visitors went ahead with a try but it was still anyone’s game and the young fishermen came back strongly. A series of rucks and mauls took them steadily from the halfway line towards the goal and Hawkins rounded it off with his second try. Tiverton, now two points behind, threw everything into attack but when when one move broke down on the halfway line Brixham were able to counter-attack. Full back Cody Dyer started it off and Brixham went down the left wing. Josh Fitton rounded off the move with a try; Dyer added the conversion.
In a good team display it was extremely difficult to single out any outstanding performance. Among the forwards the front row – Hawkins, Sam Onslow and Steven Bryant – played particularly well but flanker Richard Brennan got the nod as Man of the Match.
Brixham will face Exmouth or Okehampton in the semi-finals in two weeks time.
Saturday March 3rd 2007 - BRIXHAM COLTS 18 PAIGNTON DEVELOPMENT XV 5
Saturday February 24th 2007 - CONEY HILL 57 BRIXHAM 6
Saturday February 17th 2007 - BRIXHAM 25 EXMOUTH 3
Brixham failed to impress in their last two outings and Exmouth are always tough opponents so Saturday’s League clash in the mud and rain of Astley Park was not one that the Brixham faithful looked forward to with relish. Given the conditions the match was never going to be a feast of running rugby but it was a vastly improved performance by the Fishermen.
Brixham opened strongly and had a very early opportunity to get ahead - but Matthew Dempsey’s penalty attempt went wide. Exmouth, playing to their forward strength, then began to get on top and for 15 minutes had Brixham penned back into their own half. The pressure finally brought them a penalty in front of the posts and an easily kicked three point lead.
From the restart Brixham were a changed side. For the remainder of the match they were able to contain the threat of the Exmouth pack. Brixham went onto the offensive and although, initially, their attacks were halted, they got onto the scoreboard when outside half Ben Lovell squeezed over for a try in the corner. Dempsey kicked the difficult conversion. With Brixham now getting on top of the Cockles they received further reward before half time through a Dempsey penalty and turned around 10-3 ahead. At half-time they changed shirts - red in place of black.
Brixham played down the slope in the second half but the slippery conditions made life difficult for both sides. They soon extended their lead with another Dempsey penalty. Having got to grips with the Exmouth forwards Brixham now began to show the power of their own pack. Ten minutes into the half a forward drive put flanker Shane Poynton over for a try; Dempsey adding the extras.
Further pressure from Brixham brought a third try when winger Paul Lidster went over in the corner and though Dempsey missed the conversion Brixham now had the match won. Exmouth rallied somewhat in the final stages but were well contained by the Brixham defence and at the final whistle both sides were pleased to wash the mud away.
The result leaves Brixham in second place in the League – four points clear of Torquay with five games to play. Next week Brixham face the toughest test of their season – away to League leaders Coney Hill in Gloucester.
Sunday February 11th 2007 - BRIXHAM 5 NEWTON ABBOT 15 - DEVON CUP Q/F
Brixham have not won the Devon Cup for over 70 years and will not do so this year. A below par performance on Sunday in the quarter-final put an end to their chances and they will now have to concentrate all their efforts on the remaining League matches.
Newton weren’t brilliant either but showed more commitment and made fewer errors than the Fishermen.
In the opening minutes Newton came very close to opening the scoring as they pressed the Brixham line but the Fishermen weathered the storm and began to mount attacks of their own. Twelve minutes in Newton took the lead with a penalty goal and soon extended it with an unconverted try. A poor clearance kick by Brixham enabling the Newton backs to combine for a try near the corner.
With the strong wind and slope in their favour the visitors had the edge in the first half though Brixham did put them under pressure at times.
In the second half Brixham failed to make much use of the wind and were penned into their own half by Newton who concentrated on using their forwards to gain yardage. Several phases of forward driving midway through the half resulted in a second try and the conversion put Brixham 15 points behind and needing at least three scores.
Although they came close to the try-line on several occasions they could find no way through the defence. Only in injury time did they get on the scoreboard. A typical run by fullback Matthew Dempsey was finished off by winger Paul Lidster with a try in the corner. Dempsey’s unsuccessful conversion attempt was the cue for the final whistle and the death-knell for Brixham’s Devon Cup dreams.
Brixham Colts 22 Wiveliscombe Colts 5
On Saturday Brixham Colts had a break from Merit Table matches with a friendly against Wiveliscombe. A try by fullback Nathan Dallow gave them an early lead, extended by another from winger Antony Soper midway through the first half, converted by Richard Champion. The visitors then replied with a try from a forward drive but Brixham had a 12-5 lead at the break.
Play in the second half went from end to end though Brixham enjoyed somewhat more of the possession and territory. Dallow scored his second try at the beginning of the half and the victory was sealed with a try in the closing minutes by Greg Warren
Saturday February 3rd 2007 - HORNETS 27 BRIXHAM 5
Brixham remain in second position in the League but this result was not one that they wanted and also not one they want to repeat.
For the first 20 minutes Brixham didn’t touch the ball - except to drop out after Hornets scored the first of their five tries. A mix up in the Brixham defence allowed an easy run in for the Hornets winger to score in the corner. Brixham went further behind in the 25 minute to a converted try and another try before halftime saw the Fishermen trailing 17-0.
Brixham started the second half with more resolve but were caught by a dash down the right wing. The resulting try was followed by another a few minutes later and with the score 27-0 the game was gone for Brixham.
In the closing minutes Brixham eventually got on the score sheet following a series of scrums when scrum-half Mark Harvey dived over to make the final score 27-5.
Brixham did dominate one area, and that was the line out, but their inability to retain possession, missed tackles and basic errors cost them dear and were compounded by the number of penalties conceded.
Back at Astley Park the Colts played Kingsbridge in a Merit Table match. All the points were scored in the first half and Brixham won 27-7.
Brixham Albion also had a Merit Table match – away against Kingsbridge. At half time they trailed by 24 points to but started to play rugby in the second period and returned 38-24 victors.
Saturday January 27th 2007 - BRIXHAM 19 NEWTON ABBOT 6
An intriguing, if not exciting, local derby on Saturday saw the Fishermen complete the double over the All Whites and strengthen their position as joint leaders of the South West 2 West league.
Brixham got their noses in front after just five minutes when skipper Matthew Dempsey kicked a penalty goal. Newton retaliated by attacking the Brixham line but when the Fishermen cleared their lines and launched an attack of their own they were rewarded with a second penalty from Dempsey’s boot.
The first half then developed into an end-to-end contest but with neither side able to create any clear-cut scoring chances. As the opening period began to draw to a close Newton were enjoying more territorial advantage and levelled the scores with two penalty goals.
At half-time with the score 6-6 there was everything to play for and the first 15 minutes of the second half saw Brixham well on top and they came close to breaching the Newton defence a couple of times. Close to the line but not across it though they were rewarded for their efforts with two more penalties from Dempsey.
The final quarter of the match was less intriguing for the home support and far more nerve wracking as Newton exerted almost continuous pressure on the Brixham line. Time and again the visiting forwards drove forward with the ball to be halted by the black wall of the Brixham defence and as the game entered injury time their efforts became more ferocious.
Brixham got the ball and outside half Ben Lovell sent a clearance kick downfield. Centre Jake Lawrence regathered the ball and set off for the line with the Newton defence in chase and just had the legs to reach the line for a try. Dempsey added the conversion and there was still time left for a restart – but not enough time for Newton to score and relief all round at Astley Park.
Over at Newton Abbot the Reserves had a similarly tense struggle returning victorious by 12 points to 10. The Colts, also at Newton, ran away with the match in a 61-0 win.
Saturday January 20th 2007 - BRIXHAM COLTS 8 TEIGNMOUTH COLTS 14
Brixham can have few complaints about the result of this Merit Table match. Teignmouth were often faster thinking than their hosts while Brixham’s kicking game let them down.
Brixham started brightly and were on top in the opening exchanges. Two half chances could have led to the opening score bu went begging and Teignmouth began to get back into the game. They took the lead midway through the first half. Spinning the ball out their centre took it at pace and broke through the middle of the Brixham defence and several missed tackles to score a try under the posts and an easy conversion.
For the remainder of the first half the play was mainly in the Brixham half. With the wind against them Brixham made little ground with clearance kicks – if they actually found touch – and were forced to defend their line. Only at the end of the half did Brixham mount any serious pressure of their own.
With the wind in their favour Brixham might have expected to exert more pressure in the second period but found themselves being driven back from the outset.
Against the run of play Brixham got on the scoreboard. When a Teignmouth attack broke down in the Brixham 22 the ball went loose and prop Sam Dodge picked it up and set out on a run that was to take him all the way to the try line. With the conversion missed Brixham were now just two points adrift.
Teignmouth returned to the attack but Brixham, eventually, made progress and began to threaten to score again. After a series of attacks Brixham were rewarded with a penalty from the boot of Richard Champion and had the lead.
It was short-lived. Teignmouth were again pressing the Brixham line and when Brixham were caught offside a quick tap penalty, a short pass, and Teignmouth went over for a second converted try.
With the game swinging from end to end in the closing minutes the match could have gone either way but the final whistle joy and relief was Teignmouth’s.
Saturday January 13th 2007 - PENRYN 20 BRIXHAM 23
Brixham climbed into second position in the league with a victory over basement club Penryn. Penryn won the toss and elected to play uphill but with the strong to gale force wind behind them. These conditions allowed Penryn to dictate the early pace, possession, pressure and direction of the game.
Eight minutes into the game Brixham were penalised for not releasing and the Penryn fullback Ian Morgan kicked a penalty to put them three points up.
Ten minutes later, following a series of penalties, Brixham gave away an easy try from centre Charlie Ross who went in near the posts to give Morgan an easy kick to add seven points to the Penryn total.
Brixham went further behind when they gave away a penalty for not releasing which Morgan kicked to make it 13-0 to Penryn. At last Brixham woke up to the conditions and began to keep the ball in hand. They took the ball down hill and were awarded a penalty for a high tackle. Skipper and fullback Mathew Dempsey kicked the penalty goal to get them on the scoreboard.
Ten points adrift and with halftime approaching Brixham were pressing forward in attack. When the ball was dropped in the centre Penryn capitalised on the error and moved the ball quickly to the right wing and their captain Chris Mann beat two tackles to score near the posts allowing an easy conversation and a 20 points to 3 lead at halftime which was something more than they really deserved.
Brixham opened the second half with the wind now at their backs and were soon pressing the Penryn line. Brixham won a short lineout and drove No 5 Chris Dorling over for a try to reduce Penryn’s lead and narrowed the gap still further when Dempsey kicked a penalty after Penryn came off side.
Brixham were now just nine points behind but were getting on top and winning turnovers. One of these allowed Brixham to move the ball quickly out for Dempsey, coming into the line at pace, to go over for a try which he himself converted.
Brixham were now just two points behind and with plenty of time still on the refs watch. With all of the play now taking place in the homesters 22, Brixham were creating the chances. When they won a ruck it allowed Dorling to throw out a long overhead pass to winger Adam Chadwick. Eluding the defence he scored the try to give Brixham the lead for the first time
With light fading fast and 10 minutes injury time being played Brixham kept control of the ball to win the game 23-20.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 12 BRIDGWATER & ALBION UNITED 34
Back at Astley Park the Reserves suffered a rare reverse when they entertained Bridgwater’s reserve side. Brixham went behind early on to a penalty goal but got their noses in front when scrumhalf Sean Onslow surprised everybody when he intercepted a pass by the visitors’ No 8 and scampered through under the posts for a try which was converted by Jason Ellis. Although Brixham pressed the Bridgwater defence they could find no way through. Bridgwater now began to use their forward power and scored two unconverted tries before halftime. After the break they scored three more tries – all converted – but Brixham never gave up and eventually their backs combined to show what they could do. The ball spun out to winger James Hunt - who caught it and showed that he could pass it too – back to Onslow in support; who went over in the corner for the final score.
Brixham Albion went down to 27-24 to Honiton Reserves in a very entertaining merit table match which they might easily have won. The Colts had no game.
Saturday January 6th 2007 - BRIXHAM w/o SPARTANS
Despite previous assurances that they would be coming, Spartans cried off on Friday leaving Brixham with the two points - but no game.
The Reserves and Colts fixtures were also cancelled as the pitches at Redruth were waterlogged.
PAIGNTON RESERVES 25 BRIXHAM ALBION 10
Saturday December 30th 2006 - BRIXHAM 12 WESTCOUNTRY WARRIORS 22
Heavy rain an hour before kick-off nearly led to the game being called off but both teams were keen to play a match before the season restarts in earnest. Brixham loaned Warriors a prop – Matthew Skeet – as they were short of front-row players.
Brixham played into the strong, blustery, wind in the first half and for six minutes were well on top. They then went behind when their three-quarters fumbled and the Warriors’ fly-half toe-poked the loose ball and won the race to touch down for a try.
After the restart Brixham found themselves under continuous pressure and a rolling maul by the visitors took them over the line – the try scored by Skeet.
The next restart failed to go 10 metres, Warriors won the scrum on the halfway line and their No 8 and flankers combined to run in a try under the posts for an easy conversion. Seventeen minutes on the clock and Brixham were as many points behind.
With the wind at their backs the Warriors dominated the remainder of the first half but were unable to add to their lead as the Brixham defence held firm against almost constant pressure.
Brixham made a number of changes to their lineup for the second half and these, with the advantage of the slope and the wind, combined to make for a better performance. Warriors had been keen to test their defence in this match and Brixham duly obliged them by plugging away at it. Just after the midpoint of the second half Brixham gained their reward when Jake Lawrence intercepted a pass as the Warriors tried to run the ball out of defence and went through to score a try. Ross Edwards added the conversion.
Brixham maintained the pressure as the weather deteriorated but Warriors began to claw their way back into the match and scored their fourth try when a rolling maul following a lineout trundled over the Brixham line – Skeet for the second time was credited with the touchdown.
Brixham replied in kind with the last move of the match before both sets of players retreated to the warmth and dry of the clubhouse.
Tuesday December 26th 2006 - CLUB XV v PRESIDENT'S XV
Saturday December 23rd 2006 - TEIGNMOUTH 13 BRIXHAM RESERVES 31
Teignmouth are joint leaders of Devon One and on Saturday they entertained the side that their coach Richard Burden coached last season. Brixham Reserves, who are now coached by Jason Hart and James Irvine, had too much power and skill for their hosts.
Brixham opened the scoring with a well worked back movement which saw Jake Lawrence playing in the centre burst through to score a try. Within minutes another flowing move saw full-back Alex Brown go in for a try converted by centre, and captain, Jason Ellis to make it 12-0. Teignmouth got on the scoreboard when Brixham were penalised for not releasing and their winger Dan Force kicked the penalty.
Teignmouth stole a Brixham line out inside their 22 only to see the pass go straight into the hands of Brixham outside half Ross Edwards who went in under the posts to give Ellis an easy conversion to make it 19-3 at the break.
Virtually from the kick off Brixham were penalised for killing the ball. Force kicked his second penalty but Brixham went straight back on the attack. They forced Teignmouth into errors; one of which resulted in a penalty kick into the corner. Lock James Lund won the resulting line out from which he was driven over for a try which went unconverted. Teignmouth refused to lie down and came back at Brixham. Centre Chris Tidman ended a good move by going over for a try; converted with a fine kick by Force. Brixham hit back immediately with an excellent three-quarter move which Edwards ended with a try to allow Ellis an easy kick.
Brixham will be very happy with this result - Michael Beeson playing his first game for 14 weeks came through unscathed. The selectors also had a look at Jake Lawrence, playing in the centre, and Chris Dorling, who is being tried at No 8 to replace Clinton Dyer who has returned home to NZ.. A player who showed great promise was 18 year old Ross Edwards playing in the number 10 shirt.
BRIXHAM ALBION 13 TEIGNMOUTH RESERVES 13
At Astley Park the Brixham third team – Brixham Albion – also played Teignmouth, but their Reserves. Christmas came two days early for the Albion as they had their new shirts – sponsored by Darby & Darby.
The match itself was less full of festive cheer and neither side was able to create many scoring opportunities. Midway through the second half two penalties from Brixham’s Roger Chadwick and two in reply from Teignmouth were all that the scorer had to worry about – though Teignmouth had had a try disallowed. Brixham then took the lead thanks to a long, and mazy, run by Michael Skeet. His try under the posts gave Chadwick an easy conversion. From the restart Teignmouth were straight back on the attack when Brixham fumbled the ball and scored a converted try to level the scores.
Saturday December 16th 2006 - ST MARY'S OLD BOYS 12 BRIXHAM 17
Brixham started the second-half of the League season with a difficult trip to Bristol. When the two sides met earlier in the season it was apparent that the Old Boys had a dangerous set of backs and on their own pitch would be hard to handle.
Brixham kicked off with the wind and sun in their favour but for the next 10 minutes they never had the ball and the Brixham supporters were wondering whether this was going to be another of those days. St Marys pounded the Brixham line and eventually they created space on the left for their outside half to go over for a try. Fullback Franco Van de Merwe.converted to give them an early lead.
Brixham refused to let this setback panic them and gradually started to take control in the centre of the park. With 20 minutes gone Brixham won a ruck on the 22. They drew the St Mary’s defence to the left and then to the right before centre Hank Hendricksen squeezed over in the corner. Fullback, and captain, Matt Dempsey converted from the touchline to draw the scores level.
With the last move of the first half Brixham created space on the left for No 8 Clinton Dyer to score which Dempsey converted to make it 14-7 to Brixham at the break.
Ten minutes into the second half Dempsey increased the lead when he kicked a penalty when St Marys were penalised for holding on.
Brixham were on the attack when they dropped the ball - only to see it hoofed up the pitch and into touch just inside the Brixham 22 Brixham lost their own line out which allowed St Marys space for one of their forwards to go over for a try. With the conversion missed the Brixham lead was down to five points but the fishermen held out to the final whistle.
The second half will be remembered for the number of penalties (12) that St Marys gave away and the number of line outs that Brixham lost on their own ball (10).
Clinton Dyer played his last game for Brixham before going home to NZ to continue his University course. Clinton has been a great servant to Brixham and we wish him well.
Sidmouth were unable to raise a team so the Reserves game at Astley Park was cancelled. The other two senior sides were both in Merit Table action away from home against Devonport Services.
Brixham Albion sprang something of a surprise on the Services Reserves, winning 26-20.
The Colts started slowly and were 7-3 down at half-time but after the break ran in four tries through Grinrod, Dodge , Warren and Champion. Three conversions from Champion’s boot – plus his first-half penalty – saw Brixham run out 29-7 victors.
Saturday December 9th 2006 - BRIXHAM COLTS 20 TAVISTOCK COLTS 13
With almost half of their regular team unavailable Brixham were forced to ring some changes for their Merit Table fixture on Saturday. Brixham were made to work hard for their win as they made too many unforced errors but retained their 100% record in the Table.
Brixham took the lead in the first half when Dan Grinrod burst through the Tavistock defence from inside his own half and crossed the line untouched. The conversion was missed.
Two penalties nudged the visitors into the lead and before half-time it was extended further when a series of attacks culminated in a try. The successful conversion meant that Brixham turned around 13-5 behind.
In the second half Brixham began to stamp some authority on the game. Luck played a part in their second try when the Tavistock players chose to let a speculative chip ahead by Brixham bounce rather than try to catch it. Scrum-half Mitchell Player, following up, took the ball at pace and with the defence wrong-footed scampered over from 20 metres to touch down for an unconverted try.
Darren Levett put Brixham back in the lead. A 5 metre lineout to Brixham brought a classic catch and drive - and a try near the corner flag. The conversion attempt was on course, but fell short.
With only two points in it, both sides were looking for a way through the opposition defence. From a scrum in midfield Brixham attacked down the right wing but found no way through. Quick recycling and an attack in the centre. When this was blocked the ball spun out to the left where Antony Soper on the wing had space to run around the defence to touch down in the corner. The fourth missed conversion and Brixham had a seven point lead.
With ten minutes left to play Tavistock still felt that they could get something out of the game and they attacked until the final whistle but with no reward pointswise.
Saturday December 2nd 2006 - BRIXHAM 8 TORQUAY 8
All four of Brixham and Torquay’s senior sides faced each other on Saturday. With two wins and two draws Brixham claimed the spoils but in the tie that really counted the honours were even as the first teams shared the points in an intense local derby.
At Astley Park, on Saturday, around 1000 spectators witnessed a game that was definitely one of two halves.
In the first half it was Brixham who did all of the pressing but could find no way through the Torquay defence. Midway through the half a run by centre James Otutaha nearly created a break and when the ball was recycled Torquay were caught offside. Matthew Dempsey missed the penalty kick but Brixham continued to attack and ten minutes later were rewarded with the first score when Adam Chadwick finished off a movement by looping around to score a try in the corner. Dempsey was unsuccessful with the conversion but Brixham had their noses in front.
Four minutes later Chadwick again touched town for a try but this was disallowed by the referee for a forward pass. When the half-time whistle sounded Brixham only had a 5-0 lead.
Torquay had had lock forward Andy Knight sent off for stamping so in the second half they were down to fourteen men – but they did have the advantage of the slope and the wind. Just as Brixham had dominated the first period so Torquay did in the second. In the third minute Torquay missed a penalty kick but did reduce the arrears with another after 15 minutes. Brixham then enjoyed a spell of pressure of their own and restored the five point margin with a Dempsey penalty.
Torquay resumed their assault on the Brixham line but were kept at bay by a strong defence. A series of short-range penalties top Torquay resulted in Brixham’s Adam Thomas being given a second yellow card and sent off. Shortly after this Brixham lost a scrum close to their own line and Torquay got the try to level the scores.
Fortunately for Brixham, Torquay’s ace kicker Matt Jackson had left his best kicking boots at home and he missed a relatively easy conversion. In injury time he also missed a penalty and the match finished 8-8.
Brixham can reflect on the missed opportunities in the first half that could have put the game beyond their visitors’ reach and their inability in the second half to secure any useful possession or retain the ball they did have.
Brixhams third team – Brixham Albion – were also at home and also drew with their opposite numbers from Torquay in an even lower scoring match: 5 points each. This game was a friendly but over at Torquay the Seconds and Colts were in Merit Table action. Both teams have a 100% record in their respective tables and maintained them – the Reserves winning 13-5 and the Colts by 28-15
Saturday November 25th 2006 - TAUNTON 8 BRIXHAM 16
Hyde Park in Taunton has never been a particularly happy hunting ground for the Fishermen but on Saturday a solid performance earned them two more League points which lifted them into second position.
Taunton’s pitch was in excellent condition despite the heavy rain which had preceded the kick off. Brixham won the toss and decided to play against the wind.
In the fifth minute Brixham won a line out 15 meters out from the Taunton line and drove a very tight maul right to the line where flanker Alun Glanvill dived over to give Brixham an early lead. From a very difficult angle, and into the wind, fullback and captain Matthew Dempsey converted.
Brixham extended their lead when they attacked down the middle. When their maul was pull down Taunton were penalised and Dempsey kicked the penalty to make it 10-0.
With Brixham were doing most of the attacking it was only stout defence by Taunton that kept them at bay. Brixham, however, did not help themselves by making many handling errors and thus wasting scoring opportunities.
With the wind now at their backs Brixham might have expected an easier task in the second half bur within ten minutes into Taunton were on the scoreboard. Brixham were caught off side and when they didn’t retire 10 meters the goal was within range of Taunton’s flanker Pieter Tosen. The South African duly scored the penalty.
With both sides making handling errors there was no further scoring until the last fifteen minutes. A Brixham attack broke down in the middle of the field and Taunton won the ball. They moved it left to allow another South African - winger Wayne Britton - space to score in the corner to narrow Brixham’s lead to two points.
Brixham now began to put Taunton under tremendous pressure and this eventually led to a penalty in front of the posts for off side. Dempsey kicked this to put Brixham five points ahead. The Taunton restart kick off fell short; Brixham won the resulting scrum and an excellent kick from outside half Ben Lovell put Brixham back into the Taunton 22. Taunton won the line out and tried to move the ball wide where they were caught and penalised for killing the ball. Dempsey slotted the penalty to give Brixham an eight point lead and some breathing space.
Again Taunton had problems in kicking off which allowed Brixham to put the ball back into the Taunton 22 where they were to remain until the final whistle.
Saturday November 18th 2006 - BRIXHAM RESERVES 25 TAUNTON RESERVES 17
With the attention of the rest of the country focussed on the England team and National Cup competitions Brixham had no first team match on Saturday and the only action at Astley Park was a friendly for the Reserves against their Taunton counterparts.
The first half was full of action but the defences were well on top and the only score came midway through when Jason Ellis kicked a penalty to give Brixham a three point interval lead.
Early in the second half a long passage of open play saw Brixham continuously probing the Taunton defence. With the ball being recycled quickly a gap eventually opened and Brixham lock Andy Hawkes went through for a try. The conversion attempt went wide.
Taunton struck back quickly. A series of rolling mauls took them to the Brixham try-line and over it. A successful conversion and Brixham’s lead was down to a single point.
Brixham now began to get on top of Taunton to some extent and went further ahead when they had a penalty close to the visitors’ line. Brixham opted for touch in the corner and some clever thinking. The ball was thrown in quickly and lock John Lamsin went over unopposed.
The third Brixham try came as a result of turning over the ball in midfield but the fourth try was the move of the match when outside-half Ross Edwards broke through the heart of the defence to put his centre through for a touchdown under the posts. Edwards added the conversion and Brixham were 25-7 ahead.
In the last ten minutes Taunton gained some consolation for their afternoons efforts with two tries to narrow the score to 25-17.
Brixham Albion, the third team, were in Merit Table action – away at Cullompton playing their second team. After their defeat last weekend the Albion returned to winning ways with a 25-17 victory.
Brixham Colts were also playing at Cullompton in a friendly. A 41-7 win saw them continue the impressive start they have made to the season.
Saturday November 11th 2006 - BRIXHAM 29 St MARYS OB 9
Brixham consolidated their third place in the League with an emphatic win over their Bristol opponents. St Mary’s have a dangerous set of backs and containing them proved the effectiveness of the Brixham defence. In attack Brixham showed far more flair and variety than their visitors and the margin of victory could well have been greater than the scoreline suggests.
St Marys were only really in the game for the first twenty minutes. They went ahead with a penalty goal in the first minute when Brixham were penalised at a ruck but this led to a spell of pressure from Brixham and after ten minutes Brixham had their noses in front when lock Adam Thomas, back from injury, crashed over for the opening try. Matthew Dempsey added the conversion. St Mary’s narrowed the gap with a second penalty but Brixham almost immediately replied with a second converted try. Prop Richard Culley broke free from a maul and after sucking in the defence offloaded to centre James Otutaha who had a clear run to the line.
A penalty from Dempsey increased the Brixham lead but the visitors struck back with one of their own from long range. Brixham were now enjoying the best of possession and territory but were unable to score again and turned around 17-9 ahead.
The accepted wisdom is that you cannot score directly from set pieces but two minutes into the second half Brixham proved this wrong. A scrum to Brixham just inside the St Mary’s half, the ball passed out to the three-quarters and Otutaha made a half-break and created enough space for fellow centre Hank Hendricksen to cross the line untouched and score under the posts. An easy conversion for Dempsey and Brixham had a 15 point lead.
With Brixham looking to extend the margin and the visitors looking to use their backs to greater effect the second period developed into an entertaining and enthralling spectacle. With their defence, and cover defence, smothering out the St Mary’s efforts Brixham eventually broke the deadlock ten minutes from time. When the ball found Brixham hooker Dan Stead in an unaccustomed position near the touchline he put in a little chip kick. The St Mary’s fullback, under pressure, failed to find touch – but found Brixham prop Nick Stoneman instead. He ran the ball back at the visitors and found Stead on hand to finish off the move with a try. Dempsey missed the conversion; the ball rebounding from the post. The same fate met his attempted penalty goal in injury time but Brixham had kept their line intact and secured an important win.
Brixham’s reserve side maintained their 100% record in the Devon Merit Table with a 75-15 win at Sidmouth but the third team – Brixham Albion – came down to earth with a defeat at the hands of Devonport Services Reserves. Brixham Colts also played Services in a Merit Table fixture on Saturday. A hat-trick of tries from Antony Soper and tries from Dan Grinrod and Richard Champion (who also slotted three conversions) saw them victorious 31-0.
Saturday November 4th 2006 - SPARTANS 20 BRIXHAM 57
Brixham went to Gloucester with some trepidation as half of their regular first team were missing due to injuries. After an ill-tempered and physical battle they returned with two more vital League points after running in nine tries. The all round effort of the team was shown by the fact that seven players crossed the Spartans line.
Brixham hit the ground running and first half tries from Adam Chadwick, Matt Dempsey (2), Clinton Dyer and Hank Hendricksen – with 4 conversions from Dempsey – saw them turn around 33-3 ahead.
In the second period Brixham extended their lead with tries by Dan Stead and Darren Coles before the homesters got back into the match to some extent. Dempsey then completed his hattrick before James Agates wrapped things up with the final try.
With the referee understandably not seeing everything that was happening off the ball Brixham did well to maintain their composure and while victory over bottom-placed Spartans might have been anticipated the margin and manner were not.
Back at Astley Park the Brixham third team – Brixham Albion – had table topping, and unbeaten, Paignton Reserves as their Merit Table opponents. The Albion started well and their early pressure eventually gave them the lead with a penalty goal but Paignton soon took the lead through an unconverted try. Before halftime Brixham again got their noses in front with a second penalty but Paignton’s backs always posed a threat to their defence.
In the second half Paignton began to dominate the game territorially and the Brixham defence was often under severe pressure. With the defence creaking, but holding firm, Brixham were able to mount few attacks of their own but midway through the half they extended their lead with a converted try. Paignton continued to press but were unable to score again until the dying minutes when a try in the corner, and a difficult conversion kick, reduced the Brixham lead to a single point. Brixham held out till the final whistle for a memorable 13-12 win.
Saturday October 28th 2006 - BRIXHAM 13 BOURNEMOUTH 38 - Intermediate Cup
Brixham can have few complaints about the result of their first-round Intermediate Cup clash with Bournemouth. On the day the visitors were better organised and a bit too fast for their hosts. Brixham’s cause was not helped by injuries to players which made them reshuffle their lineup but they lost to the better side.
Brixham opened the scoring in the third minute when a break down the right by Stead and Dempsey was finished off by centre Jake Lawrence scoring a try to which Dempsey added the two conversion points. The lead was short-lived. Two minutes later and Bournemouth were level through a converted try and just minutes later were in front when an attack down the left was finished with a second try.
Brixham cut into the deficit with a penalty from Dempsey five minutes later but were soon under pressure. With the wind and slope in their favour Brixham needed to turn around in front but were kept on the back foot for most of the first period. Towards the end of the half they managed to put some pressure on the visitors’ line but with no reward and turned around 12-10 behind.
In the second half it was again Bournemouth who were on top and two converted tries extended their lead before a rare Brixham attack brought them three points from a second Dempsey penalty. Two more tries followed as Bournemouth converted their almost continuous pressure into points and booked their place in the second round.
While the First XV were in Cup action the Reserves and Albion sides were both playing Merit Table fixtures against North Devon opposition. A scrappy encounter saw the Reserves maintain their 100% record with a narrow 13-12 victory over Barnstaple Reserves. Brixham Albion also emerged victorious from their clash with Bideford Reserves.
On Friday evening Brixham Colts had kicked off the weekend in Teignmouth with a 20-12 win.
Sunday morning saw both the Under 13 and Under 16 sides in action at Astley Park. Despite having five players away on County duty and others unavailable the 16s overwhelmed Cullompton.64-14. In an excellent all round performance, flanker Joe Vince had an outstanding game; winger Dave Langmead claimed a hat-trick of tries (to make his birthday more memorable) and Josh Caunter was successful with 7 out of ten conversion attempts. The 13s meanwhile had the misfortune to be playing a strong Barnstaple side and lost 27-0
Saturday October 21st 2006 - BRIXHAM 62 PENRYN 16
Brixham have been improving with each game and never looked in any trouble as they ran in ten tries against their Cornish visitors. It could, and probably should, have been a greater margin of victory – there is still scope for more improvement.
Attacking from the outset Brixham never let Penryn settle and opened the scoring after five minutes. Penryn missed touch with a penalty deep in their own half and when Brixham ran the ball back at them it was hooker Dan Stead in support who muscled over for a try. Matthew Dempsey added the conversion.
Three minutes later and the visitors defence was breached again. Centre James Otutaha spotted a gap in their defensive line and shimmied through for the touchdown.
With the wind and the slope to their advantage Brixham attacked at every opportunity and added four more tries in the first half. The first of these stemmed from a rolling maul. After trundling forward for 20 metres it was halted just short of the goal line but the ball was quickly released to the backs and Otutaha again squeezed though to score. The second try resulted from a Penryn error. A scrum close to their own line, the ball popped out and the scrum-half mishandled. Brixham flanker Alun Glanvill found the ball loose at his feet, picked up and ran over from 10 metres out.
In the closing minutes of the half centres Jake Lawrence and Otutaha added two more tries in quick succession and Brixham turned around 36-0 ahead.
With the game as good as won and the elements now against them Brixham let the Cornishmen back into the game in the second period. In twelve minutes they had ten points on the board. A forward drive earned them their first points with a converted try and a penalty soon after must have raised their hopes of a comeback. Two tries in quick succession dashed their hopes. A break by number 8 Chris Dorling, carried on by Dan Stead, finished off by scrum-half Sean Onslow (in unnecessarily extravagant fashion) provided the first; three minutes later Onslow added the second.
Penryn replied with a penalty – Brixham replied with another try. This time the forwards did all the work with a catch and drive from a 5m line-out; Dan Stead touching down on their behalf. With their attacks being held by the Brixham defence Penryn had to rely on penalties for their points and added another three points to their tally. With the referee’s watch already in stoppage time Brixham finished the game off with their tenth try – and the fourth by Man of the Match James Otutaha.
While the first team were enjoying their afternoon the Reserves and Albion sides had more torrid games. Redruth Reserves were too strong for Brixham and won 29-0 while Honiton’s second string took apart Brixham Albion
Next week sees a break from League action – but the visit of Bournemouth in the first round of the Intermediate Cup. With Bournemouth going well in their league an exciting encounter is expected.
Saturday October 14th 2006 - NEWTON ABBOT 14 BRIXHAM 16
Newton opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a penalty from centre Devon Melville when Brixham were judged to have piled in over the top thanks to.
Brixham took the lead in the 13 minute when centre James Otutaha capitalised on some slipshod tackling to run in for a try. Full back and captain Matthew Dempsey missed the conversion, but made amends with a penalty a few minutes later and Brixham were five points ahead.
Newton reduced the lead on the half-hour when Melville kicked a second penalty to make it 6-8 at the break.
Newton had a good spell just after the interval when they battered away at the Brixham defence time after time. Eventually they found a gap on the right and were able to put wing Joe Frost over for a try in the corner. Though the conversion was missed Newton had their noses in front.
Almost immediately from the restart Newton were caught off side and Dempsey kicked the goal to draw the sides level. With fifteen minutes remaining Brixham were penalised on their 10 meter line for not releasing the ball. A monster kick from Melville restored the Newton lead again.
Brixham upped the pressure on Newton Abbot. Dempsey had three unsuccessful shots at goal. The next penalty was put deep into the corner for a line-out. A successful catch and the forwards drove for the line; hooker Dan Stead came out with the ball and scored to give Brixham the lead again.
The Brixham team had now got the message to hold on to the ball and keep it tight – which they did for the remaining minutes of the game
Brixham Colts 72 Newton Abbot Colts 0
Friday October 13th 2006 - BRIXHAM RESERVES 41 NEWTON ABBOT 0
The Brixham backs showed far more pace and better handling skills than Newton while the relatively inexperienced Brixham pack held their own.
The writing was on the wall for Newton in the first minute. The opening Brixham attack was halted when Newton were penalised. The lick at goal fell short but Newton mishandled the ball and Tim Bumby following up touched down for the opening score. Roger Chadwick had failed with the penalty but added the easier conversion.
The ensuing 20 minutes passed without either side making significant inroads but when a Newton attack broke down the Brixham backs ran the ball back at them and James Hunt finished the movement with a try; Chadwick adding the extras.
Ten minutes later and Brixham had extended their lead with two more tries in quick succession. Jason Rowe declined the offer of easy points when Newton were penalised in front of the posts, took a quick tap and wriggled through to score a try. Five points is better than three and Chadwick’s conversion made it seven. Almost immediately after the restart Brixham’s Jason Hart made a break and the ball quickly passed to the backs for Matt Dudleston to go over for a try. Chadwick again added the extras.
Hunt got his second try in the dying seconds of the first half and Brixham turned around 33-0 ahead.
After what they used to call “lemon time” Newton began to put Brixham under more pressure but were unable to create any clear-cut scoring chances. After Brixham prop Matthew Skeet sustained a nasty head injury it seemed to spur the homesters on and Dudleston ran in his second try after a series of attacking moves down the right wing. Chadwick later added a penalty goal to take the tally past 40 points.
Wednesday October 11th 2006 - BRIXHAM COLTS 24 PAIGNTON 3
Saturday October 7th 2006 - BRIXHAM 39 HORNETS 22 - LEAGUE
It was an intriguing struggle at Astley Park on Saturday when the Brixham forwards held out against the Hornets forwards while their backs combined well and created breaks that enabled them to score the tries that mattered. If Brixham had conceded fewer penalties the margin of victory would have been much greater.
The opening exchanges were end to end, with Brixham just about ahead on territory and possession but they went behind after thirteen minutes when the Hornets outside half Dave Litt went through for a try which he also converted. From the restart kick Hornets recovered the ball and elected to run it back. A poor bass in the middle was gratefully intercepted by Brixham centre James Otutaha who darted through to touch down under the posts and gave Matthew Dempsey an easy conversion. Within five minutes Brixham had taken the lead with a Dempsey penalty kick but Hornets struck back immediately a penalty from the boot of Litt to level the scores.
Brixham were straight back on the offensive and when an attack broke down on the right the ball was quickly recycled and swept to the other side of the field for winger James Agates to score a try in the corner. Dempsey was off target with the conversion attempt but added two more penalties as Brixham began to get on top of the Hornets.
Brixham had a halftime lead of 22-10 but with the wind and slope to their advantage in the second half the Hornets began to apply some pressure of their own. Brixham spent the opening minutes of the second half penned back and Hornets came perilously close to scoring. When Brixham were awarded a penalty in their own 22 it might have seemed wise to seek the sanctuary of a touch kick but a quickly taken tap penalty took the ball into Otutaha’s hands and he broke through to release winger Adam Chadwick to score a try at the other end.
With the Hornets attacks being met by a resolute defence the visitors had to rely on the boot of Litt to increase their points tally. Two penalties narrowed the gap before Dempsey struck back with one for Brixham. This was soon wiped out by another from Litt but when the restart kick was collected by the Hornets forwards the Brixham pack stole the ball and passed it out. Centre Darren Coles made a break though the visitors defence and Chadwick was again on hand to add the finishing touch with a try.
Litt slotted his fifth penalty before Chadwick rounded off the scoring with his third try.
For his solid defensive work and the breaks he made, centre Darren Coles was selected as Man of the Match for Brixham.
Also at Astley Park the third team – Brixham Albion – registered their first Merit Table points with a 20-19 win against Kingsbridge Reserves . The Colts were also in Merit Table action and returned from Kingsbridge 35-14 victors.
The Reserves had no game as Withycombe Reserves were unable to raise a side.
Saturday September 30th 2006 - EXMOUTH 17 BRIXHAM 19 - LEAGUE
Having lost their last two League matches Brixham travelled to Exmouth with some trepidation. The touchline “experts” (as well as the coaching staff) feel that there is still room for improvement but a much better all-round performance resulted in a well-deserved victory.
Brixham opened the scoring in the seventh minute when centre Darren Coles charged down an Exmouth clearance to score a try which Dempsey converted.
This lead was short lived. Just minutes later Exmouth tore a hole in the Brixham defence to allow their full-back to glide through to score a very good try. This was converted to bring the scores level.
For the remainder of the first half it was honours even. Exmouth were trying to use their heavier pack to punch throught but the Brixham pack were responding and tore back into them with some ferocity.
In the 10 minute of the second half Brixham regained the lead. An attack by the Fishermen made space for their other centre - James Otutaha - to score his first try for Brixham. In the windy conditions the conversion attempt failed.
Exmouth now had the wind behind them and they put in some very fine line kicking to keep Brixham at bay. Another mistake in the middle saw Exmouth’s centre burst
through the middle to score which was duly converted to give Exmouth the lead for the first time in the match.
With time running out Brixham threw everything into attack only to have a further set back when Brixham gave Exmouth the ball and their outside half calmly dropped a goal to increase the lead to 17-12.
In the closing minutes of injury time Brixham were camped on the Exmouth line and the pack thought they had scored only to be penalised for a double movement. From the kick Brixham won the line out and drove forward which resulted in No 8 Clinton Dyer going over to score a try and level the scores. With the last kick of the match Dempsey added the extras and secured the win.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 12 EXMOUTH RESERVES 10
Back at Astley Park the Reserves were in Merit Table action – also against Exmouth. Of the nineteen players selected to play for the Reserves all but one were former or present Brixham Colts. Brixham.gave Colt Matt Dudleston.his debut
The opening phases of play were fairly evenly contested but it was Exmouth who had the scoring opportunities. Two penalty kicks at goal were missed by the visitors and they paid the price when another kick went wrong. An attempted clearance kick was charged down and Dudleston was on hand to swoop on the ball and run in a try from 40 metres out virtually unchallenged.
A series of Brixham attacks took them back to the visitors’ goal line and James Hunt took advantage of a gap in the Exmouth defensive line to go through for a try. Jason Ellis added the conversion and Brixham had a 12-0 half-time lead.
In the second period Brixham showed less urgency and Exmouth came back into the game and were on top for most of the half. A try reduced the Brixham lead after thirteen minutes but the defence held out until the last few minutes when Exmouth again crossed the line. With neither try converted Brixham could breathe a sigh of relief and congratulate themselves on their fourth straight win.
Up at Exmouth the Brixham Albion side went down 15-10 in a friendly but the Colts match against Exmouth was cancelled as they were unable to raise a team
Saturday September 23rd 2006 - BRIXHAM 5 CONEY HILL 20 - LEAGUE
Brixham’s disappointing start to the season continued on Saturday when Coney Hill came down from Gloucester.
Almost from the kick-off Brixham had an opportunity to take the lead but Matt Dempsey’s penalty attempt went wide. Five minutes later and they went behind. Coney Hill developed an attack and after several phases spun the ball out to their backs and created an overlap on the left to score the opening try.
For the rest of the first half Brixham generally had the edge over the visitors but the only score they managed came halfway through the period. Brixham were awarded a penalty 15 metres in front of the goal and Coney Hill expected a kick at goal. Instead, a quickly taken tap and the ball sped out to the wing for Chadwick to touch down for the equalising try.
The second half saw Coney Hill beginning to get on top. After ten minutes they extended their lead with a converted try. Brixham fought hard to get back into the game and came close to crossing the line on a couple of occasions. Coney Hill weathered the storm. A penalty increased their lead and for the rest of the match they were continuously on the attack. Brixham did not concede any more points until the match was in injury time. A mistake by Brixham at a scrummage close to their line and Coney Hill had their third and final try.
Brixham Reserves are attempting to retain the Devon Merit Table title they won last season. On Saturday they made it three wins in a row by defeating Crediton Reserves at Crediton. Tries by fullback Roger Chadwick and winger Chris Lanyon took them to the break 12-7 ahead. In the second half the introduction of prop Lee Squire steadied the pack and the superior fitness of Brixham began to take its toll. Crediton added another try but Squire, flanker Jason McLean and Jason Ellis all crossed for Brixham tries. Ellis converted his own try to bring the final score to 29-12.
Brixham Albion bounced back from last weeks defeat by beating Crediton Thirds 22-0 at Crediton in a friendly match.
Crediton also provided the “friendly” opposition for Brixham Colts. Tries from Matt Dudleston (2), Aurin Parham (2), Joe Lovell and Jeremy Stroud – and a solitary conversion by Nathan Dallow – propelled them to a 32-5 win.
Saturday September 16th 2006 - CHELTENHAM NORTH 28 BRIXHAM 15 - LEAGUE
No Match Report
Teignmouth Colts 12 Brixham Colts 12 - Merit
Brixham Reserves 32 Ivybridge Reserves 11 – Merit Table
While the First XV were away in Cheltenham in a League match the main attraction at Astley Park was the Reserves in a Merit Table tussle with Ivybridge.
Brixham opened the scoring after just two minutes. Brixham hooker Tom Clark ran at, and through, the first line of the Ivybridge defence and Ivybridge were caught offside at a ruck. Sean Onslow kicked the penalty. With Brixham under pressure at the set pieces Ivybridge were able to get back at the homesters and fifteen minutes later pulled level with a penalty. While Ivybridge held the edge up front in the backs it was a different story and Brixham were soon back in the lead when Onslow went through to cross for a try. A fine handling move up the left wing put Brixham further ahead when winger Alex Brown ended it by touching down for a try. The final act of the first half saw Brixham again on the attack and when an Ivybridge clearance kick was charged down flanker Mike Shears was on hand to pick up the ball in one hand and crash over for a try. With Onslow converting two out of three Brixham turned around 22-3 ahead.
From the restart Ivybridge attacked the Brixham line and were, eventually, rewarded in the form of a penalty goal. This spurred Brixham out of their lethargy and the lead was increased again with another left-side handling move – Onslow finishing it off with an unconverted touchdown. The visitors were beaten but not out of the game entirely and pressure by their pack eventually brought a try to take their score into double figures. With the result decided the game started to peter out as a spectacle but in injury time Brixham were again on the attack and when the forwards failed to make headway in the right corner the ball sped through the threequarters to Onslow who went through a gap to score a try near the posts. His third try, and third conversion, brought the game to an end.
Brixham Albion 5 OPMs Reserves 41 – Merit
Also at Astley Park the third team, Brixham Albion, opened their Merit Table campaign against OPMs Reserves. After winning promotion last season the Albion found life in their new league much tougher.
Saturday September 9th 2006 - BRIXHAM 17 CAMBORNE 13 - LEAGUE
The first Saturday of competitive rugby saw Brixham record a clean sweep as all four sides in action emerged victorious.
At Astley Park the First XV started the league campaign with the visit of Camborne. Although Brixham deserved the victory the result was, for long, in doubt.
Within five minutes Brixham were behind. The first Camborne attack ended when Brixham were caught offside at a ruck and the visitors gratefully put over the penalty kick. For the next 20 minutes Brixham enjoyed more of the possession and territorial advantage but were unable to turn the pressure into points. A rare Camborne attack saw Brixham again penalised for offside but the kick went wide. From the 22 drop out Camborne immediately attacked the Brixham line and extended their lead with a converted try.
The Fishermen were now ten points behind and their continuous pressure was still winning no reward as the half time whistle neared. Five minutes of injury time had been played before the ball went wide to find prop Dan Stead near the touchline with some space. A quick run towards the line before offloading the ball and winger Adam Chadwick had the space to beat the defence and touch down close to the posts. Captain Matthew Dempsey’s conversion marked the end of the first period and Brixham turned around 10-7 behind.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first half with Brixham applying most of the pressure but it was 15 minutes old before Brixham could add to their score and draw level. Brixham had a try disallowed for a forward pass but the referee had been playing advantage for a Camborne infringement and Dempsey slotted the penalty.
With Brixham virtually camped in the Camborne half a draw seemed the most likely result as the minutes ticked away. Two minutes into injury time and Camborne’s ability to soak up the pressure seemed to have gained them the victory when a sally into home territory was rewarded with a penalty and a three point lead.
Nothing daunted Brixham were straight back at them. Several phases of attacking play and the ball went out to the right to the hands of flanker Dan Ritson who went over for a try near the corner. Full-back Ben Lovell added the conversion and Brixham were 17-13 ahead.
Although five minutes of injury time had been played there was still time on the refs watch for another three and the Brixham relief at the final whistle was palpable. Dan Ritson was named Man of the Match – less for his try than the work he had done around the scrums and rucks.
Brixham Albion side were the biggest winners on Saturday. Mark Coysh was making his debut for the team at scrum-half and marked it with a hat-trick of tries and the Man of the Match award Player/manager Keith Walker also grabbed a brace of tries as his new look side prepared for their first Merit Table game.
Brixham Colts 21 Torquay Colts 12 - Friendly
Tiverton Reserves 0 Brixham Reserves 27 – Merit Table
Tiverton Thirds 5 Brixham Albion 60 – Friendly
April 30th 2006 - DEVON COLTS CUP FINAL BRIXHAM 9 BARNSTAPLE 23
Brixham’s hopes of regaining the Cup were dashed on Sunday by a well-organised Barnstaple team who took the scoring chances they got and denied their hosts.many opportunities.
In the first half Brixham had the advantage of the wind and the slope but struggled to find any rhythm in the opening stages. Two penalty goals had put them six points behind before they may managed to put the visitors under any pressure. A ten minute spell virtually camped in the Barnstaple half eventually brought some reward and Brixham were back on level terms courtesy of a penalty goal and a drop-goal from Ross Edwards. Continuing attacks came to nothing but at the end of the first period a Barnstaple break-out resulted in a penalty to them. A lineout close to the Brixham line and the ball passed out for Barnstaple to score the opening try under the posts. The conversion ended the half and Brixham trailed 13-6.
With the elements against them in the second half Brixham might have expected to be on the back foot much more than they actually were. For the first fifteen minutes they were, generally, on top but could find few opportunities in the face of a well-marshalled Barnstaple defence. A long-range penalty put them further adrift but this was almost immediately countered when Edwards dropped a second goal.
Brixham threw everything they had into attack but could find no way through, or around, the red-shirted defence. Barnstaple looked dangerous on occasions and five minutes from time sealed the match with a well-taken try in the corner; the conversion was safely struck and Brixhams dreams of cup glory were ruined.
April 22nd 2006 - LEAGUE CONEY HILL 22 BRIXHAM 30
On Saturday Brixham travelled to the City Of Gloucester to play Coney Hill in their final league match of the season but were without the services of several key players. The Brixham selectors sprung a surprise when they gave the No 9 shirt to skipper Matthew Dempsey but it proved to be an inspirational choice.
Seven minutes into the game No 8 Clinton Dyer picked up from the back of the scrum and drove forward to release the ball on contact to Dempsey who broke the line to put wing Adam Chadwick over for a try which Dempsey converted. Minutes later from a similar situation Dempsey again broke through to give Chadwick a run in under the posts for his second try. Dempsey again converted and Brixham had a fourteen point lead.
Coney Hill hit back with a penalty but Brixham struck back immediately when Dempsey made a break up the middle and scored Brixham’s third try himself. Another conversion and Brixham had a 21-3 lead at half time. The main talking point of the travelling support was the other three tries that the referee disallowed. Twice he halted play for injuries and once for a minor scuffle just as a Brixham player was about to score. On no occasion was the play near the incident.
Within minutes of the restart Dempsey put Brixham further ahead with a penalty but that score made Coney Hill up the tempo and they got back one try when their pack won a line out on the Brixham line. A classic catch and drive gave their flanker a try which was converted.
Brixham resumed their attack on the Coney Hill line and edged further ahead when the Coney Hill midfield were caught offside. Dempsey gratefully kicked the goal. At the other end Coney Hill scored a push over try but Brixham, and Dempsey, replied with another penalty.
With Brixham down to 14 men when hooker John Vickery was in the sin bin they were penned back on to their line. Coney Hill were awarded a penalty try even though Brixham were driving forward at the time – but Brixham were judged to have collapsed the maul. The straightforward conversion brought the Brixham lead down to 30-22 but that was the final score.
Other Result - Friendly Brixham Albion 34 Ellingham & Ringwood 31
April 15th 2006 - DEVON COLTS CUP SEMI-FINAL BRIXHAM COLTS 26 EXMOUTH COLTS 21
Brixham Colts excellent season continued on Sunday when they faced Exmouth in the semi-final of the Devon Colts Cup. An exciting match saw them generally on top but they never managed to subdue the Cockles who came back strongly at the end.
Brixham attacked from the outset but went behind very early to a penalty goal. This was only a minor setback and the Brixham assault on the Exmouth line continued. Resolute defence kept them at bay until midway though the half. With no gaps appearing as they went for the try line fly half Ross Edwards tried a different approach and opted to attempt a drop-goal. The ball sailed between the posts and Brixham were level. Two minutes later Edwards tried the same thing again and put Brixham ahead. His hat-trick of drop-goals followed three minutes later. Exmouth struck back with a long-range penalty kick but Brixham were straight back on the attack with full-back Steve Worth finishing off a move with a try in the corner.
As half-time approached Brixham seemed well in control but a kick ahead by Exmouth created problems for the home defence and a sliced clearance kick gifted a try to the visitors. The conversion was the last act of the half but sailed wide and Brixham only had a narrow 14-11 lead.
In the opening minutes of the second half that lead almost vanished. The Exmouth backs combined to create a two-man overlap on the right but the ball was not passed and Brixham snuffed out the threat. Brixham resumed the offensive and almost immediately increased their lead when prop Matthey Skeet dove over in the corner for a try. From the touchline Edwards landed the conversion. Brixham had a ten point lead but Exmouth were not beaten and reduced it with a penalty but this only encouraged Brixham to greater attacking effort and midway though the half this brought further reward.
A scrum ten metres out, a maul and Skeet was again on hand to break free and crash over for his second try.
In the last ten minutes Exmouth threw everything they had against Brixham, running the ball at every opportunity. When a Brixham attack broke down close to the Exmouth line the visitors ran from under their own posts. Swift interpassing caught Brixham out and Exmouth scored a try at the other end under the posts. An easy conversion and Exmouth were almost back on terms but with only two minutes remaining time ran out on them and Brixham secured their place in the final.
April 15th 2006 - Brewer Cup BRIXHAM 3 TORQUAY 27
April 8th 2006 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 37 TRURO 26
Saturdays afternoon’s fixture was a real tit-for-tat affair as Truro sought to ease their relegation fears at the expense of a Brixham side who had already lost out out in the promotion race.
Brixham had the first opportunity to score after less than a minute but Matt Dempsey’s penalty kick rebounded off the crossbar and Truro cleared their lines. With the wind in their favour they started to press towards the Brixham line but it was Brixham who opened the scoring. They took the lead after seven minutes through a Dempsey penalty but almost immediately the visitors were back on the attack and a converted try saw them in front. Within two minutes Dempsey had cut the lead to a single point with his second penalty. With the game flowing from end to end it was the Cornishmen who fared slightly better. Brixham were having troubles in the lineouts and scrums and Truro extended their slender lead with an unconverted try in the corner; followed by a penalty.
With ten minutes of the half remaining Brixham were 15-6 behind. A speculative kick ahead by Truro fell safely to Brixham fullback Bevon Armitage in his own 22 but, rather than a clearance kick he opted to use the open space he was in. His weaving run took him through the first line of the Truro defence and linking up with the backs the ball went out to put winger Alex Brown over in the corner. Three minutes later and Brixham were back on the attack. Outside-half Jake Lawrence flat-footed the visitors with a break close to a ruck and the other winger – Adam Chadwick – was on hand to cross for a try under the posts. Dempsey’s conversion turned the nine point deficit into a three point halftime lead.
Ten minutes into the second period and Dempsey extended it to five points with his third penalty but Truro immediately struck back with a similar score. With neither side able to dominate the game became an intriguing battle. The running of Dempsey and Armitage was creating problems for the visitors and when Brixham managed to string some phases of possession together it was full back Armitage who was on hand to score the try that extended the Brixham lead. A penalty from Truro kept them in touch but they were punished by the boot of Dempsey as he replied with two for Brixham.
With the game drawing to an end Brixham continued to press forward and a series of probing runs finally created a three man overlap on the right wing and Clinton Dyer, back from injury, marked his return with a try. Brixham were now sixteen points clear and the game was won. With points difference still a factor in their relegation battle Truro never gave up and in the last move of the game narrowed the scoreline with a try.
Other Match - Merit Table Brixham Albion 42 Teignmouth Reserves 12
April 1st 2006 - MERIT TABLE Brixham RESERVES 0 Barnstaple Reserves 27
KINGSBRIDGE COLTS 5 BRIXHAM COLTS 45
March 25th 2006 - LEAGUE BERRY HILL 12 BRIXHAM 15
Brixham put behind them a string of poor results when they put on an outstanding display for pure rugby activists in the cold and pouring rain of Gloucestershire.
Berry Hill opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Brixham failed to control a speculative kick to the corner from which Berry Hill won the scrum to allow Berry Hill’s man of the match Shaun McRoberts to pick up and score a try which was not converted.
Brixham took the game back to the Berry Hill half and were awarded a penalty when Berry Hill came off side in front of their posts which skipper Mathew Dempsey, playing on the wing, kicked to reduce Berry Hill’s lead
Berry Hill went further ahead when they were awarded a dubious penalty try for what the ref deemed was holding back a player who was in an offside position.
Brixham hit back again and were awarded a penalty when full back Bevon Armitage was held back Dempsey kicked the goal to make the half-time score12-6.
With the wind and the slope to their advantage Brixham began to drive through the gaps and only desperate defence by Berry Hill prevented tries. But from the pressure came penalties. Dempsey reduced the deficit with a fine kick from 35 meters when Berry Hill came off side in the middle.
Brixham made changes which allowed former Colt Ben Lovell to come on to make his first XV debut at outside half. A high up and under by Lovell brought havoc in the Berry Hill defence when No 8 Chris Dorling broke down the right to pass to Lovell who went over in the corner only for the referee to disallow the try. From another attack in front of Berry Hill posts Brixham were awarded a penalty when Lovell was held back. This might have merited a penalty try but Dempsey kicked his fourth penalty goal to bring the scores level.
With time running out both teams threw everything into attack. Berry Hill were driving into the heart of the Brixham defence but it held firm. A counter attack by the Brixham backs put the ball to Armitage on the burst. After his kick ahead he was taken out and Brixham were awarded a penalty where the ball dropped 40 meters from goal. Dempsey with the weight of Brixham on his back kicked the goal to make it 15-12 to Brixham.
A big feature of the game was the dominance of Adam Thomas, Jon Lamsin and Chris Dorling and solid defence by all members of the team. Congratulation to Ben Lovell for a very good display on his debut.
Other Matches - Merit Table DHSOB Reserves 0 Brixham Albion 5
Brixham Colts 25 Devonport Services Colts 7
Having seen off Ivybridge two weeks ago, Brixham faced the only club who could prevent them winning the South section of the Devon Colts Merit Table on Saturday. For this crucial clash Brixham had their captain Matthew Skeet back after a six-week layoff recovering from a broken rib.
With the advantage of the slope and a strong wind Brixham knew that they had to pile up points in the first half and started strongly. The muddy conditions and drizzly rain made handling difficult. Although Brixham dominated the opening exchanges they had only two penalties from Ross Edwards to show for their efforts midway through the first half. Brixham continued to pound away at the Services line and were, eventually, successful in crossing it. A maul just in front of the posts provided the platform for Jack Pearce to cut through for the opening try. Edwards added the conversion.
From the restart the homesters were back on the attack but it began to look as if Services would turn around just thirteen points behind and with hopes of winning the match. On the stroke of half-time, however, Brixham extended their lead when a rolling maul crossed visitors’ line and beneath the pile of bodies Skeet claimed his comeback try. Edwards missed the conversion but Brixham led 18-0 at the interval.
Brixham had totally dominated the first half but with the conditions now in Services favour were forced onto the back foot in opening minutes of the second period. Weathering the initial storm the Fishermen began to develop attacks of their own and the game opened out as play moved from end to end. Neither side was able to create any clear scoring opportunities however.
Midway through the half Services began to put more pressure on the Brixham defence but ten minutes camped in the Brixham half came to nothing. Brixham worked their way upfield and a rare handling move carried the ball to winger James Hunt. Evading tackles in his determination to reach the line he touched down in the corner. Edwards successfully put a difficult conversion between the posts and Brixham had the game won. Services didn’t see things quite this way and the last five minutes saw them back on the attack and they were rewarded with a penalty try just before full-time.
March 18th 2006 - DEVON SENIOR CUP BRIXHAM 21 EXMOUTH 26
Brixham bowed out of the Devon Senior Cup on Saturday in a closely fought struggle with Exmouth. Brixham generally had the edge over their visitors but it was Exmouth who had the match-winner in the shape of their scrum-half Gary Hooper.
Brixham went behind within ten minutes. An Exmouth scrum near halfway seemed to pose little threat until Hooper picked the ball up at the base. His probing run around the flank was unopposed and he sprinted to touch down under the posts without being touched. The easy conversion put seven points on the board.
With the wind at their backs Brixham pressed forward but got no reward until Matthew Dempsey kicked a penalty a quarter of an hour later. Soon after Brixham got their noses in front.
A maul on the Exmouth 22 sucked in most of the defence and when Brixham spun the ball out there was a three man overlap on the left. Centre Bevon Armitage did not need the extra men as he went over the line to score. Dempsey missed the conversion.
The lead lasted no more than five minutes. A penalty to Exmouth before halftime gave them a 10-8 interval lead and within minutes of the restart a second penalty extended their advantage.
Dempsey cut the lead with a second penalty before Hooper once again showed his hand. From a maul near the touchline 15 metres out he scampered round the blind side to go over for his second try and Exmouth were seven points ahead.
Brixham’s attempts to take on the Exmouth forwards in the loose were coming to no avail and only when the ball went out along the line did they make much progress. Midway through the second period and Armitage again found himself clear to go over in the corner for a try.
With just two points separating the two sides it could have gone either way but in the space of three minutes Exmouth were clear. A drop-goal from their flyhalf started it but Hooper then created a try for his backs by carving through the Brixham defence.
Brixham never gave up the chase but with some degree of desperation setting in their attacks often ended in turnovers or penalties and they were kept clear of the Exmouth line. The backs combined to score a consolation try with the last move of the match – outside half Jake Lawrence crossed the line – but it was not enough to deny Exmouth the Cup Final slot.
Other Match - Merit Table Totnes Reserves 15 Brixham Albion 35
March 11th 2006 - LEAGUE ST IVES 41 BRIXHAM 0
Other Matches - all Merit Table
Brixham Reserves 62 Ivybridge Reserves 7
Ivybridge Thirds 23 Brixham Albion 43
Brixham Colts 24 Ivybridge Colts 8
Brixham Colts remain on top of the Devon Colts Merit Table after seeing off the second-placed team on Saturday.
Brixham were on top from the kick-off and opened the scoring after ten minutes when winger Dan Grindrod went over for a try in the corner. Hooker Joe Lovell doubled the score when he crossed the line fifteen minutes later but with Richard Champion unsuccessful with the conversions a ten point Brixham lead was poor reward for their dominance. Ivybridge came back almost immediately when they intercepted the ball in midfield and their backs combined to score a try which also went unconverted.
Having had the advantage of the slope, Brixham led 10-5 at the break but the lead was soon down to just two points. A charged down kick gave Ivybridge an attacking position and when Brixham were caught offside the resulting penalty brought the score to 10-8. Brixham continued to enjoy the better of the play however and winger Matt Dudleston extended the lead again when he scored a try in the corner. From the touchline Champion slotted the conversion. Ten minutes later and he repeated the effort from the other side of the field. A penalty to Brixham brought a 5 metre lineout and from the ensuing catch and drive Joe Lovell scored his second try.
March 4th 2006 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 48 GLOUCESTER OB 0
Brixham remain in fourth place in the league but still have some chance of achieving a play-off spot for promotion after outclassing their Gloucester opposition on Saturday.
Brixham opened the scoring in the second minute when Matt Dempsey slotted a penalty and never looked back. Within ten minutes Dempsey had increased the lead with a try in the right corner which he converted. While Brixham had the better of the next twenty minutes they were unable to increase their lead but the visitors’ poor kicking and handling mistakes meant that they were rarely able to test the Brixham defence. Eventually the Fishermen did score again. A penalty into the corner brought a lineout and when the catch and drive move failed flanker Ben Chadwick was on hand to pick up the ball from the maul and cross for a try. Dempsey again added the extras. From the restart Brixham were back on their heels and the Old Boys almost went over themselves. Five minutes of defence on their own line ensued but Brixham held firm and turned around 17-0 ahead.
In the second period Brixham began to play with more confidence and with the forwards running the ball at the Old Boys they started to create more opportunities. A strong run at the heart of the defence by prop Lee Squire set up the first try of the second period – touched down by outside half Jake Lawrence. Minutes later the fourth try followed. Centre Bevon Armitage intercepted on the halfway line and sprinted clear to score under the posts. Dempsey converted both tries and Brixham had almost doubled their lead.
Having set up one try, the next name on the scoresheet was Squire himself. Finding himself in an unaccustomed position among the backs and with an overlap outside him he did not pass as everyone expected but saw a gap in front of him and set off for the try line 20 metres distant – his momentum carried him over for the try. Two minutes later and Dempsey was on hand to finish a move on the opposite side of the pitch for his second try. Brixham continued to press but could not score again for a quarter of an hour. When they did it was Armitage who again did the damage, breaking though the defence. With the line at his mercy he gifted Sean Onslow with the seventh and final try.
Tiverton Reserves 11 Brixham Reserves 20
Torquay Thirds 14 Brixham Albion 20
Tavistock Colts 0 Brixham Colts 34
February 25th 2006 - MERIT TABLE Brixham RESERVES 42 SIDMOUTH RESERVES 13
With International matches on the television the only side in action on Saturday were the Reserves who defied the bitterly cold wind to provide more excitement than England were able to offer.
Having conceded a try and a penalty goal in the early stages Brixham came from behind to run in seven tries and cement their position at the top of the Devon 1 Merit Table.
The comeback was started by winger Michael Skeet who crossed for a try, converted by James Onslow. Before halftime the other winger Ryan Ashington also went over. Onslow missed the conversion but was successful with the penalty that saw Brixham turn around 15-8 ahead.
In the second period Brixham began to exert more pressure on the visitors’ line and extended their lead after 15 minutes when Chris Dorling picked the ball up from a maul and charged over in the corner from 20 metres out. Minutes later and the pace of the Brixham backs put Ryan Ashington clear again to cross for his second try. With both tries scored in the corners the wind made kicking difficult and neither try was converted.
A fine solo effort from fullback Jason Ellis earned him the fifth Brixham try but this score merely served to fire up Sidmouth who replied almost immediately. In the last five minutes Brixham added two more tries – Ashington scoring both to take his personal tally for the match to four. Ellis converted the first but his attempt at the final one, with the last kick of the match was denied by the post.
February 18th 2006 - LEAGUE Hornets 30 Brixham 19
Brixham’s hopes of promotion took another fall after this defeat in Somerset. Although Brixham did not play well in the first half the referee virtually penalised them off the park. No matter what they did, Brixham ended up on the receiving end of a penalty and some of the visiting supporters claimed they witnessed the worst display of refereeing seen this season
Hornets opened the scoring in the fifth minute when they won a catch and drive 5 meters from the Brixham line which allowed their scrumhalf Edwards to dive over in the corner for No 10 Mark Griffiths to convert to make it 0-7.
Hornets went further ahead in the twelfth minute when they took a quick penalty and moved the ball wide. Edwards came up in support and scored his second try. Brixham hit back soon after when they won a good line out and moved the ball for prop Lee Squire to go over close to the posts. Mathew Dempsey playing at centre added the points to narrow the deficit to five points. With the penalty count against them mounting Brixham conceded two more tries. A kick into the corner, a line out and catch and drive and the Hornets No 8 was driven over to score a try. And then another penalty wioth the same outcome.
With the first half drawing to a close the Brixham winger Paul Lidster went to intercept the ball. Although he used both hands he was yellow carded for what the referee said was a deliberate knock on. A penalty in front of the posts gave Hornets another three points and Lidster got ten minutes in the sinbin. Hornets turned around 25-7 ahead.
In the second half, with 14 men on the park, Brixham decided to throw caution to the wind and moved the ball wide, Winger Adam Chadwick put in a neat kick over the top; won the chase for the ball to touch down for a try. Almost as soon as Lidster was back on the park and Brixham were back to 15 players they were reduced to 14 again when prop Lee Squire was put in the bin for tackling a player within 10 meters of another penalty. Despite being a man down Brixham were now playing the rugby and when the ball moved out to Lidster on the left wing he went over score a try which Dempsey converted to reduce the gap to six points.
When Adam Chadwick intercepted a Hornets pass on the Brixham 22 and was gone with no one to beat it looked as if Brixham could pull off a win but he was called back for yet another penalty. The referee ruled that Andrew Baker had been off side when Chadwick intercepted.
Hornets then made the game safe with a fifth try but even this was controversial. Before their player went over in the corner he appeared to have put his foot in touch before doing so. Unfortunately the Hornets touch judge disagreed..
February 11th 2006 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 13 ST. MARYS OLD BOYS 36
Brixham slipped to fourth place in the League with this defeat. They struggled to cope with the pace and angles of running of the St Marys backs and the forwards could never establish any dominance.
Within five minutes of the game the visitors established a small lead with two penalties but this was soon reduced when Matt Dempsey kicked one for Brixham. Although St Marys had the edge in the early exchanges Brixham squandered two excellent try-scoring opportunities when the final passes went astray. Having failed to cross the line Brixham were back on defence for most of the first half. St Marys scored three tries before half-time – two from lineout catch and drive moves – but were unavble to convert any of them and turned around 21-6 ahead.
In the second half they extended their lead by ten points in as many minutes with a converted try and a penalty and the Fishermen were looking at the prospect of a heavy defeat. Although the vistors never eased up in the last twenty minutes of the game Brixham began to put more consistent pressure on the visitors’ line. Eventually the Old Boys defence ran out of men and No 8 Clinton Dyer was able to score a try in the corner for Brixham. two minutes later and in the opposite corner Matt Dempsey also found room to cross for a try. Although the difficult conversions were missed, the scoreline was now less depressing for the Fishermen. St Marys had the last laugh however when they touched down for a try following another catch and drive.
Brixham Reserves 32 St Marys OB Reserves 13
Kingsbridge Reserves 15 Brixham Albion 19
February 4th 2006 - DEVON CUP IVYBRIDGE 9 BRIXHAM 34
Ivybridge have been enjoying a good season so far and although they are in the league below Brixham this Devon Cup quarter-final match promised to be an interesting encounter. The more so as Brixham were forced to make changes to their front row because of injuries and the unavailability of key players.
Brixham went behind very early in the match. Ivybridge established a rolling maul on the halfway line and trundled 30 metres before releasing the ball. Brixham snuffed out the attack but were ruled to have been offside and the penalty put them three points down.
With their heavy pack Ivybridge put pressure on Brixham and all the play in the next 15 minutes was in the Brixham half – with the defence holding firm. The first real Brixham attack of the game resulted in a penalty kicked by Matt Dempsey to level the scores but the pattern of the game remained the same with Ivybridge enjoying considerable territorial advantage. On the half-hour they were rewarded. Several minutes virtually camped on the Brixham line eventually won them a penalty and Ivybridge again had the lead. From the restart Brixham were on the attack and a break by centre Andy Baker resulted in the first try of the match. No 8 Clinton Dyer in support going over from close range to put Brixham ahead.
For the remainder of the first half the Brixham pack continued to struggle and with the lineouts not functioning well it remained a dogged defensive battle. An 8-6 halftime lead for the Fishermen was, perhaps, not a fair refection of the game.
Where the first half had been somewhat dour, the first ten minutes of the second half provided a welcome contrast with three tries. Clinton Dyer was the first to cross the line, finishing off a move by going over in the corner. Ivybridge went back on the attack but the ball went loose to Brixham winger Paul Lidster in his own 22. Eluding the first tackle he set off towards the Ivybridge line. The support of centre Bevon Armitage and the other Brixham backs was not needed as he evaded two more tackles and touched down under the posts to give Dempsey a straightforward conversion.
Ivybridge replied with their third penalty before the other Brixham winger – Adam Chadwick – made his mark on the match. Coming off the wing his mazey run took him through the centre of the Ivybridge defence. The move was finished off by flanker Brad McEldowney scoring a try.
The conversion put Brixham eighteen points clear but Ivybridge were not buried. They continued to launch attacks but with their backs posing no threat to Brixham and their forwards tiring were unable to make much headway. As the final whistle drew nearer tempers began to get a little heated but the referee kept matters under control. Brixham ended the second half as they had begun it with their fifth, and final try. Adam Chadwick finished off a move by the backs scoring under the posts. Dempsey drop-kicked the conversion and the tie was over.
Brixham Reserves 30 Exeter University 0
OPO’s 3 Brixham Albion 15
Brixham Colts 61 OPMs 7 CORRECTION
January 28th 2006 - LEAGUE TAUNTON 5 BRIXHAM 40
When Taunton came to Astley Park earlier in the season Brixham won 40-20. In the rematch at Taunton on Saturday Brixham improved on that scoreline in a game that showed the difference in class of the two sides.
From the start the difference was glaringly apparent. Taunton conceded three penalties in quick succession in as many minutes and enabled Brixham to dominate the early exchanges.
In the 14th minute a quick break in the middle by veteran centre Andrew Baker brought fullback Matthew Dempsey into the line for him to send winger Adam Chadwick clear for a try. Dempsey duly converted it to give the Fishermen a well-deserved lead.
Six minutes later and the lead was doubled. The othe Brixham centre - Bevon Armitage - broke through the Taunton defence to put Dempsey away for a try which he again converted.
Brixham were piling on the pressure and before half-time had added a third try.. Brixham won a scrum close to the Taunton line and No 8 Clinton Dyer was able to go over for a simple try under the posts. Dempsey kicked the conversion to make it 21-0 at the break.
Within 10 minutes of the restart Brixham had increased their lead. Two penalties from Dempsey were suitable reward for Brixham as they continued to dominate proceedings.
Midway through the second period Brixham won a turnover and spun the ball wide. Armitage in the middle passed the ball to prop Lee Squire who went over from 20 yards. Dempsey again added the points for the conversion
Brixham were so in control of the match that they could have had more tries if the ball had gone to hand. They had to content themselves with two more penalties before Taunton got some late consolation with an unconverted try..
With Taunton unable to raise a team to play Brixham Reserves at Astley Park it was the Colts who took centre-stage at home. A friendly against Cullompton provided welcome relief from the rigours of Cup and Merit Table matches. Richard Champion ran in for a try in the opening minute and Brixham followed up with seven more as they chalked up a 44-17 win.
Brixham Albion were also in action on Saturday in a Merit Table match down in Plymouth against OPMs Third XV. Trailing 10-3 they staged a late revival to secure a 14-10 victory that keeps them at the top of their league.
January 21st 2006 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 13 EXMOUTH 10
Brixham entertained struggling Exmouth on Saturday and gained the victory that keeps them in third place in the league – but they left the winning score till very late.
Brixham were on top in the early exchanges and took the lead after six minutes. A five-metre lineout resulted in a familiar catch and drive but the visitors’ forwards held Brixham at bay and the maul went to ground. Brixham recycled the ball and number 8 Chriis Dorling crashed over from close range for a try. Fullback Matt Dempsey added the conversion and Brixham had the sort of start they wanted. Twenty minutes later and Dempsey kicked a penalty to put the Fishermen ten points ahead but Brixham were by no means having it all their own way. Exmouth were by this point doing much of the pressing and ten minutes later reduced the arrears to three points though a converted try. Further pressure in the final minutes of the first half brought them no reward and Brixham turned around 10-7 ahead.
Within two minutes of the restart Exmouth were back on level terms through a penalty. Continued attacks by the visitors were held by the Brixham defence but when the Fishermen attacked it was too often terminated by a missed pass or a turnover. By the midway point in the second half the Exmouth forwards seemed to be tiring and Brixham began to get back into the game. Adam Chadwick looked to have broken the stalemate with a try but had put a foot in touch so the score was disallowed. Further efforts to cross the Exmouth line for a winning try were met by stubborn defence. Kicking seemed the only option but, deep in injury time, Jake Lawrence saw his drop goal attempt go just wide.
From the 22 restart Exmouth were unable to get out of their half and Brixham unleashed a series of forward drives. The last one, by prop Lee Squire, saw him stopped a yard short of the line but in their determination to secure the ball Exmouth infringed and conceded a penalty. Dempsey calmly put the ball over and the referee blew for time.
Exmouth Reserves 11 Brixham Reserves 16
Brixham Albion 11 Exmouth Thirds 24
January 14th 2006 - NATIONAL CUP WYMONDHAM COLTS 7 BRIXHAM COLTS 30
Brixham had to set out for the trip to Norfolk at teatime on Friday but if their hosts thought that the long trip would upset the Fishermen they soon realised their mistake. Brixham Colts probably played their best game of the season to claim a place in the last 16 of the National Colts Cup.
Although the windy conditions made the lineouts something of a lottery, Brixham started out like a team determined to win and dominated the opening exchanges. After five minutes they opened their account with a try and extended the lead with a penalty. With their forwards in command the backs always looked dangerous and were finding gaps in the defence by running good angles. With the home side defending well it was not until just before half-time that Brixham were able to increase their lead with a second, converted, try.
Outside-half Ross Edwards went off with a hamstring injury just before the break and Brixham were forced to rearrange their game. The opening ten minutes of the second period, while Brixham were readjusting, saw the only really spell of pressure from the home side who reduced the arrears with a try and conversion. Brixham then regained the initiative and for the remainder of the game were well in control adding two more tries and a penalty to emerge worthy winners.
The team and their supporters were not only pleased with the win but also delighted with the very warm and friendly welcome they got at Wymondham.
Brixham scorers: Tries - Richard Champion, Jack Pierce, Matthew Skeet and Andrew Soper; Conversions – Richard Champion and Ross Edwards; Penalties - Richard Champion and Ross Edwards.
Closer to home the Reserves travelled to Torquay and came home 24-12 winners while at Astley Park the third team, Brixham Albion, withstood a second half comeback by Torquay Thirds to win 30-10. These results keep both teams at the top of their Merit Tables.
Torquay Reserves 12 Brixham Reserves 24
Brixham Albion 30 Torquay IIIs 10
January 7th 2006 - LEAGUE MOUNTS BAY 52 BRIXHAM 15
Saturdays trip to Penzance to play the league leaders was never going to be a good way to usher in the New Year. Most of the Mount’s Bay squad have previously played at national league level and they have a side capable of walking through the leagues to National 3 South.
Kiwi Palepoi Nonu opened the scoring for Mounts Bay in the first minute when he intercepted Jake Lawrence’s pass on the half way line and ran through virtually unopposed and left an easy conversion. Play in the ensuing 15 minutes was fairly even and from a ruck set up in the Mounts Bay half Brixham won quick ball to send centre Paul Lidster in near the posts for Mathew Dempsey to convert and level the score at seven points apiece
This was as close as Brixham got to winning the game. Four minutes later Mounts Bay scored again from a Brixham breakdown on the 22 when their hooker got clear to score under the posts – followed by another easy conversion
Brixham suffered a big blow when influential No 8 Clinton Dyer had to leave the field. At the time it was suspected that he had a fractured shoulder, but after x-rays at the local hospital it was found to be severe bruising.
Sadly this incident disrupted the Brixham team and the Bay scored three times in quick succession before Dempsey reduced the deficit with a penalty. With half time approaching poor tackling by the Brixham backs allowed Mounts Bay to score their fifth try and turn around 31-10 ahead.
With only a minute on the clock in the second period Mounts Bay scored another converted try and their seventh soon followed.
A bust up between the teams saw yellow cards being dished out to a player from each side. This, and the introduction of veteran Andrew Baker for the injured Tom Vaughan, saw Brixham adopt a different approach and begin to put pressure on Mounts Bay. A break by Baker in the middle saw the Brixham backs combine for winger Adam Chadwick to score a very good try. Brixham had been let down throughout by some poor tackling and in the closing minutes of the game more poor tackling enabled Mounts Bay to cross the try line again.
Brixham Colts will be travelling to Norfolk next weekend to play Wymondham in the Colts National Cup but Saturday’s merit table match against Newton Abbot did little for their preparations. A one-sided affair saw them win 74-0.
Brixham Reserves 43 Newton Abbot Reserves 5
Brixham Colts 74 Newton Abbot Colts 0
December 26h 2005, Boxing Day - FRIENDLY Presidents XV 37 Club XV 7
The Presidents XV included Tony Davis and Rob Savage, and many players aged under 20
December 24h 2005 - FRIENDLY TORQUAY 28 BRIXHAM 30
Brixham and Torquay took the opportunity of resting key players for the annual friendly match played before a crowd of about 1000 supporters on Christmas Eve at Torquay. The kick off was at 1pm to give supporters a chance to rush off and do that final piece of shopping.
Brixham started as if some one had put a firework where it hurt and in the third minute the Fishermen won a line out on the Torquay 5 meter line which allowed hooker and pack leader Michael Beeson (playing his first game for the First XV for seven weeks) to score. Skipper and fullback Matthew Dempsey kicked the goal to give Brixham an early seven point lead.
Brixham being in their most charitable Christmas mood soon were giving out early Christmas presents to Torquay and when Brixham failed to control a missed penalty in the in goal area Torquay's Jimmy Hill who was following the kick dropped on the ball to score which gave Fullback Matt Jackson an easy kick to level the scores. Torquay then went ahead when Brixham were caught off side just inside the Torquay half. Jackson with a very good kick put the ball cleanly through the posts. Brixham put the tics under pressure which brought penaltiesand Dempsey kicked an easy goal to make it 10-10.
Torquays pack were under all sorts of pressure and from a scrum close to the Torquay line the Fishermens No 8 Clinton Dyer drove over for Dempsey to convert to make 17-10. Another lapse by the Brixham defence allowed Jimmy Beardsmore in with a try and when Brixham were penalised another long distance kick by Jackson gave Torquay an 18-17 halftime lead.
In the second half Torquay went further ahead when Brixham again were penalised and Hill kicked Torquay's third penalty. Worse was to come.. An interception try by Beardsmore and a Hill conversion made the score 28-17. Brixham dug deep and won a penalty which replacement No 10 Jason Ellis kicked and another penalty into the corner put the Fishermen into catch and drive mode to put Alun Glanvill over for an unconverted try. Brixham were now only three points behind and intelligent kicking pushed the Tics back into the corner which resulted in the tics conceding many penalties and a warning from the Referee that a penalty try was looming. From another catch and drive Brixham drove flanker Matthew Kimble over to make it 30-28 to Brixham and the final score
Brixham had made 8 changes from the side which defeated Camborne in the league; giving First XV debuts to Ryan Ashington and Jason Ellis.
BRIXHAM COLTS 31 TORQUAY COLTS 8
December 17th 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 35 CAMBORNE 3
It was another good day at Astley Park on Saturday with all four of the senior sides winning their games. The Club go into the Chrismas break with all four sides riding high in their respective leagues or merit tables. For the First team the match was, yet again, one of two halves.
Brixham went behind immediately. Having safely caught the kick off they were penalised for illegal blocking and Camborne converted the referee’s decision into a three point lead.
Playing down the slope the Fishermen began to dictate the game and two penalties from the boot of Matthew Dempsey eased them into the lead midway through the first period. Brixham then began to play more expansively but while they were creating gaps in the Camborne defence they were unable to finish off their moves by crossing the try line. A third penalty from Dempsey was the only other score they could achieve before the half-time whistle blew.
Camborne clearly believed that they were able to counter Brixham’s attacking style but in the first ten minutes of the second half they conceded two tries. Winger Tom Vaughan bagged the first when he finished off a threequarter movement but flanker Ben Chadwick did all the work to cross for his try. The Brixham forwards set up a rolling maul in midfield and Chadwick peeled off with the ball and found there was no Camborne defence to stop him as he ran 35 yards to score under the posts. Dempsey added the extras.
Although they were now twenty points behind the Cornishmen now began to show more spirit and the game became more even as they forced Brixham to do more in defence. A missed penalty was the closest they came to scoring but at the other end Brixham engineered two further tries. A Brixham rolling maul rumbled 15 metres to cross the line and hooker Jon Warriner emerged from under the pile of bodies to claim his first try for the Fishermen – again Dempsey added the conversion. The fourth, and final, try came from the backs whose slick passing created the space for centre Paul Lidster to go over in the corner.
The last fifteen minutes saw Camborne enjoying their best period of the game but it was over as a contest and Brixham prevented the visitors from adding to their opening-minute score.
Crediton Reserves 19 Brixham Reserves 48
Brixham Albion 21 Crediton IIIs 5
Brixham Colts 20 Camborne Colts 10
December 10th 2005 - LEAGUE TRURO 13 BRIXHAM 44
Brixham kept up the pressure at the top of South West Two with an ultimately emphatic victory at Truro on Saturday. In the process they scored seven tries – with the Chadwick brothers bagging six of them.
The events of the first half gave little clue as to the final result. Truro opened the scoring in the second minute with an easy penalty and five minutes later Brixham equalised with a similar score. Despite continuous pressure by Brixham it was Truro who again took the lead midway through the half with a second penalty. Again and again Brixham poured forward winning penalties but were unable to convert them into points. With half time beckoning Brixham changed tactics and put a penalty into the corner. From the resulting line out second-row Adam Thomas won clean ball which allowed flanker Ben Chadwick to break clear and go over for a try. An unsuccessful conversion left Brixham with a slender 8-6 lead at the break.
Truro had held their own in the first period but they were blown away in the second. Barely three minutes into the half, Brixham winger Adam Chadwick was put away on the right to score a try. Five minutes later and centre Bevon Armitage took a more direct route to the line when a surge up the middle put him over. With Brixham driving forward relentlessly the pressure began to tell on Truro. A penalty into the corner, with the catch and drive to follow, and Ben Chadwick scored his second try. Dempsey converted to make the score 25-6.
With Brixham well on top two more penalties and the same routine as before with Ben Chadwick going over for two more tries, and Dempsey converting both. Brixham lowered their guard when they made changes and allowed Truro back into the game with a simple try and conversion but still had time for a final flourish. With time running out Brixham put Adam Chadwick away again on the right for him to score the seventh try for the Fishermen.
Back at Astley Park the second and third teams were both in action in important Merit Table matches. The Reserves proved too strong for Torquay and ran out 30-0 winners with wingers Ryan Ashington and Alex Brown each grabbing a brace of tries. Brixham Albion had a more testing tussle with Devonport High School Old Boys Reserves but held on to win 18-7.
Brixham Reserves 30 Torquay Reserves 0
Brixham Albion 18 DHSOB Reserves 7
December 3rd 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 29 CONEY HILL 25
Coney Hill from Gloucester are another of the promotion hopefuls and their visit to Astley Park was something of a crunch match. For the third home game running Brixham were forced to play in their red change-strip – and for the first time wore it to victory.
For the first twelve minutes Brixham, assisted by the strong wind and the slope, had their visitors confined in their own half and defending desperately. In doing so they were repeatedly penalised and Brixham had chances to score with four penalty attempts. With the wind gusting kicking conditions were difficult and only one kick was successful.
Brixham continued to press and soon reaped a better reward. The ball was sent along the threequarters and Peter Chart on the wing went over for the opening try. Almost immediately Coney Hill struck back and their first real attack of the match also resulted in a try. Thus encouraged, they proceeded to pressurise Brixham and for fifteen minutes the homesters were unable to launch any attacks – though the defence held firm. With the first half drawing to a close Brixham had weathered the storm and were back on the attack. Strong running from prop Dan Stead paved the way for flanker Brad McEldowney to score a try and with Matt Dempsey’s conversion Brixham were able to turn around 15-5 ahead.
From the restart Brixham were under immediate pressure and within ten minutes had conceded a try, a conversion and a penalty which levelled the scores. Coney Hill continued to press and went ahead by seven points with another converted try. When Brixham did manage to get into the Coney Hill half of the field fullback Matt Dempsey reduced the arrears with a penalty kick but the visitors’ lead was almost immediately restored with a drop goal.
With the game becoming rather ill-tempered Brixham launched a series of attacks in the last fifteen minutes. Dempsey got the deficit back to four points with his third penalty. Winger Adam Chadwick then put Brixham back in the lead when the backs combined to send the ball across the width of the park to put him in at the corner. With the forwards getting on top of the Coney Hill pack Brixham were finishing more strongly and Dempsey’s fourth penalty eased them four points ahead before the final whistle.
Torquay Colts 7 Brixham Colts 19
November 26th 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 11 HORNETS 16
Brixham suffered their second defeat in the league on Saturday at the hands of Hornets. As against Mounts Bay they dominated the opening period but the visitors came back to win in the second.
In the first half virtually all of the play was in the Hornets half and Brixham had five attempts at penalty goals in the opening 25 minutes. With just two being successful they only had a slender six point lead to show for their efforts and the advantage was halved when Hornets kicked their first penalty on the half-hour.
Brixham continued to press the Hornets defence and eventually made the breakthrough. Dan Stead’s run at the heart of the defence sucked in the tacklers and he was stopped 5 metres from the line but the ball was quickly recycled to the backs and Bevon Armitage went over in the corner. The conversion from the touchline went wide and Brixham turned around 11-3 ahead.
For the second period Hornets game plan was to keep the ball tight and they were immediately on the offensive. Within five minutes they had reduced the arrears with a penalty goal and they were successful in keeping Brixham pegged back. For all of their pressure Hornets could not contrive any clear try-scoring chances as the home defence held firm. When they did score a try it was from a breakaway when a Brixham attack broke down in midfield. Whether the Hornets defenders had been offside and whether the final pass was forward were academic when the conversion went over and the visitors were in the lead. Ten minutes later the margin increased to five points when Hornets kicked their third penalty.
As the final whistle approached Brixham came back strongly but they were unable to penetrate the defence. While they got close to the try-line they could not cross it.
Brixham Reserves 39 Hornets Reserves 13
Brixham Albion 56 Totnes Reserves 0
November 19th 2005 - LEAGUE CAMBORNE 10 BRIXHAM 15
After two defeats Brixham got back to winning ways on Saturday but it was a game which they should have won by a much wider wider margin. A beautiful crisp sunny winter day in Camborne provided an excellent stage and when Brixham kicked off with the wind behind them they were immediately threatening the Camborne line.
And that is what they did for the next twenty minutes with no reward. Dropped passes, forward passes and missed kicks left the travelling supporters wondering whether it was going to be one of those days when nothing goes right.
The situation got worse midway through the first half when Camborne made their first venture into the Brixham half. Camborne stole the ball in a Brixham maul and put their skipper Sean Oates away under the posts for a try. The conversion gave Camborne a seven point lead which they didn’t deserve as they had being under the cosh up to that point.
This stirred Brixham up and they started to force Camborne into errors. Scrum half Sean Onslow benefitted from one of these to open the Brixham scoring with a try; full-back and captain Matt Dempsey converted to bring the scores level.
Brixham had several chances to go further ahead but persisted in putting the ball into the corner to set up catch and drive moves but these were not coming off as Camborne stubbornly defended. With time running out in the first period winger Adam Chadwick was put away in a classic three quarter move on the right and his speed outpaced the Camborne defence. Dempsey’s kick failed and Brixham turned around 12-7 ahead.
Early in the second half Brixham gave away an easy penalty in front of their posts for offside and the kick reduced their lead to just two points. Camborne were now setting the pace and forcing Brixham to defend their line which they did with their customary zeal. Over-enthusiasm cost Camborne dear as they were repeatedly penalised and Brixham were able to gain breathing space. With time running out Camborne set up an attack and appeared to have scored their second try in the corner as the referee seemed to indicate a try. However after a period of indecision he disallowed the try because the ball carrier had touched the corner flag before putting the ball down. Brixham hit back straight away and were awarded a penalty which was immediately walked back 10 meters when Camborne questioned the decision. Dempsey kicked the goal to bring the score and final result to 15-10.
The Brixham Director of Coaching Brett Bedwell was not a happy man and the team felt his wrath for what had been a very poor display by the majority of the team. Brixham had come too close to losing out through poor decision making and lack of effort.
Brixham Reserves 31 Crediton Reserves 0 (Merit Table)
Crediton Thirds 24 Brixham Albion 33 (Friendly)
November 12th 2005 - LEAGUE
BRIXHAM 15 MOUNTS BAY 31
Brixham surrendered their 100% League record on Saturday in a thrilling game that they might have won. In near perfect weather they went down to league leaders Mounts Bay who count a number of players with National league experience in their ranks.
Brixham took the lead after just two minutes when their first attack was rewarded with a penalty – duly converted into points by skipper Matthew Dempsey. Mounts Bay struck back with a penalty of their own and then went into the lead. Three minutes virtually camped on the Brixham line resulted in a try and the Cornishmen had an 8-3 lead midway through the first half.
Having gone behind Brixham then began to get the upper hand and the remainder of the first period was largely played in the Mounts Bay half. Centre Bevon Armitage restored parity with a try before Dempsey, from full back, rounded off a handling move by scoring a try under the posts which he then converted. From the restart Mounts Bay were able to attack and levelled the scores with a converted try.
The opening few minutes of the second period saw Brixham resume their offensive but the visitors had used the break to rethink their game plan and proceeded to keep the game as tight as possible. Five minutes in and a five metre throw-in saw the Mounts Bay forwards catch the ball and drive over for a try in the right hand corner. Ten minutes later in the opposite corner and the same thing again. Two tries gave them a ten point lead. Brixham were having difficulty in securing any good possession and retaining it when they did have the ball. Further attacks by Mounts Bay saw them unable to cross the Brixham line again but their lead was extended by two penalty goals. Brixham came back strongly in the dying minutes but got nothing for their efforts.
The defeat drops Brixham into fourth place – on points difference – but the game was perhaps the best seen at Astley Park so far this season. If Brixham had made more of the pressure they exerted in the first period they could have turned around 10 or more points ahead and the final outcome might have been different.
Brixham Albion 16 Newton Abbot Thirds 13
Newton Abbot Colts 0 Brixham Colts 37
November 5th 2005 - Intermediate Cup CLEVE 22 BRIXHAM 15
Brixham bowed out of the Intermediate Cup on Saturday. In conditions that did nothing for the kickers when they lost by the odd try in seven away to Cleve.
Brixham had been forced to make four changes to the side that defeated Exmouth last week and knew they faced difficult opponents. Cleve can boast of having a former springbok Hentie Martens in their ranks (their scrumhalf and Director of Rugby) and are top of the other half of South West II.
Cleve took the lead with only six minutes on the watch. They stretched Brixham first to the right and then to the left to score a well worked try by their hooker.
Brixham then equalised. Having pushed Cleve back ino the corner they won a penalty. A quickly worked tap was passed to Number 8 Clinton Dyer who dived over for a try.
With the play going from end to end the next score came from a scrum on the Brixham line when the Cleve full back Richard Catt (younger brother of the famous Mike Catt) came up on the short side, took a short pass and dummied over for a try. A very good conversion kick from the touchline made it 12-5.
Brixham hit back within minutes when Alex Brown was put away on the left wing and scored a fine try to reduce the deficit to 12-10 at the break.
With the Brixham defence tightening the screw Cleve had to change their game plan and their next score came from a catch and drive with replacement prop Ed Wilson being forced over for their third try. Brixham hit back almost immediately when the Brixham backs combined to put wing Adam Chadwick away to make it 15-17.
Brixham then had two chances to go in front with penalties but unfortunately skipper Matt Dempsey had left his kicking boots behind and both went wide.
With Brixham now virtually camped on the Cleve line they were penalised for not releasing the ball. Within a minute they were penalised three more times in quick succession and back defending their own line. From a short penalty Martens was driven over for the seventh and final try of the game to make it 22-15 and the final score.
Sidmouth Reserves 17 Brixham Reserves 27
Sidmouth Thirds 3 Brixham Albion 12
Brixham Colts 0 Sidmouth Colts 8
Last Monday the Colts played Ivybridge in a National Cup game and defeated them 22- 8 in a very good game of rugby
October 29th 2005 - LEAGUE EXMOUTH 11 BRIXHAM 24
A large crowd from Brixham made the trip to Exmouth on Saturday. Against a very heavy Exmouth pack they saw the Brixham forwards put in one of their best performances of a so far
Brixham were given a wake up call in the 5th minute when Exmouth’s new signing from Mounts Bay the Tongan International Mo Oto Ota chipped through the gap for his winger to touch down in the corner for a try.
Brixham hit back straight away and when Exmouth were caught off side in front of their posts it gave Matthew Dempsey the chance to reduce the arrears with a penalty.
Brixham now had the bullet between their teeth and drove at the Exmouth pack knocking them back yards from powerful drives. It was on one of these drives that Exmouth again infringed by coming in from the side. Jake Lawrence put the penalty into the corner and from the resulting line out No 4 Adam Thomas took clean ball and was driven over by the Brixham pack in a classic catch and drive. Brixham hooker Michael Beeson touched down to put Brixham 8-5 ahead.
Oto Ota was having a very quiet game but put Exmouth back on level terms when he knocked over a penalty when Brixham were punished for holding on. Dempsey restored the Brixham lead when Exmouth held a player back but for the last ten minutes of the first half it was Exmouth who held the upper hand as Brixham allowed them back into the game. Brixham were penalised for offside which Ota Oto kicked to make it 11-11 at the break.
Brixham started the second half with the wind behind them and in determined style. Six minutes in they were awarded a penalty which they again put into the corner to set up a catch and drive. This time it was prop Dan Stead who grounded the ball for the try. In the meantime Oto Ota had left the field, apparently injured.
Again and again Brixham drove at the heavier Exmouth pack disrupting their scrum and denying Exmouth any quality ball. Pressure brings penalties and Dempsey converted one of these to put Brixham further ahead. Brixham then relaxed for a time and conceded Exmouth two kickable penalties but both were pushed wide. Brixham reorganised their defence but continued to deny Exmouth any ball. Without the ball frustrations build up and on Lawrence’s return from the sin-bin Brixham again upped the pressure and sent winger Adam Chadwick away to score in the corner and seal the win.
Brixham Reserves 45 Exmouth Reserves-20 - Devon Merit Table
Exmouth Thirds 5 Brixham Albion 19
Cullompton Colts 19 Brixham Colts 10
October 22nd 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 40 TAUNTON 20
Brixham retained their 100% record in the league with a win over newly-promoted Taunton on Saturday.
With the wind and the slope in their favour Taunton started brightly and the first quarter of the match belonged to them. Brixham were penned back into their own half and only stout defence, aided by Taunton’s mistakes, prevented any score. Eventually the visitors were rewarded for their efforts with a drop-goal. Taunton looked dangerous on the odd occasion when their backs got the ball but stuck mainly with their forwards – a pattern of play that continued throughout the match.
Having fallen behind, Brixham now started to press forward and in a six-minute spell turned the game on its head. Outside half, and Man of the Match, Jake Lawrence opened the Brixham account by muscling through under the posts – giving Matt Dempsey an easy conversion. Brixham took the restart kick cleanly and good support play and slick passing saw the ball through at least ten pairs of hands before reaching Dempsey who scored in the corner. Minutes later when Taunton were on the attack the two Brixham centres engineered the third try. Bevon Armitage intercepted on the half-way line and with the Taunton full-back committed to the tackle fed Paul Lidster for an easy run to the line. Dempsey’s conversion put Brixham 19-3 ahead.
Taunton had been stung by the Brixham scores but the last five minutes of the first half saw them again pressuring the Brixham line. A 5 metre scrum resulted in a pushover try for their veteran No 8 Mark Shirley. Although the conversion was missed Taunton could see that the game was by no means over.
The second half began as the first had ended with the visiting forwards pounding at the Brixham defence. Ten minutes of attack close to the Brixham line brought no joy and Brixham eventually had the chance to clear their lines with a relieving penalty kick. Scrum-half Sean Onslow had a different idea however and took a quick tap which enabled him to break the Taunton line and put winger Peter Chart clear for a long run to the line; Dempsey again added the conversion.
Brixham had weathered the early Taunton storm and midway though the second period went further ahead when a rolling maul from ten metres out went over the line – flanker Alun Glanvill at the base of the maul claiming the try. With Dempsey’s conversion the Brixham lead had extended to twenty-five points.
Two tries in quick succession by the visitors reduced this to thirteen points and with ten minutes remaining an upset seemed possible. It was not to be. Brixham went back on the attack and scored their sixth try when hooker Dan Stead finished off a move by crossing under the posts and giving Dempsey a straighforward fifth conversion.
Taunton Reserves 52 Brixham Reserves 10
Brixham Albion 29 OPM Nomads 24
October 15th 2005 - INTERMEDIATE CUP BOURNEMOUTH 31 BRIXHAM 32
Brixham showed grit and determination to reproduce their League form in the Intermediate Cup on Saturday despite having been forced to make seven changes to the team which had beaten St Marys OBs so convincingly the previous week
Brixham lost the toss and had to play into the wind in the first half but they started as if there were no tomorrows. In the 6th minute, from a penalty by outside half Jake Lawrence, Brixham won a line out 20 meters out from the Bournemouth line. The pack drove the home pack back to allow flanker Alun Glanvill to open the scoring with a try, converted by scrum half Sean Onslow,to give Brixham a seven point lead. Five minutes later, from a similar situation, Glanvill scored his second try - though this time the conversion was missed.
Bournemouth’s forwards were now in complete disarray giving penalty after penalty away in a bid to stop the Brixham forwards. Onslow, who was doing the kicking duties for absent skipper Matt Dempsey, managed in the 24 minute to convert one of 4 penalties into points to increase the Fishermen’s lead to 15-0
At the restart Brixham relaxed at the kick off and allowed Bournemouth’s South African wing Francois van Schalkwyk to dive over following a short penalty moved wide very quickly. The conversion reduced the lead to 15-7.
Brixham reinstated their authority when they won a quick ball in the 30th minute and moved it wide to allow winger Peter Chart a straight run in under the posts. Onslow added the conversion but with the half time whistle beckoning Brixham were caught off side in front of the posts which Bournemouth kicked to make it 22-10 at the break
Brixham failed to control Bournemouth’s kick off at the restart, which allowed the home forwards to pour through and captain Matt Kiely touched down for a try. The conversion reduced the Brixham lead to five points and this evaporated when a mix up in the Brixham backs opened the door for Bournemouth’s centre Robert Bruce to gallop through. The try, and conversion, put Brixham behind.
Bournemouth went further ahead when Brixham were penalised for off side and their man of the match – scrum half Sam Hardcastle - dashed through the gap to score under the posts for an easy conversion to make the score 31-22 to the homesters.
Having seen the results of their hard work in the first half frittered away, Brixham gathered their wits together. Bournemouth continued to attack but in a crucial position dropped the ball for Brixham centre Paul Lidster to hack the ball on. Flying winger Adam Chadwick was able to collect and stroll over under the posts. Onslow converted.to reduce the deficit to two points and set up a thrilling finale.
With time running out Brixham threw everything into attack. Chadwick, with the line at his mercy, failed to control his kick ahead and gave away a 5-meter scrum but with less than 10 minutes to go Brixham were awarded a penalty wide out on the right. Onslow struck the ball cleanly. The two touch judges disagreed as to whether the kick was good but the referee ruled that the ball had gone over and Brixham had the one point lead that was enough to see them through to the next round.
Brixham Colts 19 Redruth Colts 20
Brixham Reserves 72 Tiverton Reserves 22
October 8th 2005 - LEAGUE ST MARY'S OB 6 BRIXHAM 29
Brixham maintained their 100% record in the league this season with a second win up in Gloucestershire on Saturday. On a very wet afternoon the Brixham defence again kept their line intact and Matthew Dempsey had his kicking boots on.
In the opening minutes St Mary’s Old Boys came very close to scoring a try under the posts when a short pass from South African Franco Van Der Merwe found fellow ‘bok Danie Nothnagel on the burst. His pace took him between the Brixham centres but he was stopped by a last ditch tackle by Brixham fullback and skipper Matthew Dempsey.
St Marys had the better of the opening quarter and took the lead when they Van der Merwe kicked a penalty when Brixham were caught offside in front of the posts. Ten minutes later a similar offence and the same result saw Brixham six points adrift.
Having given that much charity to their hosts Brixham stepped up the gears and began to put pressure on their opponents. Dempsey kicked a penalty from in front of the posts when the Old Boys were penalised for not releasing the ball and again punished them for an offside infringement on the half-hour to level the scores. Brixham now had their tails up and poured forward. Centre Bevon Armitage made a half break which was carried through on the burst by fellow centre Paul Lidster who, on being tackled, managed to flip the ball to winger Adam Chadwick. Without being touched he went clear to touch down under the posts. Dempsey added the conversion and was successful with a third penalty when St Mary’s pulled down a maul to make it 16-6 at the break
Brixham were back on the attack from the recommencement and within minutes Dempsey had increased the lead with another penalty.
The Fishermen kept up the pressure with a series of attacks and were duly rewarded when Number 8 Clinton Dyer picked up a ball from the base of the scrum 10 meters out. He drove over to score near the posts to give Dempsey an easy kick and increase Brixham’s lead to 26-6.
With Brixham well on top the St Mary’s lock Ben Massey was given a yellow card for persistent offending and Dempsey kicked the resulting penalty to make the final score 29-6.
St Mary's OB Reserves 17 Brixham Reserves 24
Brixham Albion 29 Kingsbridge Reserves 7
Brixham Colts 54 Kingsbridge Colts 5
October 1st 2005 - FRIENDLY BRIXHAM CLUB XV 15 WESTON-s-MARE 50
Brixham took the opportunity of this match to try out some new combinations, rest a number of first team players and give others returning from injury a run out. None of which are excuses and Weston were well worth the victory. Their well-organised forward power in the mauls and an elusive scrum-half were vital factors and defensive lapses by Brixham did not help the Fishermen.
For Brixham the backs scored all three tries and could have had more.
Congratulations to the Albion who won their opening Devon Merit Table fixture and to the Colts who went even better than the first team at Paignton. Unfortunately there are no match reports on these.
Teignmouth Reserves 16 Brixham Albion 31
Paignton Colts 3 Brixham Colts 81
September 25th 2005 - LEAGUE GLOUCESTER OB 3 BRIXHAM 30
Brixham made a clean sweep of their weekend fixtures.
The most difficult, and crucial, game was up in Gloucester where the First XV continued their league campaign against Gloucester Old Boys. On a pitch where they had never previously won it was the Brixham defence which laid the foundations for an historic victory.
Brixham went behind early on when their hosts converted a penalty but soon levelled, and took the lead, through the boot of Matt Dempsey who slotted two penalties. Midway through the first half, with their hosts pressing, Kiwi No 8 Clinton Dyer made a superb break in the centre and the ball was recycled quickly for Dempsey to go over for the opening try. With Dempsey adding the conversion and also converting a try by winger Adam Chadwick later on Brixham had a 20-3 half-time lead.
The slope of the Old Boys’ pitch is notorious and one which they know how to use. In the second period they strove to gain maximum advantage from it and the Brixham defence was well tested. Tested, but not found wanting and the line was held. Brixham increased their lead with another penalty and went further ahead when a break by Paul Lidster resulted in Jake Lawrence scoring a try under the posts. Dempsey slotted the conversion.
Brixham had made the most of their opportunities and had given nothing away – for his part in the well marshalled defence flanker Alun Glanvill was chosen as man of the match.
Brixham Development XV 46 US Naval Academy 0
Brixham Reserves 37 Wessex Reserves 31
Brixham Colts 35 Sidmouth Colts 12
On Friday evening a Development side took on the American Navy in the shape of their Naval Academy. Although the visitors were resting some of their star players ahead of a match against their counterparts from Britannia Royal Naval College, they were no match for the young Brixham squad.
On Saturday there were two games at Astley Park. The first of these saw the Colts, with a very young side, prevail over Sidmouth in a friendly fixture. In the second a Reserve side took on the Wessex reserves in what turned out to be the closest match of the weekend. In the second minute an individual try by Ryan Ashington opened the Brixham account. Using his soccer skills he kicked and dribbled the ball fully 75 metres before picking up and diving over from a metre out. At the other end of the game a jinking run out of defence by Michael Skeet culminated in the match winning try from Tim Bumby.
September 17th 2005 - INTERMEDIATE CUP PAIGNTON 3 BRIXHAM 72
Brixham went over to Queen’s Park on Saturday as favourites to win their first round tie in the Intermediate Cup. Old rivals Paignton did nothing to upset them and Brixham cruised to an emphatic victory.
After eight minutes Brixham already had a 15-0 lead – winger Adam Chadwick having gone over for a try in the first minute followed by No 8 Clinton Dyer 5 minutes later. Matt Dempsey’s conversion of the latter and a penalty left Paignton wondering just what to do. The restart saw them in the Brixham half but the penalty kick they were awarded went wide and they were immediately back under pressure and Chadwick, coming off his wing, crashed though the middle for his second try. The restart again resulted in a penalty kick for Paignton who got off the mark but it was then all Brixham for the rest of the first half.
With the forwards and backs combining well and the ball being recycled quickly the scoreboard kept ticking over. Tries by Dempsey, Chadwick, Dan Stead, Andy Baker and Bevon Armitage (and four conversions by Dempsey) ensured that the Fishermen turned around 55-3 ahead.
With the game won Brixham made some substitutions for the second period – giving Uruguayan International prop Gaston Ibarburu and stand-off Matt Caunter their first run-outs of the season. For twenty minutes the scoreboard halted. Paignton launched some attacks but rarely threatened to score while Brixham over-complicated things and could not make the space they had in the first half.
Dyer then scored his second try, followed over by Dempsey, and Caunter rounded off the try-scoring off by sauntering over under the posts (and almost forgot to touch down). Dempsey’s seventh conversion was virtually the last act of the game.
Next week Brixham will face much tougher opposition when they return to League action and travel up to play Gloucester Old Boys. For those who prefer not to travel so far, however, Friday evening will see Astley Park hosting American visitors when a Brixham Development XV play the US Naval Academy.
September 10th 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 29 ST IVES 18
An exciting game at Astley Park saw the Fishermen secure another two league points at the expense of newly-promoted St Ives who were making their first visit to Brixham for six years.
Brixham dominated the opening stages and within 15 minutes were ten points ahead. In the second minute of the game they had the chance to open the scoring but Matthew Dempsey’s penalty went just wide of the posts. Five minutes later, however, they did score. From a lineout close to the St Ives line the Brixham pack combined to drive over for a try – flanker Ben Chadwick scored beneath the crush of bodies. Dempsey missed the conversion and a second penalty five minutes later but Brixham extended their lead when winger Adam Chadwick went over in the corner for Brixham’s second try. Again the conversion was missed and St Ives could count themselves lucky to be 10, not 20, points down.
St Ives might have been down, but were far from beaten and began to get back into the game. Using their forward power they started to pen Brixham back into their own half but it was their backs who combined to send the winger in for their opening, unconverted, try. The two sides traded penalties in the last five minutes of the first half and Brixham turned around 13-8 ahead.
The second period saw the visitors back on the attack and they levelled the scores with a try from a lineout catch and drive. A rare foray into the St Ives half got Brixham back into the lead when Dempsey slotted a penalty but it was the Cornishmen who were doing most of the attacking.
Brixham weathered the storm and in the final quarter began to get back in control of the game. A scrum to St Ives on their own 22 should have given them an opportunity to clear their lines – instead it cost them seven points. When their Number 8 picked up at the foot of the scrum he was well tackled by the Brixham scrum-half Sean Onslow; Brixham secured the ball and centre Bevon Armitage scored a try by the posts to give Dempsey an easy conversion.
Two more penalties in the last ten minutes secured the Brixham victory but between these St Ives got the best try of the game.
September 3rd 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 23 BERRY HILL 6
Brixham got their new League season off to a good start on Saturday with a convincing win over their Gloucestershire opponents.
Berry Hill had the opportunity to take the lead in the second minute but a relatively easy kick sailed wide. Brixham, with the advantage of the slope, were straight back on the attack. A scrum to Berry Hill close to their own line should have enabled them to clear easily but when the pass back to the fly-half was fumbled the Brixham scrum-half Sean Onslow only had to fall on the ball for the opening try.
Matthew Dempsey missed the conversion and a fairly straightforward penalty five minutes later. With both sides making handling errors there were few other scoring chances in the first half. Berry Hill reduced the arrears with a penalty which Dempsey matched to give Brixham an 8-3 lead at the break.
Ten minutes into the second period and Berry Hill had again reduced the gap with a long range penalty but the homesters were straight back on the attack and pressurising the Berry Hill line. Lee Squire and Adam Thomas both made short range runs at the visitors defence and softened it up for flanker Brad McEldowney to go over for a try. The conversion by Dempsey gave Brixham a more comfortable 15-6 lead.
Berry Hill then gave Brixham an extremely uncomfortable ten minutes during which they were virtually camped in the Brixham 22. This torrid period saw the home defence hold firm and it was then Brixham’s turn to mount a series of attack on their visitors’ line.
A second Dempsey penalty extended the Brixham lead and with the referees watch ticking down to the final whistle the Brixham No8 – Kiwi Clinton Dyer – delivered the coup de grace. The Brixham pack totally destroyed Berry Hill in a scrummage close to the line; the ball popped free and Dyer picked up and dived over for his first try for Brixham.
MERIT TABLE BARNSTAPLE RESERVES 7 BRIXHAM RESERVES 8
FRIENDLY BARNSTAPLE COLTS 7 BRIXHAM COLTS 10
August 27th 2005 BARNSTAPLE v BRIXHAM
August 24th 2005 BRIXHAM 7 TORQUAY 18
August 20th 2005 BRIXHAM 22 CLEVEDON 14
SATURDAY April 23rd 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 29 CONEY HILL 7
Brixham put paid to their relegation worries on Saturday with a resounding win over top of the table Coney Hill. Simon Mitchell, returning to the Brixham team after more than a year out through injury, scored 19 of his side’s points but it was an impressive performance by the whole team.
The opening minutes saw the visitors pounding away at the Brixham defence. Resolute tackling, which was a hallmark of the Brixham play for the whole match, kept them at bay. When Brixham did eventually manage to get into the Coney Hill half they had the first opportunity to score but Mitchell’s penalty went wide. Having weathered the early storm of Coney Hill it was now Brixham who were on top and Mitchell’s second penalty attempt was successful. Almost from the restart hooker Mike Beeson broke clear from a maul and quick passing put centre Bevon Armitage clear for the opening try midway through the first period. Mitchell missed the conversion and missed a second one ten minutes later after he had finished off another threequarters move with a try in the corner.
With the game and promotion slipping away from them Coney Hill picked up their game and the last ten minutes of the first half saw them virtually camped on the Brixham line – but unable to penetrate the defence – and Brixham turned around 13-0 ahead.
The opening period of the second half was fairly evenly contested with neither side able to impose themselves. Mitchell extended the Brixham lead with a penalty and Coney Hill then struck back with a converted try following a brief bout of forward pressure. The last twenty minutes could have been nail biting for the Brixham supporters but Brixham struck back immediately and again extended their lead through Mitchell’s boot (his third penalty). Brixham were now dominating the play and scored their third try when outside-half Jake Lawrence finished off a break by crossing the line under the posts. The conversion was relatively straightforward for Mitchell who rounded off the scoring with his fourth penalty kick five minutes later.
Mike Beeson was named Man of the Match for Brixham but there were fifteen heroes on the field.
SATURDAY April 16th 2005 - BRIXHAM ALBION 19 FELTHAM 14
SATURDAY April 9th 2005 - LEAGUE TRURO 17 BRIXHAM 10
SATURDAY April 9th 2005 - MERIT TABLE BRIXHAM RESERVES 20 LAUNCESTON RESERVES 58
SATURDAY April 2nd 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 18 BERRY HILL 15
With Berry Hill still in the chase for a promotion place and Brixham facing the threat of relegation this was a crunch game for both sides. If ever Brixham needed to play well this was the day for it and they did not disappoint their supporters with a good all-round performance.
Within a minute Brixham were behind. The kick-off resulted in a lineout; which led to a scrum at which Brixham were penalised and gave Berry Hill the first three points. For the next ten minutes Brixham rarely touched the ball as the visitors surged forwards. When Brixham did manage an attack they got their first scoring opportunity but Sean Onslow’s penalty kick went wide. Having survived the early pressure Brixham began to come more into the game and Berry Hill began to get bad-tempered. Foul play lost them a forward to the sin-bin - which cost them a penalty - but again Onslow missed. Brixham were straight back on the attack and more foul play saw a second Berry Hill player sinbinned. Third time lucky for Onslow as his penalty levelled the score. With the visitors still down to 13 men Brixham’s backs combined for Hank Hendriksen to cross for the try which put them ahead 8-3 at half-time.
Brixham started the second period at full throttle and for ten minutes launched a series of attacks culminating in a try for winger Tim Bumby and a conversion by Onslow. With their promotion hopes threatened Berry Hill then began to get back into the game. With the Brixham defence masterminded by man of the match Andy Baker Berry Hill concentrated their efforts on forward power. This bore fruit when a drive took their Number 8 over for a try and the conversion reduced the deficit to 5 points. With less than ten minutes remaining a second try levelled the scores but the relatively easy conversion was missed. From the restart Berry Hill knocked on, Brixham secured possession and with the referee playing advantage to them made valuable yards. Berry Hill were penalised at a resultant ruck to give Onslow a penalty 20 metres out in front of the posts. The ball sailed between the uprights and Brixham had the lead again. Five minutes to play and both teams had everything to play for but the Fishermen held out for a well-deserved victory.
SATURDAY March 12th 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 29 GORDON LEAGUE 7
Both teams were desperate for the points that would ease their relegation worries so a free-flowing feast of open rugby was never really on the cards.
With scrum-half Mark Harvey and No 8 Brad McEldowney both sidelined with injuries Brixham had been forced to make changes to their lineup and just minutes into the game had to make another. Brixham attacked straight from the kickoff but the end result of the attack was that fly-half Matt Caunter suffered an ankle injury and had to leave the field. Neither side was able to make much impression in the opening quarter and the stalemate was only broken when Sean Onslow scored a penalty for Brixham after 25 minutes. Two minutes later and the lead was extended. Hooker Michael Beeson broke away from a maul with the ball and quick passing took it out to Adam Chadwick on the wing. He chipped the defence but the bounce eluded him – to fall into the hands of centre Bevon Armitage who only needed to fall over the line for the opening try; converted by Onslow. Gordon League, who had been playing with the advantage of the slope and the wind, had their first opportunity to put points on the board in injury time at the end of the half but missed the penalty and Brixham turned around 10-0 ahead.
After the restart the game remained tight for fifteen minutes but Brixham wore down the opposition. Modern rugby often sees players popping up in unusual places on the field and this game had a classic one when prop forwards Lee Squire and Dan Stead appeared at the end of an attack on the right wing. With three Gordon League players required to halt Squire’s progress the defence was weakened and Dan Stead collected the pass to sprint 20 metres to cross the line and score a try. Onlow added the conversion. Within ten minutes Brixham were out of sight of Gordon League with two tries in quick succession. Adam Chadwick, Brixham’s man of the match, finished a move by beating three defenders to score a try in the corner and then Bevon Armitage went through the centre to score under the posts.
In injury time Gordon League scored a converted try but it will have come as little consolation to them on their trip back to Gloucester as Brixham have now moved above them in the league.
March 5th 2005 - DEVON CUP SEMI FINAL BRIXHAM 24 TORQUAY 25
Brixham have had the edge over Torquay in recent meetings between the clubs but at Astley Park on Saturday four first-half tries earned Torquay a place in the Devon Cup Final. Brixham dominated the second half but could not do enough to rectify the mistakes of the first period.
Torquay took the lead with a penalty after less than five minutes and extended it to eight points with a try in the corner. Brixham struck back with a Matt Caunter penalty but failed to secure the ball from the restart and the Torquay backs again found a gap in the Brixham defence to score a second try. Minutes later and they had gone even further ahead with a third. Another Caunter penalty reduced the lead but, as before, Torquay came back immediately with a try and conversion to turn around 25-6 ahead
In the second half Brixham tightened up their defence and began to dominate the game. Caunter slotted his third penalty after five minutes and the Brixham pressure finally paid off when Lee Squire was bundled over for a try. Torquay defended resolutely and good kicking by their fly-half gained them valuable yards. When flanker Bryce Chisholm scored a try from a forward drive with 15 minutes remaining the deficit was down to six points and Brixham had their sights on a victory.
Torquay’s defence held out until injury time when Dan Stead scored Brixham’s third try. The conversion would have won the game but from wide out, in a blustery wind, Caunter was unable to pot it and Brixhams hopes of lifting the Devon Cup were dashed again.
February 26th 2005 - LEAGUE BARNSTAPLE 26 BRIXHAM 20
MERIT TABLE BARNSTAPLE RESERVES 7 BRIXHAM RESERVES 20
Brixham had mixed fortunes in their league and cup double-header at the weekend but the results have set up an interesting climax to the season. In the League every match is now important if they are to avoid relegation while in the Cup a semi-final against our friends from Torquay is the reward.
SUNDAY February 20th 2005 - DEVON CUP SIDMOUTH 8 BRIXHAM 32
Sidmouth may be two leagues below Brixham but are clear leaders of their division and are also in the semi-finals of the National Vase Competition.
Brixham played the first half up the slope and into the wind and exerted most of the early pressure. With ten minutes on the clock they had established a lead through a Matt Caunter penalty and an unconverted Tom Vaughan try. Sidmouth struck back with a long-range penalty; only to fall further behind when a Brixham forward drive resulted in lock Chris Dorling peeling off to cross the try-line. When they had the opportunity the Sidmouth backs looked dangerous and on the half-hour they combined well to score a try in the corner and restrict the Brixham half-time lead to 13-8
In the second period, with the threat of the Sidmouth backs having been shown, it was important that Brixham should make their tackles count. Which they duly did. A succession of scrummages close to the Sidmouth line set up a number of scoring chances and with ten minutes of the second half played centre Bevon Armitage capitalised on one of these to go over for a try, converted by Caunter. With Brixham generally a bit quicker to the breakdowns and able to secure good turnover ball they gradually subdued Sidmouth and two tries late in the game sealed the victory. Prop Steve Green scored from close range but Tom Vaughan had further to go for his second try. Caunter converted the latter try.
SATURDAY February 19th 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 29 HORNETS 32
Brixham scarcely touched the ball in the first two minutes of play – a passage which saw them finish up seven points behind and with winger Alex Brown stretchered off with a broken leg. Despite the unfortunate start the Fishermen were ahead before twenty minutes had been played with two tries. Hank Hendricksen went over in the left corner for the first (converted by Matt Caunter); closely followed by Adam Chadwick in the right. Hornets replied with their second try to level the scores but before the referee blew for half-time prop Lee Squire had gained the reward for the efforts of the home forwards with two tries. With neither converted Brixham turned around 22-12 ahead.
Hornets reduced the arrears early in the second period with a long-range penalty but Chadwick’s second try, converted by Caunter, extended the lead to 14 points. A second Hornets penalty and a converted try whittled the lead to just four points and set up a tense last quarter-hour with Brixham forced on to the back foot. With the defence holding on Brixham thought they had probably done enough for the win, but in injury-time Hornets stung them with a try to deprive them – the conversion being the final act.
February 12th - MERIT TABLE TAUNTON RESERVES 10 BRIXHAM RESERVES 5
February 5th 2005 - LEAGUE SPARTANS 22 BRIXHAM 7
Brixham opened the scoring in the tenth minute when the Brixham backs combined well to give Bevon Armitage his eleventh league try of the season. Math Caunter converted for a seven point lead.
In the twenty sixth minute Brixham were stunned when the referee allowed a try from Spartans winger Jamie Easterbrook. in the corner following a forward catch and drive despite the fact that he had knocked the touch flag down when he dived to put the ball down.
Easterbrook was again the scorer when Spartans had a similar catch and drive in the same position as the previous score but, on this occasion, Easterbrook was in touch when he received the ball.. The referee Mr Roach from Liverpool had to accept the advice of the Spartans touch judge.
One of pleasing factors of the first half was that Brixham had not conceded a penalty of any kind.
H T Score Spartans 10 Brixham 7
In the first 30 minutes of the second half the play took place between the two 22 meter lines with neither side able to dominate. Then Brixham made their first mistake when a chip ahead was intercepted by the Spartans No 6 and man of the match Chris Patterson who scored near the posts for an easy conversion and a 17-7 advantage.
With time running out Brixham threw every thing into attack and again Brixham tried a little chip ahead only for the Spartans No 6 flanker to collect and score a try in the corner.
Brixham forwards were very good in the scrums and line out but were up against a very good back row who were excellent at the breakdown.
Following the Brixham try both sets of backs shut up shop neither of which were able to dominate.
MERIT TABLE BRIXHAM RESERVES 7 WESTON RESERVES 20
MERIT TABLE BRIXHAM ALBION 27 TOPSHAM RESERVES 12
January 29th 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 35 STROUD 7
Brixham eased their relegation worries with a win against fellow strugglers Stroud.
Stroud started strongly and it was against the run of play when Matthew Caunter gave Brixham the lead with a penalty. Being ahead did nothing to relieve the pressure on the Brixham defence as Stroud dominated the first thirty minutes. Quick passing and good support play kept the visitors moving forward and they gained a just reward when their flanker Adam Tarplee went over for a try following a 5 metre lineout. The conversion gave them a four-point lead which should have been extended minutes later by a penalty kick which rebounded off the post. This lucky escape for Brixham was also the wake-up call they needed and for the last ten minutes of the first half they were attacking as much as defending. Just before the whistle blew for half-time Dan Stead popped up in support of the backs to touch down for the try that gave Brixham a slender 8-7 interval lead.
In the second period Brixham retained the momentum they had built up but found few gaps in the Stroud defence. With the Brixham pack achieving parity with Stroud it was their backs who posed the threat but it was almost midway through the second half before Brixham scored again. A Bevon Armitage try in the right corner, converted by Caunter, showed the way. A second penalty from Caunter and a try in the left corner by winger Alex Brown extended the lead to 23-7 with ten minutes remaining. The Stroud captain at this point called for his players to "run everything" at Brixham. Unfortunately for him it was the Brixham backs who were running at his team and two tries in the last five minutes from winger Adam Chadwick and centre Armitage, the first converted by Caunter, saw Brixham home in style.
Fittingly it was one of the unsung heroes – prop forward Steve Green, who was selected as Man of the Match.
January 23nd 2005 - NATIONAL PLATE BRIXHAM COLTS 5 HORNETS COLTS 25
January 22nd 2005 - LEAGUE EXMOUTH 18 BRIXHAM 0
January 22nd 2005 - MERIT TABLE BRIXHAM RESERVES 19 EXMOUTH RESERVES 3
Prop forwards are not usually highly regarded as try-scorers but Lee Squire disproved this with a hat-trick on Saturday as Brixham registered another victory in the South West Reserves Merit Table.
Brixham had fallen behind within the first five minutes to a penalty goal but soon edged ahead. A lineout 5 metres from the Exmouth line was taken by Lee at the front and he sprinted in at the corner for the opening try. Twenty minutes later he was again at hand to finish off a move with a try much closer to the posts to enable Roger Chadwick to add the conversion and give Brixham a 12-3 lead at half-time.
The incessant drizzle, muddy surface and slippery ball did nothing for the spectacle but Brixham were generally on top throughout and when Exmouth dropped a pass near their own line Lee was again on hand to dive over for his third try; duly converted by Chadwick.
January 15th 2005 - MERIT TABLE BRIXHAM ALBION 6 HONITON RESERVES 29
January 8th 2005 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 22 CLEVE 25
After five minutes play during which they barely touched the ball Brixham were five points behind to a Cleve try. From the restart they launched their first attack and reduced the arrears with a Matt Caunter penalty. Despite the advantage of the slope and the wind in the first half Brixham were unable to secure enough ball and Cleve continued to press the Brixham line. Against the run of play Brixham then took the lead when Bevon Armitage made an interception, sprinted 60 metres and strolled under the posts to touch down for a try and an easy Caunter conversion. With ten minutes of the half remaining Brixham extended their lead to 15-8. A quickly taken tap penalty and a break down the wing resulted in Chris Dorling, in support, crashing over from short range for a try.
In the second period Brixham were again forced to defend and for most of the half were reduced to 14 men through sin-binnings. The Cleve forwards’ pressure finally told with two tries in quick succession – the first from a 5metre lineout, the second from a 5 metre scrum.. With both tries successfully converted and a penalty shortly after Brixham now trailed by 25-15. While Cleve may have thought they had the game wrapped up Brixham finished more strongly and were rewarded with a penalty try five minutes from the end – duly converted by Caunter. Although they went back on the attack, with the referee adding no time on for injuries, the final whistle came too soon.
JANUARY 2nd 2005 - BREWER CUP TORQUAY 12 BRIXHAM 41
Brixham held onto the Brewer Cup with an ultimately comfortable win against the old enemy across the bay on Sunday.
Brixham took a very early lead when centre Bevon Armitage crashed through the home defence for the opening try, converted by Matthew Caunter, but this heralded a twenty minute period which Torquay dominated. The Tics narrowed the gap with a pushover try from a 5 metre lineout but the Brixham defence was resolute and prevented any further scores. And then, in the rest of the first half, they showed Torquay how to score. Brad McEldowney went over for a try, closely followed by Alex Brown finishing off a break made by Armitage. With Caunter adding both conversions and a penalty the Brixham lead had swelled to 24-5 by half-time.
With Brixham reduced by a sin-binning to 14 men Torquay opened the second half on top and a converted try reduced the deficit to twelve points before Caunter landed a penalty to put the Fishermen back on an even keel. Minutes later he did even better, intercepting a pass on the halfway line to run through and score under the posts – and give himself an easy conversion. With fifteen minutes remaining Brixham made the game theirs with a fifth try – a 5 metre lineout and drive for the line saw Bryce Chisholm over the line and Caunter yet again adding the conversion.
December 26th 2004 BRIXHAM 7 PRESIDENTS XV 14
December 18th 2004 - LEAGUE CAMBORNE 18 BRIXHAM 7
The poor conditions down in Cornwall suited the Camborne forwards who picked up and drove at will. The Brixham backs looked far quicker when they had the ball in their hands but with Camborne doninating possession they had few opportunities. The Brixham coach Brett Bedwell was full of praise for the excellent defence of the whole team.
In terrible conditions Brixham, having lost the toss, were given the Camborne slope to start the game. However with barely five minutes on the clock Brixham fullback Sam (Sean Dyson) Onslow dislocated one of his fingers and had to be taken to hospital. He was replaced by Paul Lowe.
Despite tremendous pressure from the Camborne pack Brixham defended heroically until midway through the first half when the Brixham backs were adjudged to be offside at a ruck and the Camborne skipper kicked a simply penalty.
In the 30 minute a poor defensive kick out from Brixham saw Camborne’s flying Kiwi – their fullback Todd Blythe - run the ball back at the fishermen to make space for their winger to score in the corner.
In the final few minutes of the first half Brixham lock John Lamsin was sin binned for being offside and, from the resulting penalty, Camborne were held up on the Brixham line. The referee then awarded another penalty for offside which was kicked to make the score 11-0 and half time
Brixham attacked from the restart and won good ball from a lineout 10 meters out which allowed quick hands and good running lines for centre Bevon Armitage to score his seventh try of the season which outside half Mathew Caunter converted to reduce Camborne’s lead.
Brixham’s superb defence continued to keep Camborne out and in one of the battles for the ball Camborne flanker Martin Woolcock was yellow carded for obstruction only to be followed into the bin by Brixham’s winger Adam Chadwick - for an offence yet to be explained.
Finally with seconds to go Camborne were awarded another penalty on the Brixham line and from this penalty they drove over with scrumhalf Dave Mankee getting being awarded the touchdown under a pile of bodies. The conversion made it 18-7 and the final whistle.
BRIXHAM COLTS 34 CREDITON COLTS 5
Brixham had suffered a heavy defeat at Crediton earlier in the season but got their revenge in the rain at Astley Park.
In the opening exchanges Brixham were slightly on top and opened the scoring through a Ben Lovell penalty. Midway through the half a brace of tries in quick succession by James Hunt put Brixham clear – though Lovell narrowly missed both conversions. With Crediton missing a penalty late on in the half Brixham turned around 13-0 ahead.
Despite the weather deteriorating and the ball getting more difficult to handle Brixham turned up the heat in the second half. Three tries, all converted, in the first fifteen minutes assured them of victory but also caused them to relax somewhat and Crediton began to get back into the game. Late on they finally secured a consolation score with a pushover following a 5 metre lineout but Brixham had the game won.
December 12th 2004 - NATIONAL COLTS PLATE BRIXHAM 27 WADEBRIDGE 22
Brixham had a dream start to what turned out to be a closely fought cup-tie.
Brixham kicked off, Wadebridge knocked it on, Brixham took the scrum and Steve Worth was over in the corner for a try in less than sixty seconds. Ten minutes later and Brixham had extended their lead to 12 points when Richard Lobb scored their second try which Patrick Jenkins converted. Wadebridge reduced the arrears when their winger ran around the Brixham defence to score a converted try under the posts. Lobb then struck again when he went through the Wadebridge defence for his second try but this was cancelled out in the closing minutes of the first half when the visitors scored their second try to turn around just five points – 17-12 – behind.
It took Brixham slightly longer to open their account in the second half. After two minutes a lineout close to the Wadebridge line resulted in Tom Clark being bundled over for a try.
With both sides keen to progress in the competition the game continued to see-saw. Wadebridge closed the gap again with their third try; Brixham then increased it again when Jack Pearce went over for Brixham’s fifth and with ten minutes remaining Wadebridge scored another try. With Brixham ahead bu just five points this set up an exciting final period of play which saw the Brixham defence hold out till the final whistle.
December 11th 2004 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 32 TRURO 17
Truro came to Astley Park full of confidence after two good wins up in Gloucestershire but were overpowered by Brixham on Saturday.
Brixham went ahead within five minutes when hooker Dan Stead powered over for a try and by midway though the first half had extended the lead through two Matt Caunter penalties. Truro, despite having the advantage of the slope, were making little headway against the Brixham defence but did open their account with a long-range penalty. Within a minute this had been nullified by Brixham’s second try. Flanker Bryce Chisholm broke off a scrum to power through to his maiden league try for Brixham; Caunter adding the conversion. With both sides missing penalties the first half closed with Brixham 18-3 ahead.
Truro looked a far better team in the second period and for fifteen minutes had Brixham pinned back in their own half. Centre Bevon Armitage had been noteworthy for his defensive tackling but displayed his offensive skills when Brixham broke out; running in from 30 metres to score under the posts, Caunter adding the conversion. Truro still posed threats and with less than fifteen minutes left scored two converted tries in quick succession to give themselves hope of getting something out of the game. Brixham had been stung by their defensive lapses and with little time remaining put the game beyond the Cornishmens reach – a clever chip ahead from Caunter was collected by Brixham for winger Adam Chadwick to score under the posts. Brixham’s fourth try, Caunters third conversion and a victory that moved Brixham up one place in the league.
In the West of England Merit Table the Brixham Reserves continue to set the pace and on Saturday beat Barnstaple Reserves comfortably by 68 points to 3.
December 4th 2004 - LEAGUE CONEY HILL 26 BRIXHAM 13
Brixham travelled to Gloucester for the game against Coney Hill having been forced to make three changes to the side that did so well against Camborne.
Alun Glanvill had been injured in that match and Paul Lidster was injured in training on Tuesday evening . With these two players the list now extends to 14 First XV, or potential First XV players not being available for selection.
Brixham opened the scoring when Coney Hill were caught offside in front of their posts. Outside half Mathew Caunter kicked the goal to give Brixham a three point lead but in the next fifteen minutes the Brixham defence collapsed and allowed Coney Hill to score 4 tries.. Three of the tries scored had come from forward drives which forced push over tries. The fourth, scored by their winger, came from a neat chip through from the Coney Hill scrum-half. Three conversions put the home side well clear and the only Brixham reply was just before half time when Caunter kicked his second penalty to reduce the deficit to 26-6.
During the break the Brixham players got a very stiff talking to from coach Brett Bedwell and things improved thereafter. Brixham pushed Coney Hill to defend their own line and were very unlucky not to have scored what seemed to be a perfectly good try by Adam Chadwick only to be called back when Coney Hill players persuaded the referee that he had stepped in touch (although the touch judge said he had not). Despite this set back Brixham continued to hammer at the Coney Hill line and were finally rewarded when centre Bevon Armitage latched onto a dropped Coney Hill pass and dribbled from sixty yards to score near the posts. Caunter added the conversion. Brixham continued to press but the game had been lost in the middle of the first half. In the closing minutes Brixham were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but as play continued the referee deemed that the advantage was over and blew the final whistle.
Brixham Albion 20 Torquay Quins 15
Brixham Colts 27 Tavistock Colts 7
November 20th 2004 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 11 CAMBORNE 7
Matthew Caunter scored all of Brixham’s points as high-flying Camborne were beaten in an enthralling match at Astley Park on Saturday.
In the first seven minutes Brixham only had possession twice – both times to make clearance kicks to touch – as Camborne dominated play and pressurised the home defence. Their reward for starting at a gallop came when their full-back Todd Blythe (a New Zealand Olympic sprinter) cantered over under the posts for an easily converted try.
Having taken the lead Camborne seemed unable to maintain the pace and Brixham then came back into the game and began to make inroads. Within ten minutes they had reduced the arrears to just a single point. Outside-half Matthew Caunter kicked a penalty and then, from in front of the posts dropped a goal – courtesy of the crossbar, which the ball bounced on, on its way over.
The remainder of the first half was evenly contested and both sides had opportunities to score tries – denied by the defences and handling errors – and penalty goals but at halftime the Cornishmen still held a narrow 7-6 lead.
From the restart Brixham were straight on the attack and quickly got their noses in front when Caunter evaded his tackler and went over for a try. With both teams defences up to the task of defending their lines the second half produced no more scores but still provided an exciting match as play went from end to end and attacks were snuffed out by committed tackling. With Brixham just four points ahead and courtesy of the referee the final result remained in doubt until he eventually blew for time, after adding 12 minutes of "injury time".
Prop forward Steve Green was nominated as man of the match and he had extra cause for celebration as he also won an England replica shirt in the half-time match draw.
Crediton Reserves 11 Brixham Reserves 26
Crediton Colts 22 Brixham Colts 14
November 13th 2004 - LEAGUE CLEVE 21 BRIXHAM 6
What we should have done is now history. Cleve let us down and played a different game to what they normally play. In previous games they were content to move the game wide, but on Saturday in perfect rugby conditions they kicked for the corners, put us under tremendous forward pressure and scored three forward tries, two from pushovers which their No 10 Lewis converted. We had our chances particularly in the last 15 minutes of the first half when we should have scored but took the wrong options. And in the last 20 minutes when we pounded their line and should have come away with more then the two penalty goals that Matt Caunter had kicked in the first half.
BRIXHAM ALBION 16 TEIGNMOUTH RESERVES 14
BRIXHAM COLTS 8 NEWTON ABBOT COLTS 25
November 6th 2004 - LEAGUE STROUD 12 BRIXHAM 17
Another day on the road. Brixham have now played 7 league matches - 4 of them away and, of these, three have been in Gloucestershire with another one to come next week.
The first half was a dour affair in wet and overcast conditions, sadly dominated by one incident in which the captain Mathew Dempsey was taken to Hospital with a broken ankle. Following Matthew’s departure Brixham reorganised with replacement Tim Bumby coming on to the wing and Tom Vaughan moving back to fullback.
Brixham had the opportunity to go ahead from two penalties, one of which hit the post, but at half time there was no score,
In the third minute of the second half Stroud were awarded a series of penalties which put them on the Brixham line where they went for a push over try from flanker Adam Tarplee; converted for a seven point lead.
Brixham upped the pressure and finally found the gap for centre Alex Brown to score his first try in the First XV. Outside-half Mathew Caunter converted to level the scores. From the restart Brixham fielded the ball and put centre Bevon Armitage away to score Brixham’s second try which Caunter again converted to put Brixham in the driving seat.
With Adam Chadwick going for the line and virtually certain to score the referee decided that the advantage gained from a previous incident was not enough and awarded Brixham a penalty some 40 meters out. Caunter kicked the goal to put Brixham 17-7 ahead with 10 minutes to go.
To the confusion of both players and spectators the referee then made a series of "interesting" decisions. First Stroud had their captain sin-binned and within the space of a minute three Brixham players were also sin-binned. The Stroud player was recalled after only 4 minutes in the bin and for the remainder of the game the 12-man Brixham defence sustained all attacks. To confuse matters further the referee played 10 minutes of extra time (without recalling the Brixham players) during which Brixham conceded a penalty on their line which Stroud took advantage of with their 15 players to score a second pushover try. With the light fading the referee had no alternative but to call time.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 15 DEVONPORT SERVICES RESERVES 20
BRIXHAM COLTS 7 DEVONPORT SERVICES COLTS 43
October 30th 2004 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 46 EXMOUTH 13
Ganes against Exmouth in recent seasons have been close contests but on Saturday Brixham turned on the style to demolish the Cockles with the backs running in all seven tries.
Exmouth led briefly through a penalty kick after five minutes but were under the cosh for most of the match. Two minutes later Brixham went ahead when Matthew Dempsey scored an unconverted try in the corner and Dempsey then increased the lead with a penalty. Twenty minutes of attacking play later and the score was still 8-3. With less than ten minutes of the half remaining Exmouth attempted to clear their lines from a 5 metre scrum but the kick was charged down for Matthew Caunter to pounce on for a try. Dempsey was successful with the conversion as he was again shortly after when strong running from Paul Lidster put winger Adam Chadwick in for a try.
Five minutes into the second half and Chadwick scored again when the Brixham attack swung from one side of the pitch to the other to put him in by the corner flag. Exmouth, with their heavier pack, continued to battle but had no answer to the flair and pace of the Brixham backs who added two more tries in quick succession midway through the second half. Adam Chadwick got the first – and his hat-trick – by beating four Exmouth defenders on his way to the line. Tom Vaughan, on the other wing, got the second rounding off a move that saw many of the Brixham players involved.
With the result beyond doubt Exmouth now enjoyed their best period of the game and in ten minutes their forward power contributed to two unconverted tries. Seeing their lead eroded reinvigorated Brixham and in injury time Bevon Armitage, with a solo effort, scored under the posts to give Dempsey an easy conversion.
Although all the points (and the glory) went to the backs the contribution of the forwards could not be forgotten and flanker Dan Ritson was named as Man of the Match for Brixham.
EXMOUTH RESERVES 10 BRIXHAM RESERVES 29
BRIXHAM ALBION 11 EXMOUTH III 9
BRIXHAM COLTS 41 PLYMSTOCK OPMS 3
October 16th 2004 - LEAGUE BERRY HILL 31 BRIXHAM 28
Berry Hill in the Forest of Dean is never an easy place for visiting teams and the home side rapidly made their intentions clear on how they wanted to play the game. Kick for the corners to allow their heavy pack to drive for the line. In the sixth minute they achieved this when their Number 8 Richard Hobbs was driven over for the opening try.
In the 10 minute Brixham fullback and captain Matthew Dempsey kicked a penalty when Berry Hill went off side. Almost from the restart Berry Hill won a scrum on the Brixham line and again kicked for the corner for their winger to score a try which was converted to make the score 12-3 to them
In the 18 Minute Dempsey again reduced the lead with a penalty - only for Hobbs again to score from a 5-meter scrum to increase Berry Hill’s lead.
Kicking for position is not always successful as Berry Hill found out towards the end of the half when Dempsey caught a long kick and ran it back at them from his own 22 to put winger Adam Chadwick away for an excellent try.
Brixham turned around 17-11 behind and opened the scoring in the second half when they moved the ball along the line to allow hooker Dan Stead to chip through for Chadwick to chase and score in the corner. Dempsey converted to give Brixham the lead.
Berry Hill were sticking to their game plan however and got Brixham trapped on their line. Hobbs was driven over for his third try (again from close quarters) which was converted to restore the lead.
Brixham were using what little ball they had very well attacking up the hill and were very unlucky not to be awarded a penalty try when Dempsey was taken out by the Berry Hill No 8. Dempsey kicked the penalty to reduce the lead to 21-24
Berry Hill’s rugby was not pretty but it was effective and from a series of scrums on the Brixham line Berry Hill were awarded a Penalty try when the Referee adjudged Brixham to have collapsed the scrum. An easy conversion and they were ten points ahead.
Brixham continued to run the ball at every opportunity and in one of these attacks Dempsey was again taken out illegally. From the resulting penalty Chadwick was put away and chipped through for Stead to score which was converted by Dempsey to make it 28-31 which was the final score.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 24 NEWTON ABBOT RESERVES 25
BRIXHAM ALBION 10 NEWTON ABBOT THIRDS 10
October 9th 2004 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 20 SPARTANS 32
Brixham suffered their first home defeat in the league this season at the hands of a well-organised Spartans side.
With just two minutes on the clock Spartans opened a hole in the Brixham defence to open the scoring with a try and doubled their lead fifteen minutes later in similar fashion. Brixham had been doing their share of the attacking and opened their account shortly afterwards when Matthew Dempsey slotted a penalty but another try from Spartans saw them turn around 15-3 down.
With the strong wind in their favour in the second half Brixham set about overturning the Spartans lead and after ten minutes had reduced the deficit when lock Chris Dorling turned up on the wing to score a try. Despite their efforts Brixham were unable to add to this score and Spartans increased their lead with two tries in quick succession midway through the half. With the result almost beyond doubt Brixham continued to attack and in the final quarter managed two tries – Dempsey in under the posts for an easy conversion and Tom Vaughan in the corner. Between these scores Spartans had themselves scored a try – their sixth – to seal their victory.
October 2nd 2004 - LEAGUE HORNETS 26 BRIXHAM 12
Hornets had not won a game this season but on Saturday they stung the Fishermen in the League match up at Weston. In the first minute of the game they almost crossed the try line but it was Brixham who struck first through Matthew Dempsey’s boot when he kicked a penalty. The lead was short-lived. From a ruck the Hornets No. 8 broke through several tackles to put his winger over near the corner-flag. Brixham replied with a second penalty but Hornets started to dominate the game and scored a second try. Only stern Brixham defence kept the score down to 12-6 at the break.
In the second half Brixham opened brightly and reduced the deficit when Dempsey slotted his third penalty. Just minutes later, however, Hornets had stretched their lead when their winger recovered a clearance kick in his own half and jinked his way through the Brixham defence to score a third try. Brixham generally had more of the play in the second period but were unable to find a way through the Hornets defence and their only reward was a fourth penalty goal. Hornets’ fourth try ten minutes from time sealed the match.
October 2nd 2004 - MERIT TABLE BRIXHAM RESERVES 53 TAUNTON RESERVES 0
Back at Astley Park the reserve side were also in league action in the South West Reserves Merit Table. With the advantage of a strong wind and the slope the home side had worked hard to build a 22 point lead at half time. With the conditions against them in the second half, however, they started to open the game out and pierce holes in the visitors defence. For Brixham Dan Ritson had a superb game and was rewarded with two tries – other scorers were Tim Bumby (3 tries), Paul Lidster, Paul Lowe and Jason Rowe (a try each) and James Onslow (5 conversions and a penalty).
September 26th 2004 - NATIONAL CUP BRIXHAM COLTS 24 CULLOMPTON 18
Brixham went through to the second round of the National Colts Cup with a hard-fought win on Sunday afternoon. Cullompton established an early 3 point lead with a penalty but an interception inside his own half, and a 60 metre sprint, by Richard Lobb - to touch down under the posts and give Patrick Jenkins an easy conversion - put Brixham ahead. Jenkins then extended the lead with a penalty after 20 minutes. Ten minutes later a 5 metre lineout; a catch and drive by the Brixham forwards and Matthew Skeet touched down for a try, Jenkins again adding the conversion. With Brixham 17-3 ahead Cullompton came back into the game as the first half closed and scored a try but were unsuccessful with the conversion and the penalty kick which ended the half.
Within five minutes of the second period Lobb and Jenkins, with a try and conversion respectively, had put Brixham comfortably ahead at 24-8. The remainder of the half was, however, far from comfortable as Cullompton forced Brixham on to the back foot and whittled away at the lead. A penalty and a converted try brought the deficit down to just six points going into the last ten minutes but Brixham clung on for a well-deserved victory.
September 25th 2004 - LEAGUE BRIXHAM 41 BARNSTAPLE 10
Brixham’s first home League match of the season saw the return of Barnstaple to Astley Park. In March Brixham narrowly won in the Devon Cup but Barnstaple now are a shadow of the team that played that day and the margin of victory could, and should have been even greater.
Prop forward Lee Squire opened the scoring with a try in the first two minutes but it was the backs who did most of the damage. Within 20 minutes Brixham were already 27 points ahead thanks to a brace of tries by Bevon Armitage and a try, penalty and two conversions by Matthew Dempsey. Barnstaple reduced the arrears slightly with a penalty but Brixham were in the driving seat. A Barnstaple clearance kick that went awry and the pace of the Brixham backs put Dempsey through under the posts for his second try and conversion before halftime.
In the second half, and 34-3 ahead, Brixham could scent victory. After ten minutes Dempsey again finished a move by the backs to claim his hat-trick of tries and his fourth successful conversion but Brixham then went off the boil. Barnstaple were rewarded for their efforts with a converted try and pressed to the final whistle but could not breach the Brixham defence again.
With four players making their League debuts (three of them former Colts) Brixham were pleased with the performance and can look forward to visiting Weston Hornets (who are bottom of the league) on Saturday
September 18th 2004 BRIXHAM 16 WESTCOUNTRY WARRIORS 12
Having been defeated fairly comprehensively by the Warriors in a pre-season warm-up match this contest provided a valuable opportunity to see how far Brixham had progressed. In the first period both sides had their chances and were evenly matched - only a penalty from Matthew Dempsey after 15 minutes separating the two sides.
With the slope and the wind in their favour in the second period Brixham soon extended their lead through a Dan Stead try in the corner and midway through the half increased it to 13-0 when Mark Harvey finished off a move started by Bevon Armitage. Warriors were not on the point of surrendering, however, and had the best of the last quarter scoring two tries (one converted) either side of Dempsey's second penalty.
TORQUAY RESERVES 32 BRIXHAM RESERVES 17
BRIXHAM ALBION 14 OPM's 15
September 12th 2004
Brixham won four of their five games at the weekend – but the big one got away when the First team lost their opening league fixture. Travelling to Gloucestershire is never easy and newly promoted Gordon League came from behind to beat Brixham 19-15 in a close game.
At home the Reserves also had a close match against Ivybridge reserves. Ivybridge took an early lead with an unconverted try; Brixham levelled the scores midway through the first half but on half-time the visitors regained the lead with a second try and led 12-5 at the break. Despite having the slope and the wind in their favour in the second period Brixham found it difficult to break through and there were only 20 minutes remaining before they levelled the scores with a James Onslow try and conversion. With ten minutes remaining another Brixham attack seemed to have petered out but hooker John Vickery popped up to score the final try and Brixham ran out 17-12 ahead.
Meanwhile the third team – Brixham Albion – got their season back on track with a thumping victory away against Totnes reserves. Their 73-7 victory was notable for the refereeing debut of former player Robert Simonetti though he will have to pull his socks up if he is to make a mark as the man with the whistle.
Also away from home on Saturday were the Colts. They travelled to Ivybridge and returned victorious from their first Merit Table match – winning 25-15.
Back at Astley Park on Sunday, Moretonhampstead provided the opposition for Brixham Extras. Tries from Sean Onslow (3), Matt Skeet (2), Michael Skeet, Kimble and Libralon saw Brixham edge through to a 46-14 win.
September 5th 2004
It is rare that the Brixham Firsts and Seconds are both at home on the same day but that was how the season began at Astley Park on Saturday. Both had Somerset opponents -–the First XV with a friendly against league-above Clevedon while the Reserves opened their South-West Merit Table competition against Bridgwater United.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 68 BRIDGWATER UNITED 7
The young Brixham side completely outclassed their opponents and with the pack winning scrums against the head and stealing line-out ball the backs had plenty of possession. Slick handling and sheer pace enabled them to run in a dozen tries. Chris Ward made a return at full-back (and boosted the average age somewhat) and scored two tries. Alex Brown and James Onslow also grabbed a brace apiece while Onslow also slotted four conversions.
BRIXHAM FIRST XV 3 CLEVEDON 22
With a host of players unavailable the First XV had something of a makeshift look about it but the game was far closer than the scoreline suggests. Brixham opened the scoring after 5 minutes with a Roger Chadwick penalty but by midway through the first half were 12-3 down thanks to two pieces of individual brilliance by the Clevedon fullback and centre who both carved holes in the Brixham defence to score tries. With the Clevedon backs aklways looking dangerous it was solid defence which kept them at bay for the rest of the half.
Brixham had much more of the ball in the second period and created scoring opportunities which were sadly wasted. A penalty midway through saw Clevedon extend their lead. A final try and conversion, in injury time, made the scoreline more flattering for Clevedon but Brixham can take considerable comfort ion their performance ahead of Saturday’s opening league match against Gloucester-based Gordon League.
AUGUST 29th 2004 MAIDENHEAD 30 BRIXHAM 10
Brixham were far from full strength for this PowerGen National Cup (preliminary round) fixture but their young side competed exceptionally well and came back strongly in the closing stages.
Brixham took the lead in the first five minutes with a penalty goal from Matt Dempsey but were soon behind to a try by their hosts. Two penalties extended the Maidenhead lead and almost on half-time they used their forward dominance to drive over for a second try. The conversion was successful and Brixham turned around 18-3 behind.
Where Brixham had been on the defensive for most of the first half they had more of the game in the second but two more Maidenhead tries increased the deficit to 30-3. When Brixham pressed forwards they had difficulty breaking the Maidenhead defence and it was late in the game when a quickly taken tap penalty gave prop Lee Squire the opportunity to burst through for a try from ten metres out – converted by Dempsey.
Despite the defeat, Brixham were happy with the performance which provided a useful warm-up to their league campaign.
April 25th 2004 - DEVON CUP FINAL BRIXHAM 31 NEWTON ABBOT 33
Despite scoring five tries to Newton’s two Brixham lost the Devon Senior Cup final at Astley Park on Sunday when the last kick of the match went between the posts.
Brixham had gone behind in the first minute to a penalty but the lead changed hands eight times before the final whistle in an enthralling match played in near perfect conditions. The early Newton lead was overturned when winger Adam Chadwick went in for Brixham’s first try but two penalties from Longhurst for Newton Abbot saw them back in front midway through the first period. Captain Dan Stead, popping up in the threequarters regained the lead for Brixham but Newton soon regained it with a drop-goal – to lose it just as quickly when the other Brixham winger Paul Lidster crossed for a try converted by Dempsey. Making the most of their forward power Newton then levelled the scores with their first try – a pushover following a 5 metre lineout. With the seconds running out on the first half Brixham could have been ahead again but Dempsey’s penalty came back off the post and the sides turned round at 17 all.
The second period opened with Newton Abbot pressurising the Brixham defence and they soon built a ten point lead. Their fourth successful penalty kick was rapidly followed by their second try when a Brixham clearance kick out of defence was charged down, the try being converted.
Midway though the half Brixham regained the lead with two converted tries. A break by Bevon Armitage put Jake Lawrence in for the first and Armitage himself scored the second after Jonathan Bourne made a break and chipped ahead. Having nosed ahead again Brixham now had twenty minutes to secure their first Devon Cup for over 70 years but Newton were still in the game and successfully slotted one of the three penalties they were awarded in that period to narrow the deficit to a single point.
One last attack and Brixham were penalised yet again. One kick and the 2004 Cup dreams were over.
April 17th 2004 CONEY HILL 27 BRIXHAM 21
April 10th 2004 - DEVON CUP SEMI-FINAL BRIXHAM 28 BARNSTAPLE 26
In the first five minutes Brixham scarcely laid hands on the ball and two penalty goals had given Barnstaple a six point lead but ten minutes later it was Brixham ahead by the same margin. A quickly taken throw-in resulted in Otto Rasch in the clear and shrugging off defenders he capped his 20 metre sprint with the opening try for Matt Dempsey to convert. Almost immediately from the restart the Brixham backs combined well to put winger Paul Lidster in for the second try.
Barnstaple narrowed the gap with a third penalty and as the first half neared its end took the lead again. A scrummage ball taken against the head and the Barnstaple Nunber 8 was in under the posts. An easy conversion and Brixham trailed 16-12 at the break.
A Dempsey penalty two minutes into the second period reduced the arrears but Barnstaple replied with interest with a second converted try. Dempsey’s second penalty pegged the visitors back and almost immediately from the restart Brixham were in front when Adam Chadwick on the right wing outpaced the Barnstaple defence for the third Brixham try – Dempsey again being successful with a difficult conversion.
Dempsey slotted his third penalty midway through the half and set up a nail-biting finale as Barnstaple strove to overcome the five point margin Brixham had opened up. Solid defence by the Brixham team – and attacks which pushed the visitors back into their own half – kept Barnstaple out. A late penalty goal by Barnstaple was too little to affect the result and Brixham can look forward to the Cup Final.
April 3rd 2004 BRIXHAM 22 THORNBURY 0
TORQUAY RESERVES 14 BRIXHAM RESERVES 14
BRIXHAM ALBION 22 THORNBURY VETS 34
NEWTON ABBOT COLTS 12 BRIXHAM COLTS 6
March 27th 2004 - DEVON CUP QUARTER FINAL BRIXHAM 34 EXMOUTH 30
By the time the match was fourteen minutes old Brixham were already the same number of points in arrears. During that time they had failed to obtain, or retain, much possession and were on the defensive. A charged down clearance kick gave Exmouth their first try and a catch-and-drive from a 5 metre line-out brought the second – both being converted.
Having fallen behind early on Brixham responded aggressively but on 25 minutes lost a key player – Jason Barraclough – with a broken ankle. When play restarted his replacement Otto Rasch crashed over the line for a try following a quickly-taken penalty and with Matt Dempsey’s conversion Brixham had halved the deficit. Within three minutes it was wiped out. A crunching tackle by Bevan Armitage on an Exmouth player saw the ball spilt and picked up by Hank Hendricksen to run half the pitch and score under the posts to give Dempsey an easy conversion.
Exmouth were not to be undone by their sudden reversal of fortune and restored their lead with another lineout catch and drive but with the last kick of the first half Dempsey reduced their lead to 19-17 with a penalty goal.
In the opening 15 minutes of the second half , Brixham demonstrated that quick hands, spreading the ball wide, can reap its own rewards and opened up a sizeable lead. The first move ended up with Roger Chadwick crossing for a try in the left-hand corner. The second scoring move started in the same corner with a lineout and the ball passed across the field at pace for Dempsey to go over in the opposite one. With Dempsey converting both, and a subsequent penalty, Brixham had built a healthy lead.
As defending Cup-holders Exmouth were not willing to give up easily and the last quarter of the match tested the resolve of the Brixham defence. Although Exmouth scored an unconverted try and a penalty it was not enough to overhaul the Fishermen.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 15 BARNSTAPLE RESERVES 0
BRIXHAM ALBION 50 TOTNES RESERVES 10
PAIGNTON COLTS 20 BRIXHAM COLTS 24
BRIXHAM Under 15’s 21 NEWTON ABBOT 0
March 20th 2004 BERRY HILL 24 BRIXHAM 25
BRIXHAM ALBION 15 HONITON RESERVES 18
March 6th 2004 PENRYN 26 BRIXHAM 16
BRIXHAM ALBION 55 DUDLEY KINGSWINSFORD VETS 17
BRIXHAM COLTS 27 WELLINGTON COLTS 10
February 28th 2004 DARTMOUTH RESERVES 22 BRIXHAM ALBION 65
BRIXHAM COLTS 39 KINGSBRIDGE COLTS 10
Brixham maintained their challenge in the Devon Colts Merit Table with this win – though the match was rather closer than the scoreline might suggest.
The opening exchanges were fairly even but Kingsbridge went into the lead with a well-taken try and added the conversion. Though this spurred the home side on they gained nothing for their efforts and fell further behind after 25 minutes to a dropped goal. From the restart Brixham were back on the attack and opened their account when a forward drive was stopped illegally and a penalty try was awarded, converted by Ben Lovell.
Two breaks by Steve Skeet in the closing minutes of the half saw Brixham edge ahead. The first came from a Kingsbridge kick out of defence which he collected; pierced the first line of the Kingsbridge defence and offloaded to Steffon Armitage. After shrugging off the last two defenders Armitage crashed over in the corner. Skeet’s second break resulted in a penalty in front of the posts; gratefully kicked by Lovell to give Brixham a 15-10 lead at halftime.
The second period saw Brixham start brightly and extend their lead with a try after just five minutes. The next twenty minutes, however, saw Kingsbridge virtually camped in the Brixham 22 and only strong defence kept the line intact. When it seemed that Kingsbridge should get some reward for their efforts Brixham broke out and Armitage scored his second try; adding the conversion himself.
Having weathered the Kingsbridge storm, and extended their lead, Brixham now established more control and two tries in quick succession by Skeet (one converted by Armitage) sealed the victory
February 21st 2004 BRIXHAM 5 CREDITON 35
CREDITON RESERVES 0 BRIXHAM RESERVES 22
BRIXHAM ALBION 25 CREDITON III 5
CREDITON COLTS 18 BRIXHAM COLTS 10
February 14th 2004 HORNETS 33 BRIXHAM 19
BRIXHAM COLTS 63 TAVISTOCK COLTS 7
February 7th 2004 BRIXHAM 22 TAUNTON 3
After the rain of recent weeks the pitch at Astley Park was treacherous for both sides and the contest was fairly scrappy. Taunton had an opportunity to take the lead after a minute but the penalty attempt, into the wind, was missed. Brixham were straight back on the attack and Hank Hendricksen, making his debut for the first team, opened the scoring with a try after 5 minutes, converted by Jason Barraclough. Although they had both the wind and the slope in their favour Brixham struggled to breach the Taunton defence and the second score – a try by winger Paul Lidster – was some time in coming. A penalty from Barraclough just before half-time saw Brixham turn around 15-0 ahead.
Making the most of the conditions, Taunton had a far better second half but the only reward they got was a penalty after ten minutes. Having weathered the storm of their visitors it was Brixham who finished more strongly and the margin of victory was extended when prop Phil Allen went over from short range following a lineout and Barraclough converted with his most difficult kick of the day.
TAUNTON RESERVES 18 BRIXHAM RESERVES 21
NEWTON ABBOT III 0 BRIXHAM ALBION 15
BRIXHAM COLTS 12 EXETER COLTS 5
BRIXHAM U15s 34 SIDMOUTH U15s 0
Brixham reached the semi-finals of the Devon Under 15 Cup with a solid victory over Sidmouth on Sunday morning. Brixham took the lead after just five minutes when number 8 Dan Guinney found himself on the end of a handling move to score in the left corner. They never looked back with two further tries in virtually the same spot in the next fifteen minutes and a fourth on the stroke of half-time. With two conversions by Richard Champion their lead at the break was 24-0 with the advantage of the wind and slope to come in the second period.
Despite these advantages Brixham found the going tougher after the break as Sidmouth’s backs ran the ball at the Brixham defence. Brixham extended their lead ten minutes into the half with their fifth try but it took them until the closing minutes to score their sixth – and possibly the best. Dan Grinrod took the ball on the halfway line and ran around the Sidmouth defence to seal the victory.
The other Brixham try scorers were Soper, Treharne and Duddlestone (2).
December 8th 2003 THORNBURY 17 BRIXHAM 24
BRIXHAM RESERVES 24 LAUNCESTON RESERVES 0
The strong easterly wind on Saturday made conditions difficult for both teams. Playing into the wind Brixham struggled to compete with the strong Launceston pack but still had slightly the better of the first half. A penalty by Roger Chadwick ten minutes into the match edged Brixham ahead and the slender lead was extended midway through the half when he slotted his second. With few scoring opportunities created by either side the nearest the visitors came to reducing the lead was a failed, long-range, penalty attempt.
In the second period Brixham not only had the advantage of the wind but were pushed forward by the rain and began to dominate proceedings. Three more shots at goal by Chadwick produced only one success and with twenty minutes remaining Brixham were still only 9-0 ahead and Launceston far from finished. An attempt by the visitors to spin the ball out to the wing resulted in Hank Hendricksen intercepting the final pass – and enabled to run 75 yards to score the first try of the game, gratefully converted by Chadwick.
With five minutes remaining a second try – from Guy Pallett – virtually wrapped the game up but Roger Chadwick had the final say with an injury-time penalty.
National Colts Plate BRIXHAM COLTS 5 MINEHEAD BARBARIANS COLTS 11
Brixham went behind after just two minutes when Minehead went over for a try. Playing into the wind in the first half, Brixham repeatedly attacked but they were pegged back by the astute kicking and strong running backs of their visitors. Two penalties to Minehead saw them turn around 11-0 ahead.
In the second period Brixham had more of the possession but were unable to capitalise on it. Handling errors and penalties helped Minehead to soak up the pressure and it was not until ten minutes from the end that they got on the scoresheet with a try.
The final minutes saw Brixham continue to punch at the Minehead defence but it held firm to the final whistle.
This weekend Brixham are back at Astley Park in the fourth round of the Powergen Cup; playing host to Guildford & Godalming. The following week, December 22, sees league leaders Gloucester Old Boys at Astley Park.
November 1st 2003 EXMOUTH 7 BRIXHAM 41
Brixham travelled to Exmouth on Saturday with high hopes of maintaining the good start to the season they have been enjoying. Within five minutes, however, they were trailing 7-0. A quick reply – a try from Bevan Armitage - and a further try later in the first half gave them a 14-7 interval lead. In the second period the scoreboard was unchanged until the final fifteen minutes when Brixham ran in four tries to seal a victory that lifted them to the top of the League.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 83 EXMOUTH RESERVES 13
At Astley Park the Brixham second string had far too much power and pace for their Exmouth counterparts and maintained their unbeaten record this season, running in a total of 13 tries. The opening try might well have been the fastest ever scored at Astley Park. Brixham kicked off and from the ensuing maul Andy Hawkes burst clear with the ball to score in under 20 seconds. Two tries from Matt Vandenbrouck followed in quick succession and with just seven minutes gone Brixham already had a 17-0 lead.
While the scoring rate then slowed it was continuous and Hawkes rounded off the first half with his second try and Brixham led by 57 points to 8.
Tries from Tim Bumby and Roger Chadwick in the opening ten minutes of the second half extended the lead but Exmouth were far from knocked out and dominated the play for the next quarter of an hour – finally rewarded with their own second try. This score was enough to wake Brixham up and two more tries sealed the result which puts Brixham top of the West of England Second XV Merit Table, Southern Section.
EXMOUTH 3rds 8 BRIXHAM ALBION 3
BRIXHAM COLTS 69 EXMOUTH COLTS 22
October 25th 2003 BRIXHAM 19 STROUD 17
Brixham attacked from the start and with only a minute on the clock had an opportunity to go ahead but the penalty kick from Simon Mitchell sailed wide of the posts. The first score , however, was not long in coming but it was Stroud who were first on the board when their flanker went over for a try. A penalty from Mitchell, another Stroud try, another Mitchell penalty and a third Stroud try and the score was 17-6 to the visitors with under 20 minutes gone. Brixham’s defensive lapses looked to be giving Stroud another victory.
Although they were trailing Brixham started to have the better of the game from this point but received little reward as Mitchell failed with two more penalties before finally narrowing the gap with the last kick of the first half.
In the second period it was mainly Brixham on top and at one point they had a succession of penalties close to the Stroud line as the visitors continually infringed – but to no avail. With 15 minutes remaining the Stroud defence was finally breached when Chris Dorling crashed over from short range; the conversion by Mitchell putting Brixham just one point behind. Further pressure by the home team was finally rewarded five minutes from time when Mitchell slotted his fourth penalty to put Brixham ahead for the first time. With Stroud missing a relatively easy penalty two minutes later the League leaders had been toppled and the relief of the Brixham crowd was palpable.
October 11th 2003 TAUNTON 21 BRIXHAM 13
TAUNTON 3 XV 36 BRIXHAM ALBION 24
Meanwhile, at Astley Park, the Brixham Reserves kept the flag flying with a hard-fought win against their Taunton counterparts.
BRIXHAM RESERVES 19 TAUNTON RESERVES 6
The first twenty minutes of the game were played largely between the two 22-metre lines as neither side was able to create any breaks or scoring opportunities with the defences holding firm. Taunton took the lead with a penalty but the two sides swapped penalties and turned around level at 6 point all. Sean Onslow scored both Brixham goals.
The second half was almost a repeat of the first and the opening 20 minutes were just as point-less. With Brixham forced to make changes to their front-row the pack was coming under increasing pressure in the set pieces – though generally holding their own.
The introduction of substitute Steffon Armitage provided the vital spark Brixham needed and a breakout by Armitage from the Brixham 22 midway through the half led to an opportunity to take the lead. Although the penalty attempt was missed a second one ten minutes later was converted by Roger Chadwick. From the restart, Armitage ran through virtually the entire Taunton team to put Hank Hendricksen over for a try under the posts; Chadwick added the conversion. A second Chadwick penalty five minutes before the end added further gloss to the score.
October 4th 2003
Winning can be a good habit to get into and for the third week in a row all four of Brixham’s senior sides were victorious on Saturday.
BRIXHAM 36 HORNETS 10
Following the demolition of Crediton last week the Brixham team was largely unchanged for the visit of Hornets from Weston-super-Mare.
Brixham attacked from the start and after just five minutes were in the lead when Matt Dempsey ran in for a try which he successfully converted. Although both sides had their share of possession it was Brixham who were exerting the greater pressure and creating more scoring opportunities. A touch-down from winger Paul Lidster extended the lead midway through the first half but Hornets finished strongly and narrowed the gap with a converted try just before the break.
The second period saw Brixham again attacking from the start and a rolling maul for minutes in saw Cris Dorling powered over by the pack for a try. A penalty from Hornets brought the score back to 17-10 but in the final stages Brixham were well on top and three tries – from centre Bevan Armitage, captain Dan Stead and flanker Ben Chadwick – plus two conversions from Dempsey rounded off a comfortable victory which has put Brixham top of their league.
REDRUTH RESERVES 23 BRIXHAM RESERVES 43
Playing the reserve team of a National Leagues side away from home was never going to be an easy prospect but Brixham put in what team manager Nick Brown described as a "superb performance". Brixham’s problems were not eased by the late withdrawal of their hooker but Ashley McInally, playing his first ever game in that position, more than held his own.
Redruth dominated the opening period and soon opened up a thirteen point lead but Brixham stuck to the task and turned around just one point, 18-17, behind. The second period opened with a try from Lee Squires to give Brixham the lead and from that point on the Fishermen never looked back as they blew the visitors away. Lee Squires finished the game as the leading scorer with three tries, other scorers were Guy Pallett (2 tries), Hank Hendricksen (try), Sean Onslow (try and two conversions) and James Onslow (two conversions).
BRIXHAM COLTS 21 HORNETS COLTS 15
Just as the first team have started the season with 5 wins in a row, so have the Colts. With only three of last year’s Devon Cup winning team in the starting line-up Brixham have a relatively young side this season and Hornets provided tough opposition. Two penalties from Patrick Jenkins and tries by Alex Hamling, Michael Skeet and Marr Allunson were enough to see them through.
BRIXHAM ALBION 32 CULLOMPTON 0
This season Brixham Albion are playing in the Exe Valley Merit Table and they have started in fine style.
September 6th 2003 BRIXHAM 8 BERRY HILL 7
If Brixham were looking to get their season off to a flying start it was more like the Wright Brothers stuttering attempts than the flight of a modern aircraft. Brixham attacked from the start, uphill and into the wind, but achieved little for their efforts. Berry Hill missed the opportunity to take the lead through a long range penalty attempt but mere making little headway against the home side. Midway through the first period the Brixham pressure led to a penalty in front of the posts which Simon Mitchell converted to give the Fishermen a narrow lead which they carried through to halftime.
The second period saw more of the same with neither side able to make much use of their possession – until, fifteen minutes in, a break by Matt Dempsey put Simon Mitchell in for a try. Mitchell missed the conversion, and a penalty ten minutes later, but Brixham had increased their lead. Last time Berry Hill came to Astley Park they fought back in the second half from 15-0 down to earn a draw. They obviously remembered this as they came back strongly in the final stages and with just a couple of minutes left on the watch scored a converted try to reduce the Brixham lead to a single point. Brixham held on to secure the victory but will rue the missed chances they created.
With the Reserves game at Dartmouth postponed the only other teams in action on Saturday were the Albion side – held to a 17-all draw by Buckfastleigh and the Colts who were playing a friendly in Cornwall. The Colts rattled up over 60 points against Newquay to put them in high spirits for their defence of the Devon Cup.
12th April 2003 - Friendly Brixham Albion 46 OPO's 10
5th April 2003 - Friendly Brixham Reserves 34 Tavistock 28
30th March 2003 - League Torquay 7 Brixham 32
When Brixham lost the services of Jason Barraclough with a serious knee injury within two minutes the signs looked ominous but his replacement - Lee Meagor - proved more than capable as Brixham underlined the gulf in class between themselves and their hosts. Within the first ten minutes the Brixham fans had more cause for concern when Chris Atkinson missed two relatively easy penalty attempts but on the quarter hour their fears were abated when Matthew Dempsey went over in the corner for a try and Atkinson's kicking boots returned as he slotted the conversion. Most of the territorial advantage, and possession, was with Brixham and Atkinson added to the score with a try of his own and a successful penalty goal and just before half-time Brixham extended their lead to 20-0 when second-row Tony Davis crashed over for the third Brixham try.
The second half saw Brixham still on top and the lead was extended five minutes in when Andrew Hawkes scored a try - converted by Atkinson. With the game virtually won, Brixham's grip was weakened by some debatable refereeing decisions which resulted in two Brixham players being sin-binned. While Brixham were down to 14 men Torquay were able to get on the scoreboard with a converted try but it was far too little, and too late, as Brixham quashed Torquay's hopes with some of the best rugby they have played all season.
Matthew Dempsey rounded the game off with his second try just before full-time but the score could easily have been much higher as Brixham had two tries disallowed in the last twenty minutes and had also missed opportunities in the first half.
Brixham Reserves 0 Torquay Reserves 10
Torquay Thirds 5 Brixham Albion 39
15th March 2003 - League Brixham 26 Clevedon 31
For the first twenty minutes of the match, playing down the slope but into the wind, Brixham exerted more pressure than their visitors but were unable to score. They were again within the Clevedon half when the visiting number 8, picking the ball up from a scrum, broke clear and ran straight through the entire Brixham defence to score under the posts. Having taken the lead the remainder of the first half belonged to Clevedon who scored a second try ten minutes later and another just before half-time for a 19-0 interval lead.
The opening minutes of the second half saw their lead extended to 26 points with another converted try and with their backs always looking dangerous the scoreline was ominous for Brixham. Brixham have overturned this sort of deficit before and the fightback began with a Matt Dempsey try, converted by Chris Atkinson ten minutes later. Although Clevedon always looked dangerous in possession they began to lose their composure and with 15 minutes of the game left a series of penalty infringements close to their line cost them a penalty try and an easy conversion. Brixham immediately returned to the attack and both prop forwards - Phil Allen and Otto Rasch - drove in for tries from short range. With the first of these converted the scores were level and Brixham looked to have staged another great escape. Unfortunately the Somerset stormtroopers had the final word - scoring a try deep in injury time - but perhaps the better team won.
Brixham Albion 26 Buckfastleigh 37
8th March 2003 - Friendly Totnes Reserves 15 Brixham Albion 54
1st March 2003 - League Brixham 7 St Mary's OB 39
Brixham started the game brightly enough and failed to take the lead when their first attack broke down and they were unsuccessful with the resulting penalty kick. The rest of the first half was notable for the sight of the large St Mary's pack setting up rolling mauls and rumbling forward - a tactic that Brixham had some difficulty coping with. St Mary's are not a team based purely on forward power, however, and ten minutes into the half it was their winger who ran clear for the opening try. The conversion, and a penalty soon after, saw them ten points clear. On the half hour, as they tried to set their backs in motion again, St Mary's virtually gifted Brixham a try when Jake Lawrence intercepted and ran through to score under the posts; Jason Barraclough adding the conversion. As St Mary's were dominating the half this was somewhat against the run of the play and they extended their lead with a further penalty and a try from a catch and drive.
The second half saw Brixham winning a greater share of the possession and threatening the visitors' line but they were unable to break through the well organised and fierce defence. When St Mary's did mount an attack they always looked dangerous and their backs added three tries, all converted, in the second period to give Brixham one of their heaviest home defeats for several years.
Ivybridge Reserves 10 Brixham Reserves 20
23rd February 2003 - Devon Cup Semi-Final Brixham 22 Exmouth 22
Within twenty minutes Brixham had conceded three tries to well-orchestrated moves by the Exmouth pack and looked out of sorts with themselves and the refereeing which cost them two yellow cards for forwards in the first half. Towards the end of the period Brixham were coming much more into the game and reduced the arrears through a Chris Atkinson penalty and a penalty try awarded after Exmouth continually infringed as they defended their line. With Atkinson gaining the two points for the conversion Brixham turned around 17-10 behind.
The second half saw the Exmouth forwards combining to score another try after just five minutes but Brixham were far from out of the match and in the ensuing quarter-hour had four kickable penalty chances as their attacking play was broken up in the Exmouth half. With three successful kicks Atkinson had reduced the Exmouth lead to just three points.
In a tense finale to the game the defences of both sides held firm but Brixham levelled the scores with Atkinson's fifth penalty of the afternoon but a draw was not good enough for Brixham as Exmouth proceed to the final as a result of scoring more tries in the match.
16th February 2003 - Devon Cup Quarter-Final Brixham 18 Plymouth Albion 7
Brixham attacked from the start - down the slope and into the cold easterly wind - and for ten minutes were well on top but unable to convert possession into points. Although Thompson missed a penalty attempt for Plymouth Albion they took the lead when a Brixham move broke down in the centre and Olima ran in for a try; Thompson adding the conversion. Minutes later they could, and probably should, have extended their lead. Olima made a break but failed to find the supporting players and the Brixham defence held firm. At half-time, with Albion leading 7-0, both sides were reduced to 13 players as the referee punished them for naughty moments with yellow cards.
The second half saw Brixham on top in the opening exchanges and within ten minutes the scores were level when the Brixham backs combined to put Adam Chadwick over in the corner for a try converted by Chris Atkinson. Plymouth wasted the opportunity to regain the lead five minutes later when Thompson missed his second penalty attempt but it was Brixham who were in attack mode and they went ahead shortly afterwards. A drop-goal is rare enough at Astley Park but when it comes from Andy Baker it is all the more memorable. A penalty from Chris Atkinson extended the lead as Brixham continued to press the Plymouth defence and a couple of try-scoring opportunities were missed.
Deep into time added by the referee Dan Stead made the game safe for Brixham when he crashed through from five metres out for a try. His efforts to put the ball closer to the posts and make the conversion easier were unavailing, however, as Atkinson missed.
8th February 2003 - League Crediton 36 Brixham 7
Brixham Reserves 14 Crediton Reserves 0
Crediton 3rds 24 Brixham Albion 10
1st February 2003 - League Brixham 32 Hornets 22
Playing down the slope Brixham attacked from the start and with just over five minutes gone were already two scores ahead thanks to a try from Simon Mitchell and a penalty from Chris Atkinson. Hornets were clearly roused by this and hit back two minutes later with a penalty of their own. Although the Brixham pack had a somewhat makeshift look about it they were holding Hornets and after 25 minutes of play a storming run from prop N'Tau was finished off with excessive style under the posts by hooker Matt Vandenbrouck; Atkinson adding the conversion. Hornets' retaliation was swift and a converted try left Brixham with a slender 15-10 half-time lead.
From the restart Brixham were back on the attack and within fifteen minutes had pulled well ahead. N'tau, having created an opportunity in the first half was on the scoring end in the second with a try from short range. Brixham's second try of the half was created by a 50 metre break by the scrum-half - Matt Dempsey - who found Lee Meagor on his shoulder to finish off the move. With both tries converted by Chris Atkinson Brixham were 29-10 ahead with ten minutes of play remaining; though Hornets had been pressurising the Brixham defence.
A charged-down clearance kick gave Hornets their second try (and conversion) and soon after the restart another try followed with a catch-and-drive from a 5-metre lineout. Hornets had clearly stung Brixham who returned to the attack and increased their margin of victory with the last kick of the match - a penalty from Jason Barroclough.
26th January 2003 - Trials Match Brixham Under 21's 20 Devon Under 21's 7
Brixham dominated the match to a far greater extent than the scoreline suggests and will have given the Devon selectors some concern. Tries from Hawkes, Congdon and Oakley, with a conversion and penalty from Armitage saw Brixham home.
25th January 2003 - Merit Table Bridgwater Reserves 0 Brixham Reserves 54
Brixham overwhelmed Bridgwater with four tries from Jason Rowe, two apiece from Matthew Dempsey and Mike Booth and one from Glen Cooper. Dempsey converted three of the tries and also got a penalty goal.
Brixham Albion 42 Kingsbridge Reserves 38
The lead changed hands several times in this contest between the experience and guile of the "dream team" and the youthful legs of their visitors. With Kingsbridge leading 38-27 and just over ten minutes to go it looked all over but tries from Richard Mills and Sean Irvine (twice) Brixham pulled clear. Other try-scorers for Brixham were Lamswood, Young, Skeet, Perkes and Burden. Although he converted the first try, Skeets kicking boots were obviously lacking polish as he failed with the other seven - though he did at least hit the post with the last one.
Bridgwater Colts 5 Brixham Colts 18
18th January 2003 - League Taunton 0 Brixham 6
Brixham Reserves 12 Taunton Reserves 0
Brixham Colts 10 Taunton Colts 3
11th January 2003 - League Brixham 14 Stroud 18
Paignton Colts 3 Brixham Colts 48
4th January 2003 - League Exmouth 10 Brixham 17
Despite having a pack weakened with three regular members missing, Brixham enhanced their chances of gaining promotion with this victory over the side placed second in the table. They started much the brighter of the two sides and in the first five minutes were ahead with a Chris Atkinson penalty. From this point on, however, they were on the back foot as Exmouth kept them imprisoned within their own half and only solid defence kept the home side at bay. With half-time approaching Brixham went back on the offensive and two further attacks both resulted in penalty goals from Chris Atkinson and a 9-0 half-time lead.
While Brixham had attacked from the start of the first half, Exmouth did so in the second but after five minutes found themselves even further behind when Bevon Armitage finished off a breakout with a well-deserved try. From the restart kick it was an Exmouth player who took the ball in the air and several passes later they scored a try to put them on the scoreboard.
Exmouth continued to attack the Brixham line for the following 15 minutes but the Brixham defence held out until Exmouth were awarded a throw-in 5 metres out and with a classic catch and drive they secured their second try. Despite the resurgence of the home side Brixham were able to threaten their line and with ten minutes remaining increased their lead again when Atkinson landed his fourth penalty. Both sides had opportunities in the final minutes but Brixham were largely able to keep Exmouth in their own half and secure the win.
Midway through the second half Bevon Armitage suffered a knee injury which resulted in him being stretchered off. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Brixham Reserves 15 Exmouth Reserves 22
Brixham Colts 64 Exmouth Colts 0
Exmouth Nomads 41 Brixham Albion 14
28th December 2002 Teignmouth Seconds 0 Brixham Albion 22
Brixham Colts 67 Ivybridge Colts 9
21st December 2002 - League Brixham 28 Cleve 3
Drizzly rain and a saturated pitch were unlikely to make for a thrilling game but Brixham were clearly keen to put last week's disappointment behind them. Within the first five minutes the teams had both missed a penalty kick but this was a close as Cleve were to get to scoring in the first half. A fine handling move by the Brixham backs led to the first try when Adam Chadwick looped around the entire back division to make the overlap which gave him the touchdown in the "wrong" corner. Having missed the conversion Chris Atkinson increased the lead with a penalty midway through the half.
Jason Barraclough, back from injury, later extended it further with a fine solo effort, picking up a loose ball to sprint 40 metres for a try. The conversion being missed, Brixham turned around 13-0 ahead.
As in the first half, the first scoring opportunities of the second period were both penalty kicks. Unlike the first half, however, both sides were successful. Although Brixham continued to pressurise they were unable to score again until midway through the half when another handling move led to Chadwick's second try. Five minutes later, in his first home match, Na Ta'u - our on-loan Tongan prop forward - found his way over in the same corner for the fourth Brixham try. In conditions not conducive to kicking the conversion attempt was given to Jason Barraclough and to the surprise and cheers of the crowd the ball sailed between the posts for the final score.
Brixham Colts 18 Cleve Colts 8
Brixham Albion 18 Dartmouth 16
The Reserves also won, at Totnes, but the score is unknown!
15th December 2002 Ivybridge Under 16's 0 Brixham Under 16's 39
14th December 2002 - League Gloucester Old Boys 18 Brixham 17
With Gloucestershire referees we might never win at Gloucester Old Boys but Brixham nearly managed it this time. Within five minutes Chris Atkinson had given us the lead with a penalty but for most of the first half we were penned into our own half and the Old Boys scored two, unconverted, tries. As the half-time whistle approached Brixham staged one of their rare forays into opposition territory and from a quickly taken tap penalty Mark Harvey was impeded and Brixham were awarded a penalty try. The two points for the conversion saw the scores level at 10 all at halftime.
Old Boys regained the lead with a penalty early in the second half but Brixham, playing up the slope, were faring rather better and midway through the half once again took the lead when Andy Baker burst through for a try, converted by Chris Atkinson. Old Boys then made the most of their home advantage and secured the victory with their third try.
Brixham Colts 45 Tiverton Colts 0
Buckfastleigh 27 Brixham Albion 26
This match was abandoned because of a lengthy delay when Albion's Richard Simonette broke his leg in the first half. We wish him a speedy recovery.
7th December 2002 - League Brixham 31 Torquay 0
A cold north-easterly wind and fine drizzle was not the ideal accompaniment to this League, and Brewer Cup, match. Within five minutes Brixham had set out their stall when man-of-the-match Tony Davis crashed over for a try. Despite having the slope in their favour, however, it was not until halfway through the half that Brixham were again able to breach the Torquay defence. Winger Tim Bumby got on the end of a good handling move, going over for his first try for Brixham.
The third try followed less than ten minutes later when full-back Simon Mitchell went over and as the half drew to its close the "champagne moment" saw Lee Squires scoop up a loose ball from a ruck. His 40 metre sprint to the line was notable for the sidestep which took him past the last Torquay defender. With Chris Atkinson accurate with all four conversion attempts Brixham turned round with a 28-0 lead.
The second half, by contrast, was rather dour and though Torquay had more than their share of possession they were unable to convert this into much territorial advantage, let alone points. Brixham had their opportunities in the second period but Chris Atkinson was less accurate with the wind at his back - missing a conversion ten minutes into the half. Ten minutes later he rediscovered his touch with another penalty attempt and the last score of the match.
Torquay Colts 3 Brixham Colts 17
This merit table victory was the tenth successive win for the Brixham Colts.
30th November 2002 - League Matson 14 Brixham 25
After just five minutes Brixham moved ahead of their Gloucester opponents when Otto Rasch went over for a try from 15 metres out. As Brixham dominated the first half the score was increased by two further tries - firstly by Simon Mitchell's angled run to the posts and then by the new hooker on loan from Plymouth, Glen Cooper, from a catch and drive. With Chris Atkinson slotting over two conversions Brixham were well in control until Matson struck back just before the break with a converted try.
After the restart Matson reduced the Brixham lead still further with another converted try but, although the first half was much closer, Brixham never looked like surrendering the victory and a penalty from Chris Atkinson enhanced the margin.
Brixham Reserves 5 Exeter University 20
Salcombe 48 Brixham Albion 15
23rd November 2002 - League Brixham 16 Gloucester Old Boys 0
Just as Cleve had done the week before, the Old Boys attacked Brixham straight from the kick-off and their performance in the first ten minutes belied their lowly league position. Thereafter Brixham began to attack and were rewarded when Tony Davis bulldozed over for the opening score. Chris Atkinson, unusually, failed with the conversion as he did with a penalty ten minutes later. At half-time the score remained at 5-0.
From the restart Brixham were back on the attack - as they were for most of the second period. A Chris Atkinson penalty extended the Brixham lead seven minutes into the half and another, fifteen minutes later seemed to be all of the reward that Brixham would get for their efforts as handling errors and penalties prevented them crossing the Old Boys line. Brixham, however, had saved their best move for the final minutes when the ball was spun wide from a throw-in for Simon Mitchell to go over for a try in the corner.
16th November 2002 - League Cleve 17 Brixham 20
Within two minutes of the kick-off Cleve had embarrassed Brixham with a well-taken, and converted try. Playing into the wind Brixham found it difficult to make much headway against a team struggling at the bottom of the table. Midway though the first half both sides missed penalty kicks but on the half-hour Cleve extended their lead to 12-0 with another try. Almost immediately Brixham opened their account when Adam Chadwick won the race for his own chip ahead and scored a try. Cleve, continuing to attack at every opportunity missed two further penalties as the first half petered out.
Within five minutes of the restart Brixham were back on level terms when Chadwick scored his second try under the posts, giving Chris Atkinson an easy conversion. Cleve, however, soon restored their lead with another unconverted try. With Brixham enjoying more of the possession in the second half, equality was achieved when Chadwick completed his hat-trick of tries.
With ten minutes remaining Brixham took the lead for the first time in the match when Atkinson slotted a penalty goal - spurring Cleve into almost continual attack for the remainder of the match - only to be denied by stout defence and the goalpost which denied them a penalty in the final minute.
Brixham Reserves 43 Newton Abbot Reserves 17
With no Colts match this weekend the Reserves gave senior-level experience to no fewer than seven of the colts in what turned out to be a fairly emphatic victory.
Brixham Albion 46 Ivybridge III's 10
10th November 2002 - Friendly Brixham Under 21's 17 Royal Navy Under 21's 0
With no senior games this weekend this match was the highlight at Astley Park. The Brixham side was very much a scratch team with some players playing out of their usual positions and comprised a mixture of both current Colts and players who were recently so.
With an inexperienced front row the Brixham pack did very well. Brixham took the lead in the first half through a converted penalty try and extended their lead in the second with two further tries. Solid defence and strong tackling kept the Navy at bay throughout.
2nd November 2002 - League Brixham 12 Exmouth 10
With the return of two forwards who had been unavailable last week, Brixham returned to winning ways by toppling the erstwhile League leaders. If you read the account in the local paper you might get the impression that this was solely due to the accuracy of Chris Atkinson who scored four penalties and that Exmouth were the better team.
If you were there you would have seen how Brixham were stopping the rolling mauls and preventing Exmouth making any headway from back-row moves off the scrums. Although Exmouth did manage to score the only try of the match this came on one of just three occasions on which they were in the Brixham half during the second period.
Exmouth Reserves 21 Brixham Reserves 14
Brixham Albion 3 Exmouth III's 10
26th October 2002 - League Stroud 56 Brixham 26
A heavy defeat against a side looking to regain their position in South West One brought Brixham's run of victories to a halt. Although Brixham held the lead during the first half Stroud were always well on top and three converted tries in quick succession after the break by Stroud put the game out of reach.
Brixham Reserves 84 Exeter University Seconds 12
Brixham Albion 38 OPO's 12
19th October 2002 - Merit Table Brixham Reserves 34 Bridgwater Reserves 18
A try after just five minutes saw Brixham Reserves get off to a flying start in their Merit Table clash with the previously unbeaten league leaders from Somerset. Tim Bumby’s try was converted by James Onslow. Two penalties narrowed the lead before Onslow again got onto the scoreboard with an unconverted try and a penalty to give Brixham a 15-6 halftime lead.
The second half started in much the same way as the first with Brixham scoring a try within 5 minutes of the restart through Lee Squires. End-to-end play saw both sides scoring two further tries – a second one to Lee Squires and one from Paul Bayley, both converted by Onslow giving Brixham a well-deserved victory
12th October 2002 - League Brixham 28 Taunton 7
In a somewhat scrappy game at Astley Park, Brixham won their third game in a row to move up to fifth position in the league.
Brixham started much the better but were unable to break through the Taunton defence and their only reward for sustained pressure in the first quarter was two penalties from Chris Atkinson. On the half-hour they were further rewarded when a clearance kick from Davies was charged down and Mike Cox pounced on the loose ball to score an unconverted try.
Midway though the second half Brixham extended their lead when prop Otto Rasch went over for a try from a quickly taken tap penalty with Atkinson adding the conversion. Five minutes later Atkinson completed his hat trick of penalties but this score served to spur Taunton on. After a succession of tap penalties inside the Brixham 22 they overcame the Brixham defence and got on the scoreboard with a converted try.
Brixham then returned to the attack and with just 5 minutes left Rasch again got over the line and ran the ball under the posts to give Atkinson an easy conversion.
5th October 2002 - League Weston Hornets 13 Brixham 32
28th September 2002 - League Brixham 44 Crediton 10
Crediton Reserves 7 Brixham Reserves 15
14th September 2002 - League St Mary's OB 38 Brixham 10
7th September 2002 - League Clevedon 32 Brixham 10
Although Clevedon were on the attack straight from the kick-off it was Brixham who took the lead after 10 minutes with a Chris Atkinson penalty goal. Clevedon levelled the scores almost immediately but despite a series of attacks the only other score they achieved in the first half was a converted try just over half-way through the first period.
With Brixham under pressure in the scrums and failing to secure much possession from their own line-outs a 10-3 deficit at half-time owed most to the defence. In the second half the wind swung round into Clevedon's favour and two more converted tries and a penalty goal increased their lead. As the match drew towards its close Brixham produced some attacking plays and were eventually rewarded with a try from debutant Mike Cox, converted by Chris Atkinson. This was not the final score, however, as Clevedon closed the game with an opportunist try.
Brixham Reserves 56 Teignmouth 5
Brixham ran in nine tries as Teignmouth were taken apart.
31st August 2002 - Powergen Cup, Qualifying Round Swanage & Wareham 32 Brixham 14
Brixham went behind almost straight from the kick-off to a penalty goal. Swanage continued to press forward and were eventually rewarded with a converted try just over half-way through the first period. This was the incentive Brixham needed to attack themselves and the Swanage advantage was narrowed to a single point by three Chris Atkinson penalties. On the stroke of half-time, however, Swanage replied with a penalty of their own to turn round 13-9 ahead.
The second period saw Brixham struggling to obtain possession and visits to the Swanage half were few and short. Valiant defence kept Swanage at bay but was not enough to stop them scoring three further tries (two of which were converted). As the match drew to a close Brixham showed that, although the match was lost, they had not lost their appetite for the game and rounded the match off with an unconverted try.
May 12th 2002 - Devon Cup Final - Brixham 16 Barnstaple 25
A bright sunny day saw both sides sign off their season in a repeat of last year's Devon Cup Final. Playing with the slope in the first half, assisted by a spate of penalties following Brixham infringements, Barnstaple dominated the half. They opened the scoring after just six minutes with a drop-goal and midway through the half their pacy backs scored the first try. Three more tries followed and Brixham looked out of the match at halftime as Barum led 25-0.
The second half saw a change in the Brixham fortunes and they exerted most of the pressure and quickly opened their account with a penalty. The backs were able to make little impression on Barnstaple and 10 minutes later it was a combination of forward drives that led to Brixham's try. Two more penalties reduced the Barnstaple lead but Brixham were unable to break through their defence as Barnstaple successfully defended the Cup
Brixham's points were scored by Tony Davis with a try converted by Matt Dempsey who also kicked three penalties.
April 20th 2002 - League Truro 20 Brixham 14
Brixham's tries were scored by Gary Williams and a penalty try. Jake Lawrence kicked two conversions.
April 13th 2002 - League Matson 37 Brixham 18
April 6th 2002 - League Brixham 48 Torquay 7
Having won at Torquay earlier in the season Brixham were quick off the mark to repeat the performance with a try after just one minute - converted into the strong easterly wind that disrupted the lineouts throughout the match. Torquay did well in the set-pieces and with the benefit of the wind were able to launch assaults on the Brixham line. These were singularly unsuccessful - as were their three penalty attempts and Brixham extended their lead midway through the half. The end of the first half saw another Brixham threequarter move end with a try and a 17-0 lead.
The second half started with Brixham seeking to use the advantage of the wind to extend their lead but it was not until midway though that they were able to do so when a deliberate knock-on by Torquay resulted in a penalty try. Another move by the backs then enabled Simon Mitchell to notch up his hat-trick of tries but this was soon followed by a further penalty try - this time to Torquay.
This spurred Brixham to a more open attacking game and three tries were run in the final five minutes of the match.
Brixham's tries were scored by Simon Mitchell (3), Adam Chadwick (2), Roger Readwin, Tony Davies and the penalty try. Matthew Dempsey kicked four conversions.
March 16th 2002 - League Berry Hill 20 Brixham 9
March 9th 2002 - League Cheltenham North 27 Brixham 16
March 2nd 2002 - League Brixham 23 Crediton 16
Brixham started the game in the sort of form that gave them a glut of points in the last three games and fluid three-quarter moves led to three tries in the first twenty minutes - to which Crediton's only response was a penalty. From this point on it was increasingly Crediton who exerted pressure and a converted try reduced the deficit to just five points at half-time.
The second half started with Crediton looking to use the advantage of the slope to cut Brixham's lead. Although they did much of the attacking they were unable to cross the Brixham line and with two penalties had taken the lead with ten minutes to go. This spurred Brixham to an attacking frenzy and a two point lead was restored with a penalty. With the last move of the match Adam Chadwick scored the try that made the game safe, and bolstered the points difference in the league table slightly.
Brixham's tries were scored by Adam Chadwick (2), Simon Mitchell and Dudley Hoare. Matt Dempsey kicked one penalty.
February 23rd 2002 - League Hornets 5 Brixham 75
The biting cold wind blowing fiercely straight across the pitch was to neither sides advantage and Brixham opened strongly - but to no effect. When Hornets attacked good work by their forwards resulted in a short-range try and a 5 point lead. For much of the rest of the first period Brixham continued on the offensive and took the lead - extended in the last few minutes to 22-5.
The second half saw Brixham at their best with spells of multiphase play, penetrating running by both backs and forwards and good support. At times Hornets seemed to know nothing of what was happening as Brixham ran in nine tries in what was probably their best performance of the season.
The ten try-scorers on the scoresheet underline how much this was an all-round effort.
Brixham's twelve tries were scored by Simon Mitchell (2), Adam Chadwick (2), Matt Dempsey, Ashley McInally, Andrew Hawkes, Dudley Hoare, Jake Lawrence, Lee Squires, Dan Stead and Gary Williams. Matt Dempsey got five conversions and one penalty; Simon Mitchell got one conversion.
February 16th 2002 - League Brixham 36 Camborne 3
After just two minutes Brixham opened the gates of the Camborne defence when Ashley McInally crashed though from short range. The rearranged Brixham pack, featuring two new signings, held its own in the set pieces but Camborne repeatedly made progress through forward drives and it was Brixham's backs who were responsible for the three tries whgich extended the half-time lead to 24-0
The second half started with Camborne looking to use the advantage of the slope to cut Brixham's lead - which they achieved courtesy of a penalty. Almost straight from the restart, however, Brixham increased their advantage with another well-taken try and this was soon followed by their sixth. For most of the rest of the match Camborne continued to press forward but were unable to add any scores.
Brixham's six tries were scored by Simon Mitchell (2), Adam Chadwick, Ashley McInally, Rob Savage and Gary Williams. Simon Mitchell got three conversions.
February 9th 2002 - League Brixham 68 Taunton 8
With the wind and the slope in their favour Brixham were slow to get into gear and as halftime loomed - and a 16-0 lead - it looked as if they had not done enough. A golden spell - with three tries - extended the lead to 35 points and Brixham looked to have secured a sufficient cushion.
The second period started as expected with Taunton using the elements to put pressure on the Brixham line though their only reward for their efforts came in the shape of a penalty. This score fired up Brixham who launched long-range, multi-pass attacks and started to run in more tries and it was not until they had passed the sixty-mark that Taunton again got on the scoreboard.
Brixham's nine tries were scored by Simon Mitchell (2), Dan Stead (2), Andy Baker, Adam Chadwick, Jake Lawrence, Lee Squires and Gary Williams. Matt Dempsey got three penalties and seven conversions.
January 12th 2002 - League Cleve 22 Brixham 16
Brixham could have won this third match between the sides but were unable to make the most of their chances in a late rally. Playing into the wind Brixham looked to have done well to be trailing 8-3 just before half-time but a converted try from Cleve extended their lead. A penalty from Matthew Dempsey narrowed the gap early in the second quarter but Cleve got to 22-6 with another try. A try from Adam Chadwick and another penalty were all that Brixham could muster though other chances went begging as Brixham finished the game on the attack.
January 5th 2002 - League Brixham 33 Gloucester Old Boys 11
Brixham won this return match despite the absence of Chris Atkinson and with two new faces (for this season) in the backs. Dudley Hoare opened the scoring for Brixham with an early try but by half-time, playing down the slope, Brixham only had a narrow 8-6 lead. Brixham opened the second half on the offensive but a missed pass saw the Old Boys run through to take the lead against the run of the play. Brixham continued to attack and both wingers - Hoare and Chadwick - scored tries as did centre Andy Baker and Rob Savage as Brixham rattled up the points in the last 20 minutes.
December 30th 2001- Devon Cup Teignmouth 8 Brixham 28
Chris Atkinson maintained his record of kicking penalties, and three from four attempts (one from the halfway line) put Brixham in the driving seat. Before half-time Adam Chadwick got in at the corner for an unconverted try and Brixham turned round 14-0 up.
A try under the posts by Gary Williams - who had run around the defence to get there - this time converted; increased the Brixham lead but they were put under some pressure by Teignmouth who got on the scoreboard with a penalty. Andy Monnington of Teignmouth was next on the scoresheet, snapping up a loose ball just outside his own 22 when a Brixham attack broke down and running in for a well-deserved try. The final score of the game was another try beneath the posts by Lee Squires whose 15 metre sprint to the line was only slightly impeded by the attentions of the Teignmouth defenders.
December 22nd 2001- League Torquay 20 Brixham 33
A bright but cold day at the Rec brought Torquay little Christmas cheer, though their spirits may have been lifted by the two late tries that gave them a more respectable scoreline. With Chris Atkinson continuing to slot penalties, as he had last week, Torquay soon found themselves 6 points down but took the lead when a defensive error led to a converted try. Further penalties either side of half-time restored Brixhams lead which was further extended by a converted Adam Chadwick try. Torquay replied with a penalty of their own but with Brixham firmly in control Matt Dempsey scored two converted tries in quick succession. As Brixham relaxed somewhat having built a healthy cushion Torquay got their late brace but it was too little, too late.
December 15th 2001- League Brixham 23 Cleve 17
Brixham won this rematch thanks largely to the boot of Chris Atkinson who put over 5 penalties (one from the Brixham half) and a 45 metre drop goal. The other score was a fine try run in by Adam Chadwick. Although Brixham had applied most of the early pressure they could not convert this into points and Cleve built a good first-half lead with two tries. Early in the second half they made it 17-3 with a third try but Brixham made the most of the strong wind at their backs during the second period as they overhauled Cleve.
December 8th 2001- League Brixham 29 Matson 7
A quickly taken tap penalty enabled Chris Atkinson to run in the first Brixham try after just ten minutes of the match and their next attack resulted in a penalty for Brixham to establish an 8-0 lead. Most of the rest of the first half saw Matson putting pressure on Brixham and just before half-time they were rewarded with a converted try.
The second half was very much Brixham's and another Chris Atkinson penalty was followed by the second try when Andy Baker swooped on a poor clearance to run in unopposed. Another penalty extended the lead, consolidated by a Lee Squires try. A fourth penalty completed the scoring.
December 1st 2001- League Gloucester Old Boys 35 Brixham 23
November 24th 2001- Friendly Ivybridge 7 Brixham 9
November 17th 2001- League Brixham 10 Cleve 25
Although Brixham lost on the day they will have to wait for the League to rule on the validity of the result. Much of the match was played with uncontested scrums after Cleve lost two props with leg injuries - the first after less than 5 minutes!
November 10th 2001- League Camborne 12 Brixham 36
A last minute try by Camborne produced a scoreline which flattered the hosts in a match which Brixham had dominated throughout. Although Camborne had somewhat the better of the opening half it was Brixham who made the most of their scoring opportunities and with four tries had established a comfortable 24-0 lead by half time. Two more tries followed in the second half against one by Camborne but Brixham may rue the ones that "went missing" if the final league places are determined by points difference.
October 27th 2001- League Brixham 20 Truro 15
A fumble by the Truro backs; possession snapped up by Brixham and fed out wide gave Adam Chadwick the opportunity to go over for the last minute try which gave Brixham victory over the erstwhile League leaders.
Truro had slightly the better of the game but two penalties by Chris Atkinson gave Brixham a 6-0 halftime lead. This did not last long however as Truro opened the second half with two tries - one of which was converted. Brixham refused to buckle and two further penalties put the sides back on level terms. Truro looked to have secured victory with a long-range dropped goal but Brixham had the last score and lead the table.
October 20th 2001- League Taunton 23 Brixham 31
A catch and drive after a line-out, following a forward drive of over 40 yards from the halfway line, led to the try which sealed the victory over both dogged opponents and some "interesting" refereeing decisions that had both teams and their supporters scratching their heads.
Taunton's spoiling tactics made it difficult for Brixham to build any multi-phase possession and the game went from end-to end with a draw looking the most satisfactory outcome until the final minutes when Brixham's superior discipline saw them through.
According to the Sunday Independent the referee "finished the match by not only showing Taunton lock Pete Harrison his yellow card but also baffled the crowd by calling him back to wave the red one." Not so as those present witnessed - the red card was for swearing at the referee after being given the yellow. Only minutes earlier Taunton had been penalised for exactly the same offence when Brixham had been awarded a penalty underneath the posts.
October 6th 2001- League Brixham 35 Hornets 34
In a thrilling, end-to-end, match between two evenly matched teams Brixham emerged as narrow winners. Well not quite!
Hornets dominated the first hour of the match and scored two quick tries as their backs virtually danced through the Brixham defence. When Brixham counter-attacked they made the scoreline even worse by conceding two more tries - courtesy of intercepted passes. The best news at this point was that Hornets had only converted once. As the first half drew to a close Brixham did manage to post some points when Adam Chadwick ran in from long range.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first with Hornets scoring two more tries to lead by 34-7 and they looked to have the game sewn up. Two tries in as many minutes from Dan Stead and Adam Chadwick - both converted by Chris Atkinson - set the Hornets buzzing and with the crowd now behind them Brixham further narrowed the gap when Chris Atkinson converted his own try.
With the seconds ticking away Matthew Caunter broke through the Hornets defence for his first league try, Atkinson converted and Brixham had secured the victory.
September 29th 2001- League Crediton 6 Brixham 22
Crediton's run of success came to an abrupt halt against a well-drilled Brixham, who opened with a penalty from fly half Atkinson. He extended the lead with a further penalty after 20 minutes.
Then Crediton lost their own line-out, Brixham came away with the ball and a good handling move saw Atkinson score in the corner. Two more penalties from Atkinson extended Brixham's lead to 17 points at the interval.
With the wind behind them in the second half, Crediton began to come into the game and were rewarded with two Gibson penalties. But Brixham wrapped up victory five minutes from time with a try from hooker Dan Stead.
Crediton pens, Gibson 2, Brixham tries, Atkinson, Stead; pens, Atkinson 4
September 15th 2001- Friendly Brixham 21 Weston-super-Mare 5
Relegated Weston-super-Mare's poor start to the season continued when they were well beaten by Brixbam in a lively friendly.
The visitors could only manage one try from a drive over by the pack on the half hour by flanker Gavin Simpson, which saw them trail 10-5 at the break.
Fly half Chris Atkinson, a new recruit from Plymouth Albion, did most of the damage for the Fishermen, converting an early three-quarter try by winger Adam Chadwick and then kicking three penalties in the blustery conditions.
The other home points went to young scrum half Sean Onslow. He was on the shoulder of lock Tony Davis, who opened up the Weston defence with a 40 yard run down the middle near the end.
Brixham tries Chadwick, Onslow con Atkinson, pens Atkinson 3. Weston-super-Mare try Simpson.
September 8th 2001- League Brixham 15 Berry Hill 15
BRIXHAM were lucky to escape defeat after dominating for a hour, only to fall away badly in the last quarter Brixham had points on the board in less than two minutes with a penalty by fly half Chris Atkinson.
The Fishermen were in almost total control with the slope and the wind at their backs but poor finishing meant they had to wait until the end of the second quarter for their next try which came when scrum half Sean Onslow pounced on a defensive mistake behind the Berry Hill line for Atkinson to add the points.
A third try through full back Gary Williams, with a dash from the 22 arrived just before the break to give the Devon side a 15-0 interval lead.
They should have improved upon this when continuing to dominate in the third quarter but the visitors hit back when hooker Ben Lewis skipped round the front of a line-out to go over by the corner flag.
Berry Hill quickly added a penalty through fly half Lee Osborne and then scored a try after a fine 50-yard back line move with centre Anthony Lane getting the final touch down.
Brixham tries Onslow, Williams con Atkinson pen Atkinson Berry Hill tries Lewis, Lane con Osborne pen Osborne
Sunday May 13th 2001 - DEVON CUP FINAL - Barnstaple 30 Brixham 18
The final score flattered the home side who were made to fight all the way to retain the Devon Cup. After falling behind to an early penalty Brixham had much the better of the first half and with two tries and a penalty led 15-3 at the break. In the second half Barnstaple came back at Brixham and with their two tries went into an 18-15 lead. A late penalty by Matt Dempsey took the game into extra time.
At the end of the first period of extra time a loose pass was picked up by the Barnstaple wing who ran virtually the length of the pitch to score under the posts and a further try was added right at the end.
Tuesday May 2nd 2001 Brixham 5 Stroud 15
Brixham finished the league season with a defeat. Little went right for the Fishermen in bitter conditions with the loss of Peter Chart with a leg injury after only 15 minutes.The winger was playing his last home game before leaving for a job in Australia and had hoped to make a big impact.Yet by then his team were already trailing nil-10 after conceding a try through throwing a wild pass inside their own 22 and then a penalty for offside.Brixham battled back gamely but dropped further behind just before the interval when poor covering let the visitors go over by the corner flag.The second half was one of increasing mistakes by both teams but Brixham put together one good move in the closing stages which gave young winger Guy Pallett his debut try with a touchline run from the 22. For Stroud it was sweet revenge for their shock home defeat by the Fishermen in the first leg and victory gives them home advantage in their promotion play off with Slough.
Saturday April 21st 2001 Penryn 33 Brixham 7
Saturday April 14th 2001 Brixham 39 Torquay 25
In the annual Brewer Cup match Brixham rubbed salt into the wounds of already-relegated Torquay. Although Torquay opened the scoring "Brixham were red-hot from the first whistle to pulverise the visitors' defence". Tries from Baker, Williams, Chadwick, Savage and McInally with two penalties and four conversions from Dempsey made up the Brixham total
Sunday April 8th 2001 Exmouth 11 Brixham 11
In this Devon Cup semi-final Brixham struggled to find their true form and were always in arrears. Brixham showed their class with some fine running by their backs but lacked continuous possession and were unable to mount any sustained pressure. A penalty by Brixham just minutes from the end levelled the scores at 8 all but Exmouth appeared to have secured the victory soon after with a more difficult kick into the wind. A final attack from Brixham resulted in a further penalty and with the last kick of the match Matt Dempsey secured the draw which puts Brixham into the final.
Saturday March 31st 2001 Brixham 25 Cheltenham North 7
In a match which started half-an-hour late, Cheltenham North opened the scoring with an interception try. Despite the wind and continuous driving drizzle there were several good movements by the Brixham side and tries by Matt Dempsey and Jonathon Gardner - plus two penalties - gave Brixham a 20-7 halftime lead. The second-half was less exciting and the only score was a try by Ben Moon.
This result boosted Brixham to fourth place in the League - their highest position this season.
Saturday March 17th 2001 Matson 0 Brixham 14
On a bitterly cold afternoon and after arriving late in a coach with air-conditioning problems, Brixham made up for last weekend's disappointment. Playing up the slope, Brixham took the lead in the first half with a Jake Lawrence try converted by Matt Dempsey. In the second half Matson exerted considerable pressure on the Brixham line but the defence was excellent and a breakaway try by Ben Moon, engineered by Gary Williams secured the victory.
Saturday March 10th 2001 Hornets 17 Brixham 8
The hangover, or aftermath, from last Sunday's victory took its toll as the Fishermen lost yet again to Hornets. Brixham took an early lead through a Matt Dempsey penalty but struggled to obtain useable possession throughout a scrappy match which Hornets deservedly won.
Sunday March 4th 2001 Plymouth Albion 12 Brixham 38
Despite fielding a side with first-team experience, Plymouth coach Graham Dawe admitted that he had not shown Brixham sufficient respect and his side crashed out of the Devon Cup on an excellent weekend for all of the Brixham teams.
Brixham will play Barnstaple or Crediton in the next round.
Saturday February 24th 2001 Brixham 65 Camborne 12
Brixham completed the double over Camborne in fine style with a try count of 11-2 in conditions ideal for running rugby.
The rampant Fishermen started with a rush and by half-time were 29-7 ahead with their shell-shocked visitors hardly able to get into the game.
Brixham's man of the match was scrum-half Matt Dempsey who scored four tries as well as kicking four conversions with the other conversion going to centre Andy Baker.
Winger Adam Chadwick went over for two touchdowns with the rest going to Baker, winger Ben Moon, fly-half Jake Lawrence, full-back Gary Williams, number eight Andrew Penhaligon, flanker Jonathon Gardner and lock Tony Davis.