A great performance from the U10 team on Sunday Highlights were Dans bloody nose, Freya smashing an Albion Oak boy about 5 feet backwards and Gracie's incredible lung busting, try saving, sprint and tackle!!! I just want to say a huge thanks to all the parents for getting the kids to training and matches throughout the year! See you next year!
Salcombe entertained top of the table North Tawton in front of a large crowd that had gathered for the annual Vice Presidents day. The home side got off to a flying start and immediately pinned the visitors deep inside their own half. Coach James Mundy made his first start for the club at scrum half and instantly made his presence felt as he marshalled the forwards well. Tawton defended wave after wave of Salcombe attack, with the captain Stuart Winzer coming closest to scoring after some forward drives close to the line. With the visitors defending narrowly Salcombe started to use width in their attack. New signing Andrew Smerdon who partnered his brother Ian in the centre made several breaks but couldn’t get the final ball away for the touchdown the Crabs so deserved. Midway through the half Salcombe did take the lead when the ball was passed down through the three quarters to wing Darren Clarke who beat his opposite number to touch down in the corner. Chris Drew adding the extras. Fly half Drew extended the lead to 10-0 with a penalty after further Salcombe pressure forced the visitors into infringements. The first half wasn’t all Salcombe’s way as on their first time inside Salcombe’s twenty two North Tawton punished some naive defending to score their first points with an unconverted touchdown. Desperate to extend their advantage with the wind at their backs Salcombe threatened the try line again. Flankers James Cooper and James Palmer exerted pressure at every breakdown and also carried the ball well. With the last kick of the first half Drew hit the upright with a drop goal attempt. Leading 10-5 at the break Salcombe knew they were capable of an upset but also knew that the league leaders had enough quality to go up through the gears. Both kickers added a penalty apiece early into the second half as they battled to gain control in the game. The turning point came after fifty minutes when the North Tawton number eight picked the ball from an attacking scrum and lost the ball clearly forward when tackled in midfield. To the crowd and Salcombe’s amazement the referee seemed to miss the handling error and although Salcombe played to the whistle Tawton scored after the next two phases next to the posts. Feeling shell shocked by the decision the Crabs quickly conceded another try as the visitors showed their class and turned an attacking opportunity into points. With the game finely balanced after sixty five minutes, a serious looking neck injury to Salcombe full back Mark Parnowski forced the game into an early finish. Salcombe would like to thank club physio Maureen Clarke who along with James Cooper, Mike Banner and Steph Clarke looked after Mark until the emergency services arrived. Parnowski was released from hospital that evening suffering from a severe sprain and concussion. Salcombe are currently waiting to hear from Devon whether the game will have to be replayed or if the result stands.
Salcombe came away from North Devon with just a bonus point to show for after a physical and bruising encounter with their league rivals. The Crabs started the game slowly and allowed the large Ilfracombe pack to run the ball back at them time and time again. Ilfracombe lacked a cutting edge and had to settle for a penalty to take the lead. Salcombe slowly begin to assert their own authority on the game. After a spell of pressure inside the home side’s half Salcombe finally scored the first try of the game. A move straight off the training ground that would have made coach James Mundy proud saw the forwards run aggressively in two phases before the ball was fed to the backline who cleverly switched direction and fed the ball wide to winger Kieron Clarke to score in the corner. Chris Drew added the extras from the touchline. Midway through the first half Salcombe lost key players Scott Lowry, James Palmer and Ian Smerdon to injury and the positional changes that followed made Salcombe lose some shape and structure. Salcombe had a few more opportunities to score as they opened up the Ilfracombe defence on a few occasions but they were unable to convert these chances. Leading 7-3 at half time Salcombe thought that they were in control of the game but Ilfracombe came out of the break firing and scored a try within minutes of receiving the ball. The ball was moved along the backline well and the centre had too much pace for the covering Crabs. For the first time in the game Salcombe looked shell shocked and they were made to pay for further loose tackling as Ilfracombe broke through tackles with ease to score two more tries in quick succession. Salcombe had no answer dealing with the pacey Ilfracombe winger as he raced sixty metres to score under the posts. Trailing 22-7 Salcombe found themselves trying to force a game that was within their reach at the interval. The forwards although tiring were still giving everything in the loose. The front row pairing of Nick Trant and Sam Viles worked tirelessly all game in both attack and defence. The game was already starting to get niggly when a headbutt from the Ilfracombe winger on prop Jim Winzer was retaliated by a flurry of punches, both players were shown the red card. Salcombe reacted better going a man down and started to play with more aggression and purpose. The scrum worked well all day but the line out was a lottery in the extremely windy conditions so Salcombe started to run a lot of penalties. Fly half Drew took one penalty quickly and was able to jink through the covering defence to touch down under the posts. The conversion took the Crabs to within eight points with minutes to play. Salcombe threw everything at the hosts but couldn’t get that extra touchdown. A penalty from the last play of the game saw Drew add the three points to ensure the Crabs didn’t come away from the game empty handed. Friendly action at Twomeads this weekend as the club XV take on Plymouth Argaum
Salcombe welcomed New Cross to Twomeads for the second leg of the Devon Junior Vase Semi Final. New Cross had already showed their class in the first leg as they beat Salcombe 34-6 but the Crabs are a different prospect on their home patch and were keen to pull a scalp over their rivals from the league above. Keen to make a good start, Salcombe started strongly and quickly held the upper hand in the kicking territory battle. The pack continued their fine form in the set piece with both the scrums and line outs looking strong. New Cross infringed whilst under pressure close to their line and Salcombe, who were thinking on their feet moved the ball from a quick tap penalty through the backs for full back Lee Clarke to dive over in the corner for a 5-0 lead. The lead didn’t last for too long as New Cross found their feet and started to exert their own pressure. Two penalties that were conceded in quick succession were both converted by the New Cross kicker to give the visitors the lead in the game. Trailing by a point at half time Salcombe knew that overturning the 28 point difference may be a step too far but getting a victory was well within them. The second period started like the first with Salcombe having the territorial advantage. The back three of Clarke, his brother Kieron and wing Matt Farleigh looked confident under the high balls and returned them with interest. Salcombe kicked a penalty to the corner and from the catch and drive by the forwards with just a little help from a few backs they were able to score their second of the afternoon. Second row James Cooper coming up with the ball from under a pile of players. Fly half Chris Drew added the conversion to extend the lead to 12-6. New Cross responded quickly by catching Salcombe by surprise by taking a penalty quickly five metres from the line. Salcombe unable to stop the galloping prop at full speed. With the conversion missed Salcombe led by one point for the last twenty minutes. The home side’s three quarter line looked good in defence and even when the Crabs had centre Mark Parnowski yellow carded the backs defence stood firm for the ten minutes. Salcombe had the last word in the game when Kieron Clarke chased ahead a kick, forcing the full back into a fumble before winning the race to touchdown. The game finished 17-11 to Salcombe, not enough to make the final but the Crabs can be very pleased of beating a side who play in the league above. This Saturday, Salcombe make the long journey to Ilfracombe for the league game.
Salcombe scored ten tries as they overwhelmed the visiting Plymouth side with some dazzling rugby. The game was one way traffic from the start as the home side came out of the blocks at a fast pace and controlled the tempo of the game. Training ground moves were executed well and the gaps soon appeared in Devonport’s defence. The Salcombe backline got the first score of the game after the ball was quickly spread wide. Full back Schalk Herselman entered the line at speed and used his pass to dive over wide out. Herselman scored a similar try minutes later after a good offload from Ian Smerdon in the midfield allowed the ball to be spread wide once again. Fly half Chris Drew kicked two magnificent conversions from the touchline into a swirling wind to give the Crabs a 14-0 lead after ten minutes. Almost immediately from the restart Salcombe launched another attack and wing Kieron Clarke beat several defenders to score a fine try from forty metres. The next score came after a period of sustained pressure inside the visitors 22 from the Salcombe pack. After sucking in the majority of defenders the ball was passed wide to second row Sean Baker. With five men and just one defender to beat Baker did what any forward would do and decided not to pass and sidestepped his opponent to crash over under the posts. The final score of the first half went to flanker James Palmer who linked up with scrum half Lewis Winzer to crash over from five metres out. Into the second half Salcombe continued to dominate the visitors and launch attacks. The line outs were working effectively whilst the backs also looked good with the ball in hand. Palmer scored his second try of the afternoon after Salcombe decided to run a penalty from the 22. Palmer brushed off the attempted tackle to canter in under the posts. He completed his hat trick of tries minutes later after some good handling sent him powering through once more. Devonport entered the Salcombe 22 for a brief period but the defence held firm and the Crabs were able to clear their lines after the visitors committed an offence at scrum time. For a short while Salcombe’s precision in the passing dropped off as they squandered opportunities to cross the whitewash once more. On a Devonport clearance Lee Clarke met the ball with a volley and then won the foot race to touch down showing a high level of skill that surprised both sides and supporters. Clarke also set up the final try of the afternoon when his cross field kick was collected by Herselman who stepped the full back to complete his fine hat trick. Drew had an accurate game with the boot by kicking eight out of ten kicks at goal for a personal tally of sixteen points. On the back of the victory Salcombe remain in third position and unbeaten at home in the league this season.
Salcombe produced one of their finest performances of the season as they comprehensively beat their opponents by fifty points. Playing into the strong wind the Salcombe pack immediately started to make in-roads into their opponents. Strong drives from second rows Scott Lowry and Sean Baker set the platform as the Crabs edged up the field. A line out to Salcombe on the visitors twenty two saw the pack set up a well controlled catch and drive. Captain Stuart Winzer emerged with the ball from the pile of bodies for the first score. Chris Drew added a superb conversion into the wind five metres from the touchline. Straight from the kick off Salcombe were on the attack again with the forwards breaking through tackles. The ball was fed to the backs who passed with speed and accuracy all the way to winger Schalk Herselman who beat his opposite man before producing a sublime inside pass to Lee Clarke who dived over. One of the Crabs strengths in the game was the consistency of the line out. Hooker Richard Gregson showed constant precision in his throwing all afternoon to give the home side clean set piece ball . From good combined play from backs and forwards Salcombe scored their third try of the afternoon when scrum half Lewis Winzer linked up with younger brother Stuart to crash over from close range. The bonus point fourth try was secured when centre Mark Parnowski sprinted through a gap in the defence to dive over the line close to the posts for a converted score. Jay Hannaford scored Salcombe’s fifth try of the afternoon after the pack had once again driven Buckfastleigh over from a line out. Drew converted from wide out again to give the home side a 31-0 half time lead. Into the second half and with a strong wind behind them Salcombe pinned their opponents back deep inside their own half. A scrum five metres out saw the Salcombe pack drive the ramblers back over the line. Number eight Winzer touching down for the score. Drew converted. Minutes later the pack repeated their feat from the opposite side of the field and Winzer again controlled the ball at the base for the touchdown. Salcombe worked patiently in their build up play with the ball going through several well controlled phases. Flanker James Palmer powered down the blind side before offloading to Scott Lowry who bumped off the final defender to score in the clubhouse corner. The final word would go with the pack who were totally dominant all game. Captain Stuart Winzer scored his fifth try of the game after another pushover try to leave the final score at 53-0 to Salcombe. The Crabs travel to Dartmouth this Saturday hoping to continue their fine run of league form.