Tuesday 28 February, 2023, by Oli Masters
Salcombe entertained Totnes RFC at Two Meads on Saturday in a rearranged fixture from earlier in the season when weather conditions prevented the game from going ahead. With a head of steam thanks to a small run of wins in recent weeks Salcombe were determined to make the most of the fine afternoon against their local rivals.
Salcombe came out of the blocks quickly with centre Dave Evans-Hill scoring twice in quick succession having been put through a small gap and both times going under the posts. The Crabs added a third after some great counterattacking by Toby Woods allowed Jay Hannaford to show his pace for a another try under the sticks. The bonus point followed shortly thereafter when a rolling maul saw Woods roll over the line this time giving Lee Clarke more of a challenge from tee. Totnes then picked up a number of injuries to an already depleted line up and with the half time score of 28 to nil the requisite coaching teams decided that the second half was best played out in the spirit of inclusion and competitiveness, with that in mind Salcombe elected to match Totnes’ numbers and play with 13 a side.
This made for a much closer second half with the visitors using the ever strengthening wind to their advantage and making the most of the additional open space. The second half score saw Totnes outscore the Crabs four tries to two with Salcombe emptying their bench and using some experimental combinations to make sure all got a game. Salcombe’s second half tries went to Jordan Tebb finishing strongly from close range and Evans who completed his hattrick by scoping up a loose ball and racing in from 40 meters and leaving a final score of 48 to 24 with Clarke finishing with 6 out of 6 conversions.
Notable performances on the day went to Captain Woods, providing a threat with ball in hand and making several big carries, eating up the meters. Lock Dan Hepburn was once again unflappable at the line out using go go gadget arms to trap any ball coming his way and lock partner and Yin to his Yang Dom Loomes providing a physicality that few can match. Man of the Match however was confirmed as Dave Evans (after verification he bought a jug) for an excellent shift that brought a well deserved 3 try haul. Special mention as well to Simon Cater making another return from retirement in the front row.
It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the full allocation of players for both teams had remained on the pitch, Totnes, finding players hard to come by at present have personnel amongst their ranks that are far better than their current league situation suggests and it is a situation that the Crabs are only too familiar with, themselves feeling the pinch in the recent past. Salcombe playing squad would like to thank the travelling Totnes team, the referee, Nick LV for the players meal, all the staff and volunteers on the gate, kitchen and bar and to the supporters who braved the cold, once again it makes a huge difference to the players and is appreciated. A Home game against Topsham 2s is next for Salcombe and those that played in the reverse fixture may feel like a little bit of absolution is in order after what was a very tricky away day.