Kingsbridge travelled to Twomeads on Boxing Day for the annual bank holiday clash with local rivals Salcombe, where the Blue and Whites enjoyed a nine tries to one victory to extend their long winning run in this fixture.
The visitors opened the scoring after only four minutes as centre Dave Stephens powered his way over wide out, with full-back George Jones adding an excellent conversion for a 0-7 lead.
The visitors’ second try, after 18 minutes, saw Jones exploit a huge overlap following a break in midfield from fly-half Ben Newman, before rounding behind the posts to touch down. The same player added the simple conversion to put Kings 0-14 ahead.
Try number three saw a break in midfield again set up space out wide and this time winger James Trout crossed over wide out to touch down. The conversion narrowly failed but Kingsbridge now held a 0-19 lead.
The hosts fought back well from conceding three tries with a period of sustained forward pressure in the Kingsbridge 22 and were rewarded for their efforts as they crossed over wide out with a rolling maul move to close the deficit to 5-19, which remained the score until the interval.
Kingsbridge came out fired up at the start of the second half and increased their lead early as captain Mike Powell crossed over from a maul near the posts for the visitors’ fourth try.
The conversion from Jones took the score to 5-26. Kingsbridge kept the hosts pinned in their 22 for much of the second half as the forwards continued to set up a good supply of ball for the backs to work with.
It wasn’t long therefore before the visitors increased their lead further through winger TJ Lang – making his first XV debut – as he beat the final defender to cross over wide out for a well-taken try to take the score to 5-31.
A penalty near the Salcombe 22 saw Kingsbridge set up the catch and drive move from the resulting line-out which saw flanker Ali Hamilton gain the touchdown for try number six. Jones was again on target with the conversion to take the score to 5-38.
Kingsbridge continued to exert pressure in the Salcombe half and a scrum in the 22 saw them push the hosts’ pack back towards their own line before releasing the ball on the blind side, where Lang used his size to force his way over in the corner for his second try.
Jones added an excellent conversion from the touchline to take the score out to 5-45.
With 10 minutes remaining Kingsbridge were awarded a five-metre penalty and, alert to the Salcombe defence being tied in, fly-half Newman put in a quick cross-field kick.
Full-back Jones was unmarked and was able to take the catch and stroll in unopposed to touch down for his second and the Blue and Whites’ eighth try to bring up the half-century of points.
Jones duly completed his hat-trick of tries with the visitors’ final score of the match as the ball was moved from one side of the pitch to the other and a neat sidestep through the Salcombe defence saw him touch down wide out to complete the scoring at 5-55.