Western Counties West
Kingsbridge travelled the relatively short distance to Paignton on Saturday for this WCW league match looking to strengthen their fourth-placed position in the table while also looking to close the gap on the three teams above them.
The Blue and Whites had comfortably beaten their hosts 51-10 when the two teams met at High House earlier in the season and would have been confident of adding another win to their tally over a team sitting in 12th place in the table.
However, a battling performance from Paignton and a somewhat below-par display from the visitors saw the two sides produce an uninspiring 10-10 draw in the Saturday afternoon gloom.
The first half brought little entertainment for either set of supporters with most of the play taking place in midfield.
Kingsbridge did manage the occasional foray into the Paignton 22 but were unable to penetrate the final line of defence or maintain possession in contact at the crucial time.
The only scoring to come out of the first half was a long-range penalty from the hosts on the stroke of half time that gave them a narrow 3-0 lead.
Kingsbridge appeared more fired up at the start of the second half as most of the play was focussed in the Paignton half.
However, they remained frustrated that their territorial advantage could not be converted into points as the score remained 3-0.
Finally as the second half reached its midway point, Kingsbridge scrum-half James Trout put in a speculative chip over the Paignton defensive line which saw fly-half Ben Newman run through and win the race to the ball before taking off through the Paignton 22 to score near the posts to put Kingsbridge 3-5 ahead.
The conversion from centre Thom Leman extended that to 3-7.
In what was now turning out to be a very physical game, Kingsbridge’s lead did not last very long.
Within 10 minutes the hosts had retaken the lead as a break through the Kingsbridge back line by the visitors hooker saw him put through the flanker to score near the posts.
The simple conversion saw Paignton ahead at 10-7 with time running out.
Kingsbridge returned play to the Paignton half where the hosts were caught offside in midfield with four minutes remaining and Kingsbridge opted for the kick at goal, which was successfully slotted by Leman, to level the scores at 10-10.
The visitors then had to withstand a period of pressure during the closing minutes as the hosts pushed for the winning score which thankfully did not come.
This weekend sees the 1st XV welcome Crediton to High House in the league with the match being very kindly sponsored by Jewson. Kick off will be at 2.30pm.
Kingsbridge A XV travel to face Crediton thirds in the Devon Merit Table while the Colts travel to face Torquay in a friendly match.