Barnstaple well beaten at Chippenham in National Three south west
BARNSTAPLE made a good start to their National Three south west match at Chippenham but ended up well beaten.
The home side hit back from 10-0 down in the early stages to lead 18-15 at half time and ultimately win 46-27.
Barnstaple went ahead through a penalty try but could not halt Chippenham's driving mauls, which produced three tries.
Will Topps crossed for two tries and Linford Brock one, while Luke Berry kicked two conversions and a penalty, but it was not enough to spare Barum a fourth successive defeat.
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Bideford remain top of the Western Counties (west) table but only on points difference after previous leaders St Austell made up the one-point deficit with which they began the day.
Bideford won 21-15 away to Kingsbridge but were unable to secure a four-try bonus point, while St Austell, after two league defeats in a row, returned to form by thrashing Tavistock 73-3. James Starkey and John Mock scored tries for Bideford, with Pat Sanders adding three penalties and a conversion.
The title challengers are locked together on 78 points. They are now 14 points clear of third-placed Torquay Athletic, who lost 16-15 away to Exeter Saracens.
Bude stretched their unbeaten away run to four matches with a 27-23 victory at Ivybridge. Eleventh-placed Bude are now just four points behind their hosts, who are tenth.
Ilfracombe were unable to raise a team for their Devon Two fixture at Devonport High School Old Boys.