Bideford beat Kingsbridge and return to second in Western Counties
BIDEFORD returned to second place in Tribute Western Counties (west) with a bonus-point victory in their game in hand.
Sam Olde scored a hat-trick of tries and Dave Slee and Richard Norman also crossed in a 32-10 win over Kingsbridge at King George's Field.
The result saw them move back above Okehampton and to within ten points of leaders St Austell, with all teams in the division now having played ten games.
A pre-match downpour and another at the start of the second half made handling difficult for both teams and led to a scrappy match.
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The forwards competed well but the pace of right wing Olde helped make the difference in the second half.
He was involved in the opening try as Bideford attacked from a seventh-minute scrum and Slee, the full back, scored wide on the left. Olly Wickett kicked the conversion.
Kingsbridge responded with a long period of pressure but could only score a penalty, kicked by fly half Ben Newman, which was cancelled out by a Wickett three-pointer three minutes before half time.
Olde set off on a diagonal run from halfway to the left corner for his first try in the sixth minute of the second half and went over in the opposite corner for his second ten minutes later to make it 20-3 to Bideford.
Kingsbridge replied with a try from prop Buster James, converted by Newman, after a long-range catch and drive.
But the outcome was put beyond doubt ten minutes from time when Norman, the lock, showed surprising pace to score on the right wing.
Three minutes later, Olde completed his hat-trick and the victory with a typical length-of-the-field run, finishing flamboyantly under the posts to leave Wickett an easy conversion.