Bideford hit form for Western Counties showdown with St Austell
BIDEFORD have hit form just in time for a showdown with Tribute Western Counties (west) leaders St Austell.
After two games without a win, James Buckland, Chris Snell and Sam Olde scored hat-tricks in an 11-try, 70-0 thrashing of Penryn.
Fresh from that success, they will travel to Cornwall on Saturday trying to become the first team to take points off St Austell this season.
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Dave Harris, the manager, said: "It was a great boost for the St Austell game.
"They go into it as favourites because they haven't lost all season and they are at home.
"But if we win that it is wide open with a game in hand against Kingsbridge the following week."
Bideford are 11 points adrift of St Austell who won 30-27 in the corresponding fixture last season.
After losing leads in a defeat to Ivybridge and draw with Okehampton, there was no chance of Bideford making the same mistake three games running.
But the manner of their victory, on the club's President's Day, surprised Harris and settled a long-standing score.
"We didn't really expect that against Penryn," he said. "I thought they were one of the stronger sides in the league but everything clicked for us.
"It was revenge for a 105-5 defeat to Penryn when I was playing 10 or 11 years ago. I would have thought quite a few who played in that game were at the president's lunch."
Barnstaple begin a new phase of their season on Saturday with a trip to National Three south west's bottom side.
After taking on Maidenhead, they face a Devon Senior Cup tie at Torquay Athletic and league games with Malvern, Newton Abbot and Old Patesians.
Kevin Squire, the director of rugby, said: "I said after the flying start we had that the fixtures were very kind.
"We have only won one out of the last five difficult fixtures and we have got what we deserved because we haven't played that well. Now, on paper, we have a series of fixtures we should be capable of winning, starting at Maidenhead. It would be a catastrophe if we didn't come back with a win."