Cockles primed to push on for promotion
Exmouth are up to second in the National Three South West promotion scramble after a 20-15 win over Brixham on the Imperial Ground.
Weston-super-Mare, who were second behind leaders London Irish, lost 37-24 at Chippenham, which drops them down to third.
Nothing is cut and dried yet, but Exmouth playing director Chris Wright said the Cockles are in a great position to push for promotion now.
"Not only have we gone two points ahead of Weston, we also have a game in hand on them and London Irish," said Wright. "Not only are we there or thereabouts, we also have London Irish at our place to play."
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Games between Brixham and Exmouth seldom have much in them and this one was no different.
"We stopped Brixham getting into our 22 that often, but that didn't stop them scoring," said Wright. "Ben Lovell is a kicking machine for Brixham and if you give him the chance he almost always puts the points over.
"Players like Jarryd Harris and Matt Crosscombe gave us plenty of problems and we had to work hard at times, especially when we went a man down with Stuart Lowe in the sin-bin."
Andrew Powell and Shane Cooper had a try each in Exmouth's 10-9 half-time lead. Lovell kicked three penalties in reply. Ding-dong it went – Lovell (two) and Jon Fabian with three pointers – to leave it 15-13 to Brixham. Lloyd Morgan's try, converted by Powell, put Exmouth clear.
Newton Abbot went up one place to fourth on the strength of a 25-22 win over Redingensians. Most of the scoring was compacted into the first 40 minutes, during which Newton went 20-15 up. Redingensians scored a last-minute try.
Leading the way for Newton with a couple of tries was No.8 Peter Mortimore, who dotted down twice from mauls.
Jason Keenan and Alex Gale nabbed a try each with Kevin Dennis popping over a penalty and a conversion.
Barnstaple lost 72-17 away to leaders London Irish – who already look to be in a different league to most of the division.
Barum went 5-0 up courtesy of a try from Tom Skelding and added another in the first half when Wintson James went in.
Luke Berry landed both conversion and a penalty in a 32-17 half-time deficit.
The second half was one-way traffic with Barum left battered at the end of it with six players requiring stitches in head wounds. "They were to good for us and I don't mind admitting it," said director of rugby Kevin Squire.