Early tries set up South Molton win at Torrington
SOUTH MOLTON did enough in the opening 20 minutes to win this afternoon's North Devon derby against Torrington.
The visitors scored three tries in the first quarter of the Tribute Devon One clash at Donnacroft .
Despite being outscored in the second half, South Molton's early efforts earned them a 22-14 victory.
In their first league visit to Donnacroft since October 2008, Molton took a 19-0 lead before their hosts had even managed to get a foothold in the game.
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Torrington were down to 14 men after a yellow card for scrum half Dale Sayer when Dan Smith, the Molton No 8, scored from a five-metre scrum in the ninth minute.
Four minutes later, props Simon Murch and Phil Holmes combined to create a try for right wing Andrew Webber.
Then, on 20 minutes, Smith charged down the left wing and slipped the ball inside for Courtney Lucas to step past the last man and score.
Steve Ayre, the scrum half, added the conversions to the tries by Webber and Lucas.
Torrington threatened a comeback with penalties by fly half Nick Evans on 24 and 39 minutes and a much better start to the second half.
Just a minute after the break, John Ovenell and Ben Harper made good ground from a scrum before the ball came back for Ovenell, the No 8, to power over for a try.
Evans's conversion attempt dropped short and Ayre settled South Molton with a penalty on 48 minutes to put them 22-11 ahead.
Evans struck the post with a penalty three minutes later but was successful with another attempt on 56 minutes.
He missed again ten minutes from time, though, and South Molton defended strongly to ensure they completed a double over their local rivals following the 23-10 win at home in October.