Exmouth hit form as title race nears end
Exmouth are heading for a showdown against Weston-super-Mare in two weeks as the National Three South West promotion race enters the home straight.
The Cockles and Weston really are neck-and-neck in the table: joint-second on 88 points behind leaders London Irish Wild Geese on 97.
Exmouth do have a game in hand on Weston, but also have the small matter of London Irish to play again before their season finishes.
The form book suggest Exmouth are running into form at just the right time if their 19-15 win at Chippenham last time out is a reliable indicator.
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Exmouth's director of rugby Chris Wright said: "London Irish went to Chippenham and won by three points, Weston were beaten there only last week so set against that I am happy to win 19-15.
"Chippenham are a big side and are hard to dominate. As the game went on you could see their guys taking longer to get up after each tackle. When we switched on to moving the ball away from the forwards, we looked dangerous. That said, so did they are our second-half defence in particular had to be on top of their game."
Exmouth banked two tries though Matt Ryan and a third from Jon Fabian. Andrew Powell converted a penalty and a conversion.
Newton Abbot's hoped-for revival proved short lived as they lost 34-21 at Amersham. A catalogue of selection issues took a toll on Newton. Pete Mortimore (two) and Jason Keenan weighed in with tries – all converted by Rob Avery-Wright – but a fourth try and a bonus point eluded the All Whites.
Brixham battled to the bitter end against visiting London Irish, who went away 37-15 winners. Tries from Matt Tichias and Dilon Flashman, plus a couple of kicks from Ben Lovell, kept Brixham in it until the third quarter, when the leaders started to pull away.
"We were being killed by the referee at the breakdown and Irish capitalised on that," said Brixham assistant coach Ian Morgan. "Irish are a good side – even though the final score flattered them, they are clinical – but I was proud of a gutsy performances by us kept them to 15-all after 50 minutes."
Barnstaple beat Maidenhead 36-0 in a game of precious few highlights.
"It was a poor game between two poor sides, but were less poor than them," said Barum playing chief Kevin Squire.
Linford Brock did not make it to the end as he was taken to hospital for a check over after an off-the-ball incident, for which Maidenhead's Chris Shepherd was sent off.
It finished 14-a-side after Barum's Matt Gohl saw red for a dangerous tackle.