Victorious Exmouth close gap on top two
Exmouth cut the leeway on second-placed Weston-super-mare in the National Three South West promotion race to two points after beating Redingensians 13-6.
The Cockles have a game in hand on both Weston and leaders London Irish, who are seven points further on.
As London Irish still have a visit to the Imperial Ground to fit in – and could only draw at home to the Cockles – it is not stretching credulity for Exmouth to have a chance of winning the division and going up without the need for a play-off.
In a game of few chances, Exmouth's Dave Bargent scored the only try of the afternoon and put in a crucial tackle in the dying moments.
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Exmouth coach Jon Hill felt the margin could have been a bit wider, but overall he had little to complain about.
"It was a huge performance from our forwards, and a massive defensive performance all round that was the difference between the two sides," he said.
"Our territorial and possession dominance could be summarised in the fact Redingensians only entered our 22-metre zone for one sustained period in each half, and we did not concede a try.
"Redingensians were a very well-organised side with a huge pack, and their defence was very hard to break down.
"That said, we were somewhat disappointed not to have been awarded two clear-cut driven maul tries, when the referee felt he was not certain of grounding from his position."
Taunton locked out Shelford in the second half to come from 12-6 down to win 28-12 in National Two South.
St Austell are just one win away from a trip to Twickenham after beating Wimborne 14-8 in the RFU Intermediate Cup.
The final is at Twickenham on May 4 – and St Austell will be there if they beat either Brighton or North Walsham, who meet on March 9, in the semi-final.
Matt Shepherd landed three first-half penalties for a 9-0 lead, which was reduced to 9-3 soon after the interval.
Paul Winterbottom's try put Saints two scores up, but it got a bit hectic in the last ten minutes after Winterbottom went to the sin-bin and Wimborne pulled a try back.
Camborne came out better than expected from their blank weekend in South West One West as they only dropped one place from top to second.
North Petherton's 25-all draw with Oldfield put them top of the table, but only by a point. Old Reds missed the chance to go second by dropping a bonus point in their 25-19 win at Clevedon.