Sat 21 Apr 2018, 15:00
Hosts too strong for Devizes in Somerset
Devizes travelled to Yeovil on a hot spring afternoon looking to finish off the season with a win. Yeovil entered the game in good form and had the chance to finish one place above Devizes. Both sides could relax with no threat of relegation and an entertaining match was displayed for the spectators. As with all things this season, Devizes travelled with a couple of changes from the narrow defeat at home to Corsham the previous week, with Craig Bryant returning to the starting line up in for the unavailable Rhys Harries. In the backline, Tommy Hammill started at full back and experienced club man Matty Holloran came into the left wing.
From the outset, the hosts who were fielding a completely different side to the one that lost 28-3 back at Devizes in September dominated proceedings with three tries in the opening 15 minutes to make it 21-0, although Devizes did restore some confidence with a try from Sam Jones after the forwards made a few good carries.
Uncharacteristic errors from key players saw Yeovil extend their lead before Bryant dotted down over the try line after some forward exchanges. It was 28-14 at the break.
After a much needed dressing down at half time, Devizes were hoping to improve on a disappointing first half performance, however it wasn’t to be as Yeovil scored two quick tries to take the match away from the Saddlebacks. Devizes responded through a second try for Sam Jones and a late score by skipper Josh Gould, however the first 60 minutes of disappointment paved the way for another disappointing defeat on the road.
It has been a disappointing season for Devizes as an 8th placed finish is not considered good enough given the ability of the squad, however it is a young team who are gaining invaluable experience at Southern Counties level. Much improvement on and off the field in the close season will need to take place to get Devizes back up to where they should be.
In the remainder of the fixtures, Marlborough bagged the final playoff spot to face Windsor next Saturday at Windsor to see who goes up to South West 1. Swindon College Old Boys secured a bonus point win which invariably relegated Swanage & Wareham, who left their good run of form too late to go down alongside Blandford. Dorchester and Bradford on Avon will be promoted, however the 12th team in Southern Counties South may be determined by a playoff between Dorset Dockers and Combe Down.
In better news, the 2nd XV had a superb day with a stunning 95-12 victory over Cricklade to bag their fifth win in a row. The lads will be confident that they can have a successful campaign next season after their 7th placed finish in Dorset & Wilts North 2.
Devizes 1st XV
1. Burton 2. Hutchings 3. Randall (16. Bishop, 47) 4. Bills 5. Paget 6. Bryant 7. Martin 8. Gould (c) 9. Bramwell 10. Brown 11. Holloran (18. Marsden, 68) 12. Wadman 13. Orwin 14. Jones 15. Hammill
Try Scorers: Jones (17), (53); Bryant (36); Gould (64)
Conversions: Brown (18), (37)
Player of the Match: Travis Orwin