Devizes rally before cards costs Saddlebacks

Action from Devizes’ Southern Counties South win over Swindon last season 			           Photo: Devizes RFC
Action from Devizes’ Southern Counties South win over Swindon last season Photo: Devizes RFC

AN encouraging second-half comeback was not enough to prevent Devizes suffering a 50-24 defeat against Grove in Regional Two South Central last weekend.

Hosts Grove started well, with their large ball carriers asking questions of the Devizes defence. The Wiltshire side battled hard in the first half, but the home side were in a buoyant mood and went in at the break 24-12 up, with Devizes notching two scores; one through wing Sam Jones and the second from centre Gus O’Connor. Fly half Matt Tinker kicked one of the conversions.

The half-time break was a good opportunity for Devizes to reflect and work on the things that had served them well in the first half. With lessons learned, the visitors promptly went about their work in a proactive manner to pull back into the game.

Devizes rallied well and scored two quick-fire tries to level it at 24 a-piece. The first was scored by Ollie Wrobel on debut, and the second came from a penalty try which was awarded after a rumbling rolling maul which was collapsed by the home side with Devizes heading for the line.

Despite Devizes now having the momentum, the experienced home side re-established their dominance as Devizes began to lose men due to ill-discipline.

Grove did not need a second invitation, and they promptly exploited the space with their fleet-footed backline to notch three scores in the final ten minutes and run away with the win.

Devizes battled well for sixty minutes, but were left with just a try bonus point to show for their efforts.

Elsewhere in the division, Marlborough hammered Reading 57-13 on their travels while Swindon edged past Buckingham by 30-24.

In Regional Two Severn, Chippenham lost 31-27 due to a last-minute penalty try. Elsewhere, Trowbridge lost 33-19 to Gordano.

In Regional One South Central, Royal Wootton Bassett lost 21-12 away to Oxford Harlequins.