Withycombe take 100 per cent record to Torrington for latest challenge

PUBLISHED: 10:48 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 March 2020

Withycombe v Ilfracombe Ref exsp 10 20TI 9167 Picture: Terry Ife

Withycombe v Ilfracombe Ref exsp 10 20TI 9167 Picture: Terry Ife


Withycombe travel to Torrington tomorrow (Saturday) with the Devon One title –and an instant return to the Cornwall & Devon League – just two wins away.

Withycombe v Ilfracombe Ref exsp 10 20TI 9161 Picture: Terry IfeWithycombe v Ilfracombe Ref exsp 10 20TI 9161 Picture: Terry Ife

A bonus point win in North Devon would leave Tamar Saracens - the only side who can, mathematically, deny the green and blacks the league title - needing to win all their remaining games and see Withy lose all their remaining matches, to stop Raleigh Park being the home of the divisional champions this season.

After 17 wins from as many Devon One outings this has been a season of unprecedented league success for Withy.

Last Saturday, Withy were 31-7 winners over Ilfracombe in a game that was switched from Raleigh Park to Bicton.

Tries from Paddy Haddad, Rory Collings, Mike Richards and two from Ben Dawson, together with three Haddad conversions saw Withy to their latest win.

Withycombe v Ilfracombe Ref exsp 10 20TI 9148 Picture: Terry IfeWithycombe v Ilfracombe Ref exsp 10 20TI 9148 Picture: Terry Ife

That latest success means that Withycombe are one of just two unbeaten teams in the entire South West this season, with Western Counties North side Stroud being the other unbeaten outfit in league action this campaign.

Torrington claimed a major scalp last weekend when they defeated second-placed Tamar Saracens 10-8 at Donnacroft Fields.

Torrington currently sit sixth in the Devon One table with 36 points having win seven of their 16 league games this season.

The league game played at Raleigh Park between Withy and Torrington back in November resulted in a big home win, but the North Devon men pitched up with just 14 players on parade and Withy strolled to a 68-7 success.

Withycombe v Ilfracombe Ref exsp 10 20TI 9065 Picture: Terry IfeWithycombe v Ilfracombe Ref exsp 10 20TI 9065 Picture: Terry Ife

The teams then met more recently in the last eight of the Devon Junior Cup with Withy also winning that one, scoring a first minute try on their way to a 26-17 success.

Speaking after the midweek training session, Withy head coach Sam Williams said: "We return to Torrington just a few weeks after our cup win up there. Torrington have really pulled things together as demonstrated by last week's fantastic victory over Tamar Saracens and we go there in full knowledge of the physical nature we will face.

"The weather has again this week played havoc with our preparations, but I am confident the boys will quickly get on task as we stick to our usual process-based focuses."

There's also action tomorrow for the Withy 2nd XV who entertain Tiverton III.

Williams says: "It's so good and such a positive thing that once again we are able to field two XVs this weekend. The 2nd XV are predominantly a young one with a few old heads thrown in for a bit of guidance and reassurance.

"The second team squad sees the welcome return from a long-term injury of Rob Griffin, who will hopefully come through unscathed and be back into the mix for the last few weeks of the season."

The head coach rounded things off saying: "A word about our supporters who have been brilliant this season and once again I have no doubt they will be with us at Torrington in good numbers - and voice and we are truly grateful t them for their continuing support which is much appreciated."

Tomorrow's game at Donnacroft Fields in Torrington (EX38 7BU), kicks off at 2.30pm.

For those that cannot be there, you can follow live match updates onlineat http://bit.ly/TORRvsWITH or via the Pitchero App.

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