TOTNES played their first league game against neighbours Dartmouth last Saturday and ran out winners by 25-12.
The home side are the current holders of the Devon Junior cup and since the beginning last season had only lost 2 games.one against Old Techs and one against South Molton in the Dave Butt Cup final.
Totnes have had a good start to the season winning 6 out of 7 games. This game was always going to be a tough one with Totnes having a point to prove after losing to Dartmouth in the Junior cup final.
The first 10 minutes were fairly even with both packs of forwards settling down.
The hosts had the heavier and taller pack. Totnes had a solid and rugged front row in Thomas Edmunds, Gareth Readman and Chris Life, who formed a platform for the younger team members in the pack.
Dartmouth were the first to score after a rare missed tackle by Totnes allowed Hooker Tom Clark to break free and he took Totnes tacklers with him over the line.
Totnes then had a set back when second row Matt Henny left the field with a shoulder injury. He was replaced by utility player Josh Green.
5 minutes later, it was Totnes making the running with a break by outside half Andy Rive who threw a long pass out to winger Jamie Mitchelmore who dived over at the corner flag.
Conversion by Mitchelmore
Pressure from the Totnes 8 were causing Dartmouth early problems resulting in a penalty which was kicked by Mitchelmore.
The Totnes pack continued to put pressure on Dartmouth and quick release ball resulted in Andy Rive passing to winger Si Paris who dived over in the corner.
Half Time 15-5 Totnes.
Dartmouth came out the stronger team in the second Half and were quick to add to their 5 points, when number 8 Alex Parrott scraped over the line from the back of the scrum.
Conversion by Luke Chase
This try gave Dartmouth a lot more confidence and they took the game to Totnes looking for a further try, in order to take the lead.
Dartmouth and Totnes spectators thought they were watching a rematch of the 1974 Muhammad Ali v George Foreman world title boxing match "Rope-A-Dope" . Dartmouth kept Totnes within their own 22mtr line for some 20minutes. The Totnes line was battered time and time again. It was only due to the fantastic tackling and defence by Totnes, that Dartmouth were unable to get over the Totnes line. With 20 minutes of constant pressure Dartmouth were unable to get any points on the board and frustration set in with minor disagreements on both sides resulting in yellow cards being issued.
Dartmouth continued the pressure and against the run of play, Totnes won a ball on thrir try line and Andy Rive put a huge relieving kick up field. The Dartmouth fullback let the ball bounce and it was picked up by Totnes Centre Alex Akey who brushed aside tackles to go over wide out.
Dartmouth, after all the pressure in the 2nd half, then appeared to run out of steam and further strong running by Totnes wingers Mitchelmore and Paris almost brought further tries.
Totnes were now at full throttle and prepared to run the ball at Dartmouth from deep within their own half.
Just before the final whistle a further push by the Totnes pack on the Dartmouth line resulted in scrum half Arron Bartlett diving over a heap of bodies to touch down on the line.
Final score 25-12 Totnes (12 bonus points)
Totnes Forwards coach Ben Townsend said after the game
"This was sweet revenge for the lads after losing to Dartmouth in the final of the Junior cup. This win was a team effort and all down to our fitness,defence and tackling. Dartmouth had us under the cosh for 20 minutes and who knows what would have happened if Dartmouth had scored. But, we came back and were prepared to run the ball from our own half and scored two brilliant tries to win the game. There is little doubt, that had the game gone on, we would have scored further tries. We look forward to the rest of the league season."
Updated 13:42 - 31 Oct 2017 by Dick Evans