With a team of 18 to have nine new players run out for the 1st xv in their first game of the season would have in the not so distant past seemed impossible. Though this season it was a very real prospect with the club signing up 14 new senior members and counting Head Coach Colin Milkins had a raft of difficult choices to make in choosing his squad. With a few injuries to regular starters of the last season it was time to see how good the new lads were.
Lining up against against a tough and grizzled Tamar Saracens was the perfect test for everyone. Within three minutes of Kick off debutant Fly half Graham Searle skipped passed two defenders and crossed the whitewash for a fine try set up by the solid ball carries of the Topsham forwards. Captain Jack Knowles adding the points from the conversion. Tamar were straight back in Topshams face and through a good phase of forward play broke he line and came away with the full seven points. Shortly after the restart Tamar were awarded a penalty 30 yards out luckily for Tops it sailed wide. 24 minutes into the game Winger Simon the new guy had to leave the field with a hand injury, he was replaced by Simeon Lewry on his first run out for the club. 30 seconds later Simmo crossed the line with his first touch of the ball the conversion was missed. New hooker Sam Bray and his younger brother and Number 8 Josh Bray were putting in some big carries and hits. A penalty just before the break gave Topsham a bit more breathing space.
Half Time Topsham 15 - 7 Tamar
Coming back from the break saw Steve Davis leave the field and Craig Hall come on. Throughout the game line outs were the preferred set piece for Topsham with ex colts Will Nowell and Lewis Trickey jumping front and back winning good ball and giving Tops a platform to maul to their hearts content. 10 more minutes of play was all it took for Will Nowell to join the debutant try scoring club with a scoot down the wing and dive for five points in the corner. The next restart saw the last substitution of the game with Prop Max Reitemier coming off for Dom Cant. Tamar Saracens came back with a try and conversion within a few minutes to close the gap to just 6 points. With both teams tiring the mistakes kept creeping in and the packs got plenty of scrumming practice. With less than one minute remaining Tops try machine wing Adam Buckley had the final say in the match scoring his first of probably many tries this season.
Full Time Topsham 25 - 14 Tamar