THE SEASON’S final league match saw Newton Abbot take the short trip to Teignmouth with still a small chance of being relegated. As it turned out they need not have worried, as a courageous performance by their young side earned a valuable bonus point in a 27-20 defeat, writes Paul Williams.

Teignmouth, on the other hand, had ensured survival some weeks earlier but were determined to finish the season on a high note by completing the double over their nearest and dearest.

It was Newton who had the benefit of the wind at their backs in the first half but the home side started the game on the front foot and took an early lead when lock Jamie Gray muscled his way over the line in the corner after 10 minutes.

Teignmouth v Newton Abbot
Teignmouth try-scorer Jamie Gray. (Lorna Gray)

The All Whites dominated the early scrums but struggled with their line-outs, and they were soon in front after a scrum on Teignmouth’s 22, and some clever work in midfield saw Jed Griffin run in an easy try and Tom Steer converted. This led to a period of pressure from the visitors which ended when they coughed the ball up in the Teigns’ half and Jack Bond dived under the posts.

With the wind in their favour after the break, the Teigns started to take control; a Mayne penalty tied the scores and then winger Will Sowden picked up from a ruck in Newton’s 22 and strongarmed his way over the line to give Mayne an easy conversion. 

Newton scrum-half Ollie Pead’s try set up a tense final quarter. They found themselves in a threatening position until Sowden stole possession and sprinted 50 metres and won a penalty five metres from the Newton line. A tap-and-go saw prop Dan Allison complete the scoring.

And so the River Teign Derby is set to continue for another season, but Teignmouth’s season is far from finished. Next week they are off to Somerset to face Winscombe in Round One of the Papa Johns Shield, with the carrot of a final at Twickenham in May dangling tantalisingly in front of them.