NEWTON Abbot live to fight another day in South West Two after beating Sidmouth 33-25 in their final league game of the season.

After losing 12 games on the spin in the league, Newton Abbot were in danger of finishing in the bottom two if they lost to Sidmouth.

The win over Sidmouth, coupled with Teignmouth doing them a favour by beating relegation rivals Sherborne, put Newton Abbot in the clear.

Even if Sherborne (29 points) defeat Chard on Friday night in their game in hand, they cannot get past Newton Abbot (37) now.

Coach Simon Morrell was looking for a reaction from the team following their 70-point pasting away to St Austell seven days earlier and, with some key players back on duty, he got it.

‘The scoreline at St Austell  was not at all a representation of the quality of our performance,  particularly in the first half when we played some of our best rugby and that set us up well going into the Sidmouth game,’ said Morrell.

‘The much-awaited injection of pace on the wings that Ed Brown and Reuben Brinkley brought was a welcome one as we have been breaking teams down, but struggling to convert our opportunities. Slotting them into a back three either side of Corey Whane our little pocket rocket gave us that cutting edge we needed.

‘For the first time this year we were able to field a 10, 12, 13 combination of Jake Bury, Alfie Lang and Dan Sanders that was always going to catch Sidmouth by surprise.’

Newton spent most of the season in the basement due, in Morrell’s view, to some ‘rotten luck’ on the injury, retirement and availability front from the get go.

Morrell is concerned he could lose a clutch of players to the lure of travelling and spelled out the likely consequences of ‘haphazard’ selection being repeated.

‘If we are dealt that hand again next year we will be the same position,’ said Morrell.

‘The message going into next year will be the boys need to give us a full season as our division is way to unforgiving for us to be so haphazard.’

Newton Abbot’s try scorers against Sidmouth were Brown, Whane (2), Charlie Dore and Ben Rockey. Jack Sweeney kicked four conversions.