31 Dec '18

Bideford coach confident side can make climb up Western Counties table

Bideford’s 103-0 win over Chard may have been a freak score, but coach Simon Morrell is confident the result if not the margin is a sign of things to come.

The big win over Chard on the Saturday before Christmas, in a rearranged fixture, moved Bideford within two points of safety in Western Counties West with 14 games played and 12 to go.

It was Bideford’s third win of the season in the division and quite a turnaround for a side that lost eight on the bounce before beating St Austell in round nine.

Morrell is one of those people whose glass is always half full and always sees the positives not matter how obscured they might be.

Looking at Bideford’s record so far there is nothing remotely fanciful in Morrell’s assertion the team can do more than just hang on to their Western Counties status.

Bideford lost 16-10 at Falmouth, 19-12 to Kingsbridge, 13-10 at home to Saltash, 18-10 at Tiverton and 21-10 at Paignton. Hardly massive defeats.

As Falmouth, Saltash, Tiverton and Paignton all have to visit KGV in the second half of the season, it is no wonder Morrell is a bit more than quietly confident.

“There is not a side in our division we are not capable of beating when we are at full strength – and we are not far off that now,” said Morrell.

“We have gone from a team low in confidence a few weeks into the season, one that looked like a Cornwall & Devon team at times, to one with energy that looks like an accomplished Western Counties side.

“We are not going to win every game in the second half of the season and there will be some tough games away from home.

“Not only am I confident we will get out of the bottom two, I believe we can finish around halfway at the end of the season.”

Bideford’s big problem at the start of the season was having a lengthy injury list supplemented by availability issues.

Players started returning in the run-up to Christmas and the effect was reflected in Bideford’s results: one defeat in four outings.

“I know talk is cheap and we have to prove ourselves on the pitch, but now we have players coming back steadily after injury everything is improving,” said Morrell.

Bideford make the short trip down the A377 to play Crediton this Saturday.

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