Bideford are out of the Western Counties bottom two for the first time this season after winning 19-3 at Kingsbridge.
Despite having a smaller share of possession for most of the match, Bideford took their chances when they came along.
Simon Morrell, the Bideford coach, readily acknowledged it was how they played without the ball that won the game.
Josh King, now over shoulder surgery, Alex Hillman and Sam Olde were the Bideford try scorers. Nick Evans kicked the goals.
“It was a great win built on a defensive display like no other this season,” said Morrell.
“On the back of our worst performance (against Falmouth) we knew we had to bounce back to keep the train on the tracks.
“We let ourselves down last week and, for the first time in a long time, had to question our heart, intensity and physicality without the ball.
“There was only ever going to be one acceptable outcome after that Falmouth defeat and thankfully this is what the boys delivered.
“As always we have faith in our attack and know we have points in us, we just needed to match our endeavours with ball, with a little extra tenacity in defence.”
Bideford can improve their survival prospects hugely by beating bottom side Paignton at KGV this Saturday.