Bideford gave away a late penalty against visiting Wiveliscombe – and it cost them the match.
A 14-12 lead was turned into a 15-14 deficit with no time to claw back the points.
It was Bideford’s first Western Counties West game of the season and the chance to see a proper match for the first time in 18 months brought a large crowd the King George V ground.
James Starkey and Alex Hillman were the Bideford try scores with Reece Pearn kicking both conversions.
Bradley Goaman, the Bideford team manager, said among the ‘many positives’ to take from the game were some lessons to be learned.
“We must learn quickly to take our chances in the opposition 22 as we had six scoring opportunities but only took two of them,” said Goaman.
“Unfortunately, we gave away a cheap penalty in front of our posts five minutes from time and Wiveliscombe punished us.”
Goaman said Bideford were a little below full strength due to work commiments and the wedding of player-coach Mark Lee, but added: “The boys who came in put in a solid 80 minutes.
“Pat Sanders moved to scrum-half in the second half and brought a lot more energy to the team going forward.”
“Will Copp had a great game at No.8 with some big hits on the opposition, but Ollie Sanders was man of the match for a very good, all-round game.”
Bideford are at home again this Saturday when Burnham-on-Sea are the visitors.