Bideford have to pick themselves up after a drubbing on the road for this Saturday’s Western Counties West trip to Burnham-on-Sea.
A depleted Bideford squad travelled to Molesworth Field to take on the Western Counties leaders, Wadebridge, and were crushed 66-5. A first-half try for Rob Elliott ensured Bideford avoided a whitewash.
Skipper Dean Folland, playmaker Pat Sanders and prop Richie Norman were among the players unable to make the trip to Wadebridge – which made a big difference to the strength of the team.
Bradley Goaman, the Bideford team manager, said, depleted or not, it was never going to be an away win!
“We might not have lost by so many, but we would not have won down there,” said Goaman.
“Wadebridge are the best side we have played this season by a mile and if they don’t walk our division I would be astounded. We were outgunned in absolutely every department by a team that was fitter and quicker than we were. They like to get the ball out wide in a hurry and their eight, nine, ten are good at doing it. We tackled, tackled and tackled all the way through and gave it our all. But, man-for-man, Wadebridge were better than us. We have got no complaints.”
Goaman said availability away from home is an issue for a number of clubs in Western Counties West and Bideford are among them.
Goaman added: “There are lots of clubs like ourselves who are really tough to beat at home, but very few who travel away strong.
“Wadebridge have got into the position where they are strong home and away, and that is why they are where they are.”
There was better news for Bideford Quins, who edged past local rivals Ilfracombe in a thrilling game of rugby.
Bideford went into the break with a 14-10 advantage, thanks to tries from Kieron Morgan and Billy Teape, both converted by new recruit Ashley Baker.
Ilfracombe came back after the break and went into the final stages with a 20-19 lead but Quins found one last flurry, winning it with a late try from Stephen Dean.