Winscombe waiting to learn where they will play next as season ends in Bideford loss

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 April 2019

Jim Merryfield makes a tackle on Bideford's Jono Mock (pic John Podpadec)

Jim Merryfield makes a tackle on Bideford's Jono Mock (pic John Podpadec)

Archant

Winscombe ended the Western Counties West season in mid-table after a 38-13 loss at Bideford Chiefs in their last match of the season.

Owen Howells attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)Owen Howells attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)

And the club now awaits the RFU decision on whether they will remain in the division or return to Western Counties North for the 2019-20 campaign.

After making the journey down to the North Devon coast, Winscombe saw the hosts start the brighter and their early pressure paid off when a cross-field kick found full-back Peter Bowles in space to cross for the first try of the match.

Scrum-half Chris Snell slotted the conversion and the rest of the first half was characterised by poor handling and high tackles, with both teams found guilty.

Bideford's Snell and Winscombe's fly-half Jim Merryfield traded penalties shortly before half-time, with the Chiefs going into the break 10-3 up.

Andy Ball attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)Andy Ball attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)

But Winscombe appeared to have re-grouped at the start of the second period and closed the gap to a single score with another Merryfield penalty.

The comeback was shortlived, however, and they were soon taken to task by a Bideford team who took every opportunity to run the ball, often playing end-of-season champagne rugby.

Wing Nick Adams was first to exploit the gaps that began to appear in Winscombe's defence, scoring a try in the left corner before scrum-half Snell scored two decisive tries that took the game out of the reach of their visitors.

A further try by lock Oliver Sanders scored, against the run of play in the final quarter, added insult to injury.

Alec Chase attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)Alec Chase attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)

Winscombe did manage to cross the whitewash as the match drew to a close, with centre Sam Dearsley powering over from short range.

But it was too little, too late and Bideford were well deserved winners at the final whistle and Winscombe returned home empty-handed having ended the campaign in ninth place.

P W D L F A Pts

Sidmouth 26 20 2 4 805 406 103

James Flowers attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)James Flowers attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)

Crediton 26 21 2 3 643 423 101

Wellington 26 20 3 3 816 402 100

St Austell 26 17 2 7 597 392 93

Tiverton 26 13 1 12 605 547 69

Adam Scrase attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)Adam Scrase attacks for Winscombe (pic John Podpadec)

Wadebridge Camels 26 13 1 12 554 644 66

Falmouth 26 12 1 13 468 625 57

Kingsbridge 26 9 1 16 502 548 53

Winscombe 26 10 0 16 453 605 51

Bideford 26 8 1 17 495 485 49

Saltash 26 9 0 17 396 626 46

Chard 26 8 0 18 456 796 43

Truro 26 73 16 491 651 42

Paignton 26 6 1 19 350 481 36

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