Herald Express (Torbay, Brixham & South Hams Edition)

Thomas says Brixham must be on their ‘A Game’

- Conrad Sutcliffe

»»BRIXHAM coach Adam Thomas will warn his players they have to take their ‘A Game’ with them to Exmouth for Saturday’s first-leg semi-final in the Devon Senior Cup.

The Fishermen go into the game on the back of a six-game unbeaten run in One South West that took them up to fourth in the final table. Last time out they came from behind to win 19-14 at St Austell.

Exmouth’s win at Lydney in their final One South West match of the season was their first actual win in six games, although they were awarded a walkover by Matson during that run.

Recent form suggests Brixham should be favourites over two legs, but Thomas has good reasons to be wary of that sort of talk.

“We have beaten almost everyone we have played in our division this season at least once – including all three teams that finished ahead of us,” said Thomas.

“I say almost because the one team we failed to beat either home or away was… Exmouth!

“Exmouth did the double over us so we know how dangerous they can be. They play a contrastin­g style to ours and to combat that we have to be on top of our game.”

Brixham were made to work hard for their win at St Austell, where they had to come back from14-0 down at half time.

Two tries from J P Simonetti, both converted, got Brixham on level terms at 14-all. Jamie Hext claimed what proved to be the winning try with 20 minutes to go.

St Austell turned up the wick in the final quarter of the game in search of a score, but could not get closer than five-metres out.

Thomas admitted Brixham were ‘not at our best’ at times, but said when it mattered the players delivered.

“The wind was a massive factor in the game – it was probably 50-60mph at times – and we had to play into it in the first half,” said Thomas. “Combine that with a heavy pitch and it is fair to say we were up against it.

“We showed a lot of perseveran­ce to come back the way we did – and to hold St Austell out at the end, especially when we went down to 14 men after a sin-binning.

“St Austell tried stretching us by throwing the ball about, but we stopped them getting through. I have to mention Kai Alton in particular for one exceptiona­l try-saving tackle.”

There won’t be any end-of-season air around Astley Park just yet as all three regular sides are on cup duty this Saturday.

The Crusaders are in action against Crediton Quins in the Devon second XV Shield while the Colts do battle with South Molton in the mirror image competitio­n for under-18s.

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