DESPITE once again establishing a forward dominance, Bude slumped to a disappointing 39-17 defeat to Exeter University at Bencoolen Meadow.

The university’s back division took advantage of some injudicious Bude kicking, to run in seven tries and remain firmly in the hunt for promotion, while Bude will go into the New Year desperate to stave off the threat of an immediate return to the Cornwall and Devon League.

Exeter took the lead when a slick handling movement sent their full-back in for a score under the posts for a converted try.

However, Bude, inspired by the ever-energetic James Comber and the power of the front five, had a purple patch in which they scored two tries.

The first try was the result of a powerful rolling maul that created space for Ollie Mounce to dive over the line. Dan Pearce failed with the conversion, but Bude were soon on the scoreboard again and took the lead when a series of forward thrusts culminated in a try for Charlie Watton who was put through by a neat offload from Andy Yates. Dan Pearce converted.

When Mounce was yellow carded for careless use of the knee in a ruck, Exeter forced their way back into the game with two tries that gave them a 19-12 advantage at the break.

The second-half was largely Exeter’s who ran in a further four tries.

Bude did score a third try through an Ollie Denford interception but lacked any coherent attacking strategy other than the rolling maul and an aggressive scrummage and had no real answer to the speedy university backs.

They were unable, despite having a lot of possession, to get any ball to their strike runners Pearce and Denford.

In the final few minutes of the match Bude had ample opportunity to gain a valuable bonus point for a fourth try when they were awarded a series of penalties close to the opposition line. However, they lacked the wit or enterprise to take advantage and their predictable series of forward mauls were repulsed by a well marshalled Exeter defence.

Bude are now three points behind third bottom Crediton ahead of the three-week Christmas break.

Bude are next in action when they make the long trip to ninth-placed Torquay on Saturday, January 7.


Tries: Mounce, Watton, Denford

Conv: Pearce

Exeter University:

Tries: Thorne 2, Holdsworth 2, Laity, Bagwell, Elliot

Convs: MacFarlan 2