EXMOUTH go into the second league break of the season third in the South West Premier table following a 24-7 home win over lowly Drybrook.
The Cockles were 7-5 down at half time having played into a strong wind for the first 40 minutes.
Matt Ryan scored Exmouth’s first-half try when he darted up the blind-side to touch down.
Connor Shaughnessy put Exmouth ahead with a close-range try shortly after the interval and George Meadows added the extra points.
Will Rideout was driven over in a rolling maul for try number three and Meadows was on target again.
Ten minutes from time Exmouth bagged the fourth try and the bonus point that goes with it when Ryan capitalised on good work by Nick Headley to score his second try.
Roger Holman, the Exmouth team manager, said hard work in the first half was repaid after the break.
“We defended well in the first half and I was not worried about being two points behind as I knew we would have the wind in the second half,” said Holman.
“Something we do have to work on though is getting our penalty count down as we gave away a few too many.”
Exmouth (36pts) are third behind Hornets (41) and University of Exeter (45) nine games into the season. Next up for the Cockles is the short trip up the Topsham Road to test the unbeaten Students.
Exmouth 2nd XV defeated Tiverton A 41-19 in a Devon Merit Table game.
Pacesetters TOPSHAM came out on top 41-26 against Torquay Athletic in the top-of-the-table Cornwall & Devon clash by the seaside.
Torquay were top early in the season before Topsham went past them and were hoping to do something about the points deficit accrued since then.
The first 40 minutes was harum-scarum stuff as Torquay came from 17-0 down to lead 24-21 at the break.
Topsham dominated the second half and restricted the Tics to just one more try on their way to win number eight and a two-point lead over Bude at the top of the shop.
Ross Bovingdon, Topsham’s director of rugby and front-row regular, said: “It was a real sea-saw of a game with both teams looking lively.
“I was disappointed to concede so many points, but Torquay deserved them due to their performance.
“We were missing several regulars – Will Bird, myself, Alex Moore, James Martin and Will Loughton – so I was particularly pleased to see the depth we have throughout the squad.”
Topsham’s try scorers were Luke Edwardson (2), Scott Burgan and Charlie Reynolds and Jack Saunders, who kicked the rest of the points in penalties and conversions.
WITHYCOMBE appear to have stalled just below halfway in the Cornwall & Devon table after losing 23-14 at Newquay.
Withies have lost three of their last four outings, which has left them five places and eight points clear of the bottom three.
As there is unlikely to be no relegation in the usual sense of the word this season, due to a league re-organisation from National Two down, standings have a different significance.
The likelihood is teams in the top half of tables will merge with teams at the bottom of the next division up with the added complication of strong 2nd XVs being parachuted in as well.
In the absence of anything definite from the RFU, clubs know the higher they finish this season the higher they will start in 2022-23.
Withies were 10-7 down at half time at Newquay. Sam Warren scored their try and Tom Cooke converted it.
Danny Sansom added a second after the break, again converted by Cooke, but Withies were undone by a high penalty count that allowed the hosts to forge ahead.