Late play-off agony for Tows as Ivybridge shatter promotion dreams

Towcestrians looked to have won promotion when James Falvey slotted over a late penalty, only for Ivybridge to score a try in the closing minutes
Towcestrians looked to have won promotion when James Falvey slotted over a late penalty, only for Ivybridge to score a try in the closing minutes

Towcestrians suffered late heartbreak in the promotion play-off final for a second successive year as Ivybidge left it until the dying minutes to snatch a dramatic victory.

Tows made a disastrous start and their promotion dream appeared to be in tatters just minutes into the game as two tries and a penalty put Ivybridge 15-0 ahead.

However, all was not lost as a Matt Yuill try brought the home side right back into contention before they began to wrestle control of the game.

Only a controversial mix-up from the officials prevented Tows from adding a second try and allowed Ivybridge to clear their lines as the visitors maintained their lead through to half-time despite further Tows pressure.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first as a well-worked passing move culminated in a third try for Ivybridge, but this time Towcester swiftly replied through Mark Yeates, who touched down after some excellent handling skills from the Tows backs.

The home side’s fightback continued through the pack as they drove over from a line-out and though the conversion was missed, Tows were now just three points behind.

With 10 minutes to go, Tows received a penalty in front of the posts and James Falvey held his nerve to expertly convert and put his side ahead for the first time.

A nail-biting finale ensued as Tows desperately tried to defend their slender one-point lead, but Ivybridge had other ideas as their backs moved the ball wide for their right winger to score in the corner and break Towcester hearts.

It means Tows will again compete in South West One East next season.

Tows Colts finished their season with a 29-15 victory over Olney.