Season 1986-87

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Havill Plate Final Match Programme Havill Plate Final Match Programme

Hooker Wiggy Bennett, re-assumed the captaincy. Events almost completed a full circle. The OPMs club, which had been re-formed by George Wakeham, from the Argaum club in the 1920s, were experiencing extreme difficulties with their clubhouse and ground, in so far as they were forced to abandon both.

Argaum offered them refuge at Bickleigh Down, which the Old Boys were happy to accept, continuing of course, as a completely separate Club - George would have approved! Unfortunately, the Old Boys 1st XV did not survive the "transplant" long, as following a run of massive defeats, they called it a season save for their second side by the end of October.

It would have been gratifying to be able to report - in the Club’s centenary year - that their playing record matched the occasion. However, a more realistic comparison would be to the proverbial curate’s egg - borne out by the Club’s position in the Devon Merit "B" Table - precisely halfway of ten clubs. "Wiggy" Bennett, captain once again supported by Dave England, Roger Tinson when available and veterans Brian Willcocks and Mike Worth - the latter reclaiming the centre three quarter position for his own early in the season.

On the credit side the Club reached the final of the Devon Havill Plate as a result of a good 10-3 win at Kingsbridge in the semi final but, like their predecessors of some years earlier, failing in the final - this time at home to Tavistock 0-10. There were comfortable wins over Salcombe (twice) and a run away 37-0 over Newquay Hornets II XV in a season when the Cornish Senior side finished top of their County merit table. Closer wins over Honiton, Totnes and Ilfracombe and a 10-10 draw at South Molton. For the final fixture of the season 19-16 v Old Richians (Gloucester) Peter Heal provided all the home points - 4 tries plus a penalty.

On the debit side, narrow defeats at the hands of Plymouth Albion Extras, Bodmin and Penryn II, whilst Saltash and Ivybridge (shades of 1903) both completed the double over the Club, the latter - eventual winners of the Devon B merit table - by wide margins. In the return game Ivybridge’s account was opened by Nick Hall - a previous prolific scorer for Argaum - thereafter he was obliged to retire from the match through injury, leaving his replacement to carry on where he left off.

The Wanderers side for the opening game against Plympton contained - as selected - no less than six previous club captains Geoff Baskerville being the captain of the captains. It may be as well to record that the captains’ experience won the day 18-0. The season’s overall results appeared to swing from emphatic victories to equally emphatic defeats, presumably owing to the varying strengths of the opposition.
The Drifters maintained a side - with fair success - until well into the New Year, when a series of cancellations and suitable substitute opposition being hard to come by, the team faded away.

Sadly - after some 30 seasons - the Colts, due to lack of numbers, were unable to meet their fixtures, the list being cancelled at the start of the season. However, the situation seems not without hope, thanks to the strenuous efforts of Dave Osborne who, on more than one occasion managed to put together an Argaum "under 16" team, with one particularly close run game against Ivybridge under 15 on their ground, resulting in a win for the town side by a score of 5 tries and 2 conversions to Argaum’s reply of 4 tries and one conversion.

In the Club's 101st season, the senior side will be appearing in Devon Division 1 of the Rugby Football Union’s league system and will need to strive to maintain its position there.

Additional Info

  • 1st XV Captain: Wiggy Bennett
  • 2nd XV Captain: Geoff Baskerville
  • Captain's Trophy: S.Mole
  • Player's Player: A.Davey
  • Effort Award: S.Mole
  • Clubman: B.Willcocks
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