Season 1926-27

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Some five or six members departed with George to found the OPM side and the departure of this number of players did not enhance the seasons prospects, however with a side of Boyes, Johns, Willcocks, Mills, Blight, Paul, Westlake, Keen, Martin, Elliott, Sloggett, Thomas, Percy, Beer and Brooks they mounted the first hurdle. Plympton - 9-6 tries by Blight and Mills plus a Johns penalty. Although no fixture card is available the team selections and results appear in profusion compared to previous years, probably due to our Leslie Paul taking over as Secretary although he cannot recollect the year in which he took office. Of the original YMCA survivors Percy, Blight, Keen and Beer were still appearing but the sides contained several new names which in ensuing seasons became closely associated with the Club. Apart from the half back combination of Paul and Westlake, A. Mills and his brother - sons of a former Devon County Player - were the usual centres whilst in the back two forwards destined to play a leading part over the ensuing seasons. Vic Brookes a strong hard compact no nonsense prop and Harold Sloggett a big powerful forward described as "always the Extrovert a leader in all spheres, wonderfully fit and hard graft in the line outs and scrums"; he retained his fitness in the summer by playing water polo for the Plymouth Amateur polo team. Another forward dedicated to fitness was hooker George Percy who eventually retired from the rugby field at the age of 43. One of his latter day props - Jim Ross describes him as "hard as nails but he bled very easily and I nearly always finished covered by his blood". In days when players were expected to purchase and launder their own shirts at the exorbitant price of twelve shillings and sixpence - later rising to fifteen shillings. George's propensity for bleeding might well have caused a marital rift to his props when it came to the laundering. Following the Plympton game 5-8 v RNC College II at Keyham (Westlake try, Beer converting), Kingsbridge 0-9 and Kingswear 0-3 "on the day's play Plymouth were the better side and were unlucky to lose by the only try producing one of the hardest games experienced by Kingswear". 7th November saw revenge against RNE College II 9-3, Argaum did the bulk of the attacking but the College tackling was deadly. The College opened the scoring but a penalty by Beer coupled with tries by Percy and Mills - after a brilliant solo effort clinched the game for Argaum. Naval Stores 20-0 (tries Keen 2, Mills 2, Westlake and Ward plus a Ward conversion) - Paul and Westlake showed up well at half back, then 8-18 at Salcombe - Argaum were below strength and had three new players on trial. Mills scored a try in each half Beer converting one.

1927 opened with wins over ERA 9-3 and OPMs 12-3 ("the first fixture with the reformed OPMs") at Honicknowle with tries by Ward, Elliott, Blight and Mills, followed by 3-0 over Plymouth Corinthians Mills running the length of the field to score the vital try then - once again - Salcombe 0-12 followed by a heavy defeat 3-25 at the hands of YMCA. Balance somewhat restored by success at Kingsbridge 10-6 Mills 2 tries Beer 2 conversions, all in the second half Bill Pain a lanky well built forward who was to become well known to the Club - both as player and referee for Devon RFU, was responsible for one of Kingsbridge's scores with a penalty. Followed two scoreless draws v Plympton and St Budeaux, the latter a dour draw with defences supreme, finally 0-13 v C.Y.M.S. who proved fitter and cleverer.

Additional Info

  • 1st XV Captain: A Beer
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