It was a day where results seemed to be going the way of the ‘favourites’. We should realise by now that in this division, that isn’t always the case.
Last week it was Tonbridge Juddians. This week it was the turn of Barnstaple.
Saturday’s 29-24 last- gasp victory against Redruth may well be one the best triumphs Barnstaple have had in recent times and it certainly wasn’t on the cards with two minutes remaining in Devon.
Redruth finished fifth last year and began the weekend on top of the pile, but a second straight win was snatched away from them right at the death.
So, Barnstaple were one of four sides who were able to make it two wins from two to begin the season. Cinderford’s fine form continued while Taunton Titans and Worthing Raiders also followed suit.
Elsewhere, Chinnor, Redingensians, Canterbury and Bury St Edmunds all got off the mark.
Cinderford 57-5 Clifton
Aaron Ryan and Reuben Norville both scored twice as Cinderford thrashed Gloucestershire rivals Clifton in their first home game of the season.
Paul Morris’ side ran in nine tries in all against the Lavender and Blacks.
Harry Horne crossed early on, before Ryan scored his first of the match while Liam Hemming and Tom Brockett wrapped up the bonus-point before the break.
Norville grabbed his brace either side of Ryan’s second after the interval before Jack Williams got Clifton off the mark.
However, Cinderford responded with two more scores through Nathan Taylor and Matt Lane to complete the rout.
Old Redcliffians 10-48 Taunton Titans
Taunton Titans continued their strong start to the National Two South season with a comfortable bonus-point win over Old Redcliffians.
Aron Struminski and Gary Kingdom both crossed to give the visitors an early 12-0 lead, but Old Redcliffians were well and truly in this contest at the break as Henry Bird pounced on a mistake to cut Taunton’s lead to just five points.
Struminski extended his sides lead after the break, but OR’s kept in touch with the Titans as Ashley Groves pinged over a penalty.
However, Tony Yapp’s side took full control of the match from this moment on, scoring 31 unanswered points.
Dan Frost (2), Brett Harvey, Ollie Rice and Freddie Fraser all touched down to wrap up a convincing win for Taunton.
Barnstaple 29-24 Redruth
Barnstaple maintained their 100 per cent start to the season after beating Redruth in a pulsating match at Pottington Road.
Winston James’ late, converted try secured victory for Barum, who triumphed over Wimbledon last weekend.
Tries from Ollie Mason and Kyle Spear helped put the hosts 17-7 up at half-time with Samuel Matavesi crossing for Redruth.
The Reds then turned the game around as scores via Kyle Marriott and Craig Williams helped them into a 24-17 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
However, James cut Redruth’s lead to just two points on 78 minutes with his first try of the afternoon and the flanker came up with the decisive score as the clock went red, to snatch the win for Steve Perry’s men.
Wimbledon 15-31 Worthing Raiders
Worthing Raiders held their nerve and controlled the second-half to clinch victory over newly promoted Wimbledon at Barham Road.
The hosts enjoy their fair share of possession, but could only manage two close range scores and five points from the boot of James Doe.
First half tries by Will Greif and John Dawe gave Worthing an 18-15 interval lead.
After the break touchdowns by Sam Hampson and Sam Boyland sealed a hard-earned victory with Matt McLean kicking 11 points.
Chinnor 39-20 Henley Hawks
Chinnor recovered from a frustrating draw against Clifton last week with an assured victory over Henley Hawks in their first home game of the season.
Matt Williams’ side set about making amends with tries from Phil Chesters and Kieran Goss inside 21 minutes.
Two penalties from Connor Murphy and a Harry Burn try actually put Henley Hawks ahead, but scores from Henry Lamont and Orisi Nawaqaliva put Chinnor back in the driving seat before half-time.
Chinnor, who have not lost at home since January 2016, stretched their lead after the break as Jonny Bentley landed two penalties and this Oxfordshire derby was ultimately won when Will Bordill scooted under the posts.
Henley did have the final say as they were awarded a penalty try late on, but it was merely a consolation.
Redingensians 44-16 London Irish Wild Geese
Redingensians bounced back from their opening day defeat against Henley Hawks with an impressive win over London Irish Wild Geese.
The Rams led 15-13 at the break thanks to two tries, one coming from Andy Berry, as well five points from the boot of Tom Humberstone.
After both sides exchanged penalties following the interval, Redingensians were awarded a penalty try before Tom Vooght, Greg Illingworth and Joe Duffelen all crossed to seal the victory.
Tonbridge Juddians 24-36 Canterbury
Canterbury recovered from their opening day defeat against Cinderford to clinch their first victory of the new term as they beat Tonbridge Juddians in the Kent derby.
The City Men were deserved winners on this occasion at the Slade, but they very nearly let this victory slip through their fingers.
Aaron Cooper, Harry Sayers, Charlie Kingsman and Dan Smart all crossed in the first period for the visitors and they were also awarded a penalty try.
However, TJs rallied after the break as tries from Jon McMahon, Will Colderick and Hugo Watson dragged them right back into this contest after being blown away in the first 40.
But, Canterbury kept their cool and Kieran Thompson’s late try settled any nerves and secured the win for Andy Pratt’s side.
Broadstreet 16-20 Bury St Edmunds
Bury St Edmunds produced a resilient second half display to pick up their first victory of the season as they defeated Broadstreet in the Midlands.
Bury, who were humbled at home by newly promoted Tonbridge Juddians in Round One, held a 20-3 lead thanks to tries from David Coutts and Dwayne Corcoran as well as four Liam McBride kicks.
But, Broadstreet took control of the second period and two further penalties from Lee Chapman cut the deficit to 11 points.
Chapman was heavily involved in Street’s try as he created the room for Scott Truelove to score in the corner and the home side could sense a comeback.
Chapman converted, but the hosts couldn’t find another clear cut chance as Ollie Smith’s side held on for the win.