Signs of recovery from Bideford after slow start
BIDEFORD can see signs of a recovery after their harsh introduction to Tribute South West One West.
The newly-promoted Chiefs have begun the season with three successive defeats.
But after being well beaten by Bridgwater and Albion and St Austell, there were signs in the 16-7 loss at Camborne, who finished second last season, to give Bideford hope ahead of Saturday's home game against Chard.
Kevin Booth, the Bideford coach, said: "It's a loss and the players can't get that out of their heads, but if we lose and play well I don't mind.
"The boys responded really well to everything that was said in the changing room (after the St Austell defeat).
"The defence was 110 per cent better than in the last two games, which bodes well for us going into the game against Chard.
"It's going to happen this year, we're going to lose games, and it's about how they come back from that."
Bideford's chances of a first win could be improved by the return of some key players. Flanker Jamie Giddy, centre Andrew Mackenzie-Shapland and fly half or full back Olly Wickett could all play after injury – Wickett has been out since last November with a shoulder injury.
Jon Mills, the summer signing from Taunton, could line up in the Bideford front row for the first time in seven years.
Flanker Pete Hockridge's shoulder injury is expected to keep him out, while Bideford will be without full back Adam Crouch until next season after he was advised to take a year's rest following repeated head injuries.
Booth said: "Chard will be a tough game. They are coming here off the back of a loss to St Austell and will up for trying to rectify that."