Weakened Cullompton are beaten by Paignton
A PLAYER'S wedding contributed to Cullompton being without eight players for their 26-10 defeat at Paignton.
Prop Henry Weekes tied the knot on Saturday and several players attended, leaving head coach Chris Wall with a makeshift team.
Captain Sam Harris was among the absentees, which also included Tom Frankpitt, Greg Lock, Paul Surridge, Marcus Busch and Alex Brooks.
Without any regular locks available, the Stafford Park outfit fielded five back-rowers in the pack and had former Exeter Chiefs prop Shane Kingsland packing down in an unaccustomed position at No. 8.
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Wall said: "We had quite a few players missing from the previous week but we still took what we thought was a strong side.
"In the first half we didn't get our tactics correct. They were quite fresh in the forwards and, although we held out for 32 minutes, they scored two late tries.
"We talked at half-time about upping the tempo and moving the ball but they threw the ball about at the start of the second half and that caught us out a little bit and we were three tries down.
"We did throw the ball about and played pretty well in the second half but we'd left ourselves too much to do.
"In the end we couldn't really match their driving maul and they were a very strong scrummaging side. All credit to them, they played to their strengths and got their tactics spot-on."
Paignton were 14-0 ahead at the break after tries from Liam Boyd and Chris Hallett, both converted by Andy Sandercock.
Tom Warboys touched down for his side's third try before Martin Bird barged over to secure the bonus point, with Sandercock kicking both conversions.
Cully showed their fighting spirit as they hit back with two tries of their own.
Winger Jimmy Holman scored a try on his first team debut after centre Tom Powell, a late change for Ben Prouse, who was stuck in traffic, made a break and gave the scoring pass a few metres out.
Kingsland bagged the other as the forwards hammered away after a line-out close to the hosts' line.
Openside flanker George Woofenden was Cully's man-of-the-match on his return to the first team.
There will be more competition for places this weekend for the visit of Oldfield Old Boys.
Harris is still away on holiday but the likes of Frankpitt, Busch and Brooks should be back in contention.
James Shere is also not far away after playing for the seconds on Saturday after arriving back from the USA.
Utility back Jon Aplin, a student at Exeter College, has joined the club.