Bideford 26, Falmouth 12

A DEPLETED Falmouth side went down to their third defeat of the season at Bideford on Saturday.

The Eagles made seven changes for the game due to injuries and found themselves behind very early on when they conceded a penalty in their 22, with the hosts racing in to dot down the first of their four tries.

The Chiefs extended their advantage after ten minutes with the second try, again following a penalty to move 12 ponts clear, before grabbing a third midway through the half to give them a commanding lead at the break.

Rory Pugh responded for the visitors early in the second half when he went over for an unconverted try following Nick Carne's line break.

But Bideford effectively sealed the win with the bonus point sealing try, and while Carne scored an opportunist's try late on, converted by Kieran Rodda, it was too little too late for the Eagles.

Falmouth head coach Graham Whitmore said: "We had one or two glorious opportunities to score and we didn't take those chances. We've got to be better at being a bit more clinical when we get those chances because in this league it is highly competitive and the margin of error is small."

Another concern for Falmouth is their growing injury list, with Tony Whittle joining eight others on the sidelines after suffering a head injury in Saturday's game.

"Our playing resources and character is going to be tested over the coming weeks," Whitmore said. "We've got nine first-team players who are out injured and several who are playing are playing with knocks and ideally could do with a rest and they're playing with less than 100 per cent fit.

"We remain a very competitive side and are continually striving to make improvements in our game, but having to blood so many more players, it is a real test of cohesion and continuity."