Exeter Chiefs 35 Pertemps Bees 17
It's a noisy place, Exeter's County Ground. If supertuned speedway bikes are not tearing around the oval that hems in the rugby field, then the noisy Devon fans are giving it their all, cheering on their county's finest.
Bees director of rugby Phil Maynard admired the place and its supporters before the trip down the M5 but not even the ovation for Jim Jenner's brilliant late try could soothe his mood.
Jenner's score was the culmination of some sumptuous running rugby that stretched the home side before the giant No 8 popped up on the overlap to score in the corner. Centres Shaun Woof and Mike Davies showed some splendid handling while winger Aaron Takarangi's sleight of hand caused no end of confusion.
The ovation was second only to that received by Exeter's Rob Baxter as he collected the man-ofthematch accolade on his final County Ground appearance following a 15-year stint with the club - ten of them as captain.
But Maynard would have been far happier with a victory to end a woeful run of defeats. He said: "We clearly had problems with the setpieces which stopped us doing anything. We were simply not good enough and were always playing catch-up.
"We missed seven kicks out of seven at one stage and that is not good enough. We should have been going into the last 15 minutes at 28-27 and then it would have been a different game."
Tim Walsh missed a string of kicks before half time as the visitors looked to make inroads on Exeter's lead.
St George's Day it may have been and there were thoughts of another slaying as the Chiefs cruised to a 16-0 advantage inside the opening quarter.
Mark Fatialofa's converted try, coupled with Tony Yapp's three penalties, took them clear before Simon Martin was finally gifted a try for the visitors.
Alistair Murdoch went over for Exeter's second score but Bees hit back again through Nathan Carter.
In spite of Jenner's star turn late on, the Chiefs were always in control and added further tries, by Gary Kingdom and replacement fly-half Adam Staniforth.
Maynard added: "We played some good rugby and broke them down with some pattern play putting the ball out wide, the way it should be played.
"But we weren't helped by a number of innocuous refereeing decisions - it was bizarre, the number of penalties that were given against us.
"Down here, it is a hotbed of rugby and they have some good players - but we made them look very ordinary at times."
EXETER: Kingdom; Cooper (A Fatialofa, 40), M Fatialofa, Ward, Murdoch; Yapp (A Staniforth 67), Thomas; Porte (G Davies 56), Blythe (Liddington 56), Brooking, Bentley (Ross 56), Robert Baxter, Willis, Walker (Miller 67), Richard Baxter. Rep: G Staniforth.
BEES: Martin; Takarangi, Woof, M Davies (Williams-Greenaway 73), N Baxter; Walsh, Knight ( Richardson 73); O'Keefe (Lewis 73), Miles (Gerry 56), Long, Davidson (Walton 40), Orgee, Fakatou, Carter ( Jordon 56), Jenner. Rep: Le Chevalier
Referee: M Fox (RFU)