Warwick kicks last-gasp winner for Helston
9:08am Thursday 10th January 2013 in Sport
Try: Richardson, Williams
Try: Instant, Creeden
Con: Creeden (2)
In one of the most dramatic finishes ever seen at the King George V playing fields, Helston defeated Stithians with a last second penalty from full back Calvin Warwick to secure a win that goes most of the way to guaranteeing Cornwall One rugby next season.
Despite the heavy ground conditions both sides tried to play attacking rugby.
Helston were able to call on the services of Barry Richardson at No 8 with captain Ross Williams switching to the centre.
With a strong bench including former Stithians old boy Matt Penrose and Ben Osborne the home side looked strong on paper.
The early exchanges began to look ominous for the visitors as the Helston scrummage began to exert considerable pressure on their opponents.
However after dominating play for 20 minutes Helston found themselves down to 14 men when prop Jack Kellow was sin-binned for obstruction.
Whilst down in numbers, Stithians strung together a flowing backs move that led to score under the posts to give them a 7-0 lead going into the interval.
After the break Helston were forced into several changes following injuries to centre Lee Gaskell, winger Decarlo Trerise and prop Steve Vincent.
However the home side continued to dominate the scrummage area and surging runs from Richardson, second row Mike Foreman and player coach Guy Pallett caused all kinds of problems for the visitors.
Helston were on the receiving end of another flowing backs move which saw Stithians score a try on wide which was converted from the touch line.
But the home side finally managed to turn possession into territory, and from a line out taken against the throw, Richardson crashed over to make the score 5-14 with 20 minutes to go.
After wasting several opportunities to score, Helston opted for a scrummage from an off side penalty , and a quick passing movement from Richardson via scrum half LJ Collick and fly half Tim Hayden saw skipper Williams crash over under the uprights to allow Warwick to slot the extras to make the score 12-14 with two minutes to go.
From the re-start Richardson and Pallett combined to push Stithians back to the edge of their own 22 metre area and from the resulting ruck, replacement Penrose broke towards the line only to be tripped a few paces short.
With the last kick of the game Warwick added the penalty points which gave Helston a memorable win in the most exciting of finishes.
Williams was jubilant after the match saying: "We were disappointed to be down at half time but the way the lads responded in the final 20 minutes was nothing short of amazing!
“I am so proud to have captained them today!"
Helston must now contend with a double-header of fixtures next weekend as they travel to Veor on Saturday with the re-arranged cup match away to St Agnes on the Sunday.
However this win will give them renewed confidence in obtaining a positive outcome in both games.