Hayle 44 Falmouth Eagles 11
The Christmas break seemed to have caught up with the Falmouth Eagles as they fell to a crushing 41- 11 defeat away to Hayle on Saturday.
On a beautiful winter’s day at the Memorial Park Falmouth and their supporters arrived with high hopes for a exciting game, and strong performance to usher in 2014.
But as the sun set a much gloomier mood took hold as they witnessed what may be the Eagles’ worst performance of the season to date.
From the start of the first half the Eagles made basic mistakes and their discipline let them down, conceding two penalties within the first five minutes which were both kicked at goal.
The first, just inside Falmouth’s half, was missed, but the second was scored by Dan McGea to put Hayle into an early 3-0 lead.
Hayle kept the pressure on as the quality of Falmouth’s play deteriorated.
Eventually the pressure told and a kick for possession was claimed by the home side, who exchanged a series of fast passes which led to a try in the corner by Rob Cutter.
Going 10-0 down seemed to wake the Eagles up a bit, and they went through a period of 20 minutes where they played some good rugby.
However too many mistakes and lack of discipline meant they conceded more penalties before eventually they exerted some pressure of their own.
With five minutes to go until half time the Eagles were looking to the break as a chance to regroup for the second half.
But in a devastating spell Hayle all but sealed the victory as the Eagles let the hosts in for not one but two tries.
The first was scored by Talan Daniels, and converted by McGea.
The second came straight from the restart as Hayle’s number six Tony Matthews broke through Falmouth defence to set Doug Arnull up for Hayle’s third try, again converted by Mcgea, leaving Falmouth an enormous 22 points down.
After their first half display it would have been interesting to hear the team talk during half time, and whatever was said initially seemed to do the trick as the Eagles came out fighting after the restart.
After a spell of pressure Falmouth won themselves two penalties within the first five minutes, both of which were kicked by Justin Irons.
The change in attitude was much welcomed by Falmouth supporters, and it may have crossed some of the more optimistic fan’s minds to think this could turn into the proverbial game of two halves.
But as has so often been the case with the Eagles this season, after registering points on the board they let the opposition back in too easily.
And so it was again as Hayle added six points to their account with another try from Daniels, converted by McGea.
Falmouth now faced a long fight to get anything out of the game and although they had the possession for periods, the Eagles seemed to be going it alone, each man thinking they had that special something with which to change the game, rather than pass the ball quicker and use the team.
Their attacks left them vulnerable to the counter, and sure enough the Eagles felt the sting as Rob Cutter intercepted a Falmouth attack, and with good footwork kicked downfield to score another conversion, leaving Phil Angove’s trailing 34-6 with 20 minutes still to play.
Trying to save some face, the Eagles kept battling away and were rewarded for their determination when a series of catch and drives ended with Ollie Church grounding the ball for their only try of the game.
But it was all a little too late, and more salt was to be rubbed in the Eagles already substantial wounds when, with the last play of the game, Hayle scored again.
This time Scott Harvey did the damage, going over to cap and afternoon to forget for Falmouth.
The Eagles are at home to bottom side Veor on Saturday, and a much-improved performance will be expected.