Saltash 27 Falmouth Eagles 13
The Eagles have struggled with a sequence of poor results recently, but given Saltash’s proximity in the table Phil Angove's side were hopeful of gaining revenge for their defeat at home against the same opposition earlier in the season.
But yet again an Ashes side led by the outstanding Max Venables proved too much for Phil Angove and Graham Whitmore’s side, who were forced to field several players carrying injuries.
Even so the Eagles started brightly and had the home team reeling within the first 25 minutes when a well-struck Justyn Irons penalty, and a great drive after winning a lineout which resulted in Anthony Geech diving over the whitewash to score.
During this initial period the Eagles should have added more points to their tally, but instead were guilty of squandering opportunities which would have put Saltash under more pressure.
However, the Saltash forwards retaliated and a great rolling maul saw prop Symon Nance cross the line to score.
Then came the turning point of the first half.
A chip over the Eagles’ defence and an awkward bounce saw Stephen Hillman gather and race under the posts. Max Venables converted both tries.
At half time Saltash were fortunate to be 14-8 ahead, and as they started the second half the Eagles put the home forwards under severe pressure, allowing the three quarters to spin the ball wide for Irons to score in the corner. Now with one point the difference, it was all to play for.
Saltash replied with another Venables penalty as the Eagles went through a 20 minute period of inconsistencies, poor handling and tackling, handing the Ashes danger-man a gift of an interception try.
In the final minutes Saltash completed the win with winger James Moriarty scoring in the corner; both tries were not converted.
The next league game will be on Saturday, March 22 at home against Honiton.