Penryn 8 Kingsbridge 10
Penryn suffered last minute heartbreak at the hands of promotion-chasing Kingsbridge on Saturday at the memorial ground, with a 79th minute try denying the Borough a deserved victory.
In a hugely intense contest, a thoroughly impressive defensive display from the home side seemed to have secured the points before a late twist meant the visitors took the spoils.
Penryn had returned to winning ways the previous week against Wellington while the visitors travelled down hoping to make one of their several games in hand count in the race for promotion.
Penryn v Kingsbridge matches are often fierce and tense encounters, and this was no different.
The game started with huge tempo and physicality, with both sides equal to the task that their opponents were testing one another with.
When Kingsbridge scored from out wide following a slick handling move, many would be forgiven for fearing the worst for the Borough who have endured some disappointing afternoons against some of the league’s perceived top teams.
The fact that this occasion would be the last time Kingsbridge would find themselves in so much space tells you everything you need to know about the home team's performance.
Strong carrying and huge work rate from the Penryn pack earned Jake Seviour a chance to reduce the deficit, as he added a penalty goal to get Penryn on the board.
Kingsbridge would then de-camp to the Penryn line for what seemed like an eternity leading up to half time, but forwards and backs combined to deny the visitors anymore scoring opportunities with a rock solid defence.
Penryn’s efforts were rewarded on the stroke of half time with an easy penalty goal opportunity for Seviour to give Penryn the lead.
However, quick thinking in the Penryn ranks saw Seviour go over for a well worked try instead to the delight of the locals on the touchline.
Although Seviour couldn’t convert, turning three into five and going into half time 8-5 in front was huge for Penryn.
The second half started, much like the first had ended with Kingsbridge very much in the ascendancy.
Penryn were still equal to the task and were putting in a truly titanic effort without the ball.
Possession was scarce for Penryn in the second period, as the visitors pushed for the points to give them the lead, but Penryn made excellent use of what little ball they got, probing and prodding the visiting Devonians back into the corners and forcing them to come from deep if they were to beat the Borough’s impressive defensive line.
The tension from the touch line had crept onto the pitch as the clock ticked ever closer to the final whistle, with the 8-5 half time score line still intact, Penryn fighting desperately to see out a huge victory and Kingsbridge pushing hard to keep their season alive.
Still the Borough defended and still no joy for Kingsbridge, that was until the final moments.
Not for the first time on the day, a Penryn ‘choke’ tackle had seemed to turn the ball over in favour of the hosts, little were they aware, though, that the referee was playing advantage and as he raced back to the mark, so too did Kingsbridge as a quick tap penalty saw them squeeze over for the all-important score.
A physically and mentally exhausted Penryn side launched a final attack following a penalty out of goal kicking range, but would turn the ball over close to the line and have to settle for a losing bonus point that would be little consolation.
It was desperately unlucky for a Penryn side who gave so much, but hugely encouraging signs and an excellent performance as they look to claim the scalp of Okehampton on the road next week.