CORNISH Rebels players said they were ecstatic to retain their South West Challenge Cup title in a hard fought match.

Second row forward Ethan Pattison was the player who eventually secured the win for the Duchy's only rugby league side with his try making it 38-26 in the sixth minute of added on time.

The man who plies his union trade at Penryn during the winter said it was a special feeling to get the crucial last try which gave his team an unassailable lead.

He added there were times when he thought they had thrown the title away.

Pattison said: “It was hot out there on the field and Exeter gave us a really good game.

“But we just needed to keep the pressure on and go through our sets which eventually paid off for us with the scores towards the end.

“When you are told there's still four minutes left and they score a try, you are stood there thinking they could clinch this, but we just had to keep our heads.

“It is great to be part of something special. They pushed us all the way and we were doing silly things at times but we sorted it out in the end.”

Rebels captain Grant Thirlby lifted the trophy after the match, saying he was over the moon to be leading the victorious side who have more targets in sight.

“We started off nervy, doing things we don't normally do like offloads near the line,” he said.

“But the guys came into the second half with all guns blazing and we really turned the game around.

“We set ourselves the target of winning the nines, retain the cup and win the league so now we are two down with one to go and hopefully this win will kick us on for our final goal of the season.”

He went onto say his nerves were shaking a little as the game went deep into nine minutes of injury time.

Thirlby said: “We were wondering how long there was to go.

“But what was important was that we got a couple of scores late on and that calmed things down.

“Compared to last year when we had to play an extra 20 minutes because it finished as a draw, it wasn't that bad all in all.”