6:30pm Tuesday 24th April 2012
Penryn finished a tough a disappointing season with a hard fought win over high flying Oldfield Old Boys, after almost having to win the game twice.
Penryn’s relegation was confirmed in last weeks Brixham defeat, whereas the visitors had qualified for their regional cup final in midweek.
Penryn were comfortably beaten up at Oldfield on the first weekend of the season and were keen to end the season positively.
The Borough certainly started positively and demonstrated their capabilities by laying siege to the Oldfield line in the opening ten minutes narrowly missing out on the opening score on a few occasions before a Taron Peacock penalty gave Penryn a deserved 3-0 lead.
The lead was doubled to 6-0 soon after with another penalty from Peacock as Penryn continued to show dominance.
Oldfield’s pack were struggling against the beef of Penryn’s, but when the ball went wide the warning signs were there for Penryn as Oldfield’s slick movement and unquestioned pace looked dangerous on the rare occasion when they got the ball.
Penryn have been criticised for not taking their chances this season, but were in no mood to let that happen in front of their own supporters at the conclusion of the league season. A ferocious driving maul from the 22 metre line saw the Borough pack shunt Oldfield back at a considerable rate of knots and over the try line for the first try and some pumped up celebrations from the players and touchline.
Peacock missed the tricky conversion and with half time still at least another play away, Penryn showed good game management from the restart to secure the ball and get it off the pitch to lead 11-0 at the break, which despite its good return probably flattered Oldfield somewhat.
If Penryn needed a reminder of Oldfield's pedigree and a proverbial wake up call to stop complacency creeping in, they got it. The visitors went close soon after the start of the second half and despite valiant defence from the hosts; they eventually went over moments later following another foray into the Borough's 22.
The extras were missed but Penryn now only led by less than a converted try. Penryn’s dominance in the scrum was a major factor in them leading the game comfortably at the break, so when the scrums went uncontested due to Oldfield injury, a major weapon was taken away.
Penryn now had to turn to the driving maul to exert dominance and that they did. The forwards secured decent line-out ball and tore through their opponents once more with another powerful surge in the maul, before man of the match Ben Keay touched down for Penryn to lead 16-5 And surely game over. Peacock’s extras again sailed narrowly wide.
Oldfield were not done though and hit back again, with their dangerous backs getting them out of trouble and back into contention with another unconverted score to make it 16-10.
Penryn having looked like they had the game wrapped up were visibly nervous, with the uncontested scrums providing quick ball for the dangerous visiting backline, the Borough were hanging on. Oldfield huffed and puffed and eventually blew the Penryn wall down as the referee awarded a penalty try despite the ball appearing to have been running away from the obstructed player regardless of the challenge and Oldfield led 17-16 with five to go.
Penryn looked shell-shocked, even in their luckless season they would never have thought this game would have got away from them, but there was still time.
The home side re-gathered the ball from the restart and decamped to the Oldfield 22.
Penryn had one last chance to win a game they should never have been losing and turned to the driving maul once more. With advantage being played Penryn's maul dropped and went down the up the jumper route. Oldfield survived but it was a Penryn penalty.
The borough tapped and went for broke. Superb Oldfield defence kept them at bay temporarily, but with the replacements, coaches and fans alike screaming the Penryn boys over the line the Borough drove their way to a try with the last play of the game. George Jones popped up with the ball, who had typified the committed Penryn performance and effort on the afternoon and in recent weeks, to spark jubilant celebrations around the ground.
Peacock slotted the extras, giving both Penryn and departing head coach Adryan Winnan the perfect send off for the season.
The celebrations at full time despite relegation, just typify the spirit at this proud club.
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