FALMOUTH RFC secured promotion to Tribute Western Counties West for the first time in their history in some style back in 2017, scoring more than 1,000 points in 25 matches as they coasted towards their first-ever Cornwall/Devon League title.

The Eagles’ superb season began back on September 3, 2016 when newly promoted Topsham made the trip to the Recreation Ground, where a new-look Falmouth team was awaiting them.

Full-back Seb Firth broke the deadlock shortly before half-time, going over after a midfield drive, with Justyn Irons missing the conversion.

But he was able to convert Ashley Searle’s effort after the break, before adding a drop goal late on to ensure Falmouth got off to a winning start.

The Eagles followed that up with a five-try bonus-point 34-15 win at Honiton, courtesy of a brace of tries from Irons and one from each of Tom Edmonds, Owen Hambly and Nick Carne, before going one between in a 41-10 triumph at home to Lanner a week later, with Olly Church, Levi Webster, Cameron Bullock, David Jones, Carne and Irons all going over on that occasion.

Coach Graham Whitmore used the term ‘winning ugly’ to describe his team’s approach in dismantling next opponents Paignton, with a strong defensive effort, led by man-of-the-match Alex Kindjarsky, ensuring a 12-16 victory in Devon and kept up the Eagles’ record of conceding just one try all season.

Falmouth’s fine start of four wins from four games set up a mouth-watering derby date with local rivals Penryn, who themselves had won three from four. It was a closely run affair at the Rec, but it was the Eagles who secured a first win over their neighbours since Boxing Day 2007.

Tries from Edmonds and Jones helped Falmouth towards a 13-3 lead at the break, and while a penalty try hauled the Borough to within three, the home defence held out to secure bragging rights and maintain their perfect start to the campaign.

Strong defence turned into devastating attack as the Eagles scored 13 tries in their next two games, with a 48-19 win at Pirates Amateurs and a 41-13 win at home to Plymouth Argaum making it seven from seven.

But it was not to be eight from eight as the Eagles suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of in-form Plymstock Albion Oaks, with a late try snatching victory for the visitors.

But Whitmore’s side soared back to form seven days later, edging out third-placed Saltash 27-15 at the Rec in a thrilling match to extend their lead at the top of the division to five points.

A Cornwall Cup victory over rivals Penryn followed before a brutal demolition of Tavistock, with the Eagles scoring a whopping 13 tries in an 82-0 victory.

Falmouth Packet:

Dan Hubble had a fine debut season for the Eagles

The Eagles set the tone with three tries in the first ten minutes, with three more before the break and another seven in the second half. David Jones starred with a fine hat-trick, with Mark Lea (2), Edmonds (2), Simon Bailey, Jon Baglow, Trevelyan Ward, Matt Brewer, Tommy Tonkins and Irons also going over.

The tries continued to flood in when they welcomed Withycombe to the Rec at the start of December, with Dan Hubble scoring six tries on a memorable Falmouth debut as the Eagles romped to a 64-5 win.

A narrow 23-17 victory at Bodmin saw the Eagles extend their lead at the top of the table back to four points after Saltash’s surprise defeat to Lanner, before rounding off the 2016 half of the season with a bonus-point 44-7 win at home to Honiton.

They picked up where they left off after the Christmas break with a bonus-point win at Lanner before a crucial clash against title rivals Paignton.

Like Falmouth, the Devonians had lost just once so far – a 16-12 loss in the reverse fixture in September – but the Eagles delivered their finest performance of the season so far to run out 34-0 winners and move nine points clear at the top of the league.

The big games kept coming with the Eagles’ next test being the reverse fixture at Penryn’s Memorial Ground, and it was another triumphant afternoon for Falmouth, who ran out 24-6 winners to secure the derby double.

The teams traded penalties before Eagles centre Ben Ackner scored the first try of the game. Another penalty from each side followed before Hubble and Brewer combined for the latter to score as Falmouth eventually eased to victory.

The wins kept on coming as the Eagles disposed of Pirates Amateurs, Plymouth Argaum, Tamar Saracens and Plymstock Albion Oaks, with Hubble scoring five tries against the latter as Falmouth moved a full 14 points clear of the chasing pack.

Next up was a trip to second-placed Saltash, with a gritty performance resulting in a comeback 32-22 win for the league leaders and allowing them to reassert their vice-like grip on the title race.

Falmouth Packet:

Flanker Owen Hambly burst through to score his second try in the 103-0 demolition of Bodmin

A Cornwall Cup semi-final defeat to St Austell ended chances of a league and cup double, but a walkover of Tamar Saracens and an eleven-try romp at Tavistock kept the Eagles on course for their maiden Cornwall/Devon crown, with Firth bagging a hat-trick in the 67-14 win in Devon.

That set up the chance to secure the league title at Withycombe, but a depleted Falmouth side suffered a surprise second defeat of the season, losing 17-15 to put the champagne on ice for at least another week.

But that gave them the chance to do it on their own turf when Bodmin visited the Rec the following weekend, and they did just that with a 16-try destruction of their depleted opponents to secure the title in ruthless fashion.

Tries from Hubble (2), Hambly (2), Brewer (2), Ward, Jones and Tom Job put the Eagles 57-0 up at the break, before Edmonds (2), Carne (2), Jones (2) and Job lifted the Eagles past the century of points.

The referee then brought proceedings to a halt with 15 minutes still to play, sparing Bodmin any further pain and allowing Falmouth to begin their celebrations.

There was one game still to play, however, with Falmouth winning 44-20 at Topsham on the final day to take their points tally for the season into four figures and ensure they signed off from the Cornwall/Devon League with another victory.