A weekly series summing up the respective campaigns of our top football teams before all results were expunged amid the coronavirus pandemic.

PENRYN Athletic were well placed to become the first-ever champions of the St Piran League West and secure promotion to the South West Peninsula League.

The league leaders got their campaign off to the best possible start with a 1-0 win at home to Mousehole reserves, with new signing Jack Rapsey in the right place at the right time to deflect Nick Boase’s strike into the net

Penryn may have squeezed through that first test but Harry Pope’s side lay down an early marker of things to come in game number two, a 7-0 thrashing of Redruth United on their own turf.

Penryn would face sterner opposition, for sure, but two goals from each of Rapsey and Ryan Reeve, and another from each of Harry Roberts, Reggie May and Jake Shaw sent out a good message.

The goals kept coming with a 5-1 hammering of Helston Athletic reserves rounding off a perfect opening month of the campaign, which included a later-expunged victory over Ludgvan, who withdrew from the league.

September began with successive three-goal wins at Perranwell and Wendron United reserves and a four-goal victory at home to Mullion to ensure their perfect start to the season continued with 18 points from a possible 18.

Attention then turned to the first round of the Cornwall Senior Cup, which meant a second trip to Perranwell in as many weeks.

The outcome was the same, with Athletic putting four goals past their hosts for the second time in September, with Rapsey grabbing the headlines with a fine treble for the visitors.

Back to the league and next to visit Kernick Road was St Ives Town, who had taken seven points from their first four games in a mixed start to the campaign.

Tom Annear put Penryn ahead at the break with a fine free kick in the fifth minute, but St Ives came out firing in the second half and Ross Duncan’s strike five minutes into the half levelled matters.

Rapsey missed the chance to restore Penryn’s lead from the spot with 13 minutes to go, before a melee on the pitch saw manager Harry Pope sent off.

But just when it looked like their perfect start to the season was coming to an end, the hosts sealed victory in the eighth minute of added time when a defensive mix-up allowed a backpass to tamely roll into the net.

Another hard-fought victory at Illogan RBL followed to make it eight from eight in the league and nine from nine in all competitions and hopes of a perfect ten rested on their Senior Cup second round tie at home to Bude Town.

Penryn dominated proceedings and got a deserved goal early in the second half through Jake Shaw, but a Scott Percy equaliser in the 72nd minute was not in the script.

But with extra time looming, Russell May headed a cross down to Dan Lord, who fired home from close range in the third minute of injury time and clinch that perfect tenth consecutive win, sending Athletic into the third round in the process.

But there was to be no 11th, as a seventh of the season for Rapsey was not enough for Penryn to rescue anything from their game at home to Perranporth, with goals from Gavin Boon and Terry Campbell enough to puncture Penryn’s perfect record.

Athletic had three weeks to dwell on that defeat following a couple of weather-related postponements, and the time away did not help when they returned to action for their third-round tie at St Ives.

Josh Magin had put the hosts in front early in the second half, and while Reeve replied quickly for Penryn, Magin was on hand to fire in the winner and dump the league leaders out.

That was followed by a 1-0 loss at home to local rivals Falmouth Town reserves in the second round of the League Cup, making it three defeats on the trot for Pope’s men.

They stopped the rot with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at home to St Day at the start of December, with Rapsey netting again, before a six-goal thriller at Mullion put Penryn back on top of the division.

It was more Bradley Leivers versus Chris Blee than Penryn versus Mullion. Leivers put the visitors in front before two goals from Blee turned the game on its head.

Leivers then levelled before Blee completed his hat-trick to restore the Seagulls’ advantage, with Leivers cross being turned in by a Mullion defender to rescue a point.

A slender 3-2 win at Hayle ensured Penryn would be number one at Christmas, before an entertaining 5-2 win at nine-man local rivals Falmouth on Boxing Day.

Leivers opened the scoring for Penryn in the 14th minute before Town levelled eight minutes later, but the turning point of the game came on the hour when Town had two men sent off in quick succession.

Penryn took full advantage with Reggie May giving them the lead before Glen Patterson made it three. Town responded to halve the deficit with a free kick, but Shaw made the game safe for Penryn before Roberts completed the scoring.

January came and went with a trio of four-goal victories over Perranwell, Wendron and Helston as Penryn extended their advantage at the top of the table, while it was announced that the club had applied for promotion to the SWPL ahead of the 2020/21 season.

Matters on the field took a turn for the worse as storms Ciara and Dennis meant that a thumping 9-0 victory at home to St Agnes was their only game in February. Reggie May starred with a fine hat-trick, with Leivers (2), Roberts (2), Reeve and Rapsey also weighing in.

Their next, and what turned out to be final, game was the small matter of closest rivals St Ives Town. Victory would see Penryn extend their lead to seven points with a game in hand, giving Pope’s side half a hand on the title.

But it was not to be, as goals from Maxwell Clymo and Sam Spurrier made it two defeats from two attempt at the Saltings this season. Penryn were still top with a game in hand, but with the gap now just one point, an opportunity had been squandered.

But the chance to make amends with their next trip to Perranporth never materialised, with all football being suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak and later declared null and void.

Penryn’s bid for the title and promotion will have to wait for another year.