PENRYN RFC enjoyed a fine first season back in Tribute Western Counties West in 2019/20, finishing sixth in the 14-team division after the season was curtailed with four games to spare.

The Borough marked their return to Western Counties rugby with a superb bonus point victory over Saltash. After three seasons away from the division and with tough challenges ahead, it was a familiar foe who greeted Penryn at the Memorial Ground on the opening day.

The Ashes had pipped Penryn to promotion from Cornwall/Devon by the slimmest of margins in 2018, but the Borough regrouped and won the title in 2019 and earned their revenge with a 36-25 victory, with tries from Sam Carter, Sam Hitchens (2), Chris Hellier (2) and Josh Chambers securing a bonus point.

A first league defeat since November 2018 followed as Penryn came unstuck at eventual runners-up St Austell.

The Borough pushed their title-chasing hosts all the way, recovering from a 19-0 deficit to get back to 24-22, before a late home try finally finished off the visitors.

A few absent key men proved their undoing as Penryn slipped to a second successive defeat – their first at home in 18 months – at home to Teignmouth, before a 21-13 loss at Tiverton made it three games without a point.

They ended that run in style with a thrilling victory at home to Wadebridge Camels, securing a second home bonus-point victory of the season.

Although the Camels drew first blood, Penryn responded with tries from John Lamsin, Chambers, Hellier, Adam Hughes and Steele Barker securing a 35-24 win in a superb game.

That result gave the Borough a vital boost ahead of a tricky trip to Wellington, but they were left to rue another one that got away on the road as they returned to Cornwall empty handed despite being well placed late on in the game.

Much like the previous away defeats to St Austell and Tiverton, the Borough were within a score entering the final 10 minutes, but a strong Wellington outfit pulled away to leave Penryn still searching for a first away win of the campaign.

They may have struggled on the road but their home form continued to flourish, with a second consecutive home maximum in the shape of a 37-19 victory over Bideford, with man-of-the-match Hitchens bagging two of the Borough’s five tries.

The first away win proved elusive as Penryn threw away a 10-0 half-time lead to lose 20-10 at Chard, before making amends with yet another home win, this time over Cullompton.

That was a fine warm-up for the first league derby against Falmouth in three seasons, with Penryn marking the occasion with a super 31-17 win at the Eagles’ Recreation Ground. Chambers stole the show with a fine hat-trick, with Barker securing the try bonus while Carter kicked four conversions and a penalty.

Another home win over Kingsbridge followed before a second away triumph in succession, as Penryn strolled to a 34-14 win in what turned out to be head coach Ian Morgan’s final match in charge.

Morgan stepped down from the role with immediate effect after the game, citing family reasons for his departure.

A ‘double defeat’ followed for Penryn against St Austell as the Saints took both the league points and a place in the next round of the Cornwall Cup amid awful conditions at the Memorial Ground.

The game served as a ‘double header’ with the pair drawing one another in the cup and both teams agreed the result would stand for both competitions.

That defeat ended a run of five successive home wins, and an agonising 17-15 loss at Teignmouth ensured a losing end to their 2019 league fixtures, with a last-gasp missed conversion denying the Borough a draw.

But their first home outing of 2020 turned out to be a good one with a bonus point win and clean sheet against Tiverton. A superb first half laid the foundation for the Borough, who finished the job in the second half in what was a fiery encounter in tough conditions.

However, their woes remained on the road as Penryn again surrendered a half-time lead to lose, this time squandering a 14-7 advantage, after Kyle Bradley dotted down twice, at Wadebridge to lose 18-14.

But that was forgotten seven days later when they inflicted just a second league defeat on leaders Wellington, with youngster Charlie Levick scoring two tries as the Borough produced one of their finest displays of the season. Andrew Seviour also went over as Penryn recorded a 20-11 victory, becoming only the second team after rivals Falmouth to see off the Somerset side.

But once again another fine home performance was followed up by an agonising away result, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at Bideford. Tries from Mishka Fibbens and Hitchens helped Penryn towards a ten-point lead with time running out, two home tries condemned the Borough to a 26-24 loss.

But the pendulum swung the Borough’s way once again as they returned to their Memorial Ground fortress, running in eight tries in a 42-7 mauling of Chard. There were eight different scorers, with Hellier, Carter, Chambers, Fibbens, Luke Tupholme, Mitchell Vague and Pete Mabbott all going over.

It was another fine warm-up for the visit of Falmouth, and it was another derby day to remember for Penryn as a first-half blitz helped secure a bonus-point victory.

A pair of tries from Carter and one from each of Chambers and Bradley in a breathtaking first 40 minutes gave the Borough a 22-0 lead at the break. No more home points followed in the second half, but one unconverted try and a penalty were all the Eagles could muster in reply.

A 21-17 victory at Cullompton the following weekend proved to be the Borough’s final outing of the season, with the RFU suspending all matches as the coronavirus outbreak culled the sporting programme.

The season was soon announced to be over, with Penryn securing a sixth-place finish after a best playing record formula, largely based on a weighted points-per-game calculation.