PENRYN travelled to Moorlands Lane on Saturday to take on Tavistock in a western counties league match, writes Jonathan Plummer. 

Despite the freezing overnight conditions, an early morning pitch inspection was passed and a very entertaining match was fought out between the two teams both sitting in mid-table.

It was Tavistock who kicked off and were immediately on the front foot after Penryn failed to collect the kick off successfully and, after five minutes of pressure, Tavistock scored the first try of the day through captain George Hillson, the first of a hat trick of tries for the Tavistock scrum half. The conversion was missed but Tavistock had the early advantage.

Penryn started to gain momentum and levelled the scores shortly afterwards following on from an excellent backs move. Fly half Rob Banks gave a well timed pass to full back Kyle Johns who raced through the gap and gave the scoring pass to winger Ayden Earnshaw who dived into the left hand corner.

Tavistock got their second try half way through the first half with another well-worked try by fly-half Charles Bowden to retake the lead. The third Tavistock try came just two minutes later when Hillson got his second try, this time the conversion was successful and the Moorlanders led 17 - 5 with 15 minutes of the half remaining.

If Penryn were to get back in the match it was crucial they scored next, what followed was probably the best spell of rugby Penryn have played all season when they scored 19 points without reply. Hooker Chris Hellier got Penryn back in the game after several strong carries by the Penryn pack.

Falmouth Packet: Penryn fought hard in what was a tightly contested affairPenryn fought hard in what was a tightly contested affair (Image: Jonathan Plummer)

Penryn were now firmly on the front with several phases of play between backs and forwards to get them into the Tavistock half. The ball was fed out to Fly half Banks and a pinpoint cross-field kick was superbly touched down by winger Matt Hall, the successful conversion by James Salisbury levelled the scores with two minutes left in the half.

In the final play of the half Penryn scored their best try of the season so far. Following a scrum deep in their own half, Penryn ran the ball and, going down the blind side, centre Kai Sale burst through a gap showing great pace where he found winger Matt Hall for his second try of the match and a bonus point for the Borough. Again Salisbury got the extras to give Penryn a 24 - 17 halftime advantage.

The second half was a tight contest with both teams struggling to get any decent territory. Tavistock started to gain an advantage in the scrums and following a five-metre scrum no. 8 Andrew Schutkacker dived over to give Tavistock a three-point lead going into the last quarter.

Going into the last five minutes Penryn were back on top and deep in the Tavistock 22, following good work from the forwards scrum half Will Tanswell made a break for the line and looked as though he had scored the decisive try. Unfortunately for Penryn, the referee thought there was a double movement and disallowed the try which looked like an extremely tight decision.

Tavistock cleared their lines and in the last play of the match, Hillson got his hat trick try after a break from halfway to bring the match to a close and allow the good-sized crowd to go and warm up.

The result keeps Penryn eighth in the table after their fifth defeat of the season. Next Saturday Penryn play Bideford at home, looking to keep their unbeaten home record intact. Next Saturday is also the former players reunion, so if you have ever pulled on the famous red and black jersey be sure to come along and catch up with former teammates.

Earlier in the day Penryn Colts and Penzance Colts played out a very tight match that ended in a 12-all draw at the Memorial Ground.