Bude 27, Penryn 19

Penryn suffered their second defeat of the season in a top of the table clash that saw Bude leapfrog them in the table, writes Ross Hancock.

The Borough staged a stirring late fight back, but they left north Cornwall with no points in this clash of two of the league’s top three sides. Both sides had been in good form prior to the game, with only one loss each and could both boast impressive home victories over fellow promotion hopefuls Honiton. It made for a mouth-watering clash, but it was not to be an afternoon fondly remembered by those in Penryn colours.

If there has been any disappointment from Penryn’s impressive season so far, it’s that they have been caught cold early on in games on occasions and so it proved again. The home side, cheered on by a bumper crowd, started the game ferociously and were soon 7-0 ahead and continuously peppering the Penryn line. A second try looked on the cards, but good Penryn defence limited the hosts to a penalty goal which extended their lead to 10.

The Borough were playing into a howling wind in the first forty, which made life difficult and possession a rarity. The visitors’ excursions into the home 22 were scarce, but Penryn struck once they finally put the phases together. A series of powerful surges through the heart of the home defence caused it to splinter, with Andrew Seviour the beneficiary to score the Borough’s first points. There was no conversion but 10-5 at half time would have been no disaster. Unfortunately for Penryn, Bude had other ideas and added a second try just before the interval to deal the visitors a huge blow. Bude led 15-5 at half time, but it was well within reach for Penryn.

As the second half began thoughts in Penryn minds turned towards their advantage with the wind at their backs and making that count, as they looked to get back in the game. It looked promising initially as Penryn were inches away from a crucial try, but it was to be a downward curve in the game from that moment for the visitors. Bude produced an inspired spell to take the game firmly away from the Borough and a devastating two try burst not only secured a try bonus point, but virtually put them out of site at 27-5 with just over twenty minutes remaining.

The Borough could quite easily have imploded as the home side ran rampant, but they showed superb character to not only stem the tide of the home teams scoring, but to give themselves a lifeline too. Sticking to the task, Penryn frustrated Bude and were seeing more of the ball now which led to a superb score from James Salisbury, who finished well in the corner. Paul Saberton’s excellent touchline conversion made it 27-12.

Penryn were visibly growing in confidence now and as they continued to pressurise the home defence, Seviour found space to add his second of the game. A quick drop kick conversion meant there was still time to secure what would have appeared an unlikely pair of bonus points at one stage. Penryn looked for that elusive fourth try, but it was not to be and the home side settled for kicking the ball out of play with the clock in the red to record a deserved victory. Penryn welcome St Austell in the County Cup this weekend, with a break from league proceedings.

Penryn: Bradley, Saberton, Hitchens, Seviour, Salisbury, Strick, Duval, Burton, Birkett, Cockrell, Trevaskis, Hughes, Hellier, Jones, Randlesome reps: Oldfield, Hancock, Hinchley

Tries: Seviour (2), Salisbury

Conversions: Saberton, Strick