Penryn 38, Torquay 5

Penryn produced arguably their best performance of the season, brushing aside fellow promotion chasers Torquay with a thumping bonus point victory to make it three from three in 2019.

It was potentially the first telling blow in this year’s promotion race, with up to five teams vying for the two reserved spots in next seasons Western Counties league.

Torquay now lie 18 points off the pace at the top, with the Borough a single point behind leaders Bude who travel to joint second placed Honiton this weekend.

There was a sense around the memorial ground that this could be an important afternoon, as a bumper crowd packed into the stands. Last week’s debutant Tom Wallace moved into the fly half position for this critical clash, as the Borough welcomed back James Salisbury, Nathan Strick, Kyle Gratrix and Darren Jacques for his first appearance in a Penryn shirt for over a decade.

Penryn’s victory was built on a strong foundation of tempo, accuracy and structure, which their more sizeable opponents struggled with as the game wore on. The Borough started on the back foot however and struggled to exit their 22 for much of the opening ten minutes, but when they finally got some territory they began to flourish. Winger Josh Chambers opened the scoring with a neat finish in the clubhouse corner to make it 10 tries in four home games and give Penryn the perfect start.

The home side had adapted well to the early pressure and began to find their stride, now dominating the contest. Skipper Grant Randlesome broke the line and found second row Steve Homer on his shoulder to double the lead, before Saberton converted for 12-0. Despite the sticky pitch, the Borough were playing at a ferocious pace now and after another break from Randlesome, Sam Hitchens was the latest willing support runner to finish off. The home side were in a ruthless mood, turning down kicks at goal in favour of a pre half time bonus point. Their enterprise was swiftly rewarded, when George Jones touched down following strong forward play close to the line and Saberton’s conversion made it 24-0 at the break.

With most of the damage done in the first 40, the second half fell a little flat by comparsion but was by no means a drab contest. Predictably, there was a response from the visitors who laid siege to the Penryn line from minute one after the interval. Penryn kept them at bay for the most part, but they did finally get over for an unconverted try that would prove to be Torquay’s only points of the game. Much of the second half was dominated by the whistle, with Penryn falling foul of the referee more so than their visitors, losing Randlesome and Chris Hellier to the bin as a result.

The home side needed some spark, to put gloss on a scoreline they were already no doubt delighted with. They got just that, when the lively Saberton made an electric break through the middle of the field to set up a good attacking position. A cynical infringement by the visitors went without punishment, but several phases later Penryn made it 31-5 when Randlesome crashed over from short range and Saberton converted. Arguably, the best was saved for last from Penryn as they added a final try with the last play. It was déjà vu, as Saberton again broke the line stopped only by another unpunished cynical offence. The home side showed good continuity and hands before Randlesome eventually found his way over again for Saberton to convert to leave the score at 38-5. A strong statement from the Borough boys who have a job to do at Lanner, whilst no doubt keeping an eye on proceedings at Honiton.

It was an excellent day all round for the club, as the Colts put in yet another superb performance to see off Launceston 40-19, whilst a strong Penryn Saracens team defeated local rivals Falmouth 31-5 thanks to tries from Viv Wilmott (2), Kyle Bradley, Olly Morgan and six points from the boot of Tomas Townsend. A big thanks to CSM who leant players to ensure a full squad of players for the game.

Penryn: Saberton, Chambers, Hitchens, Seviour, Salisbury, Wallace, Strick, Jacques, Gratrix, Cockrell, Hughes, Homer, Hellier, Jones, Randlesome. Reps: Glyn, Pellow, Hinchley.

Tries: Chambers, Homer, Hitchens, Jones, Randlesome (2)

Conversion: Saberton (4)

Yellow Cards: Randlesome, Hellier