Penryn 15, Honiton 19

Penryn suffered late heartbreak at the hands of Honiton on Saturday, with an agonising last minute try to send the visitors through to the next round of the national cup.

It was no surprise that it took until the final play of the game to decide the result, with the two sides separated by only one point at the top of the Cornwall/Devon league and the huge crowd at the Memorial Ground were treated to an absolute classic.

The game started at a ferocious pace and rarely let up, as two quality sides went hammer and tongs to largely cancelled one another out. It was the home side who struck first though late in the half, as some indiscipline from the visitors handed Paul Saberton the opportunity to open the scoring with a penalty goal and he duly obliged. Honiton were the first to get over the whitewash however, scoring the game’s first try on the stroke of half time following a dubious yellow card for Sam Hitchens. The visitors led 3-7 at the interval.

It was a cracking game despite the lack of points, but it caught fire in the second half with some sparkling play from both sides. Penryn were looking to regain the lead and piled on the pressure from minute one and were rewarded for their endeavours. Nathan Strick switched from scrum half to fly half at the break and it paid dividends, as Strick threw an audacious dummy before skating in to put Penryn 8-7 ahead with the subsequent conversion missing.

The momentum was with Penryn now and they seeked the killer touch to justify their efforts and they got it just moments after Strick had gotten their first. Adam Hughes made a superb break through the heart of the Honiton defence and gave the scoring pass to James Salisbury, who had plenty to do before finishing a super Penryn try. Saberton converted and things looked rosy for the Borough at 15-7.

Momentum is such a huge part of the game and despite it seemingly all being with Penryn, it soon swung and so too did the complexion of the game. With Steve Homer in the bin for a high tackle, Honiton struck to get themselves back in the game and make the last few minutes a nervy one for the home side at 15-14. Those nerves soon turned to agony and disbelief for the Borough, with what was a cruel final twist. Honiton trailed by a point and would have to go the length of the field to get themselves in a position to win the game and unfortunately for Penryn, that is exactly what they did. The away side scored a remarkable length of the field try to snatch the game at the death and send their travelling support into raptures.

It was a bitter pill for Penryn to swallow who had contributed so much to a wonderful game of rugby, but there is still great promise for the season as the two lock horns again a week on Saturday for a promotion showdown. Penryn will be aiming to bounce back this weekend against Hayle.

Penryn: Bradley, Saberton, Wilmott, Hitchens, Salisbury, Wallace, Strick, Cockrell, Gratrix, Pattison, Trevaskis, Homer, Hughes, Jones, Randlesome. Reps: Oldfield, Burton, Goldsworthy, Glyn, Hellier, Johnson, Hinchley.

Tries: Strick, Salisbury

Conversion: Saberton

Penalty: Saberton

Yellow cards: Hitchens, Homer