Penryn 15

Exeter University 38

Penryn fell to a first home defeat of the season at the hands of early Western Counties table toppers Exeter University. The defeat came at a cost too for Penryn, as they lost fly half and goal kicker Rob Banks to a suspected dislocated shoulder. Despite the score line, the Borough matched Exeter for long periods before eventually succumbing to the university outfit.

The visitors were docked 50 league points last season in confusion surrounding which players were eligible to represent the side, something that has been cleared this season and has seen the university start the season strongly. If Penryn were to cause an upset, they would have to start well as they had done so far this season. They did just that, but it was not without a slight setback.

The first kick of the game went out on the full from the Borough and following a scrum penalty to the students they kicked to the corner. The line out was set and following a strong drive they forced their way over the try line just over a minute into the game. The score was greeted with an eerie silence around the memorial ground. Some may have feared would turn into a long afternoon for Penryn.

The missed conversion was just the start of an upturn in fortunes for the home side though. To their credit, Penryn fought back valiantly and took the game to Exeter taking the lead with two quick fire penalties from Banks. For all of the university sides pace and precision, they had little answer to Penryn’s spirit and determination in the opening quarter with Banks extending the lead to 9-5.

The students though did strike back and mustered two very good scores in quick succession to regather the lead and stretch it to 19-9. Another Banks penalty kept Penryn in touch and within a converted try at 19-12, before the fly half was helped off. Despite the deficit, the Borough would have been pleased with their opening half’s effort.

Penryn started well again in the second half, securing good territory and threatening the Exeter line with phase after phase. They settled for another three points, this time in the shape of scrum half Nathan Strick to close the gap to four points. The next try in the game was always going to be crucial, could Penryn edge in front again to really put the cat amongst the pigeons or would it be the students securing yet another try bonus point?

Unfortunately for Penryn, it was the latter. Again the university side struck from deep and finished clinically to give the Borough another mini mountain to climb at 26-15. Penryn continued to compete and attack, but there was no way through. Late on Exeter added two late scores to add gloss to their victory, if not flattering themselves on the scoreboard in the process. Penryn were beaten, but had showed up well and will seldom face as tricky a task as Exeter University at home all season.

Penryn: Creeden, Chambers (capt) Vague, Fittock, Mitchell, Banks, Strick, Oldfield, Birkett, Burley, Trevaskis, Heazelton, Hughes, Rose, Randlesome Reps: Rainbird, Hancock, Seviour

Pens: Banks (4) Strick