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First XV - Match centre

Sat 30 Sep 15:00 - South West Division - Tribute Cornwall Devon Full time

Borough Suceed In Bude Battle

Ross Hancock reports on a good win in difficult conditions

Penryn maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a hard fought win over Bude in atrocious conditions at The Memorial Ground. It was also a first defensive shut out of the season by Penryn, who nilled many an opponent on home turf last season. On this occasion, the Borough would have been pleased with the nature in which they controlled and then ground out a vital victory.

With such poor weather it was obvious as early as the warm up that the Penryn game plan may have needed some altering as mistakes would have been forecast in equal measure to the oncoming rain. Penryn were coming off the back of a disappointing draw away at Wessex last week, while Bude had been a mixed bag thus far this season.

As predicted the game was a scrappy affair, stifling much of the attack from both sides. Penryn were edging it though and took a deserved lead with a Mitchell Vague penalty. The Borough were smarter at times too, using the boot to pin back Bude with the away side struggling to exit their own half. It didn’t stop the ambition in attack, but the accuracy in the conditions was a little off. An uneventful first half drew to a close with Penryn leading by the slenderest of margins.

Penryn v Bude 30 Sept 2017 by Billie Fletcher
12 photos

A flashpoint early in the second half seemed to be the turning point in the game though. A nasty collision involving Penryn full back Kyle Bradley who bravely slid for the ball, saw the youngster met dangerously by a Bude player which incensed Penryn. The home side lost Ben Birkett as well as the Bude offender for ten minutes, but it was the Borough who pushed on.

Vague kicked his second penalty to make it 6-0 and Bude were now on the ropes. The Penryn set piece was in bullish mood, dominating the scrum and line out and this domination over a twenty minute period was ultimately what won them the game. The Borough displayed great patience and control as they simply didn’t let Bude out of their own 22 for what seemed like an eternity, with countless scrums and line outs squeezing the life out of the visiting pack.

As Penryn knocked on the door and the clock ticked down, a crucial moment decided the game. The Penryn forwards continued to throw themselves at the visiting line and eventually it was Ben Birkett who powered over, with the help of some driving play support. Penryn’s patience had eventually ground down the visitors and despite the missed conversion, an 11-0 lead looked unassailable in the conditions with only minutes left.

Bude rallied in search of a potential bonus point, but as had been the case all afternoon they were well marshalled and rarely threatened thanks largely to an organised and hungry home defence. It may not have been the most entertaining of games, but Penryn will have been delighted with the way they controlled their way to victory. Penryn face the short trip to Hayle next week before a fortnight’s break of league action.

Sharing his views on the match, Penryn coach Ian Morgan said: "The boys showed a little too much excitement and not enough control in the first half, which ultimately led to a real battle in the tight exchanges. We regrouped and had a chat at half-time, then I thought we were the most composed we've been all season in the second half."

Highlighting the poor weather over the Memorial Ground all afternoon, Morgan continued: "Full credit to both teams for trying to play in those conditions. However, I thought we were well in control in the last twenty minutes and deserved the win."

PENRYN: Bradley, Saberton, Wilmott, Seviour, Salisbury, Vague, Oliver, Patterson, Birkett, Goldsworthy, Trevaskis, Followell, Stanfield, Hughes, Randlesome reps: Degenhardt, Hancock, Strick
TRY: Birkett
PENALTIES: Vague (2)

BUDE: 15) Olly Denford, 14) Rory Hodges, 13) Angus Hodges, 12) Ed Hilliam-Cooke, 11) Jack Horwell, 10) Charlie Watton, 9) Olly Mounce, 1)  Matt Williams, 2)  Jason Bolt, 3) Simon Jeffery, 4)  Will Kingdon, 5)  Ryan Vincent, 6)  Rory Mead, 7) Tremaine Fry, 8) Joe Wilson (Capt) REPS:
Dave Gregory, Tully Innes, Shaun Andrew.

REFEREE: Steve Avenell.

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# Team Pl Pts
1. Wellington 26 118
2. Saltash 26 109
3. Penryn 26 108
4. Honiton 26 94
5. Bude 26 84
6. Lanner 26 67
7. Withycombe 26 63

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