Mon 11 Mar 2019 15:41

Liskeard 27 Penryn 29

Penryn survived a major scare to secure a vitally important bonus point win away at Liskeard and maintain their advantage at the top of the league table. The spirited hosts seemed to be galvanised on the day by hosting the league leaders and had a kick to draw the game with the last play. Fortunately for Penryn the kick was off target and they could thank a much improved second half display that secured maximum points.

The Borough went into the game off the back of a draw with fellow title chasers Bude – a result that favoured Penryn but also let Honiton back into the promotion reckoning, so a win (preferably with a bonus point) was essential in what always looked a banana skin of a fixture. Any thoughts of a routine Penryn victory were immediately put to bed as Liskeard started the quicker and raced into an early 7-0 lead.

Adam Hughes responded for the Borough with an unconverted try, but the home side pulled further away with a second score to leave the Borough shell-shocked and the alarm bells ringing. The away side would have been forgiven for allowing themselves to think “not again” as the promotion race continues to heat up, but they refused to go into their shells and got level thanks to short range effort from Steven Patterson, which Tomas Townsend converted for 12-12. The home side did lead at the break though, with a late penalty goal in the half making it 15-12 to Liskeard.

It wasn’t a vintage half from the Borough men, but they were well within range trailing by only three points and with two tries already on the board. The second half started well for Penryn who got the first points of the half through a well taken Sam Hitchens try. No sooner had Penryn taken control though, the visitors hit back and retook the lead with a converted try. It was a see-saw affair and a nerve jangling contest for those of a Penryn persuasion, but the game and possibly Penryn’s promotion fortunes, turned thanks to the brilliance of a certain 17 year old.

Trailing 22-17, it was Charlie Levick who provided the spark which ultimately secured the points for Penryn. The teenager who was making just his second first team appearance did the damage with a wonderful quick fire brace, which not only secure a bonus point try, but took Penryn a score clear at 22-29 thanks also to the boot of Paul Saberton.

At seven points clear Penryn looked well placed to kill off the game, but there was to be late drama. Liskeard stayed in the fight, much as they had all afternoon and continued to batter away at the Borough as time ticked away. Just as Penryn looked to have done enough, the hosts crossed for their bonus point try with a kick to draw the game and potentially derail the Penryn promotion push. In what seemed like a slow motion moment for the Borough, the conversion drifted off
target and a bonus point win was in the bag. Just.

A vital five points for the Borough who have a week to regroup, before a season defining block of four fixtures as they look to press on and clinch promotion and the league title.

Penryn: Townsend, Salisbury, Wallace, Hitchens, Levick, Johnson, Chambers, Patterson, Hellier, Gratrix, Homer, Greaves, Hughes, Jones, Randlesome reps Morgan, Glyn, Saberton

Tries: Hughes, Patterson, Hitchens, Levick (2)
Conversions: Townsend, Saberton