Penryn 36 Saltash 25

Penryn marked their return to Western Counties rugby, with a superb bonus point victory over Saltash. After three seasons away from the division and with tough challenges ahead, it was a familiar foe who greeted Penryn at the Memorial Ground on opening day. Games against Saltash have always had their share of drama and entertainment and it would be no different on this occasion.

If there were any Borough nerves they certainly weren’t evident as they produced a pulsating first half display. There was an element of fortune about the first score, as a speculative chip ahead bounced kindly for debutant Sam Carter who did superbly to finish. Fellow debutant Grant Thirlby converted to make it 7-0. Saltash kicked a penalty to reduce the arrears and briefly took the lead after intercepting to score their first try, but it was to be all Penryn from there on in.

Penryn’s attack looked sharp from the off and was asking questions of the Saltash defence, questions they would have no answers to. A superb brace from Sam Hitchens put the home side firmly in control, with the centres double and a Thirlby conversion making it 19-10 to the Borough. Not content with the nine point lead, Penryn showed their power to secure a pre half time try bonus point with a strong driving maul finished by Chris Hellier. The best was yet to come however, as the Borough finished the half with a sensational flowing move. Striking from deep in their own half, the backs linked superbly well for Carter to chip back in field to Josh Chambers who was on hand to finish a sparkling try and make it 29-10 at the break.

Looking dead and buried, the Ashes did mount some form of comeback early in the second period to give the home side a scare. Two quick fire unconverted tries brought the score to 29-20 and made things tense temporarily, but the afternoon would still belong to Penryn. Another strong maul put the hosts on the front foot and Chris Hellier broke away to score his second and put Penryn out of sight after another Thirlby conversion. The visitors did nick a late try bonus point, but all the damage had been done in a glorious first half from the Borough that makes for a promising season ahead.

Penryn: Bradley, Chambers, Hitchens, Seviour, Salisbury, Thirlby, Carter, Cockrell, Burley, Beasley, Lamsin, Randlesome, Hellier, Jones, Hughes
Reps: Patterson, Wilmott, Townsend

Tries: Carter, Hitchens (2), Chambers, Hellier (2)
Cons: Thirlby (3)