Redruth Albany 7-85 Roseland

This week Roseland travelled down to the dark depths of Redruth to face Albany in their third league game of the season. Rumours of Albany struggling for players were unfortunately true but history has shown us that anything can happen in Rugby and no game can be taken for granted. Albany lined up with 14 Spartans against the mighty Roseland empire. Rhys Daniels disguised as a wooden horse but less mobile was given to Albany as a gift to even the teams up.

The game started well for Roseland who scored within 2 minutes through a storming Nathan Chapman run. Even so, the Roseland boys looked sloppy and it was understandably hard for them to get up for the game. They seemed more intent on hurting Rhys at every opportunity rather than scoring. A point proven by Josh Little when rather than passing the ball with a two man overlap outside him he decided to step back in and aim straight for Rhys. This seemed to awaken the Trojan horse and when he next recieved the ball he ran 40 yards beating Roseland defenders left right and centre. Albany, inspired by their wooden leader then scored under the posts and confidently drop kicked the conversion to level up the scores.

Roseland needed to buck their ideas up and thankfully they did. Dan HBH Wilkins was happy to be helpful and made his first Roseland tackle, Ant Thomas was spotted doing something, Welsh weapon Toby had a delightful out the back offload and slow motion replays showed Jellybean sending an Albany defender for a hot dog. The confidence rose and the tries started to come.

Ben Humphries dived over in the corner for the second try after the ball was passed nicely through the hands. Joe Kitchens then ran 50 yards, dummied two defenders, ran out of puff and fell over the line for the third. Andrew “Greedy” Stark scored the fourth and fifth, beating numerous defenders when a simple pass outside would have been the easier option. Tommy Whiles got the sixth but struggled to bend and put the ball down over his belly.

More chances were squandered in the first half due to poor handling in the greasy conditions and some great tackling from the Albany players. Tommy had another disallowed and Dan borked bad when his first ever Roseland try was disallowed for a forward pass. Torquil “Dickie” Tonks dazzled the Albany players with his fancy footwork and even fancier name but wasted another golden opportunity by choosing not to use a three man overlap. Luckily these mistakes weren’t punished and Ben Humphries (filling in for Sam Glanville at fullback who had fallen out with the captain and gone to Butlins with Veryan FC) scored his second of the afternoon and Roseland’s seventh. HT score Redruth Albany 7-45 Roseland

Roseland picked up where they left off in the first half and quickly scored again. Ben Humphries completing his hattrick. Josh Little then galloped in to score under the posts for the ninth try.

Despite the score Albany continued to cause problems for Roseland. They looked weak under the high ball. Ant Thomas’s little T Rex arms not long enough to catch the ball in front of his belly and double agent Stark (he played for Albany but was deemed surplus to requirement) not knowing which side he was playing for, knocking on twice off of the kick off and another as soon as he switched shirts.

The highlight of the match had to be when Jellybean made a clean break though the Albany defence down the right wing, realised he was on the half way line and couldn’t ran that far so dropped the ball. The crowd erupted with laughter! Soon after, Jelly switched to play for Albany and caused nothing but problems for Roseland. He left a huge hole in defence that couldn’t be filled and then flattened Ant and Bevan. However, Albany should have scored again but Jelly wasted their best opportunity by passing the ball straight into touch. Well done Jelly!

Roseland continued to rack up the points and Will Rundle scored after a long Alex Benbow run. Not to be outdone, Joe Kittens converted with a drop goal. Matt Willsher then finished off a lovely move under the posts before scoring again by running through two defenders rather than round them for the eleventh and twelfth tries.

Rowen Rawlings (not real name, don’t tell his mrs) then made his debut for the season but I think he thought he was still playing in the 80s. Andrew Stark continued to have no idea which side he was playing for and pulled his team mate Bevan out of a ruck. Joe Stitchings picked up his weekly injury. Rhys scored one last try and converted it with a drop goal himself. Andy Harris wearing full kit with no intention of playing continued to scribble notes as fast as he could, Will May turned up and the ref blew the whistle, having seen enough madness for one day. Final score Redruth Albany 7-85 Roseland

Roseland 27-5 Perranporth

This week Roseland welcomed Perranporth for their first home game of the season. The sun was shining, there wasn’t a breath of wind and the pitch was looking pristine.

The game got underway with Perranporth playing down the gentle slope. Roseland were immediately put under pressure and Perranporth scored in the left corner within 5 minutes after a lovely flowing move. It looked like it was going to be a long afternoon for the Roseland boys and fun fun fun for the beach boys.

Roseland were pinned back in their own half for most of the first half. Doug “the head” Moore on his first start for Roseland was a menace, making tackle after tackle and Alex “favourite son” Benbow was at it again. The one man wrecking ball was making huge hits all afternoon like Miley Cyrus or a young Will May

When Roseland did have the ball they looked lackadaisical and rather than playing good simple rugby, often tried to overcomplicate things with offloads in the tackle. A chip and chase from Joe Hutchings drew groans from the crowd and even the usually calm and collected coach Andy Day was said to be fuming.

Roseland did eventually get their act together and were unlucky not to score before half time but a combination of great defensive work by Perran and panicking by Roseland meant that at the break the scores stayed Roseland 0-5 Perranporth

Luckily for the Roseland faithful this was one of those cliché games of two halves. Changes were needed at the break and the return of Andrew “daddy” Stark was a key one. New found fatherhood and the off season hadn’t been kind to Starky’s waistline but he wasted no time in throwing his weight around. Running from deep and hitting some great lines he drove Roseland forward.

Burt Jacobs came on for his first game this season and made an immediate impact, chasing down a Joe Chitchings penalty kick that didn’t quite make touch and tackling the Perran fullback. Isolated, the Perran player didn’t release the ball and a penalty try was rightly awarded. Full credit to the rather handsome referee Trevor Stribley for keeping up with play at the age of 83. Like a fine wine, he just gets better with age!

The second Roseland try followed quickly. Some brilliant running and quick ball meant Roseland went the length of the pitch before Burt Jacobs juggled the ball and dived over the line in the bottom corner.

The next try came from a Perranporth scrum on their own 5 metre line. The Roseland scrum forced back the beach boys and Starky dived on the ball to claim the try. Good vibrations!

The final try was another monsterous scrum from the big guns who walked the ball a good 20m before 5th choice captain Nathan Chapman scored. Why he couldn’t have done that last week instead of knocking the ball on God only knows!

Christian “least favourite son” Benbow who was still recovering from a broken nail on the sidelines, made the local papers as a hero when he saved a small child from being decapitated by the ball as it was kicked out of play, without spilling a drop of his pint.

Andy Harris who is also still injured (god our backs are soft) was again chief water boy. After lending his boots to Eamers two weeks ago he then had to lend them to Dickie this week after his boots disintegrated within 20 minutes. I think it’s time our older players bought their own boots now! Andy, now sporting some flip flops and cracking tan lines ran on the medical kit and dropped the whole lot on the floor, spilling contents everywhere much to the supporters amusement.

The beach boys from Perranporth rallied again near the end and were unlucky not to score. Both sloop John B and little saint Nick went close but we’re held out by some great defensive work from the Roseland boys.

A tired Jolene Hitchings then slotted a delicious penalty. Final score Roseland 27-5 Perranporth

Helston 25-17 Roseland

Roseland travelled down to Helston with a strong squad, missing only a few key players. Helston had a similarly strong squad and on paper both teams looked to be well matched, having both dropped down to Cornwall Two this year and looking for promotion straight back to Cornwall One.

The game started slowly, with both teams sussing each other out. After 10 minutes Roseland began to dominate possession and territory but lacked a ruthless edge. Chances were wasted through poor decision making and handling mistakes but it was only a matter of time before one of the chances were taken.

Tommy Whiles (now sponsored by Jacamo) made some big tackles in defence and was happy to make it to 27 minutes before needing a sit down. New signing Alex “big boy” Benbow came on and immediately picked up from where Tommy left off, went full Chapman mode and dumped the first Helston player he hit. Mum Maggie could be heard shouting “thats my favourite son” from the sidelines.

Eventually the breakthrough came after another long period of sustained pressure. Roseland were camped on the Helston 5 metre line on the left hand side when the ball was passed inside to Joe Hitchins, who then popped the ball to Jojo Davidson who ran clean through to score. Hopefully it wouldn’t prove to be too little, too late for Jojo and co.

Roseland desperately needed another score and with 2 minutes left of the half Helston looked like they were going to be able to hold out until half time without conceding again. Luckily Roseland’s flying Fijian had other ideas. The ball was passed through the backs the entire width of the pitch before Kurt “the pebble” Johnson decided to try and balls it up by stepping back inside but Jale arrived late on his inside, screamed for the ball and powered through to score. Joe Hutchinson slotted the conversion beautifully. Half time Helston 0-12 Roseland

The second half couldn’t have started any worse for Roseland. Helston immediately scored and Roseland looked shook. Helston had the bit between their teeth and looked dangerous every time the ball went wide. They scored again and again and the Roseland heads started to drop. A series of injuries to Joe Hichings (knee), Jojo (shoulder), and Christian (broken nail) only served to disrupt any rhythm Roseland created. Captain Ant Thomas who was taken off as soon as possible had to come back on and Jale played on with a fractured wrist.

The gods seemed to be shining on Helston when even the brilliant Roseland scrum, which had pushed back the big navy boys all afternoon had a nightmare. The Helston pack was pushed back again but they somehow managed to hook the ball back and as their pack collapsed, their scrum half managed to get the ball out and beat the blindside winger one on one to score.

Tommy who was now back on the pitch as the Roseland fly half continued the age old Roseland tradition of not being able to fit in the 10 shirt. He did however provide a different kind of spark and his floated miss pass was simply sublime. Roseland scored a lovely forwards try from a driving maul off of a lineout. The ever reliable in the lineout Josh Little caught the ball and the ball made its way to the back for Harry “man mountain” Martin to score despite Tommy’s best efforts to come from fly half to take the glory. He then tried to convert the kick but it fell short.

Roseland then pushed again in the final stages. Tempers started to flare and as Helston attempted to slow the game down Toby politely reminded the Helston fullback that he couldn’t just lie in the ruck without making any effort to get out of the way. The Helston player was then sent off for his protests but they managed to hold on with 14 men. Final score Helston 25- 17 Roseland

Lankelly Fowey 24-29 Roseland

Roseland kicked off their 2019/20 campaign with a hard fought win. The game was only a friendly but it meant a lot to both teams. This season Lankelly are the league above us so both teams wanted to put down a strong marker for the season ahead. Despite beating Lankelly twice in the league last year we lost our last friendly to them. Captain Ant Thomas was determined not to be the only Roseland captain to lose to them twice. His passionate half time talk certainly helped inspire us!

Roseland started the game in their usual sluggish way and looked like we hadn’t played a game for months. Lankelly capitalised on our slow start and scored quickly. They continued to use the wind to their advantage and kicked superbly, pinning us back and piling on the pressure. Within 20 minutes they were 24-0 up and things were looking bleak for the boys in red and blue.

Eventually we woke up and tightened things up. Our line speed improved and some big hits from Bevan, Jelly, Kurt and (believe it or not) Christian seemed to spur us on. Bevan was a constant thorn in the Lankelly side winning turnovers left, right and centre. When we did have the ball we looked dangerous. The Lankelly defence didn’t know how to cope with Little’s awkward running and monsterous hand offs but too many times the last pass failed us and with the wind and Lankelly’s fantastic kicking they seemed to escape their own 22 unscathed too many times.

The breakthrough finally came at the end of the second half. After more sustained pressure from Roseland it took a moment of magic from local genius Jellybean and it was his champagne rugby that put the Welsh weapon Toby through to sidestep his way to the tryline. Eamers missed the conversion and promptly blamed his boots. Luckily stand in coach for the day Andy Harris offered to swap boots to keep the grumpy old man happy. Half time Lankelly 24-5 Roseland

The second half started as the first half had ended with Roseland looking dangerous. The Lankelly defence looked petrified every time Cal got the ball and after a lovely backs move he scored his first Try of the afternoon. His coach load of supporters including his rather lovely Mum, Dad, sister, dog, neighbour, great nan and grandad went crazy. Eamers stepped up to convert with his nice new boots.

Our third try came after some great forward play gave the backs room to run a flowing set move. Cal ran completely the wrong line which fooled the opposition, his own team, the supporters and himself which gave room for Jale to come through the centre and the flying Fijian leapt over the line with two Lankelly players hanging off his legs. Eamers missed the conversion under the posts and this time blamed the tee and wind.

Roseland then went close to scoring in the corner but lost the ball. We then turned it back over and Eamers threw a gorgeous dummy before giving an inside ball for Christian to score. In his post match interview Christian stated that at aged 57 Shaun Eamer was the only player he could keep up with. Eamers then attempted to convert and asked Andy to hold the ball steady on the tee. Unfortunately Andy wasn’t ready as Shaun kicked and he kicked more of his hand than the ball.

By this point Lankelly had realised they were in for a tough afternoon and they stepped their game up again. They twice went close to scoring but after another brilliant turnover deep inside our own 22, Roseland span the ball wide to Cal and the Navy man ran the entire length of the pitch sidestepping defenders for fun. Christian tried to support but couldn’t keep up, the rest of us stood and watched whilst fullback Glanville could be heard shouting “run forrest run”. Shaun then confidently converted having ran out of excuses for missing.

Lankelly then pushed for an equaliser, but some dogged defending inside our own 22 prevented them from crossing the line. When time was up Dan Wilkins (on a weeks loan from HBH Woolacotts) attempted to get the ball out but was held and ended up dummying about 5 of their players before Jellybean sliced the ball out of play. Final score Lankelly Fowey 24-29 Roseland