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