Bodmin Snatch it at the Death

Roseland 20 Bodmin 31

Report by T.O.G Corners Nick Sylvester

After three consecutive wins Roseland had good reason for optimism ahead of the final league game of the season against Bodmin. After so many months of extreme weather all concerned were grateful for an overdue return to some good playing and spectating conditions.

Playing down the slope, albeit against an initially keen breeze in the first half, Roseland started brightly and pressed strongly in the opening phases. However, inaccuracy at the key moments meant that some good opportunities were spurned. After 10 minutes the visitors took a 0-3 lead against the run of play with virtually their first visit into Roseland territory. However, Matt Eddy soon cancelled out the visitors lead as Roseland continued to press.

After a first quarter dominated by the home side, Bodmin scored a crucial try after 20 minutes when their open side flanker cut inside to send the scrum half in for a converted try close to the posts to take a 3-10 lead. This seemed to energise the visitors who dominated the second quarter although a resilient Roseland defensive effort meant that the scoreline remained unchanged until half time. So the second half challenge was massive – uphill against a Devon/Cornwall league side from last season with a 7 point deficit !

The Roseland reaction didn’t disappoint the Philleigh faithful who had turned out in good numbers. On 47 minutes Roseland snatched an excellent opportunist try following a turnover close to the Bodmin posts with Baden Widdows going over near the corner flag to narrow the score to 8-10. However only three minutes later the Bodmin fly half cut through from close range to reply with a converted try making it 8-17. Not to be outdone, the home side bounced back with the best try of the match on 55 minutes when Christian Bembow touched down under the posts following a slick passing move from first phase possession on halfway. So at 15-17 the contest was set up for an exciting last quarter.

Bodmin were next on the scoresheet after 67 minutes following one of several barging runs from their strong back row. This time their number 6 set up field position for a converted try for the midfield back line. So with 10 minutes of normal time left Roseland were again two scores behind. On 72 minutes the home forwards somehow found the energy to totally destroy a Bodmin 5 metre defensive scrum leaving Will Rundle with the simple task of touching down closing the gap to 20-24.

Bodmin, determined not to be denied and despite missing a simple penalty, continued to press with Roseland defending manfully in their quest for at least a deserved losing bonus point. However, in the eighth minute of injury time, the resistance was finally broken with the final play of a thoroughly entertaining game.

The final score was tough on the home side because it of course meant 5-0 to Bodmin in terms of league points. That said, barring a miracle result between Liskeard and CSOM next weekend, Roseland will still finish a very creditable fifth in the league leaving plenty to build on next season.