First Win Remains Elusive

Roseland 13    Illogan Park 22

By Nick Sylvester
Roseland welcomed Park to Philleigh on a blustery but dry afternoon whereby a very strong crosswind was always going to be significant factor.   With the season’s first win still proving to be elusive, the home side were looking for a marked improvement on recent performances if to be successful.

Playing uphill in the first half, Roseland got off to the worst possible start when the defence failed to gather a high swirling kick from the Park fly half that bounced up fortuitously for the chasing right wing who ran 50 metres unchallenged to touch down under the Roseland posts.  Good work and pressure from the home forwards soon allowed Matt Eddy to reduce the deficit from a resulting penalty.  With both sides feeding on opposition mistakes, one such opportunity came the way of Park after 10 minutes which led to their big No.8 crashing over to put the visitors 12-3 up.
Needing to avoid conceding again, Roseland competed well thereafter only to be undone by a Park set piece within the back line which allowed their full back to cut back into acres of space to score comfortably by the posts after 25 minutes.   With mistakes to the fore, largely due to over-ambition in difficult conditions, Roseland continued to press hard whether with or without the ball and were rewarded with a Nick Johns try when he pounced upon an untidy Park lineout on the half hour.  Having their best spell, the home side and added a further try shortly afterwards – a Park defensive kick was charged down and from the resulting ruck, Ed Llewellyn barged over on the blindside.
Having now got the momentum, and with the slope in the second half, there was good reason for home optimism with a 13-17 half-time scoreline.  Much of the third quarter proved to be more of an arm wrestle in midfield with neither side gaining further ascendency.  However, by now Roseland had suffered significant injuries, the last of which meant that the final quarter of the game was played out with uncontested scrums – under current laws that meant that Roseland could not bring on another replacement so were down to 14 men.  Park immediately applied pressure resulting in their forwards forcing their way over for a fourth and bonus point try with 10 minutes left to play, which proved to be the final and decisive score.
Although still striving for a first win, Roseland threw everything at Park in the latter stages and would have been worthy of at least a losing bonus point – but is wasn’t to be.  Regardless, this was a spirited and much improved performance that can only be good for confidence that will hopefully provide renewed optimism for players, coaches and supporters alike.
There is no game next weekend with the next encounter being away at Lankelly Fowey on Saturday 17th November.  As the only other side without a league win, this eagerly awaited fixture is of vital importance to both clubs so away support would be most welcome.