Lankelly-Fowey 5 – Roseland 30


Saturday saw an early season top of the table clash between leaders Lankelly-Fowey and second placed Roseland. Roseland travelled to Fowey’s pitch at the end of Prickly Post Lane knowing this could well be a prickly fixture. In the recent past Roseland have held the upper hand over Fowey however Fowey were bouyed by the fact they have an excellent mixture of youth and experience with several colts stepping up to senior rugby this season and also having come off the back of an excellent win versus Redruth Albany.

Roseland entered the fixture knowing that only a 100% commitment and focus would ensure the correct result. The heavy rain that had fallen throughout the week finally relented mid morning and some autumnal sunshine burst through. Considering the weeks weather the pitch looked in decent nick. With a stiff breeze blowing down the pitch towards the clubhouse corner both sides knew that the advantage lay in the team that exploited the conditions best. With this thought in mind Fowey played the first half down the slope with the breeze, so Roseland knew a big shift was required for the first 40.

Roseland however were nearly scuppered before the game started as regular loose head prop Jake Flamank pulled out Saturday morning with a hangover so a make shift front row of Gerbil Martin, Ant Thomas and Martyn, normally a hooker, formed up and put in an excellent shift against a big and experienced Fowey pack.

Fowey didn’t disappoint and kept the pressure on Roseland throughout the first half, pinning Roseland deep inside there own half whenever Roseland lost possession. To Roseland’s credit they kept the ball well and forwards and backs combined and between them made inroads in the Fowey defence. Several times Roseland got into the Fowey half and once or twice worked their way into the Fowey 22 but lost possession either thorough turnovers, penalties or spilt ball. Fowey made Roseland pay and were the first team on the scoreboard. After Roseland were penalised for not releasing at a ruck just inside their own half Fowey kicked for touch, the ball was heading out on the 22, however Roseland tried to keep the ball in play and in the confusion ended up gifting Fowey a line out 5m out. From the resultant line out Roseland defended well but to Foweys credit they bundled there way over for a try, the conversion was missed.

Roseland knew they had to respond to stop Fowey getting too much head of steam up. With forwards and backs working hard and retaining possession with good rucking and some good offloads the ball was worked wide to “Legs” Rushbridge who evaded the final two Fowey defenders with some neat footwork to score. Matt Eddie missed the difficult conversion.

The remainder of the half, like a lot of the first half was spent between the two 22’s with neither side gaining the upper hand. Half time arrived and Roseland were probably the happier of the two teams knowing that there was about 15-20 points with the wind and slope advantage.

The second half was spent mostly in the Fowey half with Roseland converting several chances but also letting Fowey off the hook with several missed opportunities. Fowey to there credit never gave up and battled to the end making Roseland work for the victory.

Roseland’s second score came from the boot of Matt Eddie, converting a penalty kick smartly from around the 10m line, using the wind to his advantage. 8-5 to Roseland and the next score was vital.

Fortunately for Roseland the next score came in the form of a try from in form winger “Legs” who gathered the ball from a loose clearance kick and from what looked like running down a blind alley, managed to beat several Fowey defenders with a mixture of power and evasion to score from just outside the 22. Eddie failed with the conversion in what was to be an off day for him with the boot.

Roseland’s next try came from more loose ball, this time however they over threw at their own line out but unfortunately for Fowey they failed to regathered cleanly and knocked on, Roseland playing the advantage regathered and after a few quick passes, the ageless fly half Shaun Eamer throw a dummy and find himself charging deep into the 22 and with just the fall back to beat gave the simplest 2 on 1 passes to the supporting Tom Day who galloped over for the try to the right of the posts. Eddie converted and the score was now 20-5.

Both teams started making replacements as the heavy conditions underfoot took there toll.

Fowey were penalised at a ruck for not releasing and as the ref had already warned both sides for this indiscretion he didn’t hesitate in sin binning the unfortunate Fowey player. It must be said that the ref had a very good game and that both sides were fully respectful of the man in the middle and this was reflected in the manner the game was played and enjoyed both players and supporters alike.

Roseland’s next score again came from a line out. A shortened line out was well won and the ball passed down to scrum half Tom Day, who spotted the rushing Fowey defenders had left a small gap, and with a dummy and a duck was through with just the full back to beat and a half step beat the last man to run towards the line and managed to slide over before the cover defence got back to score in the clubhouse corner. A change of kicker brought Davo Williams to the tee, however the result was the same and the difficult conversion was missed.

Roseland created several more chances creating overlaps and miss matches and but for the final pass, a dropped ball or some excellent last ditch defence would of scored another couple of tries, as it was the final score of the day was well taken by debutant Simon. After some good interplay between forwards and backs, and playing a penalty advantage, Eamers put through a clever grubber kick that held up nicely in the try area and centre Simon won the foot race to dot down for his first ever Roseland score on debut. Eddie missed the conversion and the score was 30-5.

Fowey were back to a full compliment of 15 and held out for the final 10 minutes despite the difficulty in clearing there lines and having a kick charged down 5m out with the luck of the bounce falling Fowey’s way.

With the game over both sides could take positives and lessons away from the game.

Roseland now have to prepare for another top of the table clash with a visit to a rejuvenated St Just next week and to try and carry on their perfect start to the league season.