Roseland hold on for victory in 11 try thriller

Lankelly Fowey 30     Roseland 36

This vital bottom of the table clash certainly didn’t disappoint on the entertainment front as Lankelly and Roseland locked horns on a sunny afternoon with a keen easterly wind blowing down the pitch towards the bottom corner.

Roseland started the brighter and immediately took an early 3 point advantage from the boot of Matt Eddy.  However, their lead was short lived as Lankelly soon posted an unconverted try when their left wing touched down in the corner.  It soon became apparent that the heavier and more experienced home pack were going to dominate at the scrum and that the Roseland forwards were in for a tough afternoon.   With 17 minutes gone, and against the run of play, Lankelly’s ball handling let them down in midfield allowing Will Rundle to hack through, win the ensuing turnover and put Christian Benbow away under the posts for a converted try making it 5-10 to the visitors.
Back came Lankelly with a pushover try from their influential No 8.  Lankelly remained in the ascendency and the same player added another try later in the first half to make the score 15-10 at the break.
With the advantage of a significant wind, Roseland hit back somewhat fortuitously at the start of the second half when, in an attempt to keep Matt Eddy’s downfield punt in play, the home defence only managed to flip the ball to Christian Benbow who had the simple and surprising task of touching down unopposed.  Eddy converted from wide out to give Roseland the lead.
A minute later Lankelly had a man sin binned which proved to be significant as Tom Day cleverly picked up an interception try, again converted from wide out to give Roseland real belief.  Then, on 50 minutes with Lankelly still down to 14 men, Mike Berridge scored in the corner for the visitors to extend the lead to 15-29.
Inevitably, given such scrum dominance, Lankelly were not finished and despite defending manfully, Roseland conceded two further unconverted tries which made the score 25-29 with 15 minutes left to play.   With 10 minutes to go, Roseland managed to pin Lankelly deep in their own 22 and Matt Riordan crashed over for a vital score which, together with Eddy’s conversion, restored Roseland’s advantage to 11 points.  Regardless, such was the regularity of changing fortunes that all was still to play for as Lankelly were clearly on top during the final period.  Fortunately, from a Roseland viewpoint, it took until injury time for the Lankelly winger to complete an excellent hat-trick immediately following which the full-time whistle was blown.
Given injuries and unavailability, this was a hard-earned and much needed result for the Roseland boys who rode their luck and pounced on Lankelly errors with the 11 points from Matt Eddy’s boot proving to be decisive – not to forget Roger Grove’s influential team talk at half time!
With no league game next Saturday, Roseland travel to St Just for a friendly fixture.  Thereafter, it’s back to league business with a tough run of fixtures before Christmas, namely Newquay (at home on Saturday 1st Dec), Veor and Bodmin.