Stithians 0-28 Roseland

Roseland travelled to Stithians looking for another win but with Stithians narrowly losing away to Helston last week the Roseland boys knew this would be no pushover. Stithians began with a depleted squad and the Roseland squad wasn’t as big as usual either. Christian Benbow was again missing. He’d recovered from his broken nail but couldn’t afford his match fees because he’d spent £41 on a haircut. Nathan Chapman was carrying a knock but was forced to play because Andrew Stark was tired from going to the gym for the first time in six months. Roseland and referee favourite David “Gerbil” Martin was immediately loaned to Stithians for the entire game to witter them into submission and Tommy Whiles, still hungover from the night before, stood on the sidelines making a good windbreak.

The forecast was saying rain to arrive at 3pm and for once they were unfortunately right. As Roseland kicked off, what felt like half of Stithians resevoir began to fall out of the sky.

From the kick off it was immediately clear how the game was going to go. Nobody could catch the bar of soap so everyone just tucked it up their jumpers and ran with it. This was going to be a game for the forwards. There were some huge collisions with first Jellybean and then Sterky sending Stithians defenders flying. Unfortunately for Stithians they lost some key players to injury as the Roseland forwards battered them time and time again.

The first try came from a Roseland scrum. The big Roseland pack pushed Stithians back and as Nathan Chapman skillfully walked the ball forward a Stithians defender came in at the side and in desperation collapsed the scrum as it was about to cross the line. The referee had no choice but to award a penalty try.

Stithians immediately ran back to the half way line and took a quick kick off catching the Roseland defence unaware. Most of whom were still swimming back through the mud to their own half. Stithians won a penalty from the quick kick and another great penalty kick put them deep into the Roseland 22. By this point the Roseland river monsters were finally back in position and defended well to keep out the Stithians attack.

For a while both teams looked well matched, with neither team being able to hang on to the ball. Roseland looked dangerous when it did go wide but it was hard to get the ball out in the conditions. Top try scorer 1987 Sam Glanville found himself one on one with Gerbil but chose not to back his pace against the stand in Stithians prop. Callum Grahamslaw was seen shivering on the wing whilst his mum offered him a blanket to keep warm. Will Rundle wasn’t seen again until half time, reappearing from the mizzle and the long grass. The referee (who after the game claimed not to know Rundle’s mother despite the obvious similarities) looked very worried about him.

The next try came from another Roseland scrum in the centre of the park. This time number 8 Chapman picked up, shrugged off the stithians 9 and scored under the posts. Joe Punchings slotted the conversion.

Half time Stithians 0-14 Roseland

The second half was littered with stoppages. More injuries to Stithians players and a number of handling errors due to the conditions didn’t help matters. Sam Glanville dropped a high ball after tripping over a molehill in the corner and Sterky tackled a Stithians defender off of the ball.

Jon Goodenough was finding plenty of traction with his boots and propelled the Roseland scrum forward again. Chapman capitalised on this by scoring his second and Roseland’s third. Punchings converted smartly again.

By this point Stithians had the good, the bad and the ugly (Doug, Dickie and Gerbil) playing for them but they could do nothing to stop Nathan Chapman and the other magnificent 7 Roseland forwards from scoring off another scrum. Chapman completing his hat trick in front of the committed travelling fans. From wide out Joe Punchings judged the wind perfectly and slotted the conversion. Final score Stithians 0-28 Roseland

Finally thanks must be said to referee Trevor Stribley (who tells me he’s a big fan of the match reports) for a) asking Ant “oh so you’re allowed out to play this week?” b) stopping the game and letting us all warm up in the pub as soon as possible!