Penryn 15 Burnham-on-Sea 36
HIGH-flying Burnham-on-Sea put a dent in Penryn's proud home record and top three ambitions in the Western Counties West, with a victory that stemmed largely from a nightmare start for the Borough.
With the score at 14-0 after five minutes to the visitors, it seemed as if the afternoon would only go one way, but in the end the deficit reflected harshly on Penryn, who produced a thoroughly resolute display amongst their adversities.
Penryn were always going to be faced with a difficult task against the men from Somerset and despite injuries toeight first team players, the Borough still had a tasty looking team on paper.
Early optimism was extinguished, though, in a disastrous and manic opening. Penryn were penalised from the kick-off and after doing well to resist the powerful driving maul following an ambitious early kick to the corner, the resulting scrum saw the Burnham pack power over the line for a converted score.
Moments later it got even worse for the home side and even better for Burnham. Field position was squandered, and this time the well functioning away team lineout drove them over the Penryn whitewash for 14-0.
The Penryn pack who had been giving out this kind of punishment all season were now on the receiving end and determined to put it right.
The response wasn't immediate and by the tenth minute Burnham had to settle for a penalty goal to extend their lead after Penryn valiantly kept their threatening attack at bay for several phases.
Watching the scoreboard tick over to 17-0 seemed to be the final straw for Penryn who began to take control of the game as they so often do at home. The bulky Burnham pack struggled to get across the pitch following their early spell of brutality and the home side probed for an opening.
The intense pressure resulted in a yellow card for the Burnham hooker, and following a series of attacking opportunities Penryn had to settle for a penalty goal to get on the board.
Despite being in complete control of both possession and territory, the visitors broke away for a crucial score just before the break to dash the hopes of a Penryn comeback and reaffirm their scoreboard dominance.
A score of 22-3 at the break was harsh, but reality for Penryn who now had to set their sights on bonus points rather than the win, a task in itself that was made all the more difficult by another converted Burnham score.
Most teams are dead and buried at 29-3, but not Penryn at the Memorial Ground. A very ugly scoreboard would have been expected by many, but instead Penryn roared back into contention somehow.
Superb commitment and continuity gave Penryn the kind of ball they'd been dreaming of earlier on in the afternoon, which laid the ball on a plate for centre Andrew Seviour to crash over and finally give the home crowd something to cheer.
Brother Jake narrowly missed the conversion. But the try gave Penryn the kind of confidence that had eluded them until that point of the afternoon.
Penryn tails were up and Burnham, with a bonus point in the bag already began to rest on their laurels. Penryn were playing with direction and ambition and caught the away side cold again, when out of position Adam Hughes playing on the wing, who was held up over the line earlier in the afternoon, made no mistake this time as he dotted down.
With Seviour's successful conversion and ten minutes to play, there looked a real possibility for Penryn to get something out of the game.
In truth the bonus point that appeared on the horizon all of a sudden, caused Penryn to force their hand as they went in search of what seemed at one time an unlikely point. As they spilled ball in their own half, Burnham pounced and sealed their win with another well taken score.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Penryn, but there were plenty of positives to be taken. Ultimately this was a game Penryn dominated in large periods and a lot can be taken from, but it was Burnham who were clinical in taking the points home and the Borough must learn from days like these. Penryn welcome Tavistock next week as they aim to get back on track.
Penryn: J Seviour, Hughes, Evans, A Seviour, Paine, M Vague, Hellier, Oldfield, Booth, Williams, Hancock, Trevaskis, James-Mills, Hinchley, Jones (capt). Reps: Rainbird, Cockerell, Horton.
Scorers. Tries: Hughes, A Seviour; Conversion: J Seviour; Penalty: J Seviour.