Penryn 33 Torquay 33
PENRYN snatched a dramatic late draw in this ten try thriller with Matt Horton the Borough hero.
Trailing 33-26, with time almost up, Penryn desperately threw the ball wide and after some calm build up play set up Horton for the latest of late dramas.
The winger raced down the touchline, chipping and chasing over the full back before collecting and touching down to score, setting up a conversion to tie the match.
Despite scoring two tries and two penalties, the pressure was on Horton, following four previous missed conversions.
But he held his nerve from out wide to bring his points tally to 18 and more importantly to bring Penryn level in a pulsating clash.
There was time for one last play, but when the ball didn't go ten, the referee signalled the end of a breathless encounter.
The two week break from Penryn's last outing against Falmouth on Boxing Day seemed to energise the home side, as they started with real tempo and purpose.
The pack laid a solid platform and the slick backs created ample room for Mitchell Vague to dot down. Horton missed the tough conversion kick.
And it got better for the home side when flanker Phil Hinchley who claimed a try, with Horton unable to convert.
Penryn were in complete control, when against the run of play, a loose ball from the scrum found itself in the gleeful arms of Torquay scrum half Alex Jeffery who fed Rupert Edwards to score a try, with Jeffery adding the extras.
Horton though kicked two penalty goals in quick succession to give the Borough a deserved 16-7 half time lead.
But Torquay were far from finished and excellent field position for the visitors gave lock forward Jonathan Woodhead the space he needed to crash over, with Jeffery's conversion closing the gap to just two points.
With the game finely poised, Penryn took the lead with a mixture of fortune and brilliance. An overthrown lineout landed in prop forward Matt Williams' hands and he beat three defenders to run in unopposed from 25 metres out to the delight of the home crowd. Horton failed to convert but the drama was only just beginning. The next score was a real cracker. Surging breaks from Ben Trevaskis, replacement Dan Kirk and flanker Adam Hughes ended with Horton finishing off the move for a Penryn bonus point try.
In a melee, as the try was scored, Penryn captain George Jones was sin binned and the away side were awarded a penalty at the restart. The try stood but the conversion was wide. From the ensuing penalty, Torquay drove their way over the line to close the gap through Tom Whitford's try.
The scuffle after the last try hadn't been forgotten though and Woodhead was binned, this time with Penryn getting the penalty at the restart. Jeffery added his third conversion to make it 26-21. There was a third sin binning in as many minutes soon after, as Penryn centre Lewis Vague was shown a yellow. Down to 13 men, Penryn were exposed and Torquay finished off a simple overlap to level the scores. The faultless Jeffery made it 28-26 to the visitors. The Borough who had led by two clear scores less than five minutes earlier were now searching for a way back into the game and as they forced the ball wide, the away side picked off a simple interception.
Jake Bolton had done all the hard work in racing some 90 metres to the line, but in an attempt to get closer to the posts a phenomenal double chase by Horton and Ollie Evans held Bolton up and saved the day for Penryn, who cleared their lines.
With all sin bin periods having ended the game was finely poised going into the final moments.
The returning Woodhead looked to have snatched victory it scoring from another powerful drive in the 77th minute, but the previously faultless Jeffery's missed conversion proved costly.
It was then Horyon's turn to save the day and give Penryn a boost ahead on Saturday's match at local rivals Truro.
Penryn: M Vague; Horton, L Vague, Evans, Keay, Seviour, Chambers Oldfield James-Mills, Williams, Hancock Trevaskis, Hughes, Hinchley Jones.
Scorers: Tries: Horton (2) Hinchley, M Vague, Williams. Con: Horton; Penalties: Horton (2).
Yellow cards: Jones, L Vague.