TRURO 23 ST. AUSTELL 38
St. Austell maintained their unbeaten league record in Tribute Western Counties West with a hard fought win over a plucky Truro reports Bill Hooper from St. Clements.
The win however, was marred by a serious injury to Saints winger Sam Rhodes, which saw play held up for almost 45 minutes during the second half at a time when Truro had fought back from trailing 17-8 at halftime to lead 18-17.
The St Austell winger was transported to hospital by land ambulance following a back injury with a quarter of an hour left to play.
The strong wind made play difficult for both sides with kicking from hand and throwing in at the lineout a bit of a lottery.
Truro finally got the first points of the game after 17 minutes when full back Justyn Irons kicked a penalty from in front of the posts.
St. Austell hit back playing some good rugby and took advantage of Truro having a player in the sin bin to score their first try through centre James Earp, scrum-half Matt Shepherd adding the extras.
A sustained period of pressure from Truro saw them opt for the corner on three occasions with Saints prop Mark Martin yellow carded in the process. Eventually the pressure told and Truro prop Simon Gilbert crashed over for a well-worked try.
Truro's advantage was short lived as St. Austell got back down field to score a second try through winger Alex Welland, Shepherd was again on cue with the conversion as he was just before half-time with a penalty for his side's 17-8 advantage.
Truro upped the pace early in the second half, Irons kicked a second penalty to cut the deficit and then converted a fine try by winger Luke Trescothick to wrest back the lead.
Truro looked to be about to put an end to St. Austell's fine run until the unfortunate injury to Rhodes held up the game.
Upon the resumption of play, St Austell kicked a to the corner and from the lineout the ball was moved wide allowing Welland to score his second try, Shepherd nailed the conversion and St. Austell never looked back.
Earp and full back Sam Tank added further tries for the Saints with the ever reliable Shepherd adding the extras.
Truro deservedly got a second try near the end, as St. Austell found themselves down to fourteen men as skipper Andy Ashwin was yellow carded, through their best player on the day the ever willing Trescothick.
Truro 23 pts
Tries- Gilbert, Trescothick (2), Conversion – Irons, Penalties – Irons (2)
Yellow Card – Dodgson (24)
St. Austell 38 pts
Tries – Welland (2), Earp (2), Tank, Conversions- Shepherd (5), Penalty - Shepherd
Yellow Cards – Martin (37), Ashwin (75)