Kings beaten in Cornwall as A team narrowly lose out
Kingsbridge put in a crunching hit in defence
Tribute Western Counties West
St Austell 24,
Kingsbridge travelled to St Austell and came away counting costly errors that saw them push the promotion-chasing home side all the way, but ended in 24-12 defeat.
Kings allowed St Austell to take a 17-point lead into the second half before they put their first points on the board.
Things could well have been different if they had taken the points on offer from eminently kickable penalties.
However, on the positive side there was an outstanding performance from scrum-half Jack Evans and a welcome return to form from George Banfield.
The pack, with the back row to the fore, enjoyed some fine moments.
The first half saw St Austell the more clinical of the sides and although not dominant, they took their chances well and grabbed a try within the first five minutes, though the conversion missed.
Kingsbridge had a chance to pull back three points but chose not to kick an easy penalty, they kicked to the corner but failed to cross the line from the following lineout.
St Austell then came back, and from a series of penalties they took themselves to the King’s line, where one more maul saw them cross for their second try. Conversion successful.
St Austell were lucky not to be down to 14 after Evans was taken out in the air. But the home side kept the pressure up and were rewarded with another try, taking them to a 17-point lead. Kings squandered yet another chance as a blindside break failed just before the half time whistle.
The second half saw the visitors start with more intent and pressurised St Austell into mistakes. Jon Merrin seized a loose ball and scored Kings’ first points, with Leman converting the try.
For long periods of the second half Kings played fine rugby, with Evans orchestrating from scrum-half.
Banfield made a fine break and had the scrum-half on hand to put the finishing touch to a fine try. The conversion was missed but the game was now in the balance as Kings searched for the equaliser.
And it was against the run of play that saw St Austell strip the ball and break away, allowing the home side the last word with a try that took them to 24-12, the final score.
Devon Merit Table
Kingsbridge A XV 19,
Exmouth thirds 21
Kingsbridge A XV welcomed Devon Merit Table leaders Exmouth to High House as two of the in-form teams in the table went head to head.
The visitors had only lost one match so far this season, while the Kings Twos had racked up more than 200 points in their previous four matches.
Kingsbridge started strongly and had the visitors pinned back deep in their 22 for most of the opening 10 minutes, but were unable to penetrate the well-organised defence to open the scoring.
Typically in that situation, Exmouth promptly took play back into the Kingsbridge half, from where they opened the scoring with a try. The visitors added a second try before the interval as they turned around 0-10 ahead.
Early in the second half Kingsbridge reduced the deficit to 7-10 with their first score of the game, which saw captain Steve Shute cross over for the touchdown following a catch and drive penalty line-out near the visitors’ line. Fly-half James Baker added the conversion.
Soon afterwards scrum-half James Oggelsby crossed over in the corner for the hosts’ second try as they took the lead for the first time at 12-10.
Back came Exmouth with a third try to retake the lead against at 12-15 before they drew further with two penalties to make it 12-21.
Kingsbridge were not done, however, and took play back to the Exmouth 22, where a period of sustained forward pressure finally resulted in lock Tom Darke forcing his way over the line for a try from close range.
Fly-half Baker again converted to reduce the deficit to just two points at 19-21.
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