Withies show improved performance in Penzance
A much improved withies performance shows promise for the upcoming matches...
It was another tough day at the office for the Withies, although this was one of those games where the score line at the final whistle wasn’t reflective of the game on the pitch.
Kicking off against the strong wind, the ball went high and boomeranged back towards the half way line! The resulting scrum gave the home side the advantage as they slowly made their way towards the withy try line. The much improved Withies defence proved effective as a turnover ball near the try line gave the boys some breathing room and kept the ball in the middle of the pitch. It was Pirates that marked the scoreboard first with a penalty in front of the posts on 11min.
The restart went well and it was now the visitors chance to put the pressure on. With plenty of recycled ball, the withies worked through the phases but never exploited the empty left channel, eventually drawing the knock-on. This relieved the pressure once again but not for the boys in green and black as a well taken cross-field kick landed perfectly inside the hands of the winger who ran the ball over the line. With the conversion kicked, the score was 10-0 after 20min.
In a carbon copy of the previous restart, the Withies worked well to build a pressure but were denied a try with a try saving tackle yards out, with the Pirates player earning himself a yellow for his troubles for the tackle being high. The boys opted for a scrum and as the ball was cleared, the home side saw themselves down to 13-men for a late tackle on captain Dave Richards. The second scrum was turned over the the pressure relaxed once again. Midfield play dominated the next 10min with a Pirates penalty increasing the gap to 13-0 after 36min. There was still plenty of time for more action as shorty after, Doug Wibberly was shown yellow.
Despite being a man down, the Withies found a bit of fire and speed and some well worked running rugby saw Withies’ Joe Staley cross the line on 40min. The difficult kick went wide and the gap closed down to 13-5.
With there still being time left on the clock there was time for the home side to widen the gap again as another cross-field kick was executed perfectly for a second try. With the extras kicked, the teams reached half time at 20-5.
The second half continued very much in the same fashion as the first, with good play from both sides keeping the ball around the middle of the pitch. Two quick penalties for Pirates lead onto what must’ve been at least 18 phases of pressure play before the Withies defensive line was finally broken and the ball dotted down next to the posts. With the score now at 27-5, it would’ve been easy to drop the heads but the boys continued on as they had before and still managed to get some good passages of play. Just before the 60min mark, some heated exchanges saw Withycombe see yellow again, but Pirates faced the rest of the game with 14 men as they were shown red. However, the lack of the extra man didn’t seem to matter as it would be the home side who would get the last score of the game on 65min as a penalty was taken quickly, catching the green and black defence sleeping.
The game had an unexpected twist as the final whistle was blown shortly after, bringing it to an end following a nasty injury. With the final score being 32-5.
A special mention needs to be made at this point to all those at Pirates Amateurs whose help, support and hospitality following the injury was second to none and a real display of what rugby is about. Thank you.
Next week, the Withies will be looking to end the year on a high note as they welcome Plymouth Argaum to Raleigh Park. Kick off 2:30pm.