1st XV 'Saints'
Sat 14 Oct 2023  ·  Regional 1 South West
St Austell RFC
1st XV 'Saints'
Tries: C Taylor, D Tyrrell, K MarriottConversions: M Shepherd (2)Yellow Carded: C Ashwin (2), D Job
Saints fall short in Cornish Derby

Saints fall short in Cornish Derby

Paul Hayes24 Oct 2023 - 08:01
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Launceston take full advantage of Saints indiscipline in dominant second half

Saturday 14th October 2023
St Austell RFC 19 vs Launceston 34

Report by Steve Murley

Second placed Launceston travelled down county to play 8th placed St Austell in the only Cornish League derby of the season to be played at Tregorrick, sponsored by Atlantic Laundry.

Launceston suffered a surprise defeat against lowly Okehampton in their last game while the Saints were 1 point adrift of Ivybridge in a see-saw battle going down 36-35. With both sides looking to get their seasons back on track all was set fair for a great contest in front of a large and vocal crowd.

On a beautiful day ref Dan Evans from Somerset blew his whistle and Ex-Saint Pearce, with a slight breeze behind him, launched a high kick landing on the Saints 22 towards the sports hall. This was not dealt with well by the home side initially but the ball was re-gathered and ball spread wide on the left wing before the attack was snuffed out on the Saints 22.

From the lineout and subsequent phases Launceston launched their tight forwards with Short, Pearce-Cowley and Goldsmith carrying hard and making good ground. It was from a penalty for a side entry from one of these runs that Pearce had his first penalty opportunity from 35m just falling short.

Saints began to exert some pressure of their own attacking at pace finding some space in the outside channels. A Saints chip through on one of these sorties was gathered by Launceston full back James Tucker who set off on a thrilling run up field. He gathered his own deft chip and drove deep into Saints territory. Launceston recycled to their big forwards and the referee called Saints for a side entry offence on their 22. Up stepped Pearce to claim 3 points .

7 min Saints 0 – Launceston 3 ( Dan Pearce – Pen )

Saints response was almost immediate winning possession and moving the ball the width of the field for Rhys Daniel to charge down the wing in front of the stand, only to be halted by a high tackle. The penalty was kicked to touch. Maunder secured the throw and the pack rolled around the blindside and over the line for flanker Cam Taylor to emerge as the try scorer . Matt Shepherd added the extras.

9 mins Saints 7 – Launceston 3 ( Cam Taylor – Try Matt Shepherd – Conv )
11 mins Saints replacement ( Rory Jago on for Rhys Daniel )

With just under 10 minutes gone this game was beginning to live up to expectations. Launceston came back strong and had the best of the next few minutes with forwards carrying well and Saints forced into conceding penalties. Cameron Fogden at 12 for Launceston had been a threat all game and it was from pressure on the Saints line that his missed pass found the Saints defence too narrow and Ollie Bebbington dived over wide out on the left wing.

15 mins Saints 7 – Launceston 8 ( Ollie Bebbington – Try )

With Fogden running hard from his own 22 from the kick off and then providing a further link in the Saints 22 Launceston ripped the home defence apart. The ball was moved wide and with Saints scrambling flanker Lloyd Duke spotted a gap on the blind side to jog over the line and trot around the give a batter angle for the kick. Pearce took full advantage.
19 mins Saints 7 – Launceston 15 ( Lloyd Duke – Try Dan Pearce Con )

The game had settled into an open and entertaining spectacle but it was vital that Saints got the next score to stay in touch. This they did with arguably the score of the match. With Launceston attacking the Saints line again full back Tucker tried a chip through which rebounded from Shepherd into Dan Tyrell. With 90m to go and county athlete Dan Pearce chasing, Tyrell pinned his ears back and set off. With several Launceston players chasing him and the crowd urging him on he kept his nerve and pace to dive over in Apples Corner. A wonderful effort and a move that brought the scoring in the first half to an end.

23 mins Saints 12 – Launceston 15 ( Dan Tyrell – Try )

Saints were playing themselves back in the game at this point but still conceding far more penalties than Launceston. After 30 minutes referee Evans spotted a high tackle by Chris Ashwin and produced the yellow card to leave the Saints with 14 men.
30 mins Saints YC ( Chris Ashwin )

Saints continued to battle hard with Marriott, Job and Tom Daniel running well with ball in hand and scrumhalf CJ Boyce kicking well but no more scores came
38 mins Saints replacement ( Matt Boothby on for Charlie Nicholson )

Saints were pleased to be within 3 points at the break with Ashwin back on the field would have been relatively happy with the situation. There were a few things that needed attention ; the penalty count was mounting against them ( 9-4) and the scrum was one area that referee Evans had heavily penalised. Neither of these were insurmountable
HT Saints 12 – Launceston 15

With Ashwin re-joining the game the Saints began the second half at a furious pace. With Boothby, Jago and Taylor carrying hard, Shepherd probing and Parson linking well the Saints worked an overlap on the right wing for Dan Tyrell from Ashwin’s missed pass. The perfect start ? – not quite. The referee called the final pass forward and gave a scrum to Launceston . Saints, however, were very encouraged.

Both Saints and Launceston had their chances over the next 10 minutes but defences held firm and possibly both sides were guilty of forcing that final pass rather than taking the tackle and re-cycling the ball to build pressure.
49 mins Saints replacement ( Konor Ewudzi on for Dan Tyrrell )

Launceston found themselves with an attacking scrum in the Saints 22. Launceston drove but it looked as if Saints had held reasonably well, play continued but at the first infringement the referee stopped play and issued a YC to Saints loosehead prop Dan Job for continuous scrum infringement. No doubt Saints were under pressure from a formidable Launceston unit but with the referee standing on the Saints tighthead side for the whole of the scrum, it seemed a brave call to identify the Saints loosehead as responsible for the infringement and then to issue a yellow card to him. Most penalties had come from the fantastic work by Ethan Pearce-Cowley on the Launceston loosehead against the Saints tighthead so we can only assume that this was a team yellow for persistent scrum infringement.
50 mins Saints YC ( Dan Job )

Saints now really did have their backs against the wall as they had to play a further 10 minute period with only 14 men. Launceston kicked to the corner from the resultant penalty, Saints infringed again by pulling at a jumpers arm. Launceston went for the lineout again, this time Tom Daniel rose highest to secure the ball, crisis averted ? Not so for in a mix up among the forwards Saints lost the ball and the Launceston clinically drove several times until influential prop Ethan Pearce-Cowley capped a fine game by storming over the line.
54 mins Saints 12 – Launceston 22 ( Ethan Pearce-Cowley – Try Dan Pearce Con )

Saints came again Boothby driving well and Shepherd bursting through a gap on his shoulder, sadly for Saints the offload, once Shepherd was tackled was knocked on, another theme throughout the afternoon.
57 mins Saints replacement ( Charlie Nicholson on for Dan Tyrell )

Launceston sensed this was their moment and a succession of penalties and lineouts followed in the Saints 22. Finally following a knock on Launceston drove the home pack back for no 8 Brandon Rowley to dive over the line, Pearce converting
62 mins Saints 12 – Launceston 29 ( Brandon Rowley – Try Dan Pearce Con )

With Saints restored to full strength they stemmed the flow of points and began to work their way back into the game. Sadly, just as it seemed as if they were gaining some traction Chris Ashwin tackled a Launceston player and the referee again adjudged it high issuing a second yellow and, therefore, a Red card.
70 mins Saints YC ( Chris Ashwin 2nd YC so becomes a Red Card )

With the Saints down to 14 men for the 3rd time in the game Launceston surged forward and after good ball retention it was Tom Bottoms who finished off with a try
74 mins Saints 12 – Launceston 34 ( Tom Bottoms – Try )

With the game surely safe Launceston may have relaxed a little but Saints were determined to push for the try bonus point. A determined run by Konor Ewudzi, continued by Max Bullen took the Saints to the Launceston line where they conceded a penalty. It was veteran Kyle Marriott who thought quickest and tapped, twisted and scored with Shepherd adding the extras.
78 mins Saints 19 – Launceston 34 ( Kyle Marriott – Try Matt Shepherd – Conv )
FT mins Saints 19 – Launceston 34

Launceston were excellent value for their win and are a great example for the Saints to follow. They have struggled in this league over recent years but have worked diligently to learn lessons and turned themselves into a formidable, exciting and clinical outfit. The challenge for the Saints is to climb that steep learning curve and ensure that lessons are learnt. They travel to Lydney this Saturday who are currently sitting in 6th place

Match details

Match date

Sat 14 Oct 2023




Regional 1 South West

League position

St Austell
Team overview
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