Helston 5 Bodmin 17
BODMIN began their return to Cornwall One with a comfortable victory away to Helston. Although the scoreline may suggest a tight affair, the game was far from it.
Bodmin dominated the large proportion of exchanges and can consider themselves unlucky not to have come away with a bonus point in addition to an opening day win.
Following last week's physical encounter with Liskeard, Bodmin were forced into a number of changes due to injuries.
Winger Morgan Jope' made his debut in the starting 1st XV, and there were first appearances from the bench for prop Charlie Sillence and back rower Danny Pulford.
The changes did little to change Bodmin's approach to tackling Helston as from the very first whistle the visitors looked to play some expansive rugby.
Receiving the kick-off Bodmin retained possession effectively and launched a multi phase attack resulting in winger Cody Armstrong just being forced into touch just a yard out from the Helston try line.
Bodmin continued to pressure Helston at all opportunities but were unable to find that final play to breach the home defence.
Several times the Clifden Park side found themselves storming the Helston line only for a last ditch tackle to deny a score or the referee to provide a reprieve for the home side.
Eventually Bodmin did score their first league try of the season through flanker Ollie Wendon, as centre Chris Richardson burst through the middle and provided a timely offload for Wendon to go in under the posts unopposed. Armstrong stepped up to add the conversion.
Bodmin continued to assert their authority on the game and it seemed Helston's only way into the match would be through Bodmin mistakes.
Those mistakes proved rare though and Bodmin dominated the territory and possession stakes. Jope came close to scoring a debut try only to be denied just short of the line before Bodmin added their second try.
Good lineout ball provided front ball for outside centre Andrew Coad to crash through the defence. The covering Helston defence did well to prevent Coad scoring; however, some excellent rucking from Bodmin provided quick ball for Scott Helgesen to feed Mark Trevarthen who utilised a gap in the unorganised defence to touchdown. The conversion was pushed narrowly wide.
Bodmin scented blood in the water and when Lee Taylor crashed over it seemed they were cruising towards a three score lead.
But the referee deemed the ball to be held up over the line and a scrum was awarded instead of the try.
Right on the stroke of half-time the visitors thought they had scored once again as some superb quick ball and change of direction saw Taylor feed Wendon, who dived over for his second and Bodmin's third try.
Taylor's pass was deemed forward though and the ensuing half-time whistle saw Bodmin go in only 12-0 up.
Bodmin started the second half much in the same way as they had started the first, in complete ascendancy.
Helston were pinned down in their own half when Bodmin forced a turnover, created front foot ball typical of the first forty minutes play, and spread the ball wide to an easy overlap. Richardson touched down to give the visitors a 17 point advantage.
Bodmin searched the rest of the game for the bonus point try but were unable to maintain much momentum in what became a very fractious final thirty minutes.
As Helston continued to search for a first point in their league season and Bodmin went for an elusive fourth try both teams were throwing everything they could into the game.
Helston then gained their rewards as in the final ten minutes their winger pounced on some scrappy ball to dot down in the corner and add a consolation for the home teams efforts.
Bodmin continued to the end but were unable to breach Helston's try line and had to be happy leaving West Cornwall with four points rather than the five.
Bodmin begin their home campaign in Cornwall One on Saturday with a clash of the two promoted sides as they take on Camborne School of Mines (3pm).
Bodmin: A Trevarthen, Williams, G Taylor, Day, Thomas, Orton, Wendon, L Taylor (c), Helgesen, M Trevarthen, Armstrong, Richardson, Coad, Jope, Pooley.
Replacements: Hicks, Couldrey, Sillence, Pulford, Hawken, Carter, Jenkin.
Scorers. Tries: Wendon, M Trevarthen, Richardson; Conversion: Armstrong.
Man of the Match: Ollie Wendon.