Bodmin 17, Liskeard-Looe 24
SATURDAY saw the fourth clash this season between Cornwall One's top two, as Bodmin were narrowly beaten by Liskeard in a keenly contested Cornwall Clubs' Cup Group D match.
The home side started in the ascendancy as they controlled early possession, and crossed the line twice in the first five minutes, only to have both scores ruled out, for a forward pass and for a knock-on.
It wouldn't be long before Bodmin did successfully touchdown though as captain Mark Trevarthen made a superb break through the heart of the Liskeard defence and floate a pass out to the on rushing Paul Carter who cantered in to open the scoring. Alistair MacPhee added the extras for a 7-0 advantage.
Liskeard responded well and dominated possession and territory to pin Bodmin in their own 22.
The home defence held out with some excellent defence to deny the Cornwall One champions as Liskeard continuously rumbled towards the try line through their impressive pack.
Liskeard's larger pack eventually created the breakthrough for the visitors as an attacking scrum on Bodmin's five metre line was marched forward for Liskeard scrum half Andy Sheer to dot down at the feet of his No8. James Noel-Johnson converted to tie the scores.
Liskeard continued to control possession and the pace of the game, denying Bodmin the chance to attack out wide through their dangerous looking back line.
The visitors pressure then told as wave after wave of forward surge eventually saw wing Kieran Murchison force his way over from short range. Noel-Johnson added the extras for a 14-7 lead.
Bodmin defended well but with Liskeard enjoying so much possession and territory it was hard work for the home side to maintain any notable phases.
Liskeard again launched a number of forward runners deep inside the Bodmin 22 which the home side impressively repelled.
However, with the home defence sucked in tight, Liskeard shipped the ball wide for Murchison to run in unopposed on the opposite side.
This time though Noel-Johnson hooked the conversion wide and with Liskeard having controlled the majority of possession they led 19-7 at the break.
Bodmin came out for the second half determined to up the tempo and Liskeard struggled to legally stem the flow of attacks. A number of penalties were awarded in quick succession before Bodmin opted to take a shot at goal once they were within striking range.
A hands in the ruck offence granted MacPhee a 35 metre penalty that the winger successfully kicked to narrow the deficit to within a score.
But ultimately it would be the visiting forwards that got the vital score as a strong driving maul motored towards the line and saw prop Phil Morford at the bottom of the pile for an unconverted try.
With 15 minutes to go and two scores between the sides Bodmin searched desperately to narrow the deficit. Their cause was then helped as Liskeard wing Ben Kitto tackled the man without the ball and was given ten minutes in the sin bin.
Knowing a kick at posts would not be enough at this stage, Bodmin pressed for the try they required. It wouldn't be until Liskeard were back to a full compliment that Bodmin would strike though.
A penalty move straight off the training ground saw centre Andrew Coad break Liskeard's resolute defence and cross the whitewash. MacPhee subsequently added the extras to bring the home side back within a converted try.
Bodmin quickly returned to collect the ensuing kick off only for the referee to blow the full time whistle and seal a hard fought victory to Liskeard, leaving the Lions in control of Group D.
This Saturday Bodmin travel to Camelford (2.30) looking to return to winning ways and build momentum for the knock out stages of the competition.
Bodmin: J Rutty, M Roberts, G Taylor, J Day, D Cullip, S Williams, O Wendon, M Orton, S Helgesen, M Trevarthen (c), A MacPhee, A Coad, P Carter, A Pengelly, D Pooley. Reps: A Trevarthen, D Jenkinson, M Hawken, R Jenkin.
Scorers. Tries – Carter, Coad; Cons - MacPhee (2); Pen – MacPhee.
Liskeard-Looe: M Mander, M Porter, P Morford, M Davy, T Blake, J Townsend, Y Hutchings, L Elliott, A Sheer, J Noel-Johnson, B Kitto, D Hannah, P Regan, K Murchison, K Underhill. Reps: W Pepworth, T McLuckie, S Patten, P Mutton.
Scorers. Tries – Murchison (2), Morford, Sheer. Cons – Noel-Johnson (2).