Hornets battle but lose unbeaten record
Newquay Hornets 15 Tiverton 26
NEWQUAY Hornets put up a battling performance before succumbing to top of the table Tiverton at the Sports Centre.
Both teams went into the match having won their opening two games in the Cornwall & Devon league, setting the stage for a big encounter.
The game started as expected with neither side giving anything. But after some strong defence, the home side conceded a penalty on the 11th minute but the kick went wide.
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However, the referee showed he was not afraid to use his whistle and pinged the Hornets two minutes later. This time the kick was not so forgiving, as the visitors went 3-0 ahead. The Hornets rallied and after an impressive drive from a lineout, a penalty Newquay had been looking for was awarded. With momentum going their way, fly half Sam Cullen kicked for the corner to set the platform for another lineout.
With another impressive catch and drive from Tim Eustice, the forward pack drove forward allowing scrum half Connor Riley to snipe round the blind side and cross the line for the game's opening try. Cullen narrowly missing for the extras.
At the restart Tiverton added more pressure and with a debatable decision from the referee, were awarded another penalty in front of the sticks, and it was kicked successfully to put Tiverton 6-5 ahead.
Newquay found inspiration through strong ball carrying from Matt Burbridge and winger Tim Grainger. As they fought on the opposition's try line to get the ball over, a poor decision to not get the ball to the backs meant the home side walked away with only three points from the boot of Cullen.
The second half started much as the first did, neither side was showing any signs of letting up. The referee was making more questionable decisions, costing Newquay territory and eventually another three points.
From the restart Tiverton showed their intention to try to close out the game. With some quick hands they allowed their full back to break free in what looked like to be a certain try. Hornets centre Perry Hughes tracked back 50 metres to make an impressive covering tackle to deny the away side a try.
With the score at 9-8 to Tiverton the game looked like it could go either way. But a sin binning of prop Adrian Starkey and a lapse in concentration from the whole team, led to a dreadful 12 minutes in which Tiverton ran in three tries, with one conversion.
In the last play, Cullen put a clever chip kick over the top for Brad Rossborough to continue his impressive run of tries and go under the sticks. Cullen added the extras.
Newquay scorers. Tries: Connor Riley; Brad Rossborough; Penalties: Sam Cullen (1); conversions: Sam Cullen (1).
MoM: Perry Hughes.