Illogan and Ludgvan set up title six-pointer
LUDGVAN boss Anthony Hosking is refusing to give up hope of catching Illogan in the Cornwall Combination League title race.
The Hurlers trail the leaders, who they meet at Fairfield this Saturday (3pm), by ten points despite earning high-scoring victories over fellow high fliers St Day (6-4) and mid-table RNAS Culdrose (4-2) in the past week.
But Hosking, whose leading goalscorer Gerens James has found the net seven times in the last two league games, believes the Hurlers can still overhaul Illogan at the top, with the Oxland Parc club having the tougher looking run-in of all the top three, which includes home and away matches with Ludgvan.
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Hosking said: "Illogan are firm favourites to win the league but I'm not writing off our chances. We're above our own expectations on where we thought we would be at this point in the season.
"Roll on next weekend, I'm really looking forward to it."
James, the league's top marksman scored two goals at Culdrose to take his tally to 45 for the season, with Jack Ramsey and Joe Day also on the scoresheet.
Craig Lambert and Paul Simmons replied for Culdrose.
Illogan meanwhile were 4-0 winners at home to Newquay with goals from Simon Ellis (2), Dominic Pullen and Luke Wort.
Ludgvan remain a point behind second place St Day after the Saints bounced back from Saturday's defeat at Fairfield with a 12-2 thrashing of bottom club Holmans, whose relegation is likely to be confirmed this weekend.
Danny Ford scored four goals and Mike Davis a hat-trick with Chris Tolley, Nathan Taylor, Shane Richards, Terry Rowe and an own goal completing the scoring.
Pendeen Rovers are still only four points behind Ludgvan after an excellent 4-1 home win over St Ives Town, thanks to a hat-trick from Jamie Payne and one from Andrew House. Tom Morris replied for St Ives who are now ten points adrift of fifth place Perranwell, who were beaten 2-1 at Penryn.
Ryan Reeve and Matt Roberts scored for Penryn with Chris Madeley on target for Perranwell.
Elsewhere, Hayle (Ben Hocking) drew 1-1 with Falmouth Town (Simon Anderson) and a goal from Sam Connolly earned St Agnes a win 1-0 at Goonhaven.
Falmouth Athletic leapfrogged Porthleven into 15th place in the table after beating them 4-2 at Dracaena Avenue, with goals from Andy Watkins, Emile Owen, Ben Kellow and Tim Hurrell. Porthleven's goalscorers were Liam Hunter and Matt Dawson.
FIVE goals from Gerens James helped Ludgvan come from three goals down to hit St Day for six in a pulsating match at Fairfield on Saturday, writes Scott Haley.
The result means the Hurlers sit just a point behind second placed Saints, who struggled to deal with the home side's free flowing football, inspired by the clinical James who leads the way in the race for the league's golden boot.
Ludgvan manager Anthony Hosking said: "We showed a lot of character, which we've had all season, to come from behind and win. I had faith in Gerens up top and I just told the boys at half-time not to panic.
And with the first of two games against league leaders Illogan set to be played this weekend, it may not just be St Day looking over their shoulders at the side which has scored more goals than anybody else in the league this season.
St Day boss Matt Harris, who has been talking his side's title hopes up all season, admitted after the game that if anybody is going to catch runaway leaders Illogan now, it will be Ludgvan.
"They're the best side in the league, certainly the best we've played against this season, and they could go on to win the league if they can beat Illogan twice," he said.
"We were never going to win the league, but at the end of the day we've won the Combination Cup and have still got a chance to win the Evely Cup which we can build on next season."
St Day play Polperro in the cup final on May 12, and have every chance if they start that game like they did on Saturday, finding themselves 3-0 up inside 25 minutes.
Danny Ford picked himself up to score from the spot after winning a penalty after just 40 seconds, before Chris Tolley's flick from a long throw found Martin Day who headed past Matt Stevens.
And when Justin Miles's well struck free-kick found the bottom corner, it looked for all the world like it was going to be a routine win for St Day before Ludgvan finally made their mark on the game with two quick fire goals.
After seeing his header deflected over, James made no mistake heading home from the resulting corner to give his side a lifeline before Dan Magee poked past Ryan Gendall from close range.
St Day were lucky to go in at the break still leading as Ludgvan found their passing game, and six minutes in to the second period they were ahead after two clinically taken goals from James.
The centre forward was then in the thick of things moments later when he was clearly brought down inside the area but referee Tim Reeks waved play on, much to the dismay of the home dugout.
That decision could have been the turning point as St Day grabbed an equaliser with just over 25 minutes to go when another Miles free-kick was flicked home by Ford.
But the visitors, who only had one substitute, were tiring, and Ludgvan's pressing was finally rewarded when James finished the match with two more goals.
The first was a thing of beauty which was even applauded by travelling St Day supporters, skipping past two players before rounding the keeper and slotting in to the empty net before he raced past the defence shortly after and found the bottom corner for his 12th goal in three matches.
Ludgvan: M Stevens, C James, T Widdercombe, M Richards, R Williams, J Ramsey (c) (J Tonkin 60), H James, J Day, T Patrick, G James, D Magee. Subs not used: R Badcock, G Hatton, C Penny, C Snell.
Scorers: G James (30, 50, 51, 74 & 77), Magee (2).
Booked: C James, Ramsey, H James.
St Day: R Gendall, T Hogarth (c), T Rowe, M Witts, N Taylor, C Tolley, M Davies, S Richards, J Miles, D Ford (Ryan Trathen 79).
Scorers: Ford (1 & 64), Day (12), Miles (25).
Booked: Hogarth, Witts.
Referee: Tim Reeks (Ponsanooth)
Briton MoM: Gerens James: Showed pace, movement, close control and clinical finishing. A superb all round performance.
Saturday results and scorers: League: Goonhavern 0-1 Perranwell (Lee Hazeldine); Illogan (Luke Wort, Adam Callaway) 2-0 RNAS Culdrose; Ludgvan (Gerens James 5, Dan Magee) 6-4 St Day (Danny Ford 2, Justin Miles, Martin Day); Mullion (Alan Thomas, Rob Carey) 2-2 Pendeen Rovers (Jack Willis, Jamie Payne); Penryn Athletic (Jason Roberts 2, Dan Knowles 2, Ryan Reeve) 5-0 Newquay Reserves; St Agnes (Mike Burn) 1-2 Porthleven Reserves (Jordan Annear 2).
Supplementary Cup, quarter finals: Troon 0-3 Falmouth Athletic (Matt Pellow, Alex Miller, Emile Owen); Wendron United (Tom Langford 3, Sam Care, Justin Searle, Ben Allen) 6-3 St Just (Jon Bird, Darren Steadman, Stuart Nicholls).
Friday: Holmans (Craig Williams) 1-1 St Ives Town (Martyn Moon).