Losing bonus point is scant consolation for lowly Hakes
Bude 17, St Ives 12
THE Hakes were left licking their wounds yet again as they lost a keenly contested Cornish derby at Bencoolen Meadow and dropped below Bude to 13th in the Western Counties West table, writes Dick Straughan.
It was the seventh defeat of the season for St Ives and their third in a row, but they have a chance to make amends this weekend when they face Devonport Services at Alexandra Road (3pm).
With mid-table Wellington and bottom of the league Paignton Saxons also due to visit west Cornwall in the coming weeks the Hakes have every chance to turn their season around.
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However, head coach Rob Elloway had targeted the trip to Bude as the "first of five Test Matches" and despite coming away with the consolation of a losing bonus point, Saturday's defeat will still have hurt his young team.
The North Cornwall side led from the start, taking a 13th minute lead through a James Comber try and having survived the sin-binning of Duncan Tout without incident, added to their score with a Silas Keeling converted try just before half-time.
Jamie Prisk pulled a score back for the Hakes with a try he failed to convert but in the second half, following the sin-binning of Todd Prisk for punching, Bude added a third try through Ben Hancock.
In a tense finale St Ives roared back into the game as Aaron Bennett scored and Prisk converted but Bude hung on for a valuable win against their relegation rivals.
Now the focus switches to 6th place Devonport whose own away form has been patchy. A narrow win at Bude, expected success at Paignton and defeat at Wellington all give Rob Elloway some cause for optimism.
He said: "I think a lot will depend on their player availability because of the type of club they are. It's going to be another really tough game but we have home advantage."
"I was slightly disappointed with the defeat at Bude but we did get a losing bonus point. Our set piece went well but we have to cut out the inaccuracies in our game, stop giving away cheap ball and stop conceding daft penalties."
And he believes there is still plenty of time for the Hakes to turn around their season. "We need to stop making silly mistakes but I genuinely believe that we won't go down. It will be a real fight right to the end though."
CORNWALL & DEVON LEAGUE
Hayle 29, OPMs 27
MARTIN Strick kicked a 79th minute penalty to earn Hayle a nai-biting victory in a closely contested match at the Memorial Park on Saturday, writes Patrick Rescorla.
In truth the outcome could have gone either way, with both teams scoring four good tries and in the end only a conversion separated the two teams.
Playing with the strong wind at their backs, OPMs made the perfect start after only three minutes when winger Chris Harmer ran 50 metres through a disorganised Hayle defence to score a try that Tom Finnie converted.
And it was Finnie who kicked the visitors further ahead on 10 minutes when he landed a 50 metre penalty. However, Hayle hit back immediately, Scott Murray broke through to cross near the posts and Martin Strick converted.
OPMs continued to attack and from a scrum in front of the Hayle posts, fly half Jake Luffman waltzed through to score. OPMs leading 15-7 after only 16 minutes. Hayle continued the fight back and it was centre Scott Murray who touched down after a Rob Goodman break. The conversion was missed, leaving the half time score at 15-12.
With the wind behind them Hayle took the lead in the first minute of the second half when Dan Magee put Scott Murray under the posts for his and Hayle's third try. Strick converted.
The lead was short lived though, as six minutes later OPM's fly half Luffman chipped over the Hayle defence and full back Tom Finnie touched down to make the score 20-19 with all to play for.
In the evenly contested second half it was Hayle who scored next when Rob Goodman followed up a charge down to touch down on 63 minutes. Strick again converted and Hayle led 26-20.
OPMs continued to counter and were rewarded with a bonus point try on 70 minutes when prop Rich Brown peeled off the back of a driving maul that was going backwards to cross unopposed. Finnie converted to give OPMs a 27-26 lead with ten minutes to go.
On 74 minutes Strick hit the post with a long range penalty and it looked like it would be OPM's day. However, Strick had a second chance on 79 minutes from almost the same position and this time found the spot with the match-winning kick.
This was a good win for Hayle against an OPMs team whose league position did not truly reflect their ability on the evidence of this match. Again the Hayle forwards played well, dominating the scrummage and second row pair of Phil Tonkin and Richard Spear both played well, especially in the lose. Centre Scott Murray was the pick of the Hayle backs with a hat trick of tries.
Hayle coach Danny Clackworthy said: "We did well against an organised OPMs side, who wanted to play. We recovered from going behind early in the game to come away with a win and try bonus point.
"Our goal for October was to win all our games, the loss at Newquay was a disappointment but we have taken maximum points from our three home games, which is really good."
This Saturday Hayle travel to local rivals Pirates Amateurs for a 2.30pm kick off.
Former Pirate Clackworthy said: "Local derbies are always competitive and the form book does not always count. We are in the winning groove and want that to continue into November."
Hayle: D Penrose, L Richardson, B Pow, P Tonkin, R Spear, R Goodman, A Thornton, T Matthews, M Strick, D Magee, R Cutter, J Cameron, S Murray, T Daniels, J Rule. Reps: D Clackworthy, T Barber, D Arnull.