Rugby: Liskeard-Looe v Bodmin report January 29
FOLLOWING a number of rearranged fixtures, Saturday saw Bodmin's last Cornwall One game of the season combined with their first group game of the Cornwall Cup against Cornwall One champions Liskeard-Looe.
The top two teams in Cornwall One ensured that the crowd were entertained to a hard fought and keenly contested affair from the very first minute in the sides third meeting of the season already.
It was the newly crowned champions that started the better of the two sides with their kicking game pinning Bodmin back in their own territory and the home defence making it hard for the visitors to make notable advances up the pitch.
Liskeard then struck first as they exposed an overlap and winger Pete Regan kicked ahead with a fortuitous bounce allowing him to gather and score in the corner. The conversion was subsequently missed.
The home side continued their kicking tactics to pin Bodmin back and when their forwards rumbled forward close to the Bodmin line the visiting defence did well to repel the on rushing attacks.
However when an offside decision went against Bodmin, Liskeard went to their driven lineout to exert extra pressure. Bodmin did well to stop Liskeard's main attacking option but when the hosts switched play to the blindside simple hands saw Regan left with an easy run in to dot down.
Following Liskeard's second score Bodmin finally managed to maintain some possession and had the Lions rattled as their up tempo attack created numerous gaps.
Liskeard struggling to cope with the pace resorted to illegally slowing the ball and were reduced to 14 men after being warned for hands in the ruck.
Bodmin didn't take long to press home the numerical advantage as flanker Ollie Wendon pounced on a loose ball and offloaded well out of the tackle to the supporting Jon Day who held off the scrambling defence well to get over the try line.
With Liskeard down to 14 Bodmin continued to grow in confidence and began to really get on top of their opponents as the first half drew to a close.
Another Liskeard infringement then gave Cody Armstrong the chance to reduce the deficit as he kicked a 35 metre penalty in the blustery conditions on the stroke of half time.
The half time break gave Liskeard a much needed reprieve and it was the home side who came out for the second half the stronger as their powerful driven maul resulted in a third try as second row Lewis Elliot came out at the bottom of the pile with the ball. This time the conversion was added by James Noel-Johnson.
Bodmin were themselves then reduced to 14 as hooker Max Roberts was sin binned for excessive use of the boot at a ruck. However, this seemed to galvanise Bodmin as during the ten minutes they managed to keep possession for good periods of time.
In fact they came out of the sin bin period three points to the good as Armstrong added his second penalty following frequent infringements by Liskeard inside their own 22.
This time Noel-Johnson penalised for cynically throwing the ball away with Bodmin awarded a penalty and looking to go quickly. Poised at 17-11 the next score was crucial and when Noel-Johnson was sin binned for once again throwing the ball away Bodmin looked to exert increased pressure and grab the vital score.
Liskeard resorted back to their kicking game and profited when a Bodmin return kick was brought back by the home side and a number of passes were exchanged to work their way inside the Bodmin 22.
Number 8 Gareth Cooke was then fed the ball from a ruck and crashed over to push the home side two scores clear with barely 10 minutes left.
Bodmin, now throwing caution to the wind, worked themselves deep inside the Liskeard 22. The visitors, looking to break the home defence, were then undone as the ball popped out of a ruck and was snapped up by Baz Hocking who outpaced the covering defence to score in the corner and seal the game.
Bodmin plugged away right until the very last minute and Liskeard were for the third time of the day reduced to 14 following more cynical infringements within their own 22.
However, the hosts managed to hold out any last ditch attacks and the full time whistle saw a rightfully dejected Bodmin go down to their third loss against Liskeard this season.