St Just ensure win is no walk in the park for leaders
St Just 12, Illogan Park 19
ST JUST produced probably their best performance of the season despite suffering a narrow home defeat to table topping Illogan Park in difficult conditions at Tregeseal on Saturday.
The Tigers started the match strongly, pinning Illogan back inside their own 22 and could have scored the opening try inside five minutes, but a crucial pass failed to find hands and the opportunity went begging.
The league leaders, with the strong wind at their backs soon found some good territory of their own and took the lead on the quarter hour after a mistake in the St Just backline, and Park No8 Martin Lawrence took full advantage to score the opening try.
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St Just responded well, again playing some good rugby in their opponents' half, and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts after some good pressure. Unfortunately a strong gust of wind took the ball off the tee as the St Just kicker was about to strike to deny St Just a deserved score.
On the half hour mark Illogan extended their advantage with Lawrence showing great pace to score around the outside, with the try duly converted to make the score 12-0 to the visitors at the interval.
St Just, with the wind behind them, replied soon after the break, winger Dan Batten scoring out wide after a neat offload from tighthead Mark Prowse.
Illogan responded well, playing some good rugby, but the St Just defence stood firm, and with ten minutes to play St Just scored a length of the pitch try after excellent work from Richard Humphries, Ashley Weston and Josh Richards, allowing centre Nick Usher to crash over. Full back Steve Walsh converted well to level the scores.
However, it was Illogan who scored the crucial try to take the game and keep their unbeaten run going, with inside centre Sam Bristow powering over from close range with five minutes to go.
St Just who now trail Illogan by eight points, will look to build on this performance when they visit bottom of the table St Day on Saturday (2.30).
The match is the start of a busy schedule over the St Just feast weekend. After their league fixture at St Day, the Tigers then host the Pirate Amateurs on Feast Sunday, and on Feast Monday they take on Paul Bawden's Rucking Feasters at Tregeseal Valley. All welcome.
St Just: Cock, Stevens, Prowse, Marment, Le Bretton, Vernon, A Richards, Humphries, Maddern, Barnes, Batten, Usher, Weston, J Richards, Walsh. Reps: Taylor, Oats, Cock, Douglas, Odendaal.