Two very good wins, one away, one at home
Saturday, March 7
Plymstock Albion Oaks 3
THE First Fifteen completed an expected double against a resilient but not very creative Plymstock side.
The hosts proved difficult to break down with some dogged defending and we never fully dominated up front.
The damp and misty conditions combined with a pretty soggy pitch did not help the cause but we did score some good tries, mainly as a result of quick ball through the backs and indeed we did create opportunities to have bagged a few more tries but last minute lapses saw them slip away.
Plymstock conceded a very early penalty for killing the ball as we were on the offensive, earning their flanker an early yellow card, Andy Egford slotted the kick over for a 3-0 lead.
After 14 minutes the lead was extended when quick-ruck ball was moved at speed out wide creating an overlap for winger Matt Shapland to go over in the corner, Egford's kick drifting wide.
Apart from some brief forays into our '22' the home side had very little to offer in attack but were making life difficult for us to get the ball moving.
However, from an excellent lineout the ball was again moved wide to the right and again it was Shapland who showed a clean pair of heels to the home defence as he raced in to score in the corner.
Plymstock battled forward again and earned a penalty when we infringed in front of the posts, Colton knocking over the penalty with ease to complete the first half scoring. There was probably some disappointment that we only held a ten point advantage at the interval having dominated possession and territory but conditions were particularly difficult under foot.
With the advantage of the slight slope in the second half, it did not take long before the lead increased again from some good lineout work.
The forwards drove and lock Jay Harris broke free 15 metres out and raced to the line, Egford adding the extras.
Within minutes, a kick over the top of the home defence caused confusion between their winger and full-back allowing centre Matt Walton to pounce on the error and touch down, again Egford converted.
The scoring was completed as the game entered the final quarter when the ball made its way to Ross Andrews who jinked through the defence, sidestepping a large puddle in the process to get a well deserved try, Egford slotting the conversion.
We knew from the earlier home game that Plymstock would prove difficult opponents and one or two sides have come a cropper down there.
With five games remaining life is getting much tighter for the top five in the league. After their defeat to Truro, leaders Penryn are gradually being drawn back into the battle and the promotion places could well be decided on points difference.
FULL REPORT IN THIS WEEKS COURIER ISSUE 819.