Western Counties West

Cullompton 18 Truro 29

WITHIN the first two minutes it looked as though Cullompton were in the clutches of an invincible machine.

Truro’s starting dropout goes out in bonfire corner, Cully lineout throw not straight, Truro scrum, quick hands to full-back Harvey Bell for try in opposite corner; standoff Ashley Hosking converts for 0-7.

Cully supporters in the grandstand, who entertained thoughts of a route were quickly shamed by the terrier like response of their side who quickly regained possession after the restart, dogged their way upfield with uncompromising forward play and drew the penalty thirty metres out which centre Adam Pearce slotted into a stiff breeze for 3-7.

Cullompton continued to have the best of the play and in the 16th minute winger Sam Budgett was on the end of a good string of passes to score in the corner. Pearce narrowly missed the conversion but made no mistake when hooker Chris Grant got over with a pick and go effort after sustained forward pressure had extended play well into overtime for 15-7 at the break.

The match should have been Cullompton’s to win in the second half, as they had the wind at their backs, their lineout had gone well and a rehashed front row on 50 minutes with Kevin Davis at hooker and Grant and replacement Martin Keywood propping, started to push back the visitors.

Truro, however moved the ball wide at every opportunity to exploit the pace of their backs and of their playmaker ten Hosking, and with Cully falling off of a few tackles, the visitors turned around the game with four second half tries and one conversion with only a solitary Pearce penalty in reply for 18-29.

Hosking was the architect of the victory with quick breaks dispatching both his wingers, Luke Tidball and Matt Cross into the corners. He opened up the middle of the field to put flanker Ben Teasdale in between the posts but had no hand in the last score five minutes from the end, when eight Ashley Riches went straight in from a five metre scrum.

Meanwhile, the seconds who travelled to Bideford had more success with a 19-20 victory.

Again player availability had been a problem so Cullompton had made up numbers with half a dozen Colts who according to a regular second teamer 'ran the show and won the game'.

Perhaps there is hope yet for Cully’s first team game against Torquay at Stafford Park this Saturday as most of the regular first XV will be attending Marcus Busch’s or James Nockles’ stag weekends so there are bound to be a number of Colts stepping up.

On Sunday, Cully’s Under-15s fought out a 19-19 draw for the Devon U15 Cup at Barnstaple. Their opponents Kingsbridge declined to share the glory so the game was replayed on Wednesday at Crediton