Withy stage terrific comeback, but it all ends in a narrow defeat to Pirates Amateurs

PUBLISHED: 15:58 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:58 01 December 2017

Hands holding rugby ball

Hands holding rugby ball

(C) 2008 Thinkstock Images

Withycombe went down by a margin of just three points when they visited Pirates Amateurs for their latest Tribute Cornwall and Devon League outing, beaten 32-29.

The home side were first to apply pressure, something they did for most of the opening 10 minutes, during which time they missed a penalty before chalking up a converted try.

Withy hit back through a Sam Conway penalty, only to again fall seven points down to an 18th minute penalty.

Shortly after, Alex Taylor went close to landing the first Withy try; team-mate fly-half Glen Channing was sent to the sin bin for a stamping offence and later a home player was sent off for the same offence!

Ryan Hamilton crossed the home line for the opening Withy try and a Conway conversion levelled things up at 10-10.

It was Conway’s cross-field kick that led to winger Sam Warren scoring a try, but two converted tries for the hosts left the half-time score 24-15 in favour of the Pirates.

The early second-half action saw the Withy forwards continually bossing the scrums, but without any serious gain and, in the 55th minute, another Pirates try followed by a successful penalty, took them into an emphatic 32-15 lead.

With 20 minutes to play, some inspired play from Channing led to Ben Clark crossing for a converted try to reduce the Withy deficit to one of 10 points.

Ten minutes later, Withy captain Connor O’Shaughenessy, after numerous scrum penalties, went over after a pick and go and another successful Conway conversion took Withy to within a kick of levelling things.

Withy threw everything they had at completing what would have been a wonderful recovery, but, despite spending the closing minutes pressing the home line, a final score proved elusive and the full-time whistle signalled a narrow defeat for the visitors.

On Saturday (December 2), Withycombe host basement boys Wessex at Raleigh Park (2.30pm). It’s the last home league game of the year for Withy, who follow Saturday’s match with back-to-back away games at first Plymouth Argaum and then Plymstock Albion Oaks.

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