Luctonians got back on track with a key five-point haul down in West Cornwall last weekend, as they beat Camborne 7-27 to retain their two-point gap at the top of National League 2 West.

Huge credit must go to the men from Herefordshire, because to score four tries in horrendous conditions, was an incredible feat, as driving rain was the order of the afternoon, with the pitch cutting up as the game wore on.

The visitors would play downhill with the strong wind at their backs in the first period and fully took advantage of the conditions, amassing what looked like, and proved to be, an unassailable 0-20 lead at the half.

Fly half Tom Jones got Lucs on the board first, with a penalty on 6 minutes, after the hosts were penalised for not rolling away at a tackle. And 0-3 soon became 0-8 as Ben Link went over for his 20th try of the campaign, once again from a Luctonians driving maul, a weapon that has proved so useful this season.

Jones was pulling the strings for the visitors, and his excellent kicking game kept the Cornish hosts camped in their own territory. Camborne’s ambition to attempt to play in the awful conditions was admirable but only fed into the hands of the visitors, as handling mistakes were a plenty and this gave the black and whites the platform they needed.

On 21 minutes, Lucs turned up the power at a 5-metre scrum, got a penalty advantage, and with the home team’s back row tied to their scrum efforts, Number 8 Caleb Montgomery carried strongly over for another try. Jones converted for 0-15.

The pattern of the half largely continued through towards the break, although a combination of gritty defence and handling errors meant that the score did not grow. That was until the final play of the half, when with some rare territory, the hosts looked to move the ball around the halfway line but coughed up possession. Josh Watkins put a perfectly weighted kick in behind and winger Charlie Grimes won the foot race for his sixteenth try of the season and a 0-20 lead at the break for Lucs, which was no less than they deserved.

Lucs could feel the contrast of the conditions and the slope immediately at the commencement of the second period, as they spent the first 14 minutes pinned inside their own 22. Camborne could not quite find the accuracy to break the second ranked defence in the division, until on 54 minutes, they finally got in behind and quick hands put full back Harry Larkins in at the right-side corner. With fly half Jordan Sidwell converting from the touchline, at 7-20 the game appeared back in the balance.

But it was this next passage where Lucs would win the game and seal the four try bonus-point. In spite of playing into the conditions, the visitors would eek out a number of penalties from some excellent set-piece play, and this allowed them to progressively work their way down the field and spend a good amount of time in Camborne’s half.

Whilst repelled a few times by stout Camborne defence, eventually a multi-phase attack paid dividends, as lock Owien Harriott-Davis carried powerfully through three would-be tacklers to dot down, and with man of the match Jones converting, the game was done at 7-27 with 66 minutes gone. Neither side would trouble the scorers again as the errors flowed.

Lucs were left absolutely delighted at the final whistle, to have come away with the maximum haul from one of the tougher venues in the division. Those five points ensured the status-quo remained, with Lucs two ahead of Dings Crusaders who also picked up five points at home against Bournville, and the two-way shootout for promotion continues down the path, with five games remaining, as next week Lucs host 3rd placed Clifton, whilst Dings travel to 9th placed Loughborough Students.

Star Man
Tom Jones

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