Saturday, March 9
Tribute Cornwall and Devon League
Pirates Amateurs 7
BUDE kept the pressure on leaders Penryn and Honiton in the race for promotion as they eased past Pirates Amateurs 53-7 at Bencoolen Meadow.
The home side scored four tries in the opening 40 minutes for a 22-0 lead, before adding a further five scores after the break to send the majority of the crowd home happy.
Bude were forced into a number of changes from the side that drew 10-10 at Penryn seven days earlier with many of them enforced.
In the forwards, props Adam Black and Chris Allin were unavailable while number eight Joe Wilson was injured.
Simon Jeffery and flanker Finley Fry stepped up from the bench while Finley’s brother Tremaine was back from travelling and slotted in at blindside-flanker with player/coach Angus Hodges replacing, switching to eight.
The change in personnel also saw Matt Williams move to prop and last week’s man-of-the-match Joel Troke join forces with Will Kingdon in the second-row.
The backs also saw plenty of switching around.
With the Yates brothers Steve and Andy both unavailable, Charlie Watton moved from 12 to fly-half with Kyle Speare moving in one from outside-centre to inside-centre.
Usual winger Timmy Green was available again and took Speare’s position, while Jack Horwell was recalled on the left-wing instead of the absent Will Pharo.
There was also a first appearance for a couple of seasons on the bench for centre Ryan Butler, who has moved back to the area.
The Pirates, who play their home games in Penzance, made the near two-hour journey up to the North Cornwall coast with just six wins to their name all season and are currently in a two-way battle with neighbours Hayle, to avoid finishing in the bottom, meaning that they were right up for it.
However, Bude are a formidable outfit at home having lost just once all season and scored their first try within four minutes.
From a scrum 40 metres out, Hodges picked the ball up at the base of the scrum handed off a couple of forwards and then ran the rest of the way to the line, beating the full-back for pace to the left-hand corner.
The conversion by Olly Denford was missed.
Bude continued to dominate proceedings and added a second try on nine minutes as Hodges received a pass from scrum-half Olly Mounce before offloading to the onrushing Jeffery, who crashed his way over from seven metres. This time Denford did the rest for a 12-0 lead.
A third try came on 18 minutes and this time it was the work of the majority of the team.
The forwards did brilliantly to win the ball following a Pirates put in at a scrum, 40 metres from the visitors line before the ball was worked out to the backs. After some good passing, Speare found himself on the left-wing and broke through three tackles to score from ten metres.
The conversion went astray as did Denford’s next attempt following their fourth try just three minutes later.
A dummy pod of forwards was used as a loop to release the backs out wide where Green made a 15-metre break before offloading to Horwell on the left-wing, who showed excellent composure to break a couple of tackles to score from 15 metres.
The rest of the half saw Murray Westren’s players show the fighting spirit needed to avoid the drop as they forced Bude into a series of errors as well as spending five minutes camped in the home 22. However, for all of their efforts, they went into the break at 22-0 down.
Bude started the first-half quickly and the same again happened following the break.
Just three minutes in, Jeffery received a pass from Mounce before offloading to Hodges as he was tackled and Hodges did the rest from ten metres out after stepping the full-back. Denford kicked the extras.
Bude knew that one more try would seal the game for good and it came in stunning fashion on 49 minutes.
Speare broke through on halfway before passing to Hodges as he was tackled. Hodges then ran a further ten metres before playing in Green who then gave the ball to Speare, who looked set for his second of the afternoon.
However, he was brilliantly tackled a metre from the line, but still managed to offload to winger Rory Hodges, who had ran right across the field, for the simplest of finishes.
Denford missed again but at 34-0 it was a case of how many Bude could get in the final half-hour.
They had to wait until the 59th minute for their next try as Mounce took advantage of the visitors dedicating too many men to a maul to sneak down the blindside for a well-deserved score.
The Pirates continued to battle away and finally got on the scoreboard with 16 minutes remaining as Jordan Church cut in off the right-wing to break a tackle before doing the rest.
Fly-half Isaac Blackbourn slotted the kick to make it 39-7.
Bude had 16 minutes to reach their half century of points for the afternoon and did so.
On 67 minutes, Angus Hodges, picked up the ball at the base of the scrum before drawing in two players which allowed him to offload to Speare who managed to get through and beat their full-back to score to the left of the posts.
Denford slotted his third conversion of the day.
Bude’s ninth and final try came with a minute remaining as Mounce finished off a two-on-one under the posts after being played in Kingdon, who was the beneficiary of some great work by Tremaine Fry.
However, with four games to go, Bude remain four points off Penryn after the leaders recovered from 12-0 and 22-17 down to win at mid-table Liskeard-Looe.
Angus Hodges admitted that heading into the game, he wasn’t sure how his side would react to their heartbreak at Penryn.
He said: “Because we had played so well and got a good result in such a big game last week, I think a lot of the boys treated this week as a bit of a downtime week. And, because of the two-week build-up game to the Penryn game, it felt like a bit of a comedown. So I was a bit worried we weren’t going to turn up with all cylinders firing and I was a bit wary as when we played them at their place, we struggled to get into the game and it wasn’t until the last 20 minutes that we actually started to play better.
“But as soon as the whistle went and we kicked off, it was clear that we were going to turn up and play some good rugby.”
Hodges has worked hard on getting his backs involved more, and was glad to see it pay off against the Pirates.
He said: “It was really good, there was definitely times in both halves where we weren’t that clinical, but at the same time, we were playing very fast rugby so it’s almost to be expected. But because of playing like that, we scored some cracking tries, so we can’t really knock it!
“It was really positive to see a lot of what we’ve been working on this week and I feel like at this stage of the season we’re building a lot more consistency and continuity.
“I was really happy and hopefully we can keep pushing forward and end the season on a high!”
Hodges was full of praise for three of his players, including the returning Ryan Butler.
He said: “Man-of-the-match went to Kyle Speare, who was really threatening in attack and strong in defence. Also, Ryan Butler made his first appearance for a couple of years and it’s great to have him around. He leads well in the backs and raises the intensity a bit.
“And finally, Simon Jeffery had a really good game. In the scrum we were really dominant but his work around the pitch was really good as well.”
Denford (captain), R Hodges, Green, Speare, Horwell, Watton, Mounce; Williams, Bolt, Jeffery, Kingdon, Troke, T Fry, F Fry, A Hodges
Replacements: Mead, Comber, Butler
Tries: A Hodges 2, Jeffery, Speare 2, Horwell, R Hodges, Mounce 2
Convs: Denford 4
Bude’s man-of-the-match: Kyle Speare