Mon 24 Apr 2017 04:48 PM

Sat 3 Sep 2016

Falmouth RFC
Topsham RFC

A deluge greeted Topsham on their first ever visit to the Recreation ground for the opening fixture of the 2016-17 Devon and Cornwall league season. Eagles coach Graham Whitmore had selected several new faces, Owen Hambly, Seb FIrth and Matt Brewer and welcomed back scrumhalf Richard Bray after a two season lay off, following a serious knee injury.

Newly promoted to the division, Topsham were an unknown quantity, with the rain pouring and both sides nervous, early exchanges were hesitant, with several handling errors. As the half progressed, the new Eagles' combinations started to gel, the back row of Hambly, Simmons and Kindjarsky breaking upfield and linking well, Bray and Justyn Irons, the half backs, finding their voices and getting the backs moving.

Topsham had the opportunity to open the scoring but Luke Edwardson pushed his penalty wide. Falmouth seized the initiative, with the wind in their favour, Bray and Irons kicked to the corners putting pressure on the Topsham defence. The Eagles dominated the line outs, Baglow and Dobson stealing ball after ball and eventually full back Seb Firth broke the deadlock, with the only score of the half, after play was moved wide following a midfield drive, Irons missing the conversion.

The visitors, only five points in arrears, started the second half confidently, number eight Rupert Stanning threatening but Falmouth's defence held firm and soon increased their lead with a well-managed catch and drive, Ashley Searle crossing the line and Irons securing the extras. Falmouth looked like extending the lead through substitute Trevor Ward, galloping up the field but he just failed to offload to support.

The Eagles looked the more likely winners but the 12 point lead was never totally comfortable and Topsham almost capitalised from a kick and chase, Nick Carne, rushing back to save the day for the home team. After clearing play into opposition territory Alex Kindjarsky produced the moment of the game, hunting down the Topsham full back, flying into the tackle and securing the ball.

In the final stages, the rain finally cleared, Irons was presented with a kickable penalty but chose to run it instead, falling short of the line, Falmouth were pushed back but Irons, given a second chance, dropped a goal to seal the win.

Falmouth will next head to Honiton, who lost their opener to Tavistock.

Falmouth: Searle, Church, Cock, Baglow, Dobson, Kindjarsky, Hambly, Simmons, Bray, Irons, Carne, Edmonds, Spiller, Brewer, Firth.
Reps: Tonkins, Kirk, Ward.

Written by James Instance.

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