Recent visits to the Memorial Ground at Hayle have been fruitless experiences for Falmouth but on Saturday all that disappointment was put behind them as they stormed to a bonus point victory on the road, writes James Instance.
Playing into the wind and up the slope, Falmouth calculated that if the score was close at half time, with the conditions in their favour, in the second period they should win and maintain their position towards the top of the Devon and Cornwall league.
The Eagles looked to have made the best possible start when from a scrum on the half way line, in a rehearsed move, the ball was slickly shipped across the field and over the try line but Falmouth's wing Matt Lea was adjudged to have stepped in touch.
Hayle cleared the ball downfield, from the line out, Falmouth strayed offside and fly half Scott Harvey slotted his first of three penalties for the half.
Chris McColl, being cleverly used as a strike runner, smashed his way through the Lions defence earning a penalty which Justin Irons put over, swiftly followed by his second for a 6-3 Falmouth lead.
Falmouth looked to keep the ball in hand, with probing attacks from, Ian Rowe and Tom Job. However, there were missed opportunities as whenever they got into the all important 'red zone', looking to score tries, composure deserted them and Hayle were able to clear their lines.
Energised from keeping the Eagles at bay, Hayle swarmed forward, Joel Cameron and Rob Goodman leading the way with driving runs at the Falmouth midfield and earning the Lions their second and third penalties both converted by Harvey and putting Hayle ahead 9-6.
There was a marked difference in playing style, Hayle were playing frenetically while Falmouth used more structure. Eagles scrum half John Tyson acting as playmaker and organiser. As Falmouth organisation took hold, Irons converted his third penalty after Hayle 8 Tony Mathews slapped the ball from Tysons hands, 9 each at halftime.
While Falmouth were confident at the start of the second half Hayle effectively gifted the win to them as in a mad 2 minute spell three Lions were sent to the sin bin.
The Eagles kicked deep into Hayle territory and spread the ball across the field, winger Lea again making good ground, when the ball was moved back across the pitch, prop Dan Kirk, unexpectedly popping up on the wing, showed an impressive turn of speed before being hauled down a metre short. From the ensuing scrum Hayle were being pushed back over the line but cynically stopped the score, earning a yellow card, John Tyson took a quick tap and scored, Irons converting. Hayle were further penalised with wing Ashley White yellow carded for a high tackle and another forward sin binned for illegally encroaching at the ruck.
With 12 players Hayle were under the cosh and Falmouth exploited the advantage to the full, driving the weakened scrum backwards Tom David stormed upfield and centre Tom Edmonds crashed over, Irons taking the extras.
With overlaps all over the field Tom Spiller was able to put Chris McColl in under the posts for another 7 point score, Falmouth extending the lead to 30 points to 9.
With fifteen back on the field Hayle worked hard to get back into the game but every time they got close to the line, Falmouth managed to clear the danger using the wind to push the ball deep downfield.
The bonus point try followed a piece of individual skill from Irons, who chipped and regathered his own kick offloading to Tyson for his second, Irons converting.
With the match secure, Falmouth spilled opportunities to increase the score but Hayle had the last word when a quick line out gave wing White the chance to run through a disorganised defence, Harvey converting.
This was an encouraging victory for the Eagles who now look forward to the visit of Pirates Amateurs this Saturday.
Written by James Instance, photo by Sunshine Tucker