Winscombe left with nothing to show for big effort after St Austell hopefuls take win
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 January 2019
Winscombe were left to wonder what might have been after their 19-8 home defeat to high-flying St Austell in Tribute Western Counties West.
They had their work cut out against a side challenging for the top spot with Sidmouth, but started brightly playing up the slope.
The hosts had the better of the opening period but failed to break down a determined St Austell defence and the Cornishmen took the lead when centre Shane John’s looping pass found winger Fraser Nottle in space to sprint to the corner for a try.
Full-back Cavan Boyer added an impressive touchline conversion and, as half-time approached, Nottle scored again from short range after a series of drives inside the Winscombe 22 to make it 12-0 at the break.
Winscombe came out fighting in the second half, playing down the slope, and drove over for a try as number eight Will Thomas emerged from a pile of bodies on the line.
Centre Sam Dearsley was just off-target with his conversion attempt but soon made amends with a penalty after St Austell were caught not rolling away.
Now only four points behind their rivals and with all of the momentum, Winscombe had hopes of an unlikely comeback.
But they were guilty of some poor decision-making and St Austell regained field position, before flanker Rory Jago skipped through the defence to score under the posts.
Boyer added the conversion but as the minutes ticked down, Winscombe went agonisingly close to a losing bonus point when the ball was moved quickly from a lineout drive to wing Cameron Lapes who, while in the process of going over in the corner, had the ball knocked from his grasp by an impressive last-gasp cover tackle from George Tregilgas.
Winscombe are set to make the trip to Crediton this weekend.