Gallant end to a great cup run for Wimborne
St Austell 14pts, Wimborne 8
WIMBORNE'S long South West Intermediate Cup run came to an end in a thrilling final at St Austell on Saturday with the hosts hanging on to a slender lead as the Minstermen staged a strong second-half comeback.
Wimborne were forced to make a late change with flu victim Tom Brown being replaced by James Mikolajewski. The visitors opened well and following a penalty awarded for offside were soon on the attack but the St Austell defence cleared.
After six minutes St Austell took the lead with a penalty for not rolling away. Five minutes later Wimborne conceded another penalty at the breakdown and the Saints extended their lead with a simple kick.
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This pattern of play continued with Wimborne continually incurring the wrath of the Cornish Society referee at the breakdown, before Mikolajewski was sin-binned. While down to 14 men the visitors were forced to defend strongly and after 22 minutes were able to relieve the pressure when they were awarded their second penalty of the game.
Despite limited possession Wimborne were still looking dangerous when they moved the ball wide but the St Austell defence held firm. From one such attack after 27 minutes the Saints broke out of defence up the blind side and the visitors were forced to concede a penalty under the posts which was converted to give the Cornishmen a nine point lead.
Saints came close to scoring after 35 minutes but were held up over the line. At the resulting five metre scrum St Austell knocked on and then compounded the offence as they were penalised for intentionally wheeling the next scrummage to allow Tom Moysey to clear the Wimborne lines with a long penalty kick.
Wimborne immediately went on the attack as St Austell knocked on the opening kick-off and following a lengthy break for an injury to Moysey were awarded a penalty which the young fly-half converted with aplomb.
The defensive stranglehold was eventually broken when St Austell won a lineout in midfield and set up a strong attacking position which led to a forward drive over the line for an unconverted try. Wimborne continued to spin the ball wide as both Jim Brokenshire and Mikolajewski on the wings made several strong runs before Mikolajewski was forced to leave the field following a clash of heads.
Wimborne continued to attack at every opportunity and it was St Austell's turn to incur the wrath of the referee as they were forced to concede a series of penalties and eventually yellow cards. As the clock ticked into stoppage time, Wimborne, needing two scores, spurned an easy kick at goal and opted for a scrum and eventually narrowed the gap when veteran scrum-half Jason Llewellyn squeezed over for an unconverted try.
From the resulting kick-off Wimborne launched an attack with replacement winger Jack Moriarty making a strong run into the Saints 22 before being tackled. From the resulting scrum it was a relief to the home crowd when the referee blew the final whistle.
So the great adventure came to an end as the huge band of travelling Wimborne supporters saluted their team at the end of a wonderful match.