Ashes Pushed All The Way By Argaum
By Richard Belli
Cross Tamar Rivals take the spoils in a high quality, competitive encounter in front of a large crowd.
Referee Lance Doggart complimented both teams after the match on the quality of their play in this highly competitive encounter. It was the first meeting between these sides for 15 years and although Saltash took the victory as in 2001, the circumstances were very different this time. The visitors were made to work very hard for a win which their supporters admitted didn't seem likely early on.
Argaum continued as they left off in last week's derby match at Plymstock and took the game to their opponents from the start. There was less than 5 minutes on the clock before the ball was worked wide for center John Foulston to touch down for the opening score which Jamie Fellowes converted. The Chiefs continued to dominate the opening period making several inroads into Ashes territory and it was surprising that they didn't add to the score. The visitors weathered the storm and gradually got back into the game getting their own strike runners in action and on 23 minutes center Nick Blake went in under the sticks for a try that he converted. The play was fairly even for the rest of the half, but whereas Argaum missed a penalty shot, center Blake slotted his chance to give the Cornish side a 10-7 interval lead.
Losing scrum-half Ben Glanfield to injury disrupted Argaum's back line but they continued to play expansive rugby. However the Saltash defence was equal to it and they started to exert control in the scrum with ex-Argaum junior Adam Coutts joined in the visitors front row by veteran Rob Eatwell (the sole survivor from the match 15 years ago). Despite plenty of good field position the vistors were kept out by some great Argaum defence, Troy Gobey pulling off a superb corner flag tackle to stop one effort.
The inevitable came when after a series of tap penalties Tom Rixon crossed for a try which sealed the game, Blake once again converting. With their own veteran Nick Hancock now on the field Argaum's scrum had a bit more stability and they launched a series of attacks in the last 5 minutes and stretched the Saltash defence to its limits.
Ultimately there was no further score and Argaum can feel unlucky that they didn't at least pick up a losing bonus point. Despite missing a few players they pushed all the way a side that was plying its trade in Western Counties West last season.