Truro College’s high-flying 1st XV had their wings clipped on Wednesday as they suffered a heartbreaking 31-12 loss to Oxford College in their final ACE playoff round.
Second half tries from Gideon Blacklock and Jayden Oakes were not enough to salvage victory as the hosts ran in five, sealing a comprehensive defeat for the travelling Cornishmen.
Truro were thus far unbeaten in their ACE playoff campaign, having sealed victories over SGS Filton College and Brooksby Melton College in previous weeks. Oxford came into the contest with a win and a loss to their name, losing out to Filton just one week ago.
But it was the hosts who, from the first whistle, looked the better team on the day. Two early scores down the right wing stunned Truro, who immediately looked on the back-foot. Unable to gain a foothold, they conceded a third try on the cusp of half time giving Oxford a healthy lead heading into the break.
HALF TIME OXFORD COLLEGE 19 TRURO COLLEGE 0
Eager to start their second half better than the first and hungry to secure points on the board, Truro fired out of the blocks in an attempt to salvage the game. But handling errors and poor discipline meant their efforts were futile; Oxford snatched their fourth try from a knock-on advantage, extending their lead by 26.
With the game running away from Truro, up stepped Blacklock to secure the first points in the visitors favour. The driving maul, which proved mighty in their last-minute victory over Brooksby Melton a week previous, rumbled its way over the line. Finally, the Oxford defence was broken. Dean Wills added the extra two points.
Soon after the first score came Truro’s second – this time at the hands of fullback Oakes, whose quick thinking and dancing feet opened the gap for a stretch to the line. Wills’ conversion attempt strayed just wide, closing the scoring account for the visitors.
With time running out and daylight fading, Oxford struck the final nail with a last-minute score under the floodlights. It remained unconverted but they didn’t mind; The sounding of the referee’s whistle indicated not just the end of the game, but the end of Truro’s campaign in the 2021/22 ACE league.
Jayden Oakes crosses for his second-half try
FULL TIME OXFORD COLLEGE 31 TRURO COLLEGE 12
Speaking after the final whistle, Truro College captain Archie Rolls praised his team mates for their efforts throughout the season.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys really, we’ve come on this massive journey as a squad and after a really tough start to the season I think we’ve come a long way,”
“To see how far we’ve come in this league is just unbelievable but we let ourselves down today. I think we switched off for too long and that’s the difference. We gave ourselves a bit too much to work back into and the damage had already been done.”
Watch all the best bits from Truro’s away game in Oxford HERE: