5th Dec, 2016

Injury-hit Coventry lose on the road in Plymouth

Steve Carpenter 25th Jan, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A DEPLETED Coventry side came away from Devon without any joy again after falling to their tenth defeat of the season at Plymouth Albion in National League One.

With no fewer than 14 players unavailable for the long trip down south, Coventry struggled in the wet weather conditions against a home side who had won six out of their lat seven matches.

It could have been a different story with the visitors losing by just six points with 15 minutes remaining, but Coventry pressed the self destruct button and fell to a 29-18 defeat.

A penalty on 15 minutes by Caolan Ryan put Coventry into the lead as both sides struggled with the conditions early on, but four minutes later Albion went down the other end to score the first try.

Gaston Mieres saw his clearance attempt charged down which allowed home skipper Jake Murphy to run clear and Matt Shepherd added the extras as Plymouth went in front and never lost their lead.

Murphy grabbed a second try of the match and Shepherd got in on the act too as the hosts scored a further 12 points to open up a 19-3 lead before Caolan Ryan scored a well taken penalty to keep Coventry hopes alive at half-time.

With the elements slightly more in their favour after the break, Coventry initially displayed more cohesion and urgency and were back in the match courtesy of leading try scorer Matt Price, although the muddy conditions defeated Ryan’s conversion attempt.

On 52 minutes a rare attack by the hosts saw Murphy slice through the Coventry defence to score his hat-trick and although the converstion was missed, Plymouth had done enough to secure a bonus point.

Back facing an 11-point deficit, Coventry attempted to come back again and they were able to cut the deficit again to six points when a catch and drive through the forwards ended with Danny Wright crossing for his first try of the season, which Ryan converted.

Plymouth missed a great chance to open the margin up again but a penalty attempt sailed wide before Coventry presented their opponents with a gift five minutes from time.

A lengthy pass moved play left only for Murphy to intercept and gratefully feed team mate Marc Koteczky with the Australian striding in to finally seal Coventry’s fate.

The final minutes saw Coventry desperately trying to conjure something up, but again they lost possession easily and were unable to secure a losing bonus point.