SUNSHINE broke through the rain clouds that descended upon Kernick Road on Friday night in the form of a nonet of goals, as Penryn Athletic romped to victory in their pre-season friendly at home to Threemilestone.

Jack Rapsey was the star for the home side, scoring five goals as Penryn put their lower-league opponents to the sword. Jack James, Russell May, Harry Roberts and Jake Shaw also netted to complete a dominant evening for the men in red and white.

When you think of pre-season friendlies you may think of hot July afternoon or a very light summer’s evening – but what greeted the two teams and small crowd at Kernick was a constant downpour more reminiscent of a league game on a rainy November afternoon.

Harry Pope’s boys will have hoped to brighten the mood with a solid start, but they found themselves a goal down less than 60 seconds after the referee’s opening whistle, with a Threemilestone striker cutting in from the left and firing past stand-in goalkeeper Bradley Leivers.

But no-one would have anticipated the feat of goalscoring that was to happen next, as Penryn recovered to race into a 4-1 lead with just 16 minutes played.

Captain May led by example with a fine near-post volley from a corner to level on six minutes, with Rapsey bagging the first of his four a minute later to complete the turnaround.

Shaw made it three a few minutes afterwards with a good finish from just inside the box, before Rapsey’s powerful 25-yard drive made it four against the shell-shocked visitors.

Threemilestone briefly stemmed the bleeding with a goal of their own but they were powerless to stop the in-form Rapsey, who bagged his second hat-trick in three days with a close-range finish.

The striker netted a treble in Tuesday night’s rollercoaster 4-4 draw at home to St Mawgan, but he went one better on Friday with a sublime curling shot into the corner from distance to make it six in the 33rd minute.

That brought an end to a remarkable run of seven goals in less than half an hour, but James continued the goal-fest just two minutes after the break with one of the best of the lot, a well-placed strike into the very top right corner from the edge of the box.

Rapsey rounded off his excellent evening with his fifth goal on 52 minutes before Roberts completed the rout on the hour.

The final 30 minutes of the match was a procession, with the main action revolving around Rapsey’s strike partner Ryan Reeve, who cut a frustrated figure as he tried to add his name to the scoresheet.

Reeve topped the Combination League scoring charts last season with 43 goals in both league and cup but couldn’t find a way through in Friday’s game despite several efforts on goal.

But the pacey frontman was still a constant thorn in the Threemilestone defenders’ sides and provided plenty of assistance to his team-mates, while his link with new strike partner Rapsey continues to develop as well, so his failure to score should be of little concern.

To make matters worse for Threemilestone, one of their players was sent to the sin bin nine minutes from time. The rule, which has been successfully used in rugby and gives players a ten-minute time-out for foul play, comes into place in all leagues from South West Peninsula League level and below this season and will be used to punish dissent.

Rapsey was then given a much-deserved ovation as he departed the field shortly before the final whistle. The striker enjoyed another wonderful night in front of goal and has now scored nine in three pre-season games since joining Penryn after missing the whole of last season through injury.

Pope joked at the end of the game that he hopes he hasn’t used up all his goals in pre-season, but if he can hit the back of the net with regularity alongside Reeve this year, then Penryn, who missed out on the Combination League by two points last season, will surely be destined for another title battle.

Penryn: B Leivers, N Boase, Russell May, J Shaw, K McPhilbin, L Osborne, J James, H Roberts, R Reeve, J Rapsey, Reggie May. Subs: E Rowe, D Lord, L Jarvis.