SO 2012 is finally here and the sporting focus will no doubt be turning on London in July and the Olympic Games that we all hope will be a fantastic success for the city.
All the talk of money and success on and off the field was really brought into focus in Sunday’s piece in the Indy by Nigel Walrond in his Duchy Diary column.
Whilst the ongoing problems at Plymouth Albion in the Championship being the local high-profile news at the moment, further down the leagues clubs are being hit by player shortages as they face a stark choice play or work! Truro’s head coach and former county coach Phil Angove summed it up thus; “This season for the first time ever we have got players who, if they can work on a Saturday they invariably do. In years gone by, people would happily lose half a day’s money to play rugby, but we are getting a handful of players every week now saying they have got no money so have got to work.
It not just a problem that affects Truro, it’s prevalent throughout and more and more clubs are being affected by the economic downturn as players have to forgo playing to work extra just to make ends meet.
Back to the action and a good weekend saw me take in two live matches at Redruth and the Cornish Pirates.
Two close games but with the right results from a Cornish perspective.
At Redruth on Saturday it was great to see fly half Brett Rule kick the winning conversion with the final kick of the game. Many of us will remember how distraught Brett was back in September,when he had a kick to win the game against Henley Hawks at the Rec and missed.
Saturday’s kick was a sweet moment for a player who gives his all, as ever his tackling around the park was immense, and despite missing with his first penalty attempt he banged over all his other kicks.
You can read about the Reds’ dramatic win in the link of Bill Sobey’s match report from the WMN here.
Sunday down the Mennaye saw the Cornish Pirates fight back from 17-3 down at one stage during the first half to win a pulsating game against Nottingham 26-24.
Former Rotherham centre, Argentine, Juan Pablo Socino was at the heart of the build up to the merry men’s two first half tries. There is no doubt that BBC Radio Cornwall’s sports presenter Ross Ellis is a big fan of “the special Juan” as he calls him.
I was watching the game at the Newlyn End and witnessed at first hand the wrecking machine try scored by Nottingham flanker, Sione Kalamafoni. Pirates’ players were left strewn in his wake, a score that was both brutal and magnificent.
Blair Cowen got the Pirates first try near half-time and the comeback was completed with further scores from Grant Pointer and Dave “The Doc” Doherty. Rob Cook’s boot saw the boys home.
The game also marked a Championship debut for Aaron Penberthy, who came on for the final quarter in place of Ceiron Thomas. A solid debut from a young man whom I’ve seen play a lot at Redruth and who has really come on in leaps and bounds this season. Once again you can read Bill Sobey’s match report from the WMN in the link here.
The Cornish All Blacks got an important win in National League 2 South winning at bottom side Westcombe Park 18-12. WMN match report here.
In Tribute South West 1 West, the big game was the Cornish derby between Penryn and Camborne at the Memorial Ground. The match was broadcast live on BBC Radio Cornwall. Camborne once again triumphed 14 – 10 thanks to tries from their backrow duo Sam Matavesi and Dave Roberts, Dave Mankee added both conversions. For the Borough, skipper Lewis Vague scored a late try converted by Taron Peacock who earlier kicked a penalty.
Wadebridge Camels won 20-17 against Berry Hill at the Molesworth Field, thanks to a Jack Scott try and five penalties from the boot of James Grubb.