At the final whistle yesterday there is now doubt that the Cornish lads felt that but for a couple of breaks, they and not Hertfordshire, would be going to Twickenham next Sunday to face Lancashire in the Bill Beaumont Cup Final, at the ridiculous hour of 11 a.m.
“What could have been” lamented skipper Ben Hilton. The late penalty that hit the upright coupled with some indifferent referring left Cornwall in the runners-up spot in the pool.
“Last week is on everyone’s mind, it ruined my week the rest of the squad choked on it too. You can talk about the kick at the end but for me it wasn’t the kick we didn’t sadly do enough on the day and a good side will punish you. Two minutes losing our focus proved costly and our chance has gone for this year, but we demonstrated great spirit and pride and it’s good for our supporters to see us playing some quality rugby again.
“We knew the situation from Cinderford via our management fed us the news. I wanted to maximise our points to give us a chance should Hertfordshire slip up, but they did enough so congratulations to them on getting to Twickenham again.
“I chose to play up the slope first half, possibly against the conditions, we went in at half-time ahead, despite the fact that some were unhappy with our performance! However, I think we played to our strength, I was prepared to defend during the first half, but I don’t think North Midlands fully used their advantage and in the second half we did use it to good effect.
“The coaches backed me 100 per cent with my decision to play up the slope first half and I was prepared for us to be trailing at half-time, that we led was a bonus.
“We had forward dominance and this week we were rewarded by the officials in that phase of the game.
“I agree that we should have scored more points, and that we squandered chances, but to be fair they never really threatened our line”.