Just to let you know, Saturday’s Cornwall appearance was Ben’s 50th, confirmed by Terry Carter Chairman of Selectors. As you will understand to reach 50 caps in this era is very unusual. Graham Dawe was his Marjon coach at Plymouth University. He has also played 18 times for England Counties, captained the team on the Georgia tour. Besides his club appearances for London Irish, the Cornish Pirates, Mounts Bay, Launceston and now Barnstaple. He was Alan Mitchell’s man of the match in Redruth Colts v Penzance Newlyn colts final at Truro, when Kevin Mosley offered him a Pirate contract as he left the field. That season he played over 28 games and was young player of the season. The following season he played along side former Bath and England International Martin Haag . A member of the Mounts Bay team to win the Intermediate Cup at Twickenham. After his match for England Counties v Irish Clubs XV at Darlington, Bill Beaumont presented a full England cap to him. He was also invited to play for the Mickey Steele Bodger XV v Cambridge University in their final warm up game before the Varsity match, Bodger’s XV won . Ben has just accepted a deputy head teachers post at Millfield School , Somerset. Starting in September. I hope this is of interest to you and Trelawny’s Army supporters.
Cornwall Women staged a tremendous second half comeback to secure their place in this season’s Gill Burns Division 3 final, thanks in part to four successful conversions from tries scored close to the posts.
It was Somerset who settled the quicker ably marshalled by their fly-half Holly Edmonds who caught the eye throughout.
Somerset took the lead with a good try from lock Cleo Fawcett converted by Daisy Pearce- Lyons.
Cornwall’s reply was not long in coming, a break by centre Lisa Allin saw her get the ball to wing Emma Stefanotti, who cut a great angle to score at the posts, fly-half Faith Rowe added the extras.
The mid-field collisions were intense on both sides. Somerset got a penalty they kicked to the corner they worked the ball well to set up a try for full-back Lucy Peters.
The visitors then got themselves two score ahead when wing Nina Samocki was put in at the corner. Both scores remained unconverted but Cornwall found themselves trailing 7-17 at half-time.
Cornwall had a good chat at half-time looking to put matters right, however the second half was barely underway when the game was interrupted for a good half an hour following a serious injury to Somerset prop Beckie Glover, which required a trip to hospital.
When the game resumed it was Somerset who got the first score as Peters bagged her second of the game.
Cornwall needed a quick response and it came from classy full-back Amy Bunt who sliced through the cover to dot down under the posts for Rowe to add the conversion.
Cornwall needed a couple of tries and they came from one of the stand out performers during the campaign, centre Tia Larson, she carved a great line to score the first and then calmly took a loose kick to speed in under the bar, both tries were bettered by Holly Williams to put Cornwall 28-22 ahead.
A late try by Fawcett gave Somerset the chance to win the game but the conversion from wide proved too challenging for their kicker. Cornwall secured the ball with time up and booted it into touch to confirm their win, to huge cheers from the large crowd.
After the final whistle Cornwall’s forwards coach Jo Holden was so proud of the team. “They put their heart and soul into that game, I am so proud of them, even when we were trailing I felt they could find a way to get back in the game and they did just that.”
Three tries during the third quarter gave Cornwall the platform to earn another trip to Twickenham on 4th June to play Cheshire in a repeat of the dramatic 2019 final.
Hertfordshire gave early notice that they might pose Cornwall a few questions with their strong backs and it showed when the hosts went ahead thanks to a try from centre Josh Rudling.
Cornwall struck back almost immediately, good play between wing Alex Ducker and full-back Matt Shepherd saw Shepherd score with fly-half Fraser Honey adding the extras.
Ducker then turned from provider to scorer as he weaved his way to the try-line with Honey again on cue with the extras.
Try number three wasn’t long in arriving, a kick to the corner by Honey saw lock Tony Whittle secure the lineout ball and from the drive hooker Ben Priddey score with Honey again adding the extras.
Credit to Hertfordshire, they stormed back impressively , flanker Alex Banna made good ground before full-back Nick Foster skipped through some poor Cornish tackling to score. Then centre Sam Jones scored both tries converted by Dan Watt to make the half-time score 19-21 to Cornwall.
There can be no doubt that Cornwall had a good talking to at half-time because they emerged a different team after the break. Within a minute of the re-start Shepherd made a break with centre Jack Simmons on hand to score.
Honey having added the conversion to Simmons’ try, then slotted a penalty from 35 meters to stretch the Cornwall lead.
Lock Toby Freeman then broke away from a maul on the twenty-two to romp under the posts, before some close quarter work was finished off by prop Jess Tompsett, Honey added a conversion to Freeman’s score to make it 43-19.
Cornwall looked to the bench with Torin Clarke coming on to make his senior county debut in place of Whittle.
Cornwall hadn’t finished, a scrum in the Cornwall twenty-two saw the ball go loose with replacement Connor Gilbert slipping the ball to Mikey Austin who ran 80 meters to score Cornwall’s final try, Honey’s conversion brought up the 50 points.
Hertfordshire had the final say when Jamie Hoyes got their fourth try.
Shepherd booted the ball off the park and the referee’s final brought huge cheers from the Cornish faithful.
Speaking after the game Cornwall’s assistant coach Marek Churcher said. “I was pleased with the performance, we finally got into our stride early in the second half, which snuffed out Herts’ hopes of a comeback. It was a bit of physical wave we had to ride out during the first half, but a good half-time chat re-focused the lads and they bossed the second half. We got a little bit sucked in to the way Herts wanted to play and we said at half-time let’s get back to the Cornish way and that saw us through.
“Getting to Twickenham is a great boost to the players and supporters after all people have gone through these last couple of years, but now we must focus on our next game and prepare accordingly.”
Cornwall’s selectors have been forced to make a couple of changes to the Cornwall side that enjoyed a fine win against Hampshire last Saturday by 78-12.
Matt Shepherd has switched to full-back in place of the injured Will Trewin, who suffered concussion near the end of Saturday’s game.
Redruth’s Kyle Bradley comes in on the wing for his county debut, Kyle has impressed during his maiden season at the Reds.
On the bench Edd Pascoe is unavailable due to Naval duties, so former Cornwall captain Ben Hilton returns to the match day 22. The other change is Torin Clarke, the former Cornwall Under 20 captain who comes in on the bench in place of Brad Howe.
Kick-off at Hertford RFC is 3 pm with BBC Radio Cornwall providing live match commentary.
Cornwall team to play Hertfordshire at Hertford RFC Saturday 21st May 3 pm.
Following trials at Bristol on the 8 May, the SW selectors confirmed 5 Cornwall U20 players had been selected for the SW team.
Unfortunately, the RFU have decided there will be no England Counties U20 this season, and so these players were denied the opportunity to try and earn an England Cap!
This also meant that the SW trials were rearranged at the end of the season due to Cornwall and Berkshire reaching their respective cup finals. A big thank you to Trelawny’s Army who assisted the players attending the trials with fuel costs.
The 5 players selected were; –
Ethan Pearce-Cowley (Cinderford)
Declan Prowse (Camborne)
Pat Walton (Penryn)
Harry Larkins (Camborne)
Joss Pascoe (Truro)
Many congratulations to all 5 on their achievement.
Cornwall Women made it two wins on the bounce with a gutsy display at Grasshoppers RFC against their hosts Middlesex Women.
A very even first half saw both sides have scoring chances but the defences held firm. It was Cornwall Women who got the important first score some 17 minutes into the half when following a penalty that missed touch wing Emma Stefanotti hacked the ball into clear space, with the Middlesex defence wrong-footed, she kicked on again before gathering to score at the posts.
Cornwall were unable to convert so it remained 5-0 to Cornwall until half-time.
In the second half Cornwall were under almost constant pressure but their defence was unrelenting with a huge tackle count. Eventually Middlesex got over the line to level the scores thanks to prop Louise Simons.
Cornwall remained unfazed to put in a strong finish which saw full back Amy Bunt pick up a loose ball to run in the winning score from her own half, tackled short of the line she managed to place the ball on the line for the winning try.
Cornwall now face Somerset Women at Hayle RFC next Sunday 2 pm kick-off with a place in the Gill Burns Division 3 final at stake.
By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground. Photos Simon Bryant Iktisphoto
Cornwall served up a veritable feast of attacking rugby at Redruth as they opened the defence of the Bill Beaumont Cup with an emphatic win against a valiant Hampshire.
St. Austell’s Matt Shepherd was the star of the show helping himself to four tries, whilst fly-half Fraser Honey missed just one kick at goal all afternoon.
In front of a large crowd Cornwall got off to a fast start. Honey kicked a routine penalty before adding the extras to a Alex Ducker try following a jinking run from the winger.
Hampshire replied with a try from their prop Dan Sargent following some good pressure with fly-half Tom Fieldsend adding the extras.
However, from the re-start Cornwall were back on the scoreboard as they secured the re-start to launch a blistering attack that saw centre Jack Simmons gallop through.
Off the back of scrum Jack Oulton found Shepherd to put him in, the winger stretching to dot down on the line.
There were some big drives from the forwards with prop Tommy Phillips, and locks Tony Whittle and Toby Freeman prominent, a word too for the work of flanker Ben Fox in the loose.
From a catch-and-drive the forward powered towards the line with hooker Ben Priddey coming up with the ball, to leave Cornwall 31-7 up at half-time.
During the break Cornwall’s Under 20s paraded the Jason Leonard Cup around the pitch to huge cheers from the black and gold supporters.
After half-time it was more of the same. Oulton and Ducker launched a blistering attack that saw Shepherd in for his second.
Hampshire pulled a try back through wing Chris Buckett, but immediately Shepherd bagged his third try.
Ducker then completed his brace before Shepherd scored his fourth to put the Cornwall supporters in dreamland!
Mike Austin on as a replacement scrum-half got Cornwall’s next try with Redruth favourite hooker Richard Brown coming up with one of his trademark tries off a catch-and-drive.
Cornwall’s final try went to Freeman making his county debut, the former Cornish Pirate was delighted with his score.
Will Trewin had a solid game at full back on his county debut, he suffered a bad knock near the end but left the field walking.
Cornwall head coach Graham Dawe was satisfied with the result. He said. “The guys came together really well this week, they were determined to put on a show, first of all get the win and also score some points and as big a margin as possible.
“I thought we kept our shape well for the full eighty, we had defend at times and we put in some big tackles. The whole 22 got a good run out and we were able to see what they had to offer in a match situation.
“Next week at Hertfordshire will another step up, so we will prepare accordingly.”
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