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Cornwall ready for Surrey test

Bill Hooper reports from the training session at Camborne last night (Wednesday 18 May) with photos from Simon Bryant Iktisphoto.

Cornwall go into Saturday’s game against Surrey knowing that they are just eighty minutes from a fourth successive visit to England rugby’s illustrious HQ!

Between them and that achievement is a Surrey side who will be battling to avoid a swift return to Division 2 of the Bill Beaumont Cup following two defeats against Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Cornwall make just minor positional changes to the starting XV, whilst the bench will be finalised later in the week.

For Surrey former Redruth player Ed Carne, who plied his trade in France notably at Nevers and more recently with Rouen (with coach former England scrum-half Richard Hill) features on the wing for the visitors.


Photo: Graham Dawe gets his point across

Head coach Graham Dawe is taking nothing for granted and expects Surrey to pose a tough hurdle for his side to overcome in their quest for more Twickenham glory.

“We have had two very hard-fought wins against good sides who have tested us,” remarked Dawe.

“We aren’t getting ahead of ourselves, so any talk about congratulations about the job thus far are premature; two wins from a pool of four leads us to a mini cup final this Saturday.”

Dawe acknowledged that his side had been pushed all the way in their previous two games: “They have been close games and fine margins usually determine games. We’ve been on the right side so far in both games but we felt the pressure right up to the final whistle. Those games have seen the side forge an identity. You’ve seen players fighting for the shirt, laying their bodies on the line for the county, players such as Sam Matavesi who have been going right to the end getting off the floor to put in yet another tackle and that’s what really counts.


Photo: Skipper Kyle Marriott leads the way

Skipper Kyle Marriott also knows that his side has won no prizes yet; good work accomplished but the main push towards the summit begins on Saturday: “Good work from the boys so far but we have a huge game to win this Saturday. We aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. One poor game and it could easily slip out of our hands. Surrey will be no pushovers and we expect a titanic battle with them.”

Marriott feels that the side are coming together game by game: “I am pleased with the progress so far. I think we are growing as a squad game by game, but we all feel that there is still more to come from this squad and that’s exciting.

“The games have been close but I think reflects on the sides this season. They have all upped their game. This is not an easy tournament at the end of a long hard league campaign. Winning is key and if we can keep winning then we will be successful. We are fortunate to have many of the players who were involved last year, whilst the new players coming in have bought into what we are trying to do.”


Photo: Sam Matavesi training on his ‘home’ turf

One for the new players in the county squad this season is Bude’s Duncan Tout: “It’s a big step up for me but it’s a great experience to be involved with the County this season. I have found myself improving as a player, benefiting greatly from the training sessions run by the coaches. For me, it’s big commitment travelling down from Bude but one that’s really worthwhile.


Photo: Coach Ian Morgan surveys the Rec.

“The training is intense with everyone pushing really hard so I have got to step up which is tough but enjoyable. The club are pleased to see a north Cornwall boy involved with the County.”

Cornwall (Plymouth Albion unless stated): M Shepherd, L Vinnicombe (Redruth), J Murphy, N Webber (Redruth), R Wedlake, B Searle, G Goodfellow (Chinnor); T Cowan-Dickie, R Brown, C Williams (all Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Camborne), K Marriott (Redruth, capt), S Matavesi, H Stupple.

Replacements: R Freestone, P Joyce (Redruth), BJ Chapman (Taunton), C Fuca (Redruth), L Webb (Taunton), S Parsons (Redruth), J Dawe.

Surrey (Dorking unless stated): O Turner (London Irish WG), E Carne, R Jeffery, S Cunningham (London Irish WG), K Irving, M Noble, W Crow (Rosslyn Park); C Connor (London Irish WG), J Catton, C Zeiss (Esher), I Kench (Esher, capt), D Flashman (Wimbeldon), D Livett (London Irish WG), H Elbrow, H Rowland (Rosslyn Park).

Replacements: M Bunn (London Irish WG), S Obano, T Lee, J Hunt (Wimbeldon), M McDonald (London Scottish), B Marfo, J Gott (London Irish WG).

Posted in Bill's Blog


Phil Westren looks back at three classic Cornish encounters with Surrey from 1966-67

 County Championship semi-final 1967

Cornwall versus Surrey – A Look Back In Time!

For Cornish rugby followers of a certain vintage, this weekend’s match will kindle memories of three thrillingly tense matches played against Surrey 49 years ago.


Lineout action from the Athletic Ground, Richmond

Those were in the halcyon days of the County Championship, a competition which for many years was all-important, just one small step down from England trials.

In 1966-67 Cornwall played four early season friendly matches, including one at Penzance which was drawn 6-all against a strong Lancashire side. These games were vital preparation for what lay ahead, the real test known to be a Championship opener against Gloucestershire at Bristol in October. That match was won 9-3, and it was followed by a more comfortable 14-3 win against Somerset at Redruth. The final group match was against Devon at Camborne, which Cornwall won 9-0 thanks to three penalty goals kicked by Roger Hosen, who was England’s full-back that season. Two Pirates in the county’s side were centre Jimmy Glover and prop ‘Stack’ Stevens, and it was only the fourth time in all their history that Cornwall had won all of their group matches.


Roger Hosen – kicking for England

The quarter-final was against Oxfordshire at Redruth in January, Cornwall winning 16-6, with Penryn’s Graham Bate outstanding at full-back. Nobody knew it, but a story was about to unfold, the like of which the County Championship had never seen before.

A strong Surrey team were Cornwall’s opponents in the semi-final, but at least we were drawn at home on the first Saturday in February, for a match played at Redruth. The game ended in a 6-all draw.

Selection is often contentious, and there was certainly a level of controversy concerning the relative and impressive merits of both Graham Bate and Roger Hosen, the latter not selected against either Oxfordshire or Surrey.


Photo: Cornwall’s hooker Roger Harris

Roger was recalled for the replay, a sensational encounter played two weeks later at Richmond. 14-3 down, with twenty minutes to go all looked lost, but the Duchy’s finest refused to give in. With just seconds left hooker Roger Harris (Plymouth Albion) linked with fly-half Richard Sharp, who had Kenny Plummer (Penryn) in support. The swerving winger, elusive and deceptively strong, made it to the line, leaving Roger Hosen with as big a pressure kick as he ever attempted in his illustrious career. Yes, you know it went over, but what next? The answer, a second replay, back at Redruth on the 4th March.

Cornwall kept the same side: Roger Hosen, Kenny Plummer, Jimmy Glover, Tommy Palmer, Derek Prout, Richard Sharp, Ian Davey, Ron Glazsher, Gerry McKeown, Ray George, John Allen, Alan Greep, Rex Buckingham, Roger Harris and ‘Stack’ Stevens, but they disappointingly lost 14-3, there being no ‘Boys Own’ ending to a still remarkable, and wholly memorable eleven-match season.

Disappointing? Of course it was, but with a good crop of players to choose from it was no surprise that in 1968-69, the final would be reached – but that’s a story for another day!

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornwall overcome Herts hurdle to set up Camborne finale

BILL BEAUMONT CUP SOUTHERN GROUP

HERTFORDSHIRE 15 – 23 CORNWALL

Photos: Simon Bryant Iktisphoto

Cornwall at times spluttered their way to another win at Bishop’s Stortford against a tough Hertfordshire side who pushed the reigning county kings all the way, reports Bill Hooper.

The Black and Golds began the game in great style going 12-0 up in the first quarter. Flanker Sam Matavesi scored Cornwall’s first try from a catch-and-drive and then No.8 Herbie Stupple barged his way over for Cornwall’s second try which was converted by full back Matt Shepherd to the cheers of the travelling Cornish support.


Photo: Sam Matavesi powers through the Herts’ defence

Cornwall were then guilty of letting their opponents back into it, as they fell-foul of referee Luis Caviglia, giving away a string of penalties and making far too many unforced errors.

Hertford hooker Brett McNamee snaffled a loose ball to score in the corner, then fly-half Josh Sharp kicked a penalty to bring his side to within four points of Cornwall.

Hertfordshire sensed the tide was in their favour, pounding the Cornish line and twice being held up over the line. Cornwall then conceded a penalty-try as Hertfordshire racked up the pressure from a five metre scrum, converted by Sharp for a 15-12 lead at the break.


Photo: Craig Williams on the drive

Matt Shepherd tied the scores early in the second half with a penalty, before Cornwall found themselves down to fourteen men as centre Jake Murphy was sent to the bin for not rolling away. Cornwall not only survived the ten minutes without conceding a score, they actually re-took the lead as Shepherd kicked his second penalty following another great break from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow.

Cornwall then made the game safe when Matavesi scored his second try of the game, his fourth in two games, to set up a finale at Camborne on Saturday against a Surrey side who have lost both their opening games.

After two wins Cornwall will want to finish their pool games with a great win at Camborne in front of a huge crowd.


Photo: Matavesi scores!

Up north, Lancashire and Cheshire both won for the second time, they will face each other at Sedgley Park to decide the winners of the Northern Group, whilst both Yorkshire and Eastern Counties, each without a point, will battle out a relegation decider at Grange Road, Cambridge.

In Division 2, Devon secured a second win at North Midlands. A draw at Medway against Kent will promote them back to the top-tier in Cornwall’s group next season.

East Midlands look likely to win the Northern Division 2, having already defeated Northumberland and Leicestershire.

Hertfordshire (Bishop’s Stortford unless stated): P Dotta, J Rea, S Winter, J Neville, G Elliott (Ampthill), J Sharp (Loughborough Students), T Banks; R Adams-Hale (Ampthill), B McNamee (Hertford), S Edwards, R Conquest (Darlington MP), M Tomlinson, S Ball (capt), A Maka (Letchworth), D Archer (Hertford)

Replacements (all used): W Roberts, A Berry (Chinnor), M Steele (Barnes), R Young, T Sargent (Hertford), D Watt (Loughborough Students), M Gallagher

Hertfordshire scores Tries, McNamee, Penalty, Conversion, Sharp, Penalty, Sharp

Cornwall: (Plymouth Albion unless stated): M Shepherd, L Vinnicombe (Redruth) J Murphy, N Webber (Redruth), R Wedlake, B Searle, G Goodfellow (Chinnor); R Freestone, R Brown (Redruth), C Williams (Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Camborne), K Marriott (Redruth, capt), S Matavesi, H Stupple.

Replacements (used): T Cowan-Dickie (Redruth), BJ Chapman (Taunton), D Cook (Camborne), C Fuca (Redruth), J Dawe, S Parsons (Redruth).

Replacement (not used): R Kevern (Camborne)

Cornwall scores: Tries, Matavesi (2), Stupple, Conversion, Shepherd, Penalties, Shepherd (2)

Yellow Card: Murphy (45)

Referee: Luis Caviglia (RFU)

Crowd: 360

Cornwall-man-of-the-match: Sam Matavesi, another top-drawer display from the Albion open side, another two tries scored, and will relish playing at Camborne this Saturday.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornwall ring changes for trip to Herts

Cornwall go into Saturday’s game against Hertfordshire at Bishop’s Stortford (kick-off 3 pm) with a side showing seven positional changes and just one new face in the match day twenty-two.

Cornwall’s coaches and selectors have had much to ponder over the last few days following, Cornwall’s dramatic late win against Gloucestershire at Redruth.


Cornwall coach Ian Morgan

Camborne’s Richie Kevern, who had a good game for Cornwall in the Tamar Cup, comes onto the bench, as Taunton’s Lewis Webb is unavailable.

Robin Wedlake is the only player from the Gloucestershire win to keep his place in the back three, Matt Shepherd moves to full-back, with Jake Murphy moving to centre in place of Sam Parsons who drops to the bench. Lewis Vinnicombe starts in place of John Dawe on the other wing.

At half-back, Billy Searle has recovered from illness and regains his place from Webb, whilst Greg Goodfellow starts at scrum-half, following his impressive introduction from the bench against Gloucestershire.


Photo: Billy Searle set to return this Saturday

In the front row, Craig Williams remains at tight-head, whilst Rupert Freestone switches from hooker to loose-head in place of Tom Cowan-Dickie who drops to the bench. Richard Brown starts at hooker.


Photo: Sam Matavesi had a big game against Gloucestershire

Hertfordshire were pushed all the way in their opening game at home to Surrey, just beating their opponents 31-28. They had ten players from Bishop’s Stortford in their ranks, although they will be without their players from Old Albanian, who are involved in the National League 2 play-off for promotion with Sedgley Park.

Cornwall’s task against Hertfordshire will nevertheless be a tough one, with the large Bishop’s Stortford contingent keen to win on home turf.

Cornwall: (Plymouth Albion unless stated): M Shepherd, L Vinnicombe (Redruth) J Murphy, N Webber (Redruth), R Wedlake, B Searle, G Goodfellow (Chinnor); R Freestone, R Brown (Redruth), C Williams (Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Camborne), K Marriott (Redruth, capt), S Matavesi, H Stupple.

Replacements: T Cowan-Dickie (Redruth), BJ Chapman (Taunton), D Cook (Camborne), C Fuca (Redruth), R Kevern (Camborne), J Dawe, S Parsons (Redruth)

Travelling reserves: L Chapman (Cornish All Blacks), D Mankee (Redruth), D Tout (Bude)

Hertfordshire XV

  1. Ralph Adams-Hale (Ampthill)
  2. Brett McNamee (Hertford)
  3. Sean Edwards (Bishops Stortford)
  4. Rob Conquest (Darlington Mowden Park)
  5. Mat Tomlinson (Bishops Stortford)
  6. Steve Ball (Bishops Stortford) (C)
  7. Anthony Maka (Letchworth)
  8. Dave Archer (Hertford)

  9. Tom Banks (Bishops Stortford)

  10. Josh Sharp (Loughborough Students)
  11. George Elliott (Ampthill)
  12. Johnny Neville (Bishops Stortford)
  13. Sam Winter (Bishops Stortford)
  14. Jimmy Rea (Bishops Stortford)
  15. Pierfrancesco Dotta (Bishops Stortford)

  16. Will Roberts (Bishops Stortford)

  17. Andy Berry (Chinnor)
  18. Matthew Steele (Barnes)
  19. Rory Young (Bishops Stortford)
  20. Tom Sargent (Hertford)
  21. Dan Watt (L’boro)
  22. Michael Gallagher (Bishops Stortford)
Posted in Bill's Blog


TASC assists Cornwall U20 players involved with SW division


Photo Simon Bryant: TASC Press Officer Bill Hooper along with Cornwall Under 20 Players Luke Hattam, Jack Simmons (capt), Tommy-Lee Southworth, Tommy Phillips and Ben Illsley

Many of you will have seen (and hopefully purchased an item or two) from our merchandising stand at Redruth on Saturday (7 May 2016).

Many thanks must go to our hard-working volunteers especially Chairman Phil and his good lady Marina for running the stand and placing the stock orders to keep the Army lookin’ proper!

We take pride in the fact that all our profits are ploughed back into the game locally, an example of this took place at half-time on Saturday when we were delighted to present members of this season’s Cornwall Under 20s a small contribution towards their considerable travelling costs to trial and training games for the South West this season.

Ben Stean, Adam Hughes, Jack Simmons, Tommy-Lee Southworth and Dan Rutter were all involved with training at Keynsham with Tommy- Lee and Dan going on to represent the South West against London and the South East at Maidenhead.

Tommy Phillips, our Cornwall U20 player of the year last season, despite being injured over the trials period, has earned selection for the England Counties Under 20 training squad, which will tour Russia in June. Tommy played on the inaugural tour for England Counties Under 20s last season, along with Todd Prisk, when they toured Hungary.

On Saturday we were delighted to make a presentation to the players and wish them all the best for their careers in rugby.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Goodfellow’s wining return to Rec lays demons to rest


Photo by Simon Bryant: Goodfellow on his way to scoring on Saturday

Twelve months ago, Greg Goodfellow played his final game for Redruth. It was his 100th game for the club, and to mark that milestone he would receive the famous red jacket – yes there is a Cornish equivalent to that famous green jacket in Augusta for the Masters Golf! Then there was the prospect of another county championship campaign with Cornwall aiming to get back to Twickenham for a third consecutive year.

Sadly it all went horribly wrong for Greg in that game against Southend, as he was shown a red card by referee Calum Howard for alleged foul play reported by the touch judge. It brought to a sorry end Greg’s stay at Redruth and forced him to miss the county championship campaign that saw Cornwall triumphant at Twickenham. It was a bitter pill to swallow.

So fast forward twelve months, the scene the Recreation Ground, Redruth, Cornwall beginning the defence of their title against old foes Gloucestershire in front of a large crowd of bedecked Cornish men and women wearing the famous black and gold. Cornwall were struggling with their opponents, trailing by 20-11, under the same referee Calum Howard; in the 51st minute of the game, (and as my late colleague Paul Bawden often wrote), it was a case of “Cometh the hour, cometh the man!” So the scene was set for the return of Goodfellow on the pitch that he had graced in the red shirt with all the frustrations and disappointments of twelve months previous waiting to be exorcised….

Cornwall’s favourite Scotsman didn’t disappoint: he scored a memorable 70 metre try, in Hellfire corner (where else?), with his old club mate Lewis Vinnicombe playing no small part in the move; two other Goodfellow breaks were the catalyst for two further Cornwall scores as they sealed a remarkable comeback 33-27.

Interviewed after the game, Goodfellow spoke with the calmness and satisfaction of a man who had come to put matters right, and had done so brilliantly.  He said: “It’s hard to describe how I feel. They say that some fairy tales don’t have a happy ending, but for me in that game it was the best ending possible. Hopefully I’ve created some chaos and a few selection headaches for the selectors for next week!”

CORNWALL V LANCS 2014 GREG GOODFELLOW mini
Photo Simon Bryant: Goodfellow playing for Cornwall in 2014 at Twickenham

Goodfellow’s elation at scoring the vital try that stretched Cornwall’s lead to 26-20, when all looked lost at 11-20 down as he came on, was indescribable: “To get over the whitewash and score that try was amazing especially in front of all those fans. The frustrations of having to sit out last season’s campaign and watch Cornwall triumph at Twickenham was hard to bear. Having played a big part in the previous campaigns it was tough to miss out on the lads great win last season. I wanted to get myself back into the squad and if an opportunity came along, take it with both hands.

“Whatever happens I am just happy to be involved again playing with a great bunch, even when Gloucestershire scored that late try to regain the lead I had confidence that we could go down the other and score and we did. We showed the character that we have, the passion, the desire to get back to Twickenham again; but it’s one game at a time, we focus on Hertfordshire next week and then see where we are after that.”

Posted in Bill's Blog


Tenacious Cornwall battle to last gasp win

BILL BEAUMONT CUP SOUTHERN POOL

CORNWALL 33 – 27 GLOUCESTERSHIRE

By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground, photos by Simon Bryant Iktisphoto

Cornwall staged a late comeback to snatch a win with the final play of the game thanks to a try from hooker Rupert Freestone following a powerful maul from the Cornish forwards roared on by the partisan Cornish crowd.


Photo: Cornwall’s head coach Graham Dawe with much to ponder prior to Herts

Head coach Graham Dawe was relieved his side had won, but they made hard work of it: “We made far too many errors for my liking, especially during the first half, but we went back to basics and in the end it was the scrum and the maul that got us through. I am not sure who stood the ball up, whether it was Ben Hilton or Damien Cook, but between them they did. It may not have been pretty but it did the job.”

Dawe was pleased with the impact of his bench: “Goodfellow backed himself for his try and that paid off. I thought Cook and Vinnicombe also showed their experience when they came on.”

On Goodfellow’s try, Dawe felt his replacement had taken the wrong option: “His decision to go from 75 metres out was flamboyant, it’s not a call I would of made, but once he’s made the call he had to score! It will give me and the selectors food for thought for next week. We shall see who gets the nod. Both Greg and Matt Shepherd are great scrum-halves. It’s good to have them both in the squad.”

Cornwall took an early lead with a couple of Matt Shepherd penalties but Gloucestershire had shown their willingness to run the ball, so it was no surprise that they stormed back with a fine try from Sam Hanks converted by Leo Fielding.


Photo: Matt Shepherd moved to full back when Goodfellow came on

Cornwall retook the lead with an unconverted try through flanker Sam Matavesi from a catch-and-drive, to lead 11-7 at half-time. The Fijian international, who always revels playing for Cornwall, went on to have an outstanding game for the Black and Gold.

Gloucestershire made a great start to the second half when Sam Baker scored their second try, with Fielding once again adding the extras before kicking a couple of penalties, and setting nerves jangling in the Cornish crowd.

Cornwall needed the next score and they got it, as Matavesi bagged his second try after great work from skipper Kyle Marriott. Shepherd added the extras to cut the deficit to just two points.

The coaches rang the changes for Cornwall, with both Greg Goodfellow and Lewis Vinnicombe arriving to sharpen up the attacking options, whilst Damien Cook came on in the pack looking to write another page in his family’s glorious participation in the county championship with Cornwall.

Roared on by the sizeable Cornish crowd, the introduction of Goodfellow galvanised Cornwall. The scrum-half made the first of his trademark breaks to set up great field position for Cornwall, from which Shepherd kicked a penalty.


Photo: Cornwall skipper Kyle Marriott and hooker Rupert Freestone

Then he made a break from his own twenty-two, trading passes with Vinnicombe to score Cornwall’s third, try to huge cheers from the clamouring fans. Shepherd just missed the conversion, which looked to be crucial as Gloucestershire worked a good field position, and from their own catch-and-drive the ball was moved to the narrow side for Chris Rovery to score in the corner. Fielding added the extras, and Gloucestershire were ahead with time almost up.

Cornwall threw the kitchen sink into one final effort: forwards and backs were all involved, but with a penalty coming Cornwall mauled for the line, with Freestone getting the vital bonus point try and Shepherd converting with the final kick of the game to send the fans into delirium!

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): J Murphy (Plymouth Albion), J Dawe (Albion), S Parsons, N Webber, R Wedlake (Albion), L Webb (Taunton), M Shepherd; T Cowan-Dickie, R Freestone (Albion), C Williams, B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Camborne), K Marriott (capt), S Matavesi (Albion), H Stupple (Albion).

Replacements: L Vinnicombe for Dawe (49), D Cook (Camborne) for Hilton (49), G Goodfellow (Chinnor) for Webber (52), BJ Chapman (Taunton) for Whittle (75), R Brown for Cowan-Dickie (79), Hilton for Chapman (81)

Replacements (not used): C Fuca, R Mankee

Cornwall scores: Tries, Matavesi (2), Goodfellow, Freestone, Conversions, Shepherd (2), Penalties, Shepherd (3)

Gloucestershire (Cinderford unless stated): M Wilcox (capt), R Goatley (Newent), S Hanks, L Fielding (Blackheath), S Baker, L Hemming (Old Centralians), J Dean (Newent); S Fritchley (Old Centralians), S Wilkes (Stourbridge), J Spencer (Hartpury), P Buxton (un-attached), J Robson (Dursley), J Rovery (Lydney), M Brown, M Lane

Replacements: J Rafter (Hartpury) for Fritchley (30), T Jerrum (Lydney) for Buxton (30), D Broady for Brown (41), J Lloyd (Dings) for Spencer (52), Buxton for Jerrum (60), Fritchley for Rafter (59), Jerrum for Hanks (69), Rafter for Fritchley (69)

Replacements (not used): R Webb (Newent), J Carolan (Loughborough Uni)

Gloucestershire scores: Tries, Hanks, Baker, Rovery, Cons, Fielding (3).

Yellow Card: Robson (67)

Referee: Calum Howard (RFU)

Crowd: 1,850

Cornwall-man-of-the-match: Greg Goodfellow, scored a great try and sparked Cornwall into life; he was the catalyst of the great escape.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornwall name eight from Albion to face Gloucestershire

Words Bill Hooper, photos Simon Bryant Ikitisphoto

Photo: Cornwall squad at a sunny Redruth!

Cornwall went through their paces last night (Thursday 5 May) at Redruth, ahead of Saturday’s opening game in this season’s County Championship campaign, which sees the Duchy defending the Bill Beaumont Cup thrillingly won at Twickenham last May against Lancashire.

The Cornwall Selectors have had much food for thought following Cornwall’s fine 45-10 win against Devon to retain the Tamar Cup for a fifth year.

Following a selection meeting at St Austell on Monday, the selectors were again locked in discussions last night at Redruth. My sources tell me that they are mulling over one or two positions with the bulk of the side picked.

Nineteen of the players who went to Twickenham last season were at training last night. Add to that all those players that featured in the Tamar Cup, plus players such as Sam Matavesi and Greg Goodfellow then you can see the dilemma the selectors are facing.


Photo: Graham Dawe get his point across

I spoke with Graham Dawe prior to training and asked for his thoughts on the eve of another campaign for Cornwall.

I asked him if being defending champions brought added pressure. He said: “Well yes, there is, as always, massive expectations from the Cornish public, supporters committee and selectors, but as in any campaign there is pressure, all we can do is manage that expectation and deliver.”

Dawe was delighted with the performance of the squad against Devon: “I think all the lads put their hands up to be considered for this game. I was impressed with the start and the way the set-piece went, the boys really showed pride and commitment to the shirt. I couldn’t have asked for much more.”

Dawe is taking each game as it comes without looking ahead too much. A good start on Saturday is vital to the success of the campaign: “The first game is always important. If you don’t win it then you are struggling and relying on others. Gloucestershire are always a physical side but we will concentrate on our game, putting together the components we want to play. We highlight five main components and we want to get those five right. If you get ahead of yourself in sport looking too far ahead, you find it all comes tumbling down.


Photo: Greg Goodfellow back on familiar turf

Fitness has always played an important part in Dawe’s preparations and I asked him the fact that many of the squad had been playing National league 1 rugby with him at Albion this season was a plus: “Well, you could look at it that way, but even these guys have to earn the right to play. There is no question that every Cornishman aspires to pulling on the black and gold and running out at Redruth or Camborne in front of a huge crowd that drives the lads on. We want to get the crowd behind us from the off, they have a key role to play.

“I have played here before when things haven’t gone well and they get on your back, and quite rightly so because they expect success. Last season we were under the cosh from Hertfordshire and it took a great try from Robin Wedlake and a try saving tackle from John Dawe to see us through against a good side who matched us all the way.”

STOP PRESS SIDE JUST RELEASED

CORNWALL TEAM TO PLAY GLOUCESTERSHIRE 7 MAY 2016

  1. Tom Cowan-Dickie, Redruth
  2. Rupert Freestone, Plymouth Albion
  3. Craig Williams, Redruth
  4. Ben Hilton, Cornish All Blacks
  5. Tony Whittle, Camborne
  6. Kyle Marriott, Redruth (Captain)
  7. Sam Matavesi, Plymouth Albion
  8. Herbie Stupple, Plymouth Albion
  9. Matt Shepherd, Plymouth Albion
  10. Billy Searle, Plymouth Albion
  11. Robin Wedlake, Plymouth Albion
  12. Nielson Webber, Redruth
  13. Sam Parsons, Redruth
  14. Jon Dawe, Plymouth Albion
  15. Jake Murphy, Plymouth Albion

Replacements:
Richard Brown, Redruth
Barry-John Chapman, Taunton
Damien Cook, Camborne
Chris Fuca, Redruth
Greg Goodfellow, Chinnor
Lewis Vinnicombe, Redruth
Lewis Webb, Taunton

Coaches: Graham Dawe, Ian Morgan
Strength & conditioning: James “Earpy” Earp

Posted in Bill's Blog


Redruth share spoils but Hayle are relegated


Photo: Player’s player of the Year at Redruth Tom Cowan-Dickie

On the final Saturday of the league season a good crowd of over 1,000 enjoyed the sunshine, rugby and beers as both the Reds and Redingensians served up an end of season thriller in National League 2 South, that ended in a 33-all draw.

It was a real ding-dong affair that see-sawed all afternoon. The Reds found themselves on the wrong side of the referee, especially in the first half as the penalty count mounted.

Still they managed to get a share of the spoils with Brad Howe’s late try and Dave Mankee’s fourth conversion.

Other tries were scored by Lewis Vinnicombe (2), Tom Cowan-Dickie and a penalty-try award.

Before the game, Kyle Marriott was named the Redruth Supporters Player of the Year.

Other awards made the following evening included:
Hellfire Shield (Best Team Player) – Luke Hattam
Attendance & Fitness Trophy – Brett Rule
Roy Jennings Cup (most improved player) – Brad Howe
Mr & Mrs JT Penberthy Shield (Development XV Player of the Year) – Jack Williams
Nathan Thomas Shield (Most Improved Young Player) – Luke Hattam
AJ Paul Cup (Club Person of The Year) – Chris Fuca
Players Player of The Year – Tom Cowan-Dickie.

Congratulations to all award winners!

The Cornish All Blacks completed their programme with another big loss at play-off hopefuls Old Albanian 90-3. The CABs will look to re-group next season in National League 3 SW.

Congratulations to Barnstaple who won their play-off and join Exmouth in National League 2 South next season.

In Tribute Western Counties West, both our relegated sides completed their programme. Penryn with a depleted side and one eye on the Bank Holiday Monday Cup Final (lost 62-8 to Camborne) were beaten 47-12 at Crediton. Rob Banks kicked four penalties for the Borough.

Saltash lost at home 68 – 0 to champions Okehampton, who will go into South West 1 West next season.

Up in London, there was more play-off disappointment for London Cornish as they lost 37-31 to Sevenoaks. The Exiles looked down and out at 29-9 down at half-time. They rallied superbly in the second half to 29-23 but the Kent side held on to secure a spot in London 1 South next season.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Tavistock’s 15-15 draw at Newquay Hornets was enough to save them and condemn Hayle to Cornwall 1 next season. Matt Burbridge and Dan Johns scored tries for the relegated Hornets with Ryan Johns adding the other points with the boot.

Falmouth lost at Withycombe 27-24, the Devon side with one eye on a Twickenham visit next weekend did enough to win the game against the Eagles.

Pirates Amateurs lost at home to Honiton 24-17. Mike Roach, Rhodri McAtee and Ashley Weston scored tries with McAtee adding a conversion.

Congratulations to Camborne Reserves who 20-0 at St. Austell to clinch the inaugural Tribute Duchy League.


Photo: Steve Larkins on duty in Japan with Truro College at the Sanix Tournament

Truro College have won their opening three games in the Sanix Tournament in Japan. A 47-3 win over Saga Technical High School was followed up by a much tighter affair a last minute 20-15 win over Tokyo University Gyosei HS, thanks to a length of the field try and conversion to win the game. Their final pool game saw them defeat Koreans Soeul University HS 43-3.

Truro College then faced Iwami Chisuikan High School in the last eight and won another tight game 24-21.

They will now face Higashi Fukuoka High School in Wednesday’s semi-final.

On Saturday, all roads lead to Redruth as Cornwall begin their defence of the Bill Beaumont Cup against Gloucestershire. A big crowd is expected, and hoped for, to cheer the boys on!

Tickets are £10 on the gate with under 16s free. £5 for stand transfer.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Camborne & Lanner complete league and cup doubles


Photo: A fitting finale for coach Liam Chapple

Camborne retained the Tribute CRFU Cornwall Cup with a resounding 62-8 win against a valiant Penryn side, who kept on playing right up to the final whistle.

The win was Camborne’s fourth in a row, and a record equalling tenth as they join their great rivals Redruth as record joint winners of the Cup.

Sadly, as things stand, Camborne will not be able to add to their successes next season, as promotion to National League 3 SW means that they will be playing in the Tribute Cornwall Super Cup alongside Redruth and Launceston.

Camborne got off to a great start with an early penalty kicked by full back Rhys Brownfield before winger Alex Ducker scored the first of his three tries in the game, following a great break by centre Jack Simmons.

Penryn were working hard with the back row of Grant Randlesome, skipper George Jones and No.8 Jordan Rose to the fore. Prop Matt Williams latched on to an interception to trundle up Camborne twenty-two, Borough got a penalty, which they kicked to the corner. From the lineout claimed by Randlesome, lock Ben Trevaskis stormed over in the corner for an unconverted try.


Photo: Ben Trevaskis who scored Borough’s only try

Penryn’s fly half Rob Banks then added a fine penalty from 40 meters out to level the scores just after the half-hour mark.

Camborne took a firm grip on the final with two further tries before half-time, the first from prop Malcolm Hearn after several phases and then a fine score from centre Richie Kevern following good work from half-backs Taron Peacock and Murray Westren. Brownfield bettered both scores to put Town 20-8 up at half-time.

In the second half the greater fitness of Camborne began to tell, skipper Dave Roberts got the first try of the second half following another good run from Kevern.

Matavesi XV 030615
Photo: Richie Kevern followed up his fine game for Cornwall on Tuesday night with another great game in the Cup Final

Giant lock and man-of-the-match Ben Kemp was the next to cross the whitewash.

Penryn then found themselves down to fourteen men as replacement winger George Mitchell was yellow carded for a high tackle.

It didn’t help the Borough’s cause as Ducker completed his hat-trick with further tries coming from Brownfield and Kenward.

Brownfield converted all but the final of the second half scores for a personal tally of twenty points.

Camborne’s Director of rugby Liam Chapple came on to play the last few minutes of the game but the lads couldn’t conjure a try-scoring chance for him on his Camborne swansong but he did kick the final conversion.

With the Camborne Reserves crowned Champions of the Duchy Tribute League on Saturday it all capped a fine Bank Holiday weekend for the Cherry and Whites faithful.

After seeing his side presented with the cup Liam Chapple spoke of his great pride he has in his players: “That caps off the season for us nicely, add the Duchy League title the Reserves won on Saturday then it’s been a great season. The time is right for me to stand aside; the boys are ready to step up to that next level. I shall miss this group of players, if they stick together for the next couple of seasons they could push on to the next level again.”

Chapple was full of praise also for Penryn: “They stuck at it throughout and did their club proud it’s been a difficult season for them but I am sure they will bounce back.”

Penryn’s coach Paul Trevaskis was philosophical with his side’s defeat: “Well played Camborne! They had too much for us today. We knew it would be tough, but well done to our boys who showed great commitment throughout to do the club and town proud.”

Camborne: R Brownfield, B Drew, J Simmons, R Kevern, A Ducker, M Westren, Taron Peacock; M Hearn, L Trewhella, J Drew, D Cook, B Kemp, T Whittle, J Goldsworthy, D Roberts (Capt).

Replacements (all used): S Bartle, A Zacharovas, M Woolcock, S MacDonald, S Kenward, L Chapple.

Camborne scores: Tries, Ducker (3), Hearn, Kevern, Roberts, Kemp, Brownfield, Kenward, Conversions, Brownfield (6), Chapple, Penalty, Brownfield.

Penryn: C Hinchley, W Paine, M Vague, A Seviour, J Salisbury, R Banks, Tian Peacock; R Burley, J Smith, M Williams, A Hughes, B Trevaskis, G Jones (Capt), G Randlesome, J Rose.

Replacements (all used): J Dale, K Beesley, K Oldfield, R Hancock, P Hinchley, G Mitchell.

Penryn scores: Try, Trevaskis, Penalty, Banks

Yellow Card: Mitchell (67)

Referee: Stuart Read (Devon RRS)

Crowd: 512

Man-of-the-match: Ben Kemp another busy afternoon from the giant lock worked hard put in some storming runs and scored a good try.

In the Tribute Clubs Cup Final which preceded the Camborne v Penryn game, Lanner took revenge on Veor (who beat them in last season’s final) to complete their own league and cup double winning 23-8.

For the village side it was their first win ever in the Cornwall Clubs Cup.

Veor took an early lead thanks to a penalty from Gareth Williams, but Lanner soon levelled matters through man-of-the-match Matthew Cann.

Cann then added the conversion to a bizarre penalty-try award and then kicked a second penalty to leave the Falcons 13-3 to the good at half-time.

With heavy drizzle driving across the pitch, Veor lost a couple of players to sin bin in the second half as both Andrew Lancaster and Joe Parma headed for the naughty step.

Cann extended Lanner’s advantage with a further penalty before converting No.8 Dave Hewitt’s try.

Veor got some consolation near the end, when winger Bevin Stone put in a fine run up the touchline bouncing off tackles to score in the corner.

Veor suffered another yellow card late in the game, but it was Lanner skipper Dan Job who stepped up to receive the Cup from CRFU President Kenny Plummer.

Posted in Bill's Blog


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