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Camborne keep run going with dogged win


The Tribute South West 1 West game at Camborne saw the leaders forced to battle hard to overcome a resilient Clevedon side in a game that at times threatened to erupt into major fisticuffs.

There were four yellow cards in the game with Camborne players being shown three!

It was good to see Ben Drew back playing for the first team after his long lay-off due to a broken leg. He certainly showed no fears putting in some big tackles and looking to get involved.

Having gone behind, Town got ahead thanks to a lovely try from prop Tommy-Lee Southworth who took a deft pass from Richie Kevern to power under the posts. Ben Stean added the conversion.

Two second half penalties from Rhys Brownfield completed the scoring for a 13-5 win.

Director of rugby Liam Chapple whilst happy with the win felt that there was much to look at prior to their next game at Coney Hill.

In the RFU Championship the Cornish Pirates slipped to a second consecutive defeat at the Athletic Ground against a Mark Bright inspired London Scottish. The ex-Red bagged a brace of tries as the Exiles stormed back from a 10-7 deficit at half-time to win 21-10.

Alex Dancer scored the Pirates’ try which was converted by Laurence May who also kicked a penalty.
Pirates have a week off before entertaining Doncaster Knights.

Frustrations abound with the lack of progress on the stadium development, and that appeared to borne out by Ian Davies’ post-match comments on BBC Radio Cornwall, that contract negotiations with some of the current squad were not progressing as he would wish.

In National League 2 South, Launceston were denied a draw with the last kick of the game at Dorking, who won 11-8. Fred Bulut scored the All Blacks try with Sam Chapman kicking a penalty.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Wadebridge Camels took the spoils in the derby game against St. Austell 23-3. Jake Grubb scored a couple of tries with Matt Ballard also crossing for the Camels. James Grubb kicked the other points. For the Saints Cavan Boyer kicked an early penalty.

Saltash are still languishing in the drop zone following an 11-10 defeat at Moorlands to Sidmouth. Steve Hillman scored their try converted by Max Venables who also kicked a penalty.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, leaders Bude bagged all five points as they defeated Plymouth Argaum 28-3 at Bencoolen.
Olly Denford, Duncan Tout, James Wilson and Kyle Speare all scored tries with Dan Pearce converting all four tries.

There was also only one game in Tribute Cornwall 1, where Lanner leapfrogged Veor winning 16-13 in a game switched to Veor’s Wheal Gerry pitch.
In mid week I took in Truro School’s Nat West Cup quarter-final game against QEGS Wakefield. On a heavy pitch the bigger Wakefield lads comfortably won 20-0 to advance to the semis to be played at Allianz Park against Hampton School.

Truro School can be proud of their achievement of getting that far and they certainly showed plenty of willingness to move the ball.
I understand that the date for the Tribute Cornwall Cup Finals has been moved to Monday May 2nd.

The Club’s Cup quarter-finals were due to be played this weekend but with some pool games still to be played and league games to be re-arranged they have been pushed back.

Congratulations to Jack Nowell and Billy Keast both involved for England last weekend in Italy at senior and under 20 level.

Hopefully this coming weekend will see a few more games played.

Good luck to Camborne School of Mines in the Bottle Match.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Preview of this season’s historic “Bottle Match”




By Ben Gilby
Penryn Rugby Club will be hosting the latest encounter of the second oldest inter-university rugby match on 20th February when Camborne School of Mines take on the Royal School of Mines once more. The first recorded match between the two sides took place on 16th December 1902, and ended in a draw. Only the annual Oxford v Cambridge match has a longer history than the Bottle Match.

The fixture has been played on an annual basis since 1921. Indeed, during the Second World War, Royal School of Mines students were evacuated to Cornwall and their players played in local Cornish leagues. The Camborne v Royal School fixture is referred to as ‘the bottle match’ due to large tin bottle trophy being awarded to the winners. This ‘trophy’ was somehow got hold of by Royal School of Mines students from a beer lorry belonging to Bass-Charrington in 1946! Another amusing story related to the fixture took place in 1966 when Camborne School of Mines long serving mascot, a teddy bear dressed in their colours of Silver, Gold and Navy, and known as Colonel George (after a former Principle of the School, Colonel George Whitworth) was ‘abducted’ by the London school, never to be seen again.

Looking ahead to the game, present Camborne School of Mines vice-captain Matt Helfet is hopeful that his side’s strong season which has seen them top Cornwall One, will stand them in good stead: “Our recent record in it hasn’t been great, we haven’t won since 2010 when we scraped a 5-3 victory. Inherently, we are always against the odds simply due to a much smaller pool of players to choose from, but, despite this, our league season so far has been the best in our history”.


CSM 1959

Photo the 1959 CSM side with the “Bottle” & Col. George

Turning to the opposition, Helfet observed: “The Royal School of Mines team are a bit unusual in their make-up. From what I understand, at the start of each academic year, anyone who initially wants to play for them who exhibit signs of talent are immediately snapped up by Imperial College London’s 1st/2nd XV for pre-Christmas. Then after the Christmas holidays they are released back to the Royal School of Mines so that they can train and prepare for Bottle Match before disbanding once again so it’s quite hard to gauge how good they will be this year, and so we can only focus on ourselves.

The Camborne School of Mines v Royal School of Mines fixture remains the high point in the seasons of both sides, and messages of support for the teams are expected to come in from around the globe from alumni.


Postscript: Camborne School of Mines RFC formed in 1896 has produced five England Internationals G. Gordon-Smith 1900 (3 caps). J G Milton 1904-07 (5 caps), C H Milton 1 cap (1906), A J Wilson 1909 (1 cap) and R D Kennedy 1948 (3 caps). Also K R F Bearne played for Scotland in 1960 (2 caps).

Posted in Bill's Blog

Berkshire defeat leaves Cornwall with hill to climb

Photo- last season’s Under 20 player of the year Tommy Phillips on the charge

Cornwall’s Under 20’s lost their opening pool fixture in this season’s County Championship, on Sunday against last season’s beaten finalist’s, Berkshire at Redingensians.

Cornwall found themselves twelve points down in the opening in ten minutes of the game as winger SJ Mahon and then hooker Allen Crawshaw scored tries to stun the Cornish lads. Rory Garrett landed the first conversion but failed with his second attempt.

The Cornish boys started to work their way back into the game but were unable to turn some good possession into points as the score-line remained at 12-0 at the interval.

With the advantage of the wind for the second period the visitors were still very much in the game but it was Berkshire who scored next when inside centre Jordan Souter went over for a fine solo try after a dazzling run from fifty metres out left the Cornish defence in disarray. Garrett converted to leave Cornwall with a nineteen point deficit to overcome in the last half-hour.

Photo – Camborne’s Ben Stean dots down Cornwall’s sole try with No.8 Adam Hughes & No.7 Locryn Williams in support

The introduction of Ryan Burley (Penryn) to the Cornish front row gave the black & gold scrum dominance and a series of penalties from the set piece set up the scoring opportunity for full back Ben Stean (Camborne), who had defended valiantly all afternoon, to touch down for James McFarlane (Redruth/Exeter University) to convert.


Photo- St. Austell’s Konnor Ewudzi on the chase

Locryn Williams, currently with Chinnor, was having a fine game for Cornwall in the back row along with Camborne’s Liam Moyle, and was one of the players to catch the eye of the England Counties Under 20 selectors present at the game. They will tour Russia this season.

Mahon almost made it four tries for Berkshire but after an impressive break he dropped the ball in the process of going over the line.
Cornwall continued to battle but were unable to add to their single score.

Next up is a difficult trip to Cinderford on Sunday 28th February to face Gloucestershire, who defeated Devon 30-15 at Keyham, nothing less than a win will do for Cornwall to have a chance of a place in this season’s last eight.

CORNWALL U20s: Ben Stean (Camborne), Lewis Thomas (St Ives), Jack Simmons (Camborne, Capt), Dan Rutter (Redruth), Konnor Ewudzi (St Austell), James McFarlane (Redruth/Exeter University), Brandon Andrews (Saltash); Tommy-Lee Southworth (Camborne), Adam Smith (Redruth), Tommy Phillips (Redruth), Luke Hattam (Redruth), Andy Inch (St Austell), Locryn Williams (Chinnor), Liam Moyle (Camborne), Adam Hughes (Penryn).
Replacements: Ryan Burley (Penryn), Harry Smith (Wadebridge Camels), Angus Brown (Camborne), Kieron Down (Saltash), Tom Sandercock (Launceston), Connor Swan (Cardiff Met), Connor Bick (Pirates Amateurs).
Travelling Reserves: Aaron Vincent (Lankelly-Fowey), Will Whitworth (Redruth), Dane Jane (St Austell).
Cornwall scores, Try, Stean, Con, McFarlane

Posted in Bill's Blog

Nowell’s try wins the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield

Photo- Jack Nowell with England coach Eddie Jones post Calcutta Cup


Yet again what a weekend weather-wise, which saw loads of already re-arranged fixtures postponed once more!

The league program was completely wiped-out in Cornwall, with just Wadebridge Camels Intermediate Cup SW Final taking place at the Molesworth Field against Matson, currently unbeaten in Western Counties (North).

In the end the visitors prevailed 10-0 scoring all their points in the first half.

London Cornish were also in Cup action, again in the intermediate Cup, in the South East section, they too bowed out, against Cobham 24-18.

With Redruth’s game against Dorking going by the way on Friday. The Cornish All Blacks were the only side in action in National League 2 South at Barnes, sadly it was an all too familiar story as they lost 40-0.

Redruth will hope their pitch dries out this week when they are again at home against former league leader’s Old Albanian, who lost at home on Saturday to Chinnor 17-5.

That’s three defeats on the bounce for Old Albanian and their head-coach James Shanahan will not be relishing a trip to Redruth to put matters right.
Sunday saw Championship action with the Cornish Pirates playing Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley. The Pirates came away from Leeds with a losing bonus point following a 33-26 loss, thanks to a couple of tries from flanker Alex Cheesman and a penalty-try. Laurence May booted a conversion and three penalties to complete the Pirates’ haul.

Cornish Pirates’ Director of Rugby Ian Davies had expected a tough challenge, and it was, but despite the defeat he was pleased with much of the endeavour on display. Speaking after the game, he commented: “Losing Laurie early on with a shoulder injury was a big blow, however Aaron led well from the front and Stuart Townsend was also outstanding.

“Taking on a Top 4 side littered with Premiership-experienced players was always going to provide a challenge, and we needed to be more clinical and efficient in certain areas. Gifting penalties enabled them to acquire field position to use their maul, and our line-out was poor.

“We have been on a good run and came unstuck against a strong Yorkshire Carnegie side. The game was though closer than the scoreline suggests and we deserved our losing bonus point.”

Also on Sunday Cornwall Under 20s kicked off their County Championship campaign away at Berkshire.

Berkshire got off to a flying start to lead 12-0 after just ten minutes and the score-line remained the same until half-time.

In the second half Berkshire scored a third try to go 19-0 up

Cornwall then came into it much more and reduced the deficit with a try from Camborne’s Ben Stean, converted by James McFarlane. However that was as close as they would get.

In the other game in the pool Gloucestershire defeated Devon at Keyham 30-15.

The 6 Nations got underway at the weekend. On Saturday France retained the Garibaldi Trophy against Italy in a tight game in Paris 23-21 with Jules Plisson kicking the winning penalty.

England retained the Calcutta Cup with a 15-9 win at Murrayfield.

Jack Nowell had a great game for England, scoring the decisive try in the second half. Jack was also involved in the build up to England’s first try, his clever chip ahead was gathered by Scotland’s Stuart Hogg, Jack following up tackled him and drove him over the line for a 5-metre scrum to England, from which the English pack mauled over with lock George Kruis getting the score.

So fifty-three years since Richard Sharp’s magical try at Twickenham against Scotland, another Cornishman scores the decisive try in the Calcutta Cup.

The game on Sunday saw Wales battle back to earn a 16 – all draw with Ireland in Dublin.

So after the first weekend, only England and France can still win the Grand Slam, with England also on course for the Triple Crown.


Jack wasn’t the only Cornish try scorer over the weekend. On Friday evening Lucy Demaine, originally from St. Germans in S.E. Cornwall, came on as a second half replacement for England Ladies against Scotland in Cumbernauld in their 32-0 win. Lucy bravely charged down a Scottish clearance near their line and won the race to the ball to score her side’s fifth try! What a memorable debut for her.

Billy Keast also came on as a second half replacement for England Under 20s also at Cumbernauld but the result went in favour of Scotland who won 24-6.

This Wednesday will hopefully see Truro School in Nat West Cup action against QEGS Wakefield at the Quarter-final stage.
The game will hopefully take place at the School with a 12 pm kick-off, although I gather Perranporth RFC’s pitch is on standby if required.




Posted in Bill's Blog

Six players from Camborne in squad for Cornwall Under 20 opener at Berkshire



Photo – Locryn Williams set to feature once again for Cornwall Under 20s



Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship campaign 2016 begins on Sunday 7 February.

Following a trial session at Truro RFC, the Under 20 squad have trained for a number of weeks sometimes in atrocious weather in preparation for their first game against Berkshire at Redingensians RFC, Reading with a 2 pm kick off.

CRFU President Ken Plummer said “This is the first game at this level for some of the team and they start with a tough game away to last year’s beaten finalist. I want to thank the coaching team of Ian Morgan, Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins and team manager Chris Lea for their work in pulling together the team. I also offer my congratulations to Jack Simmons of Camborne RFC who has been appointed the captain for the coming season” He went on to say “I would also like to thank, Kelsall Steele for their continued sponsorship of U20 section, along with Booth Printers our programme sponsors”.

Cornwall faces 2 other games in the group stage during February and March, depending on results, with the quarterfinals being played at the end of March.

Coach Ian Morgan said – “We have a young squad who have trained well and in good numbers on Sunday mornings in Truro. They now face a stern test away against a strong Berkshire squad”

Cornwall also face Gloucestershire away on Sunday 28 February at Cinderford RFC, before a final pool stage game at home and will Devon on Sunday 13 March 2016 at Camborne RFC.

Coach Mike Rawlings said; – “It is testament to the guys who have trained on Sunday mornings it is never easy after games for their own clubs on the Saturday. They have trained hard and know they face a difficult task, but they will be extremely proud to pull on the famous black and gold shirt of Cornwall. ”
CRFU Chair Denis Preece said “This is the first opportunity for some of these players to represent Cornwall at senior level. A number of the players, who have gone before them, have gone on to represent the full County 15 and some have played at Twickenham!! Last season Todd Prisk and Tommy Phillips through their performances with Cornwall were selected for the England Counties U20 squad that toured Hungary”
Cornwall Under 20 team manager Chris Lea said; – “This squad is a mixture of players from last season, new players nominated from clubs and guys who have progressed through the Under 18 age group. It is great to see these guys getting progression through the County system and a number of former players are now playing at Premiership and Championship level, as well as clubs within Cornwall”

Photo – This season’s Skipper Jack Simmons eludes Yorkshire’s James Thompson in last season’s semi-final







Coaches – Ian Morgan, Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins
Team Manager – Chris Lea

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornishmen called up to England Counties

Ben Hilton & Jamal Ford-Robinson

Photo Jamal Ford-Robinson & Ben Hilton two Cornish players who have played in recent years for England Counties
Two Cornish players have been selected for this season’s spring Internationals against Scottish Clubs XV at Netherdale, Gala on Friday 26th February and against France Fédérale at Blackheath on Friday 11th March.
Redruth’s Tom Cowan-Dickie and Plymouth Albion’s Christian Judge are the two front row players selected.

Bill Beaumont Cup FInal 310515

Photo – Simon Bryant – Christian Judge at Twickenham

Judge was one of the cornerstones of the Cornwall scrum during last season’s Bill Beaumont Cup success whilst at the Cornish All Blacks. This season he has progressed at Plymouth Albion under the wing of Graham Dawe.
Cowan-Dickie has the versatility to play in any position in the front row.


Photo- Colin Higgs – Tom Cowan-Dickie in action for the Reds
Previously with Albion, he has been one of the revelations at Redruth this season and fully merits his selection.
Cowan-Dickie is just the latest of a long line Of Redruth players who have been selected for the Counties side since Lewis Vinnicombe played against France Amateurs in Beaune in 2006.
The squad is made up mostly of players who ply their trade in National League 1with a smattering of players from National League 2.
“Having been involved with England Counties as a player, I’m absolutely thrilled to now become part of the coaching set up,” says Simon Legg assistant team manager.
“Everyone aspires to play for their country and England Counties offers a unique opportunity for players to do so. I’m looking forward to helping prepare the team for what promises to be a highly competitive set of fixtures.”


England Counties 2016 squad

Ollie Mines, Esher
Andy Brown, Coventry
Chris Judge, Plymouth Albion
Trevor Davison, Blaydon
Matt Miles, Old Albanians
Tom Cowan-Dickie, Redruth
Ian Kench, Esher
Rob Conquest, Darlington Mowden Park
Keith Laughlin, Blaydon
Tom Stradwick, Blackheath
Harry Bate, Old Albanians
Brett Daynes, Cambridge
Chris Davies, Richmond


Sam Stuart, Richmond
Jack Walsh, Blackheath
Chris Johnson, Fylde
Chris May, Old Albanians
Sebastian Rodwell, London Irish Wild Geese
Markus Burcham, Blackheath
Leo Fielding, Blackheath
Pete Homan, Darlington Mowden Park
James Stokes, Cambridge
Mike Wilcox, Cinderford

Posted in Bill's Blog

Falmouth run riot at the Rec

The weather was the winner once again with a number of fixtures in the regional leagues again being postponed.

The backlog for some clubs is now so serious that no further free dates remain up until the proposed end of the season in April.

With my original game at Penryn going by the way on Saturday morning I took in the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League game at Falmouth.

The pitch was in remarkably good condition despite the dreadful weather during the past week.

It was a bit one-sided as the Eagles got back to winning ways with an eleven try win against a plucky Bodmin side 69-7.

John Tyson (2), Alex Kindjarski (2), Tom Spiller, Ollie Church, Ashley Searle, Josh Symons, Simon Bailey, Justyn Irons and Tom Edmonds all crossed for the Eagles with Irons also chipping in seven conversions.

Bodmin did pull one score back via winger Paul Carter with Josh Taylor converting.

The win puts Falmouth up to fourth spot in the table.

It was good to catch up with Falmouth coaches Graham Whitmore and Chris Morgan after the game. They are certainly pleased with the progress of the club both on and off the field, a top four finish would exceed pre-season expectations.

Good to catch up with some old faces at Falmouth such as Mike Morris and Jeff Maddern (who both taught me at Falmouth School!) along with Steve Burrows and Arthur Williams.

Also in this league Hayle lost at home to third place Withycombe 20-3, Dan Lello kicked the solitary Lion’s penalty.

All other games involving Cornish sides were postponed.

On Sunday, the Cornish Pirates got another vital win against Ealing in difficult conditions on the Mennaye.

Toby May, Rob Elloway and Kyle Moyle scored the tries with Laurence May kicking the rest of the points.

Pirates will probably be a tad disappointed they didn’t secure the bonus point but the important thing with the pitches at the moment is to get the win.

In National League 2 South, Redruth gained a great win at struggling Chinnor 26-13. Richard Brown, Luke Hattam and skipper Sam Parsons scored the tries with Brett Rule adding three conversions.

Redruth now have back-to-back home games with Dorking first up followed by Old Albanian the following week.

The Cornish All Blacks came close to a win but lost in the end 17-20 to Old Elthamians at Polson. Alex Edwards, Ed McGinley and a penalty try award along with a Chris Swash conversion made up the All Blacks’ tally.

Camborne’s game at Chard in Tribute South West 1 West fell- foul of the weather on the Friday.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro won 40-22, Matt Cross, Toby Armstrong, Ethan Pattison (2), Darren Jacques, Ashley Riches and Lewis Bowns scored tries for Truro with Ashley Hosking kicking a conversion and penalty.

St. Austell won the relegation derby against Saltash 31-17. James Martin (2), Ben Chenoweth, Miles Davey scored tries whilst Gavin Boyer converted a penalty-try and two other scores.

Wadebridge Camels lost 31-12 at Exeter University Adam Collings and Gary Gynn scored tries with Danny Thomas kicking a conversion.

Truro School have a Nat West Schools Cup U. 18 Quarter-final at home to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Wakefield on Wednesday 10th February, kick-off is likely to be early 11 am. Do come along to support the the Cornish lads.

The penulimate round of Tribute Cornwall RFU Clubs Cup pool matches took place on Saturday with wins for Liskeard-Looe, Helston, Camborne School of Mines, Perranporth and Illogan Park.

The final round will be held on Saturday February 13th.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates secure berth in last eight of B&I Cup

Pic- Tyler Gendall scored two of the Pirates’ tries against London Welsh


The Cornish Pirates got the win they needed at Old Deer Park to qualify for the last eight of this season’s British & Irish Cup.
They defeated London Welsh 35-17 thanks to tries from from Aaron Carpenter, Tyler Gendall (2), Adam Jamieson and Tom Hendrickson with Laurence May, Kyle Moyle and Kieran Hallett kicking the rest of the points between them.

The Pirates can now look forward to a home quarter-final on either 12th/13th March.

In National league 2 South, Redruth battled to a fine 5-0 win against third placed Bishop’s Stortford at the Rec. Playing conditions became increasingly difficult as the game wore on. The Redruth defence was simply outstanding at times. Lewis Vinnicombe scored what proved to be the winning score on 6 minutes!

Another difficult week for the Cornish All Blacks ended in another heavy defeat at Clifton 50-15. Rob Dugard and Lloyd Duke scored tries with Fraser Honey adding a conversion and penalty. Sadly Jamie Tripcony picked up a red card on his 100th game for the club.

In Tribute South West 1 West, there is no stopping Camborne as they defeated struggling North Petherton 33-0. James Goldsworthy (2), David Roberts, John Drew and Jack Simmons scored tries with Ben Stean (3) and Rhys Brownfield adding conversions.

In Western Counties West, Truro maintained their good run with a 30-9 win over St. Austell, who are now just above the drop zone above Saltash and Penryn.

Darren Jacques (2), Luke Tidball and Dan Marsh scored tries with new signing Ashley Hosking adding a couple of conversions and two penalties.
Cavan Boyer kicked three penalties for the Saints.

Wadebridge Camels won their relegation battle with Saltash 45-0. Tries were scored by Dom Hawkey (2), Adam Collings, Matt Ballard, James Grubb and Danny Thomas with Grubb kicking three each of conversions and penalties.

Penryn picked up a losing bonus point at Exeter Uni 24-17, with a much better performance after last week’s loss to Camels. They will look to build this week against Tiverton at the Memorial ground.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish fought back to win 18-15 at Winchester. Trailing 12-6 at the break with just a couple of penalties from Tom Hupfield, Cornish scored second half tries through Craig Chatley and Ed Atkin with replacement Phil Dale adding a conversion to seal the win.

In the Cornwall and Devon League, Bude continue at the top following another huge win 61-0 against Tavistock, who beat them earlier in the season! Olly Denford (3), Kyle Speare (2), Tim Green (2), Steve Yates and Joe Wilson bagged the tries with Dan Pearce kicking eight conversions.

St. Ives got revenge over Falmouth for their defeat at the Rec earlier this season with a 17-3 win at Alexandra Road. Bobby Conroy-Smith, Jess Tompsett and Cameron Bone scored the tries with Grant Thirlby adding just the one conversion.
Tom Spiller kicked a penalty for the Eagles.

Pirates Amateurs beat Plymstock on the Mennaye 20-7. Rob Cutter and Danny Toolan scored their tries with Murray Westren, on loan from the Reds, kicking both conversions and a couple of penalties.

Bodmin won a tight affair 6-3 at Clifden Park. James Taylor kicked two penalties for the home side with Damain Lynes replying for the Lions.
Newquay Hornets were well beaten at Plymouth Argaum 64-0.

In Cornwall1, Camborne School of Mines lost for the second week running 7-10 at home to Illogan Park.
Veor won at home to Helston 29-0 and now trail the students by just five points, with a game-in-hand.
Lanner won comfortably at Enys Parc 43-10 against St. Agnes.
Perranporth conceded their league game to Liskeard-Looe, but played a friendly instead.

A big game in the Duchy league where Camborne reserves won at Launceston 20-0. It cut the East Cornwall side’s lead to just three points ahead of Town reserves and Redruth reserves.

Marvellous scenes at Sandy Park as the Chiefs defeated the Ospreys 33-17, that result coupled with Bordeaux’s win at Clermont 37-28 propelled the Chiefs into a quarter-final tie at Wasps in the European Champions Cup.


Pic Ian Gordon & John Rowe present balls to Jamie Tresidder (Lanner) & Jamie Watkins (St. Agnes)

Posted in Bill's Blog

Busy Rawlings plots Camels & County Under 20s paths



Pic – left Mike Rawlings plotting another Under 20 campaign

Wadebridge Camel’s head coach Mike Rawlings is a busy chap at the moment, not only is he trying to mastermind the Camel’s escape from the relegation zone in Tribute Western Counties West but he is also been called upon to play as his side has been hit by injuries.

Add to that his work with the Cornwall Under 20s who’s season will soon be starting!

I caught up with Mike following his side’s vital 19-16 win at Penryn last Saturday, which lifted them away from the drop zone for the present.

The result gave Rawlings a bit of breathing space as he plots to steer his side up the table. He said “That result takes a little bit of pressure of us, it will lift the lads following that poor performance the previous week against Truro. Next Saturday we have another vital game at home against Saltash who are also in trouble.

Rawlings knows from experience that battles at the foot of the table are often the toughest. “These relegation games are often the hardest, as we have seen today at Penryn, both sides fought until the end and the result could have gone either way, but for us to come away get the win is very pleasing.

“Both sides committed a lot of mistakes but that is the nature of the game, I think we were as guilty as Penryn of not looking after the ball more, I felt our presentation was not good enough. Getting the first score was huge bonus and lifted the spirits, having spent much of the first ten minutes soaking up Penryn pressure.

Rawlings was concerned about the number of penalties his side gave away. “I was concerned about the number of penalties we conceded and that did cost us with Matt Horton’s kicking for the Borough. In fairness to the referee he did warn us but the lads were too slow on the uptake and need to work on that going forward into the Saltash game.
Rawlings was also pleased with the way the Cornwall Under 20s squad is shaping up this season. “It’s looking like an exciting squad, we may be looking to play a slightly different style this season as we are not so big physically in the forwards, so a more mobile game is what we are looking at. I am confident in the skill set that the lads have and look forward to them playing a wider game and I think that prospect is very exciting.

Whilst Rawlings wants the squad to push on from last season, he acknowledges that this season may well be one of consolidation.

“We have lost a few of the lads from last season who made the semi-finals, but on the other hand we have got a good crop of youngsters coming in who will be with us for at least a couple of seasons. Maybe this season we will look to consolidate before pushing on and building the following year.

“We have got a few lads who are away at University, it’s a big commitment for them to travel down for either training or the games, but they want to play for the black and gold and that’s still the great attraction.

Cornwall’s group opponents are tough. “We start up at Berkshire who were finalists last season before travelling again to face Gloucestershire. We finish our pool games at home against Devon at Camborne, we will see where we are then with the top two sides going through to the quarter-finals.

County Under 20

Sunday 7 February – Berkshire v Cornwall @Redingensians RFC KO 2 pm

Sunday 28 February – Gloucestershire v Cornwall @Cinderford RFC KO 2 pm

Sunday 13 March – Cornwall v Devon @ Camborne RFC KO 2:00 pm

Quarter final Sunday 27 March, Semi-final Sunday 10 April

Finals day – Saturday 7 May @Twickenham.

Posted in Bill's Blog

More woes for Penryn as they lose derby game


Pic – tough times for Benji Thomas at Penryn


The weather relented this week to allow the vast majority of the league and cup program to go ahead.

I took in two games this weekend, Penryn against Wadebridge Camels a basement battle derby in Tribute Western Counties West on Saturday, then

the following day down at the Mennaye to see the Cornish Pirates in B&I Cup action against Nottingham.

The affair at the Memorial Ground to start with; to be fair it was a game both sides will want to forget as both coaches acknowledged after the final

whistle, but a 19-16 win for the Camels gives them a lift going into next week’s home game against another struggling Cornish side Saltash.

Penryn have been hit hard by unavailability and injury this season, neither having to sit out the past two weekends will have helped.

Two first half tries from Matt Ballard and Richard Dawe both converted by James Grubb gave the Camels a 14-3 half-time lead with Matt Horton replying with a penalty for Penryn.

Horton continued to chip away with two further penalties for the Borough before Dom Hawkey scored the crucial third try.

Jordan Rose got Penryn back in it with a great try following a good mid-field break by Andrew Seviour with Horton adding the extras.

Despite several phases of play near the Wadebridge line Penryn couldn’t get over and when they knocked on that was it.

Elsewhere in Western Counties West, Truro kept up their good form with a 28-13 win at Saltash.

Ashley Riches (2), Luke Trescothick and Ethan Pattison scored the tries with Daryl Riches adding all four conversions.

For Saltash, Max Venables scored all their points with a try conversion and two penalties.

St. Austell make up the quartet of four Cornish clubs at the bottom of the table after losing at Tregorrick 15-8 to Devonport Services. James Martin scored their try with Andy Ashwin kicking a penalty.

Two defeats for our National League 2 sides on Saturday, Redruth travelled with justifiable hopes to Cambridge but lost 29-27. Reds still came away with two points as Ben Priddey got three tries and a penalty try. Dave Mankee kicked two conversions and a penalty.

For the Cornish All Blacks the losing run continues as they went down 38-5 to Worthing at Polson. Martin Kneebone with a consolation try.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Camborne’s march continues on top of the table following their 24-8 win at Teignmouth.

Gareth Mankee (2), Rhys Brownfield and Neil Stanleick scored their tries with Ben Stean adding a couple of conversions. Town are still eleven points clear of Thornbury who have a game in hand.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, leaders Bude comforted their position with a fine 32-24 win at Falmouth.

Dan Pearce (2), Kyle Speare (2) and Joe Wilson scored their tries with Pearce landing a couple of conversions and a penalty.

Matt Lee scored a couple of tries for the Eagles both converted by Justyn Irons who also kicked four penalties.

St. Ives won their derby fixture against Hayle 55-3. Bobby Conroy-Smith led the try stakes with three. Lewis Thomas (2), Jess Tompsett, Ben Jenkins, Tom Nicholas and Louis Stevens also crossed for tries. Grant Thirlby added five conversions.

For the Lions Richards kicked a penalty.

Bodmin lost 45-10 at Honiton Josh Taylor scored their points with a try conversion and penalty.

Newquay’s game against Pirates Ams was postponed.

In Tribute Cornwall 1, a surprise as leaders Camborne School of Mines lost for the first time this season at Helston 17-8.
Veor closed the gap with a 45-7 win at Perranporth, whilst Lanner edged a close game against Liskeard-Looe on the Tregenver Road pitch at Falmouth.

St. Agnes look set for a swift return to Cornwall 2 as they forfeited their game to Illogan Park.

In Tribute Cornwall 2, Roseland remain unbeaten after their 29-3 at Stithians, St. Just remain second having defeated Camelford 20-13 at Tregeseal, whilst Lankelly-Fowey won 17-12 at Redruth Albany.

The Cornish Pirates dispatched Nottingham 38-19 in their British and Irish Cup pool game. They had the bonus point win secured by half-time following tries from Tom Channon, Kyle Moyle, Tom Hendrickson and Marlen Walker.

Further second half tries came from Alex Day and Tom Duncan, Laurence May kicked four conversions.

It sets it up for a table topping decider at Old Deer Park next Saturday against London Welsh.

Tom Hendrickson’s try was a peach at the Mennaye yesterday, but my score of the weekend has to be Max Bodilly’s cracking try for Exeter Chiefs at Stade Chaban Delmas against Union Bordeaux Bègles. His interplay with Olly Woodburn was fantastic.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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