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Ten-try Town back on track

Camborne’s 60-14 win against Cullompton on Saturday nudged them closer to the play-off scrap in Tribute South West 1 West. Head coach Liam Chapple hopes that his side’s win will be the springboard for a good run that will propel them into the play-offs at the end of the season.

Key to that will be their form on the road and next Saturday they face a tough trip to Drybrook. It’s a game, despite it’s lengthy journey time, that Camborne need to win to build momentum.

You can read my report from the West Briton in the link.

A link to the Camborne RFC site showing Dave Roberts’ try.

St. Austell came a cropper at home to struggling Clevedon 23-7, a result that sees them slip uncomfortably close to the relegation battle once again. Saints scored a consolation try through Adam Kellow with Dan Pearce adding the conversion. Next week St. Austell have a vital game at Cullompton.

The Cornish Pirates can be well satisfied with bringing back a try-scoring bonus point from their trip to Worcester Warriors. There was never any danger of them winning the game at Sixways as the 62-26 score-line reflects but to score four tries and bring home a point is a big consolation.

You can read Nigel Walrond’s match report in the link plus Ian Davies’ reaction here.

The Cornish All Blacks are 2 pts ahead of rivals Redruth in the National League 2 table following their 18-8 win over Dings Crusaders at Polson Bridge.

Billy Searle scored the first try with prop Tim Mathias scoring a second, Matt Shepherd kicked the other points.

Read Suzanne Cleave’s report in the link.

Redruth found themselves 14-0 down at Clifton with barely 5 minutes on the clock. They fought back to only trail 20-12 at half-time thanks to tries from prop Tommy Phillips and hooker Richard Brown with full-back Ashley Hosking adding a conversion.

A penalty-try conversion and penalty from Hosking nudged the Reds into a 2 point lead, but Clifton came back to snatch the win and deny the Reds any points.

Read Ed Bawden’s report in the link.

Tribute Western Counties West has been thrown wide open with leader’s Exeter University facing a potential 50 point deduction for fielding ineligible players. There is likely to be an appeal and the matter is set to run. (see Conrad Sutcliffe’s column in Sunday’s Indy).

Second place Teignmouth are the likely benefactors, but Truro would again find themselves in with a play-off shout.

Truro had a good win at St. Clements Hill over Wellington 53-10. Tries were scored by Luke Tidball (2), Jack Tidball, Jake Champion, Ieuan Boon, Luke Trescothick and Matt Cross with “Eggy” Williams kicking 18 points.

Penryn didn’t fare too well at Teignmouth losing 62-10! Mile Creedan scored a try with James Salisbury adding the conversion and a penalty.

Tiverton kept the pressure on Truro with a 37-0 win at St. Ives.

Wadebridge Camels defeated Tavistock 46-14. Camels ‘tries were scored by Dan Briskham, Dom Hawkey (2), Matt Ballard, Gary Gynn (2) and Matt Tarby. James Grubb kicked the other points.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Saltash stay top following a 26-10 win over Hayle. Ryan Cruickshanks Will Morton, Sean Crawford and Steve Hillman scored the Ashes’ tries with Todd Crofts kicking three conversions.

For Hayle Damian Lynes converted a penalty try and kicked a penalty.

Bude lost at home to Crediton 17-7. Ollie Mounce with the try and Ollie Denford the conversion.

Good win for Pirates Amateurs against Honiton 36-22 at the Mennaye. Trev Dugdale scored a hat-trick of tries with Ashley Weston (2) and Danny Toolan also crossing. Rhys Brownfield kicked three conversions.

Liskeard-Looe conceded the points before kick-off as they travelled to Paignton with just 12 men. The friendly game played saw Paignton win 72-16.

Falmouth had a good win at South Molton 28-7. James Bishop, AJ Geach, Jon Baglow and Nick Carne scored the tries with Justyn Irons kicking all four conversions.

In the Intermediate Cup London SE section London Cornish sadly went out after extra time at Crowborough 19-16.

Both Tribute Cornwall 1 & 2 titles are likely to be settled next weekend as in both league 1st plays 2nd.

Newquay Hornets maintained their top spot with a 56-8 win at Illogan Park, whilst 2nd place Veor remain four points adrift after defeating Stithians 53-5.

School of Mines back from holiday defeated Roseland 43-15 with Perranporth winning 19-7 at Helston.

Saturday sees Newquay Hornets at home to Veor.

In Tribute Cornwall 2 St. Agnes had a walkover against Lankelly-Fowey.

Lanner defeated Redruth Albany 67-3.

Lanner travel to St. Agnes on Saturday both sides drew at Lanner earlier in the season.

Devon Under 20s won 11-10 at Gloucestershire yesterday to set up a group decider against Cornwall at Ivybridge on SUNDAY 25TH JANUARY kick-off 2:30 pm.

In Brittany Tom Parker’s Vannes side continue to lead their pool of Fédérale 1 (level 3 in France) following a 40-25 win over second placed Langon in front of 3,000 spectators (what the Cornish Pirates or any other club would give for crowds like that!).

Further evidence of the growing stature of Breton rugby three players from Vannes lock Etienne Delagne, scrum-half Clement Payan and  centre Kevin Burguad have recently been training with the France Fedrale squad for this season’s games against England Counties and Irish Clubs XV.

Posted in Bill's Blog

New Year and New Hope for all!

Redruth v Clifton 191111
Photo – Iktis photo – Rhodri McAtee played at fly-half for Redruth against Cambridge

The Cornish Pirates win over Jersey 30-12 at the Mennaye on Saturday saw the Cornish side temporarily up to fifth place in the Championship table on Saturday evening.

The win was just the tonic needed before testing consecutive away games at leaders Worcester Warriors and then the first of the return fixtures at London Scottish.

Given their good run of form the Pirates will go into these games with nothing to lose and could easily pick up some vital points on the road.

You can read Martin Woollat’s WMN match report in the link.

Plus reaction from Ian Davies in this link.

In National League 2 South, it proved a good day for both Cornish sides. Redruth defeated Cambridge 17-7 at the Recreation Ground, Plymouth Albion Head Coach James Shanahan being an interested spectator at the game.

Apart from the win the main concern for the Reds was the injury to skipper Chris Fuca, which was later confirmed as a broken hand. Speedy recovery to Fucs.

You can read my match report in the link.

A superb result for Launceston at Shelford were the All Blacks won 19-9. Centres Pale Nonu and Ryan Westren scored the tries with skipper Kieron Lewitt adding three penalties.

WMN report in the link.

A disappointing result for Camborne up at bottom side Clevedon in Tribute South West 1 West, where the Cherry and Whites lost 19-14. Callum Moyle and Dave Roberts scored Town’s tries during the first half with both converted by Grant Thirlby.

St. Austell gave leaders Cleve a good game before going down 14-5, Dan Pearce with the Saints try.

Games were in short supply in Tribute Western Counties West as the weather wrecked havoc with the program up the line. Only Truro of the Cornish sides played and they won 24-10 at Tavistock thanks to tries from Ashley Riches (2) and Luke Trescothick all converted by Eggy Williams who also added a penalty.

There is a round up of games from the Plymouth Herald in this link.

London Cornish’s Cup tie at Crowborough was also called off and will take place this Saturday kick-off 1-45 pm.

There was a full program in the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, leaders Saltash continued their good run with a 33-5 win at Falmouth.  Ashes scored tries through Tom Rixon, Jason Carroll, Tom Croft , Will Morton and Max Venables with Venables also adding four conversions.

Bude did Saltash a favour by defeating Withycombe 14-7. Adam Black and Ryan Butler scored their tries with Olly Denford kicking the conversions.

Bodmin gave co-leaders Crediton a good run finally losing 29-18 up in mid Devon. Mark Trevarthan and Lee Taylor scored tries for Bodmin with Jamie Taylor adding a conversion and Josh Taylor both conversions.

Liskeard-Looe put up a better performance but still went down at Lux Park 0-6 to OPMs.

In the Penwith derby Pirates Amateurs got the better of Hayle 24-5 at the Memorial Park. Ashley Weston, Danny Toolan and Trev Dugdale scored tries with Rhys Brownfield converting all three and also adding a penalty. Damian Lynes scored a first half try for Hayle.

In Tribute Cornwall 1, Newquay Hornets continue their merry way ahead after leading Helston  a merry dance in a 104-0 win!

Veor continue the chase after defeating Illogan Park 17-6.

Roseland got their second win of the season defeating Stithians 25-7 at Philleigh.

Perranporth were given a walk/over as School of Mines are still on holiday.

In Cornwall 2, St. Agnes comforted their second spot defeating Camelford 64-0, whilst Redruth Albany also got a second win defeating Lankelly-Fowey at Trewirgie 15-12.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornish Pirates end year on a high

The Cornish Pirates ended 2014 with a vital win against Plymouth Albion winning 27-19 at the Brickfields in the yuletide derby.

It was a vital win as the Pirates look to put some distance between themselves and struggling Albion who are yet to win this season in the league and sadly look set for the drop come the season’s end.

Pirates’ head-coach Ian Davies is loathed to single out any game as more important than any other, but in the context of this season he will no doubt be privately pleased to have gained the maximum five points on offer.

Next up for the Pirates is a home fixture against Jersey at the Mennaye on Saturday, with a host of familiar faces set to make a return to West Cornwall for the day in the Channel Islander’s ranks.

Woll’s match report can be found in the link.

Ian Davies post match thoughts in this link.

Boxing Day saw the usual local derbies take place.

At Redruth the Rodda’s Milk Cup stays with the Reds until Easter at least as they held on to the “old churn” 6-0 against Camborne.

It was a game played in difficult conditions following a morning of heavy rain which saw the colts game between both clubs postponed.

Two Ashley Hosking penalties were enough for Redruth against a very competitive Camborne side.

I was pleased to award the TASC Tony Pill Memorial Cup to Greg Goodfellow as our man-of-the-match.

Ben Priddey picked up the sponsors man-of-the-match accolade.

You can read my report from the West Briton in the link.

In the morning at Camborne Redruth Reserves won 12-3 against Camborne Reserves.

At Falmouth, a large crowd saw Penryn defeat their neighbours 26-0, with Penryn Saracens defeating Falmouth One & All 39-17 at the Memorial Ground.

At Hayle the Lions got the better of St. Ives 9-8 to re-claim the Bay Shield off the Hakes.

Amongst those who left us for the great clubhouse in the sky; Harold Stevens, “Bonzo” Johns and Steve Paice.

It leaves me just to wish everyone a Happy New Year, Blydhen Nowydh Da!

My three wishes for the New Year are The Stadium to finally become a reality, Cornwall to win a fourth County Title, and France to win the World Cup!!!

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornish derby ends all square

The eagerly anticipated return Cornish derby between Launceston and Redruth ended in a 15 all draw at Polson Bridge last Saturday.

The Cornish All Blacks points came via the boot of skipper Kieron Lewitt, whilst the Reds had the satisfaction of scoring three un-converted tries through Ben Priddey (2) and replacement back Dan Rutter.

Sadly for the Reds they had no recognised goal-kicker in their line up and three conversions and a penalty went begging.

County bragging rights at this level are with the Reds for this season as they re-claimed the Tribute CRFU Super Cup by dint of the aggregate result over the two league games played.

You can read Nigel Walrond’s report in the link

I took in Camborne’s intriguing Tribute South West 1 West encounter with table toppers Cleve at the Rec. The Bristol based side took the spoils in a tight game 25-23 after Dave Mankee’s last gasp penalty attempt for Town flew across the posts.

You can read my report on the game for the West Briton in the link

St. Austell enjoyed a good win over North Petherton at Tregorrick Park 48-19. The Saints mustered seven tries with three going to centre James Martin. Other tries were notched by Ben Chenoweth, Cavan Boyer, Jack Grigg and Dan Pearce, who also kicked five conversions and a penalty.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro defeated Okehampton 31-26 at St. Clements Hill. Tries were scored by Luke Tidball, Darren Jacques, Ashley Riches  and a penalty-try with “Eggy” Williams kicking all four conversions and a penalty.

St. Ives did their prospects a power of good with a good win at Alexandra Road over Penryn 36-27. Tom Chandler scored a hat-trick of tries for the Hakes with Phil Thomas getting a fourth for maximum points. Jamie Prisk kicked the other sixteen points.

Penryn scored four tries of their own through Tom Hoban, Ben Ashwin, Ben Jordan and Josh Chambers with James Salisbury kicking the other points.

Wadebridge Camels are back in the sort of form expected of them this season and they proved this with a 43-13 win against Kingsbridge. Danny Thomas, Will Pengelly (2), Dan Briskham, Jack Scott and Dom Hawkey scored the Camels’ tries with James Grubb kicking the other points.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish won 30-20 at KCS Old Boys see previous blog entry for a report.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League Saltash posted 21 tries as they dispatched Exeter Saracens 127-12 at Moorlands. Will Morton got five of the tries with Ryan Cruickshanks four.

The win puts Ashes on top of the table level on points with Withycombe and Crediton.

Pirates Amateurs are fourth but they trail the leading trio by 15 points in the table. They defeated Falmouth at the Mennaye 29-5. Harry Hudson, Ashley Weston, Josh Semmens and veteran Steve Evans all scored tries with Rhys Brownfield kicking the rest of the points. Robert Fitzpatrick got the Eagles only try.

Liskeard-Looe remain rooted to the foot of the table following Withycombe’s 73-6 win at Lux Park. Noel-Johnson kicking a couple of penalties for the homeside.

Hayle were spanked 60-0 at Paignton.

Bude’s game at Bodmin was abandoned on 60 minutes following a serious injury to a Bodmin player. We wish the player well.

Boxing Day will see some good rugby in the county with Redruth hosting Camborne at 2pm for the Rodda’s Milk Cup, whilst Hayle entertain St. Ives for the Bay Shield at 2:30 pm and Falmouth host Penryn again a 2:30 pm kick-off.

There are a host of other games please check clubs website or facebook pages for details also SW sports news on twitter.

Saturday the Cornish Pirates head to Plymouth to take on Albion at the Brickfields in a vital Championship clash for both sides kick-off is 3 pm.

All it remains for me to do is to wish “One & All” a very Merry Christmas, Nadelik Lowen onen hag oll.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornish de-throne Kings

KCS Old Boys 20-30 London Cornish

Report & Photos By Ben Gilby

London Cornish ended 2014 with a bonus point victory away at fourth placed KCS Old Boys, with the forwards doing the damage, scoring all of the tries. This result sees them well placed for a promotion challenge in the New Year.

The Exiles were in dominant form from the start, and won four penalties in the opening three minutes. From the last of these, a huge driving maul was simply too much for Kings to cope with, and Mark Osei-Tutu grounded the ball. With a fierce wind blowing, Spells conversion attempt failed.

From the re-start, Cornish earned another penalty, but Spells’ kick missed. KCS then gained their first spell of possession and used it well to be awarded two penalties in quick succession – the first of which was sent over from 30m, the other from in front of the posts. With 14 minutes gone, totally against the run of play, KCS Old Boys led 6-5.

LC v KCS away 2 aPhoto Luke Spells looks to break tackle

The Black & Golds kept up the momentum in the forwards, which also extended to the line-out. Ben Ievers stole Kings ball, and set up another huge drive, which the hosts stopped illegally, and the resulting penalty was kicked to touch, with the resulting line-out 5m from the KCS line, but the home side managed to clear. Shortly after, Cornish won another Kings line-out, and Carew-Gibbs initiated a great move with Dale and Spells before KCS cleared, but play was brought back for a penalty in front of the posts and Spells’ kick was successful, and Cornish regained the lead at 8-6.

The Exiles continued to turn the screw, and with KCS struggling to stem the immense power of the Cornish forwards, it was only a matter of time until the referee reached for his pocket, and the home hooker was yellow carded. If it was hard going for the hosts to stop Cornish up front with fifteen men, it proved nigh on impossible with fourteen. With ten minutes of the half to go, Rich Skinnard made a trademark sprint which left any number of Kings players trailing in his wake before the home side re-grouped, won the ball and cleared the danger. Cornish were awarded another penalty soon after, and a sensational long distance kick for touch saw the Black and Golds have line-out ball 5m from the home line. A series of pick and go followed before Ben Ievers attempt to ground the ball was held-up.  Just two minutes later there was no stopping Cornish when another massive drive saw Mark Osei-Tutu over for his second of the afternoon, and fourth try in two games.  Spells’ conversion attempt missed.

Lc v kcs away 3 aPhoto – Matt Hakes on the charge vs KCS

As the half moved into stoppage time, Cornish won a scrum against the head and drove for the line once more. Scrum-half Rob Healey looked to have grounded the ball over the line for a third try, but the referee thought otherwise, and brought play back for a penalty for The Exiles in front of the posts which Spells kicked.

From the re-start, a cheeky kick through by Dave Theobald was gathered by Rich Skinnard who went on another huge run before KCS stole the ball. Shortly afterwards, Harry Somers stole Kings line-out ball which began yet another massive pick and drive. Healey passed to Ben Ievers who ran onto the ball at pace and was simply unstoppable for Cornish’s third try. Luke Spells added the conversion and the Black and Golds were 23-6 ahead at the break.

lc v KCS away  1 aPhoto – Will Carew-Gibbs with ball as Cornish Maul advances

The second half opened with a seemingly endless spell of re-set scrums, but Cornish regained the ascendancy when a brilliant bit of work from Ciaran Acford, who won turn-over ball and put in Mark Osei-Tutu. His ball found Acford once more. A further recycle played in Jamie McDonald who made an impressive number of metres. His final pass put in Harry Somers who dived over the line to secure the try scoring bonus point. Spells added the extras, and with half an hour to play, Cornish led 30-6.

At this point, the Exiles looked set to rack up a big win, however, KCS hit back well and a superb offloading game between their wingers and centres played in the superb Kings full-back Gareth Stoppani, who galloped through to score, and then add the extras. Cornish had lost the momentum, and found it nigh on impossible to regain it. Play degenerated as an increased amount of whistle broke the game up. The one further score of the game came right at the death and another display of excellent offloading resulted in Tom Smith scoring Kings’ second try of the afternoon. Stoppani’s successful conversion ensured he scored fifteen of KCS Old Boys’ twenty points.

Cornish now go into the Christmas break in third place, and have a Regional Quarter-Final in the RFU Intermediate Cup to look forward to at Crowborough on 3rd January before an absolutely massive home game against second placed Winchester a week later.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Redruth secure morale boosting win

It’s been a tough few weeks for the Reds having lost their last three games on the bounce, so it was vital that they got a good win ahead of Saturday’s Cornish Derby at Polson Bridge against county rivals Launceston.

At half-time last Saturday it looked like the poor run would continue as Redruth put in a poor first forty to go in trailing 25-10 against Lydney.

Poor old Nathan Pedley, back from Australia for Christmas probably wished he had caught up on his jet lag with a good kip, happily for him the Reds put on a storming second half to welcome him home and snatch a 27-25 win as Brett Rule kicked the conversion to the penalty-try that gave them five much-needed points.

County coach Graham Dawe was another interested spectator as the game along with some of the county selectors, they will no doubt be out in force on Saturday when the Blacks plays Reds.

Young Redruth prop Tommy Phillips was awarded man-of-the-match. Last season’s Cornwall Under 18 player of the year has impressed me this season. He has worked hard on improving his game and scrummaging technique, I am sure he has a fine future ahead of him and will progress further.

You can read my report from the West Briton web-site in the link.

Launceston will feel justifiably robbed when a last-gasp penalty by former player Gary Kingdom gave Taunton a 23-20 win at Hyde Park.

They will look to put matters right in front of their own fans and look to gain revenge for their single point loss at Redruth earlier this season.

As ever on these occasions all roads will lead to Polson Bridge on Saturday with a 2:30 pm kick-off for the Cornish Derby.

You can read a summary report on the Launceston defeat at Taunton in the link.

The Cornish Pirates went out of the British and Irish Cup with all guns blazing at Bedford Blues 41-40.

You can read Bill Sobey’s Match report in the link.

The Pirates can now concentrate on securing Championship rugby next season. Next up for them will be the derby fixture against Plymouth Albion at Brickfields on Saturday 27th December kick-off 3 pm.

In the Tribute South West 1 West league it was a disappointing day for both our clubs. Camborne travelled to Bridgwater & Albion going down 39-25 but gained a try-scoring bonus point with four tries scored by Grant Thirlby, Dave Mankee, Sam Bartle and James Goldsworthy. Mankee kicked the other points.

This Saturday Camborne entertain leaders Cleve at the Recreation Ground needing a win to end the year on a high league wise.

St. Austell travelled to Bideford and were defeated 18-10. Full-back Dan Pearce and winger Ben Chenoweth scored a couple of unconverted tries for the Saints.

St. Austell will hope for a cherry Christmas when they face North Petherton at Tregorrick this Saturday.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro have slipped off the pace in the promotion battle as they lost their third league game on the bounce. Truro battled hard at leaders Exeter University and came home with a try-scoring bonus point from a 48-25 defeat. Tries were scored by Ieaun Boone, Darren Jacques (2) and Ben Teasdale.

Truro will look to end the year on a high when they entertain Okehampton this Saturday.

Wadebridge Camels good form continued at the Rectory when they defeated Devonport Services 27-5. Dan Briskham, Richard Treleaven (2) and Ben Collings scored the Camels’ tries with James Grubb kicking the other points.

St. Ives battled to a 39 all try with Sidmouth following last week’s heavy loss at Wadebridge.

Tries from Ben Taylor, Sam Heath, Neil Corin (2), Tom Chandler and Scott Perkin gave the Hakes three valuable league points.

Penryn lost at Wellington 38-21, Mike Creeden and Matt Williams scored the Borough’s tries as they fought back from 21-3 down to level the game 21 all thanks to the boot of Billy Benton.

The home side pulled away in the final quarter scoring another three tries.

In London 2 SW see the previous blog entry on London Cornish’s win at Tadley Tigers.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Saltash’s 33-15 win at Bude keeps them level on points with both Withycombe and Crediton at the top.

Ryan Cruickshanks, Will Morton, Steve Down, Ollie Nance and Shaun Crawford all crossed for tries for the Ashes, whilst Max Veneables kicked four conversions.

For Bude, Luke Wilson, Jason Bolt and Tully Innes scored unconverted tries.

Pirates Amateurs lost 30-15 at Crediton. Dan Toolan and Ben Brittan scored tries with Rhys Brownfield kicking the other points.

Falmouth had a good win over OPMs at the Rec 37-13. Tom Spiller, John Tyson, George Clark, Alec Stuthridge and Ashley Searle all scored tries for the Eagles with Justyn Irons kicking the rest of the points.

Bodmin beat South Molton 36-0 scoring six tries through Josh Taylor (2), Paul Carter (2), Pengelly and Lee Taylor with Josh Taylor’s boot adding the rest of the points.

The battle of the Lions sadly turned tame as Liskeard-Looe were forced to concede their game at Hayle.

Former Truro School pupil Tom Pascoe played at hooker for Cambridge University in last Thursday’s Varsity Match against Oxford University at Twickenham. His side were unable to prevent the Dark Blues winning for the fifth time in a row – a first for Oxford though Cambridge have done it on three occasions – by 43-6!

Tom Parker’s Vannes side continue to go well in their pool in Fedrale 1in France. In their final game of the year they won at Saint Sulpice 32-30 and will go into the New Year top of the pool with their eyes on the end of season play-offs which could see a Breton side in the Pro 2 for the first time ever in France.

Congratulations to the following Cornwall Under 18 players who have made the South West squad for the National Development weekend at Loughborough in February; Brandon Andrews, Rikki Bentham, James Bishop, George Bone, James McFarlane, James Rowe and Luke Trewhella.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornish Exiles tame Tigers

London Cornish laid the ghosts of last week’s defeat to leaders Tottonians to rest by beating Tadley Tigers 40-15.

Report and photos by Ben Gilby

Tadley are a side with good Cornish links of their own – one of the club’s founders, Frank Jose is a Camborne man, and it was his influence that led the Tigers to play in the black and gold of his beloved county.

The early exchanges were pretty even, but, within nine minutes it was the visitors who were ahead courtesy of a breakaway try from Matt Hakes, who received the ball, and was given the freedom of Berkshire to gallop home under the posts. Luke Spells converted, and Cornish were off and running.

Cornish now had the bit between their teeth and added a further three tries in the following ten minutes. Great ball from Rob Healey found Phil Dale who found Harry Somers on the left. The former Cornish Pirate played in Oli Low who broke attempted tackles and made the hard yards. Tadley managed to clear for a line-out. Ievers secured the ball and an absolutely monstrous rolling maul sent Tadley scurrying backwards, and it was Will Carew-Gibbs who grounded the ball at the end of it. Spells added the extras and with 13 minutes gone, ‘The Exiles’ were 14-0 up.

lc v Tadley 1 aPhoto – Good lineout ball claimed by lock Ben Ievers

 Just three minutes later, and the impressive Cornish were over again as more pressure forced Tadley into a rushed clearance kick which went straight to Mark Osei-Tutu. A huge gap of open field presented itself and ‘Neuts’ was never going to do anything other than run home to score. Spells’ kick was good and it was now 21-0 to the visitors.

To their great credit, Tadley rallied and set up a pacy attack which resulted in the award of a penalty, which fly-half Craig Raymond successfully kicked.

Cornish received the ball back from the resulting kick-off following a Tadley knock-on, and another surge of pressure built, and Healey’s ball played in Robin Heymann who danced his way through more wide open space to seal the try-scoring bonus point with 23 minutes on the clock. Spells’ conversion put the score out to 28-5.

lc v tadley 2 aPhoto – Fly-half Phil Dale makes a break

Tadley re-grouped and managed to close the flood gates at this point. Craig Raymond made a great run which needed stopping thanks to a great tackle from Will Carew-Gibbs. Shortly afterwards, from a scrum, Mark Osei-Tutu picked the ball out from the back and made ground. He found Healey, who put in a kick which was charged down. Thankfully Joe Skinnard comfortably won the foot race the snaffle the ball and clear the danger.

Cornish’s forwards were still enjoying total domination and, from another line-out, another immense maul was launched. Tadley were in serious trouble, and could only stop its progress illegally. The resulting penalty was kicked to the corner, and another massive drive resulted in Oli Low touching down. Luke Spells continued his 100% record with the boot to make it 35-5.

lc v tadley 3 aPhoto – Cornish maul on the go

 Tadley controlled the remainder of the half and a great move resulted in them getting over the Cornish line. Charlie Cox combined with Rob Dods-Samson. A further passing movement between Craig Raymond, Charlie Cox and Chris Beeby saw the ball recycled once more and Tom Altmann dotted down in the right hand corner. Raymon’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful and the score was 35-8 in Cornish favour at the break.

The Black and Golds were still in the ascendancy at the start of the second stanza, and from line-out ball, Ievers passed out to Healey who combined with Phil Dale, who in turn put in Robin Heymann. Once more Tadley could only stop the visitors with the concession of a penalty. This was kicked to touch to launch yet another huge rolling maul, and Mark Osei-Tutu grounded the ball for his second try of the afternoon.

Cornish had two further great chances – the first of which was a searing run from Rich Skinnard who was finally stopped by home full-back Rob Dods-Samson. Shortly afterwards, from a line-out, Phil Dale fed Joe Skinnard. Skinnard’s run then found Robin Heymann, but the ball was lost. From here on, Tadley stepped up to the plate and competed very well for the rest of the game. This character will serve them well for the remainder of the season. They built momentum further when a Cornish forward was sin-binned for not rolling away. Much of the final ten minutes was taken up by re-set scrums, but there was still time for one final score, and it went the way of the home side. Dods-Samson made a superb break through the centre, and played in replacement Chris Dennison who dived over to score. Craig Raymond’s conversion was a success, but Cornish took the spoils with a 40-15 win.

After the game, London Cornish Director of Rugby Dickon Moon commented: “This is the first match since Farnham away that we have managed to field our first choice locks, and you could see today the difference that makes. Though we tailed off in the second half, you cannot be disappointed with a 5 point away win and given how strong we are traditionally in the second half of the season, we must be happy with the biggest haul (43 points) we have ever achieved at this level in the opening 11 matches.”

Posted in Bill's Blog

All Blacks running into form at right time

Redruth v Launceston 211213Photo – Action from last season’s pre-Christmas derby at Redruth

The Cornish All Blacks 25-15 win over Canterbury at Polson on Saturday made it three wins on the bounce for the East Cornwall side.

Having been on the wrong end of some close calls this season this little run of wins has helped propel the All Blacks up the table and they have now leap-frogged their West Cornwall rivals for the first time this season in the league.

Saturday’s game against Taunton, who have slipped in recent weeks, will be a good measure prior to the Redruth game at Polson on Saturday 20th December kick-off 2:30 pm.

Tries from Ryan Westren, Jamie Salter and Jake Murphy along with the boot of Kieron Lewitt got the All Blacks home against Canterbury.

You can read Suzanne Cleave’s report from the WMN in the link

Conversely, Redruth’s form has dipped in recent weeks. Saturday’s 33-12 reversal at Chinnor was their third game on the trot without picking up any points.

Saturday’s game against Lydney at the Rec is now a vital one, as the Severnsiders are third from bottom just five points behind the Reds with a game in-hand!

Redruth need a moral boosting win prior to their trip to Polson, hopefully Greg Goodfellow and Damien Cook, who both missed the Chinnor trip will be fit to play.

You can read Ed Bawden WMN report in the link.

Three late converted tries by Doncaster Knights has put the Yorkshire side firmly in control of Pool Four in the British and Irish Cup as they staged a remarkable to pip the Cornish Pirates 31-30 at the Mennaye.

Next Saturday’s final pool match against Bedford Blues at Goldington Road kick-off 2pm will determine who finishes runners-up in the pool with hopefully it being sufficient to qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the three best pool runners-up.

You can read Nigel Walrond’s WMN match report in the link.

Ian Davies’ reaction to his side’s defeat in this link.

In the Tribute South West 1West league, Camborne maintained their third place with a hard-fought 28-16 win over North Devon side Bideford at the Rec.

You can read my report on the game via West Briton link.

It was a very emotionally charged day at Tregorrick Park when St. Austell faced Avonmouth Old Boys. Prior to the match both sides observed a one minute silence in memory of St. Austell player Roy Williams who unexpectedly passed away last week.

The Saints then turned on a performance that their former teammate would have been proud of as they defeated the Old Boys 40-25 to alleviate their position in the bottom half of the table. Tries were scored by skipper Miles Davey (2), Ian Venner, Dan Pearce, Alex Welland and Ben Chenoweth with Pearce also adding a couple of penalties and conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West, a blow to Truro’s promotion hopes as they were beaten 33-14 at St. Clements Hill by Devonport Services,  Luke Tidball and Darren Jacques scored both of Truro’s tries which were converted by “Eggy” Williams.

Penryn had a good win at home against Tavistock 53-7.  Full-back Josh Chambers scored three tries with Mitch Vague and Ben Hoban both bagging a brace each, Matt Williams with Ben Jordan scoring the other tries. Callum Hinchley kicked four conversions.

Wadebridge Camels defeated St. Ives 105-10, scoring seventeen tries in all. Dom Hawkey scored five tries and James Grubb kicked ten conversions.

London Cornish lost their top-of-the-table clash with Tottonians 19-6 in London 2 SW, see Ben Gilbey’s match report in my previous blog post.

In Tribute Cornwall and Devon League, Saltash are level on points with Withycombe at the top of the table following their 34-10 win over Bodmin.

Ashes scored six-tries against Bodmin through Ryan Cruickshanks (2), Ollie Mulberry, Max Veneables, Steve Hillman and Shaun Crawford.

Bodmin scored tries through Pooley and Carter.

Falmouth won 52-0 at Liskeard-Looe, the Eagles scored eight tries through Olly Church, John Tyson, Matt Symons, Nick Carne, Olly Williams, George Hooper, Tom Spiller and Symon Bailey with

Justyn Irons kicking six conversions.

Hayle lost at Honiton 23-8, Rob Rowe with Hayle’s sole try and Scott Harvey with a penalty.

Bude defeated Pirates Amateurs 20-18.

The final games in both Cornwall Leagues 1 & 2; prior to the New Year took place last weekend.

Newquay Hornets failed to pick up maximum points for the first time this season as Camborne School of Mines held them to a 17-22 margin.

Veor kept the pressure up in second place with a 58-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Roseland.

Illogan Park won 46-21 at Helston, whilst Stithians had a walkover against Perranporth.

In Cornwall 2, Lanner won 59-12 at Lankelly-Fowey to remain top. St. Agnes defeated St. Just in the far tip of Cornwall 54-7, whilst Camelford beat Redruth Albany 20-5.

Finally best wishes to Truro School Old Boy Tom Pascoe who has been chosen by Cambridge University to play at hooker in the 133 rd Varsity Match this Thursday against Oxford University at Twickenham. The game will be reffed by Devon’s Luke Pearce.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Totts too hot to handle!

London Cornish 6-19 Tottonians

Report and Photos by Ben Gilby

It was Tottonians who emerged with the spoils from the top of the table London Two South-West clash at The REMPF on Saturday.

The early exchanges were a serious arm-wrestle as these two sides tested each other out – a series of scrums and line-outs finally ended after seven minutes. Cornish were penalised for holding on, and, with the referee playing advantage, Totts put down a major marker by launching an impressive driving maul – something ‘The Exiles’ had not been on the receiving end of this season – as the ball came out, Robbie Searle kicked through, but Robin Heymann managed to end the immediate danger by putting the ball down behind his own line. The referee brought play back for the infringement and Searle’s penalty was successful.

lc v totts 3 aPhoto – Cornish skipper Dave Theobald on the charge

Cornish responded well, and launched a period of attacks on the Tottonians line. The visitors could only halt a succession of pick and drives with the concession of a penalty. Phil Dale kicked to touch for a 5m line-out. The visitors snaffled the ball and cleared. However, from a following lineout, Luke Spells fed Phil Dale who took the ball into a maul. Tottonians managed to steal the ball, but knocked-on in doing so. Cornish were awarded the penalty, which Luke Spells kicked to level the scores.

The Black & Golds continued to have the upper hand, with Rich Skinnard making several twinkle-toed runs, and he was combining well with Phil Dale. From one Dale cross-kick, Skinnard was just unable to reach the ball, but play was brought back for a penalty on the ‘22’ to the right of centre, which Spells kicked to give Cornish the lead.

As the game reached the half-hour mark, Tottonians began to establish a foothold. Their lock Ali Ramus, who had played National League rugby for Havant, went barrelling down the right wing. The referee adjudged he was halted illegally, and Robbie Searle stepped up, 18m out, to the left of centre, but he inexplicably missed.

Cornish were now forced into defensive mode. Once more the Hampshire side targeted the right hand side of the pitch, but Cornish managed to grab the ball. Healey’s attempted clearance kick was charged down and Tottonians moved across the pitch, pounding the Cornish line. The defence kept the line intact, but at the cost of a penalty concession. Searle kicked to touch 5m out. From the resulting line-out the Black and Golds pushed back the Totts tide and brilliantly won a penalty to clear.

lc v totts 1 aPhoto – Cornish’s Mark Osei-Tutu looking to break out of defence

The final action of the half saw another Totts attack with full-back Bart van Herwijnen breaking several tackles, but his pass only found the touch line. From the resulting line-out, a quite outrageous hand off by Will Carew-Gibbs found Luke Bridges, who in turn fed Matt Hakes, but the move broke down. The half-time whistle followed with Cornish leading 6-3.

The second period opened with Tottonians still in the ascendancy. Lock Ali Ramus led an impressive drive. His ball found Mike Searle, with the referee now playing advantage for Cornish offside. Searle drove for the line, but Cornish defence heroically held him up. Play came back for the penalty, but Robbie Searle missed the kick. However, ‘The Exiles’ line only remained intact for another four minutes. Robbie Searle was now in imperious form – a great kick through saw the ball bounce through the Cornish defence and Searle touched down in the far left hand corner. He managed to add the conversion from an acute angle as Totts went 10-6 in front.

The game was now almost exclusively being played in the Cornish half, but the home side were standing up to the pressure well. Totts’ Dan Stokes fed Robbie Searle, but a great tackle from Rich Skinnard stopped him in his tracks. Shortly afterwards, with Cornish mounting an attack they were penalised for holding on, and Robbie Searle stepped up from 40m out to send the ball between the posts to extend the visitors’ lead to 13-6.

Cornish captain Dave Theobald rallied his troops, and there was an immediate response as the game entered the final fifteen minutes. Luke Spells led a great run down the right, which came to an end with a knock on, but, with advantage being played, Cornish maintained their forward push. For the first time they got a driving maul going, pushing the Hampshire visitors back a real distance, but once more a handling error ended the move. From the resulting penalty, Totts moved the ball around at speed before earning a further penalty 5m from touch, some 20m from the posts which Searle kicked to extend his side’s lead to ten points.

lc v totts 2 aPicture – Cornish winger Matt Hakes tackled by Tottonians’ defence

As the game entered its final period, Cornish began to press, showing character, but they never quite got their usual attacking game going, and consequently the only remaining try scoring chances went Totts way as the visitors gathered possession from a clearance kick attempt, but immense defence from ‘The Exiles’ saved the day. In the final exchanges, Cornish got another maul going, but just as progress looked to be made, Totts earned a penalty which Searle kicked, five metres out from touch.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates keep Cup hopes alive

Photo Jake Woodward scoring Cornwall Under 20’s second try on Sunday – Photo Iktis photo

The Cornish Pirates kept their British and Irish Cup hopes alive with a vital Friday night in at Pandy Park against Cross Keys 31-20.

Pirates scored four tries to take the bonus point through Paul and Jack Andrew, Joel Conlon and Rob Andrew. Kieran Hallett’s boot added the other points.

It nicely sets up SATURDAY’S encounter with Doncaster Knights at the Mennaye.

Bill Sobey’s match report can be found in the link.

Ian Davies’ reaction can be found in the link here.

In National League 2 South, a last-gasp conversion from Kieron Lewitt gave the All Blacks a good win at Old Elthamians 20-18 tries from Ed Holmes and Jake Murphy and Lewitt’s boot did the business for Launceston who had the rub of the green for once in their favour with last minute kicks deciding the game.

Read Conrad Sutcliffe’s report from the WMN in the link

Redruth were beaten by a very good Dorking side 38-12 at the Recreation Ground. The visitors who came up last season are the latest club from the South East who look set to power their way up through the leagues. On this performance they will push Henley Hawks all the way for the automatic promotion berth.

You can read my report in the link.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Camborne were undone by a last minute converted try at Avonmouth Old Boys 16-14. Town led 14-9 thanks to three penalties from Alex Ducker and a Sam Bartle try with seconds left, the ball went over the Camborne line with Richie Kevern appearing to touch the ball down however an Avonmouth player dived on the ball and claimed a try awarded by the referee, the conversion rubbed salt into the wound!

St. Austell lost their re-arranged game with fellow strugglers Cullompton at Tregorrick 29-15. It was not a happy weekend for the Saints as on Friday they learnt of the passing of one of their players Roy Williams. Thoughts go out to his family and friends.

There were a couple of re-arranged game in the Cornwall and Devon League. Hayle travelled to OPMs and won 21-12. Lions points came via Scott Harvey, who kicked three penalties and a conversion, along with a penalty-try award and one from Rob Cutter.

Bodmin lost at home to Crediton 22-13.

In Tribute Cornwall League 1, Newquay Hornets’ game at Stithians was abandoned with the Hornets leading 5-3 after the referee was injured during the first half.

Veor remain second following their 42-14 win at Helston .

Camborne School of Mines are now level on points with Illogan Park as they won 50-10 at Paynters Lane.

Perranporth got a much needed win defeating Roseland 46-22 at Ponsmere Valley.

In Tribute Cornwall League 2, Lanner comforted their top spot with a 45-0 win over Camelford at Trevarth.

Redruth Albany notched up their first league win of the season defeating St. Just 17-15 at Trewirgie.

The Tribute Cornwall Cup outstanding quarter-finals were settled in differing manner, whilst Truro beat Pirates Amateurs in an exciting game at St. Clements Hill on Saturday 24-18. Penryn were awarded a walkover when Bude pulled out of their tie in mid-week.

The semi-final line up is ;

Camborne v Truro

Penryn v St. Austell

As you will have seen in previous blog entries Cornwall under 20s defeated their Gloucestershire counterparts 34-21 at Camborne on Sunday.

Sad news this week that former Exeter Chiefs’ hooker Neil Clark has been forced to retire.

A proud Helstonian Clarky has been playing in France with Top 14 side Oyonnox.

You can read his story here in the link.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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