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Cornwall secured a third straight Tamar Cup success against old foes Devon at a murky Polson Bridge, reports Bill Hooper from Polson Bridge.

A first win for Cornwall’s new head coach Graham Dawe, at his old stomping ground which launched him off on to his glittering rugby career.

After the final whistle Dawe reflected on his side’s first outing but his thoughts had already turned to the challenges ahead in the coming weeks.

“We still have a lot to work on, there were some aspects of controlling the game, the scoreboard didn’t keep ticking but these are aspects that the boys are aware of. Our scrum worked well we had some good field position but still plenty to work on.

“Jamal Ford-Robinson had a good game he loves to scrum and carries well he certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

“We are looking for a good start at Redruth with hopefully a good crowd there to help us on the way; there is a hunger and keenness in this squad and great pride in the shirt.

“I was very pleased with the effort and commitment of all the players but especially young ones like Tony Whittle who I feel has got something about him and could do well in the future he will learn a lot with some of the wise heads around him in this squad.”

In the end Cornwall got the better of their cross-Tamar neighbours but it took time to break down the dogged resistance of the Devon side.

Cornwall certainly had the lion’s share of possession and territory during the game, but there were just a few errors in the final execution which saw good chances go begging, especially during the first half.

Cornwall were captained on the night by Cornish All Blacks’ centre Nielson Webber who proudly led the side out under the Polson floodlights.

Cornwall were on the front foot from the kick-off with Cambridge prop Jamal Ford-Robinson showing the form that has brought him England Counties recognition this season at both full and Under 20 level.

Cornwall v Devon 30/04/14


Cornwall were awarded a string of penalties as Devon fell-foul of referee Carl Bennett, but it’s seems that he left his cards back home in Somerset!

Eventually, Cornwall opted for a kick at goal with Saints fly-half Matt Shepherd slotting over with 6 minutes on the clock.

Cornwall thought they had an opening try when Redruth scrum-half Greg Goodfellow put Clifton prop Rupert Freestone in at the corner, however the assistant referee judged the prop had knocked on in the act of scoring.

Cornwall v Devon 30/04/14


Having weathered the initial storm Devon got back into the game, a drop-goal attempt from Mark Lee was wide of the posts, however the Devonians had a penalty which they kicked to the Polson Bridge corner, from the line out the ball was moved along the line, however during the move winger Tom Foan sustained a dislocated shoulder, which necessitated a lengthy period of first aid being administered.

Cornwall ended the half on the attack with winger Rhodri McAtee and Ford-Robinson close to a score, whilst the half ended with full back Kieron Lewitt attempting a long range penalty from near the halfway line which sailed wide of the sticks.

At half-time both sides made the first of the many changes that punctuate the half and within a minute two of those for Cornwall conjured the break through.

Ryan Westren on for his brother Murray in the centre put the pass in for Truro winger Lewis Vinnicombe to beat the cover in the clubhouse corner.
Lewitt who had assumed the main kicking duties after the departure of Shepherd couldn’t add the extras, but he was on cue with penalties on 56, 60 and 68 minutes to put Cornwall in a commanding position of 17-0.

Murray Westren returned to the fray as a rolling sub to complete a proud evening for the Westren family with both boys on the field together in the black and gold, a proud moment for parents Phil and Sally Westren, who of course do so much great work for the Cornish Pirates.

There was some good impact from the bench with notably Lewis Paterson catching the eye along with half back replacements Richard Friend and Lewis Webb, whilst St. Austell’s flanker Ian Venner and Camborne’s hooker Sam Bartle also impressed before facing up against each other next Monday in the Cornwall Knockout Cup Final between their respective clubs.

After the final whistle and speaking just after having received the Tamar Cup from CRFU President Ken Plummer, skipper for the evening Nielson Webber was a very proud man. “I am extremely proud of the boys tonight, conditions were not easy and we grafted out a good win which hopefully sets us up for a good tilt at the county championship during May.

Cornwall v Devon 30/04/14


“Despite the fact that we didn’t put away some of those chances we had I felt we played some mature rugby especially during the second half, everything Dawsey told us at half-time we took on board and I am proud of the boys to not just get the win but to also nil a very useful Devon side speaks volumes.

And Webber feels that the squad are coming together nicely in time for the championship. “We can feel the anticipation building, we have got unfinished business from last season, I have already sensed a great togetherness and purpose from the squad, pulling on the black and gold is such an honour and we feel the responsibility and expectation that goes with it. Hopefully we will have great support in our forthcoming games form the marvellous Cornish fans to help us get back to Twickenham.”

Redruth scrum-half Greg Goodfellow was also pleased with Cornwall’s night’s work. “We were told to go out and express ourselves and I feel we did that, the boys coming together from all the clubs after a long hard season but they are all up for it. There are things to work on but I feel it looks very very promising.

“We’ve got a couple of sessions in the lead up to the game against North Midlands so we will have time to fine tune the little things that didn’t quite come off tonight. With two home games to start we need to get off to a great start and the supporters will have their part to play we really need their support on the touchline to give us that extra boost I cannot underestimate the influence a Cornish crowd in full cry has on the team it’s a massive, massive boost they are the sixteenth man. I am a Scot but to pull on the Cornish jersey and play in front of a great Cornish crowd brings the hairs up on the back of my neck.”

CORNWALL – 17 pts
Try – Vinnicombe. Penalties – Shepherd, Lewitt (3)

DEVON – 0 pts

Cornwall: K Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks),R McAtee (Redruth), M Westren (Redruth) N Webber (Cornish All Blacks) (Capt), A Ducker (Camborne), M Shepherd (St. Austell), G Goodfellow (Redruth); J Ford-Robinson (Cambridge), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), R Freestone (Clifton), D Cook (Redruth), B Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Falmouth) C Fuca (Redruth), B Chapman (Cornish All Blacks)

Replacements used: S Bartle (Camborne), R Friend (Cornish All Blacks), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), T Notman (Redruth), L Paterson (Ivybridge), J Tripcony (Cornish All Blacks), J Tompsett (Redruth), L Vinnicombe (Truro), L Webb (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Redruth), R Westren (Cornish All Blacks), I Venner (St Austell)

Devon: R Toms (Cullompton), T Foan (Crediton), J Hannaford (Tamar Saracens), C Swash (Exmouth), B Rudkin (unattached), M Lee (Crediton), O Massy-Birch (UWIC); G Savage (Exmouth), D Reed (Tiverton), D Sexton (Devonport Services), M Ghol (Barnstaple), C Bentley (Exmouth, Capt), S Thomas (Brixham), W Sprangle (Tiverton), D Lee (Taunton)

Replacements used: A Pike (Tiverton), O Mulberry (Saltash), C Bryce (Brixham), B Lugg (Tiverton), E Stevens (OPM), G Wright (Barnstaple), H Coles (Ivybridge), B Blake (Tiverton), J Lee (Crediton)

Referee: Carl Bennett (Somerset RRS)

Crowd: 524

Trelawny’s Army Cornwall man-of-the-match: Barrie John Chapman, big carries from the number 8 kept Cornwall on the front foot good work at lineout and rucks

Posted in Bill's Blog


The final day of the National League 2 South season couldn’t have been scripted better for our two Cornish clubs.

The Cornish All Blacks’ 16-6 win over Shelford gave them the points they needed to stay up and for inspirational flanker Tom Rawlings to take his leave from Polson on a high.


Tries from Barrie Chapman and Jamie Salter together with a couple of Kieron Lewitt penalties were enough for Launceston to squeeze home in a tight game.


Up in Cambridge a brave Redruth side could muster just 17 men standing as sickness took it’s toll on three of their players. The Reds dug deep into their self-belief to score four unconverted tries through Neil Turner (2), Greg Goodfellow and Jake Rayment to win for only the second time on the road this season 20-19.

It was a great way for departing head-coach Ashley Morcom to sign off as well as Craig Bonds.


So in the final shake-up in National League 2 Hartpury College are champions and are promoted to National League 1 along with Macclesfield from 2 North. Darlington MP will entertain Ampthill &District in the promotion play-off for the third place.

Henley Hawks and Worthing Raiders slip back down to National League 2 South next season. Should Ampthill lose their play-off they are likely to be levelled transferred to 2 North next season.

Joining Exmouth and Bournemouth in National 3 next season are London Irish Wild Geese. They will be replaced by Lydney, Dorking and Old Elthamians who defeated Redingensians 17-10 on the play-off.

Redruth finish a creditable 9th with the Cornish All Blacks 12th.

On Friday night the Cornish Pirates rounded off their season in the Greene-King Championship with a 36-3 defeat at play-off qualifiers Leeds Carnegie.

The Pirates again fielded a young side captained by Tom Kessell. Kyle Moyle kicked an early penalty for their sole points.

The Pirates finished in sixth position and with stories that next season they will have an even smaller squad of players to replicate that would be considered a success as they continue to tread water whilst the saga of the stadium rumbles on!


Bristol, London Welsh, Leeds and Rotherham Titans will contest the play-offs, whilst Ealing Trailfinders are relegated after just one season and are replaced by Doncaster Knights who bounce back after just one season in National League 1.

It was good to see Aaron Penberthy get the man-of-the-match award from The Rugby Paper as Jersey defeated Bedford Blues 41-31 at Goldington Road with Aaron kicking 21 points.

The drama in Tribute South West 1 West was concluded last week, however hats-off to Chard who pipped both Camborne and St. Austell to the runners-up spot, now they have won their play-off against Towcestrians 22-18 to go into National 3 SW next season.

Sidmouth, Coney Hill and Wadebridge Camels all drop down with Drybrook, Ivybridge and Matson, who defeated Teignmouth 35-10 in South Devon in the play-off, all promoted from Western Counties West & North.

Penryn rounded off their league program with a loss at Okehampton 19-17. Tries for the Borough were scored by Phil Hinchley and Ethan Patterson with Rob Banks a penalty and both conversions.

Penryn finish a respectable sixth just behind Truro in fifth, St. Ives escaped the drop in the twelfth with Bude and Paignton both relegated.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth finished their season with a win at the Rec against OPM’s 18-14. Tom Spiller, AJ Geech and Simon Bailey scored the Eagles’ tries with Justyn Irons kicking a penalty.

Falmouth were the best placed Cornish side finishing in sixth place a long way behind promoted clubs Exeter University and Tiverton.
Saltash and Hayle finished seventh and eight respectively, Pirates Amateurs tenth with both Veor and Newquay Hornets propping up the table and relegated to Cornwall 1 next season.

Liskeard-Looe and play-off winners Bodmin will play in the Cornwall & Devon League next season along with South Molton winners of Devon 1.

Dropping down from Cornwall 1 to Cornwall 2 are Roseland and St. Agnes, whilst promoted from Cornwall 2 to Cornwall 1 are Illogan Park and St. Just.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish ended their season with a 23-13 win over Weybridge Vandals to finish third in their league, their highest ever finish in the league structure.

DoR Dickon Moon and his staff must be congratulated on their achievements and no doubt will be hoping to get promotion next term!

It’s all over too for Tom Parker and his Vannes side in the play-offs in the last sixteen of the Jean-Prat trophy against Montauban.

The former French Champions had already won 16-13 last weekend at the stade de la Rabine in Vannes, yes the ground where Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan-Dickee helped England become World U.20 Champions last June, in the return at their stade Sapiac the greens were comfortable winners 32-0 though both sides played with just fourteen men after 3 minutes when Parker for Vannes and Montauban prop Elvis Tekassala were both red carded by the referee for fighting!!

Mention to for former Redruth player Ed Carne who has been playing International rugby for Singapore in recent weeks!

Former Exeter Chief and Helston boy Neil Clark is battling relegation from the Top 14 with his Oyonnax side,in their last game they held mighty Toulouse 19 all at stade Charles Mathon.

Time to get the black and gold out. This Wednesday evening Cornwall defend the Tamar Cup against Devon at Polson Bridge kick-off 7-30 pm.

Then on Saturday 10th May the road to Twickenham begins with Cornwall facing North Midlands at Redruth kick-off 3 pm and then the following Saturday Gloucestershire at Camborne again with a 3 pm kick-off.

On May 24th Cornwall travel to Hertford RFC to take on Hertfordshire with another 3 pm kick-off.


Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornwall have picked a strong squad for their Tamar Cup defence against Devon next Wednesday evening at Polson Bridge kick-off 7-30 pm.
As expected there is a strong representation from both the Redruth and Launceston clubs.

However, Cambridge and former Penryn and Redruth player Jamal Ford-Robinson, who has just been selected for England Counties Under 20 squad and played this season for the full England Counties side against France and Ireland alongside skipper Ben Hilton, has impressed and comes in as one of the props.

Another out of county player to have caught the selector’s eye; prop Rupert Freestone (Clifton). Camborne’s hooker Sam Bartle who has had a stand out season for the Cherry and Whites is one of two players from his club to make the squad, the other the flying winger Alex Ducker.

Olympic Torch Relay 180512

Photo – Lewis Paterson and Jake Murphy will look to undo Devon on Wednesday night

Other players from the regional leagues to make the squad include former Red, Lewis Vinnicombe (Truro), Matt Shepherd (St. Austell), former Cornish All Black Lewis Paterson (Ivybridge) and Falmouth Eagles skipper Tony Whittle, all of whom played in the match against Redruth on Good Friday.

Cornwall-25 Lewis Vinnicombe scores v Lancs

Photo – Lewis Vinnicombe surges to the line against Lancashire

A surprise omission for many will be the non-inclusion of prop Darren Jacques (Truro), though I understand he picked up an ankle injury playing in the Testimonial Game last Friday.

The side will once again be captained by Ben Hilton (Cornish All Blacks).

Jamal Ford-Robinson – Cambridge RFC
Rupert Freestone – Clifton RFC
Jess Tompsett – Redruth RFC
Craig Williams – Redruth RFC
Sam Bartle – Camborne RFC
Jamie Salter – Cornish All Blacks
Damien Cook – Redruth RFC
Ben Hilton – Cornish All Blacks (Capt)
Bryn Jenkin – Cornish All Blacks
Tony Whittle – Falmouth RFC
Barry BJ Chapman – Cornish All Blacks
Chris Fuca – Redruth RFC
Tom Rawlings – Cornish All Blacks
Jamie Tripcony – Cornish All Blacks

Richard Friend – Cornish All Blacks
Greg Goodfellow – Redruth RFC
Matt Shepherd – St Austell RFC
Kieron Lewitt – Cornish All Blacks
Lewis Webb – Cornish All Blacks
Jake Murphy – Cornish All Blacks
Sam Parsons – Redruth RFC
Lewis Paterson – Ivybridge RFC
Nielson Webber – Cornish All Blacks
Alex Ducker – Camborne RFC
Rhodri McAtee – Redruth RFC
Tom Notman – Redruth RFC
Lewis Vinnicombe – Truro RFC

Posted in Bill's Blog


The Tamar Cup match starts the build towards the County Championship for both Counties. Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) started it’s preparation for the 2014 Bill Beaumont County Championship that gets underway in May, several months ago.

Selectors and coaches have been observing games and watching eligible players at all levels since the start of the season. The squad have held two training sessions and following this game it will be refined as the training intensifies.

Devon v Cornwall 220413

CRFU President Ken Plummer said “Graham, Ian and the selectors have been busy over the last few months in the selection and preparation of the squad. This game is important to both Counties as they start their push towards the County Championship campaign”

Cornwall face 3 games in the opening group stages in May before the final that is held at Twickenham on Sunday 1st June.

Chair of selectors Terry Carter said “Our initial squad has changed slightly as other players come into contention whilst some others have left the squad through injuries and availability”.


A change in the rules of the competition means that Championship players are not eligible for selection so players like Sam Hocking, and Sam Matavesi unfortunately cannot be considered this season.

He went on to say “Further players may be included at a later stage if injuries or form preclude selected players”.

Following the Tamar Cup game event a number of training sessions have been programmed in for the build-up to the first game that takes place on Saturday 10th May.

Cornwall coach Graham Dawe said – “This game is crucial to allow us to observe players in the County shirt and how they perform under that additional pressure. We have home games home games against North Midlands and then Gloucester, before an away game against Hertfordshire on Saturday 24th May and there will certainly be pressure on everyone involved with this squad.” he went on to say “Places for those 3 games are up for grabs and players who perform well in training and for their clubs games are in mix for selection”

Cornwall will face newly promoted North Midlands on Saturday 10th May at Redruth RFC, and then Gloucestershire on Saturday 17th May at Camborne RFC, before travelling to play Hertfordshire on Saturday 24th May.

Cornwall-41 Tom Notman v Lancs

CRFU Chair Denis Preece said “We look forward to welcoming our local neighbours Devon across the border for what are always hard fought games. He went on to add “We also welcome our vocal and knowledgeable supporters who always give our boys a lift”.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Bishop’s Stortford’s big win against Chinnor 43-12, along with Launceston’s defeat of London Irish Wild Geese 27-23 ensures the Reds will be playing in National League 2 South next season.

For the Cornish All Blacks they will have to win their final game at of the season at home to Shelford on Saturday to ensure survival.
With Chinnor at home to already relegated Exmouth and the Wild Geese at play-off chasing Ampthill & District it promises to a nervous end of season at Polson Bridge.

With Neil Bayliss having been announced Director of Rugby at the All Blacks next season and his new coaching team been put in place, Tom Rawlings has announced his departure from the club at the end of the season. Tom had been assisting former DoR Spike Rainford as forwards coach but had been given no role within the new set-up.

I hope Launceston can avoid the drop as the derby matches between them and Redruth are very much part of the Cornish rugby landscape.

The story re Tom Rawlings in this link

There were some catch up games played over the Easter weekend in the regional leagues.

In Tribute South West 1 West as expected Chard pipped both St. Austell and Camborne to the play-off spot behind champions Weston Hornets.
Camborne rounded off their league program with a fine win at Clevedon 37-17, and yes this time the posts stayed up!

Tries for the Cherry and Whites were scored by Alex Ducker (2), Dave Roberts, Dean Pascoe and Rob Floyd with Ducker kicking three conversions and a couple of penalties.

Wadebridge Camels put up a good showing at Chard losing by just a point 27-26 on Easter Monday.

Last Wednesday Camborne booked their place in the Cornwall Cup Final with a 27-8 win over Penryn, despite trailing the Borough 8-3 at half-time. Josh Chambers scored a try for Penryn with Rob Banks kicking a penalty to a Grant Thirlby penalty.

Second half Camborne upped the tempo scoring tries through Cameron Bone, Thirlby, Dave Roberts and Will Webster with Thirlby and Mankee each adding a conversion.

It’s Camborne vs. St. Austell in the final on May Bank Holiday Monday 5th May at Redruth RFC kick-off 4-15 pm.

That game will be preceded by the Clubs Cup Final which will be between Perranporth and Liskeard-Looe.

Liskeard-Looe won the battle between Cornwall 1 and Cornwall 2 Champions defeating Illogan Park 20-17, whilst Perranporth defeated Helston 18-8.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Teignmouth defeated Penryn 26-12 in the Borough’s penultimate game of the season to book a play-off place with Matson for a spot in South West 1 West next season.

St. Ives completed their program on Easter Monday going down at Kingsbridge 91-5.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League Hayle and Pirates Amateurs both rounded off their league programs with defeats in Devon, Hayle at OPM’s 23-7 and the Ams at Crediton 55-10.

Congratulations to Bodmin on their play-off win on Saturday 17-15 over Totnes to make it into the Cornwall & Devon League next season. See my previous blog entry about the game.

The Cornish Pirates slipped to another defeat on Saturday in their penultimate Championship fixture against Bedford Blues 48-36.

Read Alan Paver’s thoughts in the link

Easter saw some traditional Easter rugby with both Old Dunstonians and Imperial Medics making the trip down and by all accounts a good time was had by all.

Saltash enjoyed the visit of their friends from France Buzançais with games between the two clubs on Saturday followed by a mixed team taking on a Plymouth Combination XV on the Sunday.

Success too for Saltash and the Penryn Easter 7’s defeating the Kernow Kingers in the final and their colts who won the Cornwall Colts Cup against Newquay Hornets at Wadebridge 13-6.

A great day at Redruth on Good Friday when a big crowd turned out to salute Craig Bonds, Paul Thirlby, Damien Cook and Darren Jacques in the testimonial game against a Cornwall Select XV.

A mention for the Under 17 tournament which took place in Quimper in Brittany this weekend. By all accounts a great success with Plymstock Albion Oaks representing the south west, against teams from France and Belgium. Overall winners were once again Rennes.

rennes tournoi quimper 2014

    It would be good to see one or two Cornish sides participating in 2015.

Tough one for Tom Parker and his Vannes side in the last sixteen of the Jean Prat trophy in France, a loss at home 16-13 to former French Champions Montauban means they have it all to do in the return leg in the intimidating stade Sapiac.

Finally I’ll with finish with Redruth who won back the Rodda’s Milk Cup against Camborne on Easter Monday 31 – 7.

Pleased to award the TASC Tony Pill Memorial Cup to Redruth skipper Chris Fuca as our man-of-the-match

Fucs Milk Cup 2014

Photo courtesy Dan Barberry

Report in the link

Posted in Bill's Blog


The sun shone at Clifden Park as Cornwall League 1 runners-up Bodmin held off a determined second half challenge from Devon League 1 runners-up Totnes in this play-off match for promotion to the Tribute Cornwall and Devon League to clinch their spot at the higher level next season by 17-15.

The win and second successive promotion for the Bodmin club delighted Chairman Dave Saunter. He said after the final whistle. “A great day for the club and for Bodmin, we have worked towards this for the last ten to fifteen years, through our youth policy of bring players through the club.

“We were disappointed a couple of seasons ago when we were relegated into Cornwall 2 but having won that league last season and then having another great season this time finishing runners-up to our friends from Liskeard-Looe and now the play-off against a valiant Totnes side we are delighted to be playing next season at our highest ever level in the current league structure.

“As a club we are in a good position for the step up, we own our ground we are financially stable and have some great sponsors who I must thank for their support and hopefully they and others will continue to support us again next season.”

It turned out to be a proverbial game of two halves with both sides playing the better rugby when playing up the slope and into the stiff breeze.
Crucially Bodmin scored three first half tries and were able to withstand a sustained assault by their opponents during a nail-biting second half.

Totnes had the first chance of points with just two minutes on the clock but their goal kicker full back Scott Hingston’s effort was well wide.
Bodmin looked menacing with the ball in hand with flanker Ollie Wendon a constant threat along with the centre pairing of Paul Carter and Andrew Coad.

It was Carter who scored Bodmin’s first try on eight minutes as the home side broke the game line with a cross-field kick from which play put the centre in.

Winger Cody Armstrong couldn’t land the extras in the tricky wind.

Totnes soon registered their first points when Hingston kicked a monster penalty with the aid of the wind from 40 meters.
The same player missed with a further penalty attempt before being forced to leave the field with an injury.

Bodmin kept up the pressure to score a second un-converted try on 20 minutes, through Armstrong as the ball was again moved wide.
As the half drew to a close, Bodmin scored a vital third try from fine combination play between forwards and backs Carter scoring crucially under the posts making the conversion a formality for Armstrong and a 17-3 half-time lead.

Totnes looked a different team after the break and good pressure from the visitors saw their No. 8 Gareth Williams score a good try which was converted by fly-half Andy Rive to cut the deficit to just seven points after 51 minutes.

Totnes continued to have the lion share of possession; however Bodmin defended like demons to keep them out.

With five minutes remaining Totnes, who had just moments earlier seen a try disallowed for a double movement, scored a second try through winger Callum Douglas. The score was in the corner and Rive crucially couldn’t add the conversion to tie the scores and send the game into extra-time.

Bodmin saw out the final moments and when they were awarded a final penalty booted the ball into touch to confirm their second consecutive promotion.

After the final whistle Bodmin skipper Lee Taylor couldn’t contain his delight. “A great win for Bodmin and a massive boost for the town and rugby in the area. I am very proud of my team and their performance. We had great support here this afternoon which hopefully we will see again next season to prove that Bodmin can sustain rugby at this level.”

Bodmin 17 pts
Tries – Carter, Armstrong, Coad, Conversion – Armstrong

Totnes 15 pts
Tries – Williams, Douglas, Conversion – Rive, Penalty – Hingston

Bodmin: D Pooley, A McPhee, P Carter, A Coad, C Armstrong, M Trevarthen, S Helgessen; G Taylor, S Williams, J Rutty, L Thomas, J Day, O Wendon, M Orton, L Taylor (Capt)

Replacements (all used): A Trevarthen, D Cullip, A Pengelley, M Cunniffe

Totnes: S Hingston, O Tregellis, J Michelmore, R Smith, C Douglas, A Rive, A Bartlett; T Woodward, J Ruddock, T Edmonds (Capt), M Shackelton, S Edwards, B Pountney, E Browse, G Williams

Replacements (all used): A Shore, J Nash, C Browse, J Green

Referee: Mr R Watt (Somerset RRS)

Crowd: 355

Posted in Bill's Blog


CRFU poster 2014


Reds Testimonial



Kick-off 7:30pm.

Adult ground entry will be £5, (accompanied under 16’s free) including a match evening programme.

Devon v Cornwall 220413

Posted in Bill's Blog


It was a big day at Redruth on Saturday, the final home game of the season, safety from relegation still not ensured, Craig Bonds final home game, head-coach Ashley Morcom’s final time in charge at the Rec, Tom Notman and Craig Williams both running out for 100th appearance and Hon.Sec Roger Watson’s final home game before relinquishing his post in the summer.

Would it all prove too much for the boys? Well for 60 minutes the game ebbed and flowed one way then the other. The Redruth faithful, not for the first time this season, were on a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man or men on this occasion, the Redruth pack conjured up three driving mauls that would have had the watching Cornwall Coach Graham Dawe purring with delight to finally put away a dogged Clifton side 34-15!

Five league points puts the Reds almost safe. They will hope that the results of the games between Launceston v London Irish Wild Geese and Bishop’s Stortford v Chinnor go their way on Easter Saturday so that they will not need to go to Cambridge in need of a point or two on Saturday week!

Bill Sobey’s match report from the WMN in the link

Talking of Launceston, they have two home games to get themselves out of jail, as mentioned against the Wild Geese on Saturday and then Shelford on the final Saturday of the season.

Saturday they travelled up to Ding’s Crusaders and came away with nothing as they lost 36-24 and find themselves still occupying the third from bottom position that will mean the drop if they stay there.

Nigel Walrond’s match report via WMN

I am sure every Cornish rugby fan will hope and pray that BOTH our Cornish sides can stay in National League 2 next season. It is vital for Cornish rugby.

In the Tribute South West 1 West league, Hornets are virtually confirmed as Champions after defeating Cleve 33-17 and will be so as their next game is against bottom of the table Sidmouth. Congratulations to them.

St. Austell completed their league program with a 43-27 home win over North Petherton and currently sit in the play-off spot, however with Camborne (one game) and Chard (two games) to play and just three points behind know that they are unlikely to contest the play-off this season.

Tries for the Saints were scored by Adam Kellow (2), Darren Pellow, Paul Winterbottom, Ben Chenoweth, Matt Shepherd and Konno Edudze. Shepherd added four conversions.

Last Wednesday evening St. Austell qualified for the final of this season Tribute Cornwall Knock Out Cup defeating a brave Saltash side 53-16, but had to dig deep when they turned around at half-time trailing the Ashes 13-11!

The second semi-final will take place this Wednesday evening at 6-30 pm when Camborne host Penryn at the Rec.

Camborne travelled to the Molesworth field on Saturday for a vital Cornish derby for both sides. Camborne’s 34-19 win keeps their play-off hopes alive but sadly sees Wadebridge Camels relegated back to Western Counties West next season. Sam Bartle (2) Alex Ducker (2) and Dave Roberts scored tries for the Cherry and Whites with Grant Thirlby kicking three conversions and a penalty.

For the Camels, James Grubb, Matt Ballard and Will Pengelly scored tries with Grubb adding two conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West, a depleted Truro finished their season with defeat against champions Ivybridge 31-12 at St. Clements Hill.
With Kingsbridge five points behind but with still three games to play it’s likely that Truro will finish in fifth place, which should please the coaching set-up of Josh Lord and Mark Richards for their first season.

Tom Hatfield and Dan Marsh scored tries for Truro with Chevvy Reed adding a conversion.

Penryn won the derby game at St. Ives 29-20. Dan Booth(2), Mitch Vague, George Jones and Ethan Pattison scored tries for the Borough with Rob Banks adding a couple of conversions.

For the Hakes, Tyler Gendall, Neil Corin and Ben Jenkins scored tries with Kelvin James adding a penalty and conversion.

Despite the defeat for St. Ives they stay up at the expense of Bude who lost 62-10 at Burnham and will play in the Cornwall & Devon League next season. Paul Cholwill and Ben Hancock scored the North Cornwall side’s tries.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish’s great 7 match winning run was brought to a halt by Champions Guildford 48-21, despite the exiles being 21-0 up at the turn!

Ben Levers, Mark Osei-Tutu and Joe Skinnard scored the tries for Cornish with Luke Spells bagging all three conversions.

As DoR Dickon Moon concluded in his match report; “Cornish can use this game both as a blueprint of the level they need to reach to challenge at this level, and as a means of establishing where they need to improve in the close season. The team have made giant strides since the 8th placed finish of last season, and have one more hurdle to overcome to ensure this set of players makes a small piece of LCRFC history by nailing the highest ever finish the club has made in the league hierarchy in a couple of weeks time.”

In Tribute Cornwall and Devon League; Newquay Hornets fulfilled their fixture at Honiton going down 105-0 ensuring they start next season with a clean sheet in Cornwall 1.

Veor also completed their final fixture at this level going down at Exeter Saracens 57-19.

Pirates Amateurs still have one more game to play following their 76-7 loss at Champions Exeter University, whilst Hayle who lost 51-6 at Tiverton also have one more game to play.

Saltash completed their league program with a 33-26 defeat at Moorlands against OPM’s.

In the Tribute Cornwall Clubs Cup the semi-finals for this Saturday are Illogan Park v Liskeard-Looe and Helston v Perranporth.

Runners-up in Cornwall 1 Bodmin will play Devon 1 runners-up Totnes for a place in the Cornwall Devon League next season this Saturday at Clifden Park.

On Sunday the Cornish Pirates brought the curtain down on their home Championship program losing 40-20 to play-off contenders Rotherham Titans.
After defeat the previous Sunday to Pontypridd in the British and Irish Cup, it was difficult to see how the boys would lift themselves having suffered huge disappointment, however they stared encouragingly with first half tries from Tom Riley and a great effort from the pack for a penalty-try. Pirates led 20-7 at the break.

In the second half the little maestro Juan-Pablo Socino pulled the strings and Titans showed their running skills most notably from centre Jack Roberts to run in a further five tries and secure the play-off spot.

Head coach Ian Davies’ post match thoughts in the WMN link

Match report from Bill Sobey in this link

Pirates will finish their season with two away games at Bedford this Saturday and then Leeds the following Friday night.

Congratulations to Jack Stanley currently in Poland with England Under 18’s where England are defending their FIRA-AER European Under 18 title. Jack came off the bench and scored a try in England’s opening win against Portugal.

Tomorrow, Tuesday Jack is in the starting XV as England take on Wales for a place in the final.

Also to Locryn Williams who is with England Schools & Clubs Under 18’s at the French Rugby Federation’s Marcoussis headquarters just outside of Paris to take part in a triangular tournament against Ireland and France.

Posted in Bill's Blog


The Cornish Pirates’ 16-14 loss in the Quarter-final of this season’s British & Irish Cup at the Mennaye Field on Sunday against an excellent Pontypridd side once again condemns the club to an early season finish for the second year running.

The Welsh Premiership leaders were well worth their win and now look forward to a semi-final against Leinster A on their Sardis Road pitch.

The Cornish Pirates final home Championship game will be this Sunday against Rotherham Titans with two away games against Bedford Blues and Leeds Carnegie to end with.

The Welsh side brought down 20 odd coaches of supporters, which given some rough maths equates to some 1,000 people. Given that the gate was just officially 2,155, that doesn’t say much for the level of local support and the Pirates’ un-offical fans forum has been in meltdown today for the reasons why!

In truth the match day attendances on a Sunday have not been that much better than those seen on a Friday evening despite the clamour!
The club need another Josh Lewsey to come in and hopefully stick with it and drive the club forward.

It needs an outside person preferably with a rugby background allied with business acumen to come in and see the big picture!

In my view the decline started when the club re-located back to the Mennaye from Camborne, it was and has proved to be a PR disaster!

The Cornish Pirates need to re-locate as soon as possible back to either Truro or the Camborne/Redruth area and the new board of directors need to grapple quickly with this problem. I accept that the continued uncertainty over the provision of a stadium has not helped matters and for that Cornwall Council must shoulder some responsibility, their attitude and that of some of their councillors has been and continues to be UNBELIEVABLE!

The Managing Director of INOX Rob Saltmarsh publicly stated on Laurence Reed’s BBC Radio Cornwall’s phone-in program that if the development of the stadium does not begin this year then he didn’t feel that it would go ahead at all. Time is of the essence both on and off the pitch!

I still harbour the hope that matters off the field regarding the stadium will be resolved and tangible progress will at last be seen to happen.
On the playing side the Pirates have some exciting talent that given the chance will see the club through. Kyle Moyle and Max Bodilly are but two of the youngsters who have thrilled us this season with the promise of more to come.

Back to the rugby, a match report by WMN’s Bill Sobey can be viewed in the link here.

Whilst Ian Davies’ post-match reaction can be viewed in this link here.

In National League 2 the suspense lingers as the games run out and both Cornish sides are still embroiled in the battle to avoid the final relegation berth!

Bournemouth are now confirmed as being relegated along with Exmouth.

Launceston made hard-work of defeating Exmouth at Poslson Bridge on Saturday edging home by a solitary point 18-17.

They are just above Ding’s Crusaders by virtue of points difference having played one game less. They travel to Ding’s this Saturday for what will prove to be a key clash in the final reckoning.

Bill Sobey’s match report from Polson Bridge can be found in the link here.

Redruth travelled to Bishop’s Stortford only to be sent back to Cornwall after suffering another heavy defeat 53-8. With skipper Chris Fuca forced into playing at centre and head-coach Ashley Morcom named amongst the replacements and three players on-loan from the Pirates the paucity of players able to travel at the Reds was once again clear for all to see.

Read Ed Bawden’s WMN match report in the link here.

Redruth play their final home league game against Clifton this Saturday knowing that they must win and claim all five points to keep their heads above water, whilst at the same time keeping an eye on the results of sides around them in the relegation dog-fight.

It’s going to be a very busy summer for Redruth’s new head-coach Steve Larkins who was appointed last week.

It also now appears likely that current Redruth head-coach Ashley Morcom will not be at Redruth in any capacity next season as he has heard nothing of his offer to carry on in a coaching role at the club and he is now actively looking for a position at another club.

In Tribute South West 1 West, already relegated Coney Hill in all likely-hood dealt St. Austell’s play-off hopes a deadly blow as they defeated the Saints 22-17.

St. Austell have just one league game remaining this Saturday at home to North Petherton and are just three points ahead of Cleve (a game in-hand), Chard (two games in-hand) and Camborne (one game in-hand).

This Wednesday evening St. Austell will play their Tribute Cornwall Cup semi-final against Saltash at Tregorrick Park with a 7-30 pm kick-off.
I watched Camborne keep their slim play-off hopes alive with a 34-6 win over Thornbury. It was Town’s final home league match with two tricky away games to play against Wadebridge this Saturday and then Clevedon on Easter Saturday.

My report on the game in the link.

Camborne’s Tribute Cornwall Cup semi-final against Penryn due to have been played this Wednesday evening at 6 pm has been postponed. New date to be advised.

Wadebridge Camels lost 40-29 at Bridgwater & Albion and know that nothing less than a win against Camborne will do, though their chances of escaping the drop back to Western Counties West look very slim now.

In Western Counties West, Truro recorded a fine win at Devonport Services 37-14 with full-back Tom Hatfield scoring three tries with further scores coming from Matt and Theo Gayton and Lewis Vinnicombe. Jake Champion kicked the other points.

This Saturday Truro conclude their league program when they entertain champions-elect Ivybridge!

Penryn lost at Burnham-on-Sea 26-12, St. Ives moved above Bude winning 48-14 at Paignton, whilst Bude beat Kingsbridge 25-19 to keep their faint hopes of avoiding the drop alive.

Up in London 2 SW, London Cornish’s excellent end of season run continues after defeating Old Alleynians 55-15. That makes it seven straight bonus point wins for the Cornish exiles on the bounce, a remarkable achievement at any level. Well done to DoR Dickon Moon and the boys.

In the Cornwall & Devon League Falmouth lost at home to promoted Tiverton 23-20, Saltash won at Newquay Hornets 71-5, Hayle look to have condemned Exeter Saracens to the drop after beating them 55-5, Veor lost at Wheal Gerry to Honiton 40-13 and finally Withycombe beat Pirates Amateurs 69-8.

This Saturday sees the Quarter-final ties of the Tribute Cornwall Clubs Cup they are as follows;
All ties kick-off at 2.30 pm

Illogan Park v Stithians

Helston v Redruth Albany

Perranporth v Bodmin

Liskeard/Looe v Roseland


Posted in Bill's Blog


A very busy weekend in the local rugby world with results going along way towards settling issues.

The Cornish Pirates crossed the Tamar to take on Plymouth Albion at the Brickfields and returned back across the river with the points following a 26-20 win in Devon.

These games have had a habit of being dull affairs of late, but not this one. The Cornish side scored tries through Max Bodilly, Tom Riley – on the ground he made his Barbarians debut last November – and Tom Kessell, with former Albion favourite Kieran Hallett kicking eleven points.

You can read Bill Sobey’s Western Morning News report in the link

With Ian Davies’ post-match reaction in this link

Next Sunday at 2 pm the Cornish Pirates take on Welsh Premiership leaders Pontypridd in the Quarter-finals of the British & Irish Cup at the Mennaye.

In National League 2 South, Redruth took another step towards maintain their status with a well-deserved win over high-flying Ampthill & District 41-35.

Two late tries for the visitors gave the score-line respectability and two bonus points to take back home, but for the Reds who this week confirmed that former player Steve Larkins will take over as head-coach next season in the place of Ashley Morcom who had already stated his intentions to stand down at the end of the current campaign.

You can read my Western Morning News report in the link

Launceston on the other hand are right back in the relegation zone with just four games left. They really should have won at Bournemouth on Saturday who are as good as relegated, especially when they led 21-7 at one stage but the Dorset side struck back to claim a 25-21 win which will probably be academic to them but could be of serious consequences to the Cornish All Blacks bid for survival at this level!

You can read Nigel Walrond’s report and reaction from Bryn Jenkins in the link

In the Tribute South West 1 West, matters are a little clearer, but not much, following the latest round of matches. Hornets are the new leaders following their 35-24 win over Camborne, who with just three games left and having played a game more, find themselves now seven points behind the leaders in sixth place.

Cameron Bone, Sam Bartle and Dave Roberts scored Town’s tries with Dave Mankee kicking nine points.
The best the Cherry & Whites can hope for is the runners-up spot and the lottery of another play-off game against the runners-up in the Eastern division Towercestrians.

St. Austell were knocked off top spot due to their inability to secure the try-scoring bonus point in their home win over Clevedon 22-18. Saints scored just the three tries through Hugh Noot, Ben Chenoweth and Ashley Taylor with Dan Pearce adding a couple of conversions and Matt Shepherd a penalty.

Saints are level on points with Hornets but have played two games more, with just a trip to Coney Hill and a home game against North Petherton to come they may have to settle for the play-offs but even that is not guaranteed as Chard could still pip them as could Cleve, North Petherton and of course Camborne!

Wadebridge Camels kept their slim hopes of avoiding the drop alive with a home win against Bideford 17-5. Matt Ballard and Will Pengelly scored the Camel’s tries with James Grubb kicking the other points.

Camels have away trips to Bridgwater and Chard with a home game sandwiched in-between against Camborne for the final run-in.

In Tribute Western Counties West, champions-elect Ivybridge brushed aside second placed Teignmouth 44-19.

Truro closed the gap on Teigns but know that either Burnham are likely to overhaul them with their two games in-hand. Truro did the business over Bude 33-13 at St. Clements Hill. Jake Champion scored eighteen points with two tries and four conversions for the city side with Luke Trescothick, Adam Gayton and Rikki Brandham also crossing the try-line.

For Bude, Adam Black and Joe Wilson scored tries with Duncan Tout kicking a penalty, but it looks more than likely that it will be Cornwall & Devon league rugby for the North Cornwall side next season.

St. Ives battled back from 21-0 down at home to finally defeat Okehampton 39-35 and ease their relegation fears for the moment. Neil Corin scored three tries for the Hakes with Ben Drew, Ben Taylor, Neil Stanleick and Josh Semmens also scoring tries. Kelvin Jones added a couple of conversions.

Penryn had an easy and satisfying win over basement side Paignton at the Memorial Ground 37-3. The game saw the return of scrum-half Taron Peacock who suffered a bad injury when the sides last met. Mitch Vague (2), Lewis Vague, Andrew Seviour, Matt Williams and Phil Hinchley (2) all crossed for the Borough with Jake Seviour adding just the one conversion.

London Cornish maintained their good run in London 2 SW with a 24-13 win at Trojans. David Soar, Mark Osei-Tutu, Mike Bond and Rich Skinnard scored the exiles tries with Luke Spells kicking a couple of conversions. That’s six on the trot for Cornish as they look for their best-ever finish in this league.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, leaders Exeter University beat Newquay Hornets 139-0.

Saltash defeated Veor 89-7.

Falmouth won at Exeter Saracens 37-24 to maintain fifth spot. Nick Carne, AJ Geach (2), and Tom Edmonds (2) scored the Eagle’s tries with Justyn Irons kicking the rest of the points.

Pirates Amateurs enjoyed a good home win over OPM’s 34-24. Rhys Brownfield, Stefan Osborne (2), Leigh Edwards, and Danny Toolan scored the Ams tries with Brownfield three conversions and a penalty.

Hayle staged a strong comeback at the end of the game at Honiton but were denied by a single point 20-19.

Cornwall Under 20’s lost their quarter-final match against Gloucestershire at Camborne yesterday 50-19.

Jack Innard who was due to play for Cornwall at hooker yesterday was withdrawn from the side as he has been called up by England U.19’s. Well done to Jack.

You can read my report on the game in my previous blog entry.

Both Tribute Cornwall Cup Semi-finals will be played on Wednesday 9th April. Camborne v Penryn will kick-off at 6pm whilst St. Austell v Saltash will start at 7-30 pm.

The final to be played over May Bank Holiday weekend will be held at Redruth RFC.

Don’t forget the Testimonial game at Redruth on Good Friday 18th April when a Redruth Invitational XV will take on a Cornwall XV in recognition of Damien Cook, Craig Bonds and Paul Thirlby’s long service to the club.

Finally, Redruth Town Council have submitted the names of famous Redruth players of the past to Cornwall Council for the naming of roads in the Wheal Harmony development, the names submitted are James “Maffer” Davey, Bert Solomon, Roy Jennings, Fred Rule, Bill Phillips, Les Semmens and Bill Bishop.

The names of Henry Grylls and William Willmott the founders of the club will be used for the naming of streets in the eventual planned development at The Brewery Leats, which is of course the site of the original pitch.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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