BILL BEAUMONT CUP
KENT 21 – 25 CORNWALL
By Bill Hooper, at Medway with photos by Simon Bryant
Fraser Honey’s penalty three minutes from time sealed an important opening day win for Cornwall in this season’s Bill Beaumont Cup.
As is often the case when Cornwall face a side with “higher league” players in it, the black and golds roared on by Trelawny’s Army lifted their game to more than match their opponents.
The forwards had a towering game, typified by prop Dan Job from Lanner who went the full eighty, the tackle count put in was huge as the Cornish lads put their bodies on the line, ably led as you would expect by skipper Ben Hilton.
In weather more akin to March rather than May Cornwall began strongly playing into a strong breeze.
Following a string of penalties and some good drives from the forwards, notably Tony Whittle, Sam Stevens, on his Cornwall debut, crashed over for Cornwall’s opening try on seven minutes, which Honey converted.
Kent came back at Cornwall with determination putting in some big forward drives notably through their locks Mark Davey and Dave Irvine, but Cornwall matched them.
Cornwall’s back row was working hard with Grant Randlesome, Stevens and Brad Howe all prominent.
However, the pressure finally told when the hosts finished off a catch and drive near the Cornwall line flanker Freddie Owen getting the try. Frank Reynolds tied the scores with his successful conversion.
Both sides had half chances before half-time with the dangerous Kent wing Kwaku Asiedu having to be closely watched at all times by Dean Bonds, however it remained 7-all up to the break.
Cornwall again began the second half well with Honey kicking a penalty as Kent were caught offside.
Jon Dawe and Jack Simmons provided a cutting partnership in the centre, whilst also defending like terriers.
Livewire scrum-half Charlie Edwards was proving to be a thorn in Cornwall’s side with his snipping breaks, and as Kent piled on the pressure near the Cornwall line, the visitors gave away a string of penalties that tried the patience of the referee resulting in a yellow card for Jack Oulton.
A couple of phases later and Cornwall still being adjudged of being the culprits referee Wigley awarded Kent a penalty-try.
Cornwall began to look to the bench for some fresh legs as they used the wind well to kick for position.
The Cornish response was clinical when Kent went down to fourteen men with Irvine sent to the bin from a powerful drive the forwards went over the line with Rob Elloway sneaking in under a pile of bodies for an unconverted try.
Moments later with Kent pressing in the Cornwall half, a stray pass from Kieran Moffat was snaffled by Alex Ducker who was in the clear and made no mistake going in under the posts to the joy of Trelawny’s Army.
Cornwall had a good advantage going into the final ten but the game was far from safe and when replacement scrum-half Jack Daly taped in the Cornwall twenty-two his pass to Asiedu put the winger in. Reynolds’ conversion brought Kent back to within a point.
George Jones put in a big shift off the bench as did Rupert Edwards with the forwards earning Cornwall a penalty on the Kent twenty-two, Honey calmly slotted the kick to put Cornwall four points up in time added on.
Cornwall then saw the game out keeping Kent deep in their twenty-two and then forcing the error to close out the game.
Following the game Cornwall’s head coach was satisfied with the win. He said. “It was tough conditions out there against a very good side, I thought we managed the conditions well. We did well to go in at half-time level and then have the wind second half. It was a little bit frustrating at times trying to understand the referee’s interpretation of the ruck. I thought our back row was outstanding today, work rate was high and they defended well.
“Our props Dan Job and Jess Tompsett stood up well, the forwards work rate was top draw, now we have to back it up against Hertfordshire next week.”
Kent (Blackheath unless stated): Bryan Hotston (O.Elthamians), Elliot Simmons, Kieran Moffat (O Elthamians), M Cooke (Capt), Kwaku Asiedu (Cambridge), Frank Reynolds (Tunbridge Wells), Charlie Edwards (Tonbridge Juddians), Tom Williams, Nathan Morris (O Elthamians), Danny Herriott, Mark Davey, Dave Irvine (both Tonbridge Juddians), Freddie Owen, Mike Hathaway (Tunbridge Wells), Tom Stradwick.
Replacements: Ryan Jackson (Tonbridge Juddians), Billy Young, Stefan North, Nathan Thomas (both O. Elthamians), Tom Beaumont (Medway), Jack Daly, Alfie Orris (Medway)
Kent scores: Tries Owen, Penalty, Asiedu, Cons Reynolds 2
Yellow Card: Irvine (60)
Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): Rhys Brownfield (Camborne), Dean Bonds, Jack Simmons, Jon Dawe (Plymouth Albion), Alex Ducker (Camborne), Fraser Honey (Plymouth Albion), Jack Oulton; Dan Job (Lanner), Rob Elloway (St. Ives), Jess Tompsett, Tony Whittle (Camborne), Ben Hilton (Barnstaple, Capt), Grant Randlesome (Penryn), Sam Stevens, Brad Howe.
Replacements: Matt Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), Charlie Nicholson (St. Austell), Rupert Edwards (Wadebridge Camels), George Jones (Penryn), Kyle Speare (Bude), Richie Kevern, Taron Peacock (Camborne).
Cornwall scores: Tries, Stevens, Elloway, Ducker, Cons, Honey 2, Pens, Honey 2
Yellow Card: Oulton (47)
Referee: Andrew Wigley (RFU)