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Lancashire power to second half win



Report by Bill Hooper, photos Simon Bryant Iktisphoto

Lancashire deservedly reclaimed the Bill Beaumont Cup with a powerful second half performance that saw them score 19 unanswered points as Cornwall’s grasp on the title wilted under the Twickenham sun.

Prior to kick-off there was a poignant minute’s silence for the victims of the barbaric events in Manchester last Monday and at the conclusion Cornwall RFU President Peter James presented his Lancashire counterpart Tom Fitzgerald with a bouquet of 22 red roses, which will be laid in memory of those killed in Manchester on behalf of the Cornwall RFU and Cornish supporters.

There was a late change to the Cornwall side when winger Lewis Vinnicombe pulled out due to a shoulder injury sustained against Herts. Seti Raumakita came in on the wing with Jack Simmons stepping onto the bench.


Photo: Hooker Richard Brown tackled by Lancs Mark Goodman

The game began slowly for Cornwall, as they got shoved back in the first scrum conceding a penalty.

Slowly they came more into it with fly-half Joe Elderkin kicking well for territory. The coaches made an early call for a change in the scrum with Dan Collier coming on in second row for Bryn Jenkins.

Cornwall seemed to fall foul of referee Ben Blain especially at the breakdown, which was very frustrating.

Cornwall came to life a series of penalties were kicked to the corner with the Cornwall maul getting going for an unconverted try from flanker George Jones, Matt Shepherd’s conversion attempt hit the upright.

Raumakita ran well on to a Shepherd kick over the top but he failed to adjust his footing close to the touchline and was caught out.

More bad luck for Cornwall followed when they lost prop Tommy Phillips with a dislocated shoulder, he was replaced by Town’s Andrius Zacharovas.

Lancashire came back into it enjoying some good periods of possession, even turning down some kickable penalties looking for a try but they found the Cornish defence in mean mood.

Photo: Pride of the Borough No. 8 Grant Randlesome on the charge with scrum half Jack Oulton in support


Shepherd kicked a penalty to the corner to set up a catch and drive from which Collier and Sam Matavesi drove for the line but Lancashire’s No.8 Tom Ailes infringed and was shown yellow. Sadly Cornwall didn’t manage to capitalise having to settle for a Shepherd penalty and an 8-0 half-time lead.

Robin Wedlake looked set to be put away but Jake Murphy’s pass was sadly slightly forward

Despite bringing on fresh legs Cornwall couldn’t match the increasing dominance of the Lancashire side as the northern side began to dictate play and spread the ball wide.

Tony Whittle put in some crunching tackles for Cornwall trying to stem the tide.

Wing Scott Armstrong broke up-field linking with fellow wing Alex Bingham for the later to score in the corner, Chris Johnson’s excellent conversion bringing Lancashire right back in it.

Photo: BJ Chapman gave his all for Cornwall


Scott Rawlings, who was having a big game in the mid-field for Lancashire, as the waves of attack from the red rose mounted. Bingham turned provider for hooker Tom Burtonwood who was out wide to run in a second try for the lead.

Cornwall’s Tom Notman almost connected with an interception but the ball slipped agonisingly away.

Armstrong then claimed a third try for Lancashire as the ball was again moved wide from a ruck with Johnson adding the extras for a 19-8 lead.

There was to be no way back for Cornwall as Lancashire saw out the win to claim yet another title.

What now for Cornwall? It’s likely that one or two senior players may well have played their last game for Cornwall as the changing of the guard looks set to continue for next season.


CORNWALL: (Redruth unless stated): M Shepherd (Plymouth Albion), S Raumakita, R Wedlake (both Plymouth Albion), J Murphy (Barnstaple, capt), T Notman, J Elderkin, J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstaple), T Whittle (Camborne), G Jones (Penryn), S Matavesi (Camborne), G Randlesome (Penryn).

Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), A Zacharovas (Camborne), D Collier (Plymouth Albion), C Fuca, BJ Chapman, D Mankee (Camborne), J Simmons (Camborne).

Cornwall scores: Try, Jones, Pen, Shepherd

LANCASHIRE (Fylde unless stated): L Allen (Preston G); S Armstrong, C Briers, S Rawlings (Sale FC), A Bingham ;  C Johnson,  S Stelmaszek; D Birchall (all Sale FC), T Burtonwood,  A Lewis, R Birtwell (Sedgley Tigers), R Tomlinson (Rossendale)  M Goodman (Sedgley Tigers), E Stewart (capt), T Ailes (Sale FC).

Replacements: S Griffiths, R Davies (Sale FC), P Althram (Preston G) J Matthews (Sedgley Tigers), G Smith, S Collins (Sedgley Tigers), C Connolly (Sale FC).

Lancashire scores: Tries, Bingham, Burtonwood, Armstrong, Cons, Johnson (2)

Yellow Card: Ailes (30)

Referee: Ben Blain (RFU)



Posted in Bill's Blog

Statement from Cornwall RFU


Following the tragic events in Manchester earlier in the week there will be a moments silence before the kick off, of the Lancashire v Cornwall game on Sunday.

Both teams and the match officials will line up on the 15 metre line facing the west stand.

To further recognise the close ties that Cornwall has with Lancashire, and the Cornwall RFU wishing to show unity and support for the people of Manchester and Lancashire, the Cornwall President Mr Peter James will prior to the moments silence present to the President of Lancashire Mr Tom Fitzgerald 22 red roses on the pitch at Twickenham.

The significance of the 22 red roses, is that the red rose is the emblem of Lancashire, 22 people tragically lost their lives in the atrocity and the rugby teams are made up of 22 players. 

Cornwall RFU have asked that the Lancashire President lay the flowers at a suitable position in Manchester in due course 

The roses not only come from the Cornwall RFU, but also on behalf of the thousands of Cornish supporters who will travel to Twickenham tomorrow, and from everyone back in the duchy.

We all feel the pain that they have, and are continuing to suffer, and hope this small gesture shares our thoughts with the people of Manchester and Lancashire at this difficult time.


Cornwall RFU



Posted in Bill's Blog

Dawe’s thoughts ahead of Sunday’s game plus Lancashire team news

Cornwall ready for Lancashire challenge

By Bill Hooper, photos Simon Bryant Iktisphoto

Cornwall completed their preparations on a glorious Thursday evening at Redruth RFC with the players eagerly looking forward to Sunday’s game at Twickenham.

It’s familiar foes, the red rose of Lancashire that Cornwall meet for the fourth time in five years. Lancashire won the first two finals before Cornwall prevailed 18-13 in 2015.

Photo: Graham Dawe feeling apprehensive ahead of Sunday’s game

Once again Cornwall coach Graham Dawe will be up against Lancashire’s Mark Nelson on the sidelines, both men hold each other in high esteem.

“I am looking forward to it”, said Dawe. “I am apprehensive, we’ve won a lot of games in a row now, I hope it doesn’t end on Sunday. You go into a game fifty, fifty, somehow we’ve got to keep it going and get another win and enjoy the experience, we know we’ve got a good team with a good group of players, we will need that little bit of luck you get in a game the bounce of the ball and get the scores, but yes apprehension is always there ahead of a big game. This side has the ability to win, they are young and hungry, but as Cornishmen know it’s always hard to win on the road.

I asked Dawe about bringing in lock Dan Collier. “Well he’s eligible, he has been part of the squad he trained at Camborne last week he’s fit and available. It was a very tough call to leave out Brad Howe. We discussed it as a group with the selectors and we see Brad more as a backrower, that’s not to say he hasn’t done a good job for us this season. Collier is an outstanding lock and a good ball-carrier, so a good option to have in the squad.

“I fully understand how disappointed Brad must feel, he’s a young man and chances will come again and as the famous Scottish and Lions coach Jim Telfer used to say “You’ve just got to keep on improving day by day as a rugby player and you will get there in the end.”



Photo: Cornwall captain Jake Murphy being interviewed by BBC Spotlight and former Cornwall player Andy Birkett.

With both Ben Hilton and Damien Cook not playing this season Dawe has had to rebuild the boiler house and he was full of praise for his locks this season. “Both Bryn Jenkins and Tony Whittle have been outstanding this season, but if you lose one of those two early in a game then you have a player who is predominantly a back rower coming in, Brad can play in the second row but Dan brings that extra scrumaging.

Dawe has no worries about the mid-day kick-off time. “We are used to the format now and prepare accordingly, the biggest worry is the opposition. Mark Nelson will challenge his players he won’t be travelling down to Twickenham to come second. I get on very well with Mark he’s nice guy very endearing and I love him to death. He’s typical Lancastrian he expects nothing less than blood and sweat from his players.

The Lancashire side to face Cornwall on Sunday;

LANCASHIRE: 15 Lewis Allen (Preston G); 14 Scott Armstrong, 13 Chris Briers (both Fylde), 12 Scott Rawlings (Sale FC), 11 Anthony Bingham (Fylde); 10 Chris Johnson, 9 Sam Stelmaszek; 1 Dan Birchall (all Sale FC), 2 Tom Burtonwood (Fylde), 3 Adam Lewis (Fylde), 4 Bob Birtwell (Sedgley Tigers), 5 Reece Tomlinson (Rossendale) 6 Mark Goodman (Sedgley Tigers), 7 Evan Stewart (Fylde, capt), 8 Tom Ailes (Sale FC).

Reps: 16 Simon Griffiths (Fylde), 17 Rhys Davies (Sale FC), 18 Peter Althram (Preston G) 19 Jonathan Matthews (Sedgley Tigers), 20 Greg Smith (Fylde), 21 Steve Collins (Sedgley Tigers), 22 Connor Wilkinson (Fylde).

Please note photographs used on this site may not be reproduced without the agreement of Simon Bryant Iktis photo





Posted in Bill's Blog

Jamal on bench for England against the Barbarians



Former Cornwall star prop Jamal Ford-Robinson has been picked on the bench by England coach Eddie Jones for England’s match against a star-studded Barbarians side at Twickenham immediately after Cornwall’s Bill Beaumont Cup Final against Lancashire on Sunday.

Jamal, who began his rugby career at Penryn and then Redruth played for Cornwall in the 2014 county final lost to Lancashire 36-26 scoring a memorable try.

The prop forward has spent the past two seasons with Bristol, having been previously with the Cornish Pirates, but has signed for Northampton Saints next season.

Jamal will be hoping to impress and get on the England tour to Argentina in June.


Starting England team to face Barbarians for the Old Mutual Wealth Cup:

  1. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 60 caps)
  2. Nathan Earle (Saracens, uncapped)
  3. Sam James (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
  4. Alex Lozowski (Saracens, uncapped)
  5. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 25 caps)
  6. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 35 caps)
  7. Danny Care (Harlequins, 71 caps)
  8. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)
  9. Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)
  10. Will Collier (Harlequins, uncapped)
  11. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
  12. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, uncapped)
  13. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 55 caps)
  14. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
  15. Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks, uncapped)

16. George McGuigan (Leicester Tigers, uncapped)
17. Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
18. Jamal Ford-Robinson (Bristol Rugby, uncapped)
19. Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
20.  Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped)
21.  Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, uncapped)
22. Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 27 caps)
23. Mike Haley (Sale Sharks, uncapped)


Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall announce side to face Lancashire at Twickenham


By Bill Hooper, photos courtesy of Simon Bryant Iktisphoto

Cornwall return to Twickenham for a fifth successive year in defence of their County Championship title, looking for a hat-trick of wins. It’s a feat that matches Devon’s run 2004-2008, but it’s still eclipsed by the red rose county for whom this will be a ninth final in ten years, having missed out in 2016.

Photo: Craig Williams binds with Dan Collier in training at Camborne last week

Lancashire’s run to the final has been as impressive as Cornwall’s, three bonus points wins against Northumberland 48-26 at Fylde, before two wins on the road 38-15 at Eastern Counties at Grange Road Cambridge and finally 29-5 against Cheshire at Sale.

They didn’t meet Yorkshire this year and they befell the fate that many feared Cornwall might suffer against Gloucestershire winning all their games but failing to qualify, crucially they missed out on a try scoring bonus point in their 26-17 win against Cheshire.

Lancashire will travel to Twickenham full of confidence and will test Cornwall for the full eighty, they have finished each of their pool games strongly racking up the tries in the final quarter.


Photo: Borough’s Grant Randlesome a revelation for Cornwall this season

Cornwall have announced their side for the final with just one new player coming into the twenty-two. Plymouth Albion lock Dan Collier comes onto the bench at the expense of Brad Howe. Many will feel Howe unlucky to lose his place in the twenty-two.

In the starting XV, Penryn’s George Jones replaces Redruth’s Chris Fuca, who drops to the bench. Those are the only touches made to the side by the selectors.

CORNWALL: (Redruth unless stated): M Shepherd (Plymouth Albion), L Vinnicombe, R Wedlake (Plymouth Albion), J Murphy (Barnstaple, capt), T Notman, J Elderkin, J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstaple), T Whittle (Camborne), G Jones (Penryn), S Matavesi (Camborne), G Randlesome (Penryn).

Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), A Zacharovas (Camborne), D Collier (Plymouth Albion), C Fuca, BJ Chapman, D Mankee (Camborne), S Raumakita (Plymouth Albion).

Travelling Reserves: R Dugard (Barnstaple), D Connor (Brixham), B Howe, R Friend (Okehampton), R Kevern (Camborne), J Simmons (Camborne), M Bowden.

For information only this is the Lancashire side that played against Cheshire last Saturday, awaiting confirmation of the side for Sunday. Alex Loney the Fylde hooker will miss the final having suffered a torn Achilles against Cheshire, he will also miss the England Counties tour to Spain.

There is a match report of the Lancashire v Cheshire game in the link here.

Lancashire: 15 Lewis Allen (Preston G); 14 Scott Armstrong, 13 Chris Briers (both Fylde), 12 Scott Rawlings (Sale FC), 11 Anthony Bingham (Fylde); 10 Chris Johnson, 9 Sam Stelmaszek; 1 Dan Birchall (all Sale FC), 2 Alex Loney (Fylde), 3 Peter Altham (Preston G), 4 Reece Tomlinson (Rossendale), 5 Bob Birtwell, 6 Mark Goodman (both Sedgley Tigers), 7 Evan Stewart (Fylde), 8 Tom Ailes (Sale FC).

Reps: 16 Adam Lewis, 17 Simon Griffiths, 18 Tom Burtonwood (all Fylde), 19 Rhys Davies (Sale FC), 20 Steve Collins (Sedgley Tigers), 21 Greg Smith (Fylde), 22 Ciaran Connolly (Sale FC).


Please note photos are copyright and not to be used without Simon Bryant Iktisphoto’ s permission.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Future of County rugby again in doubt as England Counties looks set to be scaled back

For those who might not have seen Neale Harvey’s excellent pieces in either the Sunday Independent or the Rugby Paper, Neale has very kindly allowed TASC to re-print his article on here.


Assuming yesterday’s result went to plan, Cornwall supporters will flock to London in their droves next Sunday for the County Championship final.

They had better make the most of this latest trip to ‘the Smoke’ because if the information I’ve received is correct – and I’ve absolutely no reason to believe it isn’t accurate – the days of County Championship rugby may sadly be numbered.

As I first reported in February, senior figures at HQ have been questioning the continuing value of county rugby, which has been fighting against a tide of indifference for some time, and matters finally appear to be coming to a head.

The catalyst, as ever, is money with the RFU looking to make savings because of: a) a significant overspend on the East Stand development at Twickenham; and b) the mushrooming cost of sustaining elite rugby and its deal with Premiership Rugby.

Despite the RFU pretty much doubling its turnover to £407m in 2015-16, it does not take a rocket scientist to work out that shelling out £28m a season to the Premiership clubs, not to mention running all the England teams – with the ever-increasing match fees and bonuses to players – is going to substantially eat into any profits.

Throw in the £65m East Stand redevelopment – up from an initial estimate of £54m – and you can quickly see there might be problems.

One of the early victims will be the England Counties team, which currently costs £110,000 to run and usually plays two matches during the Six Nations followed by a two-match tour to a developing rugby nation during the month of June.

Twickenham beaks have decided the February/March matches will have to go and that rather than the touring side visiting far flung parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and North or South America, they will in future remain much closer to home.

A triangular tournament involving the likes of France, Ireland or Scotland has been mooted, but you could hardly describe that as attractive to semi-professional players from the National Leagues who have to use annual leave to compete.

And here’s the thing. At present, players who represent England Counties must make themselves available for the County Championship, but with the incentive of proper touring removed, in all honesty who is going to sign up for that?

With the England Counties set-up reduced to a state of near worthlessness, it therefore does not take a massive leap of the imagination to see that the County Championship will be devalued further and may quite quickly wither and die.

Clubs are already reluctant to release their best players so it would give those shadowy senior figures at Twickenham the perfect pretext to say: ‘Nobody gives a damn about the counties anymore so why not just scrap the whole lot?’

Speaking to an RFU insider last week, they told me: “With match fees and bonuses the RFU spent £3.1m on England’s tour to Australia last summer and yet they want to save peanuts by denying semi-pro National League players the chance to wear an England shirt.

“It’s the only chance some of those guys will ever get to represent their country and they take huge pride in it. Those foreign tours are intense as well as fun and for some players it’s a proven pathway into top-flight rugby later in their careers.

“If you put the England Counties into a triangular competition hosted in, say, France or Scotland, who will be willing to take annual leave for that? No one. People will say ‘stuff county rugby’ and that will affect the County Championship.”

During a week in which former Cornish Pirates prop Jamal Ford-Robinson was called up for training by England head coach Eddie Jones, the irony of this situation will not escape the notice of the many committed devotees of Cornish rugby.

As well as Ford-Robinson, England Counties have in the past been represented by David Strettle, Ben Foden and Shaun Perry, all whom went on to enjoy top-flight careers in the Premiership and with England, so it’s not a bad pathway.

In the past I have questioned the value of county rugby. My gut feeling now, however, is that it is a traditional part of the game that is well worth keeping and I hope enough strident voices are raised to head off this threat at the pass.

The RFU will jettison the England Counties team at its peril.






Posted in Bill's Blog

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Posted in Bill's Blog

Post match reaction from both Graham Dawe and James Shanahan


Photo: Dawe leaves nothing to chance

Cornwall head coach Graham Dawe was pleased, relieved and satisfied that Cornwall had booked another trip to Twickenham next Sunday.

Familiar foes await them at high noon in the shape of Lancashire and it’s game that Dawe looks forward to eagerly. “We know next Sunday will be a huge test for this Cornwall side, it’s a new team it’s a young team but they certainly know how to play for each other.

Dawe was pleased with the performance his side had put on against a fine Herts side. “All credit to our boys, they defended like tigers at times out there, Herts really challenged us and had nothing to lose, we stuck at it. As a coach little things like their final try at the end grates but all credit to them for their effort.

Before the game Dawe had a good look at the Herts side warming up. “Sometimes you pick up things from a side’s warm up, little things that people don’t necessarily notice from the sidelines. It’s down to the boys on the pitch but my job is to give them any little extra information I can on the opposition, 1% can make the difference.

Dawe was pleased with the way Cornwall started the game. “We came out strong and went into the game with a high tempo getting the reward with Matavesi’s first try and we had to be on the top of our game because they did challenge us in the scrums and in the backs, they were strong in the tackle area I thought their back row was outstanding especially their No.6 (Harry Bate) he was a real handful.

Turning to preparations for Twickenham Dawe said. “We have to sit down with the selectors and pick a squad for the final. A lot of lads have been involved but not had a game today, players like Jack Simmons, Robbie Dugard, Richard Friend and Dan Collier who joined the squad this week so we have to weigh up do we need a set-piece game or a complete game, we have to give ourselves the options. Training will be interesting this week, not sure as yet whether we will have one or two sessions.”

Hertfordshire player coach James Shanahan was fulsome in his praise of the Cornish side and the marvellous Cornish support. “When they put that black and gold jersey on they are a different animal, it’s hard enough playing a club side in Cornwall but when they play for the County they are something else. What an occasion fantastic support, they raise themselves massively. I watched their previous two games and I thought they played within themselves but today they were at another level, they controlled the game and thoroughly deserved the win.

“I don’t think the points deduction had too much bearing we knew if we wanted to get to Twickenham we had to win here and fair play to us we’ve scored four tries today.

Shanahan felt that if today was his swansong as player for Herts then it wasn’t a bad way to bow out. “I enjoyed it. We knew last week that Zak Vinnicombe would be out having torn his hamstring against Gloucestershire, we have also had our share of wedding etc restricting player availability.

Photo: Herts James Shanahan fulsome in his praise for Cornwall yesterday

Turning to Shanahan’s role with the England Counties squad he’s looking forward to this season’s tour to Spain. “Fingers crossed all the players selected have come through today unscathed, we have finalised the squad so most of the players know they are going. It’s a strong squad, very competitive with fourteen counties represented out of the 26 players picked, with more than half being debutants which is great.

“We have two hard games against the Basque region, which will be like playing Cornwall they are very passionate about their rugby and then we head to Madrid to play the Spanish national side and they will be preparing for a World Cup qualifier the following week.

And with continuing doubts about the future of the England Counties squad (see today’s Sunday Independent and the Rugby Paper), Shanahan is in no doubt about the importance of the representative side. “Elite rugby is about 2% of rugby players in this country. England Counties is the representative side for the other 98% so it really important. I’ve watched about twenty games looking to formulate the squad the quality of players has been high.

Shanahan also confirmed that Cornish lads Matt Shepherd and Robin Wedlake have been picked for the tour with a few other being close to selection.

Photos courtesy of Simon Bryant Iktis photo

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall on the march to Twickenham yet again



By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground Camborne

Photos courtesy of Simon Bryant, Iktis photo

Glorious, simply glorious, Cornwall ran in seven tries against Hertfordshire to book another return to rugby HQ next Sunday for a fourth encounter in five years with the red rose of Lancashire.

There was a sense of excitement as kick-off approached, nerves too it has to be said, but the beating of the bass drum from the Falmouth Marine Band soothed the nerves, what a joy to see them doing what they do best raising the temperature of the crowd parading around the pitch. The hanging of the pasty from the crossbar and the sight of “Betty Stoggs” what more could you ask for!

Photo: Sam Matavesi celebrates one of his two tries

As kick-off approached and with a crowd of 3,000 plus the scene was set. There was drama before kick-off as news emerged that Hertfordshire had a number of changes to their published side as a number of players from the Old Albanian club had withdrawn due to a players wedding, forcing head coach James Shanahan to done the number 25 shirt at fly-half.

Cornwall, led by skipper Jake Murphy emerged from the tunnel to huge roars from the crowd, having won the toss they elected to play up the slope in the first half.

What a start it proved to be, Tom Notman collecting the ball and turning on a sixpence ran hard into the Herts twenty-two, ruck ball saw Cornwall pound the Herts line with scrum-half Jack Oulton slipping the ball to flanker Sam Matavesi to crash over, full back Matt Shepherd added the extras and Cornwall were up and running.


Photo: Tom Notman tackled by Herts Pierre Dotta

Cornwall had a little bit of trouble in the scrums early on, Shanahan found touch towards the scoreboard corner following a series of drives from the Herts’ forwards the wily fox at 10 sold a great dummy to stroll under the sticks for scrum-half Tom Banks to convert and level the scores. Game on.

Cornwall lost Oulton to a heavy knock allowing local favourite Dave Mankee to come on at 9. Cornwall had to soak up a lot of pressure putting in tackles like demons. They lifted the siege getting field good position. No.8 Grant Randlesome made a fine break, one of many, linking with lock Tony Whittle who in turn found fly-half Joe Elderkin, whose soft pass put flyer Lewis Vinnicombe away in the corner for try number two. Shepherd kicked a fine conversion from five meters in from touch.

Hooker Richard Brown played scrum-half at a ruck feeding Elderkin who broke away linking with Shepherd before giving the scoring pass to Notman for try number three and a 19-7 lead.


Photo: Bryn Jenkins had another towering game in the lineout

Hertfordshire pulled a score back through full back Pierre Dotta off a pass from centre Francis Denny, there was a brief altercation amongst the players before Banks added the conversion and the game remained poised at 19-14 up until the break.

Once again Cornwall began the half with a bang. Good work from centre Robin Wedlake and the impressive Matavesi saw Cornwall get a penalty. Shepherd kicked to the West Bank corner and with the crowd baying the lineout was secured and Cornwall drove for the line with Brown getting the bonus point try.

Still Hertfordshire would not lie down back they came with a try from lock James Apperley converted by Banks.

A speculative kick into the Herts’ twenty-two bounced very high allowing replacement hooker Matt Ballard to claim the ball he was hauled down short of the line, Hertfordshire killed the ball with the useful flanker Harry Bate yellow carded for his sins.

Another kick to the West Bank corner, another catch and drive for Matavesi to bag his second try of the game.

Brilliant lineout play from lock Bryn Jenkins saw him feed replacement No.8 BJ Chapman who set off down the touchline like a scalded cat; he looked certain to score a great try but was bundled into touch…just!

Photo: Lewis Vinnicombe swan dives for his second try


Try number six came soon after a lovely move involving Wedlake, Seti Raumakita, Shepherd and the excellent Elderkin put Vinnicombe in for his second try finished in Chris Ashton style. Shepherd added both conversions and Cornwall had space 38-21.

Raumakita was again involved for Cornwall’s final try as the backs moved the ball wide for Mankee to cross and dot downtry number seven. Shepherd added the extras and the party on the terraces was in full swing.

Hertfordshire had the satisfaction of the final say when their excellent lock Sam Lunnon deservedly got over for their fourth try with the final play again converted by Banks.




Photo: BJ Chapman celebrates Dave Mankee’s final try

The final whistle heralded scenes of great excitement as the prospect of a fifth consecutive final dawned and the chance to get a hat-trick of wins on the bounce at Twickenham.

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): M Shepherd (Plymouth Albion),  L Vinnicombe,  R Wedlake (Plymouth Albion), J Murphy (Barnstaple, capt), T Notman, J Elderkin, J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstaple), T Whittle (Camborne), C Fuca, S Matavesi (Camborne), G Randlesome (Penryn).

Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), A Zacharovas (Camborne), B Howe, G Jones (Penryn), BJ Chapman, D Mankee (Camborne), S Raumakita (Plymouth Albion).

Cornwall scores: Tries: Matavesi (2), Vinnicombe (2), Notman, Brown, Mankee; Cons: Shepherd (5)


Hertfordshire: (Bishop’s Stortford unless stated): P Dotta, B Creasey (Hertford), N Hankin, F Denny (Letchworth), S Barnes (Tring), J Shanahan (unattatched), T Banks;  H King (Bishop’s Stortford), B McNamee (Hertford, capt), K Garside (Old Albanian), S Lunnon (Old Albanian), J Apperley, H Bate (Old Albanian), D Elsom, D Archer (Hertford).

Replacements: J Taylor (Old Albanian), W Roberts, A Berry (Old Albanian), J Concoran (Hertford), J Daly (Old Albanian), J Scantlebury, M Bendin (Hertford).

Hertfordshire scores: Tries: Shanahan, Dotta, Apperley, Lunnon; Cons: Banks (4)

Yellow Card – Elsom 55

Referee: Ben Russell (RFU)

Crowd: 3,525

Trelawny’s Army man of the match: Very hard to pick out one player from a side that had twenty-two heroes. Sam Matavesi looked at his awesome best today, a fine performance from one of Camborne’s favourite sons.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Herts points deduction halved

At the appeal hearing heard yesterday evening Hertfordshire’s points deduction of four points, for fielding an ineligible player during the  Kent v Hertfordshire game, was halved to two points by the appeals panel.

Hertfordshire come into tomorrow’s game at Camborne on 7 points, whilst Cornwall are on 10 points.


Posted in Bill's Blog

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