Cornwall selectors rang the changes ahead of county side’s final fixture for this season with a view to looking at players ahead of next season’s campaign; however they were also hit by some late withdrawals which meant Cornwall fielding a side with not one Redruth player in the match day squad!
Sadly, for Cornwall the gulf in the playing standard showed with Cornwall suffering their biggest defeat for many years, a result that will shock many but in reality others feared.
Huge credit to those players who came in at the last minute to wear the shirt, indeed to the whole side for never giving up playing until the final whistle.
Cornwall ended the campaign bottom of their group but as relegation is considered over two seasons, the 15 points they amassed in 2017 saved their skins, however in 2019 they will start another 2 year cycle of results. Surrey appear to be the unlucky side to drop having been deducted points for fielding an ineligible player against Cornwall.
Cornwall’s skipper Jake Murphy was philosophical in defeat. “Credit to our lads for turning out today, it’s not been easy putting a side together this week. To a man they gave their all but sadly the gulf was evident today when you are up against National League 1 & 2 players. I shall think over my own situation over the summer as to whether I should carry on next season, maybe it’s time for the youngsters to step up now and take Cornwall on a new adventure.”
As in their previous two games Cornwall conceded an early try from a catch-and-drive when Herts hooker Steff Jones snuck over from the drive, fly-half Sean Taylor kicked the conversion and the home side were up and running.
Cornwall then lost lock Jack Heazelton to injury giving Penryn’s Adam Hughes an early chance to impress.
Cornwall enjoyed good possession for large parts of the first half but sadly committed too many errors. Skipper Jake Murphy and fellow centre Jon Dawe caught the eye in mid-field as did forwards Jon Drew and George Jones with their drives.
Hertfordshire made the most of their field position when it came scoring two tries in the final ten minutes of the first half through lock Harry Green and right on the half-time whistle through No.8 Chris West, Taylor converted the former for a 19-0 half-time advantage to Hertfordshire.
In the second half Cornwall again had good periods but sadly they couldn’t capitalise as the big Hertfordshire pack took charge allied to the greater fitness of National League players.
Saltash’s Lewis Wells looked lively, whilst lock Ben Hilton was a nuisance in the rucks and mauls.
Hertfordshire’s bonus point try came from a forward drive replacement hooker Ollie Walker getting the try with the excellent Taylor again adding the extras.
Tries came at regular intervals as the final quarter wore on through scrum-half Ben Creasey centre James Rea, replacement wing Luke Barber, flanker Nick Radley bringing up the eight tries. Taylor added a further couple of conversions to complete the scoring in an emphatic win, which coupled with Surrey’s win over Gloucestershire sees the men in green at Twickenham next Sunday to face Lancashire in the final.
Cornwall will be bitterly disappointed not to have got a score, whilst the coaches and selectors will have much to ponder on how to turn Cornwall’s fortunes around next season.
HERTFORDSHIRE: S Taylor (Hertford), E Byfield (Tring), J Rea (Bishop’s Stortford), R Streets (Hertford), S Barnes (Tring), D Watt (Old Albanian), T Banks (Bishop’s Stortford, capt); L Castiglione, S Jones (both Hertford), K Garside (Amptill), R Conquest (Cambridge), H Green, N Radley, N Stevens (all Tring), C West (Old Albanian).
Replacements: O Walker (Old Albanian), T McCrone (Bishop’s Stortford), D Archer, J Elston, B Creasey (all Hertford), J Scantlebury (Bishop’s Stortford), L Barber (Harpenden).
CORNWALL: M Vague (Penryn), W Morton (Saltash), S Hitchens (Penryn), J Dawe, D Pearce (both Launceston), J Murphy (Barnstaple, capt), T Peacock (Camborne); A Zacharovs (Camborne), M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), J Drew (Camborne), B Hilton (Barnstaple), J Heazelton (Truro), L Wells (Saltash), G Jones (Penryn), L Duke (Launceston).
Replacements: T-L Southworth, (Camborne), Z Cinnamond (Launceston), A Hodges (Bude), O Seagrove (Truro), A Hughes (Penryn), N Nash (Brixham), R McAtee (Camborne).
Photo: Ben Hilton returns to Cornwall’s boiler house
By Bill Hooper
Due to unavailability and other circumstances, Cornwall’s selectors have picked a largely experimental side to face Hertfordshire at Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday 3 pm.
There are nine changes in the starting XV from the side that played against Devon at Camborne last week and just four players in the squad that faced Hertfordshire at Camborne last season. The big surprise is the omission of Matt Shepherd who would have been available this week, but sadly is another unavailable player.
In the backs, Will Morton (Saltash) comes in for the unavailable Tom Notman, whilst Richie Kevern comes off the bench into centre in place of the injured Duncan Tout.
Dave Mankee forms a club partnership at half back with Taron Peacock as he did last week when coming on for the injured Fraser Honey.
The forwards see a major shake-up, Jess Tompsett starts alongside Matt Ballard and Jon Drew, whilst in the second row there is a new partnership as former county captain Ben Hilton teams up with Truro’s Jack Heazelton in place of the Redruth duo of Edd Pascoe and Luke Hattam.
In the back row, a second Saltash player comes in Lewis Wells replacing BJ Chapman, whilst Launceston skipper Lloyd Duke comes in for Grant Randlesome at No.8.
Both Andrius Zacharovas and Tommy-Lee Southworth drop to the bench with a raft of new names coming in Zac Cinnamond, Angus Hodges, Adam Hughes, Sam Hitchens and Dan Pearce
15 Mitch Vague (Penryn)
14 Will Morton (Saltash)
13 Jake Murphy [Capt.] (Barnstaple)
12 Richard Kevern (Redruth)
11 Jon Dawe (Launceston)
10 David Mankee (Camborne)
9 Taron Peacock (Camborne)
1 Jess Tompsett (Redruth)
2 Matt Ballard (Wadebridge Camels)
3 Jon Drew (Camborne)
4 Ben Hilton (Barnstaple)
5 Jack Heazelton (Truro)
6 Lewis Wells (Saltash)
7 George Jones (Penryn)
8 Lloyd Duke Launceston)
16 Tommy Lee Southworth (Camborne)
17 Andrius Zacharovas (Camborne)
18 Zac Cinnamond (Launceston)
19 Angus Hodges (Bude)
20 Sam Hitchens (Penryn)
21 Adam Hughes (Penryn)
22 Dan Pearce (Launceston)
Head Coach: Graham Dawe
Assistant Coaches: Marek Churcher & Rhodri McAtee
Hertfordshire have announced their side for the annual clash in the Bill Beaumont Cup against Cornwall, who they host this Saturday, 19th May at Bishop Stortford RFC. Kick off is 3pm.
Hertfordshire: Sean Taylor (Hertford); Elliott Byfield (Tring), James Rea (Bishop Stortford), Richard Streets (Hertford), Sam Barnes (Tring); Dan Watt (Old Albanian), Tom Banks (Bishop Stortford) – Captain, Louis Castiglione (Hertford), Steff Jones (Hertford), Karl Garside (Ampthill), Rob Conquest (Cambridge), Harry Green (Tring), Nick Radley (Tring), Nick Stevens (Old Albanian), Chris West (Old Albanian)
Replacements: Ollie Walliker (Old Albanian), Tom McCrone (Bishop’s Stortford), Dave Archer (Hertford), Jack Elston (Hertford), Ben Creasey (Hertford), Jack Scantlebury (Bishop’s Stortford), Luke Barber (Harpenden)
Photo Colin Hatch: Players l-r Jake Penprase, Luke Barnes, James Tucker, Declan Matthews & Torin Clarke.
Five Cornwall U.20 players took place in the inter-divisional games at Derby last weekend. The South West played the Midlands and lost, however Declan Matthews scored a try for the South West. Sadly Torin Clarke was injured verry early in the game. A sixth player selected Jack Hodge was unable to attend the weekend.
At the conclusion of the two games, the North played London and South East, the touring squad to Georgia was selected, sadly none of our lads made the cut, but congratulations for getting so far.
Photo Marina Trevarton: Cornwall Ladies on the attack
On Sunday, Cornwall Ladies completed their program in this season’s Gill Burns Cup Division 2 when they went down at Polson Bridge to Hertfordshire Ladies 48-10. Well done to all the squad as this was their first season competing in the competition.
By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground, Camborne
The dream of a sixth successive trip to Twickenham for the Cornwall team was brutally scattered to the four corner of the Recreation Ground as Devon beat Cornwall for the first time in the County Championship in eight years.
Speaking after the game Cornwall backs coach Marek Churcher said. “It’s always disappointing to lose, especially against Devon, but you have to give them credit for their game plan today. It’s always hard when you trying to play catch up and I thought we did well to come back in the second half, we had a chance to win it at the death but it didn’t go our way.
“In the final analysis we made too many errors both collectively and individually, as I said last week these guys are young and playing at a higher level than they have, full credit to them they have come back into the game and just fallen short they will learn and take that into the final game at Hertfordshire.”
Once again, as they did at Redruth the week before, Cornwall were slow off the blocks, guilty of far too many errors as the pressure told during the opening half.
Playing down the slope first half, Devon gave notice they hadn’t travelled to make up the numbers. Despite missing with his initial attempt at the posts fly-half Tom Putt was on cue moments later from the 10-metre line.
Cornwall had chances in the first quarter but having kicked for touch, the Duchy’s line-out didn’t function as three good opportunities went begging.
Cornwall suffered a blow when fly-half Fraser Honey, who this week signed for Plymouth Albion, was forced off with his leg in a brace.
Moments later Cornwall fell further behind as Devon’s Matt Crosscombe hacked the ball down the touchline, the bounce proved awkward for the covering Cornish defence and Cornwall’s Mitch Vague was adjudged to have held back the flying Crosscombe. Referee Veryan Boscawen trotted under the posts awarding Devon a penalty-try and Vague 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
From the clever re-start, wing Tom Notman had a good kick chase down the wing, resulting in a Cornwall penalty, Dave Mankee, on for Honey, kicked for the corner but again the line-out was lost and Devon broke clear through centre Tom Palmer.
Just before half-time Cornwall conceded another try when Devon skipper Nathan Hannay was driven over and Putt added the extras for a 17-0 advantage to stun the ranks of Cornish supporters.
Cornwall needed a good start in the second half, they got it after 49 minutes, when they secured good line-out ball and the pack drove over the Devon line with Penryn’s George Jones getting the touchdown.
Sadly, Mankee’s conversion attempt veered away from the far post and the try went crucially unconverted.
Cornwall lost another player as centre Duncan Tout went off with a collarbone injury, Redruth’s Jack Simmons coming on.
Cornwall had more of the play, a good driving burst from prop Andrius Zacharovas took play into the twenty-two, Cornwall went through the phases before skipper Jake Murphy cut back to take a scoring pass and go over under the posts, Mankee’s conversion made it game on!
Crucially for Devon they enjoyed a period of pressure in the Cornwall twenty-two and from it milked a penalty that Putt slotted to put them two scores ahead.
Cornwall struck back, Murphy kicked a penalty into the West Bank corner, the line-out was secured by BJ Chapman and the maul set up with Notman getting in amongst the forwards to claim a try for the second game running, Mankee’s conversion making it a one point game.
Despite good runs from Richie Kevern, Murphy and No.8 Grant Randlesome, Devon held firm, the ball went wide with wing Jon Dawe going close in the scoreboard corner before bundled into touch and with it Cornwall’s last chance had gone.
Cornwall will head to Bishop’s Stortford next Saturday looking to end their campaign on a positive note against Hertfordshire.
Cornwall: M Vague (Penryn), J Dawe (Launceston), D Tout (Tonbridge Juddians), J Murphy (Barnstaple, Capt), T Notman (Redruth), F Honey (Bury St. Edmunds), T Peacock; A Zacharovas, T-L Southworth, J Drew (all Camborne), L Hattam, E Pascoe (both Redruth), BJ Chapman (Newton Abbot), G Jones, G Randlesome (both Penryn).
Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), J Tompsett (Redruth), D Cook (Camborne), B Humber (Wadebridge Camels), D Mankee (Camborne), R Kevern, J Simmons (both Redruth).
Devon: C Briant (Ivybridge), K Browne (Newton Abbot), R Palmer (Okehampton), M Crosscombe (Plymouth Albion), J Bond (Barnstaple), T Putt (Brixham), B Watts (Ivybridge); G Snell (Bideford), A Crouch (Barnstaple), T White (Newton Abbot), N Hannay (Honiton, Capt), T McGratton, D Abrams (both Okehampton), W Sprangle (Tiverton).
Replacements: A Taylor (Plymstock AO), W Vermingle (Ivybridge), T Coats (Okehampton), B King (Ivybridge), K Munslow (Topsham), C Bedwell (Brixham), B Pinkus (Ivybridge).
Cornwall have made a few changes ahead of the game against Devon tomorrow at Camborne RFC kick-off 3 pm.
Into the side comes Redruth lock Edd Pascoe who partners his clubmate Luke Hattam in the second row. Pascoe featured for the Royal Navy last week against the Army at Twickenham. Jamie Hoskin (St. Ives) a replacement last week drops out of the match day squad.
Other changes see, Tommy-Lee Southworth starting at hooker in an all Camborne front row, with Camel’s Matt Ballard reverting to the bench, whilst in the backrow Penryn’s George Jones starts at openside with Camel’s Ben Humber dropping to the bench.
In the backs there is just the one change with Fraser Honey starting at fly-half with Richie Kevern reverting to the bench.
Former Cornwall player Lewis Paterson (pictured above) reckons that Devon are playing Cornwall at the right time and will travel to Camborne on Saturday confident of getting a result.
Paterson, interviewd on the Devon RFU site, who now plays his club rugby at Ivybridge following a spell at Launceston when he played for Cornwall, believes Cornwall will be under intense pressure to win in front of their own supporters.
“We are targeting Cornwall,” said Paterson. “They are vulnerable and we are on the rise. We are playing some really good rugby. It is important we go down there with the right mind-set.
Sadly, Paterson, a former winner of the Bill Osborne Shield as Cornwall Player of the Year, will miss the game as he is due to have an operation on a thumb injury. He added. “Last week we improved from the Tamar Cup and it was a winnable game against Gloucestershire. It was just a flip from being on their try line and only two points behind to six minutes later losing by 12 points. It was gutting, but again it was a massive building block.
“We have to go to Cornwall with the mindset that we are going to win and take a scalp.
“They must be a little bit agitated at only drawing at Redruth so I’m sure they are going to be fired up.
“As an ex-Cornwall player you know the support they get down there is invaluable. But Devon had cracking support at Brixham and I’m sure we’ll take a good following down on Saturday.
“It’s going to be really exciting again that Devon are playing Cornwall in the County Championship, but from our side we are going down there to win. I think we are going down with a really strong and in-form Devon team.”
DEVON SIDE TO FACE CORNWALL
Devon: Charlie Briant (Ivybridge), Jack Bond (Barnstaple), Rhys Palmer (Okehampton), Matt Crosscombe (Plymouth Albion), Kyle Browne (Newton Abbot), Tom Putt (Brixham), Ben Watts (Ivybridge); George Snell (Bideford), Ashlee Crouch (Barnstaple), Tom White (Newton Abbot), Nathan Hannay (Honiton, Capt), George Wilson (Ivybridge), Tom McGratton (Newton Abbot), Dean Abrams (Okehampton), Wayne Sprangle (Tiverton)
Replacements: Aiden Taylor (Plymstock Albion Oaks), Wes Vermingle (Ivybridge), Tim Coats (Plymstock Albion Oaks), Ben King (Ivybridge), Kye Munslow (Withycombe), Connor Bedwell (Brixham), Billy Pinkus (Ivybridge)