Time runs out as Pirates mount a comeback

By Phil Westren, Cornish Pirates’ Media

Cornish Pirates 24   Rotherham Titans 26

Photo – Pirates hooker Rob Elloway played his 200th game for the club

This match provided a fascinating contest at the Mennaye Field, as the Pirates, who looked off par for much of the match, made an admirable recovery to almost sneak victory at the very end.

In front of the home crowd, Cornish Pirates’ hooker Rob Elloway deserved the honour of leading the team onto the field, for what was proudly his 200th appearance for the club.

The visiting Rotherham Titans have made the play-offs in the last two seasons, and they were always going to be formidable opponents, remembering too that it is as far back as November 2012, that the Pirates last tasted victory against their Yorkshire opponents.

Indeed, under the cosh in early exchanges, plus incurring the wrath of Premiership referee Luke Pearce, the Pirates went 6-0 down in the opening quarter. Visiting fly-half Will Goodwin posted the first points of the match with a successful penalty, which was then followed up by a long-range effort from centre Jordan Davies.

On this day, however, with conditions just perfect for running rugby, the scoring of tries was surely inevitable, and as the match progressed this did prove to be the case. However, for the first forty there would be one only, Jordan Davies following up his three points with five more as he dived over near the Newlyn posts. Goodwin’s conversion made it 13-0, which is how it stayed to the break.

Powerful ball carrying from the Titans had repeatedly forced the Pirates back, as did their kicking game, for whom scrum-half Dan White gave the ball plenty of air. The visitors deserved to be ahead, leaving the Pirates with very little to cheer about. They had simply given too many penalties away and also made more than their share of handling mistakes. Looking for a plus, it was the form of full-back Toby May, who once again displayed a mix of confidence and courage under the high ball.

Following club captain Chris Morgan having been injured in Jersey the previous weekend, stand-in skipper Alex Cheesman was no doubt bitterly disappointed with his side’s first half display. The second period would at least provide a chance for the Pirates to up their performance.

On the resumption of play, a successful penalty kick from fly-half Kieran Hallett at last got the Pirates on to the scoreboard, but all but from the restart Rotherham made it a 13 points gap once more thanks to Goodwin slotting his second penalty of the afternoon.

The Yorkshire outfit then extended their lead and sent alarm bells ringing with a converted try scored by centre Joe Barker, though with the Pirates making a number of changes and displaying extra purpose and energy, a hoped for comeback was soon under way.

Making a habit this season of getting over the whitewash, following a drive to the line Cheesman was identified as the try-scorer. It was an impressive third in just three games, to which replacement Will Cargill added the extras.

A further penalty score from Goodwin appeared to put the visitors back on track, but the Pirates were quick to confirm their rejuvenation when another eager replacement, flanker John Stevens, sniffed and took his chance to cross to the right of the Newlyn posts. With Cargill’s second conversion making it 17-26, interest levels were, at a stroke, ramped up.

That the Pirates had got back into this match was of considerable credit, as their fitness also came to the fore. They were surely in with a chance of securing a losing bonus point, and if time permitted perhaps even a win was now possible.

With a sudden try from centre Tom Riley, and another fine conversion by Cargill, there were just two points in it, but the Pirates had to ultimately settle for this narrow defeat.

Terrific near the end, having reacted to early disappointments, a level of encouragement will have been gained.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Toby May, 14 Kyle Moyle, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Rheon James, 11 Craig Holland (Jack Arnott 58), 10 Kieran Hallett (Will Cargill 52), 9 Alex Day (Mike Pope 52); 1 Jack Andrew (Adam Jamieson 78), 2 Rob Elloway (Tom Channon 58), 3 Adam Jamieson (Marlen Walker 58), 4 Laurie McGlone, 5 Marcus Garratt (Will Graulich 48), 6 Sam Simmonds, 7 Joe Atkinson (John Stevens 58), 8 Alex Cheesman (capt).

Rotherham Titans:   15 Sean Scanlon (capt), 14 Jack Hayes, 13 Jordan Davies, 12 Joe Barker (Andy Davies 64), 11 Curtis Wilson, 10 Will Goodwin (Will Owen 63), 9 Dan White; 1 Toby Williams (Robin Hislop 5), 2 Charlie Maddison (Darran Harris 55), 3 Mark Tampin (Lewis Thiede 68), 4 George Oram Tom Holmes (63), 5 Barney Maddison, 6 Max Argyle, 7 Ali Birch (Tom Calladine 63), 8 Tim Cree.


Cornish Pirates – tries: Cheesman, Stevens, Riley; cons: Cargill (3); pen: Hallett.

Rotherham Titans – tries: Jordan Davies, Barker; cons: Goodwin (2); pens: Goodwin (3), Jordan Davies.

Referee:   Luke Pearce (RFU)

Attendance:   1,274

Posted in Bill's Blog

RWC 2015 diary blog on my match travels

Well, I experienced RWC 2015 on Saturday night, taking in France’s win against Italy 32-10 at Twickenham.

A tremendous Latin atmosphere in the stadium that probably bemused the curious English supporters, most of whom where there to cheer Italy or at least Castrogiovanni.

There was brief chorus of ‘Swing Low’ that was quickly drummed out by a vociferous rendition of ‘La Marseillaise!’

However, Paris upon Thames it wasn’t, as no French band was in Twickenham to really crack up the atmosphere.

Just like the England-Fiji game, we had our own Referee-TMO howler, which is fast making the whole TMO thing a laughing stock.

No problem with the final decision as it was clear-cut that Nakaitaci lost the ball as he looked to ground it. What is it with Nakaitaci and the north try-line at Twickenham!!

What this shows is that the whole action must be played through to avoid the embarrassment we have seen with the referee having to go back after already awarding a try! Getting it right first time is a pre-requisite surely!

Sad to see Yoann Huget’s World Cup over as he received a cruciate knee ligament, whilst, for Italy, Andrea Massi ruptured his Achilles. Never nice to see any player injured, and I wish both well for a speedy recovery.

I drove up for the game and used the park and ride at Kempton Park racecourse. The cost is £20 for parking and bus to the ground.

The shuttles work pretty well dropping off and picking up at Rosebine Avenue on the A316. Make sure you know where the pick-up point is, as signage after the match to direct you there is pretty poor.

It’s quite a trek too at Kempton Park, as the cars are parked in the middle of the racecourse and you have to walk towards the main stands to pick up the buses near the railway station.

The lighting at night, when you return, wasn’t that good. The pathways are also slippery, so beware!

The road in and out of the racecourse is bumpy with a nasty drop near the gate to the main road.

So at the ground, they have copied the concept of the London Olympics with greeters etc. etc. All very pleasant and really eager to help!

You need deep pockets! A program is £10, or £12 for a program and a RWC magazine…….bargain!!!

You can get a plastic RWC 2015 glass for a £1 deposit which you get back if you want to return it after the game.

I didn’t buy any food or drink at the stadium, preferring to eat in town before hand.

The souvenirs are also expensive: a pin badge will set you back £6 whilst the must have baseball cap costs £17-50. I didn’t look at anything else, I didn’t dare!

There is quite a bit happening in the West Car Park pre-match for those that sort of thing, most packed into the bars watching the other games on the TV.

I await to see what the atmosphere and experience is on Wednesday night when I travel back to London for France v Romania in the Olympic stadium!

The result of the weekend, naturally that historic win for Japan against the Boks 34-32, what a result!

Final thought: a great fan of John Taylor, the former British Lion does a great job as stadium announcer at Twickenham, clear, concise and knowledgeable.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Impressive Kings dethrone Cornish

Report & Photo by Ben Gilby

Photo – The exiles rolling maul gets going

On a warm afternoon in Motspur Park, the hosts showed their intent from the start when driving Cornish back impressively from an early penalty – this was just the beginning of some good forward play from KCS, who had Harlequins hooker Joe Gray on the touchline as part of their coaching team.

‘The Exiles’, fielding six new faces in their starting line-up, came back into it when Luke Spells, returning to the squad for the first time since the end of March, linked up with Ben Ievers and Owen Bater, but possession was lost, and KCS made several metres before being awarded a penalty. Shortly afterwards, the home side gained the opening score when an excellent display of running rugby saw the ball recycled nine times in a move which their excellent centre George Taylor was particularly prominent ahead of the final grounding. Rory Jones added the extras as KCS went 7-0 up after 14 minutes.

Importantly, Cornish responded shortly afterwards as they won a penalty on the ‘Old Boys’ 22 metre line. Up stepped Spells for a vital three points which took him over the 500 point mark for the club. However, any hope that the visiting supporters may have had that this would see the start of a period of concerted Cornish pressure was soon dispelled as that man Taylor fed Edward Forshaw. The KCS winger went on an unstoppable, rampaging run to score a quite magnificent try. Rory Jones added the extras, and with 21 minutes played the home side’s lead was out to 14-3.

The Black and Golds hit back within minutes once more following a scrum; Mark Osei-Tutu played in Tom Baker who won a penalty when KCS failed to roll away. Spells’ kick from the middle was successful and the score was now 14-6 after 26 minutes.

Despite Cornish hitting the two penalties in quick succession after KCS scoring, there is absolutely no doubt that the hosts were enjoying far more possession and territory. They are a side renowned for brilliant backs play, but on this showing, it would appear they have a good set of forwards too, who were causing ‘The Exiles’ all sorts of problems, and a Cornish forward was dispatched to the sin-bin on 30 minutes. Shortly afterwards the home side won a penalty, and Jones made his third successful kick of the afternoon to extend his side’s lead to 17-6.

As the half entered its last five minutes of regular time, Cornish began to get a slight foothold in the game, on the back of a success of several penalties. From the last of which, Jackson Szabo kicked to touch and ‘The Exiles’ finally drove the home side back, added to this they were awarded a penalty and a KCS forward was sin-binned. The penalty was again kicked to touch and in an action replay of the previous action, the referee showed a yellow card to another home forward. Now playing against thirteen men, it was only a matter of time before Cornish finally breached the ‘Old Boys’ line, and great play from Chris Anstey put in Rich Skinnard for the try. Spells conversion attempt missed, and KCS’ lead had been hauled back to 17-11 at the break.

Not surprisingly, still with a two man advantage, it was Cornish who had much of opening exchanges in the second half. An early attack resulted in a five metre scrum, which set the foundation for a promising attack, but as a try looked certain, the ball was knocked on over the line. The pendulum was still in the black and gold favour, and with the home side under intense pressure, they were penalised for a forward pass behind their own try line. From the five metre scrum, the ball was played out to Rich Skinnard, who fed Jackson Szabo, and the pacy full-back ran in to score. Spells missed the conversion, but the KCS lead was now just a single point.

Back to their full compliment, KCS, whilst never quite at their level of the first half performance, began to trouble the visitors again. Crucially, the next score went their way as Rory Jones slotted over another penalty which was awarded after great link play between JJ Kilmartin and Edward Forshaw.

Cornish responded and launched another drive led by Tim Homan. The ball found its way out to debutant Andy Nicholls who was tackled into touch. The resulting line-out saw Owen Bater link with Mark Osei-Tutu who was stopped by a high tackle. Whilst the referee initially played advantage, he eventually came back and showed a yellow card for the tackle. The resulting penalty was kicked to touch and Tim Homan grabbed the ball and ran through to score. Spells’ conversion missed, but Cornish were now in front for the first time all afternoon 21-20.

With a quarter of an hour left an unlikely victory looked a possibility. But, to their credit, KCS came back. A succession of penalties piggy-backed them up the pitch, and, with three minutes to go, a quick tap was taken, and the ball passed to fly-half Will Slater who dived over. Rory Jones stepped up for his fifth successful kick out of five, and KCS Old Boys had recorded a deserved victory.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Success on the road for both Redruth & Camborne

Photo – Ben Priddey scored the Reds’ opening try

It was certainly an excellent weekend for the mining division sides as both the Cherry and Whites and the Reds got wins on the road.

Let’s start with Camborne and their first ever win at Avonmouth Old Boys 29-23 in Tribute South West 1 West.

Despite trailing 10-0, Town hit back with a try from flanker Jamie Goldsworthy with Ben Stean adding the extras.

Trailing 13-7 at the break, Camborne got a great start to the second half as No.8 Dave Roberts claimed a pushover try.

Sam Matavesi, again in rampant form, and no doubt inspired by his trip to Twickenham the previous evening, set up a try for young winger Harvey Jones.

The bonus-point try arrived via lock Ben Kemp’s powerful charge with Stean again adding the extras.

Roberts bagged his second try, Camborne’s fifth, and despite a late rally by the home side Camborne held on for a good win.

In National League 2 South a third win for the Reds on the trot 23-22 at newly promoted Bury St. Edmunds sees Redruth second in the league, just behind Taunton.

Redruth suffered a late scare when the home side missed with a long-range penalty attempt at the death.

Despite missing a few key players, and being forced to replace three players during the opening 25 minutes, the young reds stepped up to the mark big time.

Murray Westren opened the scoring with a penalty before Bury hit them with two tries to lead 12-3.

Ashley Hosking kicked a penalty with Bury replying in kind just after half-time.

Ben Priddey then scored the Reds first try with Brett Rule adding a second try shortly after. Both scores were converted by Hosking for 20-15 lead.

Hosking then added a second penalty for an eight point lead.

Redruth defended stoutly, but Bury grabbed a converted try to set up a tense finale with the Reds holding on at the final whistle.

In contrast the Cornish All Blacks suffered a third loss, going down at Polson to leaders Taunton 38-12.

There was a host of familiar faces in the Taunton line up with Struminski, Webb, Kingdom, Chapman and Hales all having worn the black shirt.

Jon Dawe and Eddie McGinley scored tries for the All Blacks with Chris Swash kicking a conversion.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro won the Cornish derby against Wadebridge Camels 27-21 at St. Clements Hill.

Luke Tidball, ‘Eggy’ Williams and Tom Evans were among the try-scorers, Alan Armstrong kicking the rest of the points.

For the Camels, Matt Ballard, Mark Grubb and Jack Scott scored tries all converted by James Grubb.

St. Austell got back to winning ways defeating Cullompton 21-14 at Tregorrick.

Tries were scored for the Saints by Konnor Ewudzi (2) and Andy Inch, all converted by Andy Ashwin.

Disappointment for Penryn as Torquay Athletic picked up their first win of the season 41-22 at home.

Borough’s tries were scored by Strick, Jordan Rose and Adam Hughes with Strick kicking a penalty and two conversions.

Devonport Services remain top following their 27-21 win at Moorlands against Saltash. Will Morton and Jason Carroll scored tries for the Ashes with Max Venables kicking three penalties and a conversion for a losing bonus point.

Up in London 2 SW, London Cornish lost their opening league fixture at KCS Old Boys 27-21.

In the Tribute Cornwall and Devon League, Falmouth made it three wins from three with a tight 25-24 win against previously unbeaten Plymouth Argaum.

It was the boot of Justyn Irons that did the damage with six penalties and the conversion of Raphael Baragwanath’s try.

Bude won the Cornish derby at Hayle 26-15 to remain unbeaten. Pick of Bude’s tries was their second, a forty metre break by Kyle Speare. Other scores came via Black, Tout and Wilson with Dan Pearce converting three.

For Hayle, Tony Matthews and Ashley White scored tries.

St. Ives made it three wins with a 39-24 triumph at Honiton. Tom Chandler (2), Jess Tompsett, Ben Jenkins and Lewis Thomas scored tries for the Hakes, with Grant Thirlby’s boot kicking two penalties and four conversions.

Newquay Hornets lost at Tavistock 16-11. Ed Pearce scored a try and Ian Morgan slotted a couple of penalties.

Pirates Amateurs ran riot at Exeter Saracens winning 67-17! Tries were scored by Steve Evans (2), James Barrett (3), Matt Stevens (2), Rob Cutler and Jack Lonsdale (2). Lonsdale also added a penalty and seven conversions.

Bodmin are finding their second season at this level tough losing for the third time, 39-15 at Paignton.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Redruth make it two wins on the bounce

Two bonus point wins to start the campaign would have been just the start Redruth head coach Steve Larkins would have hoped for.

The latest success, a 30-17 win, was hard fought against a resilient Southend side, with a touch of back-to-the-wall stuff as the Reds defended manfully with just twelve men at one stage. Tries from Ben Priddey, Tom Cowan-Dickie, Brett Rule and Alex Ducker plus the boot of Murray Westren saw the Reds home.

We shall know a bit more about the strength of this start after next Saturday’s long trip to Bury St Edmunds.

Redruth head coach Steve Larkins was delighted by his side’s performance. He said: “Today was a step up from last week, Southend played very well and will probably feel they should have had more from the game, but we more than matched them and scored some very good tries at vital times.”

Larkins felt that the two early second half tries scored by his side were the turning point of the game: “Brett Rule’s try right at the start of the second half really lifted the boys and broke them a little bit and to get the bonus point try through Alex Ducker just moments later really put us in a strong position.”

Discipline let his side down at times and they were fortunate that Southend failed fully to exploit the situation: “Being down to twelve men is never good, but our defence was solid and we only conceded the one converted try that showed great character as much as getting the five points I am equally pleased that Southend went away with nothing points-wise from the game.”

Larkins was also pleased with the performance of his younger players, some of whom were playing at home for the first time: “I was really pleased with the performance of the younger players,” he added. “I thought Brad Janes on the wing had a very good game. Luke Hattam in the second row was on and off with the rotations but kept his intensity, and then the experience of players like Tom Cowan-Dickie and Pale Nonu gives you go forward, with players coming back selection for next weekend will be a headache but one I am happy to have.”

Another tough afternoon for the Cornish All Blacks as they lost 49-10 at Canterbury with recent signing from Saltash Ollie Mulberry getting their only try, converted by Rhys Brownfield. Fraser Honey kicked an early penalty for the visitors. With Taunton due to visit Polson this Saturday, it doesn’t get any easier.

In the Championship, the Cornish Pirates suffered another two-point defeat in Jersey, despite scoring a couple of converted tries from Alex Cheesman, with Kieran Hallett adding a conversion and penalty.

Of greater concern will be the loss of skipper Chris Morgan, who has dislocated his shoulder is likely to be absent for a while.

Cornish Pirates’ Director of Rugby, Ian Davies, felt the game could have gone either way: “The teams have contrasting styles and it could have gone either way. Bonus points are important, and one is better than none, but we could easily have come away with four points from the game.”

He added: “Providing quicker ball is an area that we will need to look at, as is to stop giving away silly penalties.”

In Tribute South West 1 West, Camborne bounced back from their opening day defeat to Weston with a 45-19 win over their nearest opponents this season Bideford.

The back-row were in sparkling form with Sam Matavesi (3), Dave Roberts (2), Jamie Goldsworthy and replacement Cameron Bone all scoring tries.

New signing fly-half Ben Stean kicked five conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West, a first win for Saltash as they won 20-16 at Cullompton. Todd Croft and Will Morton scored tries whilst Max Veneables added both conversions and a couple of penalties.

Wadebridge Camels made up for their disappointing loss on the first day defeating Torquay Athletic at the Molesworth Field 22-16. Danny Thomas, Matt Tarby and player-coach Mike Rawlings scored their tries with James Grubb kicking the rest of the points.

Penryn recorded their first win with a 26-20 win at the Memorial Ground against Crediton. Will Black (2) and Ben Trevaskis scored tries, with Jack Willey kicking a conversion and penalty and James Salisbury kicking a couple of penalties.

St. Austell came a cropper at Kingsbridge going down 34-0.

Truro travelled to Devonport Services but lost 38-21. Scott Martin scored a couple of tries with Toby Armstrong kicking the other points.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, St. Ives made it two wins with a comprehensive 38-3 win over Paignton. Tries for Hakes were scored by Jamie Prisk, Peter Mabbott, Sam Bristow, Nathan Allan (2) and Neil Corin. Lewis Thomas added four conversions. Despite winning their first two games St. Ives have been docked five league points for failing to fulfil a fixture at the end of last season.

Bude backed up their good draw away last week with a 40-14 win against Honiton, Kyle Speare (2), Joe Wilson, Paul Cholwill, Freddie Saxton and Andy Yates all crossed for the Seasiders with Dan Pearce kicking five conversions.

Falmouth made it two wins on the trot with a 13-10 win at Newquay Hornets.

Hayle were well-beaten 47-3 at Plymouth Argaum, with just a Damien Lynes penalty for the Lions.

Bodmin lost for the second time as Plymstock won 25-8 at Clifden Park.

A good win for Pirates Amateurs as they defeated Tavistock 42-14.

Well, the Rugby World Cup is almost upon us, so good luck to both Jack Nowell (England) and Josh Matavesi (Fiji) as the tournament gets under way.

Best wishes to former Cornwall player Roger Spurrell, who is in Derriford Hospital at the moment; we wish him well for a speedy recovery.

N.B. Apologies that some of the details from games are bit sketchy, but it looks like some clubs failed to file reports for the local Indy for Sunday. No report… can’t really give you much of a mention!

Posted in Bill's Blog

Winning starts for Cornish Pirates & the Reds

Photo – Ian Davies pleased with Pirates winning start. Photo Simon Bryant Iktis photo

Just the start the Pirates wanted an 18-14 win, following the decision in July that will enable their new home in Truro to be built.

There is no question that there is a spring in the step down at the Mennaye, both on and off the park.

The visit of Nottingham brings back to Cornwall a dear friend of Cornish rugby, former Pirate Martin Haag. Those of an older generation will remember his exploits for Cornwall, St. Ives and Bath.

Former Penryn player Toby Freeman also played for Nottingham and his return to Cornwall enabled to meet up with his old playing companion from Ordiza, Spain, recently retired player Tom Parker, who played for and captained the Spanish National team. Yes, he is related to Pirates back row player Jake Parker.

A glorious afternoon (typical as the schools go back) greeted the players for this opening IPA Greene-King Championship game.

The first half was a cagey affair with just a Kieran Hallett penalty separating the sides.

The second half was better, an early try by Nottingham centre Pila Iongi, converted by Lawrence Rayner, who had inexplicably fluffed a first half penalty attempt from in front of the sticks, put the visitors ahead.

Nottingham then had loose-head prop Kieran Davies yellow carded and whilst he was off the Pirates bagged a couple of scores.

The first a well-worked unconverted try from a driving maul from hooker Rob Elloway.

Elloway made way shortly after for Tom Channon, who went off on strong run up to the twenty-two. The ball ended up with centre Tom Hendrickson who showed great balance as he sped in for a cracking score at the posts.

Hallett then added a second penalty to put the Pirates 18-7 up, but a late try from centre Viliami Hakalo again converted by Rayner gave the visitors a losing bonus point to take home.

Following the game Director of rugby Ian Davies expressed his satisfaction with the win and praised his side’s commitment, whilst acknowledging there was still plenty of work to do prior to their trip to Jersey.

In National League 2 South, it proved to be an afternoon of contrasting fortunes for our Cornish sides.

Redruth got off to a flying start with a 37-16 win at Redingensians. The Reds ran in six tries through prop Tom Cowan-Dickie (2), flanker Ben Priddey, centre Neilson Webber, winger Alex Ducker and No. 8 Kyle Marriott. Ashley Hosking and Murray Westren each kicked a conversion with Hosking also adding a penalty.

Not such a good day for Launceston at Polson Bridge as they went down to defeat 3-47 against Old Albanian, recent signing Fraser Honey kicking their solitary points.

In Tribute South West 1 West, a much changed Camborne side put up a good fight against the league favourites Weston-super-Mare before going down 21-23 at home.

Sam Matavesi, Ben Jordan and Andrius Zacharovas scored tries for the Cherry and Whites with scrum-half Taron Peacock adding all three conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West, St. Austell made a fine start in their bid to bounce back up at the first attempt beating Tiverton 29-15 at Tregorrick.

Saints scored four tries through Ian Venner, Sam Rhodes (2) and Ben Chenoweth, Andy Ashwin kicked the rest of the points.

A depleted Penryn side went down to a Gareth Evans inspired Okehampton 29-19. Kirk Oldfield, Ben Trevaskis and Dan Booth scored tries for the Borough with James Salisbury adding a couple of conversions.

Newly promoted Saltash went down at Moorlands 14-20 to Kingsbridge. Flanker Lewis Wells scored a try for the Ashes with Max Veneables kicking three penalties.

Wadebridge Camels lost a tight affair at Devonport Services 29-25, tries were scored by Rich Trevarthen (2) and Rhys Bright along with penalty-try converted by Matt Grubb who also landed a penalty.

Truro defeated Cullompton 20-18 at St. Clements Hill. Tries for Truro were scored by Darren Symons and Ben Teasdale with Toby Armstrong kicking both conversions and a couple of penalties.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, there was a fine start for St. Ives as they won 36-21 at Plymstock. The Hakes scored five tries through Lewis Thomas, Neil Corin, Paul Thirlby, Nathan Allen and Martin Lawrence with Grant Thirlby kicking four conversions and a penalty.

Falmouth got off to a winning start defeating Tavistock 22-5 at the Rec. Tom Edmonds, Tom Spiller and Rafael Baragwanath scored tries for the Eagles with Justyn Irons kicking the other points.

Hayle won the Cornish derby defeating newly-promoted Newquay Hornets 25-19 after a ding-dong battle, Alex Thornton, Tony Matthews and Damien Lynes scored tries for the Lions with Lynes also kicking tow conversions and a couple of penalties.

For the Hornets, Dick Burns, Taylor Stevens and Cornwall Under 20 player Sam Furse scored tries with Burns kicking a couple of conversions.

Bude earned a fine draw at Paignton 24 all. Kingdom, Comber and Ball scored their tries with Pearce adding all three penalties and a conversion.

Pirates Amateurs went down to defeat at Withycombe 29-15. Steve Evans and Tom Excell scored tries with Jack Lonsdale kicking a penalty and conversion.

Bodmin went down to a narrow defeat at Exeter Saracens 31-29 but at least picked up a couple of bonus points. Cody Armstrong (2), James Taylor and Lee Taylor scored tries for Bodmin with James Taylor kicking the other points.

Sad news this past week with the death Cornwall RFU President John Grindle. I am sure everyone will wish to convey their condolences to John’s wife Joyce, family and friends.

The funeral will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, 12 noon at St. Columb Major Parish Church.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Get your scores in to Peter Richmond

Peter Richmond, BBC Radio Cornwall

The league season is fast approaching and, as I am sure you will all agree, each of our Cornish clubs could do with as much publicity as it can get.

Peter Richmond from BBC Radio Cornwall needs no introduction. Peter tells me that rugby is far behind soccer & cricket in getting half-time & full-time scores to him, so he can relay them on to listeners.

Please could all clubs contact Peter by Twitter, Facebook or text with their scores so we can match the ’round ball sports’ with news & info.

Not everybody does Facebook or Twitter & such people rely on scores over the radio & press.

Let’s make sure we give the duchy the rugby coverage it deserves, and outdo the round ball guys!

Peter’s Twitter feed is @P9Richmond, or text 07967 801013.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Major honour for LCRFC’s Dickon Moon

Report & photo Ben Gilby

London Cornish RFC’s Director of Rugby Dickon Moon has been named as the recipient of the prestigious Paul Smales Medallion, which is awarded annually to a Cornish man or woman, currently not living in Cornwall, who has made an outstanding contribution to the enhancement of the people and heritage of Cornwall.

Moon, who has also served on the Cornwall County Rugby side’s coaching staff in recent seasons has been the club’s Director of Rugby since 2003, and the citation on the award, given by the Gorsedh Kernow, notes his “outstanding service to Cornish rugby”.

Commenting on the announcement of his award, Dickon Moon said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award, which I will accept in person on behalf of everyone associated with London Cornish RFC at the Gorsedh event in St Austell on September 5th. It is a timely boost for the club with the new season nearly upon us, and I continue to be immensely proud in my role with London Cornish RFC, our association with Cornwall RFU, and our strong links across Cornish rugby.”

The news of the award has been received with huge pride by those connected to London Cornish. Adrian Williams, who jointly founded the club back in 1962 spoke on behalf of everyone at the club when he said: “To have maintained the true traditions of Cornish Rugby in London for all these years is testimony to Dickon’s efforts and commitment.  As a fellow Redruth-born Cornishman, I am delighted for him and trust the boys will be able to secure promotion this year as a ‘thank-you’ for all that he has done over the years.”

NB: The medallion is named after Paul Smales who founded the Cornish Music Guild and the Cornish Literary Guild. He was chairman of the Cornish Barristers Association and forged links with the Cornish diaspora particularly the USA.

Posted in Bill's Blog

A flowing display at Footes Lane

Guernsey 12   Cornish Pirates 71

By Phil Westren

For a second year running the Cornish Pirates faced Guernsey in a pre-season friendly match played at the Footes Lane Stadium in St. Peter Port.

The visiting Pirates won 62-8 last August and as expected they also won convincingly this time around, 71-12. However, the islanders also deserved due credit, not only for scoring two second half tries but also for being competitive throughout.

Guernsey tested the Cornish Pirates early on, but following two unconverted tries notched by wing Craig Holland and flanker Joe Atkinson the visitors went 10 points up.

By half-time the score was extended to read 0-24 thanks first to a try scored by centre Toby May and then the award of a penalty try. Fly-half Will Cargill slotted both conversions.

On a fine and balmy evening at Footes Lane the crowd had very much enjoyed the rugby on offer, enticed also with the smell of burgers cooking on the barbecue, and in a contest that the Pirates were always going to win with more than a bit to spare, they were quick to add to their tally in the second half when replacement centre Tom Hendrickson crossed for a converted score.

Photo – Simon Bryant: Pirates’ scrum-half Alex Day

A converted try for replacement prop Jack Andrew and a try for No. 8 Matt Bolwell made it 0-43, and a second try for Holland, converted this time by replacement Kieran Hallett, brought up the 50 mark.

There was, however, considerable credit to the home side, who play their competitive rugby in National League 3 London & SE, and for whom ‘Pirate’ scrum doctor Alan Paver guested on the night, as they admirably responded to display a purple patch in a contest that certainly provided a flowing display of rugby.

An interception led to a converted try for Guernsey scored by speedy replacement Anthony Armstrong, and although replacements Kyle Moyle and Adam Jamieson hit back with converted scores for the Cornish side, to the delight of the home support fly-half Glen Walters dotted the ball down to register Guernsey’s second five-pointer.

To complete the night’s scoring, Hallett had the last say with a try to which he also added the extras.

With support kindly given the Cornish Pirates by the Guernsey Sports Commission, after the best part of a week spent training on the island, and also cementing excellent community relations once more, this match had again proved a worthy occasion, for both teams.

Guernsey RFC head coach Jordan Reynolds has welcomed the Cornish Pirates visiting the island, as besides pluses acquired from game time he and his side had also during the week learnt much from training sessions taken by Pirates’ Director of Rugby Ian Davies, Ian’s coaching colleagues Gavin Cattle and Alan Paver, and squad members in general.

At the end of the game Ian felt that Guernsey had stepped up a mark from last year and he wished them a successful season. Commenting with reference to his own team’s performance, he said:

“Our aim was to bring energy to the game and to play at a high tempo, which we did.

“There are still areas to work on, as is always the case, and especially so in pre-season, which is what such games are about.”

Guernsey:   15 Matt Armstrong, 14 Ben Challinor, 13 Ned Brown, 12 Blair Campbell (capt), 11 Dave Davison, 10 Glen Walters, 9 Malcolm Barnes; 1. Alan Paver, 2 Tom Ceillam, 3 Layton Batiste, 4 Lewis Hillier, 5 Dale Martin, 6 Dom Rice, 7 Robin Le Cocq, 8 Matt Thomas.

Replacements (all used):   Alex Mills, Gus Brayah, Bradley Choules, Chris Ahne, Adam Nixon, Jim Elliot, Anthony Armstrong.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Bertie Hopkin, 14 Kyle Moyle, 13 Toby May, 12 Alex Dancer, 11 Craig Holland, 11 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Tom Channon, 3 Francisco Deformes, 4 Marcus Garratt, 5 Will Graulich, 6 Joe Atkinson, 7 Alex Cheesman (capt), 8 Matt Bolwell.

Replacements (all used):   Rob Elloway, Jack Andrew, Adam Jamieson, Chris Morgan, Laurie McGlone, Jack Oulton, Mike Pope, Kieran Hallett, Rheon James, Tom Hendrickson.


Guernsey – tries: Armstrong, Walters; con: Walters.

Cornish Pirates – tries: Holland (2), Atkinson, May, penalty try, Hendrickson, Andrew, Bolwell, Moyle, Jamieson, Hallett; cons: Cargill (4), Hallett (4).

Referee:   Craig Maxwell-Keys (RFU)


Cornish Pirates v Camborne Tuesday 25 August

Continuing the build up to their important home game opener in the Greene King IPA Championship – against Nottingham on Sunday 6 September (ko 3pm) – the Cornish Pirates will play the ‘Cherry & Whites’ of Camborne at the Mennaye Field on Tuesday evening, 25 August, kick-off 7:45pm.

The gates at the Mennaye Field will be open at 6.30pm on the night, and admission – sit or stand where you like – is just £5 for adults and £1 for children aged 5-16 (for under 5s it is free). For Cornish Pirates’ 2015-16 season ticket holders entry is free.

Posted in Bill's Blog

“Mad George” to stage charity fund raiser

Charity Fundraising Match

One of Cornish grass roots rugby’s most enduring and popular characters is staging a Charity match at Camborne Rugby Club’s Recreation Ground on Sunday 30th August.

George Simmons began playing in Mining Division rugby in 1968 for the now defunct Ormdale, going on to represent Redruth Albany, Illogan Park and Veor. Remarkably, ‘Mad George’, as he is affectionately known, is still turning out nearly 50 years later for amongst others Camborne Veterans, Bolingey Barbarians and the Rucking Feasters at St Just.

Following a recent battle with cancer himself, George is seeking to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK and the Sunrise Centre at Treliske, where he has been treated. The game, which kicks off at 2:30 pm, will see a combined Camborne/Veor XV lock horns with George’s Invitation XV, who will take to the field wearing striking pink jerseys generously sponsored by Mill Autoquip, supplied and specially designed by Kitworld.

A good sized crowd is expected, with a variety of children’s entertainment and refreshments available. Admission is £3 per adult with children free to come along to support this worthwhile event.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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