CAMBORNE MUST AIM FOR AUTOMATIC PROMOTION

As you will have seen from my previous entry I took in Camborne’s home Tribute South West 1 West league match against Cullompton last Saturday.

Always a pleasure to visit Crane Park and catch up with the Cherry and Whites and following on from their disappointment in the play-offs last season to re-enter the National Leagues, Camborne hope to go one better this time around.

Play-offs are always a lottery and the best way to avoid them is to finish in the automatic promotion place (s) and that really must be their aim this season.

Despite some below par performances in their opening three league games, especially the loss at Bridgwater, Camborne showed against Cullompton that they will again be there or there about’s come the end of the season.

Five tries in a 34-13 success against a side that had shipped just sixteen points in their opening three league fixtures was a very pleasing outcome for the Cherry and Whites’ coaching staff and set them up nicely for a stiff test on the road when they travel to un-beaten Cleve this Saturday.

And there is strength in depth at the club as on Saturday the Second XV took on Lanner with seven of last season’s Cornwall Cup winning side lining up to face the re-formed village side. For the record Lanner won 24-17 in what proved to be an entertaining match on the Crane Park pitch.

Sticking with South West 1 West, St. Austell enjoyed their trip to South Devon winning 54-0 at Sidmouth. Paul Winterbottom (2), Ian Venner (2), Ben Chenoweth (2), Matt Shepherd and Dan Pearce all scored tries for the Saints with Shepherd converting all but one!

Wadebridge Camels were not to be outdone as they enjoyed a big win at home defeating Clevedon 50-15. Skipper Gary Gynn opened up the Camels try count as the visitors led 10-0 early doors. That set the scene for a Camels try-fest as Matt Ballard, Ryan Johns (2), Jack Oulton (2), Jake Grubb and James Grubb all crossing the whitewash. Johns kicked five conversions to end the match with a 20 point haul.

In the Greene King IPA Championship on Saturday, the Cornish Pirates travelled to last season’s National League 1 Champions Ealing Trailfinders and came away from West London with a 31-17 win.

Left wing Kieran Goss scored a couple of tries with prop Jack Andrew, hooker Aaron Carpenter and scrum-half Tom Kessell all scored tries for the Pirates for a bonus point win. Kieran Hallett helped himself to three conversions.

In National League 2 South, mixed fortunes for both Cornish sides. The Cornish All Blacks had Jake Murphy to thank for a last gasp 21-18 win over Hartpury College. Murphy had a field day with the boot kicking six penalties to add to an earlier success from Kieron Lewitt before the full-back was stretched off from the field with a neck injury (we all wish Kieron well for a swift recovery).

Sadly for Redruth early promise failed to turn into points as they lost 27-15 at Chinnor trailing just before half-time 20-3 with a Murray Westren penalty all to show for, the Reds rallied to score a good try just on the break through Luke Jones with Westren adding the extras.

Redruth nudged closer with an un-converted try scored by prop Darren Jacques but that was as good as it would get for the Reds as Chinnor ran in an interception try to kill the game.

Worrying for the Reds were injuries to Max Bodilly, and Matt O’Leary, hopefully they will both be fit for the visit of Taunton Titans this Saturday.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Penryn lost for the first time this season as an injury-time penalty gave Torquay Athletic a 26-24 win. Colin Campbell and Andrew Seviour scored tries for the Borough with Jake Seviour kicking fourteen points.

Truro enjoyed a big win at St. Clements 48-0 against Paignton. Tom Hatfield, Ashley Lawton (2), Luke Trescothick, Adam Gayton, Matt Cross, Karl Ranscombe and James Murdoch all scored tries with Karl Martin kicking the other points.

Bude lost at home to Wellington 15-5 with No.8 James Comber getting their only points with a try.

St. Ives lost at Teignmouth 45-3. Jamie Prisk with their sole points from a penalty.

Up in London 2 SW, London Cornish lost 25-13 at Tottonians. Matt Hakes scored the exiles try with Matt Spells kicking the conversion and a couple of penalties.

The Tribute Cornwall & Devon League saw only one Cornish win as Hayle won 21-15 at Falmouth in the local derby of the day. The Lions had Martin Strick’s boot to thank for the win. Both sides scored three tries but Falmouth failed to land any conversions.

Talan Daniels, Tony Williams and a penalty-try award made up the Lions three tries, whilst for the Eagles Tony Whittle, Tom Edmonds and Olli Church all crossed.

Pirates Amateurs are still waiting for their first win of the season as they lost for the fourth game this time 18-0 to Exeter Saracens.

Saltash, still in shock from their heavy loss at Exeter Uni the previous week, lost again on the road this time at Withycombe 22-10. Ryan Cruickshank scored all their points with a try conversion and a penalty.

Veor lost at Crediton 30-5. Winger Gareth Mankee getting an un-converted try for the visitors.

It was the first round of league matches in both Tribute Cornwall Leagues 1 & 2.

In Cornwall 1 there were wins for Liskeard & Looe at Perranporth 58-7, Camborne School of Mines defeated St. Agnes at Penryn 22-11, Bodmin won at Helston 17-5 and finally Roseland beat Stithians 17-12.

In Cornwall 2, Illogan Park won at home to Camelford 51-14 and St. Just pipped Lankelly-Fowey 15-14. The game between Redruth Albany and St. Day resulted in a home walk/over for Albany as St. Day had front row problems. Hopefully St. Day will soon have sufficient players back to compete again.

Posted in Bill's Blog


ROBERTS INSPIRES CHERRY & WHITES TO FIVE TRY WIN

TRIBUTE SOUTH WEST 1 WEST

CAMBORNE 34 – 13 CULLOMPTON

Camborne made it back-to-back home wins witha five try win against a Cullompton side that until today had conceded just sixteen points during their opening three league games, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.

Playing against a stiff wind during the first half the Cherry and Whites pack were in rampant form. There was an inspirational performance from skipper, No.8 Dave Roberts, who carried a tremendous amount of ball, whilst the front row of Nigel Endean, Sam Bartle and Will Webster were always in the thick of the action, along with lock James Goldsworthy who caught the eye in the lineout and in the loose.

Camborne took the lead on 10 minutes when a penalty was kicked to the corner, from the catch-and-drive by Goldsworthy the ball was moved wide with centre Steve Kenward crashing over in a pile of bodies.

In the tricky wind fly-half Dave Mankee kicked an excellent conversion.

From the re-start Camborne were caught offside presenting Cullompton with a chance to claw back three points, which centre and skipper Adam Pearce gratefully accepted.

Camborne continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges and it was no surprise that they doubled their advantage just after the half-hour mark when another good drive from the forwards was finished off with a second try scored by lock Shaun Buzza, Mankee was again on the money with the extras.

Cullompton enjoyed their best period just prior to half-time. Pearce was unlucky when a penalty attempt cannoned off an upright, but he was on cue with the conversion to wing Paul Baker’s try to make the half-time score 14-10 to Town.
Camborne came out fired up for the second half and before long they had scored a third try as full back Joe Parma took scrum-half Dean Pascoe’s pass to dot down.

Tempers became a little frayed resulting in Cullompton’s flanker Sean Mardell sin-binned for some foul play.

Mankee stretched Camborne’s advantage with the resulting penalty from in front of the sticks.

Flying winger Rob Floyd made the most of a blindside break to score Camborne’s bonus point try in the scoreboard corner.

Cullompton reduced the deficit with a penalty kicked by Pearce and no doubt harboured hopes of snatching a losing bonus point, but those hopes were dashed as Floyd was put in with a delightful pass from replacement Joel Matavesi to score his second try of the game and Camborne’s fifth.

Centre Grant Thirlby who had assumed kicking duties from the departed Mankee, kicked an excellent touchline conversion to complete the scoring for a 34-13 score-line.

Camborne 34 pts
Tries – Kenward, Buzza, Parma, Floyd (2), Conversions – Mankee (2), Thirlby, Penalty – Mankee

Cullompton 13 pts
Try – Baker, Conversion – Pearce, Penalties – Pearce (2)
Yellow Card – Mardell (56)

Camborne: J Parma, R Floyd, S Kenward, G Thirlby, A Hunt, D Mankee, D Pascoe;
N Endean, S Bartle, W Webster, S Buzza, J Goldsworthy, G Hall, R Spargo, D Roberts (capt).

Replacements (all used); L Hocking, M Woolcock J Matavesi

Cullompton: M Richards, P Baker, A Pearce (capt), T Harold, M Busch, A Brooks, J Shere; J Woof, D Driscoll, C Grant, O Reed, O Kittow, J Turner, S Mardell, A Ford

Replacements: A Isaac, S Vercoe, A Longden

Referee: Darren Curry (Cornwall RRS)

Crowd: 453

Posted in Bill's Blog


FRIDAY NIGHT PIRATES AND REDS WIN

REDRUTH got their season up and running on Saturday with a deserved 38-7 win over Southend who had won their opening two matches.

It’s been a tough few weeks for head coach Ashley Morcom as his side struggled to find form and for the renowned Reds pack to get to grips with the scrum laws.

Also in the run up to the Southend game the fact that two key back row players, Ashley Lawton and Owen Hambly left the club. Lawton has moved on to play for Truro, whilst Hambly has decided to call it a day.

On the plus side No.8 Matt O’Leary has come up from Pirates Amateurs and two players have joined on loan from the Cornish Pirates, both backs, Matt Bodilly and Luke Jones.

All three were in the match day squad to face Southend.

You can read my match report in today’s Western Morning News
in the link.

After the euphoria of their derby win against the Reds last Saturday the Cornish All Blacks came back to earth with a nasty bump away to Canterbury losing 33-25.

The All Blacks were always playing catch-up rugby as they shipped two early tries.

Centre Lewis Paterson (2) and scrum-half Richard Friend scored tries for the visitors with Jake Murphy kicking two conversions as well as a penalty and a drop-goal.

On the plus side, the game saw the return to action of Neilson Webber – following his injury back in June with England Counties in Belgium, also back row Barrie Chapman following his ban which saw him miss the County Final for Cornwall.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Camborne are yet to hit top form as evidenced by their loss last week at Bridgwater; however they had just enough to see off the challenge of Bideford at the Recreation Ground 16-7 to record their second win of the season.

The Cherry & Whites’ only try was scored by full-back Joe Parma, with fly-half Dave Mankee kicking the other points.

St. Austell also have two wins as they defeated Chard 29-10 at Tregorrick Park. Saints ran in five tries for the bonus point win with Matt Shepherd, Ashley Taylor, Curtis Newberry, Ian Venner and Dan Pearce all crossing. Man-of-the-match Shepherd also kicked a couple of conversions.
Wadebridge Camels slipped to defeat at Cleve 37-25. James Grubb scored a try and kicked two penalties and a couple of conversions in a 15 point haul, whilst Jake Grubb and Will Pengelley also crossed for the visitors.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Penryn made it three win on the trot with a 19-13 win over last season’s Cornwall & Devon League Champions Teignmouth. Borough left it late again with Alex Ducker scoring a late try to win the game. Jake Seviour kicked four penalties and the conversion.

Elsewhere it wasn’t such good news for Cornish clubs, St. Ives lost at Alexandra Road 23-21 to Tavistock for a third straight loss. They had a late conversion to tie the scores but sadly for the Hakes the kick was missed. Ben Taylor scored a try and the referee awarded St. Ives a penalty-try, Jacob Ninnis kicked three penalties and a conversion.

Truro lost heavily at Okehampton 39-3. Karl Martin kicked Truro’s only points with a penalty.

Bude also were on the wrong end of a 42-14 loss at Ivybridge. Freddie Saxon scored a try for the Seasiders, whilst Ollie Denford kicked the conversion and another for a penalty-try award.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish won at home against Teddington 47-22. Ben Gilby’s report in the link.

It was a blank day for Cornish clubs in the Cornwall & Devon League, not one win!

Saltash were over-run by Exeter University 103-3 with Max Veneables kicking their only points.

Newquay Hornets’ good start to the season was ended as they lost at the Sports Centre to Tiverton 26-15. Tivvy made the most of a Hornet’s player in the bin scoring three tries!

Brad Rusborough, and Scott Trainor both scored tries for the Hornets with Sam Cullen adding a penalty and conversion.

Pirates Amateurs lost 23-10 at the Mennaye to Honiton. Charlie Goldsworthy and Steve Kent scored unconverted tries for the home side.

Hayle lost at home to Crediton 20-11. Rob Cutter scored the Lions’ only try with Martin Strick landing a couple of penalties.

Finally, Falmouth went down at home to Withycombe 22-20. Tom Spiller and Tony Whittle scored tries for the Eagles with Paul Saberton kicking ten points.

In the Area Final of the RFU Junior Vase, Liskeard & Looe defeated Bodmin 28-8 and will play the winners of the Devon Final on December 21st.

On Friday evening I saw the Cornish Pirates first Friday night game in this season’s Greene King IPA Championship.

It was a cracking atmosphere as you get with an evening game under lights.

Cornish Pirates v Leeds Carnegie 200913

Picture – PIRATES’ HEAD COACH IAN DAVIES DOES A POST MATCH INTERVIEW WITH KERNOW KING – PHOTO – SIMON BRYANT IKTISPHOTO

Despite a good start the Cornish Pirates eventually went down 27-20 to Leeds Carnegie with a late second try and conversion salvaging a losing bonus point for the Cornish side.

An early Kieran Hallett penalty was added to with a try from skipper Gavin Cattle which Hallett converted for 10-0.

Some poor first up tackling proved costly for the Pirates as Leeds No.8 Ryan Burrows made a storming run into the Pirates’ 22. The ball was moved wide as the Pirates’ scrambled back to cover before a cross-field kick put centre Fred Burdon in.

More slack tackling helped Leeds to a second try scored by winger Jonah Holmes which fly-half Glyn Hughes converted to put the Yorkshire side 12-10 up.

Hallet and Hughes then swapped penalties to leave Leeds 15-13 up at the break.

With lock Gary Johnson sin-binned early in the second half for the Pirates, Leeds took full advantage with scrum-half Craig Hampson scoring their third try which Hughes converted.

It was then left to Pirates’ Old Boy Dave Doherty to show his renowned pace and seal Leeds the try-scoring bonus point.

It was certainly a match of attrition for the Cornish Pirates as skipper Cattle, prop Max Maidment, flanker Alex Cheesman and hooker Rob Elloway all departed the fray with injuries, Cattle’s neck injury being the most concerning as he was taken off in an ambulance post match.

Cornish Pirates v Leeds Carnegie 200913

Picture – Replacement scrum-half Tom Kessell on the break – PHOTO BY SIMON BRYANT IKTISPHOTO

To their credit they rallied and scored a late try through full-back Craig Holland, to which replacement Andrew Sinclair added the conversion for the losing bonus point.

Next weekend Tribute Cornwall 1 & 2 clubs begin their league campaigns.

Posted in Bill's Blog


PIRATES DOWN BRISTOL’S COLOURS

Settled down to watch the Greene King IPA Championship Double Header from Sandy Park on Sunday.

What a cracking couple of game. First a great contest between Jersey and Plymouth Albion with the Devon boys pulling away in the end to win 41-27.
Good to see former Pirates Grant Pointer, Ben Maidment, Drew Locke and Aaron Penberthy all in the Jersey side, whilst for Albion Sam Matavesi came on during the second half, also former Cornish All Black and Mount’s Bay star Pale Nonu started in the centre for Albion.

Then to the main event from a Cornish perspective with Sky’s Miles Harrison and Bristol Old Boy Stuart Barnes delivering the commentary.
Everyone expected a comfortable win for Bristol, but it didn’t turn out that way. Not at all!

Instead the Cornish Pirates upset the applecart to grind out a 23-21 win, despite Bristol scoring a try at the death and having a conversion to tie the scores, but sadly for them Adrian Jarvis’ conversion flew to the left of the Sandy Park uprights in the swirling wind.

The Pirates fought like tigers, Alan Paver, Laurie McGlone, Rob Elloway and Gavin Cattle led by example, whilst newcomers like Rheon James, Joel Conlon and James Sandford all stood out. Darn it they all stood out!

Bristol certainly had the possession and good territory, but the Pirates tackled their hearts out.

Lock Sandford scored the Pirates’ first try from a tremendous drive by the forwards to put his side 5-3. Kieran Hallett kicked the conversion and then a penalty for 10-3.

Both Hallett and Jarvis then kicked a couple of penalties to leave the Cornish side 16-9 up at the break, which was good as they were down to fourteen men with hooker Elloway in the bin.

Bristol struck early in the second half as flanker James Merriman scored a try and Jarvis tied the scores with the conversion.
The breakthrough for the Cornish Pirates came with their second try scored by winger James Tincknell, who had only put pen to paper for the Pirates this week. It was a great moment for the young man who has battled his way back from the injuries suffered in a dreadful road accident last year that almost cost him his life. The try was a beauty, straight off the training paddock.

Hallett kicked the conversion and the Pirates led 23-16.

Bristol threw the proverbial kitchen sink at the Pirates eventually crossing out wide through centre Luke Eves, but Jarvis couldn’t tie the scores to leave Bristol Director of Rugby, Andy Robinson looking less than pleased!

So, this Friday it’s all roads to the Mennaye as the Pirates welcome Leeds Carnegie for the first Championship match under lights with a 7-45 pm kick-off.

Posted in Bill's Blog


FIRST BLOOD TO THE ALL BLACKS

So the first of this season’s Cornish Derbies in National League 2 South decisively went the way of the Cornish All Blacks 31-10 over their old rivals Redruth at Polson Bridge.

That result will certainly go part way to expunge the hurt the East Cornwall side endured last season when the Reds did the double over them.
When the fixtures were released I have no doubt that the Launceston side had Saturday 14th September well-ringed on the club calendar with the order in bold black underlined “Pay Back”.

With the return of players to the club such as scrum-half Lewis Webb, lock Bryn Jenkins and centre Ryan Westren, Launceston were always going to be a tougher proposition this time round.

The game couldn’t have started any better for Launceston with a try in the opening minute scored by full back Kieron Lewitt.
Redruth came back into it and according to reports appeared to dominate in the scrums. They created opportunities with lock Luke Collins felled just short of the line.

They did eventually tie the scores as winger Dean Bonds scored a well-worked try.

Another area of concern will be the goal-kicking as Brett Rule missed with the conversion and a penalty chance before the break.

However, it was either side of half-time that the match was effectively won. Launceston scored their second try through prop Tim Mathias and then winger Liam Yeo scored almost as quick as Lewitt in the first period, the full-back adding both conversions for a 19-5 lead.

Cheered on by the home support the Cornish All Blacks wrapped up the try-scoring bonus point with a fourth try scored by centre Lewis Paterson with Lewitt kicking his third conversion.

Redruth, through skipper Chris Fuca, making his 200th appearance for the Reds, scored a consolation try, sadly it was too little and far too late.
Lewitt then wrapped up the win as he scored Launceston’s fifth try to send the Polson faithful home in good heart.

In Tribute South West 1 West, St. Austell bounced back from their loss at North Petherton last week with a fine win in North Devon at Bideford 38-12. Paul Winerbottom, Ashley Taylor, Curtis Newberry, Sam Tank, Hugh Noot and Matt Shepherd all crossed for the Saints with shepherd kicking four conversions.

Wadebridge Camels put their loss at Camborne the previous week behind them as they won at home against Cullompton 10-6. Cameron Lees scored the Camel’s try with Ryan Johns adding the conversion and a penalty.

Camborne travelled to Bridgwater & Albion and came away with a 14-0 defeat.

In Tribute Western Counties West a last-gasp penalty from Rob Banks gave Penryn a 29-27 win at Tavistock. The game was nip and tuck for 80 minutes. Once again Borough’s Alex Ducker scored a hat-trick of tries with George Jones opening the try count for the visitors.

Jake Seviour added three conversions before Banks match winning strike at the death to make it two wins out of two for the Borough.
Truro won a tight match at St. Clements against Wellington 16-15. Carl Ranscombe scored Truro’s try with Karl Martin adding the conversion and three penalties.

Bude slipped to a second defeat at home as Devonport Services won 10-5. Freddie Saxton scored an un-converted try for the Seasiders.
St. Ives also slipped up for the second week running as they lost again on the road this time at Burnham-on-Sea 37-12. Josh Semmens and Treve Polglase scored tries for the Hakes with Jacob Ninnis kicking a conversion.

Up in London 2 SW, London Cornish got their league campaign under way with a trip to Guildford. Sadly for our exile club they couldn’t get an opening day win as they lost 22-10, however reports say the team performed well against one of the favourites for promotion to London 1 South.
In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth Eagles played their opening fixture and won at Crediton 12-8 with tries from hooker Ollie Church and fly-half Edmunds who converted his own try.

Newquay Hornets got a second win with an 18-15 victory at Exeter Saracens. Full-back Ben Bradley scored a couple of tries with Liam Freeman kicking eight points.

The other “Cornish Derby” saw Saltash defeat Pirates Amateurs at Moorlands 23-16.

Hillman and Horton scored the Ashes’ tries with Max Venables kicking the rest of the points.

Veor again found the going tough as they slipped to second defeat this time 73-0 at Tiverton.

In the RFU Junior Vase Area Semi-Finals, Liskeard Looe defeated Stithians 28-5 to set up an Area Final next Saturday against Bodmin who beat Helston 52-14.

Look in again tomorrow as I look at the Cornish Pirates opening Greene King IPA Championship match which they are playing against Bristol this
afternoon at Sandy Park, Exeter.

Posted in Bill's Blog


REDS SALVAGE A BONUS POINT

Not the best start for either of our National League 2 South sides last Saturday.

Redruth’s 35-27 defeat at the Recreation Ground to demoted Cambridge was a very frustrating affair.

The Reds certainly didn’t endear themselves to referee Phil Watters who appeared to constantly penalize the home side at scrum time.

It looks like the new scrum interpretations are going to be a lottery in the lower leagues. Oh what joy!!

The frustrations boiled over with the yellow card to flanker “Kizzie” Smith in the first half for a dangerous tackle and then in the second a red card to scrum-half Greg Goodfellow for dangerous play.

Redruth kicked a lot of ball away and in truth their chase wasn’t too organised allowing players of the like of Cambridge full back Jim Wigglesworth to run back at them. Some of their tackling also left a lot to be desired!

To their credit Redruth fought their way back to come away with a try-scoring bonus point of their own, which was of some comfort to the home fans.

It could have been two points if Brett Rule’s final conversion attempt (or one of the two other kicks he missed) had gone over. C’est la vie!

Numbers for the Reds have been a problem during pre-season and I feel that manifested itself in Saturday’s performance. No doubt Director of Rugby Adrian Edwards and Head Coach Ashley Morcom will be looking for numbers this week as they build for the first local derby of the season at Launceston next Saturday.

Neither was it a good start for the Cornish All Blacks who lost 21-9 at Shelford.

They will be focused for the visit of the Reds who completed a league double over the Polson boys last season.

They will not lack for motivation to put that right next Saturday. It promises to be a full-on Cornish Derby.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Camborne got off to a fine start with a 29-23 win over Wadebridge Camels. Cameron Bone, Grant Thirlby, Leigh Hocking and a penalty-try award ensured the try-scoring bonus point as well. Dave Mankee kicking the rest of the points.

For the Camels a losing bonus point to take back to North Cornwall with tries from Will Pengelly and Sean Johns. Ryan Johns kicked the rest of the Camels’ points.

St. Austell, despite a bright start went down 31-22 at North Petherton. Mark Martin, Matt Shepherd and Paul Winterbottom scored tries for the Saints with Shepherd adding a penalty and two conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West. A good start to the league campaign from Penryn who defeated newly promoted St. Ives 36-15. There was a hat-trick of tries for winger Alex Ducker with centre Josh Chambers and scrum-half Taron Peacock also crossing the whitewash. Jake Seviour kicked three conversions and a couple of penalties.

St. Ives, who just had a Jamie Prisk penalty to show for their efforts scored a couple of late tries through Ben Taylor and Josh Semmens with Prisk kicking a conversion.

Josh Lord’s first league game in charge of Truro ended in defeat at Ivybridge 28-12. Two late tries by the home side denied Truro a losing bonus point. Carl Ranscombe and Ieuan Boon both scored tries for the City boys with Darryl Richards adding a conversion.

Bude lost their opening fixture at Bencoolen 50-12 to Burnham-on-Sea.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League; There was a good win for new boys Veor as they defeated Exeter Saracens. Arthur kicked 17 points for the home side with Shubble getting their try.

Saltash made a great start at OPM’s winning 42-15. Joe Skinnard (3), Steve Hillman (2), Max Venables and Tom Croft all scored tries for the Ashes with Venables’ boot adding the other points.

A good start for Newquay Hornets at the Sports centre as they defeated Honiton 20-16. Hopefully the Hornets will be buzzing near the top as the season progresses. A big plus is that former Brixham backs coach and recently appointed backs coach to the Cornwall County side Ian Morgan is helping out with Newquay this season.

Tiverton pipped Hayle 27-25 with a last-gasp conversion earning the win. Doug Arnull, Tallan Daniels and Lewis Laity scored tries for the Lions with Martin Strick kicking the rest of the points.

Pirates Amateurs lost at the Mennaye 38-15 to a useful looking Exeter University side that won promotion from Devon 1 last season and may well feature near the top of the table once again.

Kelvin James and Nick Hitchens scored tries for the Ams with James also adding a conversion and a penalty.

In the RFU National Junior Vase, Bodmin had a walk over as St. Agnes couldn’t raise a side. Helston beat St. Just 34-10, Liskeard & Looe beat Illogan Park 29-0 and Stithians defeated Perranporth 14-6.

The Cornish Pirates ended their pre-season with a 58-7 win over Bath University at Bath’s Recreation Ground.

Posted in Bill's Blog


FRIDAY NIGHT’S OK FOR RUGBY!

Slightly late, but more time to reflect on Friday night’s game at the Mennaye under the new lights.

I, for one, thought it was a tremendous evening with it’s own unique atmosphere, which you get at a floodlight game.

What a cracking occasion too for the Cornwall Clubs XV players ably led by skipper Nathan Chapman from Roseland RFC.

Matt Shepherd from St. Austell carried a threat whilst on the park as did Camel’s James Grubb, a late replacement for Camborne’s Dave Mankee.
It’s an occasion that all the Clubs XV players involved will cherish as a highlight during their playing careers.

Full marks too for keeping the Cornish Pirates at bay until 24 minutes.

On the Pirates’ side, Tom Kessell continues to grow in stature, the back row of Jake Parker, Matt Bolwell & Joel Conlon for this game showed the exciting potential of youth at the Pirates’ disposal this season. In the backs Aussie fly-half Angus Sinclair and winger Max Bodilly caught the eye.

It ended 69-0 but the real winner was rugby on such a special occasion.

The entertainment was good too, with Kernow King doing his stuff, sum bleddy boy!

Saturday saw me at Penryn watching their Tribute Cornwall Cup 1st round tie against Pirates Amateurs.

It proved to be a good match with both sides giving it a go. In the end Penryn’s greater fitness and pace in the backs told as they ran out 31-13 winners.

Borough ran in five tries with a brace each for winger Alex Ducker and all-action prop Dan Booth, whilst full back Josh Chambers sped in for the try of the day starting and finishing a move from his own 22.

Three of the four ties scheduled were played, which has to be an improvement on last season, with only the Hayle v St. Ives tie being a walkover for the Lions as the Hakes didn’t have enough registered players!

A friendly was played with St. Ives winning 20-3.

Elsewhere in the Cup, Saltash defeated Veor 79-14, and Truro travelled to Bude and won 19-14.

It was also the RFU Junior Vase 1st Rd. Bodmin had a walkover against St. Day, whilst Liskeard & Looe, St. Just, Stithians and Helston all progressed to Round 2 this Saturday.

Hot on the heels of the news that Cornish Pirates Acting CEO Josh Lewsey was relinquishing his role whilst remaining on the board as an advisor. The former England International, World Cup Winner and British Lion has been appointed as the new Head of Rugby for Wales.

I wish Josh well in his new role and trust that his six months trying to bang a few heads together in Cornwall (In a nice way I hasten to add!), will stand in him in good stead in the pressure cooker that is Welsh rugby.

Talking of Wales, how sad it was to learn of the passing of one of the true greats of Welsh rugby last week, Cliff Morgan.

A magician on the field as a fly-half and choirmaster of the post match singsong, he went on to enjoy a fine career in broadcasting with the BBC and ITV. Who could ever forget his memorable commentary of the Barbarians versus the All Blacks in 1973 at Cardiff Arms Park, sheer poetry. “Oh that fellow Edwards.” He so famously remarked at the try- scoring conclusion of one of the most breathtaking passages of play every witnessed on a field of play.

Posted in Bill's Blog


CHANGE OF ROLE FOR JOSH

With Josh Lewsey’s term as acting CEO almost up it was anticipated that an announcement would be made as to his future role.
So yesterday’s announcement from Chairman Dicky Evans came as no surprise.

The statement read. “It was announced back in March that British Lion and World Cup winner Josh Lewsey had been appointed as Acting CEO/Performance Director at the Cornish Pirates for a six month period.

“Everyone will be aware that since Josh’s arrival it has been a very busy and productive time for the club, and with September fast approaching there is welcome news that his commitment to the club is for the longer term, staying on as an advisor to the board. As from October Josh will be working elsewhere but has agreed to help the club continue it’s new approach and hopefully achieve the long term aim of becoming a Premiership club.

“From October Rebecca Daniell is upgrading her role from Business and Finance Controller to Acting CEO until the New Year. At that time we will have a much clearer idea of the impact on finances of the change to Friday night floodlit rugby, the new marketing initiatives and the impact of Josh’s input on the team performances. We will then regroup again to look at the 2014-2015 horizons.

“On behalf of the Board I would formally like to express our appreciation for his huge impact on our Club and rugby in the Cornwall republic generally. It has been massive and from 4000 miles away like riding a Tiger by the Tail. He has always had the financial constraints of any player recruitment in his thinking processes and is well aware of the financial constraints surrounding a club in the Far West that doesn’t have the facilities or catchment area to generate funding for bigger squads/better facilities.

“Obviously those who have met him will know he is a driven man and a modern day Pied Piper.

“Let us hope all his hard work in the last six months results in top class rugby at a packed exciting venue. Josh certainly deserves this.

“I also feel sure he will be equally successful and innovative in his new role and we wish him the very best for the future.

003

Photo – Josh Lewsey along with Dave Martin Cornwall rep to the RFU and Cornwall Clubs XV Players Ben Taylor (St. Ives), Harry Martin (Falmouth), Nathan Chapman (Roseland), who will skipper the side on the night and Daryl Harding (St. Agnes).

Speaking at Redruth R.F.C. last night at the conclusion of the third of the Cornish Pirates’ Road shows around the county Lewsey was confident that the structures he had put in place over the summer would progress the Cornish Pirates.

“I don’t think today’s announcement is going to make a huge change, my tenure was for six months on a consultancy basis, we’ve made some big changes in the time and my commitment, not just to the club but also rugby in the county, is for the longer term.

“I am delighted to be asked to maintain commitment there and I hope to do so for the long term.

“It’s been a big challenge to put in place the framework within the six months, but this isn’t about me it’s about the club and the whole county. This is very much a long game in putting in place these structures.

Cornish Pirates Roadshow 270613

Photo by Simon Bryant – Josh Lewsey, Nathan Chapman (Roseland) and Captain of Cornwall Clubs XV & Kenny Plummer President Cornwall RFU

“Friday’s match (vs. Cornwall Clubs XV KO 7-30 pm) is symbolic of our new beginning of working with the Cornwall RFU and ALL the clubs in the county, this evening the Pirates are here training at Redruth RFC one of the most iconic club grounds in Cornwall. Hopefully we will see the fruits of our hard work with people coming to see professional rugby on a Friday night when our League campaign gets under way.

“Cornwall is very much my home now, but as I have said from the outset the only people who will give Cornwall the chance of having a side competing at the top level of rugby are the Cornish people themselves.

Josh has taken a keen interest in how the squad has been shaping up over the summer. “I feel that the squad are physically very well prepared and I feel that they are very well focused on the tasks ahead.

“There is a greater emphasis now on individual performance and progression along Premiership lines.

“We’ve recruited a lot of young guys, many with connections to Cornwall, and just as off the field we have put long term plans in place, likewise on the field. This side is not going to win the Championship this season, but it will develop and be ready when the club is in a position to make that push. Hopefully the style of rugby we are going to endeavour to play will please the crowd, it’s about a progressive path for the longer term.

Posted in Bill's Blog


CORNISH PIRATES GEARING UP FOR A SUCCESSFULL SEASON

It’s been all go down at the Mennaye this summer, not just refurbishment of the ground with new floodlights, and yes I am one of those looking forward to a Friday night game under the new lights, nor pre-season training with Ian Davies and Harvey Biljoen putting their charges through their paces not just at the Mennaye but around the Duchy too, but off the field. I reckon CEO Josh Lewsey’s Range Rover has clocked up a few miles as he criss-crossed Cornwall pressing the flesh and spreading the word of the Pirate’s new dawn.

Not just in Cornwall but further afield with Thursday’s game at the HAC against Saracens a great showcase in the City which will hopefully help further the Cornish Pirates’ as an attractive brand for potential investors for that push towards the Premiership when the time is right.
Then there is the eagerly anticipated fixture against a Cornwall XV, which comes on the back of Cornwall’s great run to get to the Bill Beaumont Cup Final at Twickenham last May.

It’s just a week to go to the already well-publicised match between the Cornish Pirates and a Cornish Clubs XV taking place at the Mennaye Field on Friday 30th August (ko 7.30pm).

festival

The special game, displaying a more collaborative and inclusive approach towards Cornish Rugby and also celebrating the opening of the Pirates’ new floodlights and hospitality facilities, promises to be part of a celebratory festival weekend, as there is not only rugby on Friday but also a triangular tournament on the Saturday (ko 5pm) involving the Cornish Pirates, Cinderford and St. Austell. One ticket (a two day festival pass) will cover admission to both days – see ticket information below.

The Cornish Clubs squad will be drawn from all Cornish clubs, thus providing a great opportunity for one player from each and every club to take the field against professional players who will this season be competing in the Greene King IPA Championship and British & Irish Cup competitions.
All Cornish clubs are being asked to nominate three players from whom the final squad will be selected, and the chosen squad will then be coached by ‘Benji’ Thomas, Gavin Cattle and Alan Paver.

The Cornish Clubs XV will also be provided with a specially designed and cleverly impressive playing shirt, displaying the county of Cornwall image and incorporating names of the clubs. The players are also being asked to wear their club shorts and socks (Barbarians-style!), and each player representing their clubs will also be invited to bring along their club’s mascot, suitably attired in their club colours and/or flag, if possible.

It is envisaged that all of the clubs will help make this a truly festive rugby occasion, displaying all that is best in Cornish Rugby, with a big crowd expected.

Besides the new floodlights, a new PA System, plus a new and upgraded Marquee hospitality facility, the immensely popular ‘Kernow King’ will be in attendance throughout, with other entertainment also provided by popular band ‘Blue Horyzon’. There will also be and RNLI presence, face painting and a Hog Roast.

Ticket information: As mentioned above, one ticket will cover the matches being played on both the Friday and the Saturday. Tickets priced £15 for Adults & Concessions and £1 only for children under 16 (under 5s are free), can be purchased on-line at www.cornish-pirates.com and from the Cornish Pirates ticket office 01736-331961, open Monday to Friday from 9am – 12 noon.

They will also be available at the gates on the match days.

Season Ticket holders should note that their season ticket covers their admission to the games but for stand season ticket holders it does not guarantee them their chosen seat. The advice is to arrive early – note the gates and hospitality tent on each day will be open two hours before kick-off.

In further news;

The Cornish Pirates rugby team will be supporting the RNLI as their chosen charity for the 2013/14 season. The partnership will mean regular appearances by volunteers of the RNLI at home games and Cornish Pirates team members will also wear a ‘Proud to support’ RNLI logo on their shorts.

RNLI charity launch

Photo By Simon Bryant

The Pirates, who play in the Green King IPA Championships, have close links to the RNLI, not least because there are four former players who are now part of the lifesaving team at the Penlee lifeboat station. They are Coxswain/Mechanic Patrick ‘Patch’ Harvey, Dave Pascoe, Wayne Davey and Adrian Bick. John Blewett, who tragically lost his life in the Penlee lifeboat disaster, was also a former player and popular captain of the 3rd XV.

Lifeboat crew volunteers and lifeguards from the RNLI met some of the Cornish Pirates players on the beach at Gwithian near Hayle on Friday, where they were supported by the club’s CEO, Josh Lewsey MBE, community manager James Coles and media officer Phil Westren, plus their famous mascot Captain Benbow. Amongst the RNLI team was Patch Harvey who says he’s delighted to see the Cornish Pirates and the RNLI working together. He commented:

“We share so many values. The RNLI looks to its volunteers and its staff being selfless, dependable, trustworthy and courageous and the Cornish Pirates ask much the same of their players. We all work close to the sea too so there’s that link and I’m always amazed how many of the RNLI crew in West Cornwall have ties to the club that go back over many years. I hope this partnership will benefit our charity and help ensure people know more about us and our friends in the Cornish Pirates.”

Phil Westren from the Cornish Pirates said: “Everyone in Cornwall will be aware of the importance of the RNLI and the role played by its crew members, for whom we have the utmost respect.”

He added: “The players will be honoured to wear the ‘Proud to support’ RNLI logo on their shorts and during the season we will naturally be keen to help raise funds for what is a much cherished charity.”

A positive RNLI presence will be seen at a number of Cornish Pirates games this coming season, starting with the match against the Cornish Clubs XV to be played on Friday 30th August (ko 7.30pm).

Besides the RNLI, it should also be noted that the Cornish Pirates expect to continue supporting other worthy charitable causes as they importantly have in the past, including the Children’s Hospice SW.

Footnote: A short video featuring ‘Patch’ Harvey from the RNLI, and Josh Lewsey and Phil Westren from the Cornish Pirates is available to download from the RNLI online news centre. The interviewer is Tamsin Thomas, who is the RNLI’s Public Relations Manager for the south west.

Posted in Bill's Blog


CORNWALL APPOINT DAWE & MORGAN AS COACHES

Behind the scenes, following Cornwall’s defeat to Lancashire in the Bill Beaumont Cup Final, negotiations have been taking place to find a replacement for Dave “Benji” Thomas as county coach for the 2013/14 campaign.

Finally yesterday evening the suspense was lifted with the naming of both Graham Dawe and Ian Morgan to lead the County’s challenge next season.

As soon as Thomas announced that the Twickenham final would be his swansong then Dawe was the name on almost everyone’s lips to succeed Cornwall’s longest serving coach who took the side to the title in 1991 and the runner’s up spot in 1989, 92 and 2013.

Dawe was of course part of Thomas’ side that famously lifted the County title in 1991 in that never-to-be-forgotten extra-time win over Yorkshire in front of a full-house at Twickenham.

Dawesy played for England, Bath, Sale, Plymouth Albion and Launceston. He was involved with the England Squad for ten years and played in the 1987 and 1995 World Cups. He won 14 major trophies during 12 years at Bath before moving on to Sale and also represented the Barbarians, South West, and Cornwall. Graham became player-coach of Plymouth Albion in 1999. He is believed to be the first 50 year old to play professional rugby, turning out for Plymouth Albion in the Championship and British & Irish Cup. He guided Plymouth from the bottom of National League Three South to the RFU Championship. He also helped Devon to County Championship success much to the chagrin of many Cornishmen!

Dawe said “I am looking forward to coaching the Cornwall senior squad, and working with Ian Morgan in preparing the squad for the 2014 County Championship Campaign. Although I have other commitments in the game I feel it is a great honour to be asked to coach a County team that has so much Rugby history and passion for the County Championship”.

Morgan has played for Cornwall, RAF, Combined Services, Camborne, Lydney, Redruth, Penryn, St. Ives and Brixham and coached St Ives, Brixham, Cornwall 20’s, Cornwall Senior 15, RAF, & Combined Services.

Morgan said “I am really excited about coaching Cornwall; it is something I have wanted to do for a long time. It will be great to work with Dawesy, I have known Graham for a long time now and I think we will work well together”. He went on to say “There is a lot of exciting talent in Cornwall and hopefully we can put a team together and go one better this season!! The players will have learned from that experience and that will only help the squad, I can’t wait to get started”.

CRFU President Ken Plummer said “Graham and Ian will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the CRFU”. He went on to say, “Personally and on behalf of the rugby community of Cornwall, I offer a big warm welcome to both of them”.

Chair of the CRFU Denis Preece joined in the warm welcome for both men and went on to say; – “These appointments will allow us to build on the good work of last few seasons. They will add to the set up that we currently operate, and I am sure will bring a new focus to everyone involved with the County squad”.

Posted in Bill's Blog


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