It was a cold but sunny Saturday afternoon in Camborne for the Pirates first home league match of 2009 and as has been the norm this season it was another one of those rollercoaster afternoons with as many twist and turns in the plot as you find in a good Agatha Christie novel. The press benches were somewhat deserted with it being a Saturday coupled with the call of the FA Cup 3rd Rd, which saw our fellow scribes visiting the Emirates and the not so grandly named Plainmoor. Interesting though with the EDF-Energy National Trophy 4th Rd ties to be played in two weeks time to draw a parallel with soccer and rugby’s take on Cup competitions, a theme that Mark Stevens touched on in today’s Western Morning News. Rugby has struggled with the concept of cup competions at a national level ever since the RFU introduced a National KO Cup competion back in the early 1970’s, in fact the cup wasn’t even a cup, it was a lump of wood with an engraved plaque on it!!! Then of course the Cup got a sponsor, John Player were the first, and a cup. The trouble though was every time a new sponsor came along, they had to have a new cup, so whilst everyone knows that the FA Cup is the FA Cup, no one could remember what the Rugby Cup looked like. This is one of the reasons why Rugby and Cup competions are a complete shambles, you need tradition to build up an image of an event.

I digress, the Cornish Pirates eventually put the disappointment of their heavy defeat up at Exeter Chiefs behind them dispatching Otley 55-13, despite playing most of the match with only 14 men after prop Dan Seal got his marching orders from referee Mr. Knowles after 30 minutes for punching. You can read my match report along with head coach Mark Hewitt’s reactions post match on the main site match reports in the link.

In National League 2 a mixed bag of results, the Cornish All Blacks enjoyed a morale boosting win defeating Waterloo 103 – 5 at Polson scoring 16 tries in total, with loanee signing Jason Luff helping himself to a hat-trick. It is very sad to see a famous club like Waterloo in such dire straits and to see the club hammered like this gives no pleasure to true rugby fans. I hope that the corner can be turned and that the club can re-build once more. In these difficult financial times there are many who will privately think “There but for the grace of God…..”

Redruth made the first of their “long trips” away, to Blaydon and came away with a 13-13 draw, after trailing 13-3, they hit back with tries from Mark Bright and Paul Thirlby to tie the scores, a late drop-goal attempt by Mark Scrivener cannoned off a post, so it could have been all four points ! With many games being postponed, fixture backlogs will do nobody any favours, Redruth stretched their lead at the top by another two points.

Mount’s Bay lost the game they had to win at home to Stourbridge 14-9 to complicate their ever decreasing chances of survival in National League 2, or at this level for next season! With a trip to Birmingham next up and then the visit of Cambridge, January looks like a hard old month for the Bay, not to mention Esher in the Trophy, tough, very tough!

Only one re-arranged game in the Tribute league with St. Ives finally playing Brixham and losing out 16-11 in the South West 2 West encounter.

Two Preliminary Round Skinners Brewrey Cornwall Cup ties played, Falmouth won for the first time this season defeating Saltash 37-19 at the Rec, whilst Hayle defeated Newquay Hornets 13-10 in a tight affair. Falmouth now face Bude and Hayle will entertain Camborne in the 1st Rd proper, other ties will see Truro host Penryn and St. Ives face holders Wadebridge Camels, ties to be played by 18/01/09!

I read in the Rugby Times this week that scrummaging guru Keith Roach has called on Cornishman Phil Vickery to lead the Lions in South Africa. Well after watching the “Raging Bull” in action for Wasps against Harlequins on Sunday I wouldn’t be surprised if Martin Johnson appoints him as England skipper during the 6 Nations and he goes on to lead the Lions, he’s right back to the old Vickery that we have followed through thick and thin over the years.

Posted in Bill's Blog


When I read in the Western Morning News the Pirates side to face Exeter at Sandy Park last Saturday there was a sharp intake of breath and a muttering along the lines of “…this doesn’t sound too promising!” Regretably that initial observation proved all too accurate as the Cornish Pirates slipped to a heavy defeat by 38-7 against a side that had seen their slim hopes of promotion to the Guinness Premiership next season all but extinguished in their last two performances, a draw at home to Esher, followed by defeat at Leeds Carnegie. The Chiefs confirmed their win at Camborne earlier in the season by again showing the gulf in class between the two West Country rivals. Trailing to a first half try by Chiefs classy winger Josh Drauniniu and once again lacking a recognised goal kicker to capitalise on chances that came and went, the Pirates were undone by a second half onslaught by the Chiefs dictated in part by former Pirate fly-half Gareth Steenson. Further tries through Paul McKenzie, Sean Marsden (2), another former Pirate Matt Jess and Tom Bedford sealed the win for Exeter. All the Pirates had to show for their efforts a try by Rhodri McAtee converted by Rhys Jones near the end to spare their blushes.

With the Cornish Pirates set to hold another meeting down in Penzance in the New Year, and with Dicky Evans to be in attendance, it will be interesting to hear what the fans views of the current season are, amongst other topics of interest!

Posted in Bill's Blog


No question as to the match of the day in Cornwall on Saturday, and for once Radio Cornwall got it right with Dick Straughan’s live commentary from the Recreation Ground. With over 2,000 people at the game and with even Pirate FM taking interest in the game for the first time in a long while the old ground was buzzing pre-match, just as in the “good old days!”.

Redruth’s 41-10 win over their west cornwall neighbours leaves them sitting pretty at the top of National League 2 going into 2009 with all to play for.

Whilst Redruth’s class eventually shone through, Mount’s Bay indiscipline from earlier on in the season came back to haunt them with avengence with scrum-half Mike Molloy yellow carded and then lock Jonny Griffiths red carded for throwing a punch, moments after Reds winger Nathan Pedley had been on the receiving end of a dangerous tackle, though it has to be said Griffiths was not the tackler. Reds’ fly-half Mark Scrivener had a good day with the boot kicking 21 points with 5 penalties and 3 conversions, whilst the Reds tries came from man-of-the-match prop Darren Jacques, winger Paul Thirlby with a brace and No.8 James Mann. Bay’s points came through a first half penalty from on-loan Pirate Doug Sanft who also converted Greg Goodfellow’s second half try.

The Cornish All Blacks set up an intriguing EDF-Energy National Trophy 4th Rd tie at Polson Bridge on the 17th January with Birmingham & Solihull following their 31-24 win at Wharfedale. Tries from Steve Perry, Hamish Smales and Jon Fabian plus the kicking of Adam Staniforth with 2 conversions and 4 penalties saw the Cornishmen home

On Sunday the Cornish Pirates gave their fans the best possible Christmas present with a 32-14 win in National League 1 over Coventry at Camborne. The Pirates were in rampant form running in 6 tries through Simon Whatling, Brian Tuohy, Mark Ireland, Marika Vakacegu (2) and Steve Winn, only one try was converted and that by Whatling. The Pirates will now turn their attention to their return fixture with Exeter Chiefs this Saturday up at Sandy Park. Revenge for their defeat at Camborne earlier in the season is on the cards.

In the Tribute regional leagues, in South West 2 West, St. Ives won their match against Paignton 17-7 with Karl Martin scoring a couple of tries and converting Hano Dirksen’s try.

In Western Counties West, the derby game between Newquay Hornets and Wadebridge Camels at the Sports Centre went the way of the visitors 41-13 with the Camels scoring five tries during the second half. Flanker Matt Angwyn scored 21 points with a try, 5 conversions and 2 penalties. Alisdair Maclennan, Shaun Hawkey, Dan Briskham and Ian Boyling scored the Camels’ other tries. For the Hornets Andy Dixon got a try with Simon Horton adding the conversion and 2 penalties.

Bude were nilled at Tiverton as the home side won 19-0.Camborne disappointed with poor home performance against Minehead Barbarians losing 35-7. Leigh Isaacs scored Town’s only try with Dave Mankee getting the conversion.

London Cornish finished the year with another good win as they defeated Wimbledon 9-7 in London 3 SW, Dickon Moon’s match report can be found in the link

In the Cornwall & Devon league, Penryn go into the New Year as league leaders following a 31-15 win at the Memorial Ground against Wellington. Charlie Ross, Robert Trevaskis, Josh Chambers (2), and Darren Pellow scored the Borough’s tries with Ben Parry kicking the other points.

Falmouth played their away game against OPM’s as a curtain-raiser at Plymouth Albion’s Brickfields ground before their match against Nottingham. Despite a promising start which saw Falmouth leading 14-3, they slipped to another defeat as the “home” side won 15-14. Steve Rowe scored a try for the Chiefs with Tom Spiller and James Instance (2) adding penalties.

Hayle match against Plymstock was postponed.

Truro won 13-3 at home against Bideford, Ollie Wickett kicked a penalty and Sean Roseveare a try, which Scott Martin converted, Truro’s final score came from Ross Martin’s drop-goal.

Saltash lost at home to Tavistock 43-18, No. 8 Dominic Hill scoring two tries for the Ashes.

With it being the festive season I wish One & All a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year or as we say in Cornwall;






Posted in Bill's Blog


There was no fairy-tale ending to the camels mamouth trek north in the EDF-Energy National Trophy 3rd Rd tie at National Division 2 side Tynedale on Saturday as the northeners won 39-5. Wadebridge fought to the end and were rewarded with an un-converted try scored by Olly Hawkey. Well done lads on a brave effort, Wadebridge and Cornwall are proud of you.

Redruth, with a much changed side also bowed out at this stage losing at Sharmans Cross Road 31 – 8 to Birminigham & Solihull, with replacement Richard Brown scoring a try to add to an earlier Mark Scrivener penalty. The following observation was sent to me by Cornish rugby supporter Stu Hoy who was present at the game;

The scoreline 31-8 flatters to deceive!

This was a fine display of courage and determination by a Reds XV who continually put pressure on Bees throughout decisive parts of the game. A try either side of the break rocked Reds who fought back to get a late reply only to see Bees with a breakaway try in stoppage time. Redruth Rugby Club should be proud of their full club squad who performed like terriors and represented their club in the true tradition of Cup Rugby. It was Reds who gained more out of this display and the fixture should hold no fear for the returning Cornish in 2009.

Kernow bys Vyken

The Cornish All Blacks tie at Wharfedale fell foul of the weather and will be played this coming Saturday.

Mount’s Bay booked their place in the next round with a 24-7 win over Barking at the Mennaye. Flanker Brett Stroud, lock Ben Hilton, full-back Mike Molloy and replacement Duke Seymour scored Bay’s tries with fly-half Dan Hawkes adding a couple of conversions.

So in today’s 4th Rd draw made at Twickenham; the Cornish Pirates entertain Southend, Mount’s Bay take on Esher, the Cornish All Blacks, should they prevail in their 3rd round tie at Wharfedale will take on Birmingham & Solihull at Polson. Ties to be played on Saturday 17th January.

With no Cornish interest in the Intermediate Cup, attention also focused on the Senior and Junior Vases.

In the Senior Vase, Camborne defeated Tavistock 15-8, Shane Woods and Sam Bartle scoring Town’s tries and David Mankee kicking a conversion and penalty. A Camborne home draw in the next round will make for an interesting conundrum with regards to the Cornish Pirates and Mount’s Bay’s home ties!!!

Truro found Western Counties West pace-setters Cullompton too hot-to-handle as the Devonians won 39-6.

In the London section of the draw, London Cornish had a good win over Winchester 15-12 in difficult conditions with all the points scored in the first-half, coach Dickon Moon’s report can be read here.

In the Junior Vase, Liskeard & Looe had a good win at Castle Carey 28-3, St. Austell thumped Redruth Albany 90-0, whilst Perranporth bowed out at Honiton 39-6.

A little bit of catch up in the Tribute leagues last weekend, unfortunatly St. Ives game at Brixham, in South West 2 West was once again called off, however in Western Counties West, Newquay Hornets played Devonport Services and won 14-10 after trailing 10-0. Simon Horton kicked three penalties and Simon Lutey scored a try.

In the Cornwall & Devon League Penryn stretched their lead at the top with an 11-6 win over Bideford, Taron Peacock landed a couple of penalties and Justin Doney scored a try.

This Saturday sees a cracking Cornish derby in National League 2 as Redruth take on a much improved Mount’s Bay at the Rec with a 2 pm kick-off. Not to forget at the Sportscentre Newquay Hornets hosting Wadebridge Camels in the match-of-the-day in Western Counties West. Sunday the Cornish Pirates take on Coventry in National League 1 at Camborne kick-off 2pm.

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After the bitter disappointment of the defeat last Saturday evening at Plymouth Albion, the Cornish Pirates consigned that defeat to the history books with a wonderful bonus point in the splendid confines of Old Deer Park defeating London Welsh by 38-23. Irishman Brian Tuohy led the way in the scoring stakes with the flying winger helping himself to a hat-trick of tries. Tries also for centre Mark Ireland and scrum-half Ed Fairhurst. Tom Luke, who had to fill-in to the backrow during the second half, and Jimmy Moore kicked conversions, whilst Luke added a penalty and Simon Whatling a brace of drop-goals. The only downside injuries to Matt Evans and Chris Morgan to further deplete already stretched backrow options. A result, which leaves the Pirates in 7th place in National League 1 at the mid-way point of the season.

In National League 2, wins all-round for our Cornish clubs. After last week’s reversal at home Redruth got back to winning ways with a 26-15 win at Stourton Park over Stourbridge. No.8 Mark Bright scored two of Redruth’s four tries with the others scored by skipper PJ Gidlow and a Penalty Try. Mark Scrivener added three conversions. With Birmingham & Solihull surprisingly losing at home to Tynedale, Redruth’s lead at the top has now gone back to 7 points.

The Cornish All Blacks scored all their points during the first half as they comfortably defeated Westcombe Park 45-19 at Polson. Leading 45-5 at half-time, thanks to two tries each from No. 8 Glen Remnant and winger Marc Dibble with centre Ryan Westren and the rest of the backrow Josh Lord and Sam Hocking also touching down. Adam Staniforth kicked five conversions and Tim Collier picked up another yellow card to add to his impressive collection! A result, which should now set up the Launceston club for a big charge during the second-half of the season.

Mount’s Bay recorded their first five-pointer of the season with a 41-16 win over Waterloo at the Mennaye. With on-loan Pirate Doug Sanft making his Bay debut, it was full-back Dan Hawkes who stole the kicking honours with five conversions a penalty and a drop-goal. Bay’s tries were scored by flanker Brett Stroud (2), Steve Johns, Darren Ritchie and Jamie Salter.

In the Tribute Regional Leagues, in South West 2 West, St. Ives battled to a 10-10 draw at Clevedon with Hano Dirksen again scoring a try and Karl Martin adding the conversion and a penalty.

In Western Counties West, good news at last for Bude who recoreded their first win in the league this season with a 38-7 win over Withycombe at Bencoleen. Bude scored five tries through Mark Dennis, Matt Williams, Matt Trewin (2) and Paul Williams. Olly Denford with one and Ollie Raynor (4) kicked the conversions, Raynor also adding a penalty.

Not much joy for our three other Cornish clubs in this league, Wadebridge Camels perhaps with an eye on next saturday’s date at Tynedale in the the EDF-Energy National Trophy, lost 14-6 at Devonport Services, Josh Taylor with a couple of Camel penalties. Camborne lost 20-0 at Tiverton, whilst Newquay Hornets lost 8-0 at Ivybridge. Camels look like to be the only side in with a shout of a play-off place at this stage of the season, with Cullompton on maximum points way out in front.

In London 3 SW, London Cornish had a very good win over Tottonians by 34-29, Dickon Moon’s fine report covers every aspect of this encounter.

At least it’s looking brighter in the Cornwall & Devon League with Penryn top following their fine win 50-3 over deadly rivals Falmouth at the Recreation Ground. The Borough ran in seven tries against Falmouth with Josh Chambers scoring three, Darren Pellow two, Taron Peacock and Charlie Ross scoring the other two. Peacock converted six tries and a penalty. For Falmouth former Borough player Alex Sutheridge kicked a penalty. These two sides will meet again on Boxing Day, once again at the Falmouth Rec.

Truro beat Hayle 11-3 in a tough game. Ben Chenoweth scored a try for Truro with Scott Martin kicking a penalty and then Ross Martin dropping a goal. Paul Lello kicked a penalty for the Lions.

Saltash found Bideford too hot to handle as the North Devon side won 69-7.

On Wednesday evening we saw a good game between the Australians and the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium to mark the centenary of the Olympic tournament played at the old White City stadium. Of course the Wallabies opponents were Cornwall 100 years ago, so it was fitting that the Baabaas played in Cornish socks. As they did in 1908 the Australians won this time by 18-11 to lift the “Cornwall Cup”. It would be a good gesture to put this trophy up for play each time the Wallabies play the Barbarians rather than gather dust in a trophy cabinet down-under! The Cornwall RFU were well represented at the match with no less than fourteen members of the committee making the trip to the capital! IOC President Jacques Rogge was also present, the former Belgian rugby player and yatchsman having learned the sport from trips to Bude in his youth.

Watching the Heineken Cup last weekend apart from the pink goal posts at Stade de France, the other inovation that caught the eye was the “hot tub” at the Stade Ernst-Wallon in Toulouse during the home side’s match with Newport-Gwent Dragons. With suitably clad bathing beauties displaying the website for the manufactuers of the tubs on their swimsuits they certainly got their money’s worth with TV exposure (excuse pun!). All it needed was a well struck penalty to land in the tub as an excuse for a free-for-all charge by the players for an early bath!!! I am sure Joe Bearman would have enjoyed a dip! Could you just see such a thing at Camborne or Redruth? In this day and age you never know!!! It could help “plug” the gap in finance for next season!!

Posted in Bill's Blog


It wasn’t the best day for our Cornish clubs in the National Leagues on Saturday not one win between the four of them, only the Cornish All Blacks can grimace at the fact that they’ll have to play it again as the floodlights failed at Blackheath.

I travelled to Redruth and witnessed Redruth’s fine run ended by a gritty Cambridge side, who knew that a defeat would in all probability extinguished their faint promotion hopes for this season. A win by 19-18 certainly keeps their hopes flickering for a while yet.

You could tell it was going to be one of those days when on arriving at the ground spectators were told they couldn’t park as the top field was too boggy.Yet Redruth should today be sitting pretty with 12 wins, chances they most certainly had to be well out of sight by half-time, unfortunatly Paul Thirlby had an off day with his kicking, whilst other chances were spurned. However credit to Cambridge for taking their chances especially their two killer blows struck from distance by fly-half Craig Evans a penalty and then the match winning drop-goal from 55 meters.

There was a fair bit of confusion as to who scored Redruth’s second try on Saturday, looking through my binoculars it looked very much like Owen Hambly, even though Ricky Pellow was announced as the scorer over the PA. On Sunday I saw a photo, which appeared to show PJ Gidlow as the try scorer, then on Monday another angle on the photo made it look like Hambly!! Whoever got it well done and I hope I don’t offend if my report carries the wrong name, gut reactions are often the correct ones.

Mount’s Bay little run of four wins on the trot ended at Dockham Road as Cinderford who came up with them from National League 3 South last season won 41-12. Fraser Cliverd got both Bay’s tries with Dan Hawkes adding a conversion.

Saturday tea-time saw the National League 1 derby match at the Brickfields between Plymouth Albion and the Cornish Pirates with once again wily old Graham Dawe getting the better of the Pirates as Albion won 20-12 in front of a decent crowd of 5,421. Winger Brian Tuohy scored a try for the Pirates who also had a penalty-try awarded as centre Mark Ireland was high-tackled by Albion’s Keni Fislau resulting in a yellow-card for the Tongan centre. Jimmy Moore kicked the conversion. Another tough away trip for the Pirates next Saturday as they head to London to take on London Welsh at Old Deer Park.

In the Tribute regional league, in South West 2 West, a good win for St. Ives at home as they beat Sidmouth 29-28. Parading new signing Kiwi Hirini Robin at inside centre, it was another of the Hakes overseas players young American Hano Dirksen who scored both of St. Ives’ tries with Karl Martin kicking both conversions and five penalty goals.

In Western Counties West, the North Cornwall derby between Wadebridge Camels and Bude went the way of the County Cup holders 20-14. Andy Cameron, Dan Briskham, Olly Hawkey and Sean Hawkey all scored un-converted tries for the Camels in a hard fought close encounter. Mark Dennis and Dave Uglow scored tries for Bude with Ollie Rayner adding both conversions.

At Camborne, the home side had a 15-10 win over visitors Weston Hornets, prop Leigh Hocking and winger Cameron Bone scored tries for the Cherry & Whites with Dave Mankee adding a conversion and a penalty.

The match at Newquay Hornets between the home side and Devonport Services was abandoned after 35 minutes with the score at 3-3 following an injury to Hornets lock Dan Johns who broke his leg, we wish him a quick recovery.

Up in London 3 SW, London Cornish lost at London Irish Amateurs by 24-21, you can read Dickon Moon’s match report in the link

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn left it late to snatch a win at home against Crediton 11-5. Trailing 5-3 with just a Taron Peacock penalty to show for their efforts, Peacock then scored a try on 80 minutes before Marek Churcher dropped a goal to ensure the win.

Truro won a bad-tempered Cornish derby at Saltash 19-6 with the referee ending the contest 10 minutes early. Truro led at the break 19-3, thanks to tries from Tim Gay, David O’Donnell and Sam Faughan, O’Donnell adding a couple of penalties. Foer Saltash Steve Down kicked a penalty in each half.

Falmouth’s poor season continues with another defeat this time at leaders Okehampton 22-3.

Hayle lost at home to Tavistock 12-9, three Mike Crump penalties made up the Lions’ score.

So the All Blacks, the New Zealand ones that is, completed their third grand slam in the British Isles with a 32-6 win over England at Twickenham to lift the Sir Edmund Hillary Shield. England’s discipline let them down badly, losing four player to the sin-bin, it’s something you cannot afford especially against the All Blacks. Remarkably Dan Carter had an off day with the boot otherwise the score would have been far greater.

Watching the match on TV confirmed once again just how awful the Twickenham crowd have become, I am afraid that they are heading down the road of the round ball lot. Boorish and ill-mannered. The booing of the goal kicker, the disrespect for the Haka, they aren’t real rugby people and I have got no time for them!

Posted in Bill's Blog


What a marvellous result for Wadebridge Camels in their EDF-Energy National Trophy 2nd round tie at home to Shelford at the weekend. A 22-15 win sees them into the next round and a trip to……..Tynedale!

That is in the future, the win over London 1 league leaders is one to be savoured first. Despite falling behind to an early converted try Camels hit back with a try from flanker Matt Angwyn. A second try for the visitors and a Leigh Charles penalty for the home side left Shelford leading 12-8 at the break. Camels lifted their game in the second half playing some exciting rugby, they took the lead after 50 minutes with a try from Ben Miskowicz with Charles adding the extras. Shelford levelled with a penalty, before Andy Cameron scored the winning try which Charles converted. Roll on Tynedale!

It’s a shame that BBC Radio Cornwall didn’t take the opportunity to cover this game on Saturday. A good PR chance lost really.

The other 3rd round ties involving Cornish clubs sees National 2 league leaders Redruth travel to Birmingham & Solihull in the tie of the round. The Cornish All Blacks travel to Wharfedale, whilst the only tie to be played in Cornwall sees Mount’s Bay entertain Barking. All ties will be played on the weekend of the 13th/14th December.

Cornwall’s only represenatives in this seaon’s Intermediate Cup St. Ives bowed out after losing 17-14 at home to Clifton.

In the Senior Vase, London Cornish sealed a remarkable comeback with a 28-25 win over Hove, Dickon Moon’s report is in the link

Truro overcame Bude at Bencoolen Meadow 16-10, Ben Chenoweth and Sam Vaughan scored Truro’s tries with Danile Dunkin kicking a couple of penalties. Camborne defeated Newquay Hornets at the Recreation Ground 13-0 with tries from Sam Bartle and Adam Notman and a Dave Mankee penalty.

In the Junior Vase a good win for Liskeard & Looe at Stithians 32-10, whilst St. Austell defeated former finalists Helston 35-12. Perranporth beat Bodmin 15-10 and Redruth Albany beat Old Technicans 27-15 to progress.

Sunday saw a good performance from the Cornish Pirates as they defeated Sedgley Park 56-14. You can read my match report on the main site.

Posted in Bill's Blog


At long last the RFU Council finally decided to go ahead with the “Championship” next season to replace the existing National League 1. Details from the RFU site can be found here in the link . It looks at present as if the Cornish Pirates will take up the invitation to join the Championship. Obviously more details will emerge as time goes on, also whether Redruth or the Cornish All Blacks will be able to take up the offer should either club win National League 2 in April. For the dream to continue of top class rugby in Cornwall it’s imperative that the Cornish Pirates are part of the new set up. As to how it will all finally be financed remains to be seen, though I understand that the Cornish Pirates will coming up with an iniative, which will involve the fans.

Back on the playing side, what a cracking game of rugby at Camborne Recreation Ground yesterday afternoon as the Cornish Pirates took on the league leaders in National League 1 Leeds Carnegie. It was typical of this season’s games from the Pirates, full of every emotion possible, but no fairy-tale ending as Leeds held out to win by 2 points 25-23. I can’t recall a start to a match quite like it, 16 seconds into the game and Leeds had points on the board as lock Kearnan Myall collected the kick-off and just ran and kept on running through the static Pirates defence to dot down under the posts! Unreal. Then a couple of minutes later former Pirate Richard Welding scored up in the corner a second Leeds try, with Alberto Di Bernardo slotting over the opening try’s conversion it was a nightmare start for Mark Hewitt’s side.

Fearing the worst we were instead taken on a roller-coaster ride of emotion with Leeds falling foul of referee Nick Williams, Rhys Jones pegged the Yorkshire side back, a couple of yellow cards for the visitors helped the Pirates cause as well. Then Leeds stretched out once more a penalty from yes Alberto, you could sense that PA, Phil Westren was dying to roll back a couple of seasons for his famous “Alberto Dee Bernardo” in his inimitable style, and then a third Leeds try scored by scorching winger Tom Biggs. A few weeks ago the Pirates would have sunk without trace at such another set-back, but this side is now made of much sterner stuff, they showed great character ably led by skipper Addy Winnan, who had another towering game, his example influences his team to greater deeds and they responded. Hooker Darren Dawiduik scored a great try and Rhys Jones with his sixth penalty brought the Pirates close, but it was Alberto’s second penalty that gave Leeds a narrow win. After the match Alberto was heard to say that the Pirates’ fans were the best as he happily mingled with the home crowd. What a star he is. You can read my match report on the main site.

One good thing to come out of yesterday’s match was the fact that those habitual early leavers from the stand actually stayed put and watched the game to it’s conclusion. Hopefully the latecommers at the start of the match will have learn’t their lesson as well!!! Then everyone can enjoy the game without interuption!

On Saturday, Redruth made it eleven wins on the trot even though they were made to work very hard by Tynedale winning 15-5. Some times you have to win ugly, and this display was far removed from some of the fluid displays from the Reds this season, but as winter approaches and the grounds become heavier the Reds will have to adapt. Paul Thirlby and Mark Bright scored the Reds’ tries with Mark Scrivener adding a penalty and conversion on his return from injury. Redruth have a week off now as National League 2 takes a break before taking on Cambridge at the Recreation Ground.

A Cambridge side that will be left to reflect after the Cornish All Blacks pipped them 23-21 at Grantchester Road. Marc Dibble, Ben Turner and Mal Roberts scored the CAB’s tries with Adam Staniforth kicking a penalty and conversion and Jon Fabian also kicking a penalty. A result which lifts the Launceston club to third.

Mount’s Bay now know the task ahead of them to avoid the drop following the RFU’s decision, with a fourth win over fellow strugglers Southend 40-15, thanks to a 28-point haul without reply during the second half. Dan Hawkes boot contributed 25 points thanks to 7 penalties and two conversions from two penalty tries awarded, Nick Burnett scored the other Bay try.

In the Tribute regional leagues, St. Ives scored first and last in their drawn match at Paignton 20-20. The Hakes scored a couple of tries at Queens Park through Hano Dirksen with with Karl Martin converting both scores and a couple of penalties. Interesting to note that Rudolph Meredith who was with Redruth last season has just signed up for St. Ives he will be a big asset for the Hakes.

In Western Counties West, the big match was at the Molesworth Field as Wadebridge Camels entertained Newquay Hornets with the Camels winning 29-12. Camel’s try scorers were Alasdair McClennan, Richard Treleaven, Oly Lock, Matt Angwyn Shaun Hawkey with Leigh Charles adding a couple of conversions. For Newquay Simon Horton and Romey Vassell scored tries with Horton kicking a conversion.

Bude got their first point of the current campaign with a 14-14 draw at home to Tiverton. Andy Yates and Matt Williams scored the tries with Matt Trewin adding the conversions.

Camborne lost heavily in Somerset as Minehead Barbarians won 42-7, Shaun Woods scored a late try which Dave Mankee converted for Town’s only points.

Up in London 3 SW, London Cornish won at Wimbeldon 9-8. See Dickon Moon’s report here.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn got back to winning ways with a 13-11 win at Wellington Taron Peacock scoring all the Borough’s points with a try conversion and two penalties.

Hayle won at Plymstock 14-11 with a try from Mike Seager and three Mike Crump penalties. Truro had a good trip to North Devon winning at Bideford 13-3, Chris Gilbert with the try and Dan Dunkin with the conversion and two penalties. Saltash found it tough at Tavistock as they lost 24-8, Will Davenport with a try and Ollie Rayner a penalty.

Falmouth suffered a ninth consecutive defeat at the Recreation Ground losing 31-5 to OPM’s, Chris McColl with Falmouth’s try.

Posted in Bill's Blog


A very welcome return to form for the Cornish All Blacks on Saturday as they recorded their first win after three succesive defeats when they beat visitors Wharfedale by 38-10, scoring five tries in the bargain. Winger Marc Dibble with a brace, Sam Hocking, Scott Hobson and Ben Turner scored the tries. Full-back Jon Fabian kicked a couple of conversions and two penalties, whilst replacement Mike Provis dropped a goal. Joint head coach Chris Brown was delighted with his side’s win “We’ve been performing in fits and starts, but today I think we put it togeather with some simple stuff, when we got momentumn in the early stages, we were patient, and we opened them up out wide.” He went on to add “This win was important for our comeback but it doesn’t put us anywhere different from where we were last week in terms of the season”.

Redruth kept up their awesome pace at the top of National League 2 with a tenth consecutive win, this time by 35-17 at Waterloo, the win came at a price as skipper PJ Gidlow suffered a serious cheekbone injury, which may well sideline the centre for a few matches. The Reds scored five tries through James Mann, Lewis Vinnicombe, Rob Thirlby, Paul Thirlby and Mike Georgiou. Paul Thirlby added two conversions and a couple of penalties. Next up for the Reds next Saturday, Tynedale, who beat Cambridge in some style 49-15. Can the Reds make it eleven on the trot? Kick-off for this match is 2pm.

Mount’s Bay have found a rich vein of form with a third consecutive win, this time at fellow strugglers Westcombe Park by 26-8. Fly-half Dan Hawkes scored all of the Bay’s points with two converted tries, three penalties and a drop-goal. Another win on Saturday at the Mennaye against Southend will further boost Bay’s prospects of staying up.

In National League 1, the Cornish Pirates’ revival continues with a 19-3 win against Esher at the Pillar Data Arena. Irish winger Brian Tuohy scored both the Pirates’ tries with fly-half Rhys Jones kicking three penalties. Next Sunday the Pirates entertain table-toppers Leeds Carnegie at Camborne with a 2pm kick-off. Can the Pirates maintain form and overturn the league leaders? It promises to be a cracking encounter.

In the Tribute regional leagues, in South West 2 West, St. Ives won a tight encounter at a blustery Alexandra Road 9-6 against Torquay Athletic, Karl Martin once again proving the match-winner with three penalties.

Western Counties West, saw leaders Cullompton maintain top spot with a very comfortable win over Wadebridge Camels by 42-3, a result which dents Camels hopes of promotion this season. A Jake McConnell penalty was all they had to show for their efforts.

Camborne defeated Ivybridge 10-3, Adam Nottman scored the Cherry & White’s try with David Mankee adding the conversion and a penalty.

After their defeat at home to Cullompton last Saturday, Newquay Hornets were keen to make up for that set-back against North Cornwall rivals Bude, they did so in some style winning 55-12. Hornets ran in nine tries through, Adam Rainey (2), Rob McIntyre, Lee Woodhatch, Simon Horton, Stuart Williams, James Ingle, Andy Dixon and Dan Johns. Sam Cullen adding five conversions. Dave Uglow scored a try and Matt Trewin converted a penalty-try for Bude.

London Cornish defeated London South Africa 12-3 in their latest London 3 SW match. Read Dickon Moon’s report here

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn’s home match against Bideford didn’t take place as the referee didn’t show up.

Hayle won the Cornish derby as they defeated poor old Falmouth comfortably 34-3. It was the Lions first home win of the season. Hayle’s tries were scored by hooker Adrian Symons, centre Wayne Jenkins, brother Kevin, lock Richard Spear and winger Dave Seager with two. Fly-half Mike Crump converted two scores. Full-back James Instance kicked Falmouth’s solitary penalty.

Truro will be disappointed to lose at St. Clements to Tavistock 22-16, all the points scored during the first half. James Willcocks scored Truro’s try, which Scott Martin converted, Martin also kicked a couple of penalties, with brother Ross dropping a goal.

Saltash failed to build on their win at Falmouth losing at Moorlands Lane to Plymstock Albion Oaks 20-17. For the Ashes half-backs Geoff Thompson and Ollie Rayner scored tries, both converted by Rayner who also kicked a penalty.

STOP PRESS: Looks like the RFU’s plans for a fully pro level 2 have moved a step closer today, see link.

The Western Morning News of the 11th November carries an interesting article by Mark Stevens, rugby faces revolution

Posted in Bill's Blog


Redruth’s fine run continued on Saturday afternoon as they dispatched West Country rivals Cinderford with an awesome display of running rugby that left the Gloucestershire side chasing shadows for the best part of the afternoon. Cinderford will consider themselves fortunate that it was only 51-12. With a certain British secret agent back on the big screen this week, Redruth served up their very own “Licence to Thrill”, never mind 007, it was more like 003 at the Reds, with their back three of Rob Thirlby (3), his first arguably would win Sky’s Try of the Month, no contest, Nathan Padley (2) and Lewis Vinnicombe helping themselves to six of the eight tries scored. Bonds, Craig Bonds that is scored the opening try after only five minutes, whilst Kiwi No.8 Mark Bright scored the only try for the forwards. It was though a team performance. You can read my match report in the link.

Also in National League 2 Mount’s Bay made two wins on the trot with their first home win of the season when they defeated Blackheath 28-22. The other bonus for the Bay, their discipline no yellow cards, playing the game throughout with 15 men is so much simpler. Former Albion prop Tim Mathias grabbed two tries, with on-loan hooker from Albion Jamie Salter grabbing the other, a good day’s work for the front row boys. Dan Hawkes kicked the other points with a couple of conversions two penalties and a drop-goal.

The Cornish All Blacks’ mood must be as dark as their shirts following another defeat this time up at Blaydon by 18-16. The Cornish All Blacks’ tries came from Tim Collier and Jamie Semmens with Adam Staniforth kicking a couple of penalties.

In National League 1, the Cornish Pirates surprised many pundits with a fantastic win up at Goldington Road against the Bedford Blues by 26-6. Scrum-half Nicky Griffiths and centre Steve Winn scored the tries, with fly-half Rhys Jones converting both tries and four penalties. Hopefully the corner has been well and truly turned “Onwards and upwards”.

In the Tribute regional leagues, St. Ives got back to winning ways with a 15-13 win at St. Mary’s Old Boys. Karl Martin kicking five penalty goals.

In Western Counties West, Wadebridge Camels saw their un-baten run at home stretching back some two-and-a-half years ended by visitors Kingsbridge who ran out winners by 13-5. Gavin West got the Camels’ try.

Camborne had a narrow win at Devonport Services by 19-18, Dave Mankee scoring all of Town’s points with a try conversion and four penalties.

Newquay Hornets lost at the Sportscentre 23-22 to league leaders Cullompton in an exciting match. Jason Caruana and Rob McIntyre scored the Hornet’s tries with Sam Cullen kicking four penalty goals.

Bude are still seeking their first league win of the season as they lost at home to Weston Hornets 20-16. Scrum-half Mini Fry scored Bude’s try, which Matt Trewin converted as well as three penalties.

In London 3 SW, London Cornish drew 6-6 at Winchester, Dickon Moon’s usual report can be found in the link.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn’s fine run was brought to an end at the Memorial Ground by visitors Okehampton who won 8-7 with a last-gasp try. The Borough’s points came from a try by Peter Webster converted by Taron Peacock.

Truro lie third after their win at Plymstock Albion Oaks 13-10, Patterson with the try and Scott Martin with the conversion and two penalties. Hayle lost at Crediton 11-3, Paul Lello with a penalty the only score for the Lions. In the battle at the foot of the table Saltash travelled to the Rec at Falmouth and won comfortably 44-10. Ben Davenport and Richard Skinner both scored a couple of tries for the Ashes, with Simon Nance, Charlie Grace and Ollie Rayner also scoring tries. Rayner also kicking three conversions and a penalty. For Falmouth, it already looks like a return to Cornwall 1 next season, they scored a couple of tries through James Instance and Tom Spiller.

It looks like the Rugby Kernewek website, which I ran has been closed down by it’s host aol. Although the site was no longer used as much since the advent of this blog it still had useful information. I have set up a new blog with the same name but it will take time to restore time willing also.

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