Big win sets Cornwall up for tilt at Twickenham final



By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground. Photos Simon Bryant Iktisphoto

Cornwall served up a veritable feast of attacking rugby at Redruth as they opened the defence of the Bill Beaumont Cup with an emphatic win against a valiant Hampshire.

St. Austell’s Matt Shepherd was the star of the show helping himself to four tries, whilst fly-half Fraser Honey missed just one kick at goal all afternoon.

Matt Shepherd of Cornwall (St Austell) charging down the wing. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

In front of a large crowd Cornwall got off to a fast start. Honey kicked a routine penalty before adding the extras to a Alex Ducker try following a jinking run from the winger.

Hampshire replied with a try from their prop Dan Sargent following some good pressure with fly-half Tom Fieldsend adding the extras.

However, from the re-start Cornwall were back on the scoreboard as they secured the re-start to launch a blistering attack that saw centre Jack Simmons gallop through.

Kyle Marriott Captain of Cornwall (St Austell) fends off Wes Dugan of Hampshire (Havant). Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Off the back of scrum Jack Oulton found Shepherd to put him in, the winger stretching to dot down on the line.

There were some big drives from the forwards with prop Tommy Phillips, and locks Tony Whittle and Toby Freeman prominent, a word too for the work of flanker Ben Fox in the loose.  

From a catch-and-drive the forward powered towards the line with hooker Ben Priddey coming up with the ball, to leave Cornwall 31-7 up at half-time.

During the break Cornwall’s Under 20s paraded the Jason Leonard Cup around the pitch to huge cheers from the black and gold supporters.

Duncan Tout of Cornwall (Tonbridge Juddians) catches the ball and runs on. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

After half-time it was more of the same. Oulton and Ducker launched a blistering attack that saw Shepherd in for his second.

Hampshire pulled a try back through wing Chris Buckett, but immediately Shepherd bagged his third try.

Ducker then completed his brace before Shepherd scored his fourth to put the Cornwall supporters in dreamland!

Mike Austin on as a replacement scrum-half got Cornwall’s next try with Redruth favourite hooker Richard Brown coming up with one of his trademark tries off a catch-and-drive.

Cornwall’s final try went to Freeman making his county debut, the former Cornish Pirate was delighted with his score.

Connor Gilbert of Cornwall (Redruth) is tackled by Chris Buckett of Hampshire (Eastleigh). – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Will Trewin had a solid game at full back on his county debut, he suffered a bad knock near the end but left the field walking.

Cornwall head coach Graham Dawe was satisfied with the result. He said. “The guys came together really well this week, they were determined to put on a show, first of all get the win and also score some points and as big a margin as possible.

“I thought we kept our shape well for the full eighty, we had defend at times and we put in some big tackles. The whole 22 got a good run out and we were able to see what they had to offer in a match situation.

“Next week at Hertfordshire will another step up, so we will prepare accordingly.” 

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): Trewin, Shepherd (St. Austell), Simmons, Tout (Tonbridge), Ducker (Plymouth Albion), Honey, Oulton; Phillips, Priddey (Camborne), Tompsett, Freeman (Tonbridge), Whittle (Falmouth), Fox, Stevens, Marriott (Capt, St.Austell)

Replacements: Barnes, Brown, Prowse (Camborne), Pascoe, Howe, Austin (Cinderford), Gilbert.   

Cornwall scores: Tries, Ducker 2, Simmons, Shepherd 4, Priddey, Austin, Brown, Freeman, Cons, Honey 10, Pen, Honey.

Hampshire (Havant unless stated): Barnes (Worthing), Morris, Smith, Dugan, Fieldsend (Ryl Wootton Bassett), Holt; Jenkinson (Tottonians), Shepherd, Sargent (Worthing), Cuffe (Worthing), Young, Brock, Rees (Bournemouth), Perkins (Worthing).

Replacements: Featherstone (Trojans), Clark (Petersfield), Williams (Tottonians), Carkeet (Rosslyn Park), Rabjohn, Sutherland (Bournemouth), Read (Eastleigh).

Hants scores: Tries, Sargent, Buckett, Con Fieldsend

Referee: Ben Woods

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall side to face Hampshire

Cornwall selectors have announced their side to play Hampshire in their first game in this season’s Bill Beaumont Cup.

Only two players who featured in the recent Crawshay’s match feature in the match day 22, Matt Shepherd and Tony Whittle.

Former Cornwall captain Kyle Marriott returns as captain having last played for Cornwall in the winning final of 2016 against Cheshire.

Ben Priddey gets the nod for the hooker spot, fresh from playing in the recent Army v Navy game at Twickenham  

Toby Freeman a former Cornish Pirate and Harlequin comes into the side. The former Spanish Cup winner with Ordiza forms a powerful second row partnership with Whittle.

The Redruth half backs, Jack Oulton and Fraser Honey will once more play a pivotal role in Cornwall’s fortunes this season.

The boy from Bude, Duncan Tout teams up with Redruth’s Jack Simmons to form an exciting centre pairing.

A deserved senior debut for Will Trewin at full back, he has enjoyed a great season in the red shirt and fully deserves his Cornwall call up.

On the bench one of the stars from Cornwall Under 20’s Jason Leonard Cup win prop Declan Prowse, whilst former Falmouth player Mike Austin will be the scrum-half cover off the bench.    

Cornwall team to play Hampshire at Redruth Saturday 14th May 3 pm.

1. Tommy Phillips (Redruth)

2. Ben Priddey (Camborne & Royal Navy)

3. Jess Tompsett (Redruth)

4. Toby Freeman (Tonbridge Juddians)

5. Tony Whittle (Falmouth)

6. Ben Fox (Redruth)

7. Sam Stevens (Redruth)

8. Kyle Marriott (St. Austell) (Captain)

9. Jack Oulton (Redruth)

10, Fraser Honey (Redruth)

11. Alex Ducker (Plymouth Albion)

12. Duncan Tout (Tonbridge Juddians)

13. Jack Simmons (Redruth)

14. Matthew Shepherd (St. Austell)

15. Will Trewin (Redruth)


16. Luke Barnes (Redruth)

17. Richie Brown (Redruth)

18. Declan Prowse (Camborne)

19. Edd Pascoe (Redruth & Royal Navy)

20. Brad Howe (Redruth)

21. Mike Austin (Cinderford)

22. Connor Gilbert (Redruth)

Travelling Reserves

Matt Ballard (Wadebridge Camels)

Todd Prisk (Redruth)

Kyle Gratrix (Wadebridge Camels)

Kyle Bradley (Redruth)  

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall Women name side to play Middlesex Women

Fresh from their success against Dorset & Wilts Women last Sunday by 30-15 at Polson Bridge, Cornwall Women travel to take on Middlesex Women at Grasshoppers RFC with a 1 pm kick-off.

In the pack both hooker Emily Carbis and flanker Rhian Roberts drop to the bench, with Holly Derrante and Briony Eddy come into the starting pack.

In the threequarters, Lydia Hawkins comes in for Mariella Blanchard. On the bench Emily Kneale comes into the matchday 22.

Middlesex like Cornwall won their opening game when they defeated Somerset last Sunday at Weston Hornets 35-17.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall Women scorch to 5 try win



By Bill Hooper, at Polson Bridge. Photos Izzy Ninnis.

Cornwall Women got their campaign off to the best possible start with a bonus point win against Dorset & Wilts Women on a gloriously warm day at Launceston.

Prior to the kick-off there was a minute’s applause to remember Chloe Dawe who was part of the squad prior to the pandemic but who sadly passed away earlier during the season.

Cornwall kicked off playing towards the town end and immediately established good field position, Beth Hampton at No.8 putting in the first of some big drives. Cornwall worked the phases and it was flanker Rhian Roberts who dotted down behind the whitewash for an unconverted try.

Rhian Roberts scores the opening try

Cornwall continued to boss the early stages with Tia Larson in the centre putting in some huge tackles as well as looking dangerous on the attack.

It came as no surprise when Cornwall doubled their score with a superb try from full-back Amy Bunt who showed her pace to out-stretch the cover.

Dorset & Wilts rolled their sleeves up and got some territory in the Cornwall twenty-two, from a tap and go lock Kathy Hancock powered over  in the clubhouse corner to cut the deficit.

The same player repeated the trick before half-time to see both sides level at the break 10-10.

Cornwall again began the half in dominant mood with prop Nicole Rowland showing her strength to get over from a pick and go.

Emma Stefanotti dots down her try

Cornwall then scored the try of the game, Bunt combined with wing Emma Stefanotti who set off on a mazy run of some 50 meters breaking tackles, keeping her balance to score a memorable try under the sticks, fly-half Faith Rowe adding the extras.

Cornwall weren’t finished, centre Lisa Allin skipped out of a tired tackle to score Cornwall fifth try to the delight of the crowd.

Marina Trevarton presents the match ball to Amy Warman

There were a few hold up for injuries as both sides tired, Rowe pushed Cornwall to the thirty point mark with a penalty from in front of the posts with just a couple of minutes to go.

However, the visitors had the final say when prop Lucy Brewer got over for their third try.

After the final whistle, Cornwall Captain Verity Holden spoke of her pride in the team and praised her side for their hard work both in preparing for the season and during the game. “I couldn’t have asked for more the girls played for the shirt today I am over the moon with our result today.

“The girls put their bodies on the line today, they defended like demons to keep out Dorset & Wilts.

“I think today was a big statement that Cornwall Women can play rugby and have the heart and the passion for it.”

Cornwall Women are on the road next Sunday against Middlesex at Grasshoppers RFC.

Cornwall Women: Bunt, Blanchard, Allin, Larson, Stefanotti, Rowe, Warman; Ruby, Carbis, Rowland, Gallagher, Milliken, Roberts, Holden (Capt), Hampton.

Replacements: Upcott, Ninnis, Thompson, Westgarth, Perry, Brazier, Towers.

Cornwall Women scores: Tries, Roberts, Bunt, Rowland, Stefanotti, Allin, Con, Rowe, Pen, Rowe.   

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall Women’s side to play Dorset & Wilts in Gill Burns Cup Opener

Match is at Launceston with a 2 pm kick-off. There are no match programmes so copy & paste the team below and print off.

The Cornwall Women’s team is as follows;

Cornwall Women v Dorset & Wilts Women

15. Amy Bunt (Ivybridge)

14. Mariella Blanchard (Penryn)

13. Lisa Allin (Bude)

12. Tia Larson (Bude)

11. Emma Stefanotti (Ivybridge)

10. Faith Rowe (Camborne)

9. Amy Warman (Launceston)

1. Mel Ruby (Launceston)

2. Emily Carbis (Devonport Services)

3. Nicole Rowland (Ivybridge)

4. Alex Gallagher (Bude)

5. Caitlin Milliken (Camborne)

6. Rhian Roberts (Plymstock AO)

7. Verity Holden (Capt, Ivybridge)

8. Beth Hampton (Penryn)


16. Kim Upcott (Launceston)

17. Josie Ninnis (Camborne)

18. Claire Thompson (Penryn)

19. Sian Westgarth (Truro)

20. Rhian Perry (Helston)

21. Oz Brazier (Truro)

22. Chloe Towers (Truro)

Posted in Bill's Blog

Charity Game at Hayle RFC Saturday 7th May

Cornwall Fire & Rescue take on RAF Police Rugby at Hayle on Saturday, kick-off 2:30 p.m.

Please support and give a donation to the collectors at the game.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall Clubs XV 17 – 24 Torbay Sharks XV

Cornwall Clubs XV are playing Torbay Sharks XV at Bodmin RFC this Saturday, 7th May at 1 pm. Any support will be much appreciated. Entry is free.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Heroic Cornwall fight back to lift Jason Leonard Cup



CORNWALL U.20, 24 – 21 KENT U.20

By Bill Hooper at Sixways Stadium Worcester.

This was a pulsating match that went down to the wire and Cornwall can thank whose ever hand was under the ball when the Kent pack rumbled over the line on 79 minutes leading to a goal-line drop out. By such small margins are games won or lost.

Cornwall got off to a dream start and probably couldn’t believe they would be 17-0 up in as many minutes.

Sam Walker (Exeter Uni/Falmouth) of Cornwall U20s runs in a try. – Photo mandatory by-line: �Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 01/05/22, Cornwall U20s, Kent U20s, Jason Leonard Cup Final, CRFU, Sport, Rugby Union, Worcester, Sixways Stadium, Worcestershire, England

Great work from Jack King saw him rampage into the Kent twenty-two forcing Kent to infringe. Sam Walker calmly slotted the penalty from in front of the posts.

Moments later Walker had another pot at goal, but from further out and saw his kick fly to the right of the sticks.

The fly-half was alert as Kent looked to build a move from their twenty-two, he snaffled a pass to run in unopposed under the sticks, his conversion making it 10-0 to the obvious delight of Trelawny’s Army, who had loan for the day of the Falmouth Marine Band Bass Drum!!

Harry Andrewartha (Camborne) of Cornwall U20s makes a break. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 01/05/22, Cornwall U20s, Kent U20s, Jason Leonard Cup Final, CRFU, Sport, Rugby Union, Worcester, Sixways Stadium, Worcestershire, England

Cornwall’s early dominance continued as Walker kicked a penalty into the corner, Toby Osborne took the lineout ball allowing the forwards to set up a drive, Archie Pilcher went close before Declan Prowse powered his way over the line, Walker adding the simple conversion.

The reaction had to come from Kent, it came in the form of the try of the game from Max Halliday who showed his pace and guile to carve his way through the Cornish defence from his own twenty-two. Jack Cohen added the extras and it was game on again.

Cornwall’s lineout was coming under intense pressure as errors crept in.

Tyler Dower (Camborne) of Cornwall U20s fends off Ben Fryatt (Westcombe Park) Captain of Kent U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 01/05/22, Cornwall U20s, Kent U20s, Jason Leonard Cup Final, CRFU, Sport, Rugby Union, Worcester, Sixways Stadium, Worcestershire, England

Halliday was at it again with another strong run that gave Kent good field position, they went through the phases leading to a try near the sticks for Charlie Galligan bettered by Cohen.

There was a small melee after the score that lead to Cornwall’s skipper Ethan Pearce-Cowley spending ten minutes in the sin-bin.

Damilola Dawodu showed his pace on the wing with only a last-ditch tackle from Cornwall keeping him out.      

A further blow to Cornwall was the loss of centre Harry Andrewartha with a shoulder injury just before half-time.

After the break both sides were making errors as the game became scrappy, but no less intense.

Kent’s flanker Michael Fankah gave Cornwall a few problems as did the prop Will McColl. The clock continued to tick by with no change to the score, tension amongst the Cornish supporters increased by the minute.

Declan Prowse (Camborne) of Cornwall U20s bowls over Harvey Furnaux (Canterbury) of Kent U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 01/05/22, Cornwall U20s, Kent U20s, Jason Leonard Cup Final, CRFU, Sport, Rugby Union, Worcester, Sixways Stadium, Worcestershire, England

The Kent pressure was building and it paid on 69 minutes as Sonny Trew-Neville forced his way over under the posts for Cohen to convert, Cornwall for the first time in the game trailed!

Now the character of this side would be tested, could they find a way back? Walker kicked a penalty to the corner, they secured the lineout and drove towards the Kent line. Kent infringed with Prowse taking a quick tap, he was brought down short of the line, Cornwall re-cycled and drove again with Pat Walton getting the ball down on the line, Walker banged over the conversion and Cornwall led 24-21 going into the final moments.

Ethan Pearce-Cowley (Cinderford) Captain of Cornwall U20s holds the Jason Leonard U20s County Championship trophy. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 01/05/22, Cornwall U20s, Kent U20s, Jason Leonard Cup Final, CRFU, Sport, Rugby Union, Worcester, Sixways Stadium, Worcestershire, England

Kent threw the proverbial kitchen sink at them, they weathered the storm and then saw the game out keeping the ball amongst the forwards, when given the nod, Walker booted the ball off the park and the celebrations began. 

Cornwall’s coach Richie Kevern was delighted with the win. “The boys showed their character today, they had huge pressure on them during the final moments there but showed great maturity to see the game out. Fair play to Kent they showed they are a very good side. We are so sorry our Team Manager Colin Hatch couldn’t be with us today due to illness, this win is as much his as the boys we will get the Cup to him as soon as we can.”      

Cornwall U.20: Larkins (Camborne), Bostock (Truro), Andrewartha (Redruth), Stanlake (Cardiff Met Uni), Surridge (Camborne), Walker (Exeter Uni & Falmouth), Tanswell (Penryn); Pearce-Cowley (Capt, Cinderford), Dower, Prowse (both Camborne), Shepherd (Redruth), Osborne (Pirates Ams), King (Camborne), Trewin (Helston), Pilcher (Pirates Ams).

Replacements: Pritchard (Falmouth), Rolls (St. Austell), Walton (Penryn), Triggs, Pascoe  (both Truro), Hall (Redruth), McCarthy (Camborne SoM).

Cornwall scores: Tries, Walker, Prowse, Walton, Cons, Walker 3, Pen, Walker.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Crawshay’s take the spoils as rugby is the winner


By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground Camborne

Cornwall played a full part in helping Crawshay’s kick-off their centenary season as both sides put on a show for the appreciative Camborne crowd.

As you would expect from two sides drawn from various clubs it took a little time for them to settle. Crawshay’s were keen to move the ball wide at every opportunity looking to give their young backs a good run.

It was Cornwall who got the opening score, from a catch-and-drive, the Cornish pack drove hard for Matt Ballard to claim the score.

Matt Ballard of Cornwall (Wadebridge Camels) dives over for a try. – Photo mandatory by-line: �Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 30/04/22, Cornwall, Crawhays, Welsh XV, Centenary Tour, CRFU, Sport, Rugby Union, Camborne, Recreation Ground, Cornwall, England

Crawshay’s didn’t take too long to strike back, good back play saw wing Jarrod Cushion put in at the corner down by the West Bank. The impressive Evan Lloyd then struck first of his four conversions..

Cornwall showed that they could move the ball with young Ethan Morgan showing good hands, whilst Matt Shepherd and Dan Pearce looked lively.

The Black and Golds then got their second try, another catch and drive with the same result a try for Ballard.

Just before half-time prop Owen Peddle took a quick tap near the Cornish line allowing lock Callum Oliver to dot down by the sticks, Lloyds extras putting Crawshay’s 14-10 up at the break.

Danny Thomas of Cornwall (Wadebridge Camels) throws a pass. – Photo mandatory by-line: �Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 30/04/22, Cornwall, Crawhays, Welsh XV, Centenary Tour, CRFU, Sport, Rugby Union, Camborne, Recreation Ground, Cornwall, England

Early in the second half Matt Ballard completed his hat-trick of tries with Morgan adding the extras.

The Cornish lead was short-lived a wicked bouncing ball bamboozled the Cornish defence allowing wing Will Rees to gather and score in the corner, Lloyd was again bang on the money with the conversion.

A further converted Crawshay’s try from flanker Barney Langdon gave the visitors a comfortable cushion.

Eliot Salt pulled a try back for Cornwall following more close quarter work from the forwards, with Morgan drop-goaling the extras.

Elliot Salt of Cornwall (Cardiff Met) is tackled by Morgan Lloyd of Crawhays XV (Cardiff Met) and Evan Lloyd of Crawhays XV (Dragons Rugby). – Photo mandatory by-line: �Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo – 30/04/22, Cornwall, Crawhays, Welsh XV, Centenary Tour, CRFU, Sport, Rugby Union, Camborne, Recreation Ground, Cornwall, England

With two minutes remaining Gwyn Parks ensured the win with a penalty from in front of the Cornish posts.

A fine game of rugby with Crawshay’s deighted to have renewed their Cornish tour and the promise to return in the near future.  

Cornwall: Shepherd (St. Austell), Statton (Launceston), Walsh (Darlington), Dawe (Launceston), Pearce (Launceston), Morgan (Cardiff Met Uni), Wilson (W’bridge C); Salt (Cardiff Met Uni), Ballard, Gratrix (both W’bridge C), Whittle (Falmouth), Hazelton (Redruth), Randlesome (Penryn), Blackmore (W’bridge C), Rose (Camborne).

Replacements: Tedstone (Penryn), Brassington (Camborne), Vian (St. Austell), Nicholls (Camborne), Livett, Thomas, Grubb, Pretty (all W’bridge C), Thomas (Redruth)

Crawshay’s Welsh: Butler (London Welsh), Rees (Seaford Coll), Bates (Ebbw Vale), Jacobs (Aberystwyth), Cushion (Merthyr), E Lloyd (Dragons Rugby), M Lloyd (Cardiff Met Uni); Griffiths (Cross Keys), Scarfe (Pontypool), Peddle (Swansea Uni), Oliver (Chelthenham), Grey (Ebbw Vale), Langdon (Cardiff Met Uni), Souto (Dragons Acad), Thomas (Blina).

Replacements: Chapman, Thompson (both Cardiff Met Uni), Couch (Coleg Gwent), Phillips (Cardiff Uni), S Butler (Monmouth Boys Sch), Evans (Ebbw Vale), Parks (Swansea Uni), Williams (Neath), Stewart (Swansea Uni)  

Cornwall scores: Tries Ballard 3, Salt, Cons, Morgan 2

Crawshay’s scores: Tries: Cushion, Oliver, Rees, Langdon, Cons, Lloyd 4, Pen Parks.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Youtube link to watch Jason Leonard Cup Final

If you can’t get to Worcester here is the next best thing RFU are live streaming the game at 5:15 pm on Sunday click on the link

Posted in Bill's Blog

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