CURTAIN FALLS ON LEAGUE SEASON

It was the final round of matches in National Leagues 1 & 2 involving our Cornish clubs. Up in Coventry the Cornish Pirates put in a fine performance to defeat their hosts 32-20 at Butts Park Arena. Pirates’ tries came through Iva Motusaga, Rhodri McAtee, Sam Parsons, Henry Barratt and a Penalty Try, with Alberto Di Bernardo kicking a couple of conversions and a penalty in his final apperance in a Pirate shirt. Although the Pirates ended up on 101 points the same as Exeter Chiefs it’s the Devonians who finish in fourth place with the Cornish side fifth and Plymouth Albion 6th on 97 points.

After the final round of matches in the Guinness Premiership it’s now confirmed that former European Champions and this season’s Heineken Cup semi-finalist’s Northampton Saints will be relegated to National League 1 for next season.

The Cornish All Blacks travelled to Dry Leas no doubt still suffering a hangover form their celebrations last weekend and lost by 31-7. A game with nothing riding on it except pride saw the Hawks seal a third place finish running in five tries. The Cornish All Black’s try was scored by Josh Lord with Mark Scrivener adding the conversion. It’s going to be a busy summer on the banks of the Tamar in preperation for next season’s debut in National League 1.

Redruth rounded off their fine season with a splendid 32-28 win at home over Stourbridge to finish in 4th place in National League 2, their highest ever finish in the league structure. Paul Thirlby, Tim McBride, Rob Thirlby and Nathan Pascoe all scored tries for the Reds with Mike Hook kicking 12 points to add to his Record Points scored in the league this season for Redruth.

In the two promotion play-offs involving Cornish clubs there was disappointment. Hayle playing at home to Barton Hill Old Boys from Bristol for a place in South West 2 West next season lost 27-11. Dave Seager scored a late try for the Lions with Ben Eddy kicking a couple of penalties.

Liskeard & Looe travelled to Bideford losing a close game 23-18 in their play-off for a spot in the Cornwall & Devon League next season. Lewis Elliott and Craig Oxenham scored tries for the East Cornwall Lions whilst Marcus Hill kicked two penalties and a conversion.

         

Posted in Bill's Blog


CORNWALL’S BRETON TRIP

In preperation for their forthcoming County Shield campaign the CRFU took a squad of players to Brittany for a squad session and to play a friendly against a RC Quimperois XV, at Quimper’s Coat Ligavan ground.

It was good to see the team make the trip to Brittany, an idea mooted a few season’s ago and no doubt re-enforced by the trip made last season by the Bolingy Barbarians who played a veterans match in Quimper. Rugby in Brittany is on the march and improving as each season goes by with RC Vannes being the highest placed Breton club within the FFR’s league structure playing this season in Federale 1, level 3 in France, and looking likely to hold on to this level as I write this article.

The game played on the Saturday was not the most important sporting event in Quimper that day as the Tour du Finistere cycle race also took place on the same day, so Cornwall had to play second fiddle.

It took Cornwall a good 40 minutes to gell as a team by which time they trailled 5-0 to an early try by winger Franck Kersall following a fine break from inside centre  Anthony Niclas. It could have been worse as Quimper knocked the ball forward with the line begging. Cornwall also had to adapt to the local variations to the rules played at that level in France especially in the scrummaging where you are only allowed to push for 1.5 meters and not at all once the ball has been won, also tap tackling is not allowed.

During the second half coach Joff Rowe made a few changes as Cornwall began to take a hold up-front and their superior fitness began to tell. Hooker Darren Semmens was able to drive over twice to score fine tries for Cornwall with veteran fly-half Ian Morgan kicking a conversion and two penalties to give Cornwall an 18-5 win.

It would be very good to see relations between Cornwall and Quimper continue on the rugby front, it is to be hoped that Quimper will be in a position to make a trip to Cornwall for a return fixture at some stage. The standard that Quimper play at is probably around SW1/SW2 West level, so a good level of rugby locally.

Cornwall: J. Parma (Camborne), O. Faulkner (Mount’s Bay), R. Ley (Camborne), G Thirlby (St Ives), N Corin (St Ives), I. Morgan (Penryn), B. Keary (Mount’s Bay); T Stevens (St Ives), D Semmens, D. Clackworthy (both Mount’s Bay), B. Jenkin (Plymouth Alb), B. Hilton (Mount’s Bay, capt), L Stevens (St Ives), I. Boase (St.Ives), T. Outram (Mount’s Bay).
Replacements (all used): T. Hurdwell (St Ives/Launceston), J. Wilce (Wadebridge Camels), S, Turnbull (St Ives), K. Martin (St Ives), J. Lawrence (Brixham), B.Collings (Launceston), G Corin (St Ives), M. Woolcock (Camborne).

RC Quimperois XV that played Cornwall.   Note Plouzané is a Fédérale 3 club, same level as Quimper, from the Brest area.

1: LABY Cédric (Plouzané)
2: GOALEN Jérémy (Quimper)
3: VIEGAS Henrique (Quimper)
4: ANDRE Jean-Marie (Quimper)
5: LE LAY Tanguy (Quimper)
6: ANDRIEUX Anthony (Plouzané)
7:TROALEN Bertrand (Quimper)
8: ANDRO Gurwan (Quimper)
9: YVINOU Thomas (Quimper)
10: DONNART Erwan (Quimper)
11:KERSALL Franck (Quimper)
12: NICLAS Anthony (Quimper)
13: HERBERT Jérémy (Quimper)
14: QUEFFELEC Fabien (Quimper)
15: TALLEC Morgan (Quimper)
16: PUECH Vincent (Quimper)
17:BOTHEREL Eric (Plouzané)
18:DILASSER (Plouzané)
19: PELTIER Julien (Quimper)
20: GARZUEL Yann (Quimper)
21:GUIVARCH François (Quimper)
22:ANDRIEUX Jérome (Plouzané) 
    

Referee Kevin Bastard, only 18 years of age and one of the best young referees in France.           

     

Posted in Bill's Blog


PARTY TIME AT CAMBORNE

The Cornish Pirates played their final home game of the season at Camborne’s Recreation Ground on Sunday against the Pertemps Bees and thrilled the Cornish crowd with nine tries and a festival of running rugby in a 55-14 win.

Following their open-top bus ride through the streets of Penzance on Saturday showing off their EDF-Energy National Trophy to the massed crowds that lined Market Jew street the boys were in determined mood to bring the curtain down on their first season at Camborne in style, it also being the occasion for many to say farewell and au-revoir to the players that will be moving on during the close-season.

The game was full of flowing and running rugby with the Cornish Pirates tries scored by James Moore (3), Adryan Winnan (2), Duncan Bell, Joe Beardshaw with referee Nick Williams awarding the Cornish Pirates two penalty tries also getting in on the act.

After the final whistle the party got underway with Graham Hart playing “This one’s for the boys” on the pitch and then the end of season presentations which saw the “President’s Cup” going to Vili Ma’asi. Vili will be greatly missed as he departs to the Premiership next season along with Alberto Di Bernardo at Leeds Tykes. Vili as the current holder of the Bill Osborne Shield has given great pleasure whether wearing Pirates colours or the Black and Gold of Cornwall. We wish him well.

 

Posted in Bill's Blog


CORNISH ALL BLACKS SECURE PROMOTION

More good news for Cornish rugby as the Cornish All Blacks thanks to a 38-6 win over Cambridge coupled by Henley Hawks defeat at National League 2 champions Esher claimed the runners-up spot in National League 2 ensuring National League 1 rugby at Polson Bridge next season. Many Congratulations to coaches Chris Brown, Jon Hill and the squad on tremendous achievement.

Redruth maintained their fine form with a 39-20 win at Halifax in National League 2 consolidating their fine fourth place, they could even finish as high as third if they win their final game of the season and Henley Hawks slip up at home to the Cornish All Blacks.

Champions Mount’s Bay completed their league program in South West 1 losing to Cleve 39-12, however many of the Mount’s Bay squad were with the Cornwall team for their match in Quimper, Brittany against a Selection du Finistere which was played this afternoon. The score of this match ended 18-5 to Cornwall with we believe Darren Semmens scoring Cornwall’s two tries during the second half with Ian Morgan kicking the other points. Kersall scored an early try for the Bretons.

 

 

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cattle on top of the world after rousing fightback

By Mark Stevens, of the Western Morning News at Twickenham 

 

CORNISH Pirates skipper Gavin Cattle admitted lifting the EDF Energy National Trophy crown yesterday was the “best experience of his life”.The Welshman helped play an integral part in guiding the Cornish club to a 19-16 victory over Westcountry rivals Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham.

 “It’s still sinking in at the moment,” said Cattle at the final whistle. “We left it a bit late, but we showed a lot of character. It was like a furnace out there, but all the boys stepped up to the plate, especially second half, played for the full 80 and in the end we managed to turn it round.”

Having seen their league ambitions fade in the past month following defeats at London Welsh, Bedford Blues and Plymouth Albion, Cattle admitted the Pirates were determine to ensure their season did not peter into insignificance.

“We are bitterly disappointed our league campaign fell apart like it did,” added Cattle. “After the recent results, our focus was to win the Trophy and win at Twickenham, so at least we achieved something, because we do deserve it.”

A spirited second half showing from the Pirates saw them turn around a 16-6 deficit to lift the crown. Cattle explained the turnaround: “I suppose it was our spirit and character which came through in the end. It was like we realised that was our one opportunity, our one chance.

“It could have gone either way, I am not going to deny that, Exeter play a pretty tight game, but luckily enough they did tire towards the end and the gaps started appearing. As for the first half we let them run too much, but in the second we got to our game plan and thank god we came up trumps.”   Urged on by thousands who had made their journey up from the Duchy, Cattle admitted the support from the stands also helped play its part in their success story.

“The support was unbelievable,” he added. “Even from waking up this morning and leaving the hotel, you feel like a pop star. The fans have been awesome all year. We get four or five thousand for home games and they are always loud, but today was a different league, it’s definitely my best life experience.”

 

 

Posted in Bill's Blog


CORNISH ROUND UP 16-04-07

It seems to be the saying at the moment, but “What a weekend for Cornish Rugby”. The afterglow of the twin success’ of both the Cornish Pirates and Mount’s Bay at Twickenham on Sunday will burn for many days yet. Further good news on Sunday was the result of Redruth Colts winning their National Colts Cup semi-final 11-6 against the holders Bishop’s Stortford 11 – 6. Many Congratulations to the Redruth youngsters and coach Simon Blake in getting to the Final on May Bank Holiday Monday May 7th at Northampton’s

Franklin’s Gardens Ground against Bedford Colts with a 3pm kick-off.


 
The promotion race in National League 2 looks set to go down to the wire as both the Cornish All Blacks and Henley Hawks picked up four points on Saturday to leave the Cornish side with a one point advantage over the Hawks. The Cornish All Blacks travelled to the Rectory Field, Blackheath and won 20-6. The Cornish All Blacks’ tries were scored by centre Marc Sweeney and full-back Andy Birkett with fly-half Sam Young adding both conversions and a couple of penalties. Frankie Neale kicking a couple of penalties for Blackheath. Next up for the Cornish All Blacks is this Saturday’s final home game of the season against Cambridge who defeated champions Esher at the weekend, Henley travel to Esher, it’s all to play for!
 
Only one game in South West 1 this weekend, St. Ives travelled to Basingstoke to play their final league match and lost 44-9. The Hakes one time play-off hopefuls in this league have finished in 7th place.

Mount’s Bay were due to play at Cleve, due to their Cup Final appearance this game will now be played next Saturday.
 
In South West 2 West, Camborne defeated Spartans 59-3 in a game in which the referee blew up early, as the visitors had no front row cover. The Cherry & Whites scored nine tries through winger Cameron Bone (2), full-back Adam Copeland (2), skipper Dave Roberts (2), hooker Andrew Smith, flanker Kevin Penrose and centre Paul Gadsdon, Dave Mankee kicked seven conversions, Spartans only score came from a penalty kicked by Rory Teague. Camborne finished in 5th place in South West 2 West. 
 
Penryn wrapped up their dreadful season with another loss at home to Cheltenham North by 36-12. Charlie Ross and Chris Mann scored the Borough’s two tries with Ian Morgan kicking a penalty. Penryn finished 11th
and are relegated back to Western Counties West next season.
 
In Western Counties West, Truro lost 28-0 to champions Barnstaple who completed a perfect record played 22 won 22. Truro finished bottom of the pile and will look to re-group in the Cornwall & Devon league next season.
 
Bude lost their final match 19-12 at home to Sidmouth, Paul Williams scored and converted his own try whilst Rob Uglow scored the other Bude try. Bude finished in 8th place.
 
Hayle, with their minds already on their play-off date travelled to Ivybridge and lost by 16-10, James Jago scored the Lions’ try, which was converted by Ben Eddy who also kicked a penalty.
 
In the Cornwall & Devon league, Wadebridge Camels beat Wessex 54-0 but Paignton’s big win at Perranporth assured the Devon side of the league title. Camels will look forward to Western Counties West rugby next season. Perranporth will be heading back to Cornwall 1 as will St. Austell despite their final day win over Honiton 27-25. Falmouth suffered a home defeat at the hands of Tavistock by 20-17 to finish up 7th in the league.

London Cornish rounded off their league season with a good win over Sandown & Shanklin from the Isle of Wight by 40-17, they also acheiving promotion to London 3 SW next season. 


Congratulations to Newquay Hornets who won promotion from Cornwall 1 to the Cornwall and Devon league next season. Liskeard & Looe will face a tricky play-off against Bideford in North Devon for the remaining place. Relegated from Cornwall 1 are Camborne School of Mines and Illogan Park.
 
In Cornwall 2, Roseland are the champions with St. Just also being promoted.
 
Finally good luck and bon voyage to the Cornwall squad as they travel to Brittany this weekend to play a Sélection du Finistère in Quimper on Saturday.
    
 

Posted in Bill's Blog


VICTORIES FOR THE PIRATES AND MOUNT’S BAY

In a gripping encounter, the Cornish Pirates came from behind to beat the Exeter Chiefs 19-16 to lift the EDF-Energy National Trophy at Twickenham on Sunday afternoon. Vili Ma’asi scored the Pirates try with Alberto Di Bernardo’s trusty boot claiming the other points. Many Congratulations to the Cornish Pirates, Kernow bys Vyken.

Later in the day Mount’s Bay defeated Midlands 1 side Dunstablians 46 – 36 to win the EDF-Energy Intermediate Cup to complete a great double of league and cup. Four tries for Mika Mua as the Bay ran in seven tries, other tries from Shane Laloata, Ricky Pellow and Pale Nonu. Congratulations to the Bay.

A unique Cornish double at the home of English rugby, not to be forgotten in a hurry. They couldn’t bid us nay!

Posted in Bill's Blog


All the best lads

Less than forty eight hours to kick-off for the Cornish Pirates and the Mount’s Bay teams. I wish them “All the best” in hoping they can do a unique double for Cornwall on Sunday. Those of us that sadly can’t make the trip will be listening eagerly to the match commentary on BBC Radio Cornwall, willing both sides on to victory.

“Give’em hell fire boys”.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornish Roundup 09/04/07

Apart from the Cornish Pirates National League 1 encounter at Plymouth Albion on Saturday, which as you can read about on the main news page of the site, there were a couple of outstanding league encounters in Western Counties West.
 
Hayle made the trip to Crediton and won with the last kick of the match 9-6 to earn the point they needed to make sure of home advantage in their play-off match with Barton Hill Old Boys for a place in South West 2 West next season. James Trezise kicked the Lions points.
 
Bude also played an outstanding fixture entertaining Minehead Barbarians winning by 22-15, Simon Hicks, Don Statton, Matt Williams and Steve Yates all scored tries for Bude with Justin Uglow slotting a conversion.
 
Saturday also saw the finals of the Skinners Brewery Cornwall Knock-Out Cup and Clubs Cup, congratulations to Redruth and Liskeard & Looe the winners and commiserations to both losing finalists Mount’s Bay and Roseland. News in the match program and also in yesterday’s Sunday Independent, that the format Knock-Out Cup will be reviewed for next season.
 
With it being Easter it’s always good to welcome to Cornwall touring sides, which in years gone by was very much a feature of the season. It’s always pleasing to see that Old Dunstonians and Imperial Medics continue their Easter tours to Cornwall; long may they continue to do so.
 
Having wished the Cornish Pirates and Mount’s Bay all the best for next Sunday, it must not be forgotten that the Cornish All Blacks have a very important match this Saturday at Blackheath as they strive to make the second promotion spot to National League 1 behind Esher, who have now won the National League 2 title. Their race with Henley Hawks looks set to go down to the last game of the season when Launceston visit Henley.
 
 
 

Posted in Bill's Blog


Twickenham fever grips County

There is no doubt that this week will see feverish excitement grow as Cornwall prepares for a double assault on Twickenham with both the Cornish Pirates and Mount’s Bay playing their respective EDF-Energy Cup Finals next Sunday at the home of the RFU. The M5/M4 and the A 303 /M3 will be conveying the invasion forces to the capital in the early hours on Sunday morning outnumbering the opposition en-route, last man/woman will have turned the lights out as the late Bill Bishop faithfully requested all those years ago. Cornwall is on the march once more.
 
It’s been eight long years since “Trelawnys Army” has invaded the mighty fortress in TW1, I haven’t counted the Challenge Match at Twickenham in 2001 that Cornwall played against Yorkshire, and that memorable win against old foes Gloucestershire in the 1999 County Championship Final when Dean Shipton became only the third Cornish captain to lead the Duchy to Championship victory.
 
Since that triumph much has changed in rugby circles not least here in Cornwall with the demise of the County Championship even in this hotbed of county rugby, Cornwall’s relegation from the County Championship last season to the County Shield whose final will not be at Twickenham this season illustrates more than ever that the club game is now king and the Cornish Pirates have become the symbol of Cornish rugby excellence to a new generation of rugby supporter who have grown up hearing the tales of Twickenham and how Cornwall have taken the mighty stadium by force in years gone by. With the game now very much professional at the top end, the Cornish Pirates with their Premiership aspirations will travel not only to try and win the National Trophy but, and perhaps more importantly, to make a statement to those who hold power at HQ that the potential exists for a Cornish Club to compete and flourish at the very highest level of the game in England that opportunity must not be denied them or any other aspiring club for the good of the game.   
 
Some things of course have not changed, the singing of the Cornish fans no doubt joining up with the Welsh Ospreys fans to create a melodic experience that the English can only dream about. The camaraderie, win or lose, we shall have a good time and make the most of it (though winning is preferable). Hawker’s “Song of the Western Men” Trelawny will be sung with great fervour and passion, was there ever an anthem that better illustrated a Cornish invasion “We’ll cross the Tamar land to land, the Severn is no stay, With One and All and hand in hand, And who shall bid us nay!  And when we come to London’s Wall a pleasant sight to view, Come forth! Come forth, ye cowards all, Here’s men as good as you! Sam Heard will need little other inspiration. It adds spice too when the opposition is from our neighbours Devon, Exeter Chiefs, though I have yet to see any Big Chiefs to match the Biarritz mascot, now that’s a real Chief! Beating any Devonian team is always guaranteed to cheer a Cornishman, it makes the beer so much more enjoyable and the pasties and saffron cake slips down a treat we also know what real cream tastes like too!! It makes that enforced drive through the Devonian countryside on the way home a real pleasure!!  (Well almost).
 
Could it be a memorable Cornish winning double? I wouldn’t bet against it, both the Cornish Pirates and Mount’s Bay have quality players to win their respective finals, who will bid us nay?

Posted in Bill's Blog


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