Damian Cook takes no prisoners!
Darren Jacques on the charge
When the news filtered through that Lancashire, despite their loss to Cheshire by 20-13, had qualified for the Bill Beaumont Cup Final, memories flooded back of the two previous occasions that Cornwall played Lancashire in a County Final, 1969 at Redruth an 11-9 defeat, also in 1992 at Twickenham when the Red Rose won again 9-6.
After two narrow defeats against Lancashire in finals, can Cornwall make it third time lucky this Sunday?
In 1969, Cornwall, despite leading at half-time 9-0 thanks to two penalty goals kicked by Roger Harris and Raymond George along with a drop-goal from scrum-half David Chapman, and with a crowd of some 21,000 squeezed into Redruth’s Recreation Ground, couldn’t contain the second half comeback from a Lancashire side lead by skipper Dick Greenwood.
Tries from No.8 Eric Lyon and winger Tony Richards together with a penalty from centre Chris Jennins tied the scores at 9-9 (remember a try in those days was only worth three points).
With the crowd having to be cleared to allow Jennins to take the conversion, the Lancashire centre kicked what proved to be the winning conversion.
George had a penalty chance for Cornwall, but the ball toppled over just as the flanker was to put boot to ball.
Cornwall had no complaints at the final whistle as Lancashire had proved to be the better side on the day and fully deserved their win.
Cornwall: G Bate, Capt, (Penryn), K Plummer (Bristol & Penryn), V Parkin (Bristol & Penryn), G Jones (U.S. Portsmouth), D Prout (Northampton & Redruth), T Palmer (Gloucester & Truro), D Chapman (Hayle); B Stevens (Penzance & Newlyn), R Harris (Penryn), C. Johns (Redruth), B Ninnes (St. Ives), C Kneebone (Penryn), R George (Redruth), R Hosken (Harlequins & Penryn), G McKeown (Penryn)
In 1992 Cornwall returned to Twickenham, supported by well over 40,000 fans, as defending champions and favourites to retain their crown against a Lancashire side that was without many of their Orrell players who had shone in their semi-final win against Hampshire.
The favourites tag has always sat uneasily on Cornish shoulders and so it was to prove once more.
They couldn’t replicate their marvellous semi-final win against Yorkshire at Redruth 22-3, with tries from wingers Tony Mead and David Weeks and goals kicked by full back Kevin Thomas. It was for me the finest playing performance by a Cornwall side during this golden period of Cornwall county rugby.
Matters were not helped when fly-half Billy Peters was forced to leave the field after just four minutes.
Thomas gave Cornwall a 22nd minute lead with a penalty, however Lancashire struck back with an extraordinary try. Lancashire full back Mike Jackson fielded a kick before launching a high speculative kick towards the Cornwall goal-line, the ball bounced wickedly in-goal right into the welcoming hands of the up-rushing Jackson! Paul Grayson kicked the conversion and Lancashire led 6-3.
Grayson then extended Lancashire’s lead with a forty metre penalty goal for 9-3.
Thomas replied with a second penalty goal and Cornwall then threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Lancashire as they stormed their line, but they couldn’t get another score.
Cornwall: K Thomas (Redruth), A Mead (Redruth), C Laity (Neath), M Brain (Clifton), D Weeks (Camborne), W Peters (Bath) (S Whitworth, Redruth 4mins), R Nancekivell (Northampton); J May, B Andrew, R Keast (all Redruth), A Reed (Bath), T Cook, G Williams , Capt, (both Redruth), A Bick (Penzance & Newlyn), J Atkinson (St. Ives)
Replacements (not used) M Gomez, C Whitworth, A Ellery, M Phillips, J Mortimer (all Redruth)