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!!