Cornish cream rises to the top

Tamar Cup 2016

Photo: Victorious Cornwall side with Tamar Cup last night


Report by Bill Hooper Photos Simon Bryant at Tregorrick Park

Cornwall retained the Tamar Cup, on a bitterly cold evening, with a thrilling 45-10 win against their Tamar neighbours Devon in front of a large enthusiastic crowd at St Austell.

Cornwall out-scored their opponents on the try front seven to one and could have had a hat-full more scores but for errors and solid defence from the men in green and white.

Prior to the game there was a minute’s silence in respect of former county stalwart Reg Roberts and also Devon RFU chairman David Butt, both of whom sadly passed away recently.

Despite a scrappy start from both sides, Cornwall began to drive through the forwards, earning a penalty which fly-half Dave Mankee kicked to the corner. Lock Ben Hilton was held up over the line and from the resulting scrum No 8 and skipper Kyle Marriott picked up and drove over for Cornwall’s opening try.

Photo: Cornwall skipper Kyle Marriott on the charge with Grant Randlesome in support

Further good work from the forwards notably prop Tom Cowan-Dickie, and Marriott, led to another penalty, which Mankee popped in the corner, with Hilton claiming the ball to set up Marriott for his second try at the posts. Mankee added the conversions to both opening tries.

Full back Dan Pearce looked dangerous running from deep, whilst young lock Todd Prisk and the Penryn duo of Grant Randlesome and George Jones were industrious at the breakdown.

Not surprisingly Cornwall scored a third try before half-time, when the ball was moved at pace along the line with centres Nielson Webber and Duncan Tout linking well with winger Sam Parsons, who scooted over for an unconverted try.

Photo: Sam Parsons scores Cornwall’s third try

Devon, who had already looked to the bench during the first half, did get on the board before the break when fly-half Dan Powell kicked a penalty for a 19-3 score-line.

Both sides brought on fresh players at the start of the second half, with Cornwall centre Pale Nonu soon making inroads.

Richie Kevern, on at fly-half, combined well with Tout to put flying winger Jon Dawe in for Cornwall’s fourth try.

The Camborne back was again in action, linking well with BJ Chapman in a move that almost brought a further score. Instead Kevern set up a catch and drive and when the ball was moved wide slipped in under the sticks for try number five, converted by Pearce.

Devon’s best move of the night was rewarded with a score by James Martin following good work from flanker Dan Williams, who put Martin away for the try, Olly Wickets adding the extras.

Cornwall weren’t finished yet, adding further tries before the end from the rampant BJ Chapman and Tout, both converted by Pearce to make the final score 45-10.

Cornwall skipper Kyle Marriott accepted the Tamar Cup from county presidents Kenny Plummer and Maureen Jackson.

Photo: Craig Williams with his Paul Bawden Memorial Man-of-the-Match award

After the game, Cornwall’s assistant coach Ian Morgan was delighted with the performance of his Cornwall side: “I was really pleased with how it went tonight, bearing in mind the limited preparation time we have had. I thought our defence was outstanding and our forwards were tremendous.”

Morgan felt that a few of this side had put their hands up for the opening Bill Beaumont Cup game: “It goes to show the power of that black and gold shirt when players come in and put on a performance like that. Boys from Bude, St Ives and Penryn have tonight shown their passion and commitment, fair play to them they have all worked hard at training and brought in to what we want to achieve as a county side.”

Morgan was full of praise for skipper Kyle Marriott: “He only played for forty minutes but he gave it his all. He is a great ball carrier and his work rate in the rucks and mauls is phenomenal. Other old heads like Ben Hilton, Craig Williams and Damien Cook have got so much experience at this level that we are very fortunate to have them.

“We will take tonight’s result and then build next week with our two sessions on Tuesday and Thursday at Redruth, in preparation for that first game against Gloucestershire.”

Morgan was also delighted by the crowd: “A fantastic turnout on a bitterly cold evening, they got behind the boys, we want more of the same at Redruth on Saturday week.”

CORNWALL (Redruth unless stated): D Pearce (Bude), S Parsons, D Tout (Bude), N Webber, J Dawe (Plymouth Albion), D Mankee, R Friend (Cornish All Blacks); T Cowan-Dickie, R Brown, C Williams, T Prisk (St Ives), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), G Randlesome, G Jones (both Penryn), K Marriott (Capt).

Replacements (all used): B Taylor (St Ives), L Chapman (Cornish All Blacks), D Cook, B Kemp (both Camborne), BJ Chapman (Taunton), C Fuca, M Shepherd (Plymouth Albion), L Jones, R Kevern (Camborne)

Cornwall scores: Tries Marriott (2), Parsons, Dawe, Chapman, Tout, Conversions, Mankee (2), Pearce (3)

DEVON (Exmouth unless stated): C Briant (Ivybridge), T Goodman (Brixham), M Wathes, L Paterson (Ivybridge), O Rice, D Powell, Matt Ryan;  J Morgan (Ivybridge), C Bryce (Brixham), M Dowrick (Newton Abbot), Jack Fahy, D Lomes (Ivybridge),  D Williams (Torquay Ath), W Sprangle (Tiverton, Capt), Ross Morshead.

Replacements (all used): I Dalton, N Berry, A Priest (Bideford), D Folland (Bideford), O Wickets (Bideford), H Ridgeway, J Martin.

Devon scores: Try Martin, Conversion, Wickett, Penalty, Powell

Yellow Card: Dalton (80)

Referee: Richard Timbrell (Bristol RRS)

Crowd: 1025

Trelawny’s Army Supporters Club Cornwall man-of-the-match: Craig Williams. Cornwall’s win was based on front row dominance and Craig anchored the scrum well all night.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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