Cornwall booked a final place in this season’s Bill Beaumont Cup Final next Sunday at the home of English rugby with a hard-fought win over Hertfordshire at Hoe Lane.
Bruised and battered bodies will need to heal this week but the prospect of another trip to Twickenham and a chance to put right the defeat last season at the hands of Lancashire should prove the boost the players need.
In difficult playing conditions the Cornish pack was once again the cornerstone of the famous win as the Black and Golds sucked the life out of the Hertfordshire eight.
Despite falling behind to an early penalty kicked by Hertfordshire fly-half Lawrence Rayner, Cornwall stormed back at their hosts with a trade-mark driving maul which saw No.8 BJ Chapman claim what was to prove the game’s only try.
Kieron Lewitt kicked a good conversion for a 7-3 lead, a lead Cornwall were never to relinquish.
Cornwall’s defence was sorely tested throughout the game; however the Cornish lads stuck to their defensive game plans to restrict Hertfordshire to just another Rayner penalty before half-time for the slimmest advantage of just a point 7-6 at the turn.
Hertfordshire lost their prop William Briggs sin-binned allowing Lewitt to increase Cornwall’s lead but that was soon cancelled out as Cornwall were also reduced to fourteen men when skipper Ben Hilton committed an indiscretion in the red zone allowing Rayner to pull three points back.
Lewitt stretched Cornwall’s lead once again with a second penalty on 57 minutes putting the Duchy 13-9 up.
The Cornish All Black’s full-back had further chances to put Cornwall further ahead on the scoreboard but his efforts failed to add to the score.
Hertfordshire looked to find a way back but the Cornish defence held firm, whilst the Cornish pack almost scored a second try to make the game safe but were deemed held up by the referee over the line.
Frusrations erupted near the final whistle with Hertfordshire No.8 Matt Chambers and Cornwall’s replacement lock Bryn Jenkins both sent to the bin for fighting.
When Cornwall got a final penalty St. Austell’s Matt Shepherd booted the ball into touch and the celebrations began!
The celebrations will be short-lived as the Cornwall squad will begin to prepare for next Sunday’s final at Twickenham which will kick-off at 12-15 pm. The Cornish side will look to get revenge for the defeat last season by Lancashire 35-26.
Penalties – Rayner (3)
Yellow Cards – Briggs (49), Chambers (80)
CORNWALL 13 pts
Try – Chapman, Conversion – Lewitt, Penalties – Lewitt (2)
Yellow Cards – Hilton (51), Jenkins (80)
Hertfordshire: H Robinson (Darlington MP), S Smart (Hertford), C Lombaard (Old Albanian), S Ellis (Luton), S Hankin (Bishop’s Stortford), L Rayner, S Liebenberg; W Briggs (all Old Albanian), W Roberts (Bishop’s Stortford), S Staff, L Bickle (Capt, both Old Albanian), B Odell, T MacDougall (both Hertford), O Cooper-Millar, M Chambers (both Old Albanian).
Replacements (all used): W Cope (Spalding), O Walliker (Swindon), H Green (Tring), J Corcoran (Hertford), A Mahoney (Bishop’s Stortford), J Sharp (Ampthill & District), D Holmes (Old Albanian).
Cornwall: K Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), S Parsons (Redruth), R Westren, N Webber (Both Cornish All Blacks), T Notman (Redruth), L Webb (Cornish All Blacks), G Goodfellow (Redruth); D Jacques (Truro), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Reduth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks Capt), D Cook, C Fuca (Both Redruth), T Rawlings, BJ Chapman (Both Cornish All Blacks).
Replacements (used): B Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), S Johns (Birmingham & Solihull), M Shepherd (St. Austell), J Matavesi (Camborne)
Replacements (not used): R Brown, J Tompsett (Both Redruth), T Whittle (Falmouth).
Referee: James Clarke (RFU)
MATCH PHOTOS BY DAN BARBARY DAN REDS CAMERA MAN