BILL BEAUMONT CUP
CORNWALL 45 – 28 HERTFORDSHIRE
By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground Camborne
Photos courtesy of Simon Bryant, Iktis photo
Glorious, simply glorious, Cornwall ran in seven tries against Hertfordshire to book another return to rugby HQ next Sunday for a fourth encounter in five years with the red rose of Lancashire.
There was a sense of excitement as kick-off approached, nerves too it has to be said, but the beating of the bass drum from the Falmouth Marine Band soothed the nerves, what a joy to see them doing what they do best raising the temperature of the crowd parading around the pitch. The hanging of the pasty from the crossbar and the sight of “Betty Stoggs” what more could you ask for!
Photo: Sam Matavesi celebrates one of his two tries
As kick-off approached and with a crowd of 3,000 plus the scene was set. There was drama before kick-off as news emerged that Hertfordshire had a number of changes to their published side as a number of players from the Old Albanian club had withdrawn due to a players wedding, forcing head coach James Shanahan to done the number 25 shirt at fly-half.
Cornwall, led by skipper Jake Murphy emerged from the tunnel to huge roars from the crowd, having won the toss they elected to play up the slope in the first half.
What a start it proved to be, Tom Notman collecting the ball and turning on a sixpence ran hard into the Herts twenty-two, ruck ball saw Cornwall pound the Herts line with scrum-half Jack Oulton slipping the ball to flanker Sam Matavesi to crash over, full back Matt Shepherd added the extras and Cornwall were up and running.
Photo: Tom Notman tackled by Herts Pierre Dotta
Cornwall had a little bit of trouble in the scrums early on, Shanahan found touch towards the scoreboard corner following a series of drives from the Herts’ forwards the wily fox at 10 sold a great dummy to stroll under the sticks for scrum-half Tom Banks to convert and level the scores. Game on.
Cornwall lost Oulton to a heavy knock allowing local favourite Dave Mankee to come on at 9. Cornwall had to soak up a lot of pressure putting in tackles like demons. They lifted the siege getting field good position. No.8 Grant Randlesome made a fine break, one of many, linking with lock Tony Whittle who in turn found fly-half Joe Elderkin, whose soft pass put flyer Lewis Vinnicombe away in the corner for try number two. Shepherd kicked a fine conversion from five meters in from touch.
Hooker Richard Brown played scrum-half at a ruck feeding Elderkin who broke away linking with Shepherd before giving the scoring pass to Notman for try number three and a 19-7 lead.
Photo: Bryn Jenkins had another towering game in the lineout
Hertfordshire pulled a score back through full back Pierre Dotta off a pass from centre Francis Denny, there was a brief altercation amongst the players before Banks added the conversion and the game remained poised at 19-14 up until the break.
Once again Cornwall began the half with a bang. Good work from centre Robin Wedlake and the impressive Matavesi saw Cornwall get a penalty. Shepherd kicked to the West Bank corner and with the crowd baying the lineout was secured and Cornwall drove for the line with Brown getting the bonus point try.
Still Hertfordshire would not lie down back they came with a try from lock James Apperley converted by Banks.
A speculative kick into the Herts’ twenty-two bounced very high allowing replacement hooker Matt Ballard to claim the ball he was hauled down short of the line, Hertfordshire killed the ball with the useful flanker Harry Bate yellow carded for his sins.
Another kick to the West Bank corner, another catch and drive for Matavesi to bag his second try of the game.
Brilliant lineout play from lock Bryn Jenkins saw him feed replacement No.8 BJ Chapman who set off down the touchline like a scalded cat; he looked certain to score a great try but was bundled into touch…just!
Photo: Lewis Vinnicombe swan dives for his second try
Try number six came soon after a lovely move involving Wedlake, Seti Raumakita, Shepherd and the excellent Elderkin put Vinnicombe in for his second try finished in Chris Ashton style. Shepherd added both conversions and Cornwall had space 38-21.
Raumakita was again involved for Cornwall’s final try as the backs moved the ball wide for Mankee to cross and dot downtry number seven. Shepherd added the extras and the party on the terraces was in full swing.
Hertfordshire had the satisfaction of the final say when their excellent lock Sam Lunnon deservedly got over for their fourth try with the final play again converted by Banks.
Photo: BJ Chapman celebrates Dave Mankee’s final try
The final whistle heralded scenes of great excitement as the prospect of a fifth consecutive final dawned and the chance to get a hat-trick of wins on the bounce at Twickenham.
Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): M Shepherd (Plymouth Albion), L Vinnicombe, R Wedlake (Plymouth Albion), J Murphy (Barnstaple, capt), T Notman, J Elderkin, J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstaple), T Whittle (Camborne), C Fuca, S Matavesi (Camborne), G Randlesome (Penryn).
Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), A Zacharovas (Camborne), B Howe, G Jones (Penryn), BJ Chapman, D Mankee (Camborne), S Raumakita (Plymouth Albion).
Cornwall scores: Tries: Matavesi (2), Vinnicombe (2), Notman, Brown, Mankee; Cons: Shepherd (5)
Hertfordshire: (Bishop’s Stortford unless stated): P Dotta, B Creasey (Hertford), N Hankin, F Denny (Letchworth), S Barnes (Tring), J Shanahan (unattatched), T Banks; H King (Bishop’s Stortford), B McNamee (Hertford, capt), K Garside (Old Albanian), S Lunnon (Old Albanian), J Apperley, H Bate (Old Albanian), D Elsom, D Archer (Hertford).
Replacements: J Taylor (Old Albanian), W Roberts, A Berry (Old Albanian), J Concoran (Hertford), J Daly (Old Albanian), J Scantlebury, M Bendin (Hertford).
Hertfordshire scores: Tries: Shanahan, Dotta, Apperley, Lunnon; Cons: Banks (4)
Yellow Card – Elsom 55
Referee: Ben Russell (RFU)
Trelawny’s Army man of the match: Very hard to pick out one player from a side that had twenty-two heroes. Sam Matavesi looked at his awesome best today, a fine performance from one of Camborne’s favourite sons.