BILL BEAUMONT CUP FINAL – PREVIEW
By Bill Hooper, photos courtesy of Simon Bryant Iktisphoto
Cornwall return to Twickenham for a fifth successive year in defence of their County Championship title, looking for a hat-trick of wins. It’s a feat that matches Devon’s run 2004-2008, but it’s still eclipsed by the red rose county for whom this will be a ninth final in ten years, having missed out in 2016.
Photo: Craig Williams binds with Dan Collier in training at Camborne last week
Lancashire’s run to the final has been as impressive as Cornwall’s, three bonus points wins against Northumberland 48-26 at Fylde, before two wins on the road 38-15 at Eastern Counties at Grange Road Cambridge and finally 29-5 against Cheshire at Sale.
They didn’t meet Yorkshire this year and they befell the fate that many feared Cornwall might suffer against Gloucestershire winning all their games but failing to qualify, crucially they missed out on a try scoring bonus point in their 26-17 win against Cheshire.
Lancashire will travel to Twickenham full of confidence and will test Cornwall for the full eighty, they have finished each of their pool games strongly racking up the tries in the final quarter.
Photo: Borough’s Grant Randlesome a revelation for Cornwall this season
Cornwall have announced their side for the final with just one new player coming into the twenty-two. Plymouth Albion lock Dan Collier comes onto the bench at the expense of Brad Howe. Many will feel Howe unlucky to lose his place in the twenty-two.
In the starting XV, Penryn’s George Jones replaces Redruth’s Chris Fuca, who drops to the bench. Those are the only touches made to the side by the selectors.
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), G Jones (Penryn), S Matavesi (Camborne), G Randlesome (Penryn).
Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), A Zacharovas (Camborne), D Collier (Plymouth Albion), C Fuca, BJ Chapman, D Mankee (Camborne), S Raumakita (Plymouth Albion).
Travelling Reserves: R Dugard (Barnstaple), D Connor (Brixham), B Howe, R Friend (Okehampton), R Kevern (Camborne), J Simmons (Camborne), M Bowden.
For information only this is the Lancashire side that played against Cheshire last Saturday, awaiting confirmation of the side for Sunday. Alex Loney the Fylde hooker will miss the final having suffered a torn Achilles against Cheshire, he will also miss the England Counties tour to Spain.
There is a match report of the Lancashire v Cheshire game in the link here.
Lancashire: 15 Lewis Allen (Preston G); 14 Scott Armstrong, 13 Chris Briers (both Fylde), 12 Scott Rawlings (Sale FC), 11 Anthony Bingham (Fylde); 10 Chris Johnson, 9 Sam Stelmaszek; 1 Dan Birchall (all Sale FC), 2 Alex Loney (Fylde), 3 Peter Altham (Preston G), 4 Reece Tomlinson (Rossendale), 5 Bob Birtwell, 6 Mark Goodman (both Sedgley Tigers), 7 Evan Stewart (Fylde), 8 Tom Ailes (Sale FC).
Reps: 16 Adam Lewis, 17 Simon Griffiths, 18 Tom Burtonwood (all Fylde), 19 Rhys Davies (Sale FC), 20 Steve Collins (Sedgley Tigers), 21 Greg Smith (Fylde), 22 Ciaran Connolly (Sale FC).
Please note photos are copyright and not to be used without Simon Bryant Iktisphoto’ s permission.