UNDER 20 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL
KENT 18 – 25 CORNWALL
Report by Bill Hooper TASC Press Officer, Photos Simon Bryant Iktis photo
Cornwall Under 20s produced a storming performance to defeat Kent at Charlton Park RFC 25-18 on Sunday to advance to the semi-finals of the National Under 20 County Championships where they will face Yorkshire at home on March 15th.
With scores tied at 18-18 and the clock running down, Cornwall knew they needed a score as they trailed on the try-count 3-2 with no extra-time in the offing.
The breakthrough came from fly-half Dan Rutter who crossed near the posts allowing Rhys Brownfield a simple conversion for a seven point lead.
The final whistle brought great scenes of jubilation in the Cornish camp.
Despite a promising start Cornwall found themselves trailing to an early unconverted try from Kent.
Photo – hooker Locryn Williams who scored Cornwall’s second try
Cornwall struck back with a penalty from Rhys Brownfield following a powerful rolling maul from the Cornish pack.
Kent re-established a five point lead with a successful penalty of their own.
A good break from Rutter set up a ruck near the Kent line and the Cornish forwards drove over the line with skipper Todd Prisk getting the un-converted try to tie the scores.
Right on half-time full-back Connor Swan kicked a thirty-five metre penalty goal to give Cornwall the lead at the break 11-8.
Kent came out fired up for the second half and soon retook the lead with a well-worked unconverted try tin the corner to regain the lead 13-11.
Cornwall then lost the influential Prisk through injury and Kent got a third unconverted try to stretch their advantage to 18-11.
Photo – Rhys Brownfield who kicked two conversions and a penalty for Cornwall
Cornwall struck back immediately to tie the scores as the forwards put in a huge effort with hooker Locryn Williams getting the score which Brownfield converted.
As the clock ticked down Cornwall saw two penalty attempts go astray in quick succession.
Salvation was at hand as Rutter rounded off great Cornish pressure to score the visitor’s third try allowing Brownfield a simple conversion to confirm Cornwall’s semi-final berth 25-18.
Kent (Blackheath unless stated): C Bennison, C Wallace-Sims (Canterbury), H Sayers (Dover), C Moss (Deal & Betteshanger Lions), J Penny (Westcombe Park), G Montgomery (Gravesend), N Hill (Gravesend); P Briggs (Westcombe Park), J Garratt (O. Elthamians), S Kenny (Canterbury), A O’Malley (O. Colfeians, Capt), C Tallis (O. Elthamians), G Baker, L Bush, B Dickson (Beckenham).
Replacements: T Duggan, T Mount (Thanet W.), J Buckingham, R Ward (Canterbury), C Spence (Tunbridge Wells), A Clement (Thanet W), A Eastwood (Maidstone).
Cornwall: C Swan, A Taylor (both Cardiff Met), J Simmons (Hartpury Coll), R Brownfield (Pirates Ams), L Thomas, D Rutter (both Redruth), S Fox (Wadebridge Camels); T Phillips (Redruth), L Williams (Chinnor), J Tyack (St. Ives), T Prisk (Redruth, Capt), A Hughes (Penryn), S Furse (Newquay H), J Haines (Launceston), N Stanleick (Camborne)
Replacements: J Martin (Truro), T-L Southworth (Redruth), D Marsh (Truro), T Pellow (Penryn), T Eley, Z Noseda (both Truro), T Sandercock (Launceston).
Cornwall scores – Tries – Prisk, Williams, Rutter, Conversions – Brownfield (2), Penalties – Brownfield, Swan