UNDER 20’S COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL
By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground
Gloucestershire ended Cornwall’s hopes of progressing to the semi-finals scoring seven tries in a comprehensive win at Camborne on Sunday afternoon.
The Cornish lads battled manfully throughout, but they had no answer to the pace and power of the visitors backline, especially Thornbury winger Ed Sheldon who scored three of his side’s tries and could well feature next Saturday for his club when they travel to play Camborne.
Cornwall coach Mike Rawlings acknowledged that his side had been second best on the day. “Fair-play to Gloucestershire they were the better side on the day, their finishing was clinical. We had early pressure but just couldn’t turn it into points they had a big lumpy pack who made life difficult for us, but hats off to our boys who stuck at it till the end. I think we can take a lot of positives from the game and the campaign as a whole.
“Hopefully next season we will keep the bulk of this squad and they will be able to build on their experience from this season
Cornwall began the game promisingly with the wind at their backs, they were camped in the Gloucestershire twenty-two for long periods but couldn’t find a way through their defence.
With almost their first incursion into the Cornwall twenty two on 23 minutes Gloucestershire came away with points as Dan Spencer-Tonks crossed for an un-converted try.
Photo – Phil Trevarton – Cornwall’s scrum-half Connor Swan looks to get Cornwall moving
Three minutes later Cornwall were undone again as Sheldon ran in the first of his tries from sixty meters out with Jack Skelton adding the extras.
Cornwall needed a score and it came after a good period of pressure when full-back Jack Kessell crossed the whitewash. Ryan Brownsfield saw his conversion attempt come back off the post.
Sadly for Cornwall it was Gloucestershire who scored next as Spencer-Tonks exploited a gap to score his second try with Skelton again on the money with the extras for a 19-5 half-time advantage to the visitors.
Early second half pressure from Gloucestershire resulted in a drop-goal from fly-half Ollie Lock to increase their lead.
Cornwall looked for a way back but as they pressed in the Gloucestershire twenty-two the ball was turned over by flanker Max Woodward and the ball was moved wide to Sheldon who again ran in from distance for his second try, Skelton’s conversion putting Gloucestershire 29-5 up.
Cornwall salvaged a score when prop Tyler Gendall, who had another fine game for Cornwall despite the score-line, powered over from close in after hooker Joe Martin was brought down short of the line.
Photo – Phil Trevarton Cornish prop Tyler Gendall scores Cornwall’s second try
Connor Swan added the conversion to lift Cornwall into double figures
Both sides looked to their bench to bring on fresh players, however Gloucestershire increased their advantage when replacement scrum-half Ollie Young scored their fifth try with Skelton again adding the extras to put them further ahead at 36-12.
Cornish heads never dropped and it was fitting that skipper Todd Prisk should finish off the move for Cornwall’s third try under the posts with Swan again adding the extras.
Photo- Phil Trevarton Cornwall skipper Todd Prisk burrows over for Cornwall’s 3rd try
Gloucestershire still had time to add further scores through centre Sam Hanks and Gloucestershire’s man-of-the-match Sheldon with Locke having assumed the kicking duties when Skelton left the field injured adding both conversions to complete the scoring.
For Cornwall the campaign is over for this season but with only four players too old for next season from the current squad hopes are high for further success next year.
Cornwall 19 pts
Tries – J Kessell, Gendall, Prisk, Conversions – Swan (2)
Gloucestershire 50 pts
Tries – Spencer-Tonks (2), Sheldon (3), Young, Hanks, Conversions – Skelton (4), Locke (2), Drop-goal – Locke
Cornwall : J Kessell (St. Ives), A Taylor (St. Austell), T Holdsworth (Truro College), S Chapman (Cornish All Blacks), L Tidball (Truro), R Brownfield (Pirates Amateurs &Bath Uni), C Swan (Truro College); T Phillips (Truro College), J Martin (Truro), T Gendall (St Ives), T Prisk (St. Ives) (Capt), L Hattam (Redruth & Truro College), N Stenleick (St. Ives), J Haines (Cornish All Blacks), B Howe (Cornish All Blacks &Truro College).
Replacements (all used): S. Rodda (Newquay Hornets), R Kessell (Redruth), D Marsh (Truro & Marjons), T Pellow (Truro College & Penryn), J Duke (Cornish All Blacks), J Willey (Truro College & Penryn), B Janes (Truro College)
Gloucestershire: J Skelton (Weston-Super-Mare); J Unwin (Hartpury College), S Hanks (Cinderford), D Spencer-Tonks (Old Centralians), ), E Sheldon (Thornbury); O Locke (Old Centralians), S Watkins (Cinderford); R Chase (Barton Hill), F Sinclair (Cinderford), L Kent (Gordon League), L Randall (Cinderford) (capt), E Bulger (Hartpury College), K Frowen (Hartpury College) M Woodward (Old Redcliffians), W Hodgetts (Cinderford).
Replacements (all used): R Roach (Cleve), L Panting (Thornbury), A Hodges (Uni of Gloucs), J Westren (Thornbury), B Large (Drybrook), R Woodhouse (Matson); O Young (Cheltenham)
Referee: Simon Lane (Devon RRS)
Briton’s Cornwall -man-of-the-match Cornwall skipper Todd Prisk led by example never took a step back can be proud of his side’s campaign