Cornwall get campaign off to a winning start

Photo – Centre Nielson Webber makes a strong run

Bill Beaumont Cup


at Dockham Road Cinderford

Report by Bill Hooper, photos by Simon Bryant Iktis photo

Cornwall got their County Championship campaign off to the best possible start scoring four tries at Dockham Road to record a bonus point win against Gloucestershire.

The Black and Golds were forced into a late change as Redruth lock Damien Cook’s ankle injury had not healed in time, with Camborne’s Tony Whittle stepping up from the bench.

Despite playing into the strong breeze it soon became apparent that the Cornish forwards were getting on top, especially in the maul.

A penalty from scrum-half Matt Shepherd calmed Cornish nerves, before Redruth’s young winger Robin Wedlake went in at the corner for Cornwall’s opening try following a good surge by centre Nielson Webber.

Photo – Winger Robin Wedlake stretches for the corner and Cornwall’s opening try

Further good play from Cornwall, with fly-half Lewis Webb and flanker Chris Fuca involved, saw Wedlake go over for his second score with Shepherd on the money with the extras.

Craig Jackson finally got Gloucestershire on the board as they elected to kick at goal, having spurned numerous penalties by kicking to the corner and losing possession!

Cornwall weren’t done and scored a third try just on half-time as winger Steve Johns claimed a Webb cross-field kick to feed centre Jake Murphy, who scampered in to the joy of Trelawny’s Army, Shepherd’s conversion making it 22-3 at the break.

Cornwall sealed the win just after half-time as Shepherd scored their fourth try, following more tremendous work from the forwards.

Photo – Watched by Dave Mankee, Matt Shepherd kicks for goal

Both sides used the rolling subs and also had a player in the bin, Ben Hilton for Cornwall guilty of not rolling away.

Cornwall’s superb defence kept Gloucestershire at bay until the dying moments when Leo Fielding got over, but by then it was too little too late and Cornwall are once again on the march.

In the other game in the group Hertfordshire overcame a dogged Kent side 31-19 at Canterbury.

Gloucestershire (Cinderford unless stated): C Jackson (Hartpury College); L Fielding, S Hanks, S Rodwell (London Irish Amateurs, capt), S Hawley; M Wilcox, A Frame; M Flook (Hartpury College), S Wilkes, T Brockett (Hartpury College), C Daniell (Lydney), E King, T MacDonald (Hartpury College), L Molitika (Coventry), M Uren (Dings Crusaders).

Replacements used: C Bundy, J Smart, J Lloyd (Dings Crusaders), M Reynolds, M Brown, S Arnott (Lydney), N Codlin (Coney Hill).

Cornwall (Cornish All Blacks unless stated): B Searle, S Johns (Birmingham-Solihull), J Murphy, N Webber (Redruth), R Wedlake (Redruth), L Webb (Taunton), M Shepherd; R Freestone (Clifton), R Brown (Redruth), C Williams (Redruth), T Whittle (Camborne), B Hilton, C Fuca (Redruth), G Jones (Penryn), K Marriott (Redruth, capt).

Replacements (used): J Salter, C Judge, T Phillips (Redruth), M Venables (Saltash), J Goldsworthy (Camborne), BJ Chapman, R Friend.

Referee: Mike Hudson (RFU).

Gloucs: Try: Fielding; Pen: Jackson.

Cornwall: Tries: Wedlake (2), Murphy, Shepherd; Cons: Shepherd (2); Pen: Shepherd.

Yellow cards: Gloucs: Arnott 52; Cornwall: Hilton 61.

Crowd: 562

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