Cornwall began their Bill Beaumont Cup campaign with a comprehensive win over North Midlands at Redruth, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
The Black and Gold scored ten tries in total with four touchdowns during the first half which saw the try-scoring bonus point wrapped up at the turn as they led 31-8, before scoring a further six tries to end up 65-22 winners.
After the final whistle assistant coach Ian Morgan was delighted by his side’s result. He said. “I think if you had offered us that result before the match I’d have bitten your hand, a great win to start with but when we analysis the performance there will be areas to look at, we leaked three tries and we will need to review that.
“We got the spine of the team right a big strong scrum up front putting them under pressure from the off and then the half-backs dictating play. We are more than happy in scoring sixty-five points and can now build for Gloucestershire with some confidence.”
Equally satisfied with his side’s work was Cornwall skipper Ben Hilton. He said. “I am really pleased with that result, the conditions were not easy especially with that strong wind which made throwing-in at the lineout awkward and kicking not much easier, a great performance exactly what we needed to start off the campaign.
“There will be even greater expectation next time out after this performance, so it’s down to me and the team to respond to that pressure, despite their loss today Gloucestershire will be formidable opponents next Saturday if we take them lightly they will kill us so we must get our preparation right this week.
Cornwall were obliged to make a late change prior to kick-off when flanker Tom Rawlings had to drop out with a quad injury picked up during training last Thursday, fellow Cornish All Black Lloyd Duke was drafted in for a first championship start for the Black and Golds having previously been capped in the 2010 Tamar Cup match.
It was the Cornish pack which laid the foundations for this large win, playing down the slope during the first half towards Hell fire corner, Cornwall had their visitors on toast as they scrummaged North Midlands into the Cornish turf.
There were some fine performances on the pitch with prop Jamal Ford-Robinson again catching the eye with his runs, No.8 BJ Chapman a constant threat off the back of the scrum and scrum-half Greg Goodfellow putting Cornwall on the front foot.
Photo by Simon Bryant Iktisphoto – Jamal Ford-Robinson shows his strength
The opening score came following fine play from Goodfellow who set up winger Lewis Vinnicombe, the Truro winger ran in from 50 meters to score under the posts with just four minutes on the clock.
Photo by Simon Bryant Iktisphoto – BJ Chapman on the charge
Full-back Kieron Lewitt kicked the first of his six successful conversions, before landing a penalty just moments later to put Cornwall into double figures on the scoreboard.
North Midlands could not live with the searing pace of Goodfellow who scored a fine individual try for try number two, which Lewitt again converted.
It was then the turn of the pack to really get on top of their opponents a series of penalties taken as scrums by Cornwall eventually saw referee Nick Williams jog under the posts for a penalty-try, which Lewitt had no problems converting.
Having scored three early tries Cornwall began to use the rolling subs with Rupert Freestone, Tony Whittle and Tom Notman all getting an early run.
North Midlands got their first points on the board with a penalty by fly-half Alex Warner on 27 minutes, but back came Cornwall with a seconf penalty-try to secure the try-scoring bonus point, Lewitt again adding the extras for 31-3.
Winger David Evans got in at the scoreboard corner just before half-time for an un-converted try to leave Cornwall 31-8 to the good at the break.
With the slope in their favour North Midlands put Cornwall under early pressure in the second half with No.8 Drew Harper scoring a good try, which Warner converted.
Cornwall hit back with further scores, a breakaway score from winger Rhodri McAtee converted by Lewitt and then Notman raced on to kick-ahead by fly-half Paul Thirlby, which bounced over the defender’s head allowing Notman to hack on and score.
Hooker Jamie Salter came up with the ball following a powerful forward drive form the Cornish pack and then Notman completed his brace when he fielded a loose kick out of defence by North Midlands, swivelled and then beat the defender to go over the scoreboard corner for 53-15.
Chris Fuca back on as a replacement for skipper Ben Hilton was the next to get on the score-sheet finishing off a training pitch move involving Goodfellow and McAtee.
Photo – Simon Bryant Iktisphoto Chris Fuca scores try No. 9
North Midlands salvaged a bit of pride with a third try scored by flanker Niall Dacres which Warner converted, but fittingly it was Cornwall who had the final say with a tenth try scored by replacement back Lewis Paterson.
Photo – Simon Bryant Iktisphoto – Lewis Paterson heads for the try-line
The Cornish crowd were delighted at the final whistle and will now be anticipating the visit of a Gloucestershire at Camborne next Saturday who will be looking to bounce back after their opening day defeat at Cinderford to Hertfordshire 30-19.
Coach Graham Dawe wasn’t giving too much away after the game. He said. “We didn’t know too much about North Midlands, so to get a high scoring win today is a good start, the games ahead of us are going to be strong tests, over the next few days I’ll be talking to the players about certain aspects of the game. We will keep our feet on the ground and prepare well this week for Gloucestershire at Camborne next Saturday.”
Cornwall 65 pts
Tries – Vinnicombe, Goodfellow, Penalty-try (2), McAtee, Notman (2), Salter, Fuca, Paterson, Conversions – Lewitt (6), Penalty – Lewitt
North Midlands 22 pts
Tries – Evans, Harper, N Darces, Conversions – Warner (2), Penalty – Warner
Cornwall: K Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), L Vinnicombe (Truro), R Westren, N Webber (Both Cornish All Blacks), R McAtee, P Thirlby, G Goodfellow (All Redruth); J Ford-Robinson (Cambridge), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Reduth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks Capt), D Cook, C Fuca (Both Redruth), L Duke, BJ Chapman (Both Cornish All Blacks)
Replacements: R Brown (Redruth), R Freestone (Clifton), B Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Falmouth), L Paterson (Ivybridge), M Shepherd (St. Austell), T Notman (Redruth)
North Midlands: A Canning, D Evans (Both Birmingham & Solihull), S Smith (Bromsgrove), G Evans (Coventry), A Knight (Luctonians), A Warner (Bourneville), D Brazier (Bromsgrove); A Marfell (Luctonians), 2 W Radburn (Birmingham & Solihull, Capt), R Jones (Luctonians), C Goddard, M Spink (Both Birmingham & Solihull), N Dacres (Stourbridge), C Thomas (Moseley Oak), D Harper (Stourbridge).
Replacements: S Thorp (Birmingham & Solihull), G Belmonte (Bromsgrove), S Dacres (Bromsgrove), M Tibbatts (Coventry), R Petty (Birmingham & Solihull), T Jones (Luctonians), W Crane (Bromsgrove)
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Man-of-the-match: All the boys played well but another stand out performance from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow a constant threat.