For those in Black & Gold on Saturday afternoon at Plymouth Albion’s splendid Brickfields stadium, it was a day to remember as Cornwall knocked the County Championship kings these past few seasons off their lofty perch. OK granted Devon are not the reigning champions but three wins out of the last five finals is pretty impressive, Cornwall have only got three wins in 125 years of trying!
Head coach Dave “Benji” Thomas has got a magic formula, which tends to get the very best from the players he gathers around him. He gets the boys to “buy into” the Cornwall ethos despite comming from various clubs who as in the case of Redruth and Launceston have been league rivals all season. Cornwall skipper Ryan Westren made a telling remark about the crowd and the atmosphere on Saturday “That was like how I remember the County Championship being when I was a kid. The support was fantastic.”
The players had big smiles on their faces after the match and they were entitled to them after a job well done. Mark Bright. a Kiwi, felt elated after gaining his first Cornwall cap just talkiing to him you could see that mean’t a great deal. Lewis Webb who had a fine game at fly-half admitted to feeling nervous before his first senior apperence for Cornwall and paid tribute to scrum-half Mark Richards who guided him through his first cap. “One and All, Onen hag Oll”, that’s the Cornish motto and that’s the Cornish spirit.
There were some big performances in the Cornish side on Saturday, none less that the man who has been Trelawny’s Army Player of the Year on no less than three occassions, Richard Carroll. Richard led that Cornish pack by example in a commanding performance. In the backs Mal Roberts kicking with that of Richards were key components in our win, but the tackling in mid-field was awesome, skipper Ryan Westren, Paul Thirlby and Lewis Webb put in some big hits to stop the opposition dead, Tom Rawlings was there to putting in the big hits when it mattered.
The Devon match is now history, what counts now is the next match against Somerset on Saturday at Redruth. The boys deserve a big crowd to get behind them and act like a 16th man. It has always been said that the crowd at Redruth is worth a five point start for Cornwall. So let us all do our bit on Saturday and get behind the team and support them as only a Cornish crowd can. It’ll lift the team to greter heights.
To reach a Twickenham final is a marvellous achievement, despite losing Saturday’s EDF-Energy Junior Vase final to Brighton Blues by 32-20, Liskeard /Looe are to be congratulated on a fine season that has seen the club win promotion to the Cornwall & Devon League next season and also win the Lockie Cup. It was a marvellous day out for the fans from the SE Cornwall towns and one that will not be forgotten. You did Cornwall proud.