By Bill Hooper TASC Press Officer
Coaches Graham Dawe and Ian Morgan, along with the county selectors, have named a unchanged side for Sunday’s Bill Beaumont Cup Final against Lancashire at Twickenham.
Cornwall will go into the final as underdogs. Having lost to the same opposition in the last two finals, they will be keen to put a stop to the red roses’ run against the black and golds in county finals, with wins in 1969, 1992, 2013 and 2014.
Cornwall Captain Kyle Marriott said: “We had belief as a squad that we could win this game. Hertfordshire certainly came down to Cornwall wanting to avenge last season’s result and go to Twickenham. The guys stuck to the game plan and it paid off. Our second half performance was awesome, and to score 19 unanswered points was very satisfying. But Cornwall is more than the 22 guys on the field: the support from players who are on the fringe but still turn up and train and run the water, medics, coaching staff, selectors, management are all very supportive and form part of team Cornwall.” He further commented: “What can I say about the support: magnificent as always and thank you everyone who made the effort to attend today’s match. The crowd was around 3000 and I think all of them were wearing or cheering the black and gold! Absolutely awesome! Now we need to get the rallying call going out all across the Duchy for next weekend. All roads lead to Twickenham where we face the team that beat us last year, Lancashire. It would be great if we could see that stadium turn black and gold.”
CRFU Chair Denis Preece said: “It is superb to know that a Cornwall team will be at the home of English rugby again next week to contest the Bill Beaumont Cup.” He went on to say: “This year the boys have worked really hard under the coaching set up of Graham and Ian and we have seen a lot of continuity.
“We must also thank our external support, Trelawny’s Army, all our sponsors including our main sponsor St Austell Brewery under their “Tribute” banner, Kelsall Steele one of our shirt sponsors, along with BLK the kit suppliers and lastly everyone in the media who have provided such excellent coverage prior, during, and post-match, thank you one and all.”
Cornwall coach Graham Dawe said: “This match was always going to be a real battle, in a winner take all match. We made a few mistakes in the first half which allowed them to build a 12 point lead. This team play with belief in themselves and showed the tenacity to play the last 40 minutes under great pressure and expectation from a large crowd.
“It was extremely sapping in the conditions and we need to assess the guys before our final training session on Thursday. Selection of the match day squad was a real headache for us due to the quality and commitment of the squad who have played, and are on the fringes. It is also gratifying to see Ben Hilton, Craig Williams and Matt Shepherd all selected for the England counties tour of Romania following the final on Sunday. This is a reward not only for those individuals but recognises the whole Cornwall set up.”
CORNWALL: Billy SEARLE, Jon DAWE, Jake MURPHY (all Cornish All Blacks), Nielson WEBBER, Robin WEDLAKE (both Redruth), Lewis WEBB (Taunton), Matt SHEPHERD (Cornish All Blacks); Rupert FREESTONE (Clifton), Jamie SALTER (Cornish All Blacks), Craig WILLIAMS (Redruth), Tony WHITTLE (Camborne), Ben HILTON (Cornish All Blacks), Chris FUCA (Redruth), George JONES (Penryn), Kyle MARRIOTT (Capt.) (Redruth)
Replacements: Christian JUDGE (Cornish All Blacks), Damien COOK (Redruth), Tommy PHILLIPS (Redruth), James GOLDSWORTHY (Camborne), David MANKEE (Camborne), Sam PARSONS (Redruth), Barrie-John CHAPMAN (Cornish All Blacks).
Coaches – Graham Dawe, Ian Morgan
Strength & Conditioning – James Earp
Travelling Reserves:- Steve JOHNS, Richard FRIEND, Mark GRUBB, Max VENABLES, Taron PEACOCK, Richard BROWN, Matt BALLARD