BILL BEAUMONT CUP SOUTHERN GROUP
HERTFORDSHIRE 15 – 23 CORNWALL
Photos: Simon Bryant Iktisphoto
Cornwall at times spluttered their way to another win at Bishop’s Stortford against a tough Hertfordshire side who pushed the reigning county kings all the way, reports Bill Hooper.
The Black and Golds began the game in great style going 12-0 up in the first quarter. Flanker Sam Matavesi scored Cornwall’s first try from a catch-and-drive and then No.8 Herbie Stupple barged his way over for Cornwall’s second try which was converted by full back Matt Shepherd to the cheers of the travelling Cornish support.
Photo: Sam Matavesi powers through the Herts’ defence
Cornwall were then guilty of letting their opponents back into it, as they fell-foul of referee Luis Caviglia, giving away a string of penalties and making far too many unforced errors.
Hertford hooker Brett McNamee snaffled a loose ball to score in the corner, then fly-half Josh Sharp kicked a penalty to bring his side to within four points of Cornwall.
Hertfordshire sensed the tide was in their favour, pounding the Cornish line and twice being held up over the line. Cornwall then conceded a penalty-try as Hertfordshire racked up the pressure from a five metre scrum, converted by Sharp for a 15-12 lead at the break.
Photo: Craig Williams on the drive
Matt Shepherd tied the scores early in the second half with a penalty, before Cornwall found themselves down to fourteen men as centre Jake Murphy was sent to the bin for not rolling away. Cornwall not only survived the ten minutes without conceding a score, they actually re-took the lead as Shepherd kicked his second penalty following another great break from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow.
Cornwall then made the game safe when Matavesi scored his second try of the game, his fourth in two games, to set up a finale at Camborne on Saturday against a Surrey side who have lost both their opening games.
After two wins Cornwall will want to finish their pool games with a great win at Camborne in front of a huge crowd.
Photo: Matavesi scores!
Up north, Lancashire and Cheshire both won for the second time, they will face each other at Sedgley Park to decide the winners of the Northern Group, whilst both Yorkshire and Eastern Counties, each without a point, will battle out a relegation decider at Grange Road, Cambridge.
In Division 2, Devon secured a second win at North Midlands. A draw at Medway against Kent will promote them back to the top-tier in Cornwall’s group next season.
East Midlands look likely to win the Northern Division 2, having already defeated Northumberland and Leicestershire.
Hertfordshire (Bishop’s Stortford unless stated): P Dotta, J Rea, S Winter, J Neville, G Elliott (Ampthill), J Sharp (Loughborough Students), T Banks; R Adams-Hale (Ampthill), B McNamee (Hertford), S Edwards, R Conquest (Darlington MP), M Tomlinson, S Ball (capt), A Maka (Letchworth), D Archer (Hertford)
Replacements (all used): W Roberts, A Berry (Chinnor), M Steele (Barnes), R Young, T Sargent (Hertford), D Watt (Loughborough Students), M Gallagher
Hertfordshire scores Tries, McNamee, Penalty, Conversion, Sharp, Penalty, Sharp
Cornwall: (Plymouth Albion unless stated): M Shepherd, L Vinnicombe (Redruth) J Murphy, N Webber (Redruth), R Wedlake, B Searle, G Goodfellow (Chinnor); R Freestone, R Brown (Redruth), C Williams (Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Camborne), K Marriott (Redruth, capt), S Matavesi, H Stupple.
Replacements (used): T Cowan-Dickie (Redruth), BJ Chapman (Taunton), D Cook (Camborne), C Fuca (Redruth), J Dawe, S Parsons (Redruth).
Replacement (not used): R Kevern (Camborne)
Cornwall scores: Tries, Matavesi (2), Stupple, Conversion, Shepherd, Penalties, Shepherd (2)
Yellow Card: Murphy (45)
Referee: Luis Caviglia (RFU)
Cornwall-man-of-the-match: Sam Matavesi, another top-drawer display from the Albion open side, another two tries scored, and will relish playing at Camborne this Saturday.