Brave Cornwall battle to retain Tamar Cup

Photo: Richard Brown who captained Cornwall to victory

Cornwall were forced to do it the hard way at Tiverton’s Bolham Road as they defended the Tamar Cup 33-17 against Devon despite playing the whole of the second half with just 14 men, reports Bill Hooper.

It was during time added on at the end of the first half that Cornwall centre Duncan Tout was shown a straight red for dangerous use of the boot at a ruck.

Fortunately Cornwall had built up a good lead by half-time 23-10 and no doubt the character they showed in the second half against a completely changed Devon XV will have pleased head coach Graham Dawe.

It was Devon who made the better start as Barnstaple’s Will Topps went over in the corner that score was converted by Tom Whelan.

Cornwall got on the board thanks to a penalty from full-back Rhys Brownfield, however Whelan kicked a second penalty for Devon to extend the green and whites lead with Cornwall losing flanker George Jones to the sin bin.

Undeterred Cornwall pulled back another penalty through Brownfield before Devon found themselves also down to 14 man as Whelan was signalled out for pulling down a maul.

Cornwall took the scrum option and when Devon went to the floor referee Nick Wood trotted under the posts for a penalty-try, Brownfield’s conversion putting the black and golds into a 13-10 lead.

Cornwall then scored two quick fire tries through winger Tom Notman, the Redruth flyer finished off a good break by Tout for the first and then ran in off an interception by Pirates Amateurs’ lock Everard Reid in the corner for 23-10.

Photo: Chris Fuca scored the try to make the game safe

Devon made their wholesale changes for the second forty, keeping on only Whelan and forward Jamie Tripcony, and looked to capitalise on their advantage.

They pulled a score back through Tom McGratton with Whelan adding the extras, however Camborne’s Dave Mankee nudged Cornwall back to a nine point advantage with a timely penalty.

Cornwall then defended for long periods doing well to keep Devon out before making the game safe in time added on when flanker Chris Fuca went over from a catch-and-drive, with Mankee adding the conversion to put the cream on top!

Both sides will meet again next month in the Bill Beaumont Cup in what will no doubt be a keenly contested game at Ivybridge.

Cornwall (Redruth, unless stated) R Brownfield (Camborne), T Notman, J Simmons(Camborne), D Tout (Rossendale & Bude), D Bonds, M Vague (Penryn), J Oulton;T Phillips, R Brown (capt), A Zacharovas (Camborne), E Reid (Pirates Ams) B Jenkins (Barnstaple), G Jones (Penryn), M Grubb, BJ Chapman.

Replacements: D Connor (Brixham), S Bartle (Camborne), R Dugard (Barnstaple), J Drew (Camborne), B Howe, C Fuca, G Randlesome (Penryn), J Murphy (Barnstaple), F Honey (Launceston), D Mankee (Camborne), R Kevern (Camborne), T Robinson (St. Austell).

Cornwall scores: Tries Penalty-try, Notman (2), Fuca, Conversions, Brownfield, Mankee, Penalties, Brownfield (2), Mankee

Yellow Card, Jones (15), Red Card, Tout (39)

 

Posted in Bill's Blog

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