Saturday sees the start of this season’s County Championship and County Shield competitions, last Saturday the County Plate (the third tier got underway). For the first time in many a long season Cornwall will not be competing in the main tournament now named after the former England captain Bill Beaumont, a Lancastrian.
It has been said that this is the first time that Cornwall have not played at the highest level of the County Championship, this is not true. When the competition was re-vamped in 1982/83, Cornwall were placed in League 2 along with Devon, although they were both in different groups. It was only the two groups in League 1 which actually contested the title. Cornwall found themselves in a tough group with Northumberland, Durham and Kent. Northumberland were defeated at Redruth 13-6, but the long trip to Durham was to no avail as Cornwall lost 28-15 at West Hatlepool, a win against Kent at Camborne 16-3 saw Cornwall finish second in their group condemned to play the winners of the other League 2 group away, Devon at Torquay, Cornwall lost that match 18-3, to stay in League 2, it was the same the following season when they again were runners-up in their group only to lose another play-off this time at Nottingham to Notts Lincs and Derbys 18-13. The following season worse was to follow having lost their opening two matches to Cumbria 17-4 and then Durham at Camborne 16-3, Cornwall managed to win their third game at Redruth against Cheshire 9-6. Cornwall now faced a play-off to avoid the drop into League 3 again against Devon again the venue was Torquay and once again Cornwall lost this time 7-3. Cornwall’s blushes were saved as the RFU decided to re-vamp the Championship once again with the Cornwall rejoining old foes Devon Gloucestershire and Somerset in SW Division 1. It was the start of a golden era for Cornwall.
Enough of yesteryear, what of today, the task is simple promotion back to the main competition is what Cornwall want and that starts this Saturday at Bridgewater against old rivals Somerset. It is strange that the two counties have not met in the Championship since 1995 when Somerset won 42-22, let’s all hope that this time around the score is in Cornwall’s favour. Cornwall have to travel again next Saturday to play Oxfordshire at Chinnor RFC, before playing Surrey at Camborne.
The best of luck to the boys, Kernow bys Vyken.
Cornwall side to play Somerset
1.Tony Stevens (St. Ives), 2. Darren Semmens (Mounts Bay), 3. Danny Clackworthy (Mounts Bay), 4. Adam Harris (Newbury), 5. Ben Hilton (Captain, Mounts Bay), 6. Louis Stevens (St. Ives), 7. Ian Boase (St. Ives), 8. Tom Outram (Mounts Bay), 9. Brett Wakfer (Camborne), 10. Lee Jarvis (Mounts Bay), 11. Olly Faulkner (Mounts Bay), 12. Ryan Westren (Cornish All Blacks), 13. Marc Sweeney (Cornish All Blacks), 14. Rob Lea (Camborne), 15. Ian Morgan (Penryn)
16. Simon Peters (Redruth), 17. Blaine Kearey (Mounts Bay), 18. Adam Flide (Mounts Bay), 19. Julian Wilce (Wadebridge Camels), 20. Graham Corin (St. Ives), 21. Tom Hurdwell (St. Ives).