CORNWALL made hay in the sunshine at Camborne on Saturday with a 33-27 over old foes Gloucestershire to set up a winner takes all contest at Hertford next Saturday at Hertfordshire who dispatched North Midlands 54-20 at Old Albanians reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
The hot weather made it difficult for both sides with rolling subs being a god send for some of the wilting players. However, Cornwall lasted the pace the better to set up next Saturday’s enthralling encounter at Hertford.
PHOTO – MY MAN-OF-THE-MATCH BJ CHAPMAN ON THE CHARGE
After the match coach Graham Dawe gave his reaction to his side’s win. “It was a battle out there today, I think both sides gave everything, credit to our boys for coming out on top, all credit to Gloucestershire they came down to play some good rugby and they gave us a stern test.
We scored some good tries, two or three were well-worked using space and gaps to exploit, we built pressure and that leads to points.
“In the conditions it was a tough day for the forwards we tried to use the rolling subs to our advantage, unfortunately we lost Ben Priddey with a knock to the head and Craig Williams had run longer than we wanted, we managed the best we could, all credit to our back row who were superb today, it’s a team game but I thought Tom Rawlings tackled like a demon, BJ Chapman again made some big carries and Chris Fuca is the cement of the team really.
“I thought Tom Notman took his tries very well he showed his pace and agility and he certainly grew in stature today with that performance. Lewis Vinnicombe showed his alertness with his try, we are blessed with a couple of proven finishers out wide.”
It was Gloucestershire who made the better start kicking off playing towards the clubhouse end. Two early penalties from Chinnor wing Leo Fielding gave the visitors a useful 6-0 lead, which could have been more had they not butchered a try-scoring chance in the corner.
Slowly Cornwall started to get a foothold in the game, scrum-half Greg Goodfellow was a constant threat, whilst fly-half Lewis Webb spotted gaps and went for the break.
Good work from the rampant No.8 BJ Champan and centres Nielson Webber and Ryan Westren set up flying winger Tom Notman for Cornwall’s first try on 20 minutes in the Park Gate Corner, converted by full-back Kieron Lewitt.
PHOTO – KIERON LEWITT POINTS THE WAY FOR GREG GOODFELLOW
Moments later Cornwall had a second try as Goodfellow and flanker Chris Fuca traded passes before the scrum-half scooted in for an un-converted score.
Gloucestershire were dangerous with their centre pairing of Seb Rodwell and Jaike Carter a handful for the Cornish defence as was scrum-half Sam Arnott.
Both sides lost a player each to the sin-bin on the run up to half-time in separate incidents, prop Joe Smart for Gloucestershire and hooker Jamie Salter for Cornwall.
Salter’s yellow card saw Royal Navy player Ben Priddey, a three-try hero from the recent Army v Navy game at Twickenham, enter the fray.
Gloucestershire finished the half the stronger and in time added on hooker Tom Bozzard powered over for their opening try with Fielding adding the extras and a 13-12 lead to the visitors at the turn.
PHOTO – CRAIG WILLIAMS SCORES CORNWALL’S THIRD TRY
Playing down the slope second half Cornwall needed a big start and it really couldn’t have better. A ruck in the Gloucestershire twenty-two saw Goodfellow snipe once again his inside pass to prop Craig Williams saw the big red stride through the cover and head for the line with the speed of the Cornish Rivera , Lewitt’s conversion putting Cornwall back in the lead at 19-13.
The nip and tuck of the game continued as Gloucestershire again regained the advantage with the impressive Fielding scoring his side’s second try and again adding the extras for a 20-19 lead.
Cornish winger Lewis Vinnicombe charged down and gathered a clearance near the Gloucestershire line to get Cornwall’s fourth try and secure the try-scoring bonus point.
PHOTO – KIERON LEWITT TAKES ON GLOUCS
Then for the first time in the game Cornwall got some breathing space as Notman again finished off good work from Chapman to notch try number five, Lewitt was again on the money with the conversion.
Gloucestershire rallied with a controversial consolation try scored by flanker Loti Molitika, the ball appeared to have lost forward with Fielding again landing the extras to give themselves a useful losing bonus point.
CORNWALL 33 PTS
Tries: Notman (2), Goodfellow, Williams, Vinnicombe; Conversions: Lewitt (4).
Yellow Card: Salter (40)
GLOUCESTERSHIRE 27 PTS
Try: Bozzard, Fielding, Molitika; Conversions: Fielding (3); Penalties: Fielding (2).
Yellow Card: Smart (39)
Cornwall: K Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), L Vinnicombe (Truro), R Westren, N Webber (both Cornish All Blacks), T Notman (Redruth), L Webb (Cornish All Blacks), G Goodfellow (Redruth); J Ford-Robinson (Cambridge), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks, Capt), D Cook, C Fuca (both Redruth), T Rawlings, B J Chapman (both Cornish All Blacks).
Replacements (used): B Priddey (Redruth & Royal Navy), D Jacques (Truro), Bryn Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), L Paterson (Ivybridge), J Matavesi (Camborne).
Replacements not used: T Whittle (Falmouth), M Shepherd (St. Austell).
Gloucestershire: S Hawley, S Baker (both Cinderford), J Carter, S Rodwell (both Hartpury), L Fielding (Chinnor), M Wilcox (Cinderford), S Arnott (Lydney); J Smart T Bozzard (both Cinderford), S Fritchley (Old Centralians), B Scriven (Lydney), L Randall, L Molitika (both Cinderford), W Jones (Lydney Capt), M Uren (Dings Crusaders).
Replacements (all used): J Brooks (Cinderford), N Taylor (Hartpury), J Lloyd (Dings Crusaders), H Hone (Avonmouth OB’s), R Birkin, A Frame (both Cinderford), C Gervais (Old Redcliffians).
Referee: Paul Kimber (RFU).
Cornwall-man-of-the-match: Big performances all over the park, but Barrie-John Chapman was simply awesome!
ALL PHOTOS BY SIMON BRYANT IKTISPHOTO