Cornwall U18s 21-12 Devon U18s
Cornwall U18’s took on county rivals Devon U18’s on a squally, blustery and very damp day at Callywith College, Bodmin, reports James Mills
The game started brightly with Cornwall hitting the ball up through double digit phases but being met with an equally competent Devon defence which was only ever going to end in 1 of 2 ways either with Devon conceding a break down penalty or the Cornwall lads knocking on. As it was Eddie Pearce (Cornwall) from full back running an excellent line but receiving an unsympathetic pass in challenging conditions failed to keep hold of the ball resulting in the first of 29 scrums in the match! It was clear from the off that on balance Cornwall had the edge in the scrum winning the first 2 Devon scrums and taking in all 3 against the head. Cornwall didn’t have it all their own way but only once did we get shoved backwards and we conceded 2 scrum penalties one in each half. Devon looked much more settled in the second half at the set piece but on balance the Cornish front row boys had a good day in the office.
With a strong westerly breeze, lineouts were always going to be difficult for the hookers and both sides suffered inconsistency and struggled to win clean ball. It was off such a line out 11mins into the game, on the Devon 22m line when a messy ball was gathered up at the back of the lineout by flanker Jack Mills (Cornwall) who span out of the first tackle, broke the next tackle and powered to the Devon line with a further 2 tacklers valiantly attempting to bring him down which they nearly achieved. Millsy wrestled the ball down for the first score of the match which Kristian Davis converted.
It was Jack Mills again creating the space for the Cornish second score by drawing 2 Devon defenders handing them off and then offloading to Saltash club team mate centre Freddie Davies running an excellent line in the newly created space to register the Cornish second score with fly-half Kristian Davis taking the additional points.
The first half finished 14-0 to the boys in black and gold.
The second half with the wind now abating but at the backs of the Cornish lads proved to be a much tighter affair, with Devon replenishing their ranks with plenty of fresh legs and as a result the Devon intensity noticeably increased as the some of the Cornish lads started to slow up. That said it was again another Saltash player Kristian Davis who opened the scoring with a great individual skill in broken open field play, spotting that the Devon defence was not organised and there was a mismatch on. Kristian pinned his ears back and accelerated into the space from 30m out and breaking the line with only the Devon fullback Brandon Bonser to beat which he did with a nice side step to leave Bonser on the deck with Davis dotting down under the posts. Davis converted his own try 21-0
Devon were far from done and very much wrestled control of the game back from Cornwall and replied through 2 scores of their own, each time through breaking a tackle or a missed tackle from Cornwall. However they only converted 1 of their scores with fullback Brandon Bonser failing to convert a challenging kick in the swirling wind and rain 15m off the right touchline. 21-12
These scores seemed to galvanise Cornwall once more and for the remaining 10mins Cornwall camped in the opposition half. Kit May the Cornish 13 with another trade mark cross field kick found winger Callum Preece who athletically jumped and took the ball on the full in the far right channel, darting in field with a 30m sprint with flanker Mills in close support. Preece looked good for the score but the Devon scramble defence was excellent and he was hauled down 1m short of the line and he was unable to get the offload to Mills away. Millsy was on station to duly secure the ball with Freddie Davies picking off the base to go over only to be held up over the line. This was the last real opportunity for either side to register points with Cornwall seeing out the match in Devon’s half to take a well deserved win.
Many thanks goes to CRRS for supplying the match official team who did an excellent job.
Starting XV Finishes
- Finn Richards 16. Cameron Harvey
- Tyler Dower 17. Callum Grohmann
- Declan Prowse 18. Ethan Reed
- Jack Hoskin 19. Dillon Newton
- Tom Hughes 20. Lewis Wills
- Cameron Richards 22. Matt Trehair
- Jack Mills
- Eli Williams (C)
- Huey Campbell
- Kristian Davis
- George Hutchinson
- Freddie Davies
- Kit May
- Callum Preece
- Eddie Pearce