Of the two hastily assembled squads for this annual fixture played this season at Brixham’s Astley Park ground Devon gelled the better to run out comfortable winners against Cornwall by 59-8.
Despite being under the cosh from the start Cornwall were still in the game as they trailed by just 3-0 after 20 minutes. However shortly after Devon pressure finally told as Exmouth’s Jack Downie crossed for the hosts’ opening try.
Cornwall did immediately pull back three points thanks to a penalty from Redruth’s Grant Thirlby, but when Cornwall next troubled the scoreboard thanks to a try from Reds’ Tom Duncan, Devon were out of sight having already notched up thirty-thee points.
Cullompton’s Marcus Bushe went on the score three tries, with other scores coming from fellow Cully team-mate Jemba Bull, Barnstaple’s Josh Squire and Ivybridge’s Cam Setter (2). Ross Toms (Cullompton) kept the scoreboard ticking with his boot as did Squire later in the game.
For Cornwall Tom Duncan had a good game and there were also some good runs from Truro’s Mark Lea. But it was St. Austell’s scrum-half Matt Shepherd a late call up on Saturday night to the squad who though only on the field for the last 15 minutes made such an impact when he came on that he was named man-of-the-match by the Army and picked up the inaugural Paul Bawden Memorial Trophy.
It capped a fine weekend for the scrum-half as St. Austell had secured promotion to Tribute Western Counties West after defeating Teignmouth 40-6 at Tregorrick Park.
Obviously not the result Cornwall were looking for and with the County Championship matches fast approaching it’s back to the drawing board!
Cornwall: J Parma (Camborne), M Lea (Truro), R Kevern (Camborne), S Kenward (Redruth), S Rhodes (St Austell), G Thirlby (Redruth), D Mankee (Camborne); N Endean (Camborne), S Milliner (Worcester Univ), S MacDonald (Camborne), W Penney (Redruth), C Bailey (Redruth), M Woolcock (Camborne, capt), S Matavesi (Plymouth Albion), T Duncan (Redruth).
Replacements: Nicholas (St Ives),M Williams (Penryn), D Bramwell (St Ives), A Lewarne (Redruth), J Wilson (Bude),H Noott (St Ives), M Shepherd (St Austell).
Devon: Tries: Downie, Bushe (3), Squire, Bull, Setter (2); Cons: Toms (2), Squire (3); Pens: Toms (3).
Cornwall: Try: Duncan; Pen: Thirlby.
Cornwall Man-of-the-Match: Matt Shepherd (St. Austell)