Photo by Simon Bryant: Goodfellow on his way to scoring on Saturday
Twelve months ago, Greg Goodfellow played his final game for Redruth. It was his 100th game for the club, and to mark that milestone he would receive the famous red jacket – yes there is a Cornish equivalent to that famous green jacket in Augusta for the Masters Golf! Then there was the prospect of another county championship campaign with Cornwall aiming to get back to Twickenham for a third consecutive year.
Sadly it all went horribly wrong for Greg in that game against Southend, as he was shown a red card by referee Calum Howard for alleged foul play reported by the touch judge. It brought to a sorry end Greg’s stay at Redruth and forced him to miss the county championship campaign that saw Cornwall triumphant at Twickenham. It was a bitter pill to swallow.
So fast forward twelve months, the scene the Recreation Ground, Redruth, Cornwall beginning the defence of their title against old foes Gloucestershire in front of a large crowd of bedecked Cornish men and women wearing the famous black and gold. Cornwall were struggling with their opponents, trailing by 20-11, under the same referee Calum Howard; in the 51st minute of the game, (and as my late colleague Paul Bawden often wrote), it was a case of “Cometh the hour, cometh the man!” So the scene was set for the return of Goodfellow on the pitch that he had graced in the red shirt with all the frustrations and disappointments of twelve months previous waiting to be exorcised….
Cornwall’s favourite Scotsman didn’t disappoint: he scored a memorable 70 metre try, in Hellfire corner (where else?), with his old club mate Lewis Vinnicombe playing no small part in the move; two other Goodfellow breaks were the catalyst for two further Cornwall scores as they sealed a remarkable comeback 33-27.
Interviewed after the game, Goodfellow spoke with the calmness and satisfaction of a man who had come to put matters right, and had done so brilliantly. He said: “It’s hard to describe how I feel. They say that some fairy tales don’t have a happy ending, but for me in that game it was the best ending possible. Hopefully I’ve created some chaos and a few selection headaches for the selectors for next week!”
Photo Simon Bryant: Goodfellow playing for Cornwall in 2014 at Twickenham
Goodfellow’s elation at scoring the vital try that stretched Cornwall’s lead to 26-20, when all looked lost at 11-20 down as he came on, was indescribable: “To get over the whitewash and score that try was amazing especially in front of all those fans. The frustrations of having to sit out last season’s campaign and watch Cornwall triumph at Twickenham was hard to bear. Having played a big part in the previous campaigns it was tough to miss out on the lads great win last season. I wanted to get myself back into the squad and if an opportunity came along, take it with both hands.
“Whatever happens I am just happy to be involved again playing with a great bunch, even when Gloucestershire scored that late try to regain the lead I had confidence that we could go down the other and score and we did. We showed the character that we have, the passion, the desire to get back to Twickenham again; but it’s one game at a time, we focus on Hertfordshire next week and then see where we are after that.”