HERTFORDSHIRE 29 – 27 CORNWALL
Cornwall’s hopes of reaching a first County Championship Final since 1999 rest out of their hands following this narrow defeat at Hertford.
It’s a game Cornwall will look back on and know they should have won as they lead 24 – 8 early in the second half.
They were rocked by three second half tries which gave Hertfordshire the advantage.
Cornwall had a chance to regain the lead but a late penalty from Dave Pascoe, which looked set to go through the posts, was caught by the wind and slammed into the upright and stayed out!
By such small margins are games won and lost.
Cornwall trailed to an early Liebenberg try after just five minutes as Hertfordshire dominated the early exchanges.
However, Cornwall soon found their feet with full back Brett Rule kicking a penalty.
Richard Gregg and Rule then swapped penalties before Cornwall got their opening try scored by centre Lewis Paterson for an 11-8 score-line to Cornwall.
Cornwall kept the pressure up getting a second try just before half-time with prop Darren Jacques claiming the score. Rule slotted the conversion for an 18-8 half-time advantage to the men in black and gold.
Rule kicked a penalty to extend Cornwall’s lead soon after half-time, but sadly the Redruth full-back had to retire injured soon after.
Dave Pascoe on for scrum-half Greg Goodfellow assumed goal kicking duties and stretched Cornwall’s lead with another penalty to 24-8.
Hertfordshire’s Rob Schillaci scored a try, which fly-half James Shanahan converted.
Pascoe kicked a second penalty for Cornwall to keep them ahead 27-15
Sadly Cornwall then conceded two quick tries which put Hertfordshire back into the lead 29-27.
Tom Jubb got the first of the two tries and then replacement winger Mike Allen scorched in out wide to leave a tough touchline conversion for Tom Newton who kicked a superb kick.
Cornwall looked to comeback but their final chance from Pascoe’s penalty kick which struck the post left them empty handed.
Hertfordshire:Richard Gregg (Old Albanian); Kameli Ratouvou (Saracens), Joel Tomkins (Saracens), Chris Lombaard (Old Albanian), Ben Ransom (Saracens); James Shanahan (Old Albanian), Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanian); Jared Saunders (Saracens), Brett MacNamee (Hertford) (Capt), Rob Schillaci (Hertford), Craig South (Hertford), Tom Mowbray (Chinnor), Ollie Cooper-Miller (Old Albanian), Rod Fahrenheim (Old Albanian), Billy Johnson (Bedford).
Replacements: Stuart Bailey (Old Albanian), Michael Cade (Old Albanian), Jim Remfry (Barnes), Tom Jubb (Cambridge), Laurence Wright (Old Albanian), Tom Newton (Tring), Michael Allen (Hertford)
Cornwall (Cornish All Blacks unless otherwise): B Rule (Redruth), R Bright, S Johns (Plymouth Albion), L Paterson, R McAtee (Cornish Pirates), L Webb, G Goodfellow (Redruth); D Jacques (Redruth), J Salter, C Williams (Redruth), B Hilton (Capt), B Jenkins (Cambridge), M Rawlings, T Rawlings, S Hocking (Plymouth Albion).
Replacements: R Brown (Redruth), P Joyce (Redruth), C Fuca (Redruth), T Duncan (Redruth), D Pascoe (Penryn & Royal Navy), J Murphy, T Notman (Redruth).
Referee: Terry Hall (RFU)