HILL SEEKS LEVEL PLAYINGFIELD

Bit of a turn up for the books at Camborne on Sunday afternoon as Birmingham & Solihull Bees picked up a draw in their “home” game against the Cornish Pirates, switched to Cornwall due to the weather conditions in the midlands 31-31. Ben Patston, a thorn in the side of Redruth last season when playing for Cambridge, scored 21 of the Bees’ points with two tries, four conversions and a penalty.

The Midlanders well-documented tale of woe this season appears to have taken a turn for the better with the news this week that they were signing 16 players amongst them former Pirate Chris Cracknell and former Cornish All Black Glen Remnant!

The Pirates looked to be set fair for a routine win cruising at 31-17 with 20 minutes to play, tries from Rob Cook, Blair Cowan (2), Tyrone Holmes and a penalty-try award from referee Wayne Barnes, foot of the gas or what they were pegged back much to the annoyance Chris Stirling.

On Saturday, Redruth chalked up a much needed win over strugglers Nuneaton, the Reds winning 34-3, thanks to tries from Mark Bright (2), Lewis Vinnicombe, Herbie Stupple and Chris Morris.

The Cornish All Blacks made it six on the bounce with a fine 26-22 win at Stourbridge. Tries came from Darren Semmens, Ryan Westren, Jason Luff and a penalty-try. Tony Yapp kicked three conversions.

Some interesting developments up at Launceston during the week with the news that No.8 Sam Hocking and scrum-half Ed Lewsey were both off on loan to Plymouth Albion. Whilst the initial loan period is for one month only, Jon Hill in his statement seemed to concede the likelihood that Hocking would probably be moving to a higher level of rugby next season. Whist galling for Launceston supporters especially at a time when the team is playing so well, I am sure we all wish Sam well and will follow his progress keenly.

Jon has also been in the news this week with his views on re-structuring of rugby at level 3 and has written to the National Clubs Association asking to canvas their members on the subject. The financial position of many clubs is becoming increasingly perilous due in part to the continued cut in funding from the RFU as well as a drop in attracting sponsors. “How on earth are the Cornish All Blacks and Redruth supposed to play the likes of Blaydon, Tynedale, Wharfedale and Otley when there is no funding to support such trips in the future? The “contributions” for travel do not cover the costs of it, and therefore the RFU are expecting “amateur”players to lose money by taking time off work on a Friday in order to undertake a 10-hour coach journey to play on the other side of the country for no reward”.

Hill also added “A North, Midlands, South split would cut down this amount of overnight stays by about 90 per cent and reduce travel costs (coach/train) significantly”. The Sunday Independent are seeking views so contact sport@sundayindependent.co.uk.

News also this week that the much maligned Skinners Brewery Cornwall Super Cup is to make a return with Launceston and Redruth staging a two-legged final to help generate some more funding for both clubs. Redruth’s Director of Rugby commented “As both our clubs are feeling the pinch, with the reduction in funding from the Rugby Football Union, reduction in income from sponsorship and other fund raising activities within the clubs due, in the main, to the recession it was good to discuss the possibilities of our clubs competing for the “Skinners Brewery Super Cup.” Our respective gates this season have proven that the clash between the Reds and the Blacks is the most eagerly awaited and supported derby in Cornwall. The atmosphere at both games was electrifying and it was a wonderful occasion for both sets of supporters and players alike. Games between our clubs are always fiercely competitive and this year’s encounters did not disappoint, to take that competitiveness into a two legged Cup Final can only be good for the game in Cornwall”.

The CRFU have yet to confirm the dates but Hon Sec Alan Mitchell gave the following information The matches will be played on a “Home and Away” basis with provisional dates for the fixtures to be at Launceston on Sunday March 14th and with the return leg at Redruth on Sunday April 11th, We would hope to confirm these dates within the next couple of weeks. The prospect of the games being well supported will be welcomed by the respective Club Treasurers and with part of the gate money passing to the Cornwall RFU for distribution to all clubs taking part in the “Skinners Brewery” CRFU Cup Competitions, Rugby across the whole county will benefit.

In the Tribute regional league, in Southwest 1 West, it remains to be seen if the result between St. Ives and Newton Abbot will stand as the game was abandoned with just eight minutes remaining with the Devon side leading 7-3.

In Western Counties West, match of the day was at Camborne when first took on second. The Cherry & Whites gave their promotion hopes a boost inflicting Kingsbridge’s first league defeat of the season. Scrum-half Dave Mankee bagged all of Town’s points with a try and conversion plus two penalties in a13-5 win.

Surprise of the day came in the latest Cornish derby at the Molesworth Field when visitors Newquay Hornets overturned Wadebridge Camels 20-3. Mark Ley and Karl Maslen scored the Hornet’s tries with Sam Cullen and Chevy Reed both kicking a penalty goal and conversion. Sam Cullen kicked a consolation penalty for the Camels.

Bude had a good win at Bencoolen Meadow defeating visitors Minehead Barbarians 20-13 scoring four un-converted tries from Matt Trewin, Dan Miles, Dan Denton and Paul Williams.

Tavistock gave departing coach Steve Rush a win as they defeated Penryn 12-8, Phil Hinchley scored the Borough’s try with Dave Pascoe kicking a penalty.

Truro kept up promotion bid with a narrow 12-10 win, thanks to 4 Scott Martin penalties over North Petherton at St. Clements.

Up in London 2 SW, London Cornish ground out a 3-0 win at Trojans in the mud.

In the Cornwall & Devon league, St. Austell defeated Saltash 30-8 at Tregorrick. Stithians scored five tries in defeating Plymstock 24-15 at home. Falmouth earned a much-needed win beating Exeter Saracens 10-6 at the Rec. Liskeard & Looe won 8-6 at Teignmouth, but Hayle lost on their trip to Devon going down 22-5 at Bideford.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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