NO – I didn’t travel up to Bristol on Sunday to watch the Cornish Pirates go down to their first defeat of the season by 21-7. Instead I took the much shorter trip (for me) to watch a Cornish Derby in Western Counties West between PENRYN & TRURO.
The old ground evokes many happy memories stretching back to the early seventies when Penryn were the force in Cornwall and Exeter didn’t fancy their chances against the Borough either!
The game that stands out is that famous RFU Knock Out Cup Quarter-Final tie played between Penryn and mighty Coventry on 4th March 1972. Hard to belive that some 5,000 squeezed into the famous old ground. “One of the most partisan crowds I have experienced” remarked Coventry’s England International…….David Duckham. Although Penryn lost the match 28-4 on a pitch that resembled a mud-bath – I still have the mud-splattered program with David Duckham’s autograph on it – I remember well standing on the banking, which would be just behind the stand a Penryn on the old configeration of the pitch, with showers of mud and beer cans raining down mostly in the direction of a Cornishman, Barry Ninnes from St. Ives who was playing for Coventry and had changed county allegence from Cornwall to Warwickshire. It hadn’t gone down well locally!
So much for memory lane, back to the present and a win for the Borough as they defeated Truro 18-12. A close game with not much to seperate the sides, though Adryan Winnan’s sublime cross-field kick created the opening try for winger Darren Pellow, fellow winger Dan Booth got the other try with the boot of Navy skipper Dave Pascoe kicking the points. Karl Martin kicked four penalties for Truro, for whom wingers Luke Trescothick and Mark Lea stood out as did Richard Tucker in the pack.
The win keeps Penryn up near the top of Tribute Western Counties West with fellow un-beaten side Wellington, who were promtied from the Cornwall & Devon League last season.
Elsewhere in the league Newquay Hornets lost heavily at home 55-0 to leaders Wellington, whilst Bude lost an entertaining game at Exeter Saracens 58-32.
In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, St. Austell lost their un-beaten record as they slipped up at home to Bideford 14-10. Sam Tank getting both Saints tries.
Falmouth had another good win this time against Crediton 33-15 at the Rec. Falmouth’s five tries came from Clayton Meeks (2), Phil Wells, Ashley Searle and Josh Chambers, with Matt Horton kicking four conversions. Saltash beat Stithians 39-19 at Moorlands Morton and Skinnard both grabbed a brace with Arndell and Hurrell also crossing. Ashwin, Keay and Creeden scored tries for Stithians. Hayle won 41-7 at Philleigh against Roseland. Tom Outram scord a couple of tries in the Lions six-try win. Liskeard & Looe had a thumping win at Lux Park against Torrington 72-3.
In National League 1, the Cornish All Blacks drew 24-24 with Tynedale at Polson Bridge, both sides scored three tries with Lanson’s tries comming from a penalty-try and a brace for centre Ryan Westren who is showing great form at present.
Redruth lost for the fourth time this season going down 34-15 at London Scottish. Nic Simmons and Steve Kenward got the Reds’ tries with Aaron Penberthy adding a conversion and a penalty.
Up in London London Cornish maintained their fine start to the season with a 15-10 win over Twickenham in London 2 SW
In Tribute South West 1 West, Camborne won the derby at St. Ives 23-18, whilst Wadebridge Camels won at Ivybridge 30-13.