Where else can one start this week other than sending warmest congratulations to Mount’s Bay RFC on writing yet another fantastic chapter in their all too brief history. The champagne corks popped all over the Mennaye as the Bay celebrated a seventh promotion in eight seasons! With the National League 3 South safely secured Mount’s Bay can now plan for their next campaign in National League 2, who knows they may even still meet the side they defeated 28-16 on Saturday Cinderford next term, should they prevail in the play-off with the runners up from National League 3 North either Darlington Mowden Park or Fylde.
Cinderford to their credit fully tested the champions-elect, taking the lead with a try from their scrum-half Dickens, then pulling further ahead with a penalty from Trigg on 26 mins. Lee Jarvis, playing his final match at the Mennaye, opened Bay’s account with a penalty after 31 mins. Bay got on level terms shortly after with a fine try from winger Jon Marlin. Just before half-time Jarvis made up for his missed conversion kicking a 35 metre drop goal to give Bay a 11-8 half-time advantage. Cindeford levelled after the break with a second Trigg penalty. Bay were in determined mood and not to be denied with flanker Adam Nicholls scoring a couple of tries within eight minutes both of which Jarvis converted to put the home side in a commanding position. A second Jarvis penalty completed Bay’s haul before Cinderford had the final say with their second try scored by Wallis.
The burning of the midnight oil by the Polson Escape Committee earned yet another marvellous result for the Cornish All Blacks as they came from behind to beat Moseley at Billesley Common 12-10, thanks to four penalties from full-back Jon Fabian. Launceston are now out of the bottom two level on points with Sedgley Park but having won two games more than their rivals. The next assignment will be a tough home match with Bedford Blues, I think that the Cornish All Blacks have got the heart to win and give themselves another fighting chance.
Redruth came off second best to promotion chasers Manchester in their National League 2 encounter at the Recreation Ground as the Cheshire side won 42-10. Paul Thirlby, celebrating his 100th appearance for the Reds scored a fine second half try in the Piggy Lane corner, which Gareth Griffiths did well to convert, Griffiths also kicked a penalty, that was as good as it got for Redruth, trailing 9-0 at half-time they were undone by five second half tries, though it will be the manner of the defeat that will have left coach Nigel Hambly fuming.
No game this weekend for the Cornish Pirates, though as ever at this time of the year it’s the player transfer speculation that hits the headlines, skipper Tim Cowley’s move to the French Top 14 side Bourgoin-Jallieu was confirmed this week as was winger Vunga Lilo’s move to Guinness Premiership side Bristol. Joining the Cornish Pirates next season will be backs Marika Vakacegu (Pertemps Bees) and Tom Luke (Doncaster Knights) as well as back row player Chris Morgan (Newbury Blues). The trio joining already announced signings of Nicky Griffiths (Ospreys), Jannie Bornman and Ben Gulliver (both Plymouth Albion) and Michael Burek from French side Pau.
In the Tribute regional leagues it was the penultimate round of matches with several decisions reached.
In South West 1, St. Ives put up a far better performance than expected against topside Chinnor only going down by 29-10. Mark Sherris kicking a penalty and converting No8 Andy Skinner’s try.
In South West 2 West, Camborne completed their home program with a disappointing defeat 39-5 against St. Mary’s Old Boys, winger Rob Floyd scoring Town’s only try.
In Western Counties West, both Wadebridge Camels and Bude may well have been slightly hung-over from last weekend’s Cornwall knock Out Cup final as they both lost. Camels went down away at Devonport Services 34-26 despite scoring four tries through Alistair McLennan, skipper Gary Gynn, Jake McCarroll and Mike Shipple. Bude’s home defeat to Withycombe by 16-7 did Hayle no favours at all at the wrong end of the table. Andy Yates scored the try with Paul Williams adding the conversion.
Hayle’s defeat at Tiverton coupled with Withycombe’s surprise win at Bude leaves the Lions in a hopeless situation and the drop to the Cornwall & Devon league looks on the cards just 12 months after they missed out to Barton Hill in the promotion play-off to South West 2 West. No 8 Rob Heath scored both Hayle’s tries with Adam Keverne kicking a penalty and conversion.
Penryn having seen off old rivals Falmouth last week in a friendly secured only their second league win of the current campaign with a 6-0 over Kingsbridge thanks to a couple of Alex Suthridge penalties.
A much better performance for London Cornish in their final home league match in London 3 SW, however they couldn’t prevent play-off chasers Purley John Fisher winning 14-3. Read Dickon Moon’s report from the forums.
More champagne corks popped over at the Sports Centre where Newquay Hornets secured a second successive promotion following their 20-8 win over Okehampton in the Cornwall & Devon League. Whether the Hornets go up as champions will be decided in the final round of matches as they still trail leaders Cullompton by a single point. Ashley Mann and James Bayley (2) scored the tries with Ryan Johns kicking the other points.
Truro almost gave Newquay a helping hand as they led Cullompton 12-10 with time almost up thanks to four Scott Martin penalties, it was not to be as Cullompton scored a second try in injury time to win 17-12.
Teignmouth scored an upset at the Recreation Ground defeating Falmouth 6-5, the Chiefs’ try being scored by Andy Palmer.
The final round of matches in Cornwall 1 and 2, saw Saltash crowned winners of Cornwall 1 thanks to a 6-5 win over Liskeard & Looe. Helston finish second and will play-off for a place in the Cornwall & Devon League next season after a 15-10 win at St. Austell. They will meet either Plymouth Barbarians or Old Public Oaks on Saturday week. St. Just and Bodmin are relegated back to Cornwall 2 to be replaced by Illogan Park who come up as champions of Cornwall 2 following a 25-7 win over St. Agnes and Redruth Albany 89-14 winners over Lankelly-Fowey.