A Happy New Year to One and All. As ever I wish all Cornish Clubs every success for 2014 and as I do each year hope that we may get a trip to Twickenham with Cornwall. We shall see!

It’s not been the happiest of festive periods at Redruth. After the euphoria of the pre-Christmas win over Launceston, came Boxing Day defeat at Camborne.

Then on Friday evening came the bombshell. Prop Darren Jacques who has been with the Reds for ten years announced his immediate departure from the club following a Players Meeting held the previous evening.

In a statement posted on his twitter feed Jacques wrote. “After our club meeting last night I decided it was time to leave the reds this is due to club changes and personally having a young family.

“I appreciate all the support it’s been 10 great years. I’ll still be playing local rugby but less time demanding.”

On Thursday evening the players were informed that the club was not in a position to continue paying the players.

In a statement from the club released by club treasurer Jerry Penna the following was stated. “Despite extensive efforts to maintain a players’ fund, the Club is not in a position to offer remuneration payments to players and this message was conveyed to the playing squad on Thursday evening. I trust members will acknowledge that although it may or may not result in changes to playing personnel, the Club will continue to strive to provide the highest standard of league rugby at the Recreation Ground in the future. In terms of rugby costs, it should be noted that recent away fixture travel costs have been paid in total by various individuals supporting the Club and my sincere thanks go to them for their very generous contributions to the cause.”

On Saturday following Redruth’s defeat to Southend 22-0, head coach Ashley Morcom confirmed that both Jacques and back Lewis Vinnicombe had left the club.

I was at Truro on Saturday covering their game Tribute Western Counties West match against Okehampton where delighted coaches Josh Lord and Mark Richards confirmed that Jacques was set to sign for the city club.

I also spoke to Jacques who was present at St. Clements Hill and he confirmed that he was set to sign. He also added that he was sad to leave Redruth after ten fabulous years at the Recreation Ground but he felt following the players meeting that the time was right for him to move on and he was looking forward to teaming up with Josh Lord and Mark Richards.

With a young family growing up he feels, and rightly so, that he needs to spend more time with them, which is quite understandable.
He also confirmed that he would still be available to play for Cornwall this season in the Bill Beaumont Cup campaign.

On the playing front, Redruth travelled up on Saturday morning to Southend, and yes players in the far west of the county were up by 5 am!
In the end Redruth lost 22-0 thus maintaining their poor away form, which is hardly surprising in the circumstances and unlikely to change in the short term.

By all accounts the team acquitted themselves remarkably well led by Owen Hambly in skipper Chris Fuca’s absence. Read Ed Bawdwen’s match report from the WMN in the link

Hopefully the club will be able to take a step forward on Saturday when they entertain Chinnor. The Redruth crowd will have a part to play in lifting the team.

The Cornish All Blacks maintained their fine record at Polson this season with an 18-6 win over Canterbury. Tim Mathias and Ryan Westren scored Lanson’s tries along with eight points from the boot of Kieron Lewitt.

Bill Sobey’s match report from the WMN in the link

In the RFU Championship, the Cornish Pirates made the trip to Clifton Lane and let slip a 21- point lead to finally lose 35-20.
Tries from Craig Holland, Tom Kessell and Tom Riley all converted by Holland who also had kicked a penalty saw the Pirates 24-3 up after 27 minutes.
Titans came back strongly, though there was a hint of controversy about their fourth try, in which there appeared to be a forward pass in the build up, though perhaps not as blatant as Yohan Huget’s pass for Toulouse against Clermont that led to Maxime Medard’s try last night.
Holland kicked a couple more penalties to at least give the Pirates a losing bonus point. Some cheer after the awful news of the fire in the hospitality marquee at the Mennaye on Friday night.

Dick Straughan’s match report in the link from the WMN

Ian Davies’ reaction post match WMN

Next week the Pirates will switch to British and Irish Cup action with Ayr being the visitors at the Mennaye on Sunday with kick-off at 3 pm.
The bad weather put paid to much of the Tribute league program in the sou’west.

In South West 1 West, Cleve climbed back to the top of the table with a 29-5 win at Wadebridge Camels. Prop Jack Scott with the Camel’s only score.
Both games involving St. Austell and Camborne were postponed.

In Western Counties West, I saw an entertaining game at St. Clements Hill where in form Truro made it five wins on the bounce with a 29-14 win against Okehampton.

Such was Truro’s dominance in the first half that the winning margin could have been much greater. Tries by Adam Gayton, Luke Tidball and Ashley Riches with a conversion from by Jake Champion gave Truro a 17-0 half-time lead.

In the second half hooker Ben Teasdale made sure of the bonus point with his side’s fourth try, whilst Champion snaffled the ball from the base of an Oke’s scrum near their line to poach try number five to which he added the extras.

Leading 29-0, Truro let the foot of the gas in the closing stages allowing Okehampton to score a couple of consolation tries one of which was a penalty-try. A fuller report from the WMN site in the link

Leaders Ivybridge had too much pace for Bude as they won 46-19 at Bencoolen. Olly Denford, Freddie Saxton and Jake Watts scored tries for the Seasiders’, with Denford adding a couple of conversions.

Of note for Cornwall is the good form of Lewis Paterson who is playing at Ivybridge at the moment and who got a couple of tries in the game.
The matches involving Penryn and St. Ives were called off.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish’s match against Tottonians was another victim of the weather, allowing Director of Rugby Dickon Moon the chance of a trip to Southend to see Redruth.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, there was just one game played as Crediton defeated Hayle 37-16. Rob Goodman scored a couple of tries for the Lions with Dan McGee kicking two penalties.

In Cornwall 1 Roseland defeated St. Agnes 27-3 at Enys Parc to leap-frog them in the table and send Aggie to the foot of the table.

In Cornwall 2, Illogan Park maintained their fine run defeating Redruth Albany at Trewergie 45-8, whilst in the only other game played St. Day defeated Camelford 22-5.

Finally this week bad luck to Pirates Amateurs who played their re-arranged Senior Vase tie at OPM’s. The Amateurs went down 20-13 to the Plymouth based side.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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