Not really the result that Launceston were hoping for on Saturday losing at home to Bedford by 22-18, though the losing bonus point has given them an extra point over Sedgley Park in the relegation battle in National League 1. It’s all going to boil down to the Sedgley Park v Rotherham Titans result, although it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Pertemps Bees somehow conjure up a result at Bedford. All the Cornish All Blacks can do on Saturday is go out and play their game at Franklins Gardens.
The Cornish All Blacks were rocked by the Bedford Blues who scored two converted tries in the opening quarter, flanker Mouritz Botha scoring the opening try after six minutes followed by a slick effort from centre Tom Youngs, full-back James Pritchard converting both scores. Launceston pulled a try back through top try scorer Matt Jess just before half-time to turn around nine points adrift.
Full-back Jon Fabian chipped away at the Bedford lead with a couple of penalties, however Pritchard nudged the visitors further ahead with a penalty before the Blues struck with a killer blow as Botha scored his second try. Launceston threw everything at Bedford eventually being awarded a penalty-try for persistent infringing, Fabian adding the conversion. Try as they might Launceston couldn’t get another try as Bedford effectively saw time out.
The Cornish Pirates gave another disappointing performance on the road as they lost at Moseley 29-20, a game on paper they should have won comfortably! Charlie Sharples, Jack Adams, Nathan Bressington and Oliver Atkinson scored the midlanders tries as they claimed all five points. The Pirates also suffered the displeasure of referee Mr. Rose who sent Sam Heard, Alan Paver and Chris Cracknell to the sin-bin. Cracknell and Heard made up for their misdemeanours by scoring tries as did Brian Tuohy. The end of season can’t come soon enough it seems at the Pirates. Earlier this week the Pirates announced the signings of Brett Davey as assistant coach and Canadian prop forward Iain Exner from French Pro 2 club la Section paloise, or Pau if you prefere.
In National League 2, Redruth completed their away program with a much-needed win after last Saturday’s poor performance. The Reds won at relegated Henley Hawks 22-5 scoring four tries through Lewis Vinnicombe (2), Steve Wood, against his former club, and Gareth Griffiths who also kicked a conversion. Liam Wordley replied with a second half try.
Mount’s Bay were probably still in celebratory mood as they made the trip to East London to take on Barking in their final game of the season. The East Enders needed a win to stave off any relegation worries and they got it with a 16-14 win over the champions. Adam Nicholls and John Griffiths scored the Bay’s tries with Tim Mosey and Jamie Semmens kicking the conversions. A busy summer in perspective as Bay look to strengthen for next season’s tough campaign in National League 2.
The final Saturday in the Tribute leagues saw the final outcomes decided. Credit to St. Ives as they took their bow from South West 1 losing by only one point 11-10 at Weston-super-Mare. The Hakes tries came from No 8 Andrew Skinner and wing John Smith. We all hope that St. Ives can bounce back next season in South West 2 West. The other sides relegated with St. Ives are Reading and Maidenhead. Chinnor are promoted to National League 3 South whilst Bracknell are in the play-off against the second team from London 1 Worthing.
Camborne put up a good fight at champions Exmouth in South west 2 west before going down 32-16. Town lead at half-time 16-7, thanks to a try from Joe Parma converted by Dave Mankee who also landed three penalties. In the second half the Cockles pulled away to cap a fine season. Camborne will hope to bounce back next season in Western Counties West, although it seems likely that some of the current squad will be moving on. Barnstaple finish runners-up and will have home advantage against Salisbury in the play-off. Going down with Camborne are Barton Hill and Hornets.
In Western Counties West, the major Cornish interest was at the bottom, Penryn continued their fine end-of-season form as they won 22-6 at Hayle to put the final nail in the Lions coffin and send them down with the Borough to the Cornwall & Devon league next season. Chris Mann, Syd Savas, and Kevin Hughes scored Penryn’s tries with Alex Stuthridge kicking the other points. Ben Eddy kicked a couple of penalties for Hayle.
In a repeat of the Cornwall Knock Out Cup final Wadebridge Camels defeated Bude 35-7 to cement third place in Western Counties West. Matt Ballard scored three tries with Andy Cameron and skipper Gary Gynn also scoring. Jamie Kneal kicked a couple of conversions and two penalties. Matt Trewin scored and converted Bude’s only try.
So Western Counties West sees Paignton crowned as champions with Sidmouth in the play-off against Old Redcliffians.
London Cornish made sure of finishing in fifth place in London 3 SW following an 18-10 win over KCS OB’s in their final league match of the season. Dickon Moon’s match report is available in the forums.
Cullompton’s win over Tavistock saw them win the Cornwall & Devon league whilst Newquay Hornets go up as runners-up, and will look to make an impact in Western Counties West next season. Hornets rounded off another fine season with a 24-0 win at Honiton. Andy Burbidge, Ashley Mann and Steve Potter scored the Hornets’ tries with Ryan Johns kicking the other points. Well done to Newquay Hornets on another great promotion.
Truro finished in fourth spot winning 21-6 at Wessex, Matt Trevail, and Scoble scored tries for Truro with Scott Martin kicking two penalties a conversion and a drop goal.
Falmouth’s game at Okehampton was abandoned after 60 minutes following an injury to Falmouth player Tom Spiller, which necessitated him being airlifted to Derriford by Air Ambulance, we wish him a speedy recovery. For the record Okehampton were leading 13-0 at that point.
Wessex, Honiton and Teignmouth are the three clubs to be relegated from the Cornwall & Devon league, OP&M’s are winners of Devon 1 and Saltash winners of Cornwall 1, the final spot will be decided this Saturday when Helston meet Old Public Oaks in the play-off for promotion.
To finish off news from across the channel in Brittany where Vannes completed their program in the Jean-Prat Trophy their first experience at this level, which corresponds to level 3 in England, the Bretons won their final game at home against the group winners Périgueux 12-6 in front of a good crowd of 1,600. Vannes will look to build on this experience for next season.