It was my first visit to Camborne this season to watch the Cornish Pirates in action, and I can assure One & All it will not be my last.
After the frustrating time of the last campaign you are immediately struck by the change in regime that now reigns at the club.
The “slightly” relaxed and informal feeling of last season, has been replaced by a much smarter, professional and orderly appearance. Gone are players and coaches loafing around in flip flops and shorts. Blazers and ties are de rigueur as well as for many of the backroom staff and match day officials. The Pirates have certainly moved up a notch or two, many would feel not before time too!!
The smarter appearance off the field has been transmitted also to the on-the-field performances with the Cornish Pirates completing a four from four win ratio from their September program, a statistic that will no doubt gladden the heart of Dicky Evans, present at Camborne on Sunday, as well as Pirates’ faithful at home and further a-field. The advent of Pirates TV this season means that now people around the globe can watch live feed of the Pirates matches and feel part of the action from a distance and there are many Cousin Jacks and Cousin Jennys who will be happy to do so.
Some things don’t change, thankfully, such as the welcome for the media from Phil Westren in the media hut. One is always well looked after, as ever, it is most appreciated.
My match report from the game is available on the main part of the site, or the posting above!
Whilst on the subject of the Pirates, this week saw the launch of the new book written by former Pirate Steve Tomlin along with journalist and radio/tv commentator Dick Straughan entitled “Pirates! Pirates!” It charts the rise of the club from Western Counties in 1995 to the present Championship status. I have a copy and once read I hope to write a review on the website. At first glance it looks to be a “must have” for any rugby enthusiast, with Christmas fast approaching it’s will be an ideal present.
I was sorry to learn this week of the enforced retirement of Wadebridge Camels lock Julian Wilce, who for many seasons wore the black shirt of Launceston with distinction. Wilcey who earned 17 Cornwall caps, picks out winning the Skinners Brewery Cornwall Cup with the Camels a couple of seasons ago and Launceston’s promotion play-off win at Halifax in 2004 as two of his career highlights. Wilcey won’t be lost to the game as coach John May is keen for him to help out on the coaching side at Wadebridge.
So on to a review of the action. In National League 1 a couple of wins for our Cornish sides. Redruth got their first win of the campaign with a 35-22 win at Nuneaton. Four tries for the Reds through scrum-half Mark Richards, winger Lewis Vinnicombe, and flankers Fraser Clilverd and Herbie Stupple. A welcome return to form from the boot of Mark Scrivener added another 15 points.
The Cornish All Blacks looked to have their win all sown up as they led 35-12, but had to withstand a Stourbridge fight-back to finish up 35-29 winners! Skipper Mal Roberts (2), flanker Tom Rawlings, winger Lewis Paterson and centre Ryan Westren scored the All Blacks’ tries with Tony Yapp kicking the other points.
In the Tribute regional leagues; St. Ives, after their big defeat last week at Hartpury College got back to winning ways with a 13-7 win at home to Ivybridge. James Tresize kicked a couple of penalties with Matt Molloy converting Jon “Oggy” Wright’s try.
In Western Counties West, Camborne sit proudly on top of the table following their 53-10 win over visiting Devonport Services. Trailing early in the game 10-0, Town hit back scoring eight tries in reply. Winger Rob Floyd (2), flanker Ryan Spargo (2), centre Laurie Manna, fly-half Dave Mankee and forwards Martin Woolcock and Scott MacDonald all crossed for the Cherry & Whites.
Equal on points with Camborne are Kingsbridge who snatched a last-gasp win at Bude 20-15 as the scores were tied 15 all deep into time added on. Bude scored three un-converted tries through Ollie Denford (2) and Will Kingdom.
In the latest Cornish derby in this league, Truro beat Newquay Hornets 28-19 at St. Clements. It was three tries-a-piece. Mark Lea, Luke Trescothick and Scott Martin for Truro, whilst Dan Pearce, Fraser Kellythorn and Marc Richards crossed for the Hornets, but it was Martin’s boot that proved to be the match winner for Truro with 13 points.
Penryn won 23-7 at Withycombe with tries from winger Darren Pellow (2) and James Mann.
Wadebridge Camels defeated Minehead Barbarians at the Molesworth Field 22-12 with tries from Luke Davidson Ian Boyling and Matt Ballard.
In London 2 SW, not such a good result for our exiles as London Cornish lost 26-10 to London South Africa at Imber Court. Matt Strover, scored Cornish’s try with Conor O’Daly adding the conversion and a later penalty. Dickon’s match report here
In the Cornwall & Devon League a big win for St. Austell who are also four wins from four, Plymstock the latest victims dispatched 71-0!
Stithians continue to progress with a 60-12 win over OPM’s, whilst Falmouth won 16-5 at the Rec against Saltash. Hayle found it hard going in South Devon as they lost 49-14 at Teignmouth, whilst in North Devon, Liskeard & Looe couldn’t prevent Torrington getting their first win of the season as the hosts won 19-5.