SIX WINS out of six for the Cornish Pirates as they top Pool B of the RFU Championship play-offs to earn a home semi-final against the runners up in Pool A London Welsh.

That game will take place at the Mennaye on Sunday 1st May with a 5-45pm kick-off.

The match is bound to be a sell out with the limited capacity at the Mennaye. Once again as the Pirates continue to ride the wave of success the lack of a proper modern facility that is a stadium appears more acute with each passing week.

The Pirates’ continued successes on the field can only enhance their position and decry their detractors.

In two days time it will be 20 years since Cornwall triumphed at Twickenham against Yorkshire in front of some 40,000 Cornish folk in the County Championship. That was a great triumph, but in another era, rugby has moved on but sadly some Cornish thinking with regards to rugby has not in certain quarters. For the good of One & All that needs to change. It is changing, but not as quickly as some more visionary people would like.

The Cornish Pirates are today’s heros, they are today’s chance of glory for Cornwall in a sport that has become professional and no manner of wishful thinking by some can ever hope of turning the tide against it’s irresistable flow. Wake up, smell the coffee and live with it.

On the field success and failure for the season is now coming to a head.

In National League 1, the Cornish All Blacks’ fate has now been sealed following their loss on Saturday at home to Blackheath. They will now look the re-build next season in National League 2 South.

It was always going to be a tall order following their 20 point deduction earlier in the season when the club was forced into administration. In a season when National League 1 has produced some of the most exciting rugby in country and the most even, there were no easy points to pick up. The Cornish All Blacks ably led by skipper Tom Rawlings battled to the last and never let their heads drop. Ryan Westren at centre was once again an outstanding player for them and will no doubt be courted by sides from the Championship or even the Premiership as his stock continues to rise.

It could well be a Duchy au-revoir to National League 1 as Redruth are also still in the relegation zone with just two more matches to play, their fate is still to be played out, they did their prospects a power of good last Saturday with a great win at Coventry with Aaron Penberthy kicking an injury time drop-goal to secure five much needed points.

With RFU funding being cut to clubs in level 3 it makes competing at a National level that much harder for all clubs especially those at the extremities such as Redruth or Blaydon. What a pity when the fare and competitiveness served up at this level this season has been excellent arguably the best in the country!

Further down the league structure there are promotions this season for Penryn, champions of Tribute Western Counties West. Next season they will be in Tribute South West 1 West with Camborne, Wadebridge Camels and possibly St. Ives if they can keep their place.

Newquay Hornets drop down from Tribute Western Counties West to the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League with St. Austell taking their place.

Veor are Champions of the Tribute Cornwall League and will play in the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League next season. Pirates Amateurs are in the play-off for the remaining spot against the runners up from the Tribute Devon League 1, Wessex RFC, that game takes place at the Mennaye on Easter Saturday kick-off 3pm.

Roseland, Stithians and Saltash all drop down to the Cornwall League next season.

To those who have achieved success this season- Congratulations and well done. To those that didn’t – There is always next season!

Posted in Bill's Blog

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