This coming Friday, March 28th marks the centenary of arguably the greatest Cornish sporting achievement, the winning of the County Championship in 1908 at a packed (17,000) Recreation Ground in Redruth.
It was all the more remarkable as it was the only national competition held in that era. It was the pathway to the England team so the very best players competed.
It was the first time that Cornwall had topped the competative South West group having beaten Somerset in their opening fixture 25-6, Cornwall lost to joint reigning champions Devon 17-8 before defeating Gloucestershire 34-10. As per the rules of the period teams level on points had to play-off, so Cornwall faced Devon again this time at Redruth defeating them 21-3. They then travelled to Gloucester to face the mighty Gloucestershire side winning 15-3. That win put them in the semi-final where they faced Middlesex at Redruth beating the London side 19-3.
So to the final against the other co-holders of the title Durham. Victory was hard fought but earned against the northerners by 17-3, with Redruth’s Bert Solomon scoring two tries, “Maffer” Davey, Barrie Bennetts and Nick Tregurtha also crossing the opponents try line.
The final whistle brought great excitement as the crowd acclaimed their heros.
One Hundred Years on Cornwall salutes it’s heros from that famous day in grateful remembrance;
Cornwall: E. J. Jackett (capt, Leicester), B. Bennetts (Devon Albion), B. Solomon (Redruth), F. Dean (Devon Albion), J. Jose (Devon Albion), T.G. Wedge (St. Ives), J. Davey (Redruth); J. G. Milton (Camborne School of Mines), A. J. Milton (Camborne School of Mines), F. Jackson (Leicester), R. Jackett (Falmouth), A.J. Thomas (Devon Albion), R. Davey (Redruth), T. Lawry (Redruth), N. R. Tregurtha (St. Ives).