At long last the RFU Council finally decided to go ahead with the “Championship” next season to replace the existing National League 1. Details from the RFU site can be found here in the link . It looks at present as if the Cornish Pirates will take up the invitation to join the Championship. Obviously more details will emerge as time goes on, also whether Redruth or the Cornish All Blacks will be able to take up the offer should either club win National League 2 in April. For the dream to continue of top class rugby in Cornwall it’s imperative that the Cornish Pirates are part of the new set up. As to how it will all finally be financed remains to be seen, though I understand that the Cornish Pirates will coming up with an iniative, which will involve the fans.

Back on the playing side, what a cracking game of rugby at Camborne Recreation Ground yesterday afternoon as the Cornish Pirates took on the league leaders in National League 1 Leeds Carnegie. It was typical of this season’s games from the Pirates, full of every emotion possible, but no fairy-tale ending as Leeds held out to win by 2 points 25-23. I can’t recall a start to a match quite like it, 16 seconds into the game and Leeds had points on the board as lock Kearnan Myall collected the kick-off and just ran and kept on running through the static Pirates defence to dot down under the posts! Unreal. Then a couple of minutes later former Pirate Richard Welding scored up in the corner a second Leeds try, with Alberto Di Bernardo slotting over the opening try’s conversion it was a nightmare start for Mark Hewitt’s side.

Fearing the worst we were instead taken on a roller-coaster ride of emotion with Leeds falling foul of referee Nick Williams, Rhys Jones pegged the Yorkshire side back, a couple of yellow cards for the visitors helped the Pirates cause as well. Then Leeds stretched out once more a penalty from yes Alberto, you could sense that PA, Phil Westren was dying to roll back a couple of seasons for his famous “Alberto Dee Bernardo” in his inimitable style, and then a third Leeds try scored by scorching winger Tom Biggs. A few weeks ago the Pirates would have sunk without trace at such another set-back, but this side is now made of much sterner stuff, they showed great character ably led by skipper Addy Winnan, who had another towering game, his example influences his team to greater deeds and they responded. Hooker Darren Dawiduik scored a great try and Rhys Jones with his sixth penalty brought the Pirates close, but it was Alberto’s second penalty that gave Leeds a narrow win. After the match Alberto was heard to say that the Pirates’ fans were the best as he happily mingled with the home crowd. What a star he is. You can read my match report on the main site.

One good thing to come out of yesterday’s match was the fact that those habitual early leavers from the stand actually stayed put and watched the game to it’s conclusion. Hopefully the latecommers at the start of the match will have learn’t their lesson as well!!! Then everyone can enjoy the game without interuption!

On Saturday, Redruth made it eleven wins on the trot even though they were made to work very hard by Tynedale winning 15-5. Some times you have to win ugly, and this display was far removed from some of the fluid displays from the Reds this season, but as winter approaches and the grounds become heavier the Reds will have to adapt. Paul Thirlby and Mark Bright scored the Reds’ tries with Mark Scrivener adding a penalty and conversion on his return from injury. Redruth have a week off now as National League 2 takes a break before taking on Cambridge at the Recreation Ground.

A Cambridge side that will be left to reflect after the Cornish All Blacks pipped them 23-21 at Grantchester Road. Marc Dibble, Ben Turner and Mal Roberts scored the CAB’s tries with Adam Staniforth kicking a penalty and conversion and Jon Fabian also kicking a penalty. A result which lifts the Launceston club to third.

Mount’s Bay now know the task ahead of them to avoid the drop following the RFU’s decision, with a fourth win over fellow strugglers Southend 40-15, thanks to a 28-point haul without reply during the second half. Dan Hawkes boot contributed 25 points thanks to 7 penalties and two conversions from two penalty tries awarded, Nick Burnett scored the other Bay try.

In the Tribute regional leagues, St. Ives scored first and last in their drawn match at Paignton 20-20. The Hakes scored a couple of tries at Queens Park through Hano Dirksen with with Karl Martin converting both scores and a couple of penalties. Interesting to note that Rudolph Meredith who was with Redruth last season has just signed up for St. Ives he will be a big asset for the Hakes.

In Western Counties West, the big match was at the Molesworth Field as Wadebridge Camels entertained Newquay Hornets with the Camels winning 29-12. Camel’s try scorers were Alasdair McClennan, Richard Treleaven, Oly Lock, Matt Angwyn Shaun Hawkey with Leigh Charles adding a couple of conversions. For Newquay Simon Horton and Romey Vassell scored tries with Horton kicking a conversion.

Bude got their first point of the current campaign with a 14-14 draw at home to Tiverton. Andy Yates and Matt Williams scored the tries with Matt Trewin adding the conversions.

Camborne lost heavily in Somerset as Minehead Barbarians won 42-7, Shaun Woods scored a late try which Dave Mankee converted for Town’s only points.

Up in London 3 SW, London Cornish won at Wimbeldon 9-8. See Dickon Moon’s report here.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn got back to winning ways with a 13-11 win at Wellington Taron Peacock scoring all the Borough’s points with a try conversion and two penalties.

Hayle won at Plymstock 14-11 with a try from Mike Seager and three Mike Crump penalties. Truro had a good trip to North Devon winning at Bideford 13-3, Chris Gilbert with the try and Dan Dunkin with the conversion and two penalties. Saltash found it tough at Tavistock as they lost 24-8, Will Davenport with a try and Ollie Rayner a penalty.

Falmouth suffered a ninth consecutive defeat at the Recreation Ground losing 31-5 to OPM’s, Chris McColl with Falmouth’s try.

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