Trelawny’s Army members elect their Players of the Year
Report by Bill Hooper TASC Press Officer, Photos Simon Bryant Iktis photo
Winner of the Bill Osborne Memorial Shield
Cornwall’s triumph at Twickenham in winning the Bill Beaumont Cup ensured huge interest from the membership in choosing this season’s Player of the Year. There were no shortage of candidates in the running for the Cornwall Senior Player of the Year award, but in the end voting was pretty well unanimous for our winner, former Cornish All Black scrum-half Matt Shepherd, now with Graham Dawe’s Plymouth Albion.
Photo – Matt Shepherd after scoring his first try at Twickenham
Shepherd, a product of the St. Austell club, previously had a spell with Redruth at National League level before re-joining St. Austell, guiding them to promotion to South West 1 West, plus a second Cornwall Knock Out Cup final in 2014, where they lost to Camborne. He joined Launceston last season to improve his game and that led to his having a campaign to remember.
He picked up the Paul Bawden trophy as man-of-the-match in Cornwall’s Tamar Cup win against Devon, the first player to win that particular accolade twice.
He then help mastermind Cornwall’s assault on Twickenham, scoring four tries during the Championship, including two in the final and kicked a total of forty-two points.
Shepherd’s exploits last May saw him fully deserve his selection by England Counties for the tour to Romania.
The Tony Mead Memorial Shield for Cornwall U20 Player goes to loose-head prop forward Tommy Phillips, who spent last season at Redruth having joined the club from Truro College.
Photo – Tommy Phillips Cornwall Under 20 Player of the Year
Tommy is product of Helston RFC mini and juniors, and has previously been awarded the Mischler Cup as Cornwall U18 group player of the year.
Tommy’s progress with the Reds was truly outstanding last season and he was called up to the full county squad making his debut in the Tamar Cup and going on to be part of the County Championship squad.
One of the stars of the Cornwall Under 20 side that reached the National semi-final, that lost to eventual champions Yorkshire at Camborne, Tommy attended the Welbeck festival were he won selection for the England Counties Under 20 tour to Hungary last June.
The young prospect’s performances have seen him earn a Player Development Fund contract with the Cornish Pirates this season. He made his debut for the Pirates in the pre-season game against Camborne and also featured in the big win against Bath University at Torquay. He has been sent back on loan to Redruth to further his development.
Sadly, due to prior commitments, neither player will be available to receive their awards on the night.
Matt Shepherd’s father, Bernie, will receive the award on Matt’s behalf on Wednesday evening 30 September, at the St. Austell Brewery Visitor Centre, at the conclusion of the TASC A.G.M.
It is hoped to re-present the award to Matt at Plymouth Albion’s next home match, against Esher on Saturday 10 October.
Similarly, Tommy Phillips will be presented with his award following Redruth’s home game against Chinnor on the same Saturday.