Cornwall began their Bill Beaumont Cup campaign with a comprehensive win over North Midlands at Redruth.
Prop Jamal Ford-Robinson proved difficult to stop all afternoon. Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktisphoto.
The Black and Golds scored ten tries in total, with four touchdowns during the first half (which saw the try-scoring bonus point wrapped up at the turn as they led 31-8) before scoring a further six tries, to end up 65-22 winners.
After the final whistle assistant coach Ian Morgan was delighted by his side’s result. He said. “I think if you had offered us that result before the match I’d have bitten your hand off. A great win to start with but when we analysis the performance there will be areas to look at. We leaked three tries and we will need to review that.
“We got the spine of the team right — a big strong scrum up front, putting them under pressure from the off, and then the half-backs dictating play. We are more than happy in scoring sixty-five points and can now build for Gloucestershire with some confidence.”
Equally satisfied with his side’s work was Cornwall skipper Ben Hilton. He said. “I am really pleased with that result. The conditions were not easy, especially with that strong wind which made throwing-in at the lineout awkward and kicking not much easier. A great performance — exactly what we needed to start off the campaign.
“There will be even greater expectation next time out after this performance, so it’s down to me and the team to respond to that pressure. Despite their loss today Gloucestershire will be formidable opponents next Saturday. If we take them lightly they will kill us, so we must get our preparation right this week.
Cornwall were obliged to make a late change prior to kick-off when flanker Tom Rawlings had to drop out with a quad injury picked up during training last Thursday. Fellow Cornish All Black Lloyd Duke was drafted in for a first championship start for the Black and Golds, having previously been capped in the 2010 Tamar Cup match.
It was the Cornish pack which laid the foundations for this large win. Playing down the slope during the first half towards Hell Fire corner, Cornwall had their visitors on toast as they scrummaged North Midlands into the Cornish turf.
There were some fine performances on the pitch, with prop Jamal Ford-Robinson again catching the eye with his runs, No.8 BJ Chapman a constant threat off the back of the scrum, and scrum-half Greg Goodfellow putting Cornwall on the front foot.
Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktisphoto.
The opening score came following fine play from Goodfellow, who set up winger Lewis Vinnicombe. The Truro winger ran in from 50 meters to score under the posts, with just four minutes on the clock.
Full-back Kieron Lewitt kicked the first of his six successful conversions, before landing a penalty just moments later to put Cornwall into double figures on the scoreboard.
North Midlands could not live with the searing pace of Goodfellow, who scored a fine individual try for try number two, which Lewitt again converted.
It was then the turn of the pack to really get on top of their opponents. A series of penalties taken as scrums by Cornwall eventually saw referee Nick Williams jog under the posts for a penalty-try, which Lewitt had no problems converting.
Having scored three early tries, Cornwall began to use the rolling subs with Rupert Freestone, Tony Whittle, and Tom Notman all getting an early run.
North Midlands got their first points on the board with a penalty by fly-half Alex Warner on 27 minutes, but back came Cornwall with a second penalty-try to secure the try-scoring bonus point, Lewitt again adding the extras for 31-3.
Winger David Evans got in at the scoreboard corner just before half-time for an unconverted try to leave Cornwall 31-8 to the good at the break.
With the slope in their favour, North Midlands put Cornwall under early pressure in the second half with No.8 Drew Harper scoring a good try, which Warner converted.
Cornwall hit back with further scores, a breakaway score from winger Rhodri McAtee, converted by Lewitt, and then Notman raced on to a kick-ahead by fly-half Paul Thirlby, which bounced over the defender’s head, allowing Notman to hack on and score.
Hooker Jamie Salter came up with the ball following a powerful forward drive from the Cornish pack and then Notman completed his brace when he fielded a loose kick out of defence by North Midlands, swivelled, and then beat the defender to go over the scoreboard corner for 53-15.
Chris Fuca, back on as a replacement for skipper Ben Hilton, was the next to get on the score-sheet, finishing off a training pitch move involving Goodfellow and McAtee.
North Midlands salvaged a bit of pride with a third try scored by flanker Niall Dacres which Warner converted, but fittingly it was Cornwall who had the final say with a tenth try scored by replacement back Lewis Paterson.
The Cornish crowd were delighted at the final whistle and will now be anticipating the visit of Gloucestershire at Camborne next Saturday. Gloucestershire will be looking to bounce back after their opening day defeat at Cinderford to Hertfordshire by 30-19.
Coach Graham Dawe wasn’t giving too much away after the game. He said. “We didn’t know too much about North Midlands, so to get a high-scoring win today is a good start. The games ahead of us are going to be strong tests. Over the next few days I’ll be talking to the players about certain aspects of the game. We will keep our feet on the ground and prepare well this week for Gloucestershire at Camborne next Saturday.”
Cornwall 65 pts: tries Vinnicombe, Goodfellow, penalty-try (2), McAtee, Notman (2), Salter, Fuca, Paterson; conversions Lewitt (6); penalty Lewitt
North Midlands 22 pts: tries Evans, Harper, N Darces; conversions Warner (2); penalty Warner
Cornwall: K Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), L Vinnicombe (Truro), R Westren (Cornish All Blacks), N Webber (Cornish All Blacks), R McAtee (Redruth), P Thirlby (Redruth), G Goodfellow (Redruth), J Ford-Robinson (Cambridge), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Reduth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks, Capt.), D Cook (Redruth), C Fuca (Redruth), L Duke (Cornish All Blacks), BJ Chapman (Cornish All Blacks)
Replacements: R Brown (Redruth), R Freestone (Clifton), B Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Falmouth), L Paterson (Ivybridge), M Shepherd (St. Austell), T Notman (Redruth)
North Midlands: A Canning (Birmingham & Solihull), D Evans (Birmingham & Solihull), S Smith (Bromsgrove), G Evans (Coventry), A Knight (Luctonians), A Warner (Bourneville), D Brazier (Bromsgrove); A Marfell (Luctonians), 2 W Radburn (Birmingham & Solihull, Capt.), R Jones (Luctonians), C Goddard (Birmingham & Solihull), M Spink (Birmingham & Solihull), N Dacres (Stourbridge), C Thomas (Moseley Oak), D Harper (Stourbridge)
Replacements: S Thorp (Birmingham & Solihull), G Belmonte (Bromsgrove), S Dacres (Bromsgrove), M Tibbatts (Coventry), R Petty (Birmingham & Solihull), T Jones (Luctonians), W Crane (Bromsgrove)
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Man-of-the-match: All the boys played well but another stand out performance from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow, a constant threat.
Cornwall made hay in the sunshine at Camborne on Saturday with a 33-27 over old foes Gloucestershire to set up a winner-takes-all contest at Hertford next Saturday. (Hertfordshire dispatched North Midlands 54-20 at Old Albanians.)
Prop Craig Williams scores for Cornwall. Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktisphoto.
No. 8 BJ Chapman on a charge. Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktisphoto.
The hot weather made it difficult for both sides, with rolling subs being a godsend for some of the wilting players. However, Cornwall lasted the pace the better to set up next Saturday’s enthralling encounter at Hertford.
After the match, coach Graham Dawe gave his reaction to his side’s win. “It was a battle out there today. I think both sides gave everything, credit to our boys for coming out on top. All credit to Gloucestershire — they came down to play some good rugby and they gave us a stern test.
We scored some good tries, two or three were well-worked using space and gaps to exploit. We built pressure and that leads to points.
“In the conditions it was a tough day for the forwards. We tried to use the rolling subs to our advantage. Unfortunately we lost Ben Priddey with a knock to the head and Craig Williams had run longer than we wanted. We managed the best we could. All credit to our back row, who were superb today. It’s a team game but I thought Tom Rawlings tackled like a demon, BJ Chapman again made some big carries and Chris Fuca is the cement of the team really.
“I thought Tom Notman took his tries very well. He showed his pace and agility and he certainly grew in stature today with that performance. Lewis Vinnicombe showed his alertness with his try. We are blessed with a couple of proven finishers out wide.”
It was Gloucestershire who made the better start, kicking off playing towards the clubhouse end. Two early penalties from Chinnor wing Leo Fielding gave the visitors a useful 6-0 lead, which could have been more had they not butchered a try-scoring chance in the corner.
Slowly Cornwall started to get a foothold in the game. Scrum-half Greg Goodfellow was a constant threat, whilst fly-half Lewis Webb spotted gaps and went for the break.
Good work from the rampant No.8, BJ Champan, and centres Nielson Webber and Ryan Westren set up flying winger Tom Notman for Cornwall’s first try on 20 minutes in the Park Gate Corner, converted by full-back Kieron Lewitt.
Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktisphoto.
Moments later Cornwall had a second try as Goodfellow and flanker Chris Fuca traded passes before the scrum-half scooted in for an unconverted score.
Gloucestershire were dangerous, with their centre pairing of Seb Rodwell and Jaike Carter a handful for the Cornish defence, as was scrum-half Sam Arnott.
Both sides lost a player to the sin-bin on the run up to half-time — in separate incidents, prop Joe Smart for Gloucestershire and hooker Jamie Salter for Cornwall.
Salter’s yellow card saw Royal Navy player Ben Priddey, a three-try hero from the recent Army v Navy game at Twickenham, enter the fray.
Gloucestershire finished the half the stronger and in time added on hooker Tom Bozzard powered over for their opening try, with Fielding adding the extras and a 13-12 lead to the visitors at the turn.
Playing down the slope second half, Cornwall needed a big start and it really couldn’t have been better. A ruck in the Gloucestershire twenty-two saw Goodfellow snipe once again. His inside pass to prop Craig Williams saw the big Red stride through the cover and head for the line with the speed of the Cornish Rivera, Lewitt’s conversion putting Cornwall back in the lead at 19-13.
The nip and tuck of the game continued as Gloucestershire again regained the advantage with the impressive Fielding scoring his side’s second try and again adding the extras for a 20-19 lead.
Cornish winger Lewis Vinnicombe charged down and gathered a clearance near the Gloucestershire line to get Cornwall’s fourth try and secure the try-scoring bonus point.
Then, for the first time in the game, Cornwall got some breathing space as Notman again finished off good work from Chapman to notch try number five. Lewitt was again on the money with the conversion.
Gloucestershire rallied with a controversial consolation try scored by flanker Loti Molitika. The ball appeared to have been lost forward, with Fielding again landing the extras to give themselves a useful losing bonus point.
Scrum-half Greg Goodfellow sets off on a run. Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktisphoto.
Cornwall: K Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), L Vinnicombe (Truro), R Westren, N Webber (both Cornish All Blacks), T Notman (Redruth), L Webb (Cornish All Blacks), G Goodfellow (Redruth); J Ford-Robinson (Cambridge), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks, Capt), D Cook, C Fuca (both Redruth), T Rawlings, B J Chapman (both Cornish All Blacks)
Replacements (used): B Priddey (Redruth & Royal Navy), D Jacques (Truro), Bryn Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), L Paterson (Ivybridge), J Matavesi (Camborne)
Replacements not used: Whittle, Shepherd
Yellow card: Salter 40+3
Gloucestershire: S Hawley, S Baker (both Cinderford), J Carter, S Rodwell (both Hartpury), L Fielding (Chinnor), M Wilcox (Cinderford), S Arnott (Lydney); J Smart T Bozzard (both Cinderford), S Fritchley (Old Centralians), B Scriven (Lydney), L Randall, L Molitika (both Cinderford), W Jones (Lydney Capt), M Uren (Dings Crusaders)
Replacements (all used): J Brooks (Cinderford), N Taylor (Hartpury), J Lloyd (Dings Crusaders), H Hone (Avonmouth OB's), R Birkin, A Frame (both Cinderford), C Gervais (Old Redcliffians)
Yellow card: Smart 39
Cornwall scorers: tries Notman (2), Goodfellow, Williams, Vinnicombe; cons Lewitt (4)
Glos scorers: tries Bozzard, Fielding, Molitika; cons Fielding (3); pens Fielding (2)
Referee: Paul Kimber (RFU)
Cornwall-man-of-the-match: Big performances all over the park, but Barrie-John Chapman was simply awesome!
Cornwall will return to Twickenham to contest the County Championship final next Sunday after beating Hertfordshire 13-9.
Graham Dawe’s side went into a winner-takes-all clash against Hertfordshire, but despite home advantage, a boisterous and large Cornish travelling contingent turned it into something of a home game for his side.
And the team responded with a superb performance to book a second successive place in the County Championship final with a narrow win.
Number eight Barrie-John Chapman scored the only try of the game with the rest of the Duchy’s points coming from the boot of full-back Kieron Lewitt.
The vast majority of the first half was ruined by horrid weather conditions, with a very strong wind, lashing rain and lightning flashing around the skies making it more like November than the end of May.
Cornwall faced the elements in the opening period, but while the sun was still out in the first few minutes, both sides served up some excellent rugby.
A sizzling burst by home winger Nick Hankin produced a penalty for not releasing the tackled player, and fly half Lawrence Rayner slotted the kick.
But only three minutes later, a superb 30-metre drive by the Cornish forwards led to a try for No.8 Chapman, with Lewitt banging over an excellent conversion to make it 7-3.
As the wind picked up and conditions deteriorated, both sides made a host of handling errors.
Hertfordshire enjoyed more of the territory, but excellent Duchy defence prevented them from building up a sizeable interval lead.
Instead they had to settle for only another Rayner penalty, while the latter missed a long-range effort with the last kick of the half, leaving Cornwall 7-6 up at the break.
A lively start to the second half saw both sides lose a player to the sin-bin, with Hertfordshire prop William Briggs and Cornwall skipper Ben Hilton yellow-carded for separate offences.
Lewitt and Rayner slotted the penalties, before Lewitt added another in the 57th minute to put the Black and Golds four points clear.
It was a tight and tense final quarter, with Cornwall’s Bryn Jenkins and Hertfordshire No.8 Matt Chambers both sin-binned for fighting, but the Duchy hung on for victory.
Hertfordshire: H Robinson (Darlington Mowden Park), S Smart (Hertford), C Lombaard (Old Albanian), S Ellis (Luton), N Hankin (Bishop’s Stortford), L Rayner (Old Albanian), S Liebenberg (Old Albanian), W Briggs (Old Albanian), W Roberts (Bishop’s Stortford), S Staff (Old Albanian), L Bickle (capt) (Old Albanian), B Odell (Hertford), T MacDougall (Hertford), O Cooper-Millar (Old Albanian), M Chambers (Old Albanian)
Replacements: W Cope (Spalding), O Walliker (Swindon), H Green (Tring), J Corcoran (Hertford), A Mahoney (Bishop’s Stortford), J Sharp (Ampthill and District), D Holmes
Cornwall: K Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), S Parsons (Redruth), R Westren (Cornish All Blacks), N Webber (Cornish All Blacks), T Notman (Redruth), L Webb (Cornish All Blacks), G Goodfellow (Redruth), D Jacques (Truro), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Redruth), B Hilton (capt) (Cornish All Blacks), D Cook (Redruth), C Fuca (Redruth), T Rawlings (Cornish All Blacks), BJ Chapman (Cornish All Blacks)
Replacements: R Brown (Redruth), J Tompsett (Redruth), B Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), T Whittle (Falmouth), S Johns (Birmingham-Solihull), J Matavesi (Camborne), M Shepherd (St Austell)
Hertfordshire scorers: pens Rayner (3)
Cornwall scorers: try Chapman; con Lewitt; pens Lewitt (2)
Referee: James Clarke (RFU)
Cornwall suffered Twickenham agony for the second successive year as they crashed to reigning county champions Lancashire in a ding-dong battle at Twickenham, writes Nigel Walrond at Twickenham.
Lewis Vinnecombe on his way to scoring Cornwall’s first try.
Twelve months ago they lost 35-26, but they appeared to have put that defeat firmly behind them when they led 26-10 early in the second half.
But Lancashire showed why they had won the county final four times in the previous five years by storming back to snatch victory.
It was a huge disappointment for the Duchy and head coach Graham Dawe, who was looking to win the County Championship as both player and coach with two different counties, having enjoyed previous successes with Devon.
The Duchy had the first opportunity of points when Lancashire centre Chris Briers was penalised for a high tackle on Cornwall scrum-half Greg Goodfellow, but Kieron Lewitt missed the 40-metre shot at goal.
Instead it was Lancashire who drew first blood after 11 minutes when fly-half Chris Johnson slotted a simple penalty after winger Lewis Vinnicombe had been caught offside.
Cornwall delivered a swift riposte though, with Lancashire tight-head prop Ben Black penalised for standing up at a scrum, and Lewitt made no mistake from close range to level the scores at 3-3.
Three minutes later, Cornwall gave away a penalty 35 metres out, but Lancashire bravely kicked to the corner.
Louis McGowan caught the line-out ball and fed flanker Gareth Rawlings, who attacked the blindside and put hooker Mark Rylance over in the corner for a beautifully constructed try, with Johnson adding a fine conversion from out wide to make it 10-3.
Cornwall were unruffled by the setback, and Lewitt slotted another simple penalty after a Duchy player was illegally pulled back as he tried to support Greg Goodfellow’s incisive break.
BJ gets the ball away
Play was then briefly interrupted by a squirrel running onto the pitch, but when the action restarted, Cornwall grabbed their opening try.
Goodfellow took a quick tap penalty and fed former Pirates winger Vinnicombe, who scorched between two defenders, chipped the ball over another two, and won the race for the touchdown, although he was fortunate the officials did not see him put a foot in touch before he grounded the ball.
Lewitt converted superbly from the touchline, and then added a penalty when replacement Lancashire lock Paul Arnold was sin-binned for slapping Cornwall’s Tom Rawlings around the face.
Five minutes before the break, Cornwall took the game by the scruff of the neck when Goodfellow’s lovely pass sent replacement prop Jamal Ford-Robinson charging in from 20 metres, swatting away two opposition players in the process.
Lewitt converted for a 23-10 lead to Cornwall, who were indebted to a try-saving tackle by Lewis Webb on Johnson just before the break for maintaining their 13-point interval advantage.
Cornwall extended the gap with a Lewitt penalty early in the second half, but Lancashire struck back with a try from close range by openside flanker Evan Stewart, converted by Johnson, for a 26-17 scoreline.
Lewitt missed a penalty chance, and Lancashire set Duchy nerves jangling with a Johnson try in the corner to cut the deficit to only four points.
They then took the lead for the first time since just past the midway point in the first half when No.8 Matthew Lamprey crossed out wide, and Johnson added the extras for a 29-26 lead.
Lancashire wrapped up victory with a try by replacement hooker Tom Burtonwood with ten minutes remaining, converted by Johnson, and despite desperate efforts by Cornwall in the closing stages, they could not score again.
Cornwall: K Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), L Vinnicombe (Truro), R Westren (Cornish All Blacks), N Webber (Cornish All Blacks), T Notman (Redruth), L Webb (Cornish All Blacks), G Goodfellow (Redruth), D Jacques (Truro), J Salter (Cornish All Blacks), C Williams (Redruth), D Cook (Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks) (capt), C Fuca (Redruth), T Rawlings (Cornish All Blacks), B-J Chapman (Cornish All Blacks)
Replacements: J Ford-Robinson (Cambridge) for Williams 29; B Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks) for Cook 38, S Parsons (Redruth) for Webb 40, T Whittle (Falmouth) for Rawlings ht, S Johns (Birmingham-Solihull) for Vinnicombe 45, M Shepherd (St Austell) for Goodfellow 48, R Brown (Redruth) for Salter 48, Williams for Jacques 55, Rawlings for Whittle 59, Webb for Parsons 63, Goodfellow for Shepherd 64, Vinnicombe for Webber 73
Lancashire: S Taylor (Preston Grasshoppers), W Spragg (Fylde), C Briers (Fylde), M Riley (Sedgley Park), O Brennand (Fylde), C Johnson (Fylde) (capt), R De la Harpe (Fylde), A Lewis (Fylde), M Rylance (Fylde), B Black (Sedgley Park), L McGowan (Sedgley Park), G Gore (Fylde), G Rawlings (Longton), E Stewart (Fylde), M Lamprey (Sedgley Park)
Replacements: P Arnold (Fylde) for McGowan 26; S Griffiths (Fylde) for Lewis 27; D Fairbrother (Fleetwood) for Lamprey 30; P Altham (Preston Grasshoppers) for Black 43, T Burtonwood (Fylde) for Rylance 48; S Collins (Sedgley Park) for De la Harpe 48, Lamprey for Gore 55, Lewis for Griffiths 75, P Baines (Preston Grasshoppers) for Riley 79
Yellow cards: Arnold 26, Fairbrother 77
Cornwall scorers: tries Vinnicombe, Ford-Robinson; con Lewitt (2); pen Lewitt (4)
Lancashire scorers: tries Rylance, Stewart, Johnson, Lamprey, Burtonwood; cons Johnson (4); pen Johnson
Referee: Andrew Rawson (RFU)
Graham Dawe’s Cornwall earned a 17-0 Tamar Cup win over Devon at Polson Bridge last night.
Jamal Ford-Robinson on the charge. Photo by Simon Bryant.
However, both sides will have work to do before the County Championship begins proper in a week and a half’s time.
Cornwall were on top for the majority of the match but failed to make the most of possession and territory.
Prop Jamal Ford-Robinson’s charge into the Devon half brought the first cheer from a modest home crowd, and a penalty that came soon after was confidently kicked into the corner by full-back Kieron Lewitt.
Greg Goodfellow. Photo by Simon Bryant.
Cornwall were unable to break through, with Devon giving away a series of penalties before fly-half Matt Shepherd kicked for the posts to give his side the lead.
It should have been a first try to Cornwall when scrum-half Greg Goodfellow set up prop Rupert Freestone out wide in the tenth minute, but the ball was knocked on as the latter tried to touch the ball down in the corner.
Devon lost wing Tom Foan to a serious-looking injury on a rare break into the Cornwall 22 in the 20th minute. He had to be replaced by Tiverton player Alex Pike.
When play restarted ten minutes later, Cornwall continued to take control. However, they failed to make the most of their dominance, with wing Rhodri McAtee squandering a try chance.
Ford-Robinson then completed a hat-trick of knock-ons in the left corner just before half-time to ensure the sides left the field just three points apart.
That lead was extended to eight just after the break when Cornish All Blacks centre Ryan Westren fed Truro wing Lewis Vinnicombe out wide for the game’s long-awaited first try.
Much like the first half, Devon rarely looked like launching a sustained counter. Indeed, they fell further behind with two Lewitt penalties finding the target either side of the hour mark.
Conditions grew steadily worse through to the end of the game and the error count continued to rise.
Cornwall were comfortable but still opted to kick another penalty at goal rather than go for the try.
Lewitt took the chance to score a third penalty and Devon, who needed more than two converted tries in the final ten minutes, failed to register a single point.
The Tamar Cup is presented to Cornwall skipper Nielson Webber. Photo by Simon Bryant.
The Man-of-the-Match award is presented to Barrie John Chapman by TASC Chairman Phil Trevarton. Photo by Simon Bryant.
Cornwall: Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), McAtee (Redruth), M Westren (Redruth), Webber (All Blacks, capt), Ducker (Camborne), Shepherd (St Austell), Goodfellow (Redruth), Ford-Robinson (Cambridge), Salter (All Blacks), Freestone (Clifton), Jenkins (All Blacks), Cook (Redruth), Whittle (Falmouth), Fuca (Redruth), BJ Chapman (All Blacks)
Replacements used: Bartle (Camborne), Friend (All Blacks), Hilton (All Blacks), Notman (Redruth), Paterson (Ivybridge), Tripcony (All Blacks), Tompsett (Redruth), Vinnicombe (Redruth), Webb (All Blacks), C Williams (Redruth), R Westren (All Blacks), Venner (St Austell)
Devon: Toms (Cullompton), Foan (Crediton), Hannaford (Tamar Saracens), Swash (Exmouth), Rudkin (unattached), M Lee (Crediton), Massy-Birch (UWIC), Savage (Exmouth), Reed (Tiverton), Sexton (Devonport Services), Ghol (Barnstaple), Bentley (Exmouth, capt), Thomas (Brixham), Sprangle (Tiverton), D Lee (Taunton)
Replacements: Pike (Tiverton), Mulberry (Saltash), Bryce (Brixham), Lugg (Tiverton), Stevens (OPM), Wright (Barnstaple), Coles (Ivybridge), Blake (Tiverton), J Lee (Crediton)
Cornwall scorers: try Vinnicombe; penalties Shepherd, Lewitt (3)
Referee: Carl Bennett (Somerset RRS)
Cornwall got their 2014 campaign off to a great start with a nail-biting win against Dorset & Wilts at North Dorset RFC on Sunday, reports Bill Hooper.
The winning points came from the boot of Truro College scrum-half Connor Swan, who coolly converted a 20 metre penalty to secure the win for Cornwall with the final kick of the game.
Cornwall began slowly, finding themselves 13-0 after the first 15 minutes. However, they battled back, scoring two tries from Truro’s Luke Tidball and St Ives’ Tyler Gendall during the second quarter, while conceding just another penalty to turn around 16-10 in arrears.
Dorset & Wilts began the second half strongly, scoring a third try, which was converted, to go 23-10 up.
Cornwall battled back in a ding-dong of a game, scoring two tries, from Tidball with his second and Camborne centre James Briant — both converted by Swan to take the lead for the first time in the game at 24-23.
The Cornish back row of Neil Stanlieck, John Haines and Brad Howe got through a lot of work, which didn’t let up when Redruth’s Neil Broadbank came off the bench for the final quarter.
Gendall showed well in the loose, whilst locks – skipper Todd Prisk from St. Ives and Redruth’s Harry Baker – enjoyed good games in the boiler house. The forwards hard work gave the Cornish backline plenty of good ball to work with.
Dorset & Wilts regained the lead with a converted try, before Cornwall replied with Baker’s try – again converted by Swan – to lead 31-30.
Swan then added a further penalty to increase Cornwall’s lead to four points, but that was soon wiped out as Dorset & Wilts scored a fifth try, which crucially remained unconverted.
Swan, having missed with a penalty attempt minutes before, had a second chance to regain the lead for Cornwall with what proved the final kick of the match and this time he did not miss.
Cornwall secured a maximum five points from the game and know that a win against Devon, at Penryn on Sunday February 23 at Penryn RFC, kick-off 2-30 pm, will book a place in the quarter-finals with a home tie.
Cornwall Under 20: Jack Kessell (St Ives), Luke Tidball. (Truro), Ashley Taylor (St Austell), James Briant (Camborne), Jack Willey, Rhys Brownfield (Pirates Ams & Bath Uni), ), Connor Swan (Truro College); Tommy Phillips (Truro College), Joe Martin (Truro), Tyler Gendall (St. Ives), Todd Prisk (St. Ives), Luke Hattam (Redruth/Truro College), Neil Stanleick (St Ives), John Haines (Cornish All Blacks), Brad Howe (Helston)
Replacements: Sam Rodda (Newquay Hornets), Liam McFadden (Pirates Ams), Jordan Duke (Cornish All Blacks), Neil Broadbank (Redruth & Exeter Uni), Harry Baker (Redruth), Sam Fox (Wadebridge), Bradley James
Cornwall scorers: tries Tidball (2), Gendall, Briant, Baker; penalties Swann (2); conversions Swan (3)
Cornwall secured a home quarter-final tie in the Under-20s County Championship with a hard fought win over Devon at Penryn’s Memorial Ground, reports Bill Hooper.
The Cornish pack takes control. Photo by Phil Trevarton.
With the stiff breeze at their backs, Cornwall looked to build a useful lead in the first half. However, it was Devon who opened the scoring with a try from fly-half Charlie Attis, which he converted after 12 minutes from a quickly-taken tap penalty.
Cornwall enjoyed the lion’s share of territory and possession during the first half, with their scrum getting the upper hand early on. However, they were unable to turn their advantage into points until almost half-time, when fly-half Rhys Brownfield scythed through the Devon defence to score under the posts. Brownfield added the conversion to leave the scores tied 7-7 at half-time.
The Cornish fly-half was on target just moments into the second period with a penalty to put Cornwall 10-7 ahead.
Devon snatched back the lead with an opportunist try from scrum-half Ben Watts, who followed up his kick ahead in goal, beating the Cornish cover to the touchdown for an unconverted try.
The Cornish pack continued to dominate, with prop Tyler Gendall putting in a man-of-the-match performance.
Brownfield’s second penalty gave Cornwall a narrow one point lead, before winger Bradley Janes took a scoring pass from No.8 Brad Howe to score Cornwall’s second try in the corner for a six point lead.
Attis reduced the deficit with a penalty for Devon, but that was as close as they would get as Cornwall frustrated Devon in the closing stages. The visitors’ cause not helped when skipper Chris Courtier was shown a red card by referee Adam Wookie for an alleged stamp.
Cornwall U.20: Jack Kessell (St. Ives), Luke Tidball (Truro), Sam Chapman (Cornish All Blacks), Ashley Taylor (St. Austell), Bradley Janes (Truro College), Rhys Brownfield (Pirates Amateurs/Bath Uni), Sam Fox (Wadebridge Camels); Joe Martin (Truro) Jack Innard, (Truro College), Tyler Gendall (St Ives), Todd Prisk (St. Ives) (Capt), Harry Baker (Redruth), Neil Stenleick (St. Ives), Johnny Haines (Cornish All Blacks), Brad Howe (Helston/Truro College)
Replacements (used): Luke Hattam (Redruth/Truro College), Neil Broadbank (Exeter Uni/Redruth), Jordan Duke (Cornish All Blacks), Jack Willey (Truro College/Penryn)
Replacements (not used) Liam McFarland (Pirates Amateurs), Sam Rodda (Newquay Hornets), Ben Tharme (Cornish All Blacks).
Cornwall U.20 scorers: tries Brownfield, Janes; penalties Brownfield (2); conversion Brownfield
Devon U.20 scorers: tries Attis, Watts; penalty Attis; conversion Attis
Yellow Cards – Courtier (40), Sanders (54)
Red Card – Courtier (80)
Referee: Adam Wookey (Dorset & Wilts RRS)
Gloucestershire ended Cornwall’s hopes of progressing to the semi-finals, scoring seven tries in a comprehensive win at Camborne on Sunday afternoon.
Recycled ball. Photo by Phil Trevarton.
The Cornish lads battled manfully throughout, but they had no answer to the pace and power of the visitors backline, especially Thornbury winger Ed Sheldon, who scored three of his side’s tries and could well feature next Saturday for his club when they travel to play Camborne.
Cornwall coach Mike Rawlings acknowledged that his side had been second best on the day. “Fair-play to Gloucestershire, they were the better side on the day, their finishing was clinical. We had early pressure but just couldn’t turn it into points. They had a big lumpy pack who made life difficult for us, but hats off to our boys, who stuck at it till the end. I think we can take a lot of positives from the game and the campaign as a whole.
“Hopefully next season we will keep the bulk of this squad and they will be able to build on their experience from this season.”
Cornwall began the game promisingly with the wind at their backs. They were camped in the Gloucestershire twenty-two for long periods but couldn’t find a way through their defence.
With almost their first incursion into the Cornwall twenty two on 23 minutes Gloucestershire came away with points as Dan Spencer-Tonks crossed for an unconverted try.
Three minutes later Cornwall were undone again as Sheldon ran in the first of his tries from sixty meters out, with Jack Skelton adding the extras.
Cornwall needed a score and it came after a good period of pressure when full-back Jack Kessell crossed the whitewash. Ryan Brownsfield saw his conversion attempt come back off the post.
Sadly for Cornwall, it was Gloucestershire who scored next as Spencer-Tonks exploited a gap to score his second try, with Skelton again on the money with the extras for a 19-5 half-time advantage to the visitors.
Early second half pressure from Gloucestershire resulted in a drop-goal from fly-half Ollie Lock to increase their lead.
Cornwall looked for a way back but as they pressed in the Gloucestershire twenty-two the ball was turned over by flanker Max Woodward and the ball was moved wide to Sheldon, who again ran in from distance for his second try, Skelton’s conversion putting Gloucestershire 29-5 up.
Cornwall salvaged a score when prop Tyler Gendall, who had another fine game for Cornwall despite the score-line, powered over from close in after hooker Joe Martin was brought down short of the line.
Connor Swan added the conversion to lift Cornwall into double figures
Both sides looked to their bench to bring on fresh players. However, Gloucestershire increased their advantage when replacement scrum-half Ollie Young scored their fifth try, with Skelton again adding the extras to put them further ahead at 36-12.
Cornish heads never dropped and it was fitting that skipper Todd Prisk should finish off the move for Cornwall’s third try under the posts, with Swan again adding the extras.
Gloucestershire still had time to add further scores through centre Sam Hanks and Gloucestershire’s man-of-the-match Sheldon, with Locke, having assumed the kicking duties when Skelton left the field injured, adding both conversions to complete the scoring.
For Cornwall the campaign is over for this season, but, with only four players too old for next season from the current squad, hopes are high for further success next year.
Cornwall 19 pts: tries J Kessell, Gendall, Prisk; conversions Swan (2)
Gloucestershire 50 pts: tries Spencer-Tonks (2), Sheldon (3), Young, Hanks; conversions Skelton (4), Locke (2); drop-goal Locke
Cornwall: J Kessell (St. Ives), A Taylor (St. Austell), T Holdsworth (Truro College), S Chapman (Cornish All Blacks), L Tidball (Truro), R Brownfield (Pirates Amateurs &Bath Uni), C Swan (Truro College); T Phillips (Truro College), J Martin (Truro), T Gendall (St Ives), T Prisk (St. Ives) (Capt), L Hattam (Redruth & Truro College), N Stenleick (St. Ives), J Haines (Cornish All Blacks), B Howe (Cornish All Blacks &Truro College)
Replacements (all used): S. Rodda (Newquay Hornets), R Kessell (Redruth), D Marsh (Truro & Marjons), T Pellow (Truro College & Penryn), J Duke (Cornish All Blacks), J Willey (Truro College & Penryn), B Janes (Truro College)
Gloucestershire: J Skelton (Weston-Super-Mare); J Unwin (Hartpury College), S Hanks (Cinderford), D Spencer-Tonks (Old Centralians), ), E Sheldon (Thornbury); O Locke (Old Centralians), S Watkins (Cinderford); R Chase (Barton Hill), F Sinclair (Cinderford), L Kent (Gordon League), L Randall (Cinderford) (capt), E Bulger (Hartpury College), K Frowen (Hartpury College) M Woodward (Old Redcliffians), W Hodgetts (Cinderford)
Replacements (all used): R Roach (Cleve), L Panting (Thornbury), A Hodges (Uni of Gloucs), J Westren (Thornbury), B Large (Drybrook), R Woodhouse (Matson); O Young (Cheltenham)
Referee: Simon Lane (Devon RRS)
Briton’s Cornwall man-of-the-match: Cornwall skipper Todd Prisk, who led by example, never took a step back, and can be proud of his side's campaign