A summary of the 2013-2014 league season
This page summarizes the league games involving Cornish clubs in the Championship and National League 2 South that took place in the 2013-2014 season. (There were no Cornish clubs in National League 1 this season.)
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was pleased with his side's fightback against Cambridge on the opening day of the National League Two South season.
The Reds came within one missed conversion of taking two losing points, despite losing 35-27 at the Recreation Ground.
Cambridge, relegated from National League One last season, were impressive throughout and fully deserved their victory in Cornwall.
Redruth’s solitary league point came from scoring four tries. Lock Luke Collins scored twice with the Bonds brothers, Dean and Craig getting the other two.
It was a deceptively tough day for conversions, but while Reds’ ten Brett Rule could only manage two from four, visiting full-back James Wigglesworth managed five from five to go with an outstanding try and a fine performance.
Ex-Penryn prop Jamal Ford-Robinson, wing James Aryton and centre Albert Portsmouth (two) ran in the rest for the visitors.
It looked as though Redruth would come away from the first weekend of the season with nothing until close to the hour mark.
However, 17 unanswered points from the hosts in the final 25 minutes gave them a fitting reward for their customary never-say-die approach.
Morcom said: “We gave Cambridge a very good head start and when we’re chasing 28 points, it is hard to get back in the game.
“It is nice to see the boys didn’t give up and when we started to play some rugby at the end, it looked very positive.
“If we could play like that for 60 minutes of an 80-minute game, we are going to start blowing teams away.
“You can’t give a side like Cambridge chance to put that many points on you at the start. It makes it very difficult.”
Morcom knows his men will have to find something more in this weekend’s trip to Polson Bridge.
The Reds took their first-ever league win from Launceston last season, beating the Cornish All Blacks on their own turf.
Repeating that feat will be difficult. Morcom said: “It is a very big one to go into after you’ve just lost.
“It is our biggest game for the first half of the season, a local derby, and we want to beat them again up there.
“Hopefully, we can have a good week in training, go there and perform well. If we do that, I firmly believe that we can turn them over.”
CORNISH All Blacks head coach Cliff Rainford found plenty of positives to take out of a disappointing opening-day defeat at Shelford.
The Cornishmen made the long journey back from Cambridgeshire empty handed, but Rainford felt they were architects of their own downfall.
“I was really happy with our structure and the way we approached the game, but we made several knock-ons and silly little handling errors, and it was minor mistakes that cost us the game,” he said.
“Shelford never looked like creating anything of their own very much, but they were very good when we made a mistake and they countered and collected a couple of scores, which was frustrating.
“When our backs got the ball we looked very effective and we attacked well, and four times we got into their 22 and we just couldn’t cross the try line.
“Our scrummaging was very good and we devastated their attacking line-out and took balls off them, and we just looked in control of the game, but when it came down to that last little bit, handling errors let us down.”
Rainford was very pleased with Tom Brown’s debut at tight-head prop, while centre Ryan Westren came through his first 80 minutes in almost a year on his return from a serious knee injury.
“Ryan playing a full 80 minutes was a massive positive for us,” said Rainford. “There were a lot of positives that came out of the game, just not the result, and unfortunately it is a results business.”
The All Blacks were without injured skipper and lock Ben Hilton, and hooker Jamie Salter, who was attending a family wedding, but Rainford is hopeful both will be back for Saturday’s eagerly-awaited derby clash with Redruth at Polson Bridge.
Centre Nielson Webber is also close to a return from a knee injury.
All Blacks full-back Kieron Lewitt and Shelford fly-half Adam White (2) exchanged penalties inside the opening 24 minutes of this National Two South encounter, before home scrum-half Charlie Baker darted over from close range on the half-hour mark following good work by his forwards, and White’s conversion made it 13-3 at the break.
A Lewitt penalty cut the deficit to seven points, but when the ball went loose in the 54th minute as the All Blacks tried to run out of their own 22, Baker hacked on and won the race to the touchdown.
Lewitt and White slotted further penalties, but there was no way back for the All Blacks against a side who had two players sin-binned during the contest.
Shelford: Baird, Smith, G Anderson, Wessels, G White, A White, Baker (Hunter 66), M Anderson (Beales 59), Ringrose, Malings (Gregerson 54), Mills (Ransom 71), Herrington, Newberry (capt) (Gregerson 20-25), Beswick (Jackowski 59), Lea
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt, Chapman (Friend 77), Westren, Paterson, Yeo (Kneebone 66), Murphy, Webb, Mathias, Bulut, Brown (Bayliss 48), Jenkins, Tripcony, L Duke, T Rawlings (Courtier 66), M Rawlings (capt)
Replacement not used: Keat
Shelford scorers: tries Baker (2); conversion A White; penalties A White (3)
All Blacks scorers: penalties Lewitt (3)
Yellow cards: Shelford: Malings 15, G White 61
Referee: C Maxwell-Keys (RFU)
The Cornish Pirates got their Championship season underway in fine style as they denied promotion favourites Bristol with a huge team performance in the Sandy Park drizzle, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates came into the game as complete underdogs and fell behind to an early Adrian Jarvis penalty after four solid minutes of Bristol pressure.
The game, however, quickly turned as the Pirates scored the opening try from their first foray into Bristol territory.
A penalty and driving lineout took play up to and over the Bristol line, with lock James Sandford scoring on his Pirates debut. Kieran Hallett converted.
The first half remained a tight attritional affair, with Hallett and Jarvis trading two penalties apiece whilst Pirates’ hooker Rob Elloway was yellow-carded for deliberately killing the ball. But a 16-9 interval lead was a solid reward for their persistent frustration of the Bristol machine.
The second half began as had the first with Bristol dominating territory and possession and they eventually levelled the scores with a converted James Merriman try after 49 minutes.
Both sides pushed and probed for the advantage but the game drifted into a period of stalemate before a moment of brilliance restored the Pirates’ lead and set up a thrilling finish.
From a lineout midway inside the Bristol half the Pirates worked a rapid move through the backs. Hallett found James Tincknell, whose pace and angle of attack unlocked the Bristol defence and he raced in under the posts to score. Hallett made it 23-16.
Bristol threw everything at the Pirates in the closing stages but it took them until nine minutes into injury time before centre Luke Eves finally slid in at the corner to score their second try.
Jarvis’ touchline conversion was the last kick of the game and his attempt to draw the match looked good until at the last it faded wide of the left hand post and the Pirates duly claimed a big win on day one of their season.
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Tincknell, Riley, James, Evans (Kessell 56), Hallett, Cattle (capt); Paver (Andrew 67), Elloway (sin-bin 26-36), Prescott, Sandford (Johnson 62), Barry, Morgan, Conlon (Carpenter 33-36), McGlone (Carpenter 74)
Replacements (not used): Bolwell, Sinclair, Fatialofa
Yellow Card Elloway
Pirates’ scorers: tries Sandford, Tincknell; cons Hallett (2); pens Hallett (3)
Bristol: D'Arcy, Amesbury, Short (Otto 69), Eves, Edwards, Jarvis, Grindal (capt) (Tipuna 45); Traynor, Lawrence, Hall (Hobson h/t), Skirving (Townson 80), Sorenson, Koster, Merriman (Pennycook 69), Mama
Replacements(not used): Hayes, Roberts
Bristol scorers: tries Merriman, Eves; con Jarvis; pens Jarvis (3)
Referee D.Rose (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks avenged last season's losses to Redruth with a five-try National League Two South victory over their old rivals at Polson Bridge on Saturday.
Kieron Lewitt scored twice, with additional tries from Liam Yeo, Tim Mathias and Lewis Paterson, helping the Launceston side to a 31-10 success.
The Reds replied through Dean Bonds and captain Chris Fuca but rarely looked like achieving only their second ever win the home of the All Blacks.
The All Blacks made the perfect start, scoring a try in just the second minute through full-back Lewitt but Redruth responded quickly through wing Dean Bonds, just a few minutes later.
The open start between the two sides yielded further opportunities at both ends. Lock Luke Collins came close to finishing a fine Redruth drive with a try before Mike Rawlings knocked on in the left corner for the All Blacks with the try line in front of him.
The remainder of the first half was an even affair with both sides struggling to break into the opposing 22. Redruth fly-half Brett Rule tried his luck with a long-distance penalty but dragged his kick just wide.
However, it was the Launceston side who went in at half time ahead thanks to prop Mathias, who rumbled over from the close range for a try converted by Lewitt.
They extended their lead within five minutes of the second half with Yeo bursting through the Redruth defence to score another Lewitt-converted try.
The bonus-point score for Launceston came just short of the hour mark. Fly-half Jake Murphy made a break and centre Paterson came in support to add the finish. Lewitt then converted to extend their lead to 21 points.
Fuca briefly gave his side hope with a well-worked score from a line-out but the All Blacks soon had try number five with Lewitt getting his second of the afternoon to complete the scoring.
London Cornish may have gone down to defeat in their opening game of the league season, but they gave title favourites Guildford a stern run for their money at Broadwater Park.
Guildford v London Cornish. Photo by Ben Gilby.
Cornish put the Surrey side on the backfoot from the start but, despite having lots of ball, they could not turn this into points on the scoreboard. Guildford, tellingly scored in after one of their first sorties into the Exiles '22', and the confidence gained by this soon enabled the hosts to build a 15-0 lead at the break.
Cornish started strongly in the second period, and quickly closed the gap when a monster rolling maul saw the Exiles pack drive Guildford backwards at a rapid rate of knots, with No.8 Mark Osei-Tutu grounding the ball. Luke Spells' conversion missed. Unfortunately, soon after Guildford broke through at speed to increase their lead once more with a converted try. Back came Cornish, and in a repeat of their earlier score, the pack drove over the line, and again it was Osei-Tutu who grounded the ball.
The grit and determination displayed in this game will stand London Cornish in good stead for next week's first home league game against Teddington.
It turned out to be a frustrating first Championship match under floodlights for the Cornish Pirates as Leeds earned their first win on Cornish soil since 2008.
The Yorkshire side scored four tries on a night when the Pirates had lock Gary Johnson sin-binned and lost Gavin Cattle, Max Maidment and Rob Elloway with concerning injuries; and in truth Leeds deserved their victory.
After a whirlwind start, with a Kieran Hallett penalty and converted Gavin Cattle try putting the Pirates 10-0 up, Leeds began to take control. Fred Burdon quickly scored a try to get his team back in the game and just before the break Jonah Holmes’ touchdown tied the game.
Glyn Hughes converted and then added a penalty, following a successful 40-metre effort from Hallett, to give Leeds a 15-13 half-time lead.
The second half belonged to the visitors, with Johnson carded just before Craig Hampson scampered over for a third Leeds try. Hughes converted.
With little quality ball and few opportunities to attack, the Pirates spent most of the second half pegged back in their own territory. Late in the game former Pirate David Doherty capitalised on a left wing overlap to score against his old club.
Deep in injury time Craig Holland scored his first try in Pirates’ colours from a quick tap penalty, with Sinclair converting. Having grabbed a losing bonus point they pushed on to try and level the game, only to be beaten by the clock.
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Tincknell, Riley, James, K.Goss, Hallett (Sinclair 73), Cattle (capt) (Kessell h/t); Paver (Andrew 63), Elloway (Carpenter 54), Prescott (Maidment 63, Paver 80+2), Sandford (Graulich 63), Johnson, Morgan, Cheesman (Parker 61), McGlone
Yellow Card Johnson
Pirates' scorers: tries Cattle, Holland; cons Hallett, Sinclair; pens Hallett (2)
Leeds Carnegie: D.Doherty, Holmes, Griffin (Lucock 66), Burdon, O.Goss, Hughes (Lozowski 75), Hampson; Harris (Lockwood 77), Nielsen, Tussac, Myerscough, Green, Rowan (capt), Doyle, Burrows (Jones 78)
Replacements (not used): Graham, Armstrong, Hannay
Leeds' scorers: tries Burdon, Griffin, Hampson, D.Doherty; cons Hughes (2); pen Hughes
Referee R.Campbell (RFU)
No doubt about it, the pressure was on Redruth to deliver a first league win of the season after suffering successive defeats in their opening two matches, writes Bill Hooper.
The Reds responded magnificently, dispatching by 38-7 and with some style Southend, who had by contrast won their opening two fixtures in National League 2 South.
It was a performance which understandably delighted head coach Ashley Morcom, who confessed he had endured a few sleepless nights as success eluded his side.
Not only was his side losing on the field but also two back row players had left the club in recent days — Ashley Lawton, who has moved to play for Truro, and Owen Hambly, who has decided to simply call it a day!
On the plus side, Matt O’Leary has moved to the Rec from Pirates Amateurs and made his home debut at No.8.
Morcom said. “I am much happier following that performance. We played well as a team, our forwards got on top of Southend, and our backs were able to show today that given possession they can play a bit.
“Hopefully this win will kick-start our season and we can build on this result over the coming weeks, starting at Chinnor next Saturday.”
He was also very pleased with the performance of the players on loan from the Cornish Pirates. “Max Bodilly played very well for us today at fullback. He is an exceptional player destined for big things. He is still young and learning,” said Morcom
“Luke Jones, who has also come up from Penzance on loan to us, also showed what a fine prospect he is and set up Bodilly nicely for his try.”
Southend, playing down the slope during the first half, failed to make the most of the advantage.
The visitors found the Redruth defence much tighter than in their previous matches this season, as the Reds comfortably dealt with any threats from Essex side.
Instead, it was the Reds who got the first points when lock Luke Collins was driven over for an unconverted try after 16 minutes.
It proved to be the only score of the first half, as a visibly improved Redruth side got the measure of their opponents in the set-piece.
The second half was barely two minutes old when man-of-the-match Collins was again on hand to score his and Redruth’s second try from another impressive forward drive.
Apart from his two tries, Collins and fellow lock Damian Cook got through a tremendous amount of work around the park, keeping the Reds on the front foot.
The fired-up Reds really kicked on and began to run up the points their domination deserved.
Fly-half Murray Westren, another who had a fine game, added the first of his four conversions in a personal tally of thirteen points.
The Redruth forwards continued to dominate, with prop Darren Jacques emerging with the ball for try number three, whilst the bonus point try came about soon after with referee Richard Kelly rewarding the dominant Reds’ pack with a penalty try.
In the final quarter Redruth’s backs ran in a couple of tries, with the fifth scored by Bodilly being the pick of the afternoon following great work from Ashley Hosking and Luke Jones, who’s inside pass put the full back in the clear.
With time running out, and the Reds down to fourteen men as prop Jon Drew was yellow carded resulting in un-contested scrums, Southend scored a consolation try through flanker Sam Fombo, which fly-half Alex Harrison converted
It was fitting that Redruth should have the final word, with Westren scoring in the Piggy Lane corner following a touchline run aided by more good work from young Bodilly in the build up.
Redruth: Bodilly, D Bonds (Jones 57), C Bonds, N Simmons, B Drew (Hosking 52), Westren, McAtee; Jacques (Drew 68), Brown (Turner 63), J Drew (Williams 51), Cook, Collins, Rayment, Fuca (capt) (Smith 60), O’Leary
Replacements: Williams, Turner, Rayment, Jones, Hosking
Yellow Card – J Drew (73)
Southend: Billings, Cleare, Gannon, Nash, Morris, Harrison, Sandberg (Branch 58); Fardell (Day-White 72), Bloomberg (Ferrier 58), Bailey, Crawford (D Ox 44), Fombo, Hudson, Jackson (J Ox 65), Kellard
Redruth 38 pts: tries Collins (2), Jacques, penalty-try, Bodilly, Westren; conversions Westren (4)
Southend 7 pts: try Fombo; conversion Harrison
Referee Richard Kelly (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Luke Collins
The Cornish All Blacks crashed back down to earth with a bump in National Two South after they followed up their excellent derby victory at home to Redruth with a pointless trip to Kent.
The Launceston side still seemed to be savouring the euphoria of the previous weekend's success in the early stages as they shipped two tries inside the opening nine minutes, and even though they recovered well from that setback, another try double in the space of four minutes early in the second half killed them off in a 33-25 reverse.
All Blacks head coach Cliff Rainford said: "We made a couple of errors at the beginning that let them in for two quick scores, which put us on the back foot, and then small errors during the game allowed them to keep the scoreboard ticking over and keep that little bit in front of us.
"You concede two scores early on in this league, and you are always going to be up against it. We scored some good tries, but it was too little too late.
"Our patterns were very good, but it was just our execution that let us down a little bit and that is something we need to go away and work on."
Canterbury took a seventh-minute lead with a catch-and-drive try from prop Mark Livesey.
Only two minutes later, full-back Martyn Beaumont picked up the ball from inside his own 22 and ran through six or seven loose tackles to score under the posts, with fly-half Tom Best converting for a 12-0 advantage.
In the 22nd minute, fly-half Jake Murphy – handed the kicking duties with Kieron Lewitt absent due to family commitments – slotted a penalty, before the visitors lost prop Tim Mathias to a yellow card.
Murphy added a drop goal soon after, but two minutes before the break, more suspect tackling provided home centre Ricky Mackintosh with a touchdown, again converted by Best.
However, in first-half injury time, the All Blacks grabbed a try when scrum-half Richard Friend took the ball off a driving maul and fed centre Lewis Paterson, and Murphy converted to make it 19-13 at the break.
The deficit was reduced to only one point five minutes after the interval when great interplay between backs and forwards led to a touchdown for Friend.
The visitors, though, then conceded tries after 51 and 55 minutes, through winger Kwaku Asiedu and Best, who converted both, to put Canterbury firmly back in the driving seat at 33-18.
Five minutes from the end of normal time, a good break up the right-hand side put Paterson in for his second try, improved by Murphy.
Despite their best efforts, the All Blacks failed to score again and went home without even the consolation of a losing bonus point.
London Cornish gained their first London 2 South West League win of the season with a demolition job of local rivals Teddington, writes Ben Gilby.
London Cornish v Teddington. Photo by Ben Gilby.
After an early exchange of penalties, Cornish began to take control, and the pack began to assert their authority.
A rolling maul led to a try from Chris Anstey, which Luke Spells converted.
This lead was extended following some super, high speed passing, which ended with Will Carew-Gibbs dotting down. Spells added the extras once more.
Just before the break, Spells sent a penalty between the posts and then a huge rolling maul resulted in Mike Bond going over for a 25-3 half-time lead.
The second half opened with Cornish is total command, and the bonus point try was celebrated on 49 minutes with Mike Bond driven over once more.
Teddington then rallied and scored two tries in seven minutes thanks to Chris Bethel and Phillipe Saldanha.
Cornish came back with a bang in the last 10 minutes, thanks to Mark Osei-Tutu being propelled over the line by the powerful pack.
The final Cornish try, their sixth of the afternoon, was a sensational solo effort from Matt Hakes, who went on a mazey 25m run to put the ball down under the posts.
Five tries and a bonus point win on the road was no more than the Cornish Pirates could have hoped for as they travelled to Vallis Way for the first time to face Championship newcomers Ealing, writes Dick Straughan.
In the end the Pirates deserved their 31-17 victory as they overpowered the London side, despite briefly trailing in the first half and having lock Darren Barry sin-binned.
Wing Kieran Goss opened the scoring after ten minutes with his first try in Pirates' colours and, with a strong breeze at their backs, the Pirates continued to dominate.
But with Barry yellow-carded after a spell of persistent fouling by the Pirates, Ealing's pack forced flanker Ed Siggery over the line to level the scores, with Wheatcroft's conversion giving them a slender lead.
The lead lasted just three minutes before Hallett set up Goss for his second score and, although a Wheatcroft penalty early in the second half cut the Pirates lead to 12-10, their driving game and strong set piece was taking its toll.
Jack Andrew scored the third Pirates' try following a huge 20-metre driving maul and midway through the half Aaron Carpenter sealed a bonus point for the Cornish team following a spell of intense pressure on the home line.
Tom Kessell added a fifth under the posts with six minutes to go, before Ealing grabbed a converted consolation score through Tom Parker in stoppage time.
Ealing: Robinson, Henderson, Kinloch, Wheatcroft, Chesters, Ward, Commins (T.Parker 65); Marfo (Storer 61), Townsend (Wilkes 61), Brockett (Carey 61), Preocanin, Curry (capt), Siggery (Evans 78), Nilsson, Anderson (Bradley 65)
Replacement (not used): Hall
Ealing scorers: tries Siggery, T Parker; cons Wheatcroft (2); pen Wheatcroft
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Tincknell, Riley, Fatialofa (James 66), Goss, Hallett (Sinclair 76), Kessell; Andrew (Prescott 56), Carpenter, Paver (Andrew 67), Sandford (Channon 46), Barry (sin-bin 32-42), Parker (Bolwell 76), Morgan (capt), McGlone (Pope 79)
Replacement (not used): Elloway
Yellow card: Barry
Pirates' scorers: tries Goss (2), Andrew, Carpenter, Kessell; cons Hallett (3)
Referee: M Carley (RFU)
Camborne made it back-to-back home wins, scoring five tries against a Cullompton side that until today had conceded just sixteen points during their opening three league games.
Playing against a stiff wind during the first half, the Cherry and Whites pack were in rampant form. There was an inspirational performance from skipper, No.8 Dave Roberts, who carried a tremendous amount of ball, whilst the front row of Nigel Endean, Sam Bartle and Will Webster were always in the thick of the action, along with lock James Goldsworthy, who caught the eye in the lineout and in the loose.
Camborne took the lead on 10 minutes when a penalty was kicked to the corner. From the catch-and-drive by Goldsworthy the ball was moved wide, with centre Steve Kenward crashing over in a pile of bodies.
In the tricky wind fly-half Dave Mankee kicked an excellent conversion.
From the re-start Camborne were caught offside, presenting Cullompton with a chance to claw back three points, which centre and skipper Adam Pearce gratefully accepted.
Camborne continued to enjoy the better of the exchanges and it was no surprise that they doubled their advantage just after the half-hour mark when another good drive from the forwards was finished off with a second try scored by lock Shaun Buzza. Mankee was again on the money with the extras.
Cullompton enjoyed their best period just prior to half-time. Pearce was unlucky when a penalty attempt cannoned off an upright, but he was on cue with the conversion to wing Paul Baker’s try to make the half-time score 14-10 to Town.
Camborne came out fired up for the second half and before long they had scored a third try as full back Joe Parma took scrum-half Dean Pascoe’s pass to dot down.
Tempers became a little frayed, resulting in Cullompton’s flanker Sean Mardell being sin-binned for some foul play. Mankee stretched Camborne’s advantage with the resulting penalty from in front of the sticks.
Flying winger Rob Floyd made the most of a blindside break to score Camborne’s bonus point try in the scoreboard corner.
Cullompton reduced the deficit with a penalty kicked by Pearce and no doubt harboured hopes of snatching a losing bonus point, but those hopes were dashed as Floyd was put in with a delightful pass from replacement Joel Matavesi to score his second try of the game and Camborne’s fifth.
Centre Grant Thirlby, who had assumed kicking duties from the departed Mankee, kicked an excellent touchline conversion to complete the scoring for a 34-13 score-line.
Next up for Camborne a trip to unbeaten leaders Cleve next Saturday.
Camborne 34 pts: tries Kenward, Buzza, Parma, Floyd (2); conversions Mankee (2), Thirlby; penalty Mankee
Cullompton 13 pts: try Baker; conversion Pearce; penalties Pearce (2)
Camborne: J Parma, R Floyd, S Kenward, G Thirlby, A Hunt, D Mankee, D Pascoe, N Endean, S Bartle, W Webster, S Buzza, J Goldsworthy, G Hall, R Spargo, D Roberts (capt)
Replacements (all used): L Hocking, M Woolcock J Matavesi
Cullompton: M Richards, P Baker, A Pearce (capt), T Harold, M Busch, A Brooks, J Shere; J Woof, D Driscoll, C Grant, O Reed, O Kittow, J Turner, S Mardell, A Ford
Replacements: A Isaac, S Vercoe, A Longden
Yellow Card – Mardell (56)
Referee: Darren Curry (Cornwall RRS)
Cornish All Blacks fly-half Jake Murphy was "on the money" and helped to secure a last-minute 21-18 victory over Hartpury College on Saturday.
In an exciting and nail- biting game, Murphy successfully kicked six out of the Launceston side's seven penalties – including a crucial penalty in time added on that grasped the lead and the win.
Delighted with his team's performance, skipper Mike Rawlings said: "After last week we said we had to come out fighting and we did. Jake was on the money; he was on top form. Every chance we had we took and we stuck to the game.
"Their scrum was very strong, but our line-out was very good. You could say they were strong, but our forwards were fitter. A win gives us a bit of a boost ahead of next week's game."
Most of the home side's chances came as a result of lack of discipline by Hartpury, a costly mistake, according to captain Christopher Fortey.
"We had chances in the game and we didn't take them. Our ill-discipline cost us. If you're going to be ill-disciplined away from home, you've got to face the consequences.
"Credit where credit's due to Launceston. They took their opportunities when they came – and they came. It's disappointing to lose any game and especially in the last minute. We allowed them to get back in the game.
"At the end if the day we've lost the game. There's things to work on. It's a tough place to come and they're a strong team. We've got to take it on the chin and try to get back on track."
Despite their loss, Hartpury put up a fight and were a strong side. Their solid defence prevented Launceston from scoring a single try. But the lack of discipline led to their downfall.
Billy Burns converted a penalty and put Hartpury on the scoreboard three minutes in. The All Blacks levelled when Kieron Lewitt also kicked a penalty.
Play stopped for around ten minutes soon after, when Lewitt suffered a head and neck injury and was taken by ambulance to Derriford Hospital as a precautionary measure.
Fortunately, Jake Murphy picked up where Lewitt left off and gave a performance worthy of his man of the match accolade.
Murphy successfully kicked two more penalties before half time – extending the home side's advantage.
Early in the second half, the All Blacks made it easy for Steven Leonard to score a converted try. Another penalty for the Launceston side followed, again kicked by Murphy.
A yellow card for Hartpury skipper Fortey meant the visitors were down to 14 men but that did not prevent Jaike Carter from touching down for a try.
It soon became a game of catch up. Murphy evened the score with a good penalty kick then Burns reciprocated for Hartpury, before Murphy scored again.
As the game entered extra time – with the score at eighteen apiece – referee Luke Haskins awarded a penalty to the All Blacks on the ten metre line.
Murphy took a moment to compose himself before taking the crucial kick of the game. He kicked the winner, much to the delight of the Polson crowd and guaranteed a win for his team.
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was frustrated as his side sank into the bottom three after a 27-15 defeat at Chinnor - a third National Two South defeat of the season.
"It is a bitter pill to take because we got within touching distance and suddenly that was ripped away from us, and to come away without even a losing bonus point was disappointing," said Morcom.
After failing to make best use of a strong wind at their backs, Redruth were 17 points behind after 29 minutes but staged a good fightback and, with their forwards dominating, entered the final ten minutes trailing by just five.
However, a length-of-the-field interception try by Chinnor's Will Millett killed the game as the 20-year-old fly-half finished with 20 points in a man-of-the-match display.
He gave Chinnor the lead with a penalty from in front of the posts after two minutes and Murray Westren missed a chance to level after six minutes when his kick hit an upright.
After the home forwards sucked the Redruth defence into the right-hand corner, decoy runners opened up a big hole as Millett walked in to touchdown at the posts and add the extras on 20 minutes.
Westren got Redruth on the board with a long-range penalty three minutes later.
Millet kicked a second penalty two minutes later and a well executed chip-and-chase by Tristan Corpe brought him a converted try on 29 minutes.
On the stroke of half time Luke Jones hacked out of defence and scrum-half Ashley Hosking made a lot of ground and showed good composure to draw the scrambling defence before letting the flying Jones run in a try under the crossbar, Westren converting for 20-10.
The Reds scored again in the 53rd minute when a 25 metre catch-and-drive ended with an unconverted try for Darren Jacques to make it 20-15 -- only for Millett's converted interception try to seal the game.
Cornish returned from deepest Hampshire disappointed and frustrated after going down to a Tottonians side who had a man sent off in the second half.
Cornish scrum half Sam Williams communicates with his pack. Photo by Ben Gilby.
With warm sunshine and a decent playing surface, all had looked set for an excellent encounter at Water Lane. It was the hosts who started strongest. A searing run by inside centre Ben Dolbear looked certain to result in an early try, but a superb Cornish cover tackle ended the danger.
The first scrums of the afternoon saw 'The Exiles' lay down an important marker, as the pressure they exerted resulted in penalties in their favour at both the opening engagements. It was in the loose through that Tottonians were in the ascendancy, and another attack that looked likely to result in a home score was prevented by an outstanding cover tackle, this time from winger Robin Heymann. Just three minutes later, Totts broke through again, but great defence from Mark Osei-Tutu, playing in the second row, stopped Scott Rogers' maurauding run. Soon after, another Tottonians attack was stopped illegally, and Robbie Searle kicked the home side in front after 19 minutes.
Cornish responded well to this set back, and exerted their first period of sustained pressure on the Tottonians defence. A marvellous break from full-back Adam Rae looked to have put in Robin Heymann, but the referee ruled that the pass was forward. The flurry of Cornish attacks continued and one such sortie was stopped by the referee ruling that Totts Gareth Allen had lifted an attacker above the horizontal. Allen was dispatched to the sin-bin, and Luke Spells slotted the penalty from a tight angle on the right hand side to put Cornish level after 22 minutes.
Benefiting from the man advantage, 'The Exiles' took the lead five minutes later as an inch perfect through kick landed in the arms of inside-centre Matt Hakes, who galloped through beneath the posts. Spells converted from right in front for a 10-3 lead.
Tottonians ended the half on the front foot, and the period of pressure that they built up led to the concession of a number of penalties. One such infringement was in front of the sticks, with Searle's kick sailing through to reduce the gap to four points. Three minutes later, Cornish loose-head Mike Bond was adjudged to have made a high tackle, and received a yellow card. To their credit, the Tottonians supporters to a man (and woman) all agreed this was a harsh verdict.
The hosts made the most of the man advantage and full back Scott Rogers initiated a series of speedy attacks with multiple recycling. To hold back the green, black and white tide, Cornish continued to concede penalties. From one such penalty, with three minutes of the half remaining, Totts kicked to touch five metres out and the rolling maul was driven towards the Cornish line until Ally Ramus was able to touch down in the far left corner. Searle's conversion attempt missed, but Tottonians led 11-10. Once more, having conceded, Cornish hit back well, and launched a final attack of the half, winning a penalty as a result. Spells' successful kick ensured that the visitors led at the break 13-11.
The opening exchanges of the second half were scrappy, not helped by a rapid increase in use of the referee's whistle for penalties. Totts benefited first as Searle lined up a kick from 40 metres which was successful, the hosts were back in front with 46 minutes on the clock.
The penalty-athon continued, and next to have a chance at goal was Luke Spells, whose kick missed.
There then followed a short delay as the match ball became entangled in a pitch side tree. Shortly after this was the moment that, ultimately, decided the entire game. With 21 minutes to go, Tottonians tight-head Tom Pearson was adjudged to have thrown a punch, and was red-carded. Everyone with black and gold close to their hearts felt that now Cornish could go on and achieve something very few sides do - win at Tottonians. However, this was not to be. To their credit, the Hampshire side stepped up the intensity and barely missed a tackle in the last quarter. It was this, and some disappointing decision making from Cornish, which led to Tottonians scoring a total of eight points in just eleven minutes following the sending off.
First, following the concession of a penalty 20 metres out from the posts, Searle kicked successfully. Then, Tottonians launched a maurauding attack down the left hand side of the pitch, which resulted in second row Olly Northover grounding the ball in the corner. Searle's kick from the touchline struck the post, but the home side had done enough to win.
The overwhelming emotion afterwards was one of immense frustration. Cornish have played two of the league's top sides away from home in the opening weeks of the season and have competed well with them both. The potential is there for 'The Exiles' to do some damage in the division when they can field a full strength line-up.
Cornish Pirates enjoyed a successful Friday night under lights, securing their first home Championship victory of the season, 28-13, against Moseley at the Mennaye Field.
Try-scorer Tom Riley is congratulated by team mates Tom Kessell and Joel Conlon. Photo by Simon Bryant/Pinnacle.
Visitors Moseley have never won against the Pirates in Cornwall – be it a Saturday, Sunday or otherwise – and they only briefly looked like amending that sorry statistic yesterday.
Tom Riley scored twice, with additional home tries coming from Jack Andrew and Mike Pope to earn the four-try bonus point, this despite the Penzance club making significant changes to the side that beat Ealing Trailfinders last weekend.
Wing Pope and fly-half Angus Sinclair both made their Championship debuts in what turned out to be a challenging night for the hosts.
The Pirates were given an early let-off when their former fly-half Ollie Thomas missed a penalty in the second minute for Moseley.
From then on, Pirates ramped up the pressure before scoring the first points of the game in the tenth minute.
It was Riley who got the score, chasing a Craig Holland grubber kick into the corner. Sinclair came close to adding the conversion, but an unsporting shout from a member of the crowd at the crucial moment perhaps played a part in disrupting him.
That turned out to be a temporary setback, even though Thomas kicked his first successful penalty of the game from long range moments later.
Prop Andrew soon extended Pirates' lead to seven points with another try shortly after Pirates stole Moseley's line-out deep in the visitors' 22. It was his second in as many games, but Sinclair was again unable to add the extras.
Moseley, for all their defensive uncertainty, were able to draw their third penalty from Pirates as the half reached its midpoint. And if Thomas' kicking had been consistent, they would have only been a point behind.
It wasn't and Pirates made has inaccuracy pay as Riley ran in his second try from distance. Home goalkicker Sinclair, meanwhile, was struggling to find the posts just as much and missed the conversion.
Pirates needed to be smart in their defensive work just before half-time, as Moseley worked through numerous phases inside the hosts' 22 before infringing, allowing the home side to regain possession.
The Midlands side continued in similar fashion straight after the break, scoring within three minutes of the restart through wing Scott Armstrong, just to the right of the posts.
A lengthy stoppage for an injury to Pirates' back-row Joel Conlon did little to halt the visiting side, who continued to threaten.
Yellow cards for Alex Cheesman and Aaron Carpenter hindered the home side further still. Suddenly, Pirates were facing a struggle.
Thomas kept the scoreboard moving with another penalty, reducing the deficit to just two points as the pressure grew.
The introduction of experienced half-backs Kieran Hallett and Gavin Cattle, in place of Sinclair and Tom Kessell, coincided with Pirates' first possession in the Moseley half after the interval.
Hallett then helped to ease the burden on his men with a successful penalty. However, the game was effectively won by Pope's fine solo effort, chasing his own kick down the right, beating two with pace and footballing skills before touching down near the posts.
Hallett converted and added another penalty as Pirates survived another Moseley surge to seal the win.
Redruth were pushed to the limit by a 14-man Taunton Titans before taking a 24-18 bonus-point victory at the Recreation Ground.
Chris Fuca, Kieran Smith, Jake Rayment and Ashley Hoskins got the touchdowns for the home side, while Taunton were left to rue an early red card for Stuart Townsend and some inconsistent kicking from Gary Kingdom.
The Cornish side were under pressure in the opening moments, but survived without loss of points.
Even after just five minutes, the frustration was clearly too much for Titans’ scrum-half, who was shown a red card for stamping.
Redruth captain Fuca made it pay soon after, scoring the game’s opening try in the left corner before fly-half Murray Westren struck a superb conversion.
The Reds maintained their grip on the game, mauling their way to a second try through Kieran Smith, again converted by Westren.
The Titans did regroup in the latter stages of the first half, however. And although Kingdom’s penalty from kickable range drifted wide, hooker Jon Gatford scored moments after his opposite number from Redruth, Neal Turner, was shown a yellow card.
The gap between the sides was reduced to six points by the break, thanks to Kingdom’s penalty just before the sides left the pitch.
The Reds returned for the second half with renewed energy, scoring a try through back-rower Rayment within two minutes of the restart. Westren hit the left post with his conversion attempt.
The Titans missed a penalty chance to reduce the arrears, with Kingdom again off target, but things did get tense for Redruth on the hour mark as Ben King rumbled over for the visitors. Again the otherwise excellent Kingdom failed to convert, leaving the sides six points apart.
A yellow card for Damien Cook put the Reds under further pressure and play continued deep within the home side’s 22 until Titans’ No.8 Dan Lee touched down. Only Kingdom’s continued struggles with the boot kept them behind, by just a point.
It was Redruth who had the final say, coming strong at the end to win the fourth-try bonus point through Hoskins. Taunton, meanwhile, left Cornwall with a well-deserved losing bonus point of their own.
Cornish All Blacks head coach Cliff Rainford told his players to take a “long, hard look at themselves” after the Cornishmen were crushed 56-11 by National Two South newcomers Ampthill in the first meeting between the two clubs.
The All Blacks continued their Jekyll and Hyde season, where they are winning well at home but getting nothing on their travels.
The result in Bedfordshire leaves them only one point off the bottom of the table, and one place above the relegation zone, with bottom side Bishop's Stortford the visitors to Polson Bridge on Saturday.
"We went 3-0 up in the first three minutes, and then let the game get away from us, and didn't really show up for the rest of the match," said an annoyed Rainford.
"Everybody is really disappointed. You can't come away like this and put in performances like that.
"We need to take a long, hard look at ourselves and come back on Tuesday and try and put right what is not happening in our away games.
"You wouldn't believe it was the same team that has won twice at home this season and it is very difficult to put a positive spin on 56-11.
"We played well for the first five minutes. We went three points up with a drop goal, which we set up really well from the kick-off from several phases, but once they had scored we were struggling from then on in.
"We had better improve against Bishop's Stortford. We need to get our game heads on. We can't afford to be losing poorly away and winning great games at home.
"It won't do us any good for the season, and we need to fix what is going wrong on the away trips."
One bright note was the return to action of captain Ben Hilton after a knee injury, with the Cornwall skipper coming off the replacements' bench midway through the second half.
Fly-half Jake Murphy's early drop goal put the All Blacks 3-0 up at Dillingham Park, but Ampthill, coached by former Sale, Harlequins and Newport-Gwent Dragons coach Paul Turner, replied almost instantly with a try from left-wing Dean Adamson, converted by full-back Elliot Clements-Hill.
Clements-Hill and Murphy exchanged penalties, before lock Barrie-John Chapman scored the All Blacks' only try of the game – and what amazingly turned out to be their last points of the match – when he was driven over at a maul to make it 11-10 to the visitors after 15 minutes.
They were then hit by wave after wave of Ampthill attacks as the hosts scored three more tries to secure the bonus point before the break and give themselves a 29-11 interval lead.
Openside flanker Matthew Burke (two) and fly-half Joseph Tarrant were the scorers, with Clements-Hill converting two.
The onslaught by the Berkshire outfit continued after half-time, with further tries added by scrum-half Tom Aviss, two more from Adamson to complete his hat-trick, and a penalty try, with Clements-Hill converting two and adding a penalty.
It was a case of "could have" or "might have" once more for London Cornish, as they went down to a narrow defeat to Gosport & Fareham, who remain unbeaten this season. In three of their first four league games this season, Cornish have faced teams who many feel will be the promotion candidates this season. In each of these matches, against Guildford, Tottonians and now Gosport & Fareham, Cornish have caused their opposition real headaches, but have emerged empty handed from each encounter.
London Cornish's Phil Francis on the run for his try. Photo by Ben Gilby.
London Cornish looked to have channelled the frustration from last week's loss at Tottonians into a powerful start. With just two minutes on the clock, Luke Spells broke through, making good ground, but a smother tackle by the Hampshire side ended the danger.
Further pressure from 'The Exiles' saw Dave Warwick, making his first start of the season, break clean through to within 5 metres of the try line. He was stopped illegally and Cornish opted for a scrum. Another penalty followed, and Luke Spells lined up a kick at the posts, which missed.
Gosport & Fareham were their own worst enemies in this period, as further penalties were conceded. On top of this, they developed a worrying habit of throwing far too many loose passes which either went straight into touch, or into the arms of a Cornish attacker. Several minutes later, an interchange of passes between Mark Osei-Tutu and Luke Spells resulted in winger Matt Hakes breaking through, but Cornish were eventually penalised for not releasing.
Finally, the pressure resulted in a score for Cornish. Another loose pass from the visitors was snaffled by Harry Somers. His pass put in Phil Francis, who galloped down the left wing to score in the corner. Spells' conversion missed.
Gosport & Fareham were stung by this, and tightened up both discipline and their passing game. They began to increasingly dominate both possession and territory. With 18 minutes gone, the Hampshire men were rolling closer to the line, and Cornish could only halt them with the concession of a penalty. Inexplicably, Gosport fly-half Alex Duncombe missed the kick. Just two minutes later, the visitors broke down the right wing, a move which ended with John Field plunging over. Duncombe's conversion missed.
The Hampshire side's period of domination was briefly broken by another surging run from Phil Francis which was held up. Back came Gosport & Fareham and a sustained period of attack followed, with multi phases and recycling within 10 metres of the Cornish line. It could only be stopped illegally, and a Cornish forward was subsequently dispatched to the sin-bin. From the resulting scrum, a rolling maul ended with Ben Madigan grounding the ball. The conversion missed, but Gosport had the lead for the first time.
Cornish held out well in defence for the remainder of the time they were down to 14 men. Once restored to their full compliment, scrum half Sam Portham broke clear down the left, and had his offload reached a black and gold shirt, it was a certain try, but unfortunately the visitors grabbed the ball and cleared. Right on half time, Cornish's pack mounted a stunning rolling maul, which gained them 30 metres, but eventually a penalty was conceded. It was quickly taken and the ball found its way to full-back Loz Wadham who sprinted all the way to score, and also add the extras. Gosport & Fareham led 17-5 at the break.
The second half opened with Cornish's forwards starting to assert their authority. Another huge rolling maul was stopped illegally. The penalty was kicked to touch 5m out. The resulting line out saw Mark Osei-Tutu and Mike Bond make good ground before Will Carew-Gibbs finally grounded the ball. Spells' conversion missed.
Cornish pressure was causing Gosport & Fareham to go back to conceding penalty after penalty. Not long after receiving a final warning from referee Peter Sheedy, they pulled down a Cornish maul, and a forward was sent to the sin-bin.
'Exiles' pack was now well on top and, with 61 minutes gone, they launched themselves at the Gosport line. Huge pressure was exerted, and after several phases of attacking resulted in Mark Osei-Tutu grabbing his fourth try in four games this season. Spells conversion was good, and the scores were level at 17-17.
At this point, London Cornish looked a good bet to take the points. However, when the chips were down, Gosport & Fareham stepped up their game. A penalty from Loz Wadham put the visitors back in front. Then, with 67 minutes gone, the visitors secured a four try bonus point. A quite superb move saw Loz Wadham feed Wayne Dugan. Dugan then played in Gareth Jones, who beat several defenders for a great score. Wadham's conversion was good.
With five minutes left, a dramatic finale looked on the cards when a successful penalty from Luke Spells brought the scores back to 20-27. Cornish mounted a flurry of attacks in a determined bid to secure a minimum of two points from the game, but, into stoppage time Gosport & Fareham won a penalty which Wadham kicked. As the match entered it's final phase of play, Cornish attacked strongly and, earned a kick at goal. If Spells was successful a losing bonus point would be the reward. Sadly, the kick was just wide.
Gosport & Fareham had been given their toughest examination of the season. One of the visitors' players was heard to remark: "Cornish deserved something from this game." It was true. So near...
Cornish All Blacks had a lucky escape when a try in the fifth minute of stoppage time gave them a one-point home victory against Bishop’s Stortford in National two South.
Spike Rainford, the Launceston side's head coach, admitted there is still work to be done but, ultimately, a win is a win.
"Five points is five points," he said. "We made hard work of it. If we want to succeed in this league, we've got to iron out what doesn't work well. We've not quite gelled; we missed some tackles and our defence needs to work as well as our attack. We'll be working hard on that on Tuesday."
Disappointment was etched all over the face of Bishop's Stortford skipper Mark McCraith. "It's gutting to lose at the end," he said. "We deserved to have a win; it was a great performance away from home. Launceston will be relieved to get the victory. We made some silly mistakes, tried to force it when we didn't need to.
"We made some soft tackles but for most of the game we contained them. Losing like that is difficult to take."
Launceston were, on the whole, playing catch up to the side who are languishing at the bottom of the table. But despite their league position, Bishop's Stortford showed grit and determination and gave their hosts a run for their money.
Bishops Stortford's Marcus Cattell had a good run and got to within a few metres of the try line but was brought down. A penalty was awarded to the Hertfordshire side and Oliver Walker converted.
The visitors made it a fast-moving game but they also made mistakes. Two penalties were awarded to the All Blacks. Kieron Lewitt took both – his first went wide but the second was good and levelled the scores.
Lewis Paterson scored the first of the game's nine tries, after weaving through the opponents' defence to touch down. Lewitt converted.
Walker kicked another penalty for Bishops Stortford, which was followed by a try that came out of nowhere. Despite attempts to bring him down, David Aldam ran through the home pack to make touch, his try converted by Walker.
There were two more tries before half time. First an unconverted try from Sam James for Bishop's Stortford and the second for the Polson side's Paterson, who touched down behind the posts.
Before the whistle, Sam Whiffen successfully kicked a penalty from just inside the halfway line, extending the visitors' score further.
Even in the second half, Bishop's Stortford had the advantage. Poor tackling made it easy for Sean Edwards to go over for a try.
The All Blacks were playing catch up and a try from Mike Rawlings made it three apiece. Ryan Westren made it four tries for the hosts, putting them back in the lead.
Launceston were one man down after Lewis Webb was sin-binned and Bishop's Stortford skipper McCraith took advantage to go over for a converted try.
In the final minutes, there was a flicker of hope for Launceston, but a yellow card given to BJ Chapman for stamping threatened their chances.
Both sides were awarded penalties. Lewitt kicked for the line for the hosts, play continued and another penalty was given to the All Blacks. Tim Mathias grabbed the chance to power over for a try.
The conversion kick was missed but it did not matter. The try put the hosts one point in the lead in stoppage time. They held on until the whistle was blown to clinch their win.
Four tries in the last sixteen minutes saw London Cornish record a welcome victory at bottom of the table Portsmouth.
London Cornish's Ben Ievers leaves Portsmouth players trailing in his wake. Photo by Ben Gilby.
‘The Exiles’ had come into this game having had a tough opening of fixtures to the campaign. A home win against Teddington apart, they had taken on the top three sides in the league, and whilst they caused Guildford, Gosport & Fareham and Tottonians serious headaches, Cornish had not managed to take any points from those matches.
From the start, it was clear to all those gathered at Norway Road that Cornish were determined that Portsmouth would remain winless at the end of this game. A strong opening saw the home side forced to give away a number of penalties, and with only seven minutes gone a Pompey forward was dispatched to the sin-bin. The resulting kick at goal from Cornish full-back Adam Rae was successful. Despite piling on the pressure whilst the hosts were down to 14, ‘The Exiles’ were unable to increase their lead. Indeed, with a Cornish attack just five metres from the Portsmouth line, a pass was intercepted by home winger Tom Whitehouse, who ran the length of the field to give Portsmouth the lead. With eight minutes until half time, Pompey increased their advantage to 8-3 when Dan Neville kicked a penalty. The remainder of the first half saw Cornish lay siege to the Portsmouth line, and at one stage looked to have scored. However, as the ball was grounded, the referee took a tumble and was unable to award the try as, whilst he felt the ball was over the line, he was on his back for the duration of this phase of play!
Portsmouth began the second half powerfully and for the first twelve minutes or so of the play in this period looked set to increase their lead on a number of occasions. Cornish were defending for their lives at this point. However, unfortunately for the Hampshire side, one such attack saw ‘Exiles’ winger Robin Heymann snaffle the ball from the hosts and sprint up the right hand touchline to ground the ball. Rae’s conversion attempt missed, but Cornish were level at 8-8. The next ten minutes or so were pretty even, but gradually the Black and Gold pack were asserting their authority and, from a powerful maul, Phil Jones grounded the ball. The conversion was unsuccessful. Almost as soon as Jones scored his try, you could visibly see Portsmouth’s heads go down – despite only being five points behind. Cornish took advantage in the last quarter of an hour as they produced an all-round attacking game of quite epic proportions. More forward power led to Mark Osei-Tutu being driven over the line for his fifth try of the season. Shortly after, from a similar move hooker Will Carew-Gibbs dotted down. The coup de grace was delivered by Harry Somers with the last move of the game. An outstanding sequence of rapid fire passing saw the ball pass to Cornish’s number four and, to scenes of mass celebration, Somers ran across the whitewash to put the icing on the cake.
Head coach Ashley Morcom was pleased with the way his Redruth side fought back to come away with two bonus points from a 39-32 defeat at Bournemouth in National two South.
"The key thing today was the way people love to play for Redruth, by the way we came back after giving them a head start in the second half," said Morcom.
"We could have rolled over but we didn't – we put a huge amount of character into it to come back and pick up two points. I think Bournemouth were there for the taking. We came out cold for the second half and they came out warm.
"When we got good quality go-forward ball we looked dangerous, but it was one of those days when we did not get the rub of the green around the pitch. There were certain aspects that let us down."
Conditions were ideal but, with the breeze at their backs in the first half, a couple of crucial moments cost Redruth dear. First a missed touch from a penalty gave Bournemouth the chance to counter-attack, ending with Jack Hennings running in a cracking try.
Just before the break Craig Williams was stopped inches short of the lime but the Reds were penalised and Bournemouth took play down the other end to score another excellent try through Scott Chislett and take a 17-14 lead into the interval.
The power of the Redruth scrum was in evidence as a massive surge saw Cornwall hooker Richard Brown, playing in the back row, go over for a try that Murray Western failed to convert. Bournemouth hit back with a Hennings try converted by Pollard.
The Reds regained the lead after 28 minutes when Darren Jacques dived over a ruck to touch down a try that Westren converted from wide out.
Rhodri McAtee took a knock and did not come out after the break as a precaution against further damage and the Reds were simply blown away in the third quarter. Russell Westcott touched down soon after the restart and Sam Hardcastle was denied a try on a tight forward-pass call. Hardcastle made the running for Westcott to go over for the bonus-point try after 54 minutes.
Former Truro full-back Dan Pollard was in good kicking form and when he converted a penalty try after a collapsed rolling maul, the hosts were 22 points up with 18 minutes left.
Tempers boiled over and Brown and Bournemouth replacement Rob Fuller were sent to the sin bin for exchanging punches as the Redruth comeback got going.
Jacques dived over from close range in the 67th minute after a spell of pressure and there was a chance for Redruth to get something from the game as they were enjoying better possession and territory.
Damien Cook completed a good afternoon's work when he ran in a try from 20 metres, after Redruth had broken down the home defence, to gain the four-try bonus point. With the last kick, Westren put over a penalty from wide out to earn the losing bonus point.
Redruth left it late to secure a bonus-point National League Two South victory over Exmouth at the Recreation Ground.
Former Cornish All Blacks director of rugby Jon Hill, now head coach at Exmouth, was unable to lead the Cockles to success at his old club’s great rivals, but they were unfortunate to miss out on a bonus point.
The Devon club were trailing by seven points when 80 minutes elapsed, following tries from wing Richard Bright and centre Alex Goldman, both converted by fly-half Matt Garner.
But their hosts pulled clear with a late touchdown from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow, supplementing earlier scores from Rhodri McAtee, Chris Fuca and a penalty try.
The Reds took the sting out of the encounter in the opening minutes. Goodfellow made a break and neatly found the onrushing McAtee as he was brought to ground. The former Cornish Pirates wing then finished well from 30 metres out, with fly-half Murray Westren adding the extras with a superb conversion from close to the touchline.
The Cockles fought their way back into the game and were good value for their own first try, scored with a fine individual effort from another of their former Launceston men, Bright, with Garner adding the conversion to level the scores midway through the opening half.
The home side applied pressure again and, although they were held up once on the visitors’ try line, their next assault brought success, with skipper Fuca touching down soon after Exmouth’s James Harris had been shown a yellow card.
Westren again converted well but the hour mark was reached before either side could trouble the scoreboard again.
Redruth spent a significant amount of time inside the Exmouth 22 and consistent infringements from the visitors brought a second yellow card, this time for second row Stuart Lowe, and, eventually, a penalty try, converted by man-of-the-match Westren.
Exmouth responded with their second try almost instantly through centre Alex Goldman, converted by Garner, but Redruth regrouped to finish a disappointing game strongly.
However, it took until time added on for Goodfellow to borrow over from short range for a late unconverted score to earn his side all five league points.
The Cornish All Blacks picked up their first point on the road this season but head coach Cliff Rainford felt they could have got more from their National Two South game at promotion-chasing Clifton.
"We got a losing bonus point, but we could have clinched victory two or three times in the last seven or eight minutes," he said.
"We had opportunities to score and take the game away from them but couldn't manage to do so. A couple of knock-ons and it just wasn't going to happen.
"It is not the right result for us, but we have taken another step forward, by getting some points from an away game this season, so that is something for us to build on."
The result leaves the All Blacks three points off the foot of the table, but it is incredibly tight, with only six points covering the bottom nine teams.
Clifton had the better of the opening exchanges and took the lead when centre Will Meakes finished off a flowing backs move, with fly-half Giles Foley converting.
The All Blacks levelled when skipper Ben Hilton stretched for the line to score a try, with full-back Kieron Lewitt adding the extras.
Fly-half Jake Murphy put the Cornishmen in front with a drop goal, but the hosts responded with a superb try in the 24th minute when good work by acting skipper Ben Purcell and wing Will Pomphrey sent in full-back James Golledge, with Foley improving the score for a 14-10 lead.
Former All Blacks centre Tom Preece extended Clifton's lead with an unconverted try, but Murphy then created a gap for Lewitt to cross for a score he also converted.
Foley added a penalty to make it 22-17 to Clifton at the break.
The only score of the second half was a Lewitt penalty, with the main talking point a period of torrential rain that engulfed the Cribbs Causeway ground.
The Cornish Pirates were brought back down to earth with a bump at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday night as London Welsh ended their four game unbeaten run with a five-try bonus point win, writes Dick Straughan.
The Welsh remain unbeaten in their quest to secure promotion back to the Premiership at the first attempt and were good value for their victory against a young Cornish Pirates side.
Two early Gordon Ross penalties gave the Welsh some breathing space before good work by prop Nathan Trevett set up full-back Seb Jewell for the opening try after 18 minutes.
The Pirates stuck to their task, defending and scrummaging well, but the power-game of the hosts and strong midfield running of former international centres Tom May and Sonny Parker was already causing problems.
Kieran Hallett slotted a penalty for the Pirates but flanker Carl Kirwan quickly responded with a second Welsh try from close range and Ross converted to make it 20-3. Hallett added a second place kick for the Pirates to complete the first half scoring.
The Welsh kept up the onslaught, adding a third try early in the second half from scrum half Rob Lewis and secured the bonus point on 65 minutes after a puzzling series of scrummages in front of the Pirates' posts in which the Cornish side were repeatedly and harshly penalised.
Hooker Andy Titterell claimed the all important bonus-point try and they completed the victory when May stole an interception on half-way and raced in to score three minutes from the end.
London Welsh: Jewell (Awcock 67), Stegmann, May (capt), Parker, Scott, Ross, Lewis (A.Davies 60); Trevett (sin-bin 35-45, Moss 65)), Titterell (K.Davies 65), Edwards (Tideswell 65), Lees, P Browne, Thorpe (Corker 35, Moss 37-45), Kirwan, D Browne (Pienaar 53-65)
Yellow card: Trevett
Welsh scorers: tries May, Kirwan, Jewell, Lewis, Titterell; cons Ross (5); pens Ross (2)
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Pope, Riley, James (Hendrickson 78), Evans, Hallett (capt) (Sinclair 78), Kessell, Cahill (K.Davies 68), Channon (Elloway 73), Joyce (Prescott 70), Graulich, Patrick (Sandford 50), Parker, Atkinson (Cheesman 73), Conlon
Pirates' scorers: pens Hallett (2)
Referee: I Tempest (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks orchestrated a nailbiting 23-17 home win over Cambridge in National Two South after stepping up the pace in the second half.
The Polson Bridge side trailed 17-11 at half-time, but they came out refreshed after the break and determined to turn things round.
Head coach Spike Rainford admitted he was delighted with his team's response.
"We did really well and it's another win at home. It's great after the bonus point we picked up away from home last week," he said.
"Everything came together again today. The guys who have come back from injury have helped to strengthen the team and that showed today. We've got to take all the positives from this. To win like that against Cambridge is a brilliant bonus."
Cambridge skipper Ross Kevan blamed their loss on a lack of discipline. "It's very frustrating because our own discipline cost it for us overall. We knew it was going to be an intimidating game to come down to but they worked a little bit harder.
"We're still confident in ourselves and we're still chasing promotion."
The Launceston side started well, but after Kieron Lewitt put three points on the scoreboard with a penalty kick, things started to go downhill.
Poor defence and tackling by the hosts gave Cambridge the opportunity to notch up two tries within the first ten minutes. Albert Portsmouth found a gap to score the first, then Patrick Tapley beat the All Blacks players to the ball to go over for the second. Neither were converted.
The Launceston side were awarded two penalties in quick succession and although Lewitt missed the first, he kicked the second right between the posts.
At this point in the game, neither team outshone the other and both sides made some poor decisions.
Cambridge did split the All Blacks pack apart by passing down their three-quarter line, something the hosts failed to do on a number of occasions. Despite being one man down after Thomas Jones was given ten minutes in the sin bin, Portsmouth touched down for his second try. Jim Wigglesworth converted.
The All Blacks made their way down the field and closer to the try line. Tim Mathias passed to Sam Chapman, who went over for an unconverted try. With the score at 17-11 to the visitors, the Launceston side lagged behind at half-time, but Rainford's changing-room team-talk obviously ignited something in the players, as they returned to the field with renewed vigour and determination.
Mathias, who earned his man-of-the-match accolade, set Chapman up for his second try of the game. Lewitt missed the conversion.
The All Blacks were only one point behind and lack of discipline in the Cambridge side meant they were, at one point, down to 13 men with yellow cards given to Jethro Rawling and replacement Ben Brownlie.
The All Blacks capitalised when Lloyd Duke scored their third try, this time converted.
Although the tables had turned, a converted try would put Cambridge back in the lead.
The hosts had to hold on and not let their game slip.
The visitors did come close to scoring again, but a strong Launceston defence kept them at bay.
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was disappointed to come away from Dings Crusaders with only a losing bonus point from a 14-13 defeat.
"We let it go in key areas," he said. "There were three or four occasions when we made the wrong decision, or kicked the ball away when we should have kept the ball in hand.
"The positive things today for us were that we got within a point and butchered chances on three occasions where we could have put our noses back in front. I feel it was probably our best away performance."
Redruth showed good focus playing into a strong wind in the first half to lead 8-7 at the break and strengthened that position with a good try by Luke Jones 14 minutes into the second half. Crucially, Ashley Hosking's conversion from wide out on the right-hand touchline hit an upright.
Dings raised their game and five minutes later scrum-half Steve Plummer broke away down the blindside to put Matt Lane over for a try and the flanker was able to get close enough to the posts to make a straight forward conversion for the league's second-top scorer, Mark Woodrow.
With Redruth penalised at the first two scrums, Dings created space for the powerful James Oakley to run in a try from 30 metres on 12 minutes, with Woodrow converting.
Redruth hit back with Owen Hambly throwing a sublime pass for Dean Bonds to finish well in the left corner for an unconverted 23rd-minute try.
Hosking put the Reds in front five minutes before the break with a well-judged close-range penalty into the wind.
Redruth increased the single-point half-time lead when some good play in midfield from Nick Simmons and a good run from Craig Bonds created a chance for Jones, the former England under-18 international showing good footwork to cut through the cover before touching down.
Cornish earned their third consecutive win in all competitions as they continued to climb up the table to 5th place with this comprehensive win over Trojans. The win came courtesy of 4 tries by former Saltash wing Rich Skinnard, playing only his second league game for the club since his move up from God's Country.
The visitors quickly demonstrated that they possess a potent back line if given good quality ball, and a fine move on 10 minutes saw their left wing cross for an unconverted try, the blustery wind making kicking tough for both sides. Cornish responded with their first real attack of note on 12, wing Phil Francis pinching a ball on the floor, having followed up Carter’s angled kick in behind. Harry Somers crashed the ball up and when Sam Williams hit Carter the fly-half sent a perfectly flighted ball to Skinnard to dive over for his first, also unconverted. A high tackle on 15 saw Trojans regain the lead with a penalty, but 2 minutes later they were back under their posts when Cornish were fortuitously awarded a try when a Carter chip in behind was pounced on by Skinnard in the dead-ball area, though seemingly not grounded. The unconverted try inspired the home side, who added some lineout pinching to a totally dominant scrum. Whilst lucky to have been awarded their second try, the Exiles’ luck ran out on 25 when, following the concession of 4 successive penalties, they marched a Trojans scrum back to the try line and as they were about to pounce, the visiting back row simply kicked it out and couldn’t believe his luck when he wasn’t penalized! A growing feature of the match was that when Ts talented back line made ground, they were frequently turned over on the floor by the excellence of ‘the silent assassin’ Ciaran Acford and hooker Will Carew-Gibbs. With another attack on 34 minutes, Cornish caught the visiting midfield offside and Carter slotted the 3 from in front. Just when it seemed The Exiles had taken command of the game, a poor kick chase saw the home 10 angle a fine kick in behind for the same left wing to notch his second of the game, this one unconverted but the score all square at the break at 13-13.
Within 10 minutes at the start of the second half, Cornish had taken the game clean away from their visitors. Carter regained his side the lead with a penalty from some way out on 41 minutes, and with their scrum under real pressure Ts had no answer when no 8 Mark Osei-Tutu smashed his way over from the base on 44, this his 6th try in the 6 league games to date, the Carter conversion suddenly easing his team to a 10 point lead. It was all Cornish now, lock Ben Ievers frequently in the thick of it with driving runs, supported by prop Mike Bond and blind side Luke Bridges, only a knock-on preventing a further score on 47. Within 4 minutes a text book backs move saw Matt Hakes switch with Carter, who then hit full back Adam Rae on a great line to pierce the Ts defensive line and send a looping pass to Skinnard to complete his hat-trick, this tricky conversion also made by the fly-half. A rampant Exiles nearly produced a further score when Osei-Tutu burst from the base of a scrum and linked with Skinnard only for play to be called back for a forward pass. A sporadic Trojans attack on 61 saw them slot a penalty to reduce the arrears to 30-16, but this was answered in 5 by Carter, who slotted another after Ts were caught offside in midfield again, another trademark Osei-Tutu rampage causing the damage. The next time Trojans gained field position, they attempted a rolling maul but were driven back and then conceded a penalty as Somers pinched the ball on the floor. Back came the exiles, Osei-Tutu breaking from a rolling maul, then Carter and Hakes combining to send the ball to Skinnard. There was no doubting the excellence of this finish, him standing up his opposite man then skinning the full back to dive over for an unconverted try to make the score 38-16. In the remaining minutes of the match, the home side lost two players to the bin, but held out with no further addition to the score.
Cornish Pirates re-ignited their promising start to the Championship season with a 16-8 home win over London Scottish.
In the last Friday night game under home lights, the Mennaye Field side marked the end of that mini-era with a dogged two-try success.
Tom Kessell made the difference for the Penzance club, crossing the whitewash twice despite the best efforts of former Redruth men Mark Bright and PJ Gidlow in the opposition ranks.
It was certainly a pleasing return to winning ways for Ian Davies' men, after their 41-6 loss at London Welsh in their previous Championship game.
This fixture against the Exiles was expected to be no less challenging, with Scottish having completed a league double over the Pirates last season.
Pirates applied some good pressure in the opening five minutes and got their reward with the night's opening try.
A penalty kicked into the corner was followed up by a successful catch-and-drive, finished off by scrum-half Kessell.
However, fly-half Kieran Hallett was unable to add the conversion from close to the touchline.
An entertaining game of running rugby did threaten to break out, but neither side could find the required accuracy in conditions that were deceptively tricky under foot.
It was Scottish who struck next at the midpoint of the first half. Centre Mike Doneghan engineered a gap in the Pirates' defence by faking a pass out wide before going himself.
Wing Miles Mantella, who Pirates initially expected to receive the ball, continued his run, and, when he did eventually take possession from Doneghan's pass, he had space to run into, stepping inside before touching down in the corner for an unconverted try to level the scores.
Parity lasted for barely a moment, with the home side nudging ahead through a Hallett penalty. But little else of note occurred before the referee brought the sides in for half time.
Pirates made a single alteration to their line-up during the interval, with Alex Cheeseman coming into the back row for Joe Atkinson.
That change did little to influence the pattern of the game. Indeed, it was Scottish who started better after the break.
They probed at Pirates' defence just inside the hosts' 22 and eventually drew a penalty which Lee Millar kicked through the posts to level the scores for a second time.
But again the Pirates were able to force their way back into the lead. Hallett's kick towards the right corner was well fielded, but some tenacious follow-up work from wing Mike Pope forced the receiver into touch.
From the resulting line-out, Pirates' forwards took turns battering their way to the try line, but it was Kessell who again made the telling contribution for his second unconverted try of the night.
Hallett failed to add the extras but made amends soon after with his second penalty to put his side eight points ahead on the hour mark.
Wing Kieran Goss had a chance to make the situation rather more comfortable for the Pirates as the game entered the final ten minutes.
Hallett failed to make proper contact with a kick towards the left corner but it fell perfectly for Goss, bouncing up nicely to the back running at full speed. However, his run to the corner came to abrupt end with the ball spilling into touch just a few strides from the try line.
Scottish composed themselves well from the line-out and cleared before mounting an attack of their own. A Millar penalty drifted wide of the posts and Pirates escaped what would have been a tense final few minutes.
Another late surge came to nothing as they lost the ball in contact while inside the Pirates' 22. Instead, the cushion of a converted try plus a point remained, thus denying the Exiles a losing bonus point.
It was not the prettiest win Pirates have achieved so far this season but they at least ended their run of Friday night games at the Mennaye with a victory.
Redruth picked up another two National League Two South points, but they could and should have earned more from a 12-12 draw with Shelford at the Recreation Ground.
Replacement wing Rhodri McAtee put the Reds 12-7 ahead with just 14 minutes left but, despite his side being in the ascendency in the second half, they conceded a late score to visiting full-back Chris Lord, who levelled the game.
A draw was arguably the right result, with the Cornish side lacking their usual spark on home turf. Indeed, a forgettable opening half from both sides produced plenty of errors, but little cohesive rugby.
It was livened up temporarily by Shelford centre Gregory White, who broke through several Redruth tackles as he burst into the home side's 22.
Redruth were unable to regroup before fellow centre Grant Anderson took advantage of superior numbers on the left to cut through to the try line for a score, converted by Steve Smith.
Ashley Morcom's men improved as the second half wore on and earned a penalty try, converted by Brett Rule, to put them in front at a time when visiting hooker Luke Beales had been sent to the sin bin.
However, Shelford fought back well, once back to their full XV, and were boosted by a yellow card for Reds' flanker Owen Hambly.
A try under the posts looked a certainty for the visitors, but some excellent home defence forced Shelford wide for Lord's try and Smith was unable to convert from close to the touchline with a strong cross wind.
Redruth head coach Morcom said: "It was quite disappointing to end up at 12-12. We should take nothing away from Shelford, they played very well. They had a few issues with discipline and had the yellow card and we capitalised on that with the score.
"We can't let sides have a head start and, with the conditions we had to play in, seven points was quite important. We just have to make sure we turn up this week again and put everything right.
"The new scrum rules are a big issue. The referees are trying to watch so much now – they're watching the footing, the bind as well as the scrum – so it is a lot to ask of them."
Prolific scrum-half Greg Goodfellow was omitted from the match-day squad, despite being fully fit, and Morcom said it was a decision based purely on form.
He said: "It was a selection thing. He hasn't played very well over the last couple of weeks and it is only fair – we drop other players – and he had to be dropped. I know he is a very good player. Nick Simmons at scrum-half didn't do anything wrong. We do lose the attacking threat with Greg, but you have to be able to perform week in and week out.
"He didn't perform last week at Dings and he didn't perform the week before."
The Reds play at home again next weekend against struggling London Irish Wild Geese. Morcom said: "We have got time to put things right and we know where we went wrong. We have got a few old heads coming back into the side, people like Luke Collins, who brings vast experience, size and strength.
"I'm confident we're going to go into next week and get a good result against London Irish Wild Geese."
Cornish All Blacks' wretched away form shows no signs of letting up, with a heavy defeat at bottom-of-the-table London Irish Wild Geese their latest National Two South nightmare on the road.
Four good home wins have been countered by five away defeats, and the All Blacks have only a sole losing bonus point to show for their time spent away from Cornwall so far this season.
They are getting dragged into relegation trouble, and are now only outside of the drop zone by virtue of having more wins than newcomers Bishop's Stortford.
These are worrying times at Polson Bridge, and head coach Cliff Rainford admitted he was at a loss to explain the Jekyll and Hyde nature of his side.
"We didn't really get off the bus in the first half, and then in the second half we decided to go out and play a bit of rugby, but it was too late by then," he said. "We had the same starting line-up that beat Cambridge the previous week at home, but the performances were just chalk and cheese.
"Our replacements did very well, and brought a bit of pace to our game. We got three tries in the second half and we were pushing to get a fourth try to get the bonus point, but we just ran out of time.
"If I could put my finger on one thing and say we were poor in this area or poor in that area, I would, but we were poor in the first half and much, much better in the second half, and we are much better at home than we are away.
"It has got to be a psychological thing, rather than an ability thing, because you don't beat Hartpury College, Cambridge and Redruth at home if you are not a good side, but we are going away and losing to mediocre opposition."
The All Blacks gave a debut off the replacements' bench to Fiji prop Sisa Naqasima, the ex-Cambridge front row who was recommended to the club by former Plymouth Albion head coach Nat Saumi.
"He has been with us since the start of the season," said Rainford. "He was ruled out by work to start with, but he has now got his shifts sorted out so he will be more available to us."
The damage for the All Blacks was all done in the first half as they trailed 40-3 at the interval, conceding six tries to Tom Fowlie, George Owen, Scott Tolmie, Fraser Carlisle, Sam McKinney and Ed Keohane, with fly-half Ian Cross converting five of them.
They were a different team after the break, and, aided by three yellow cards for Ben Kitching, Andrew Evans and Owen, they hit back with tries from replacements Kyle Moyle and Lewis Webb, and Mike Rawlings, with full-back Kieron Lewitt converting one to add to his first-half penalty, and Moyle another, but it was all too late to halt Wild Geese, for whom Fowlie bagged his second try after the break.
Cornish Pirates came through another tough Championship assignment, beating Bedford Blues 16-13 at the Mennaye Field on Sunday.
Ian Davies' men are showing a cohesiveness and maturity that belies, in many cases, their age and inexperience at this level – not to mention the short time they have been playing together as a squad.
Their attacking intent was obvious in the early weeks of the season, but they have adapted well to heavy conditions in their last two home games against London Scottish and Bedford.
Scrum-half Tom Kessell epitomises their strength in depth and he scored his third try in two games, as deputy for injured captain Gavin Cattle, while fly-half Kieran Hallett did the rest.
The Blues, who were Championship finalists last season, will undoubtedly come good despite only taking a single win so far this term.
Their fly-half, Jake Sharp, had the first opportunity for points with a long-range penalty yesterday, but his effort bounced back off the left post. The slippery ball made passing equally difficult, with a number of excellent Pirates' moves stuttering to a stop as the ball slid through fingers and went to ground.
Hallett and Sharp traded penalties, but the hosts were still keen to run the ball when the chance arose. Full-back Craig Holland was often the instigator – one such burst down the left wing took him deep into the Bedford 22, and it was only a scrambled Bedford defence that prevented him from scoring the first try of the game.
Again Hallett and Sharp traded penalties but Pirates looked the more likely to open the scoring before half-time with a series of scrums making progress, edging towards the Bedford try line. Indeed, it took more dogged defensive work to keep the Cornish side at bay.
Bedford had an immediate opportunity to seize the lead at the start of the second half when the Pirates' lock James Sandford was penalised for holding on. However, Sharp missed with his penalty attempt.
It was certainly a day for the forwards and it was no surprise when the Pirates' pack – marshalled by Alan Paver – rucked and mauled their way towards the Bedford try line. But it was Kessell who applied the finish, with a try converted by Hallett. Another period of pressure saw Hallett extend his side's lead with his third successful penalty of the afternoon on the hour mark.
Front-row replacement Darren Fearn boosted the Blues with a controversial score. Sharp's tactical kick into the left corner appeared to go long, but referee Simon Harding saw a deflection from a Pirate hand, and gave Bedford a scrum in prime field position before their score, which was converted by Sharp.
It set up a tense finish, but Pirates stood strong to maintain their impressive start to the Championship season.
Redruth's storming second-half performance overturned a 25-10 half-time deficit to earn the home side a much needed five points to lift them up the table.
The win cheered head coach Ashley Morcom, who will be able to enjoy his birthday celebrations on Armistice Day as a winning coach. He said. “Scoring so early in the game perhaps lulled us into thinking the game would be easy. These boys put a few points past Launceston the previous week and they took their chances well in the first half, helped by our poor tackling.”
“At half-time we had a good chat and I told the boys what I expected. We changed things round a bit and the boys responded with a very good second forty. If we had played like that for 80 minutes then we could have put a big score up today.”
“Hopefully we can build momentum to get into the top half of the table in the run up to Christmas. We are moving into a critical period now. We need to be in a strong position moving into the New Year fixtures.”
Redruth couldn’t have wished for a better start as Tom Notman made the most of Rhodri McAtee’s chip ahead to gather and score under the posts with just a minute on the clock, Ryan Westren adding the first of his five successful conversions.
Redruth then appeared to sit back, falling off tackles, allowing the visitors time to run with the ball -- which they exploited fully to score four first half tries.
Ed Keohane put his fellow centre Ben Kitching in for the first of the exiles’ tries, which should have been a wake-up call to the Reds.
Westren gave his side a brief respite with a penalty kick to stretch the lead to 10-5, but before long Irish had tied the scores as Kitching grabbed his second unconverted try as the Reds’ defence floundered!
Irish looked to ram home their advantage after Ian Cross gave them the lead with a penalty, scoring two further tries in the space of three minutes through Oscar Thomas and George Owen, with Cross adding a conversion for a 25-10 lead after 33 minutes and having secured their own try-scoring bonus point.
There was a reaction from the Reds in the lead up to half-time as they laid siege to the exiles’ line, kicking penalty chances to the corner to set up the catch-and-drive. They couldn’t find a way through, though Irish lost their scrum-half Tom Eastman to the bin right on the half-time whistle.
The second half began as did the first with an early Redruth score. Matt O’Leary, McAtee and Craig Bonds set up an attack which gave the Reds’ a scrum five meters out.
From the drive O’Leary was driven over, with Westren adding the extras.
Keohane kicked a penalty for the visitors, but that was all they were going to get in the second half as Redruth continued to pile on the pressure. A fine backs move almost brought a try for Redruth. Then, as the ball was re-cycled near the line, Nick Simmons dived over in the corner, Westren’s third conversion bringing the Reds back to within four points.
Sam Matavesi, on loan from Plymouth Albion, came on with half an hour remaining and was soon in the thick of the action.
The former Camborne favourite and Fijian International was on –hand to take Bonds’ pass to score his first try in a red shirt! Westren was once again on the money with the conversion as the Reds re-took the lead, 31-28.
An eventful debut for Matavesi continued, before his departure to the bin in the final moments of the game, as he scored Redruth’s fifth try as his fellow forwards mauled him over the line. Westren completed his conversion haul to deny the visitors an additional losing bonus point.
Redruth 38 pts: tries Notman, O’Leary, Simmons, Matavesi (2); conversions Westren (5); penalty Westren
London Irish Wild Geese 28 pts: tries Kitching (2), Thomas, Owen; conversion Cross; penalties Cross, Keohane
Redruth: Notman, Vinnicombe (Thirlby 40), C Bonds, Simmons, McAtee (D Bonds 70), Westren, Goodfellow; Jacques, Turner (Brown 56), Williams (Drew 72), Cook (Capt), Collins, Hambly, Stevens (Matavesi 50), O’Leary
Yellow Card – Matavesi (80)
London Irish Wild Geese: Thomas, Carlisle, Keohane, Kitching, Owen (Reynolds 72), Cross, Eastham (Harvey 70); Connor, Tolmie, Fraher (Capt.) (Smallbone 40), Evans, Dewdney, Moore, Lea (Livett 58), Crossland (Hoare 58)
Yellow Card – Eastham (40)
Referee: Phil Watters (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Murray Westren
The Cornish All Blacks had plenty to smile about on their long journey back from Essex as they finally picked up their first away win of the season.
In doing so, with a 17-14 win, they ended Southend's 100% home record this campaign. Even their team coach breaking down at Bridgwater on the way home, meaning they did not arrive back at Polson Bridge until 2am, failed to dampen the mood.
In an incredibly tight National Two South, they are now only eight points behind fourth-place Chinnor, whom they entertain next Saturday.
A delighted, but travel-weary, All Blacks head coach Cliff Rainford said: "It was a massive, massive effort from the boys. Southend are a good side, they have been playing well and we went there and did a job.
"We once again went a couple of scores down in the first half, but we stuck to the task in hand and played the sort of game we did at home to Cambridge two weeks ago.
"It was really encouraging. We brought the scores back level, and then got a penalty near the end to win the match. But the pitch was horrendous, the weather wasn't great, and it wasn't the most spectacular game of rugby you will see."
There was a plethora of yellow cards during the contest, with four for Southend and three for the All Blacks – two of them to skipper Ben Hilton, which saw him sent off in the dying moments.
"Ben picked up two yellows for technical offences, but one of those was a team yellow after the referee had handed out a final warning, while Southend picked up three in a row within two or three minutes towards the end. It was quite a feisty game," said Rainford.
Tries by full-back Mark Billings and hooker Marcus Bloomberg, both converted by fly-half Bradley Burr, put the hosts into a 14-0 lead after 22 minutes – an advantage they still held at the interval.
Rival props Todd Bailey and Tom Brown were sin-binned for a skirmish three minutes before the break, but eight minutes into the second half a driving maul set up a try for All Blacks back rower Tom Rawlings, converted by full-back Kieron Lewitt.
The hosts then lost three forwards in the space of three minutes to yellow cards – prop Mike Guess, flanker David Jackson and No.8 James Kellard – as the All Blacks turned the screw.
Visiting hooker Jamie Salter grabbed a try off another driving maul just before Kellard departed, with Lewitt again adding the extras to level the scores at 14-14.
Lewitt then kicked the visitors into a three-point lead with six minutes remaining, and, despite the late loss of Hilton, the All Blacks hung on for a vital victory.
The Cornish Pirates came off second best in a thriller at the St Peter Ground as Jersey stole the contest with a late late show, writes Dick Straughan.
Fly half Niall O’Connor grabbed a win which had for so long seemed unlikely as he slotted a 40 metre penalty with the final kick of the game to end the Islanders’ four game losing streak.
It was cruel on the Cornish Pirates, who withstood s ferocious start from the home side and took the lead with their first attack on 14 minutes.
Tom Hendrickson was influential in the move, which saw the Pirates drive up to the Jersey line with Tom Kessell sniping over for the try.
Hallett converted before former Pirates’ flanker Joe Buckle broke a tackle on the 22 to score under the posts. Niall O’Connor levelled the game at 7-all but the rest of the first half belonged to the Pirates.
Tom Kessell scored his sixth try of the season after excellent work by Kieran Hallett and Kieran Goss and Kessell then unlocked the home defence down the left flank for Junior Fatialofa to score.
Simmering tensions resulted in yellow cards for Rob Elloway and Jersey prop Dave Young, but the Pirates’ half-time lead was added to as Hallett landed two penalties to make it 25-10.
But Jersey, despite conceding a host of penalties at the breakdown, managed to stay in the game and struck back with a converted Mark McCrea try on the hour.
Hallett missed a long range penalty before Jersey scored again in the first minute of injury time. This time they worked an overlap wide on the right and flanker Tom Brown scored. O’Connor converted to cut the Pirates’ lead to a single point.
Then, in the fifth minute of added time, Shane Cahill was penalised at the breakdown and O’Connor landed the decisive blow from 40 metres with the final kick of the game.
Jersey: Locke, McCrea, Pointer (Foster 57), Bishop, Dawson, O`Connor, Griffiths (Williams h/t); McCarthy, Felton, Young (sin-bin 30-40, Selway 57)), Campbell, Rae (capt), Makaafi (Brown 62), Buckle, Maidment
Replacements (not used): Fidler, Voss, Penberthy
Jersey scorers: tries Buckle, McCrea, Brown; cons O’Connor (3); pens O’Connor (2)
Yellow card: Young
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Pope, Hendrickson, Fatialofa (Riley 65), Goss, Hallett, Kessell; Andrew (Cahill 43), Elloway (sin-bin 30-40, Channon 63), Prescott (Joyce 73), Patrick (Graulich 25-29, 80+3), Barry, Morgan (capt), Cheesman, Parker
Replacements (not used): Stevens, Sinclair
Pirates scorers: tries Kessell (2), Fatialofa; cons Hallett (2); pens Hallett (2)
Yellow card: Elloway
Referee: M Carley (RFU)
There was jubilation in the Cornish All Blacks’ camp on Saturday, after a 22-20 win over Chinnor helped make it five National League Two South home wins out of five.
Assistant coach Tom Rawlings, who watched the game from the sidelines due to injury, was delighted by the result.
"The first 40 minutes was just incredible," he said. "We played in all the right ways. Chinnor played quite well but they turned it round in the second half. But we came back and we really flew into Chinnor.
"And five from five [home games], that's pretty credible stats. We won our first away game last week and that was a massive boost to the guys. It was a turning point. We showed today that it meant a lot and to win again at home with a mixed up team was great."
Unfortunately for Chinnor, they had to make the journey home on a frustrating narrow defeat. Their skipper, Liam Gilbert, said the defeat showed anything can happen in this league.
"The league is wide open this season," he said. "It was frustrating today. Our home form is good but it is all about those away points. Our second half pressure really told on them but we made one or two silly mistakes. They probably thought we were dead and out when we came back, but they proved they've got strength as well."
To the surprise of many, Launceston dominated the first half. Kieron Lewitt put them in the lead by kicking two penalties.
The team were playing well and, apart from a little hesitation at times, the pack were passing and tackling well.
Launceston's first try came when Sam Chapman found a gap in the Chinnor defence to touch down. Lewitt missed the conversion.
Chinnor did make a slight comeback to gain six points after William Millett kicked two penalties between the posts, but Launceston led 11-6 at half-time.
There was no time for the home side to be complacent, as two minutes into the second half Chinnor had taken the lead. Sloppy tackling by the hosts meant George Blewitt went over for an easy try, converted by Millett.
Both sides missed a few chances to score and Launceston's Chapman was the first player to be yellow-carded.
Instead of throwing the game away, this was the catalyst for renewed energy from the All Blacks. Mike Rawlings gained possession of the ball and passed to man-of-the-match Kyle Moyle, who ran half the length of the pitch before scoring an unconverted try.
But it wasn't long before Chinnor also scored their second try, this time by Leo Fielding, with a Millett conversion.
Launceston clawed back a few points when Lewitt kicked another penalty but that still left them one point behind. A foul by Lewitt resulted in a yellow card, which left Jake Murphy in the hotseat to take a crucial penalty. He did the job and the Cornish side led 22-20.
More yellow cards followed – Millett for Chinnor and Launceston's Tim Mathias. But even with players in the bin, both sides played with conviction.
Launceston had the edge and managed to keep Chinnor from scoring again. The joy was clear to see when the whistle was blown. Not only had they secured a win, but their winning run at home was upheld.
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was disappointed in the way his side fell away in the last quarter as they went down by seven tries to three, 46-22, at Canterbury.
An injury to influential back Brett Rule compounded a frustrating afternoon for the National League Two South team.
"I am disappointed that we have come away and under performed in the second half," said Morcom. "It is frustrating to get to the stage we did and to fall away.
"I think the scoreline is a fair reflection. We stopped playing in the last 20 minutes when Canterbury picked up their game.
"We were forced to make a few changes due to injury, so we had some inexperience in key positions, so it is nothing to be too disheartened about. Canterbury defended very well, all credit to them. It was a big blow to lose Brett Rule with what looks a serious injury."
After choosing to pay down the slope, Redruth made a mistake receiving the kick-off and were forced on to the back foot for a long period. The hosts' dangerman, Martin Beaumont, slipped a tackle to put Aiden Moss in for a try after seven minutes, which Tom Best improved.
For the remainder of the first quarter Redruth were under pressure and put in a number of good tackles to contain a Canterbury side playing an attractive brand of rugby.
Best added a penalty from in front of the posts following a Reds' offside after 20 minutes. Skipper Chris Fuca inspired the Reds' fight-back, winning the restart to get Redruth some go forward ball in the Canterbury half for the first time.
Patient and precise forward play from the Reds ended with Fuca powering his way over for a try that Murray Westren converted with a good kick from wide out on the left.
The fearless Rule left the pitch in a lot of pain with a shoulder injury after challenging for a high ball after 26 minutes.
The crowd saw the best of Greg Goodfellow when the Scot spotted a small gap in the Canterbury defence and outpaced the cover to put the Reds in front after 34 minutes, Westren hitting an upright with the conversion.
A cross-field kick from Best was not covered by the Reds as Moss went over for his second try with the Canterbury fly-half adding the extras.
Nick Simmons claimed a loose ball and ran 20 meters down the right hand touchline to dive over in the corner, Westren converting with the help of the crossbar to put the Reds ahead for a second time.
However, prop Matt Pinnock scored a catch-and-drive try to give his side a 22-19 advantage. Westren put a penalty from the ten metre line over to level the scores in the second half. But two Tom Rogers tries, as well as bad mistakes by a young Reds' back three saw Canterbury run in 60-metre tries through Rob Lennox and Ricky Mackintosh to leave the Reds well beaten despite a spirited display.
The Cornish Pirates are fast turning into Bristol's nemesis this season, after beating them for a second time in three months.
Pirates opened what is fast becoming a highly impressive season with a victory over Andy Robinson's men at Sandy Park in September.
It was almost an exact replica at Mennaye Field on Sunday, with Pirates again requiring a strong defensive performance and clinical finishing to take the game.
Wing Kieran Goss earned the man-of-the-match award after scoring two tries in the Pirates' 21-15 win, with in-form scrum-half Tom Kessell adding to his personal tally in between those efforts.
Both sides failed to take opportunities for kickable points – Bristol consistently backed themselves by booting into the corners, while Pirates' fly-half Angus Sinclair missed three out of four kicks for goal.
While nothing should be taken away from Pirates' superb effort, a more pragmatic approach from Bristol could have put them under significant pressure from the start.
Sinclair had two chances within the first five minutes but dragged both his kicks to the left of the posts from the Bristol ten-metre line.
Bristol, as they did even against London Welsh and numerous other sides this season, turned down similar kickable chances, instead hoping to sharpen their attacking game during the regular phase of the campaign by going for tries.
It was not a match-winning strategy on this occasion, as Pirates frequently withstood the pressure well and cleared their lines. Indeed, their defensive organisation was such that Bristol fly-half Nicky Robinson did take the points in the 19th minute, to finally put his side ahead.
Just three minutes later, Bristol broke Pirates' resolve with an unconverted catch-and-drive try, finished by hooker Ross Johnston.
The home side perhaps needed a lift and they got it through some opportunism from Goss, who picked up a loose ball near the halfway line and immediately burst clear, sprinting under the posts. Sinclair then added the extras.
More infringements from Pirates eventually proved costly and prop Peter Joyce found himself in the sin bin shortly after referee John Meredith issued his final warning to the home side.
The Pirates survived to the half-time break without further loss of points as Bristol continued with their policy of declining kicks at goal.
Indeed, Pirates were still trailing by just a single point when Joyce returned in the second half. It was a fairly scrappy affair from there. Sinclair hit the post with another luckless penalty kick, but Bristol spurned numerous chances after breaking into the Pirates' 22 with the ball in hand.
Pirates scored their second try on the hour mark through Kessell after a fine run by full-back Craig Holland. Replacement ten Kieran Hallett then slotted the conversion.
Bristol responded immediately with a try of their own through replacement Luke Eves and then Adrian Jarvis struck the conversion to put the visitors a point ahead.
However, another emphatic finish from the rapid Goss sealed the game for Pirates after they had turned over possession in the Bristol half.
Hallett converted and the hosts survived another late onslaught. A Bristol try would have set up a match-deciding conversion attempt – as in the match two months ago. It did not come to that this time.
Skipper Chris Fuca's try, with the final play of a pulsating game that had spectators on the edge of their seats throughout, gave Redruth a deserved win over National 2 South league leaders Hartpury College, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
Despite a good start from the visitors it was Redruth that posted the first score, with Ashley Hosking kicking a penalty after seven minutes.
Redruth built on that first penalty with a try scored by winger Tom Notman in Hellfire Corner just three minutes later, Hosking adding a fine conversion.
Redruth were almost in again moments later as lock Luke Collins surged downfield. Sadly, hooker Richard Brown couldn’t take the difficult pass.
Hartpury began to get back into the game. Craig Jackson kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit.
Then, with Notman yellow-carded as pressure mounted on the Redruth line, Hartpury’s No. 8 Lewis Ludlow finished off a catch-and-drive, with Jackson’s conversion tying the scores.
Redruth laid siege to the Hartpury line with a series of catch-and-drives.
Hartpury had skipper Chris Fortey yellow carded for a professional foul as the pressure mounted. Redruth’s breakthrough came when Collins was driven over on the half hour mark.
Hosking maintained his fine kicking record with a fine conversion for a 17-10 advantage.
Just before half-time Redruth slipped off some tackles, allowing flanker Ross Moriarty to power towards the line. Though tackled short he managed to flip the ball to scrum-half Ben Vellacott for an unconverted try. Redruth ahead at the break 17-15.
Hartpury began the second half well, putting the Reds under the cosh. Despite some stout defence Redruth were undone by a soft try conceded near their line from a scrum. The ball popped out of the scrum allowing Ludlow to pick the ball up and stroll over the line, Jackson’s conversion giving Hartpury a 22-17 lead.
With the game now well into the final quarter, Hartpury increased their lead with a fourth try. Winger Reuben Haile broke clear and, despite a great tackle, was able to flick the ball to supporting flanker Alex Woodburn, who scored in Hell fire corner.
Jackson’s third conversion gave the visitors a 12point lead. 29-17 and Redruth were staring at another defeat.
A second penalty from Hosking cut the deficit to nine points, with 12 minutes remaining.
Redruth threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Hartpury in a bid to turn the game around.
Great play from Goodfellow and Simmons set Notman up for his second try on 73 minutes in the scoreboard corner. Hosking couldn’t add the extras, but Redruth scented blood, trailing by just four points.
With play well into time added on a Redruth penalty was kicked to the corner for a final throw of the dice.
The lineout was secured, with a big drive from the forwards getting the ball over the line for Fuca’s dramatic last-gasp score -- greeted by a huge roar from the Redruth faithful.
Hosking’s third succesful conversion brought the final whistle and a result that will be a huge tonic for the club.
Redruth: A Hoskin, T Notman, C Bonds, S Parsons, N Simmons, R McAtee (B Drew 66), G Goodfellow; J Drew (D Jacques 47), R Brown (N Turner 73), C Williams, D Cook, L Collins, C Fuca (capt), O Hambly (J Rayment 39), M O’Leary
Replacement (not used): D Bonds
Redruth scorers: tries Notman (2), Collins, Fuca; conversions Hosking (3), penalties Hosking (2)
Hartpury College: G Thompson, J Carter, S Leonard, C Jackson, R Haile, T Fanolua (T Stevenson 53), B Vallacott; R Cano, C Fortey (capt), W Thompson, W Waldron (D McKee 51), J Hill, R Moriarty (N Taylor 32-37), A Woodburn, L Ludlow
Replacements (not used): A Cleary, G Hancox
Hartpury scorers: tries Ludlow (2), Vallacott, Woodburn; conversions Jackson (3); penalty Jackson
Referee: Shane Lewis (RFU)
London Cornish suffered their first league defeat since the beginning of October, as Old Reigatians produced a strong second half show to run out winners.
Simon Brading peels away from the ruck and heads for the line. Photo by Ben Gilby.
'The Exiles', fielding a team shorn of several first team regulars, went into the game with a chance to break into the top three in the table. The desire to achieve this resulted in a huge amount of pressure applied on the visitors - indeed, the hosts spent almost the whole of the first half camped inside Old Reigatians' '22'.
Within three minutes, Cornish were ahead as Dave Warwick made good ground. Reigatians could only halt the black and gold tide illegally, and Sam Williams stepped up to kick the penalty between the uprights from around 30 metres. Cornish were now seemingly in permanent possession. Four minutes later, a huge driving maul led by Mike Bond saw around 15 metres made. Unfortunately, when the ball was sprayed out, Reigatians' Mark Chesterton grabbed it and cleared the danger. More forward pressure followed, and another rolling maul saw the ball passed to Phil Francis, who kicked ahead and chased the ball as it rolled towards the try-line. The visitors won the footrace, but Cornish earned a five metre scrum, which eventually Reigatians cleared. The ball came back immediately, and scrambled defence from the visitors resulted in a penalty for the hosts, which was kicked to the corner. A rolling maul was set, but Cornish knocked on, and the danger was over.
Despite all this pressure and a number of five metre scrums, 'The Exiles' were either repelled by strong defence, or coughed up possession. This inability to score came back to haunt them. With almost half an hour gone, a rare Reigatians attack saw Anthony Comyn and scrum-half Ed Forsyth combine. Cornish could only halt the visitors tide with the concession of a penalty, which Nick Grant kicked for 3-3. Cornish drove Reigatians back powerfully from the re-start, but still could not get over the line. With eight minutes left of the half. A sparkling run by Reigatians' scrum-half Forsyth put in Grant. He then recycled to winger KJ Mushava who sprinted through and dotted down beneath the posts. Grant converted, and with their first real attack of the game, Old Reigatians were in front 10-3 at half-time.
Within three minutes of the re-start, the visitors had extended their lead to ten points as the first attack of the half ended in a penalty being awarded, which Nick Grant successfully kicked. The Cornish response was superb. The forwards' pressure won two successive penalties which were both kicked to touch. From the second of these, a monumental drive from the pack sent Reigatians backwards at a rapid rate of knots. Mark Osei Tutu grounded the ball for his seventh try of the season. The conversion attempt was missed. Once more, Cornish had a period of pressure, but could not turn this into points as that familiar combination of errors and good defence contrived to frustrate one and all. Gradually, Old Reigatians began to even out the possession, and made a number of inroads into the 'Exiles' '22'.
Going into the final quarter, one such attack was halted illegally, and a Cornish forward was sin-binned. The visitors took advantage of this, scoring a total of eight points in this period. A penalty from Grant was followed four minutes later by a fine display of attacking rugby by Old Reigatians as Matt Lea fed Jack Wheeler. The ball then found its way to Ed Forsyth who dived over. The conversion missed, but the visitors now led 21-8. With Cornish back to fifteen, the last quarter of an hour was pretty even, but Reigatians produced the more crisper passing. Following a period of sustained pressure, the ball was given plenty of air across the pitch by the visitors, and to his great glee, KJ Mushava received the ball right in between the posts to score. Grant kicked the extras. However, 'The Exiles' had the final word. Adam Rae and Craig Chatley were involved in an expansive move down the left hand side. Chatley was tackled into touch. From the resulting line out, a multi-phase move was launched, and Simon Brading grounded the ball in the corner as Cornish ended on a high.
Cornish All Blacks' recent hot streak of form came to an end as they went down to their Westcountry rivals Taunton Titans, 30-18, in a game where the Cornishmen were always playing catch-up.
They fell behind to an eighth-minute try from right-wing Conor Hartley and, despite fighting back throughout the match, they never got their noses in front.
All Blacks' assistant coach Tom Rawlings said: "When Taunton got in the strike zone, they took their chances, and scored their points at crucial times.
"We stuck at the task and kept battling and fighting, and it was nip and tuck all the way to the end.
"There was a crucial try awarded towards the end of the game, which I think was questionable, but you can't argue with the officials, and Taunton came away with the result, and maybe they wanted it a little bit more than us."
Rawlings added: "That is frustrating, because we went into the game off the back of two really good wins, away to Southend and at home to Chinnor, so we are a bit disappointed to have come away with nothing, but we will go back to the drawing board.
"We have got Bournemouth at home next week, which is a big one for us and a must-win game."
Hartley's try opened the scoring inside the opening ten minutes and it followed a quick tap penalty by England Under-18 and Exeter Chiefs Academy scrum-half Stuart Townsend, borrowed by the Somerset club.
Full-back Kieron Lewitt got the visitors' first points on the board with a penalty, but another try from Hartley, followed by an Oli Claxton penalty, put Taunton 13-3 ahead.
Lewitt responded again with another successful kick, but a good home scrum gave Townsend the chance to spot a gap and grab a touchdown, converted by Claxton, to stretch their lead to 14 points.
Lewitt crossed for a try he converted himself to put the All Blacks right back in the game at 20-13 down at the interval.
However, Townsend notched his second try of the contest to seal a bonus point for the hosts, with Claxton slotting the extras.
Still the All Blacks refused to lie down, and replacement Sam Chapman dotted down after a rolling maul, but another Claxton penalty put the game out of the Cornishmen's reach and completed the scoring.
Meanwhile, All Blacks forward Barrie-John Chapman will appear before a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel at the Bristol Filton Holiday Inn on Tuesday at 6.30pm.
Chapman was cited following the match between Clifton and the All Blacks at Station Road on October 19, and has been charged with making a dangerous tackle.
TAUNTON: Plummer; Hartley, Dancer, Bull, Struminski; Claxton, Townsend (Conway 77); Woolmore, Gatford (Collins 77), Manton (Roach 72); Turner (Skinner 56), Harvey; Lee, Webster (Fleming 64), Richardson
Yellow card: Webster
Taunton scorers: tries Hartley (2), Townsend (2); conversions Claxton (2); penalties Claxton (2)
CORNISH ALL BLACKS: Lewitt; Yeo, Westren, Webber, Moyle (S Chapman 41); Murphy (A Collings 75), Webb; Mathias, Salter (Hurdwell 70), Brown (Tedstone 59); Tripcony, Hilton (capt); Courtier (B Collings 56), L Duke, M Rawlings
Yellow cards: Murphy, Webber
All Blacks' scorers: tries Lewitt, S Chapman; conversion Lewitt; penalties Lewitt (2)
For the second time in two weeks, the Cornish Pirates were denied victory as they conceded crucial points off the final play of a tight Championship game on Sunday.
A fortnight ago it was a Niall O'Connor conversion condemning them to defeat in Jersey, while at Meadow Lane this weekend a Matt Jarvis penalty nicked a draw for Nottingham after the Pirates had fought back from 24-13 down after 53 minutes.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Penzance side, who will feel they had done enough to win a tight encounter played in perfect conditions in the East Midlands.
The Pirates took an early lead through an Angus Sinclair penalty, but neither side were able to impose themselves on proceedings and the sin-binning of both James Sandford and Tom Calladine for fighting in the sixth minute did little to help.
Jarvis landed a penalty following a scrum offence to level the scores and then missed a second kickable effort before the Green and Whites took the lead.
From a penalty on halfway, Jarvis kicked the Pirates back into their 22 and a strong driving lineout saw skipper Brent Wilson force his way over the line for the opening try. Jarvis converted.
It stayed that way until two minutes before half-time when the Pirates won lineout ball on half-way. Wing Matt Evans made his way into midfield, took a pass, dropped his left shoulder and wrong-footed the Nottingham defence, before sprinting to score unopposed in the corner.
Sinclair's excellent touchline conversion tied the game at 10-10 as the teams left the field for the break.
The second half saw Tom Kessell come on for Gavin Cattle, with Chris Morgan taking over the captaincy, but the game continued in much the same vein, with the Pirates unusually wasteful at the lineout and punished frequently for it.
Nottingham finally went back in front when wing Sean Morris bounced off a Kessell tackle to score in the corner and Jarvis slotted a fine touchline conversion.
Kieran Hallett replaced Sinclair for the Pirates and, in the eight minutes he was on the field before departing with a broken thumb, cut the home lead back to four with a penalty after Nottingham had pulled down a driving maul.
Worse was to follow for the Pirates as Ed Styles finished off a penetrating left-wing counter-attack and, when Jarvis bagged the extra two points, the home side led 24-13 and looked almost home.
Craig Holland took over the kicking duties for the Pirates and hurt Nottingham with some fine touch-finders as the penalty count turned against Martin Haag's side.
From one aborted driving lineout, and with an advantage being played to the Pirates, Evans forced his way over for his second try and Holland cut the home lead back to four.
When they repeated the tactic just four minutes from time the drive plundered a third try, awarded after lengthy consultation between the officials, with Rob Elloway the scorer. Holland duly obliged with the extras again and the game looked to be there for the Pirates to take.
By then leading 27-24 into stoppage time, all they had to do was run down the clock but instead turned over possession and Nottingham threw everything into a final assault.
They won a penalty inside the 22 in the fifth minute of added time, and Jarvis stepped up to consign the Pirates to a draw.
Nottingham: Jarvis, Morris, Styles, Munro, Hough, Lynn, Barnham (Romans 62); Bower, Walker (Thacker 69), Holford, Keogh, Montagu, Calladine (sin bin 6-16), Wilson (capt) (Price 62), Shaw (Laxton 62)
Replacements (not used): Williams, Burton, Knight
Yellow Card – Calladine
Nottingham scorers: tries Wilson, Morris, Hough; cons Jarvis (3); pens Jarvis (2)
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Goss, Riley, James, Evans, Sinclair (Hallett 46, Pope 54) Cattle (capt) (Kessell h/t), Davies, Channon (Elloway 62), Joyce (Prescott 66), Patrick (Graulich 75), Sandford (sin bin 6-16), Morgan, Cheesman, Phillips (Conlon 74)
Yellow Card – Sandford
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans (2), Elloway; cons Sinclair, Holland (2); pens Sinclair, Hallett
Referee R.Campbell (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks' 32-5 home win over Bournemouth in National Two South on Saturday was a "job well done," according to assistant coach Tom Rawlings.
The Launceston side notched up four tries, a bonus point and upheld their unbeaten home record.
Rawlings said: "Bournemouth never looked like winning that game. The pressure we put on them told and we got some cracking tries. We had a spectacular run of rugby.
"The first 60 minutes was very good and then I think Bournemouth lost a little bit of structure. They lost their shape in the defence, which made it harder for us to finish off. We would have liked to have ended on a bit more of a high, but it was a job well done by the guys."
It was a disappointing result for Bournemouth, who have suffered a string of losses in recent weeks. Skipper Alan Manning said his team's performance in the 20 minutes after half time let them down.
"Usually we've come out fighting after half time, but this time the opposite happened," he said. "There wasn't much in it in the first half but that 20 minutes let us down. We've got to get out of our rut. But we were in this position last year. We know what we've got to do, we just didn't achieve it."
Manning's disappointment was justified as Bournemouth were dominated by the All Blacks throughout. The visitors did put up a fight but their predictable play and silly mistakes made it easy for the North Cornwall side to clinch a comfortable win.
Play in the first half was fairly stop-start due to the high number of penalties awarded to both sides. Neither team managed to score until the 15th minute, when Bryn Jenkins touched down for Launceston's first try, converted by Kieron Lewitt.
A couple of opportunities were missed by Launceston but Lewitt extended their score when he kicked a penalty from in front of the posts. Liam Yeo made it 15-0 before half time when he went over for an unconverted try.
The Launceston side's good fortune continued into the second half. Lewitt kicked another penalty in the first minute, then shortly afterwards he took advantage of Bournemouth's sloppy tackling to run the ball down the wing. He kicked it forward before picking it up and touching down. He also converted the try.
Lewitt scored his second, and Launceston's fourth try. A consolation try was scored by Bournemouth's Dan Pollard, but it was a case of too little too late for the visitors.
Nonetheless, Bournemouth did not give up until referee Phil Watters signalled the end of the game, but, despite their efforts, they had to settle for a loss.
Rawlings hoped the handsome home victory would rally the team for their next fixture when they travel to Exmouth – and their former coach Jon Hill – next week.
It is definitely one game the Polson players want to win, and Rawlings said: "You never want to go into a game like that and have your nose rubbed in it when things don't go well. We've got to try and dictate. We've got to stay very, very focused on the task. We want to go up there and get a result."
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was left frustrated after the his side gave away some soft scores and failed to take chances as they lost by six tries to two, 38-17, on their first visit to Ampthill and District in National Two South.
"We stuck with Ampthill and possibly played better than them for the first 60 minutes but we fell away in the last 20," said Morcom.
"I was pleased with the effort. Take nothing from Ampthill – they are a good side and play an interesting brand of rugby and I think they will do well.
"We cannot afford to give these sides a head start – three tries in the first half were very much soft tries. It is important we start from the off."
Redruth were undone by a slow start, finding themselves 14-3 down after just 11 minutes, but fought back well to trail 21-17 at the interval.
In the third quarter they were camped in the Ampthill 22 for a long period but could not crack a determined defence and two long-distance tries in the final ten minutes saw Ampthill to a comfortable win.
The visitors could not cope with the pace of 20-year-old Bedford Academy full back Elliot Clements-Hill, and were given a few hints on finishing, with the hosts running in all their tries through their backs, coached by former Wales fly-half Paul Turner.
Redruth conceded a converted try to Clements-Hill in the first minute and Ampthill made clear their intentions when Jonny Morgan ran in a converted score on 11 minutes.
Ashley Hosking put over a massive penalty from near halfway to reduce the arrears and the Reds started to work their way back into the game. A long spell of pressure from the Cornishmen ended with Murray Westren dummying his way to score near the posts for Hosking to convert.
From the restart indecision saw Redruth fail to clear their lines and concede a five-metre scrum. Former Exeter scrum half Kevin Barrett spotted a small gap to dive over for a try that Clements-Hill converted.
Redruth continued to pound away at the home line and just after Luke Collins was held up, Damien Cook flipped the ball out for Darren Jacques to dive over in the left hand corner, Hosking converting from wide out on the stroke of half time.
Ampthill opened up an 11-point gap with a try from Robert Davies that Clements-Hill improved. For the next 15 minutes Redruth set up camp in the home 22, forcing five penalties, but could not break Ampthill. A crucial moment came on the hour when Hosking took advantage of a lucky bounce to cut through the home defence: a simple pass could have put Tom Notman in but the ball went wide.
Barrett broke out of defence and a long pass saw Clements-Hill race 50 metres for a try that put the result beyond doubt, before Dean Adamson finished off a run from his full-back with a try in the corner.
'The Exiles' suffered a hugely disappointing loss at Winchester, having never recovered from trailing 26-0 with just 25 minutes gone.
Ben Devonport wins line-out ball for Cornish. Photo by Ben Gilby.
In a first half which displayed alarming similarities to last week's home game with Old Reigatians, Cornish had the vast majority of ball and territory, but circumstances contrived to see the Black and Golds concede four tries.
Winchester were ahead after just two minutes. Cornish had the best of the early exchanges, but a clearing kick from the visitors was charged down and fell perfectly for the hosts' winger Nick Fielding, who raced away to score. Connor Breen converted.
Cornish hit back, and Ben Devonport burst through the middle, but the pass went loose. From more 'Exiles' pressure, the impressive Rob Healey combined with Dave Warwick and Luke Spells. The ball was played through, but was pounced on by Winchester forward Matt Burt, who collected the ball and ran between the posts once more. Breen kicked the extras and it was 14-0.
The same pattern was repeated - Cornish had all the ball and territory, but could not get on the board. Buoyed by their big early lead, the home centres combined and Alex Day barged through to score try number three. Breen's conversion extended Winchester's lead to 21-0.
Quite inexplicably, the home side secured the try scoring bonus point in the 25th minute as Cornish's horrendous luck reared its ugly head once more. A superb kick through from Winchester took the hosts from their own half to within five metres of the 'Exiles' line. Cornish secured the line-out, but once more a clearance kick was charged down, and this time Matt Lown simply had to dive onto the ball to chalk up the fourth try. Breen's conversion missed, but the damage had been done at 26-0.
Cornish came back off the ropes and pinned Winchester back in their own 22 for the remainder of the half. Pick-and-drive was the order of the day, and 'The Exiles' were camped on the home line. The ball was played back to Luke Spells, who ran through, and, after several offloads, Rob Healey dived over from scrum-half to score. Spells converted for 26-7. The visitors had further chances before the break, but Winchester did well to hold out. Despite trailing by nineteen points at half-time, confidence was high in the London Cornish camp that another 'Lazarous like' return from the dead was more than possible.
'The Exiles' had much of the second half and Luke Spells had a chance almost immediately to peg back the home lead, but his penalty hit the right hand upright. Five minutes later, following heavy pressure, he had better luck with a penalty. Cornish were urged by the coaching staff to run the ball and go through the phases. This was successful and, from one such move of pick-and-drive, replacement forward Oli Low muscled over the line following a period of heavy pressure. Luke Spells' tricky conversion attempt was successful. The gap was then reduced to a mere six points when Spells landed a penalty with eleven minutes to go.
However, this was as close as Cornish got. A combination of kicking away possession, errors and the home defence conspired against 'The Exiles'. As the game entered the seventh minute of second half stoppage time, a fine move down the left hand touchline saw Winchester put the icing on the cake with a fifth try which sealed their first win since 12th October.
A thrilling finish from Redruth saw them earn a 29-25 comeback victory over National League Two South rivals Bishop's Stortford at the Recreation Ground.
The Reds were 22-7 down at half time after a lacklustre opening 40 minutes but responded well to record a bonus-point, five-try win.
Man-of-the-match No.8 Matt O’Leary was on the scoresheet, alongside backs Tom Notman and Rhodri McAtee for the Cornish side, who were also awarded two penalty tries.
After a scrappy but energetic start from both sides, Bishop’s Stortford produced a three-try 15-minute burst to establish a healthy lead.
Centre Nick Hankin scored the first touchdown with a speedy run into Hellfire Corner for an unconverted try. Visiting fly-half Marcus Cattell missed the conversion and a penalty opportunity moments later, but it mattered little as wing Joss Liney’s impressive pace soon brought his side their second try.
The third then came almost immediately, this time from hooker Sam James, to give the Reds a seemingly insurmountable task to win the game with barely 20 minutes gone.
To their credit, Ashley Morcom's men regrouped well, even if they remained short of their best. They applied pressure in the visiting 22 and won a series of penalties – with opposing prop Sean Edwards earning a yellow card in the process.
Referee Nick Williams eventually lost patience and awarded Redruth their first penalty try, converted by Murray Westren. The momentum was firmly in the Reds’ favour when Declan Caulfield joined Edwards in the sin bin.
However, Redruth points failed to materialise, despite the numerical advantage. Indeed, Bishop’s Stortford extended their lead just before the break through No.8 Mark McCraith’s try.
Redruth made a strong start to the second half, following the introduction of scrum-half Greg Goodfellow from the replacements’ bench. They were awarded a second penalty try on the hour mark, converted by Westren, and Notman later finished superbly in the corner to set up a tense finish.
A Castell penalty bumped the Hertfordshire side’s lead back to six points but Redruth fought back again.
A great run from Goodfellow down the blindside set up O’Leary for his try and Brett Rule had a conversion attempt to put his side in front. However, despite making excellent contact with his kick it drifted wide.
Skipper Chris Fuca opted to take a scrum when the next kickable chance came and it paid off when Notman and McAtee combined to round off a tenacious period of pressure in the latter stages and take the win in thrilling style.
London Cornish ended a run of three successive defeats to claim a try-scoring bonus point in a 34-12 win over an impressive Old Alleynians side.
Ben Ievers looks on as the ball is offloaded out of the tackle. Photo by Ben Gilby.
The action started from the opening whistle with a huge hit by Alleynians, which set the tone for a thrilling afternoon of rugby in a match which, in terms of quality and excitement, would put many games higher up the league system to shame.
After a short period where the two teams were trying to work each other's strengths and weaknesses, it was Cornish who produced the first chance. Wingers Robin Heymann and Rich Skinnard combined to put in Luke Spells, who eased over to score after six minutes. The Exiles' centre added the extras by converting his own try. Three minutes later, the same trio combined once more to cause no end of panic in the Dulwich side's defence, but this time, a pass to Adam Rae went out of play.
After a brief period of forward oriented pressure, Cornish hit back when they were awarded a penalty some 40 metres out in a central position. Luke Spells stepped up once more to dissect the posts and The Black and Golds' lead was up to 10-0 with just 12 minutes gone. The home side built on this to turn the screw further. Several huge scrums ensued as Cornish gained a real foothold in the opposition 22. The run of fortune down the left wing continued with Luke Spells receiving the ball once more to chalk up another try, as the lead went out to 17-0, with the Cornish centre responsible for all of the points.
As the half entered its second twenty minute period, Alleynians grabbed a foothold in the game, and began to show just how dangerous they are. They generated a big rolling maul which looked to be unstoppable with Fred Parker heading for a try, however, the Cornish pack regathered the advantage and the Alleynians' scrum half was held up. The pressure continued, and from a five metre scrum, Tom Pickett eventually grounded the ball after several aborted attempts were held up by the Cornish defence.
To their immense credit, Cornish hit back immediately - a huge rolling maul sent the visitors scuttling backwards twenty metres. Despite there being several men spare on the overlap, the ball went through the phases, and Rob Healey dived over from fly-half. Spells converted, and Cornish led 22-5 at the break.
The second half was full of superb action, despite the fact that we had to wait until the 32nd minute of the half for the next points!
Old Alleynians pushed 'The Exiles' back into their own half for the first 10 minutes. Cornish defended heroically, with phase after phase of attack repelled. It was a performance of passion and sheer bloody-minded ness and one which was all about pride. On two occasions, strong attacks down the right hand wing were stopped by sensational work by Rich Skinnard who dragged attackers into touch. A further powerful Old Alleynians attack saw Tom Chambers held up, before the ball found its way back to Jake Smith whose attempted drop goal attempt only succeeded in hitting the upright of a post on the pitch behind the one that this game was being played on!
As the half wore on, Cornish were buoyed by their superb defending, and managed to break out. Once more it was the wingers who had a prominent role. Robin Heymann glided down the wing, and could only be stopped illegally. 'The Exiles' opted for the scrum, and the forwards quite magnificently drove Alleynians backwards until Mark Osei-Tutu grounded the ball to confirm the try scoring bonus point.
However, Old Alleynians were not finished, and they responded by launching another attack which resulted in forward Charlie Thompson grounding the ball, and Jake Smith added the conversion. The final word went to London Cornish who went straight back up the other end, and chalked up try number five as Rob Healey recorded his second of the afternoon, and his third in two games.
This was a marvellous game of rugby, and Cornish will be delighted with their performance and victory. However, Old Alleynians showed more than enough to prove that they have so many more weapons than last season, and are sure to claim a number of notable scalps before the season is out on this showing.
Cornish All Blacks head coach Cliff Rainford praised his side's first-half display, which provided the platform for their second victory in three National League Two South away games.
The one minor disappointment from Saturday's 32-25 Westcountry derby success at Exmouth, however, was not securing the bonus point.
"It was a very good win," Rainford declared.
"We took charge of the game in the first half. Exmouth came back at us in the second half, but we were always in control," he added.
"We tried to get the bonus point.
"The boys really put a shift in, but when Exmouth came back towards us, we had the opportunities but took kicks at goal just to keep the scoreboard ticking over, rather than going for the corner, trying to get the bonus point and then possibly losing the game.
"It was better to make sure we got the four points.
Rainford added: "We are starting to gel now and do what we have been doing at home away from home.
"We have been notoriously slow starters in the past, and we have been working hard over the past few weeks on making a good start to games.
"We had a cracking first 40 against Bournemouth in our last match and put the game to bed, and we did the same again against Exmouth.
"Now we have just got to work on maintaining that through 80 minutes, rather than only 50 or 60."
Rainford was pleased with how his team performed up front, having lost lock and skipper Ben Hilton to an infection the day before the match.
"Exmouth have got a good front row, with young guys in from the Exeter Chiefs Academy, and two big second rows, and they have got a good pack, but we had parity with them and got some good ball," he said.
"We dominated the line-out, and the scrums were pretty much even."
Next up for the All Blacks is a home game against struggling Bristol side Dings Crusaders, who have lost six on the trot.
"Dings are a gnarly old bunch and never give up the chase and you can't take them too lightly," said Rainford.
"They always have strong, abrasive forwards and we have got to make sure we take charge of the game and win the collisions and dominate around the breakdown."
Exmouth took the lead with a try by hooker Tom Emery in the corner, but the All Blacks struck back with a penalty from full-back Kieron Lewitt, followed by a try from centre Sam Chapman in the corner after good work by the forwards.
Prop Tim Mathias scored a typical forwards' touchdown from five metres out to stretch the visitors' advantage.
Lewitt converted the try, and when Jake Murphy dropped a goal, the visiting All Blacks led 21-5.
Home centre Rich Cadywould replied with a drop goal and a penalty before the break to cut the deficit to 21-11, and the Cockles made further inroads with a 54th-minute try from Todd Lowry, converted by Cadywould.
Lewitt landed a penalty in reply, before centre Ryan Westren punched a hole in Exmouth's back line to cross the whitewash and establish a 29-18 lead.
The Cockles responded with a penalty try awarded against Mathias, who was yellow-carded, but Lewitt settled any nerves the All Blacks might have had by converting a late penalty.
The Cornish All Blacks continued their impressive lead-up to their derby date with Redruth by earning a five-point National League Two South victory over Dings Crusaders.
The Launceston men took the four-try bonus point within the first 36 minutes, with Ryan Westren’s double accompanied by tries from Barry-John Chapman and Jamie Salter.
All four were converted by full-back Kieron Lewitt, who also added a penalty to give his side an 18-point lead by half time.
The visitors, who had wing James Oakley sent to the sin bin in the 20th minute, replied through Rob Dempsey’s try and eight points from the boot of the ever-reliable Mark Woodrow.
But, although the All Blacks continued to impress in the second half, they were unable to extend their lead in the second 40 minutes.
Dings, meanwhile, never gave up hope of taking league points from the game and were rewarded after scoring 14 points in the last two minutes.
Mike Uren and Josh Lloyds both went over for Dings while Launceston skipper Ben Hilton was in the sin bin, and Woodrow added the conversions to ensure his side took a losing bonus point away from Cornwall.
All Blacks head coach Spike Rainford was delighted with his side’s performance in their 31-27 win, right up until the final few minutes.
“The scoreline doesn’t reflect the game, to be honest,” he said. “We just had a couple of strange decisions that went against us, which give them a couple of scores.
“Up to 70 minutes, we were 31-13 up, but a couple of decisions went against us and we didn’t quite react quick enough. It cost us those scores.
“At the end of the day, we still secured the bonus point by half time. We felt we were always in control despite the fact they went home with a losing bonus point.
“It would have been nice to keep the scoreline at 31-13. But it was still a really good game from us.”
Rainford was also full of praise for centre Westren, who scored two tries in the first half. The former Cornish Pirate has steadily regained confidence and form this season after suffering a serious knee injury while playing for London Scottish in the Championship.
Rainford said: “Ryan is coming back every week and getting back to what he was like before his injury. I still think he is a little way short of where he was before, but he’s getting closer with every game.
“He is running at people with belief and direction. It will only take another couple of games now before he is back to the way he used to be.”
Saturday’s result was the perfect lift for Rainford’s men ahead of their Cornish derby at Redruth next weekend.
The All Blacks have now won five of their last six league games, after a difficult start to the League Two South season.
However, a win at the Recreation Ground would complete a memorable league double over their great rivals.
Rainford said: “I’m really happy with the way we’re playing and the way it is coming together at the moment.
“Our first 65 minutes were probably the best rugby we have played all season. We did everything right.
“We were strong around the breakdown, good at the line-out and the backs played really well.”
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was left frustrated as the Reds went down by five tries to three, despite a dominant forward performance at Clifton.
“Once again we gave the opposition a head start. We got into some key areas but did not come away with anything. It is very disappointing that we are playing some really good rugby and cannot turn it into points,” he said after his side’s 35-21 National League Two South loss.
“There are a lot of things we can take from the game, but equally we have got to have a good look at ourselves and take ownership of what we are doing. It is frustrating that a lot of teams live off our errors. We seem to work really hard for our tries while we gift tries to the opposition.”
Playing into a strong wind, Redruth fell 21 points behind before they got onto the scoreboard, but pulled back to 21-14 before giving away a soft try on the stroke of half-time.
Clifton skipper Matt Britton dived over for the opening try after 13 minutes after the Reds had conceded possession by giving away two penalties in succession. Charlie Foley added the first of his five conversions.
Darren Jacques showed a remarkable turn of speed for a front row player, but Redruth did not turn a good opportunity into points. They attempted to run out of defence, but were turned over in the 22, leading to tries for Clifton centres Tom Preece and James Golledge, both converted, to see the hosts 21 points clear after 26 minutes.
As the Redruth forwards started to impose themselves on the game, Brett Rule, with the hint of a dummy, was able to ghost through the defence to touch down at the posts after 29 minutes, Murray Westren added the extras.
Clifton were on the ropes with Golledge in the sin bin and Redruth were twice close to pushover tries before referee Josh Chapman awarded a penalty try after a collapsed maul in first half injury time that Westren converted.
With half-time looming and momentum in their favour, Redruth failed to clean up the restart and, when the ball went loose, Foley was able to gather and stroll to the posts for the bonus point try.
In a slow start to the second half, Redruth conceded field position. Clifton were patient in building pressure. Redruth skipper Damien Cook was shown the yellow card for an offside offence at a maul and, minutes later, Britton dived over for his second try, the conversion leaving the Reds trailing by 21 and looking up the mountain again.
Good play from the Redruth forwards opened up the home defence and Greg Goodfellow was able to pick his spot and stroll through to the line after 53 minutes.
In the remainder of the game Redruth had position and clear-cut chances to at least draw level, but credit to a Clifton side that did not lie down. Their enthusiasm saw them comfortably over the finishing line as the Reds returned to Cornwall dispirited and empty handed.
Redruth gave the home crowd the Christmas present they were hoping for — a revenge win 18 - 8 against old foes Launceston — and four valuable league points to lift them up the table and set them up for the New Year campaign.
Redruth’s Darren Jacques powers through the tackles of Launceston’s Lewis Webb and Liam Yeo. Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktisphoto.
Once again it was the Redruth forwards that laid the foundations for the win, with a late penalty-try award sealing the win.
Despite the loss, the Cornish All Blacks had the satisfaction of pinching the Tribute CRFU Cornwall Super Cup off the Reds — decided by points scored and conceded over the two league games this season — 39 - 28 on aggregate.
For Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom the result was just the fillip his side needed to round off 2013. He said, “I am really pleased with the win, but hats off to Launceston, who at times played some great rugby. But I feel we had the edge up front today and that’s where the game was won.
“Games against Launceston are always tight affairs. We targeted areas of the field against Launceston and I think we played some good rugby. We had a period just before half-time when we were under pressure and we fell off some tackles — which led to Tim Mathias’ try.
“In a tight game you are always at the mercy of a turnover or a swift counter-attack and with big ball carriers like BJ Chapman Launceston were always a threat. Having got some breathing space with Tom Notman’s well-worked try our forwards worked hard to get us the win. The penalty-try award in the final ten minutes was the icing on the cake for the boy’s great effort.”
Whilst disappointed, Launceston’s head coach “Spike” Rainford was philosophical about his side’s performance. He said, “It was a game that just didn’t go our way. We were on the wrong end of most of the fifty/fifty balls. We looked to combat the Redruth forwards as well as the weather but we came off second best today. We will take stock of the season so far and look to take the positives into the second half of the season.”
Playing up the slope with the stiff breeze, Redruth opened the scoring after 10 minutes with a Murray Westren penalty.
Westren doubled his side’s advantage just four minutes later with his second successful penalty as the Cornish All Blacks came in at the side of a ruck.
The upright prevented Westren making it three out of three before the end of the opening quarter.
The Cornish All Blacks slowly began to come back into the game and on the half-hour mark a good break from fly-half Lewis Webb was carried on by winger Martin Kneebone. His inside pass found prop Tim Mathias, who powered over for an un-converted try.
Tim Mathias scores Launceston’s try despite the attempts of Redruth’s Tom Notman and Lewis Vinnicombe. Photo by Simon Bryant/Iktisphoto.
Spurred on, the All Blacks bossed the game until half-time and could have gone into the break leading if a Jake Murphy drop-goal attempt had been on target. Redruth held the advantage 6-5 at the turn.
Redruth began the second half in great style. With referee Fergus Kirby playing an advantage to the Reds, fly-half Rhodri McAtee put in a well-judged cross-field kick for winger Tom Notman to score an un-converted try in the Piggy Lane corner after 47 minutes.
Redruth’s backrow were in great form, with man-of-the-match Owen Hambly grafting away tirelessly.
Whilst for Launceston No. 8 Barrie John Chapman carried a tremendous amount of ball for the visitors and was a constant thorn in Redruth’s side.
Despite losing hooker Richard Brown to the sin bin, Redruth conceded just three points to the boot of Kieron Lewitt whilst down to fourteen men.
As the game entered the final ten minutes it was poised at 11-8 to Redruth.
The All Blacks found themselves down to fourteen men as lock Bryn Jenkins was invited to spend ten minutes in the bin by referee Kirby. Redruth sensed the moment and piled on the pressure. A scrum in the Piggy Lane corner saw the All Black pack pushed back at a rate of knots and the referee awarding Redruth a penalty try. Westren’s conversion sealed the win for the Reds.
Redruth 18 pts: tries Notman, penalty-try; conversion Westren; penalties Westren (2)
Cornish All Blacks 8 pts: try Mathias; penalty Lewitt
Redruth: M Westren (A Hosking 78), T Notman, C Bonds, S Parsons, L Vinnicombe, R McAtee (B Rule 70), G Goodfellow; D Jacques (J Tompsett 78), R Brown, C Williams, D Cook, L Collins (J Rayment 78), C Fuca (capt), O Hambly, M O’Leary (B Priddey 55)
Yellow Card Brown (5)
Cornish All Blacks: K Lewitt, M Kneebone, R Westren, J Murphy (N Webber 61), S Chapman, L Webb, A Collings (R Friend 66); T Mathias (S Naqasima 78), J Salter, B Pow, B Jenkins, B Hilton (capt), J Tripcony (L Duke 78), M Rawlings, BJ Chapman
Replacement (not used): F Bulut
Yellow Card: Jenkins (71)
Referee: Fergus Kirby (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Owen Hambly
Launceston-man-of-the-match: Barrie John Chapman
It certainly wasn’t a Christmas cracker but the Cornish Pirates won the first cross-Tamar derby of the season, keeping their own Greene King Championship play-off hopes very much alive, writes Dick Straughan.
Albion returned home having not won on Cornish soil for seven years, and on a heavy pitch did not look like reversing that trend, despite taking an early lead through a Dam Mugford penalty.
The Plymouth fly-half had already missed a routine 22 metre effort before landing a long range kick after Pirates’ full-back Craig Holland had been penalised for not releasing the ball in the tackle.
Their lead lasted just five minutes before the Pirates grabbed a lead they would hold until the bitter end of an attritional contest. Lock Will Graulich did the hard work, stealing possession at a ruck deep in the Plymouth 22, and Chris Morgan released prop Jack Andrew, who crashed over the line to score at the posts. Holland converted.
Holland missed a penalty late in the half for the Pirates and Albion prop Lloyd Fairbrother wasted a good opportunity for the visitors when well placed to score, but it stayed 7-3 until the fifth minute of second-half injury time.
The Pirates felt they had added a second try on 51 minutes when their No8 was driven over the Albion line but the grounding of the ball went unseen by the officials.
Gavin Cattle went close to scoring following a fine break by Junior Fatialofa and Kieran Goss, while Matt Evans was bundled into touch in the corner after great work by Rob Elloway.
Try as they might the Pirates could not score, but neither could Albion in the face of a resolute defence.
The contest was finally settled when Plymouth again impeded a driving maul illegally and Angus Sinclair extended the home lead to 10-3 with the final kick of the game.
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Pope, Riley, Fatialofa, Goss (Sinclair 79), Evans, Cattle (capt)(Kessell 48); Andrew (Cahill 65), Elloway (Channon 71), Prescott, Graulich, Barry, Morgan, Cheesman (Conlon 78), Phillips
Replacements (not used): Patrick, Dancer
Pirates’ scorers: try Andrew; con Holland; pen Sinclair
Plymouth Albion: Woods, Bowen, Stevens, Howley-Berridge (Elder 69), Davies (Harrison 65-75), Mugford (Cusack 58), Cushion (Bolt 48); Harrison (T.Cowan-Dickie 48), L.Cowan-Dickie (Evans 79), Fairbrother (sin-bin 65-75), Beukeboom, Graham, Stupple (Matavesi 58), Stephen (Langley 71), Oakley (capt)
Yellow card Fairbrother
Albion scorer: pen Mugford
Referee D Gamage (RFU)
A long trip to Clifton Lane at the beginning of January was always going to be a tough test for the Cornish Pirates, but for half an hour in South Yorkshire they looked capable of inflicting Rotherham Titans’ biggest defeat of the season.
Three converted tries in ten minutes left the hosts stunned, and as the drizzle fell on a heavy pitch the mood of the normally vocal home fans became as grey as the sky above. The Pirates led 24-3 but a fourth try proved fatally elusive and, just as they did in Jersey back in mid-November, they were forced on to the back foot by a home revival and had to leave town with just a losing bonus point from a 35-30 defeat after an afternoon of supreme effort. Sport can be so cruel at times.
Rotherham are a very different beast under Lee Blackett and the game was end to end from the start. Craig Holland put the Pirates ahead after just two minutes with a well-struck 40-metre penalty but the home side came straight back at them.
Hooker Ben Sowrey knocked on in contact as he lunged for the Pirates try line and then a strong Titans drive was held up over the line. The pressure finally yielded a levelling penalty from Juan Pablo Socino before it became the turn of the Pirates to attack.
Scrum-half Tom Kessell was held up under the crossbar from a quick tap penalty before Holland claimed the opening try of the game.
Rotherham tries to wok the ball clear down their left flank but the Pirates full-back picked off a pass on halfway and scorched clear of Curtis Wilson to score in the corner.
Holland converted and his services were required again minutes later. This time centre Alex Dancer, making his full Championship debut, carved a beautiful attacking line through the Rotherham defence before off-loading to Tom Riley whose diagonal run proved unstoppable.
It got even better after 27 minutes when Matt Evans was unleashed off a driving lineout in the home 22 and fed Kessell who skated through to touchdown at the posts.
Trailing by 21 points, Rotherham had to do something quickly and they immediately replaced former Pirates No.8 Ed Williamson with Lawrence Pearce. His impact was immediate and four minutes later following a series of powerful drives he scored with Socino converting.
That was the spark Rotherham needed and just before the end of a thrilling first half the Pirates lost a scrum on the Titans 22. The home team counter-attacked and Socino instigated the move which saw Jack Roberts race clear to score in the corner.
The Argentinian ten slotted his second conversion but still the Pirates led by nine points. Three minutes into the second half that was cut to two.
The Titans again counter-attacked off a scrum and Socino was once again the fulcrum of the move. This time impressive hooker Ben Sowrey claimed the score with Socino on hand to slot the extras.
All a game this good now needed was a moment of controversy and it quickly came as the Titans powered forward again. Kessell appeared to rip the ball free in the tackle, although it may have been knocked forward by a Rotherham hand, but the Yorkshire side seized on the loose ball.
Quick recycling fed wing Mike Keating and he scored a fourth home try although the Pirates claimed that the scoring pass was forward. Socino converted and the Cornish side were now chasing the game.
Holland landed his second penalty on 55 minutes to peg the score back to 29-27 and tension began to mount on and off the field. With ten minutes to go the Pirates were harshly penalised for collapsing a scrum actually pulled down by tighthead prop Mark Tampin, and Socino stroked home the place kick.
Angus Sinclair was perhaps lucky to survive a yellow card after blocking the flying Joel Gill but Socino‘s third penalty extended the Titans lead to eight points, before another Holland penalty clawed three back two minutes from time.
In a frantic finale Rotherham held a tiring Pirates side at bay before Socino missed a routine penalty in stoppage time. A losing bonus point was no less than the Pirates deserved.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Roberts (Gill 17-26, 71), Socino, Wilson (Broadley 58), Murphy, White; Hislop (Williams 60), Sowrey, Quigley (Tampin 59), Maddison (capt), Thomas (Sanderson h/t), Rieder, Pearce, Williamson (Pearce 25)
Replacement (not used): Cruse
Titans’ scorers: tries Pearce, Sowery, Roberts, Keating; cons Socino (3); pens Socino (3)
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Pope, Riley, Dancer (James 67), Goss (Moyle 78), Evans (Sinclair 50), Kessell; Davies (Andrew 50), Elloway, Prescott, Patrick (Atkinson 67), Barry, Morgan (capt), Conlon (Parker 78), Phillips (Carpenter 71)
Pirates’ scorers: tries Holland, Kessell, Riley; cons Holland (3); pens – Holland (3)
Referee T.Wigglesworth (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks started 2014 with an 18-6 National League Two South victory over Canterbury at Polson Bridge.
Tim Mathias and Ryan Westren were the Launceston side’s try-scorers in a game where both sides dominated for a half each but failed to seize numerous opportunities.
The All Blacks started well and scored the game’s first try in the tenth minute. Centre Westren went close in the right corner before Mathias arrived to apply the finish. Kieron Lewitt was unable to add the extras, skewing his conversion kick to the right of the posts.
Launceston had further chances to extend their lead. Lewitt was unable to touch down after kicking and chasing past the Canterbury try line and Ben Hilton perhaps lacked conviction, having broken through the visitors’ defensive line with three men to his right.
The All Blacks’ profligacy was punished when Canterbury centre Tom Best struck three points back with just nine minutes of the first half remaining.
It was just a temporary setback for the hosts, however, as Westren was on hand to finish after a perfectly timed pass from fellow centre Nielson Webber.
Lewitt then added the conversion. And the full-back even had time to add two penalties to his tally before the sides departed for the half-time break.
Canterbury came out for the second half with huge motivation, despite being a man down after lock Ben Massey had been sent to the sin bin for dissent. Indeed, they scored with another Best penalty as the hour mark approached.
But although they continued to apply the pressure, the All Blacks held firm, restricting Canterbury to just six points right to the final whistle.
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was candid about the club's position after the departures of Darren Jacques and Lewis Vinnicombe and a 22-0 defeat away to Southend in National Two South.
Despite the financial problems at the club and the atrocious weather on Saturday, the players still gave their all.
“Fair play to the guys that played today,” said Morcom. “In my eyes they have put the foundation in for the rest of the season. There were five there who have not yet trained with us. What is important now is that we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get on with the rest of the season.
“Full credit to Southend – they played the conditions better and got a couple of tries in each half.”
With skipper Chris Fuca injured, Owen Hambly led a young Redruth side in which Adam Strick, who has been playing for Hayle, and Cornish Pirate Mat Bolwell made their debuts. Greg Goodfellow is expected to be in next week’s squad along with Damien Cook, Craig Williams and Rhodri McAtee.
Southend were comfortable winners but the Reds did not want for effort and, had they been able to turn three clear-cut openings into tries, the outcome in Essex could have been different.
On balance, the bits of luck that can be the difference between winning and losing perhaps all fell to the hosts on the day but the result was not in doubt after Harry Hudson’s try for Southend early in the second half.
Winning the toss was crucial as Southend took first use of a strong wind. They got their noses in front after seven minutes with a well-worked try finished off in the right hand corner by Tom Gannon.
The hosts had the better of play and their half-backs Lee Sandberg and Brad Burr controlled the game, but Redruth played some good rugby.
The visitors did not cash in on line breaks by Murray Westren and Hambly, but heading towards half time the Reds were just a score behind. However, Luke Collins picked up a yellow card on the half-hour after an innocuous-looking offside in midfield.
A mistake after an astute kick from Burr gifted Southend a try for Sam Nash near the posts, Burr converting.
In a second half played in torrential rain, Redruth conceded field position and Southend again showed good forward play to go through the phases, with the Reds defending their line with good determination before Hudson powered over for a third try.
Despite replacement full-back Max Bodilly playing well, with the middle third of the pitch becoming a gluepot it was hard to see where Redruth were going to create a try, and more controlled play from Southend ended when Mark Billings went over wide out on the right for the bonus-point try after 65 minutes to put the result beyond doubt.
Despite the awful conditions, replacement flanker Matt O’Leary cut through the Southend defensive line in midfield but lacked support as Redruth ended scoreless.
Chinnor winger Leo Fielding’s conversion with the last kick of the game gave the visitors the spoils and left Redruth reeling, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
Redruth looked to be heading towards a morale-boosting win with less than ten minutes to play and leading 25-12, but two converted tries for Chinnor during the final eight minutes turned the game on its head, giving the visiting Oxfordshire side a vital win to move them away from the relegation zone, leaving the Reds looking nervously over their shoulders.
Chinnor began the game brightly, getting the opening try of the game after only seven minutes as hooker Neil Townsend crossed near the posts, Fielding’s conversion making it 7-0 to the visitors.
Fly-half Brett Rule for Redruth and Fielding both missed penalty attempts at goal before Rule added the extras to lock Damien Cook’s terrific try — scored after 23 minutes following a typical break from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow.
Redruth grabbed the lead on 28 minutes as flanker Ben Priddey finished off a fine move involving Rule and wing Rhodri McAtee. Rule couldn’t add the extras, leaving Redruth with the advantage at half-time, 12-7.
However, Rule was on target with a 30-metre penalty just after half-time to increase the Red’s lead to 15-7.
Chinnor struck back almost immediately, scoring their second try in the scoreboard corner through wing George Blewitt, Fielding’s conversion attempt being unsuccessful.
Redruth piled the pressure on Chinnor, kicking a penalty into the Piggy Lane corner and from the lineout laying siege to their line. Further penalties saw Chinnor lose lock Andrew Smith the sin bin.
The Reds sensed their opportunity with Cook powering over for his second try of the game. Rule missed with the conversion attempt from wide out.
Shortly after, Priddey looked to have scored his second try, but referee Phil Watters ruled that he had lost the ball.
It didn’t appear to be of too much importance as Redruth secured the try-scoring bonus point with a fourth try scored by McAtee from a pass by Goodfellow in Hellfire Corner.
Ashley Hosking, on for Rule, saw his conversion rebound back off the cross bar.
Chinnor got a try back through full back Richard Hopwood, with Fielding again adding the conversion after 72 minutes.
Hosking then attempted a long-range penalty kick as Redruth looked to deny Chinnor a losing bonus point, but his kick was just short.
Redruth looked to have done enough for the win, but centre Matt Goode’s last gasp try in the scoreboard corner presented Fielding with the chance for Chinnor to secure the win. His excellent kick crushed the Reds and left the Redruth faithful in a state of shock at the final whistle.
Redruth: M Bodilly, D Bonds (B Drew 71), C Bonds, S Parsons, R McAtee, B Rule (A Hosking 61), G Goodfellow, A Strick (C Williams 41), R Brown (N Turner 71), J Tompsett (A Strick 71), D Cook, C Fuca (Capt) (M O’Leary 59), B Priddey, O Hambly, M Bolwell
Reds scorers: tries Cook (2), Priddey, McAtee; conversion Rule; penalty Rule
Chinnor: R Hopwood, G Blewitt, M Goode, D Barnes (L Hall 73), L Fielding, W Millett, F Jones; J Winpenny (T Whelan 75), J Townsend (E Vickers 73), J Pickett, T Mowbray, A Smith (S Blewitt) 68, A Tibbatts (A Hastings 68), N Harrison, L Gilbert (Capt)
Yellow Card Smith (57)
Chinnor scorers: tries Townsend, G Blewitt, Hopwood, Goode; conversions Fielding (3)
Referee: Phil Watters (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Damien Cook worked hard and scored two excellent tries.
The Cornish All Blacks’ travel sickness continued as their attempts to climb the National Two South table hit the buffers with a heavy 40-13 defeat at leaders Hartpury College on Saturday.
While the Cornishmen are unbeaten at home this season, they have only won twice on the road in ten matches and it is wrecking any hopes they had of getting into the promotion shake-up.
Getting anything at Hartpury was always going to be difficult, but the All Blacks travelled in confident mood, boosted by memories of their 21-18 victory over their rivals at Polson Bridge in September.
However, they were always playing catch-up after a disastrous start in which they conceded two tries inside the first six minutes.
All Black assistant coach Tom Rawlings said: “We gave away a couple of soft penalties, and they pinned us back in our 22 on two occasions in the first five minutes and scored two early tries, and that really stung us quite hard.
“That was a bit frustrating, but you can’t afford to come up to Hartpury, who are top of the league, and let that happen.
“Suddenly you are trying to claw back a game and it went out of reach very, very quickly. In the second half, our replacements came on and made a very good impact and we pulled a score back at the end.”
The All Blacks face another tough test on Saturday when Ampthill and District visit Cornwall, and Rawlings said: “It was a frustrating day at the office, because we know we are better than that.
“Hartpury were a good attacking team and threw the ball around very well, and their skill level was very high, and they scored some good tries, and it was hard to stop on occasions.
“I was proud of the effort the guys put in, but Hartpury are a very good team, that is why they are at the top of the league, and we have got to try and build on what we did well in the game.
“Our scrum was strong again against a very big Hartpury pack, and at times in the second half, when we injected a little bit of intensity into our game, it definitely made a difference, and those are two elements we will take into the Ampthill match.”
Hooker Chris Fortey and back row Ross Moriarty bagged early catch-and-drive tries for the hosts, with fly-half Billy Burns converting one, before scrum-half Ben Vellacott bagged the third, after full-back Kieron Lewitt had kicked a penalty for the All Blacks.
Lewitt struck again, but Hartpury collected their try-scoring bonus point before the break with a touchdown from centre Steve Leonard, converted by Burns, to make it 24-6 at the interval.
Further tries by winger Jaike Carter and Vellacott again, put the College side out of sight, but prop Tim Mathias’s late try gave the All Blacks some small reward for their efforts, with Lewitt converting.
Truro made it seven wins on the trot with this bonus point win over Penryn at St. Clements Hill and gained revenge for their 16-15 defeat at the Memorial Ground back in October.
The win lifts the city side up to third place in the Tribute Western Counties West table as they look to close on the top two.
A good sized crowd gathered to see this eagerly awaited Cornish derby between two sides that have been scoring a lot of points.
Despite the tremendous amount of work accomplished by the ground staff at Truro to ensure the game went ahead, it was inevitable, given the amount of rain that has fallen recently, that the pitch would be heavy.
Truro had the edge in the set-piece, with prop Darren Jacques making his home debut.
It was a little bit of history for Truro when player coach Josh Lord came on during the first half, as they had three England Counties Internationals on the pitch in Lord, Jacques and Lewis Vinnicombe.
After the match, joint coach Mark Richards was pleased with his side’s performance. He said. “I am very pleased with that win in those conditions. A local derby is always a big game at whatever level and to get a result like that, scoring four tries, is what we set out. The other pleasing aspect was our defence — to keep our line intact was equally satisfying. I don’t think many sides will relish coming down here to play at the moment.
As a former number 9, Richards was happy with his scrum-half’s performance. “I thought Rikki (Brandham) took his tries well, quick thinking for the first and then a typical scrum-half’s poacher’s try for his second. I’d have been happy with both!”
“In our pack today to have players of the experience of Darren Jacques and Josh Lord can only benefit the side and spur on the players around them. We have set out to play an exciting style of rugby in whatever conditions. The boys looked to do that despite of the conditions.
“After our loss to Burnham Josh (Lord) set out a target of ten wins from our next ten games. After today we have achieved seven wins on the bounce and look forward to keeping that run going at St. Ives next week.”
Darren Jacques was equally satisfied with the win and the performance of the side. He said. “We laid the platform in the first half and built from there during the second half. Good performance from the whole side today. It was nice to get across the whitewash on my home debut. There is a great bunch here at Truro and I am thrilled about being part of something new and exciting at the club.”
In the Penryn camp, head coach Paul Trevaskis, whilst disappointed with the result, felt his side had competed well in the conditions. He said. “The boys stuck at it well. At half-time it was only 7-0 and we were very much still in it. I think Truro’s experience was the key today. They struck with two quick tries after the break to take the game away from us. We are struggling at the moment with a lengthy injury list of key players, the youngsters are having to step up and to be fair doing a great job. We will consolidate and come back better for it next season.”
The Royal-Blue-and-Ambers built steady pressure on the Borough line, leading up to the opening score on 13 minutes, as scrum-half Rikki Brandham took a quick tap penalty down in the scoreboard corner to force himself over the line.
Fly-half Jake Champion kicked a very good conversion in the difficult conditions, to give Truro a 7-0 lead in what proved to be the only scoring during the first half.
Champion had a couple of penalty chances just before half-time to extend Truro’s lead but in the worsening conditions he was unable to kick the goals.
Truro’s back row of skipper Shaun Roseveare, Luke Trescothick and Adam Gayton all had big games.
It was Trescothick’s charge up-field at the start of the second half that helped set up his side’s second try. From a scrum just five meters out the Truro pack drove the Penryn eight back over the line for Brandham to grab his second try of the game.
Just five minutes later Truro had a third try from a line out; Roseveare drove into the Penryn twenty-two, the ball was moved wide, with full-back Tom Hatfield popping a pass out to Jacques, who found himself on the wing and ran in from five meters out.
Having missed the conversion to Brandham’s second try, Champion kicked his second conversion to make the score 19-0.
The Penryn forwards tried to take the game to Truro, with locks Ben Trevaskis and Ross Hancock working hard, as did skipper George Jones and props Matt Williams and Kirk Oldfield.
When Truro wrapped up the bonus point on 53 minutes, as centre Theo Gayton broke away to run in a fine try, the game was as good as over at 24-0.
Credit though to Penryn, who never gave up. They were almost rewarded with a score in the dying minutes of the game as they pressurised the Truro line, but sadly for the Borough it just wasn’t their day.
Truro: T Hatfield, L Vinnicombe, C Ranscombe, T Gayton, L Tidball, J Champion, R Brandham; D Jacques, M Carlyon, O Seagrove, R Denning, L Bowns, L Trescothick, S Roseveare (Capt), A Gayton
Replacements (all used): J Lord, J Martin, T Excell
Truro scorers: tries Brandham (2), Jacques, T Gayton; conversions Champion (2)
Penryn: J Seviour, M Horton, M Vague, O Evans, D Fisher, A Seviour, J Chambers; K Oldfield, P Hinchley, M Williams, R Hancock, B Trevaskis, H James-Mills, A Hughes, G Jones (Capt)
Replacements (all used): D Kirk, C Ellor, M Rainbird
Referee: Charlie Osborne (Devon RSS)
Man-of-the-match: Truro skipper Sean Roseveare, for tremendous work at the breakdown in difficult conditions.
A Man of the Match display by former Exeter Chief Gary Kingdom - on his 100th appearance for the Titans - saw them to victory in atrocious conditions to avenge a defeat back at the Recreation Ground in October.
Heavy rain at lunchtime left some standing water on the pitch, but both captains were happy to play and the game went ahead. Further heavy rain fell in the second half and conditions were very difficult in the final quarter, but Kingdom’s three second half penalties turned pressure into points as the Taunton pack got the upper hand.
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was disappointed with the result. He said: “Taunton had the hunger today and came away with the spoils. After all the knock backs we have had recently I thought it was a pretty good performance.
“First half when we had the wind with us we did not really capitalise on it. Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves at times, fair plat Tauton had us under the cosh in the scrums at times in the second the second half but we defended out line well for a long period before coming away with a turn over.”
Play was even in the first period and some good line kicking by Murray Westren got Redruth into the Taunton 22, but they could not turn the opportunities into points.
The influence of Chris Brown’s coaching on Taunton’s forward play was clear on a dark day when the floodlights were on from the start and as conditions deteriorated, the Titans’ driving maul was starting to look like a lethal weapon as half-time approached. The Reds forwards had to put a lot of energy-sapping effort into containing long driving mauls.
From the final scrum of the half in midfield, Aron Struminski opened up the Reds defence, Brett Rule did well to stop Connor Hartley on the line, but the hosts recycled quickly. With Charlie Walker Blair handling, it left a queue of players lining up to score and Nick Mason dived over near the posts for Kingdom to convert.
Six minutes into the second period, Kingdon nudged Taunton further ahead with a penalty from in front of the posts after the Reds were penalised at a scrum.
Chris Brown made a triple substitution in the pack to give Taunton fresh legs, but Redruth hit back with Ben Priddey going over from a driving line out, which Damien Cook had won.
A second Kingdom penalty as the game went into the final quarter gave Titans some breathing space – they looked the more likely side to score – and Strumnski again cut the Reds open only for Tom Notman to stop Mason at the corner.
A concern for Redruth was a twisted knee that forced Owen Hambly to be helped off as the two packs continued to go hard at each other with the floodlights reflecting off pools of water on the surface. Referee James Clarke did well to keep the game moving.
There was no lack of commitment from the Reds forwards as they defended their line as Taunton looked to drive over, but a third penalty from Kingdom with five minutes to go was the final blow.
This was not an afternoon to remember for the Cornish Pirates, reports Dick Straughan at The Athletic Ground.
A bright start then became as gloomy as the gathering clouds and by full-time, with the Scots comfortably ahead, a huge thunder storm and torrential rain gave an appropriate vent to head coach Ian Davies' anger.
The Pirates head coach felt this might have been the worst performance by any team in the Championship this season.
Two early Kieran Hallett penalties put the Cornish side 6-0 ahead after 17 minutes.
With try-scoring chances missed by the Pirates and Scottish fly-half Dan Newton having a dreadful day with the boot, it took until the half hour mark before more points were scored. But with them came the turn in the tide of this contest.
USA international prop Eric Fry barged over the line from close range and then two unconverted tries from the home side just after half-time sealed the Scottish win.
Full-back Jim Thompson ran in the first, breaking free down the left, and wing Miles Mantella ran in his 13th try of the season four minutes later after Kieran Hallett had turned over possession on halfway.
Hooker Tom Dunn added a fourth on the hour after a series of close range penalties and the Pirates threw six replacements into the action in a late bid to salvage some pride.
As the weather worsened a huge thunder and lightning storm erupted over south west London, with torrential rain leaving pools of standing water on the pitch.
The Scots continued to attack but the Pirates kept them out, conceding only a James Love penalty near the end of a truly bad day at the office for the Cornish Pirates.
London Scottish: Thompson, Doneghan, Grove (Love 62), Reay (Gidlow 70), Mantella, Newton, Pasqualin; Fry, Dunn (Kwasnicki 62), Francis, Hotson (Spivey 71), Lyons, Russell (Best 48), Pennycook, Bright (capt)
Replacements (not used) – Irish, Millar
Scottish scorers: tries Fry, Thompson, Mantella, Dunn; con Newton; pen Love
Cornish Pirates: Holland (Moyle 64), Pope, Riley (Fatialofa 64), Dancer, Goss, Hallett (Sinclair 64), Kessell; Andrew, Elloway (Channon 64), Prescott (Cahill 30), Graulich, Barry (Parker 64), Morgan (capt) (Atkinson 64), Cheesman, Carpenter
Pirates' scorers: pens Hallett (2)
Referee C.Maxwell-Keys (RFU)
Redruth won for the first time in 2014, defeating fellow National Two South strugglers Bournemouth in an edgy, error-strewn performance at the Recreation Ground, reports Bill Hooper.
Flanker Ben Priddey was the star man for the Reds, scoring all three tries from forward drives.
Redruth got off to a great start as fly-half Murray Westren kicked an early penalty goal as Bournemouth were caught offside.
On just six minutes, Bournemouth were then reduced to fourteen men, as centre Karim Lynch was sin-binned following a succession of infringements by the visitors.
Profiting from the extra man, Priddey got the first of his tries following a lineout in the visitors' 22 and a big carry by lock Damien Cook during the build up.
Westren couldn’t add the extras, kicking into a very strong wind from the top touchline.
Bournemouth got back into the game when a break by scrum-half Sam Hardcastle gave them good field position.
A penalty award was kicked to touch in the scoreboard corner, with the quickly-taken lineout catching the Reds napping as lock John Peart powered over for an unconverted try.
A trade-mark break by scrum-half Greg Goodfellow set up good field position for the Reds.
Cook and prop Jess Tompsett drove well, leading to a penalty for the home side, which Westren kicked for an 11-5 half-time lead.
Redruth got good field position in the Bournemouth twenty-two to set up a powerful driving maul, with Tompsett going close before Priddey finished off the move for an unconverted try.
From the restart Bournemouth regained possession, going through the phases before fly-half Jack Metters scored near the posts. However, the conversion was pulled in the tricky wind.
Redruth stormed back on the attack, but at times they appeared short of ideas with a Westren attempted drop-goal summing up their frustrations.
Following a fine touchline run by winger Tom Notman, Redruth obtained a penalty which they kicked to touch. Replacement lock Luke Collins claimed the ball and the forwards set up the powerful drive that saw Priddey driven over for his third try, sealing the win for the embattled Reds.
Redruth: B Rule (P Thirlby 61), T Notman, C Bonds, S Parsons, R McAtee (M Bowden 70), M Westren, G Goodfellow; J Tompsett (M Strick 77), R Brown (N Turner 75), C Williams, D Cook, J Rayment (L Collins 50), C Fuca (capt), B Priddey, M O’Leary
Reds scorers: tries Priddey (3); penalties Westren (2)
Bournemouth: R Westcott, W Roberts, K Lynch, A Sutherland, B Stewart (G Berthonneau 70), J Metters (D Pollard 70), S Hardcastle; S Terry, F Wilford, A Manning (Capt), J Peart (J Hennings 55), R Fuller, J Rees, C Grace (C Scott 75), T Booth
Yellow Card Lynch (6)
Replacement (not used): A Spikings
Bournemouth scorers: tries Peart, Metters
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Ben Priddey, scored all three Redruth tries to cap a fine individual performance.
The Cornish All Blacks received an incredible five yellow cards as they suffered more disappointment on the road, losing 34-7 at Bishop's Stortford in National Two South.
They fell foul at Silver Leys of young referee Alexis Manley, particularly with his interpretation of the breakdown area, and after having two players sin-binned in quick succession around the 51st minute to reduce them to 13 men, they had another three yellow-carded just past the hour to leave them down to 12.
All Blacks’ skipper Ben Hilton declined to comment on the referee’s performance, other than to say the yellow cards had made life “difficult”. Instead he chose to praise a Stortford side who made light of the difficult playing conditions to show why they are lying fifth in the table.
“Stortford’s back line was incredible, especially in those conditions. They play a high tempo, high risk game, but it seems to work for them,” said Hilton, who heads off to France this week with the England Counties squad. “Their one-on-one attacking threats are why they are where they are in the table and why they get so many bonus points.
“The pitch was a damp squib, but they still went out and tried to score as many tries as they could.”
It was not all doom and gloom for the All Blacks, though. “We can take some positives out of the game,” said Hilton. “Stortford are a strong team but we stuck with them and made them work for their scores, when we had a full complement of players on the field, and they had to pull off some classy handling skills to score some of their tries, whereas on some of our away trips, we have been guilty of giving away soft scores.”
The All Blacks were all over their hosts in the opening stages and took the lead with a 13th-minute try by wing Kyle Speare, making his first-team debut after his move from Bude, which was converted by full-back Kieron Lewitt.
“Kyle has been carrying a lot of injuries, but I got him to come back and give it a go, and I think he will only get better and better,” said Hilton.
“It is a big step up from Bude, but he has got all the right attributes, a lot of pace and some good footwork.”
Stortford lost hooker Will Roberts to the sin-bin, but the hosts worked their way back into the game and led 17-7 at the break, with tries by wing Jono Child and centre Sam Winter, fly-half Tom Coleman converting both and a penalty.
Stortford’s fourth try came from centre John Neville, while prop Tim Mathias and fly-half Jake Murphy were in the bin for the All Blacks, with the fifth arriving after the loss to yellow cards of Hilton, Lewitt and Nielson Webber.
That was scored by full-back Nick Hankin, converted by Coleman, before prop Adam Gelman added another touchdown four minutes from time.
Kyle Moyle's converted try four minutes from the end of a scrappy encounter at the Mennaye Field spared the Cornish Pirates blushes as Ealing let slip a game they should have won, writes Dick Straughan.
There was little to commend this Pirates' performance as the hangover from last weekend's defeat at London Scottish lingered on, but the home side could have snatched a dramatic and undeserved victory in the final minute as Kieran Hallett lined up a penalty on the Ealing 22.
He missed and justice was done.
Defeat would have been harsh on the London side, who bounced back from Hallett's second minute penalty, taking the lead with a try from full-back Andy Henderson.
Prop Richard Palframan broke well in midfield and quick ball to the left wing unlocked the Pirates' defence.
Ben Ward, who endured a largely fruitless day kicking off the tee, missed the conversion and the Pirates were quickly back in front at 6-5 with Hallett's second penalty.
Ealing continued to keep the game loose and unstructured, while the Pirates struggled to find their rhythm, although they did extend their lead just before the half hour mark.
Sam Wilkes' overthrown lineout found only Pirates prop Shane Cahill, and he caught the ball before flopping over the line for the simplest of tries.
Back came Ealing and turnover ball from the Pirates deep in the visitors' 22 gave them the platform they needed to score their second try.
Centre Ronnie McLean-Dents broke from deep and wing Phil Chesters raced clear from half-way to score.
Jake Parker's try-saving tackle on Sam Wardingley early in the second half preserved the home 11-10 lead, but Ward finally landed a penalty after 55 minutes to put Ealing back in front.
The Pirates tried to force the game but then conceded an interception try 15 minutes from time as former Pirate Tom Bedford picked off a pass on half-way and then released Chesters for his second try.
And so it stayed in a nervy finale, before Hallett and Tom Hendrickson finally put some real pace on a Pirates attack.
Moyle squeezed in at the corner for the try and Hallett landed a superb touchline conversion to level the game.
Cornish Pirates: Goss (Holland 67), Pope, Dancer (Hendrickson 67), Fatialofa (Sinclair 70), Moyle, Hallett, Kessell; Cahill, Channon (Elloway 53), Paver (Andrew 57), Patrick (Parker 38), Barry, Morgan (capt), Atkinson, Carpenter (Cheesman 63)
Pirates' scorers: tries Cahill, Moyle; con Hallett; pens Hallett (2)
Ealing Trailfinders: Henderson, Wardingley, McLean-Dents, Bedford, Chesters, Ward, Thompson (Commins 67); Storer (Neville 47), Wilkes (Townsend 47), Palframan (Carey 28), Pape (Curry 63), Collier, Evans (capt), Siggery, O`Connell (Anderson 44)
Replacement (not used): Kinloch
Ealing scorers: tries Chesters (2), Henderson; pen Ward
Referee L.Pearce (RFU)
Attendance – 1,127
The Cornish All Blacks were happy to send Clifton back up the M5 empty handed after they secured a 17-5 win over the Bristol side in National Two South.
In poor conditions, the Launceston side dominated the game, notching up two tries and a converted penalty try.
With a few players out injured and captain Ben Hilton playing for England Counties, the Polson Bridge faithful were delighted with a home win.
Injured Kieron Lewitt, who watched his side from the bench, said the All Blacks showed real determination throughout.
“I thought it went really well,” said the full-back. “The first half we played in the right ways. We were good with the ball and in defence. In the second half we showed a lot of heart and determination — it was good to see.
“It was nice to send Clifton up the M5 with no points. We always have a tough time with them so it’s nice to get one up on them. It’s a shame we missed out on the bonus point but, considering the conditions, we played well.”
Clifton captain, Gregory Nicholls was not in such high spirits, but he admitted his side were not up to scratch.
“We didn’t deserve to win,” he said. “We didn’t play well enough through the game. We didn’t maintain any territory or possession.”
Despite missing a penalty, the Launceston side were first on the scoreboard early on in the game when Kyle Speare touched down on the left wing for an unconverted try.
The hosts were playing some great rugby and, for the most part, kept the game in Clifton’s half. However, worsening conditions and a slippery ball made it inevitable mistakes were made by both teams.
As the game neared half time, there was a big push by the All Blacks, with the pack driving the ball more than 20 yards towards the try line.
BJ Chapman forced his way through to score the second try, after Launceston turned over a Clifton scrum. The conversion was missed by Jake Murphy.
Clifton made a rare trip into the home side’s half a few minutes into injury time, but at the whistle the All Blacks were 10-0 up.
The half-time talk seemed to work for Clifton, who picked up speed in the second half, but the All Blacks kept up the pace.
The visitors worked hard to reach the score line, but each time they got close the hosts managed to kick the ball out of danger.
Clifton had a chance for three points after being awarded a penalty, but the kick was missed. However, with minutes to go, Clifton upped their game and moved forwards, passing down their three quarter line. The Polson side were a man down, with replacement Sisa Naqasima sin-binned after a few minutes on the pitch, and Charles Foley took advantage to find touch and score Clifton’s only try.
But that was their highlight. Soon after, the All Blacks were back on top. After three consecutive home scrums on the try line, referee Philip Davies awarded the home side a penalty try. Murphy’s conversion signalled the end of the game.
The Redruth scrum got the upper hand in the final half hour to power the visitors to a crucial 35-13 bonus-point win over an Exmouth side that looked to be on course for victory early in the second half.
On the day the rub of the green fell the way of the Reds, as they picked up their first win away from the Recreation Ground for 12 months, making the most of their chances for a morale-boosting win in their battle to avoid being sucked into the National Two South relegation battle.
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was pleased with his side’s performance.
“It was massive for us to come away from home and get five points,” he said. “We knew coming here would not be easy and Exmouth proved that.
“Full credit to our guys — they played some really good rugby and when chances came we took them. Once our scrum got on top towards the end that was crucial; our decision-making was good as well.”
The match went ahead after an early-morning pitch inspection and Redruth were given first use of a gusting wind, getting off to a flying start with Tom Notman taking his chance well to touch down in the second minute when the defence hesitated.
Ashley Hosking’s place kicking was another important component and he converted the try and added a penalty after five minutes to give Redruth a 10-0 lead.
Exmouth responded with some lively rugby as they retained the ball well for a long period and kept Redruth on the back foot. Patient play in the Redruth 22 ended with Dave Bargent going over for a try after 17 minutes.
The visiting forwards laid the foundations with some good play in the home 22 and Greg Goodfellow opened up a gap for Matt O’Leary to dive over for a try that Hosking converted after 22 minutes.
Redruth were conceding too many penalties and Craig Williams took a yellow card for not rolling way after a tackle but Rob Avery-Wright, kicking into the teeth of the gale, was wide with the penalty.
Trying to run down the grandstand side, Redruth were turned over and Exmouth worked Joe Watson-Brooks over for a try wide out on the right.
Hosking’s kicking was very composed in the tricky wind and a 30-metre penalty just before half time saw Redruth take a ten-point lead into the interval that did not look to be enough in the conditions.
When Avery-Wright put over a long-range penalty at the start of the second period, the game looked to be going the way of the Cockles. He had another chance six minutes later as the wind seemed to drop, but his attempt was just wide.
This proved to be a turning point as Redruth upped their game, stopped conceding penalties and started to squeeze the life out of Exmouth.
The visiting forwards were carrying well and a couple of penalties at scrum time allowed them to control territory and keep play in the Exmouth half, with Hosking’s third penalty restoring a ten-point lead with 25 minutes to go.
At the start of the final quarter a good chase from Matt Bowden caught Cornwall wing Richard Bright in possession deep inside the 22 and the Exmouth man took a yellow card for not releasing as Redruth put the squeeze on and forced Exmouth into conceding penalties.
The hosts were briefly down to 13 men after replacement Tom Emery saw yellow for killing the ball near the line. Redruth took their chance to put the game out of the Cockles’ grasp with a catch-and-drive try for inspirational skipper Chris Fuca, from a five-metre line-out after the home side stood off.
In the closing stages Exmouth contained Redruth’s effort for a pushover try but Ben Priddey picked his spot to go over near the posts for Hosking to convert.
Having won on their last two National Two South outings, Redruth couldn’t make it three wins on the bounce as they lost at home for the third time this season to a gutsy Ding’s Crusaders side, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
A win against Ding’s would have moved the Reds further away from the danger zone. Instead, they again find themselves being dragged back into the relegation mix, and with their next two league games both away their position is becoming precarious.
Redruth took the wrong option time and time again in the difficult conditions, and they did not help their cause by having to play for 20 minutes with just fourteen men.
Hats off to the ground staff at Redruth, whose work on pitch during the morning ensured the game went ahead.
The Reds did get off to a decent start, with a try scored after 8 minutes by winger Matt Bowden in the Piggy lane corner, following a patient build up and a scoring pass from fellow winger Tom Notman.
In the strong wind goal kicking was going to prove to be a lottery — as full back Ashley Hosking found out with his attempted conversion from wide out.
Redruth were guilty of not securing the restart and Dings took full advantage, setting up a try for No.8 Mike Uren under the posts, with full back Mark Woodrow adding the conversion.
Redruth got back into Ding’s territory and set up a powerful driving maul which saw prop Jess Tompsett drive over for Redruth’s second unconverted try and a 10-7 lead.
Ding’s pack, ably led by skipper Ed Hack, showed that they had the power to match the Reds as they worked their way back into the game.
Redruth’s cause wasn’t helped when flanker Ben Priddey was yellow-carded for a silly offence at a ruck.
The Reds did well to keep the scoreboard intact whilst Priddey was off, but within a minute of his return lost centre Sam Parsons to the bin for foul play.
Woodrow had a chance to tie the scores with a penalty near half-time but his effort was wide.
Dings had the advantage of playing down the slope second half and were soon camped in the Redruth twenty-two.
A move off the training ground saw winger Joe Dancer power through the Redruth cover to set up Hack for Ding’s second try of the game, which Woodrow failed to convert, putting the visitors 12-10 up.
With the swirling wind making kicking from hand a lottery, Redruth were pinned back in their twenty-two for long periods of the second half.
With the final kick of the game Woodrow secured a precious win for Dings with a penalty from the twenty-two metre line, to once again plunge the Redruth camp into another bout of self-doubt and anxious looks over their shoulders at the sides below them in the table.
Redruth: A Hosking, T Notman, C Bonds, S Parsons, M Bowden, M Westren (R McAtee 65), G Goodfellow; J Tompsett (M Roach 60), R Brown (N Turner 72), C Williams, D Cook, L Collins, C Fuca (Capt), B Priddey, M O’Leary (J Stevens 72)
Replacement (not used): D Bonds
Yellow Cards – Priddey (28), Parsons (39)
Reds' scorers: tries Bowden, Tompsett
Dings Crusaders: M Woodrow, J Oakley, R Dempsey, S Cox, J Dancer, M Burton, S Plummer; M Flook (M Hudd 67), D Wheeler, J Lloyd (J Cooke 70), E Hack (Capt), J Holcombe, M Lane, R Luckwell, M Uren Replacements (not used): S Steer, W Tobin, R Weston
Dings' scorers: tries Uren, Hack; penalty Woodrow; conversion Woodrow
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Murray Westren, who worked hard and kicked well from hand, despite the conditions.
As this fixture produced a winner for the first time since December 2009, it was Moseley who claimed the victory with a late show, leaving the Cornish Pirates without a win in the Championship since Boxing Day.
On a cold blustery night in the Midlands, Moseley took the lead with a an early try from hooker Rhys Buckley after a sustained period of pressure from the kick-off.
The Pirates replied with an Angus Sinclair penalty, but then lost wing Matt Evans with a knee injury. Sinclair and Will Hooley traded further penalties before the Pirates suffered further injury misery.
This time hooker Rob Elloway suffered a nasty bang on the head and play was held up for more than 10 minutes while he was treated. However, when the game restarted the Pirates seized on a wayward Hooley drop goal attempt and scored their opening try with a fine counter attack.
Kyle Moyle and Junior Fatialofa took play into the home 22 and Tom Hendrickson supplied the finish, with Sinclair converting.
Hooley notched his second penalty just before half time to peg back the Pirates' lead and then gave Moseley the advantage with two quick place kicks early in the second half.
He added a fifth on the hour to make it 20-13, but the Pirates responded by forcing a series of penalties deep in the Moseley 22. They took the scrum option each time, eventually earning a penalty try converted by Kieran Hallett.
But with the game heading for a fourth draw in four years, Moseley scored the decisive points in the closing minutes.
Flanker Olly Robinson touched down in the corner for his team's second try and Holley completed the scoring with a stoppage time penalty.
Moseley: Carter, Hunt, Armstrong, King (Owen 79), Williams, Hooley, Brown (Glynn 78); Voisey, Buckley, Parkin, Powell, Charlton, Mason, Robinson, Brightwell. Replacements (not used) – Warren, Evans, Thorp, Burrows, Thomas
Moseley scorers: tries Buckley, Robinson; pens Hooley (6)
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Evans (Kessell 14), Hendrickson, Fatialofa (Riley 55), Moyle, Sinclair (Hallett 55), Pope; Cahill (Davies 73), Elloway (Carpenter 33), Paver, Graulich (Carrick-Smith 75), Barry, Morgan (capt), Cheesman, McGlone (Parker 65, sin-bin 76)
Yellow card: Parker
Pirates' scorers: tries Hendrickson, penalty; cons Sinclair, Hallett; pens Sinclair (2)
Referee: R Campbell (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks suffered a 38-23 defeat at the hands of Ampthill and District, signalling the end of their unbeaten home record and placing them closer to the National League Two South relegation battleground.
Spike Rainford, the Launceston side’s head coach, blamed the loss on mistakes made by his side throughout the game.
“We just gave too many penalties away,” he said. “They didn’t score anything from their own work. It was from mistakes and penalties that we gave. They got points pretty much every time. We can’t afford to do that with teams of that standard.
“We pulled it back to two points behind at one point and we were controlling the game. Then we went ten points behind and then we were always chasing the game.”
Despite having some key players out – including Ben Hilton, Neilson Webber and Tom Rawlings – Rainford praised his squad.
“Our team worked well,” he said. “All the guys that were in have been around the squad all season. Our pack was massive, they were just superb. We were good in the scrum and at the line-out but unfortunately we couldn’t convert that into points.
“It’s disappointing that we’ve lost at home but we’ve got to go out and make sure we win the rest of the games this season.”
Ampthill captain Mamma Molitika was delighted with the result. “It was a good win. We knew it was going to be tough here. All the teams struggle when they come down here. We knew that and we had to play direct and do the basics. We got that right and we went from there.”
The visitors may have travelled back to Bedfordshire with a five-try victory, but the Polson side battled on, even when they were trailing and hopes of a comeback were fading. But it was numerous mistakes that let them down.
The first in a long list of penalties was conceded in the opening minutes and the home side was under attack. They gave away another penalty inside the ten metre line and this set up Ampthill’s Alexander Bloisi to score a try.
The hosts picked up three points when Kieron Lewitt kicked a penalty, but it was not long before it was two tries for Ampthill after Molitika went over for a converted try. The penalties kept coming, and were made by both sides. Elliot Clements-Hill and Lewitt made good kicks for their respective sides.
The Launceston pack made their way down the field and Ryan Westren looked close to scoring but he could not find touch. They were awarded a penalty and chose a scrum, but another penalty was conceded by Ampthill. Two more scrums and two further penalties for the hosts followed, resulting in referee Tom Davis awarding a penalty try to the home side. Lewitt made the conversion.
Now only two points behind, the All Blacks were back in the game. But it did not take long for Ampthill to extend their lead. Clements-Hill kicked another penalty, then a try was scored by Gavin Williams, who found a gap in the Launceston defence on the right wing.
Early in the second half, Launceston slashed their deficit again when BJ Chapman set Westren up for a converted try. But Molitika scored his second try, converted by Clements-Hill, and any flicker of hope for a home victory was well and truly extinguished. Both sides scored another penalty and Bloisi scored his second try for Ampthill, taking the score to 23-38.
The Cornish Pirates bounced back to winning ways in the Greene King Championship with a morale boosting win over relegation threatened Jersey at the Mennaye Field, writes Dick Straughan.
The match, played in atrocious conditions after a pre-match downpour on an already heavy pitch, was surprisingly entertaining as both teams took the contest to each other.
Aaron Penberthy landed a second minute penalty for the visitors on his return to action after a lengthy injury lay off, slotting a kick from halfway, but then missed a second attempt minutes later as first half point scoring dried up.
The Pirates steadily grew stronger as the half progressed and took the lead in the 38th minute when Junior Fatialofa went over from close range after a sustained period of pressure on the Jersey line. Kieran Hallett converted off the inside of the left hand upright.
It got better for the Pirates in first half injury time as Tom Kessell’s fine blindside break from a scrum on halfway set up wing Kyle Moyle to slide through the mud to score in the corner.
Hallett struck the bar with the conversion but the Pirates led 12-3 at the break and it grew into an even bigger advantage right at the start of the second half.
Debutant full-back Max Bodilly seized on a loose clearance kick and his mazey run back at the Jersey defence saw him break three tackles before scoring his team’s third try. Hallett converted.
Jersey rallied in the final quarter as they stepped up their pursuit of a losing bonus point, with skipper Alex Rae claiming their first try on 63 minutes.
Another strong driving maul late in the game resulted in a penalty try for Jersey, converted by Niall O’Connor as they took an extra point towards ensuring their Championship survival.
Cornish Pirates: Bodilly, Goss, Riley, Fatialofa (Hendrickson 70), Moyle (Holland h/t), Hallett, Kessell; Cahill (sin bin 76), Carpenter, Prescott (Andrew 70), Carrick-Smith, Barry (Patrick 31), Morgan (capt), Cheesman, McGlone
Replacements (not used): Channon, Davies, Atkinson
Yellow Card: Cahill
Pirates' scorers: tries Fatialofa, Moyle, Bodilly; cons Hallett (2)
Jersey: Burroughs, Pointer, Locke (O`Connor 58), McCrea, Foster, Penberthy (Bishop 44), Williams (Griffiths 46); Lockwood (Brennan 44), Taione (Felton 70), Selway (McCarthy h/t), Campbell (Markham 58), Voss, Rae (capt), Buckle, Makaafi
Jersey scorers: tries Rae, penalty try; con O'Connor; pen Penberthy
Referee G.Macdonald (RFU)
Too many errors and missed chances led to a 32-17 home defeat for the Cornish All Blacks at the hands of a determined Southend side on Saturday.
The Launceston side were outplayed in all areas of their game and any glimmer of hope that they were back in the running was short-lived as Southend played throughout with an urgency that showed they wanted to win.
A second home loss in the trot will be a worrying wake-up call for the Polson Bridge side, who linger just above the National Two South relegation battle zone, but head coach Cliff 'Spike' Rainford is not ready to press the panic button yet.
“It didn’t go very well today,” he said. “We just made too many errors. There were chances but unfortunately we managed to not complete those chances that we got and that’s the difference between winning and losing. Southend just wanted it more. They wanted it more than we did.
“But we’ve got to not look at the league too much. There’s only 15 or 16 points between the top and the third from bottom and there were three teams on 49 points. We can’t hit the panic button just yet but we’ve got to make sure we maximise everything we do from now on.”
The Cornish side were far from being on top form against Southend. Despite notching three tries, they missed a host of chances to score and failed to take advantage of three yellow cards handed out to the visitors.
They looked close to scoring in the opening minutes but advantage was given away when they conceded two penalties in close succession. Fortunately Bradley Burr missed a penalty kick, but it did not take long for Chris Vaughan to make a break before passing the ball to Samuel Nash, who touched down for the first of Southend’s five tries.
They extended their lead with a penalty kick by Burr, followed soon after by another try, this time by Craig Strachan. Burr converted.
The All Blacks made it easy for their opponents with sloppy tackling and at times a weak defence. Try number three followed for Southend when Thomas Gannon found touch on the outside wing.
Play moved down the field and Sisa Naqasima scored a converted try for the hosts before half time, but at the whistle they trailed 20-7.
There was some good rugby played by the All Blacks at the start of the second half. BJ Chapman passed to Kyle Speare, who powered down the field, only to fall just short of the try line.
The home side gained momentum and Naqasima found a gap to score his second try of the game. But within minutes Southend were back on the try line and Daniel Cleare went over for his team’s fourth try.
Southend were one man down after a yellow card but, instead of turning it to their advantage, the Launceston men knocked on and threw their chance away. An organised visiting side scored another try thanks to replacement Simon Pierce as full-time approached.
The hosts managed to make it to the line in time added on as Jamie Salter pushed his way through for a last-minute try, but they had left it too late for any hope of a comeback.
The disappointment was etched on the faces of the home side’s players but the win was welcomed by Southend skipper Mark Billings, who said: “This is my 11th season with Southend and I can’t remember winning down here. It’s a hard place to come down to.
“To win today, with three yellow cards, was great. We’ve still got a lot to work on but it was just a totally different intensity here, the boys worked really hard. There was a die-hard attitude and we didn’t want them to score.”
Redruth head coach Ashey Morcom was encouraged by a spirited Redruth display that saw them take a losing bouns point back to the Recreation Ground after a 28-20 defeat at fellow relegation candidates London Irish Wild Geese on Saturday.
The hosts leapfrog Redruth in the National Two South table, with the Reds just four points above the drop zone.
“We set a benchmark today,” said Morcom. “If we can play like that for the rest of the season, we should have no problems staying up. The boys played well. In the first half I really thought we would be able to turn London Irish over.
“At the end I felt it came down to fitness. We left at seven o’clock and travelled for six hours for a game of rugby. If we could have stayed up on Friday night, who knows? They had a little bit more bite and edge than us. Outside we made London Irish play an honest game; they ran hard and played some really good rugby.”
The former Redruth and Cornish Pirates prop cleared up any doubts over his future.
“I’m not going anywhere – over the last year the head coach role has been hard for me, given the number of blows we have taken,” he said. “I want to coach. I do not want to be a director of rugby, I do not want to worry about how we are going to get to grounds, kit, transfers, meals. I want to be able to turn up and coach.
“I still want to be involved with Redruth, I do not see myself going anywhere else. I am staying at Redruth but I have decided to relinquish the head coach role.”
Both teams scored two tries but Redruth paid for their mistakes and wrong options. However, they kept playing until the final whistle and Murray Westren’s conversion with the last kick to earn a bonus point could be important in the final reckoning.
With six wins in their last eight games the young Wild Geese do not look like a relegation side and early pressure was rewarded with a penalty from Ed Keohane.
Westren quickly replied with a similar effort from 30 metres to level the scores.
Some poor decisions were hurting Redruth, but youngsters John Stevens and Matt O’Leary caught the eye in the back row. A Keohane penalty after a scrum put the hosts ahead again on 21 minutes.
Some good handling down the blind side on the Redruth left-hand touchline by Stevens and Westren put Luke Jones over for a try that Westren converted to put Redruth ahead after 24 minutes.
The visitors seemed in control but a charged-down kick saw the ball fall into the hands of lock Charlie Davey, who ran in a try from 40 metres, Keohane adding the extras.
Redruth suffered another blow when Exeter Academy prop Mike Roach was forced off with a twisted ankle after he was part of a two-man tackle to stop opposite number Mike Fraher, as the hosts took a 13-10 half-time lead.
Early in the second half, Rhodri McAtee opened up the defence but could not find a support runner. Then Keohane and Westren exchanged penalties. Just before the hour mark, Wild Geese pulled away with a try by Ben Kitching after Redruth had been turned over in midfield.
Keohane’s fourth penalty with eight minutes to go made the game safe, but McAtee’s dancing feet tested the Irish defence and the Reds got their reward when Greg Goodfellow dived over near the posts.
The much-anticipated Cornish derby in Tribute South West 1 West ended all square at Camborne, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
Whether it proves to be two points gained or two points lost for either of the sides in their push for promotion to the National Leagues remains to be seen, but both camps harboured disappointment at the final whistle that they couldn’t deliver a telling blow to pinch a precious win and keep the pressure on league leaders Cleve.
It was a typical Cornish derby, full of passion with plenty of the physical dished out by both sides, keeping referee Ryan Cook on his toes throughout. It was not a dirty game, just hard!
The Cherry and Whites got the first points after 10 minutes play. A well-worked try saw full back Joe Parma put in at the West Bank corner, following good work from hooker Sam Bartle and flanker George Hall.
Scrum-half David Mankee was unsuccessful with the conversion from wide out in the tricky wind.
No.8 Dave Roberts was almost in moments later, as Camborne continued to dominate the early stages.
The second try wasn’t long in coming, as Bartle was driven over from a catch-and-drive after 20 minutes for a second unconverted try.
From the re-start St. Austell were awarded a penalty, allowing fly-half and skipper Matt Shepherd to reduce the deficit.
Both sides enjoyed possession and territory in the lead up to half time, but the only further scoring was a penalty right on the break for Camborne, which Mankee kicked for a 13-3 lead at the turn.
Playing down the slope second half, St. Austell looked to dictate play and they got some early success with an unconverted try scored by full-back Dan Pearce in the West Bank corner, with Shepherd and wing Ben Chenoweth prominent in the build up.
Mankee saw another penalty attempt sale wide of the posts, before Saints were reduced to fourteen men when No.8 Adam Kellow was yellow-carded for some silly play.
With time running out, St. Austell threw the dice. A kick to the scoreboard corner saw good possession for the Saints from the lineout and a powerful drive by flanker Paul Winterbottom for the second St. Austell try, which Shepherd converted from the 22 metre line to tie the scores.
There was a lengthy delay when Camborne centre Richie Kevern was felled by a high tackle, and when play resumed both sides tried to conjure a score to snatch the win but it was not to be.
Camborne: J Parma, J Matavesi, R Kevern (L Chapple 78), S Kenward (Capt), A Ducker, G Thirlby, D Mankee; W Webster (N Endean 52), S Bartlett, L Hocking, J Griffiths (M Woolcock 58), B Kemp, G Hall, C Bone, D Roberts
Camborne scorers: tries Parma, Bartle; penalty Mankee
St. Austell: D Pearce, A Taylor, C Wilson, A Welland, B Chenoweth, M Shepherd (Capt), A Ashwin; H Noot, M Davey, M Martin, A Pearce, S Howorth, P Winterbottom, I Venner, A Kellow
Replacements (unused): P Rowe, T Murley, J Grigg
Yellow Card – Kellow (67)
St Austell scorers: tries D Pearce, Winterbottom; penalty Shepherd
Referee: Ryan Cook (C.R.R.S.)
Bristol maintained their grip on pole position in the Championship promotion race, but they were pushed all the way by the Cornish Pirates in an 11-try thriller at the Memorial Ground on Sunday.
Despite having already beaten Bristol twice this season, Ian Davies' young side travelled as firm underdogs, with the home outfit unbeaten in the league in seven games. But they faced up to the formidable offensive threat of the home team and left posing plenty of questions about the Bristol defence.
On a fast dry pitch and in sunny conditions, both teams set about each other at a high tempo from the off. Pirates' wing Craig Holland denied George Watkins a try with a fine tackle out wide after just three minutes, but the home pressure was relentless and flanker Marco Mama crashed over for his first of four tries minutes later.
Nicky Robison added the conversion but back came the Pirates through two Kieran Hallett penalties, as errors crept into the Bristol game.
Andy Short wasted a glorious four on two overlap for Bristol as he dropped a try-scoring pass, before Pirates wing Kieran Goss looked set to score on a 60 metre break before being well tackled by Auguy Slowik.
When Bristol reverted to their trusted attacking patterns, using the back row at pace from close range, they scored tries again – two in four minutes – through Mama and Nick Koster and the lead increased to 19-6, but it was short-lived as the Pirates hit back again.
Four minutes before half-time Max Bodilly scythed through the home rear-guard as he launched a blistering attack, racing 50 metres before putting Craig Holland in to score in the corner. The Bristol response was immediate, with Mama completing his hat-trick, but the Pirates struck again in injury time.
Skipper Aaron Carpenter broke free of a tackle five metres from the line after more good work from Bodilly and Kieran Goss and barged over the line for his team's second try. Hallett converted from a difficult angle to cut the Bristol lead to 24-18 at half-time.
Tap penalties and driving line-outs continued to hurt the Pirates at the start of the second half and Slowik added to the home advantage just after the restart, finishing off from close range.
Former Wales fly-half Nicky Robinson converted but Bodilly was again instrumental, this time with Tom Kessell, in creating a third Pirates try and a second of the game for Holland as they unlocked the Bristol midfield and found space down the left flank.
The Pirates had been forced into a trio of changes at half-time through injuries but stuck to their task, even when Mama crossed for a fourth time on 52 minutes.
Flanker Alex Cheesman had a storming afternoon, involved in everything the Pirates did in attack and defence, and they were rewarded with a fourth bonus-point clinching try in the final quarter.
Good patient phase play drove Bristol back deep into their 22 and the Pirates kept up the pressure, with prop Jack Andrew forcing his way over the line to score out wide.
Hallett missed the conversion but landed a penalty with six minutes to go as Bristol were caught off their feet at a ruck and nerves began to jangle in the home camp with their lead cut to five at 38-33.
From the restart, though, the Pirates conceded a penalty as they were penalised for an accidental offside following a Tom Duncan knock-on, and Adrian Jarvis landed the penalty from 30 metres.
Then in added time, with the Pirates still trying to force the game, Bristol counter-attacked and Ruki Tipuna's wickedly bouncing grubber kick wrong-footed Bodilly. Slowik snatched the loose ball to score and the game was over with the scoreline 46-33 to the hosts.
A committed and passionate Redruth performance brought a 21-17 victory over Canterbury to ease National League Two South relegation worries at the Recreation Ground.
Tries from Mike Allen, Murray Westren and Luke Jones were just reward for one of their best home performances of the season against a Canterbury side positioned second in the table.
A super strike by full-back Westren gave Redruth the lead within the first two minutes. His side made a positive start, drawing a penalty from their high-flying opponents and spent the majority of the opening ten minutes inside the visitors’ half.
Only a break by Canterbury wing Kwaku Asiedu caused concern, but the Reds quickly regrouped and applied pressure once more. Another two kicking opportunities subsequently came Westren’s way. He missed the first with the angle against him but doubled Redruth’s lead with the second.
The pace, intensity and technique shown by Redruth in the opening 25 minutes certainly deserved a score and it came after a long spell probing along the Canterbury 22. Fly-half Rhodri McAtee twisted and turned on his way to the left corner and, although he appeared to have lost his footing, it took three to bring him down.
Allen arrived in support and was just able to force his way over the try line for a touchdown only confirmed by referee Nick Williams after consultation with his assistant.
Westren’s conversion hit the right post from a tight angle but Redruth could have had another try moments later, when scrum-half Greg Goodfellow broke with blistering pace from inside his own half. However, a chip-and-chase as he approached the visiting 22 was just too strong for wing Jones to catch.
It took Canterbury 34 minutes to reach the Reds’ 22 and they were clinical enough to take points when they did so. Fly-half Guy Hilton reduced the gap to eight points with a close-range penalty.
After an opening half of such quality, it only seemed fair that Redruth scored a second try before the interval. A cross-field kick from McAtee was picked up skilfully by Jones and his sharp pass inside to Westren set up a clear run to the corner.
It was always going to be difficult for Redruth to maintain their efforts after the half-time break, but apart from an opening burst from Canterbury, the home side picked up exactly where they left off.
A catch-and-drive forced the visitors back more than ten metres, well into their own 22, and Goodfellow picked just the right moment to take the ball off the back of the maul and set up Jones in the corner for an unconverted try.
The chase was now well and truly on for the fourth-try bonus point, and Redruth’s forwards were forcing errors and indiscretions from their Canterbury counterparts. Indeed, visiting No.8 Robert Lennox was sent to the sin bin for his part in stalling the home pack as they surged to the try line in the 67th minute.
A knock-on from Redruth allowed Canterbury to clear and they went on to have their best spell of the game, despite being a man down. Asiedu, as previously threatened, did break for a try in stoppage time, converted by Reuben Meares.
A penalty try in the 85th minute then created a flattering final score and a losing bonus point from Canterbury’s perspective.
It was, to all intents and purposes, a comprehensive win for Redruth – the only pity being the lack of that fourth try their five-star display deserved.
Neil Bayliss got off to a disappointing start as interim director of rugby of the Cornish All Blacks as they slipped to a third successive defeat in a crucial relegation "eight-pointer" at Chinnor.
The two teams went into Saturday's game locked on 49 points, but Chinnor’s 28-20 home victory saw them leave the All Blacks in the National Two South relegation zone.
These are worrying times at Polson Bridge, but Bayliss, who took over from the sacked Cliff Rainford during the week, can take solace from the fact that the Cornishmen are only one point adrift of safety.
Four of their remaining seven league matches are also against teams in the bottom six in the table, and they tackle none of the current top five in their run-in.
However, they face trips to the two teams either side of them in the table, Bournemouth and Dings Crusaders, and they need to start picking up some wins on the road if they are to climb out of trouble, with their last away win coming on December 7 against bottom side Exmouth.
They also have another difficult away trip to mid-table Cambridge next Saturday.
The All Blacks got off to a very bright start in Oxfordshire and scored ten points in the opening nine minutes.
Full-back Kieron Lewitt grabbed a try, which he also converted, only three minutes after opening the scoring with a penalty.
However, the hosts came storming back to lead 18-10 after only 29 minutes.
Centre Jack Hayes ran a fine line to pierce the All Blacks’ defence and slip fly-half Will Millett in for Chinnor’s first try. Millett converted and added two penalties, before wing George Blewitt crossed the whitewash to put Chinnor eight points clear. The All Blacks then enjoyed a purple patch in the lead-up to the break, with Lewitt slotting a second penalty, and then adding the extras to a try by fly-half Jake Murphy to give the visitors a 20-18 interval advantage.
However, the All Blacks failed to trouble the scoreboard again. They were guilty of squandering a number of promising overlaps as they strived in vain.
Blewitt collected his second try only a minute into the second period, converted by Millett, to put Chinnor back in front at 25-20, and that was it in terms of scoring until a penalty four minutes from time by Millett finally killed off the Cornishmen by putting the hosts two scores clear.
Delighted Chinnor coach Matt Goode said: “This was clearly a must-win match for both sides, and after 15 minutes things were looking black for us.
“We managed to come back and had a much stronger second half, helped by the All Blacks not exploiting a number of attacking positions that might have hurt us.”
The Cornish Pirates endured a frustrating afternoon at the Mennaye Field as promotion-chasing London Welsh moved back into 2nd place in the Greene King Championship with a comfortable win, writes Dick Straughan.
The game was an error-strewn affair from the start, with both sides struggling to get any continuity in their game, but early points gave the visitors a platform on which to build.
Scrum-half Alex Davies landed a 4th minute penalty before they grabbed an opening try ten minutes later.
A Pirates attack on the Welsh 22 was halted by a loose pass and a turnover and the Exiles attacked at pace down the left flank. Wing Nick Scott broke free to run in from 40 metres and Davies converted for a 10-0 lead.
The Pirates battled hard to make a mark on the contest and Kieran Hallett was wide with a penalty attempt at the end of the first quarter. But with half an hour played the Welsh struck again.
Patient build up play and relentless phases of attack eventually carved out a gap in the Pirates' defence big enough for flanker Dan Browne to charge through, and at half-time the Welsh led 15-0.
The game continued in the same vein after the break with the Pirates pressing but being thwarted by errors, and another turnover led to try number three on the hour.
Prop James Tideswell stole the ball at a ruck deep in the Welsh 22 and they attacked at pace, switching the ball from the right to left flank. Scott's break was well halted by Junior Fatialofa but skipper Carl Kirwan arrived to score.
With time almost up yet another Pirates attack finally yielded a consolation try for the home side as Craig Holland gathered his own chip ahead wide on the left to score in the corner.
Cornish Pirates: Bodilly, Hendrickson, Riley, James (Fatialofa 55), Holland, Hallett, Kessell (Fullerton 76); Cahill, Elloway (Channon 65), Prescott (Andrew 65), Patrick (Graulich 55), Barry (Parker 65), Morgan (capt), Cheesman, Carpenter (Duncan 63)
Pirates' scorers: try Holland
London Welsh: Awcock, Stegmann, Tincknell, Parker (May 65), Scott, L`Estrange (Lewis 60), Davies; Hepburn (Trevett 55), Vella (Davies 65), Edwards (Tideswell 51), West (Nimmo 60), P.Browne, D.Browne, Kirwan (capt) (Quill 65), Stedman
Welsh scorers: tries Scott, D.Browne, Kirwan; con Davies; pen Davies
Referee M.Fox (RFU)
Cornish All Blacks' lock Bryn Jenkins said he was unable to put his finger on why the Duchy outfit's away form has been so wretched this season.
The Cornishmen suffered a heavy six tries to one defeat at Cambridge to leave them deep in National Two South relegation trouble.
It was their 11th loss in 13 games on the road, with their last success away from Polson Bridge coming in early December against bottom-of-the-table Exmouth.
They are now two points adrift of safety, with six matches remaining, and they face a difficult home game against sixth-placed Taunton Titans next Saturday.
“It's a six-game season for us now, and we need to get some points and score some tries if we're to stay up and it's going to be a hard slog,” said All Blacks lock Jenkins, who was playing against his former club on Saturday.
“Starting badly has been a bit of a habit for us this season playing away from home. We concede early and we start to struggle. I don’t know why we can’t do it away. I think it's a head issue more than anything for us now.
“We’ve got Taunton at home next week and we’ve got to win our home games, and turn our season around. We're playing well in patches but we need to join those together into an 80-minute performance.
“All the boys want to stay up and we have to work hard on Tuesdays and Thursdays and get the results we need.”
The All Blacks were never really at the races at Cambridge, and it was not until five minutes from time that they managed to score a try.
They conceded two tries in the opening ten minutes, to lock Gareth Baxter and blindside flanker Ollie Marriott, with full-back Jim Wigglesworth converting the second for a 12-0 lead.
Home scrum-half Jack Daly added a third touchdown before the break, with the All Blacks’ only points of the half coming from a 37th-minute penalty by full-back Kieron Lewitt to leave them 17-3 adrift at the interval.
Lewitt kicked a second penalty early in the second half, but scores from Cambridge inside-centre Jamie Ayrton and wing Mike Gillick, after 50 and 69 minutes respectively, both converted by Wigglesworth, confirmed the result.
The All Blacks finally crossed the whitewash when skipper Ben Hilton gathered the ball off team-mate Jenkins to score a try, converted by fly-half Jake Murphy. But there was still time for ex-Penryn loose-head prop Jamal Ford-Robinson to grab his side’s sixth try.
Cambridge: Wigglesworth (Penfold 69); Gillick, Diggin, J Ayrton, M Ayrton; Green, Daly (Kevan 59); Ford-Robinson (Allard 80), Griffiths (Gracey 64), Allard (Miller 57); Wolfenden (Conquest 59), Baxter; Marriott, Harry, Brownlie (Griffiths 76)
Yellow card: Marriott (37)
Cambridge scorers: tries Baxter, Marriott, Daly, J Ayrton, Gillick, Ford-Robinson; conversions Wigglesworth (3)
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt (Speares 64); Yeo, Westren, Hooper, S Chapman; Murphy, Friend; Naqasima (Brown 69), Salter (Semmens 52), Pow (Bayliss 79); Jenkins, Hilton (capt); Courtier (Davies 57), T Rawlings, BJ Chapman
Yellow card: Yeo (27)
All Blacks' scorers: try Hilton; conversion Murphy; penalties Lewitt (2)
Referee: C Ridley (RFU)
Head Coach Ashley Morcom was both frustrated and disappointed as a below-par Redruth display ended in a five tries to two defeat at Shelford.
“It is frustrating and disappointing not to come away with at least a point,” said Morcom after his team’s 37-15 National Two South defeat on Saturday. “Potentially we could have come away with four points, the way we played in the last 20 minutes.
“We were never allowed to get going. Scrum time in the first half did not happen but we did nothing different in the second half when we got on top. We have got to identify that Shelford were not that powerful and realistically, if we had played like we did last week, the scoreline could have been reversed.”
After conceding a penalty from the kick-off, Redruth spent most of the first period on the back foot, despite playing with the advantage of a strong wind.
They were at the wrong end of a ten to four penalty count, paying dearly for offences at the breakdown and scrum that led to yellow cards for skipper Chris Fuca and Jess Tompsett. Shelford ran in 17 points while Redruth were short-handed.
Under-pressure Redruth were indebted in the opening minutes to Brett Rule, who saved a try by tackling Chris Lord into touch near the flag.
The hosts looked to forwards Ben Herring and Rupert Ransom to carry strongly and they made dents in the defence for strong-running centre Gerhard Wessels to cross for an unconverted try on seven minutes.
Murray Westren pulled back three points with a 35 metre penalty after 15 minutes but, when Fuca received the first yellow card for an offence near the Redruth line on 32 minutes, sustained pressure from the home side ended with hooker Daniel Reilly spotting a gap to touch down a try that teenager Rory Hutchinson converted.
Redruth lost Tompsett, who had carried well, for an offence at a scrum on halfway in first-half stoppage-time. Westren was narrowly wide with two long-range penalty attempts as the visitors trailed by nine points at the break.
Indecision looking into the dropping sun led to a knock-on from the start of the second half as Redruth conceded field position, and Ransom took advantage of some weak tackles to go over for a converted try.
With the Reds still a man down, they conceded a further three points after a scrum in front of the posts and the game was effectively put out of their reach in the 54th minute when Hutchinson stroked over a penalty from near halfway.
Ransom ran in the bonus point try midway through the second period, but Redruth hit back in the final quarter as their scrum got on top.
Play down the blind side by Greg Goodfellow and Fuca ended with Paul Thirlby having a clear run to the left-hand corner after 63 minutes.
The tide had turned as Redruth gained three penalties in quick succession and the hosts were reduced to 14 men when replacement Francis Ambrose was shown a yellow card for an offence near the line.
The visiting scrum demolished the home pack and were awarded a penalty try which Westren converted.
Cornwall Under-18 player Will Whitworth, son of former Reds and Cornwall captain Stuart Whitworth, came on for his Redruth debut, but he ended it by injuring his knee trying to stop replacement scrum-half John Naylor scoring a try, following an interception on the halfway line in the final play of the game.
Shelford: Hutchinson; Lord, W Anderson, Wessels, Chiwanga; Smith, White (Naylor 67); M Anderson (Malings 32), Reilly (Ambrose 72), Cutts; Mills (capt), Herrington (Hall 53); Jackowski (Reilly 75), Beswick (Lea 60), Ransom
Yellow card: Ambrose
Shelford scorers: tries Ransom (2), Wessels, Reilly, Naylor; conversions Hutchinson (3); penalties Hutchinson (2)
Redruth: B Rule (Hosking 70); Notman, Parsons, Thirlby, Jones (Turner 41-45, D Bonds 67); Westren (Whitworth 74), Goodfellow; Tompsett, Brown (Turner 63); Williams; Cook, Allen; Rayment (Gidlow 70), Stevens, Fuca (capt)
Yellow cards: Fuca, Tompsett
Reds' scorers: tries Thirlby, penalty; conversion Westren; penalty Westren
Referee: M Hudson (RFU)
The Cornish Pirates returned to winning ways at home in the Greene King Championship as they edged past relegation threatened Nottingham in a scrappy encounter at the Mennaye Field, writes Dick Straughan.
Beaten for only the second time this season at home just seven days earlier, the Pirates knew that they would be in for a battle against Martin Haag’s side and they were not to be disappointed.
Penalised mercilessly all afternoon at the scrum by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys and down to 12 men in stoppage time with three players in the sin-bin, the Pirates hung on to consolidate sixth place in the table and deny the visitors a priceless losing bonus point.
Nottingham took an early lead with Matt Jarvis’s second penalty effort but were hit hard midway through the half, conceding two tries in eight minutes.
Wing Kyle Moyle seized the first, grabbing an interception yards from his own line from Alan Walker as Nottingham looked set to score themselves, before racing the length of the field to touch down.
Kieran Hallett, playing against his former club and making his 50th appearance for the Pirates, converted.
Hallett turned provider for the next try as his well-judged grubber kick behind the Nottingham defence released Craig Holland for his fourth try in three games.
The visitors scored the first points of the second half with Jarvis’s second penalty, but mistakes from both teams continued to litter the game and disrupt passages of attacking play.
At the scrum Nottingham reigned supreme but conceded a third try on 66 minutes when Tom Kessell tidied up a passage of loose play and released Moyle down the right flank to score in the corner.
The Midlanders battled to the end and the first to see yellow were their skipper Dan Montagu and Pirates’ lock Darren Barry for fighting.
In a fractious finale Pirates’ prop Jack Andrew was sin-binned for a scrum offence which forced uncontested scrums for the remainder of the game.
Nottingham’s pack were twice held up over the Pirates’ line before Aaron Carpenter also saw yellow and the visitors finally profited with an injury time try from Will Skuse.
Jarvis had the chance to grab a bonus point with the conversion attempt but sliced his hastily taken kick wide of the posts.
Cornish Pirates: Boddily, Moyle, Riley, Fatialofa, Holland, Hallett, Kessell; Cahill (Davies 50) Elloway (Channon 76), Andrew (sin-bin 77), Carrick-Smith (Barry 59, sin-bin 70-80), Graulich, Morgan (capt), Cheesman, Duncan (Carpenter 52, sin-bin 80+1)
Replacements (not used): Sinclair, James, Hendrickson
Yellow cards: Barry, Andrew, Carpenter
Pirates' scorers: tries Moyle (2), Holland; con Hallett
Nottingham: Lynn, Hough, Munro, Pohe, Catchpole, Jarvis, Romans; Ma`afu (Bower 63), Walker (Vickers 59), Holford (Williams 71), Freeman, Montagu (capt)(sin-bin 70-80, Keogh), Skuse, Cooper, Shaw
Replacements (not used): Lee-Everton, Molloy
Yellow card: Montagu
Notts scorers: try Skuse; pens Jarvis (2)
Referee: C Maxwell-Keys (RFU)
If the Cornish All Blacks suffer relegation from National League Two South after playing rugby like this, it will be a complete travesty.
The men from Launceston moved clear of the bottom three with a 15-10 victory over Taunton Titans at Polson Bridge on Saturday, and the scoreline hardly did their performance justice.
It was also a first win for acting director of rugby Neil Bayliss, who will have been most pleased by the commitment and desire of his men after two losses in his first two games in charge.
The hosts’ expansive gameplan was clearly a surprise to the visitors, who struggled to contain the All Blacks or gain any momentum of their own.
Indeed, it was the Cornish side who got the better of a fast and furious start to score the opening try within the first ten minutes.
The home side probed left and right before centre Nielson Webber saw an opening just to the left of the posts.
Kieron Lewitt converted but the Titans came back briefly, forcing errors and applying pressure. A penalty with 15 minutes gone brought the visitors’ first chance of points, but fly-half James Forrester missed the target from just outside the Launceston 22.
The home side were playing with confidence and invention when running the ball, mixed with a tactical kicking game that was perhaps a little more hit and miss. The latter’s success was occasionally let down by some inaccuracy as they sought to kick to the corners and exploit their dominance in the line-out.
Launceston’s work with the ball in hand should have yielded a second try after some sharp passing took them deep into the Taunton 22.
However, Tom Rawlings was unable to gather BJ Chapman’s pass with the try line in front of him. And there were plenty more for the All Blacks, who could easily have been in excess of 20 points ahead at half time if they had been more clinical.
Taunton failed to hit the target with another Forrester kick for goal before the break and Gary Kingdom also missed with the boot when the sides resumed for the second half.
Launceston continued where they left off. And although some of their running rugby saw them fail to cross the gain-line, the Titans needed full concentration to keep them back. There was little they could do once Ryan Westren got hold of the ball with the try line just in front of him, however.
The former Cornish Pirates centre, who is gradually starting to look like his old self after a season out through injury, showed determination and power to extend his side’s lead to 12 points.
Lewitt sliced his conversion attempt, offering the Titans at least a chance of recovering as the game entered the final 20 minutes. They started that process with wing Jack Claydon’s touch down in the 68th minute, which was brilliantly converted by former Launceston man Kingdom.
But a late yellow card for visiting lock Brett Harvey, and a subsequent penalty successfully kicked by Lewitt, made it tough for Tony Yapp’s side in the final ten minutes.
Kingdom struck his first successful penalty at the end of normal time but the All Blacks were good value for the 15-10 win when referee Phil Watters signalled the end of the game.
And, as so often this season, Launceston could and should have taken a bonus point.
Redruth were well beaten, 48-12, by National Two South leaders Hartpury College, who ran in seven tries in a result that leaves the Cornish side needing two wins from the last four games of the season to avoid relegation.
Head coach Ashley Morcom was happy with the commitment and effort a patched-up Reds’ side put in.
“The boys played well in to the wind in the first half,” he said. “We conceded ten points early on but them stuck with them.
“We had a little bit of a lull for three minutes and let them in for two tries. Apart from that we stuck it to them.
“Second half we were a little bit under-powered up front and it told in the end. We called on players to play out of position, they gave it everything but we were overpowered.
“You can see why Hartpury are top of the table – there are reasons and they showed that today,” he added. “They had three tries from turnovers, we coughed the ball up and they caught us napping when we over-committed on moves and capitalised.
“It is all about moving forward now; we came hoping to take a point. We came close a couple of times but we have to move on now. We have got four tough games to go.”
Playing into a stiff, cold wind, Redruth opened brightly, keeping the ball for the first couple of minutes, but found they were running into a brick wall defence and, when the ball was turned over, Gloucester starlet Stef Reynolds ran in a try from the halfway line, which Billy Burns converted.
Burns added a penalty a minute later and the Reds were ten points down with just four minutes gone.
Although under pressure for a long period, Redruth were composed and coping well. Skipper Chris Fuca took a heavy knock but played on with a sore neck.
Two tries in a couple of minutes put the result beyond doubt after the half-hour mark; the first, from a quickly taken free-kick, saw Barnstaple boy Ben Vellacott feed the former Gloucester favourite Terry Fanolua, who ran straight and hard for 30 metres to go over near the posts, with Burns converting.
A poor restart gave Hartpury another springboard to attack and Craig Jackson ran in an unconverted try.
A 22-point deficit was harsh after all of the Redruth efforts. Greg Goodfellow and Luke Jones both had a couple of good runs but the Cornishmen could not match the collective organisation of the students.
At the start of the second period, Scotland Under-20 international Vellacott, who looked a sharp operator, ran in the bonus point try after a break by Burns.
Redruth never caved in and played some good rugby, with Sam Parsons paving the way for Craig Bonds to touch down Redruth’s first try.
A powerful driving maul from the 22-metre line saw Hartpury captain Chris Fortey go over for a try after 57 minutes, quickly followed by a length-of-the-field effort from Reynolds. Only good cover from Tom Notman prevented the flying wing from completing his hat-trick.
A lucky bounce from a probing kick by Jackson saw Alex Woodburn go over for the home side’s seventh try after 73 minutes.
In the final play of the match, some spirited play by the Reds ended with John Stevens running 30 metres for a try that Ashley Hosking converted.
Camborne scored 19 tries as they swept to victory against bottom of the table Sidmouth, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
The big win keeps the Cherry and Whites’ promotion bandwagon on track and sets them up for a much more challenging fixture next Saturday, when they travel to Somerset to take on fellow promotion challengers Hornets.
With Cleve and St. Austell drawing 25 all in the top of the table clash, the top four clubs are separated by three points, which makes for a thrilling finale to the league season over the next few weeks.
Camborne fly-half Dave Mankee got the scoreboard ticking after just three minutes as he scored the opening try – part of a personal haul of 38 points with two tries and 14 conversions.
Further tries from flanker George Hall, and wingers Alex Ducker and Rob Floyd saw the try-scoring bonus point wrapped up by 17 minutes.
Camborne went on to score a further six tries during the first period through Floyd, flanker Cameron Bone, Ducker, lock Ben Kemp, skipper Dave Roberts and centre Richie Kevern, with Mankee adding seven conversions.
However, the biggest cheer came just on half-time when Sidmouth lock Nick Mills got over the Camborne for their only try, converted by scrum-half and captain Dan Retter to leave the score at 64-7 to Camborne at the break.
Mankee again got the try scoring under way in the second half after 42 minutes, with further scores coming at regular intervals from Floyd (2), Ducker, hooker Sam Bartle, centre Joel Matavesi (2), full back Joe Parma and scrum-half Dean Pascoe, whilst Mankee again kicked seven conversions.
Camborne’s second rows got through lot of work, notably Ben Kemp, as did Olly Reynolds when coming on for player-coach John Griffiths just after half-time.
The big win boosts Camborne’s points scored differential and helped soften the blow of last week’s defeat at Bideford.
Camborne: J Parma, R Floyd, J Matavesi, R Kevern, A Ducker, D Mankee, D Pascoe, N Endean (A Zacharovas 21), S Bartle, W Webster, J Griffiths (O Reynolds 42), B Kemp, G Hall, C Bone, D Roberts (Capt)
Replacement (not used): L Chapple
Camborne scorers: tries Mankee (2), Hall, Ducker (3), Floyd (4), Bone, Kemp, Roberts, Kevern, Bartle, Matavesi (2), Parma, Pascoe; conversions Mankee (14)
Sidmouth: J Astley-Jones, H Shayler, D Colson , H Chesterton, B Dobson, C Grainger, D Retter (Capt); T Irish, Josh Salter, M Unsworth, C Otway, N Mills, James Salter, R Davies (N Barnett 24), G Pearson
Sidmouth scorers: try Mills; conversion Retter
Referee: Simon Lord (Cornwall.R.R.S.)
Briton Camborne man-of-the-match: Ben Kemp
The Cornish Pirates won a pulsating cross-Tamar derby at Brickfields as they made it ten wins in a row against Plymouth Albion, writes Dick Straughan.
Plymouth had not beaten the Pirates at home since April 2010, but signalled their attacking intent in an open game after just 5 minutes, when wing Tom Bowen seized on a loose Pirates pass on halfway and raced in to score under the posts.
Declan Cusack converted but his opposite number, Pirates' fly-half Kieran Hallett, had much the better of the tactical kicking contest and also landed two first half penalties to get the Pirates back into the game.
Plymouth were clearly struggling to cope with the Pirates' scrum and lost prop Sam Harrison to the sin bin at the end of the first quarter. The Pirates then struck with two tries in three minutes to change the complexion of the contest.
Max Bodilly got the first, finishing in the right hand corner after powerful approach play through the midfield by the pack. Then Craig Holland and Junior Fatialofa combined superbly down the left flank to set up centre Tom Riley for the try.
Hallett converted for an 18-7 lead, but Plymouth had the last word in the half as flanker Eoghan Grace drove over from a solid driving maul for a try, converted by Cusack.
The Albion ten cut the Pirates' lead to just a single point early in the second half with a penalty, before trading further place kicks with Hallett. On the hour the Cornish side then lost Aaron Carpenter to the sin bin as they frantically defended a wave of Albion assaults on their try line, but crucially stopped the Devon side from scoring again.
With three minutes remaining Plymouth hooker Sam Matavesi overthrew a lineout in his own 22 and Rob Elloway pounced for the Pirates. They drove up to the home try line and Tom Kessell supplied the finish, sniping over for his 9th try of the season.
Plymouth Albion: Mugford, Bowen, Woods, Howley-Berridge, Davies (Rice 22-29, Arnott 76), Cusack, Rowley; Harrison (sin-bin 19-29, Rice 69)), Matavesi, Fairbrother (Morton 54), Beukeboom, Ashcroft-Leigh (Tovey 69), Stephen, Grace, Oakley (capt)
Replacements (not used): McGregor, Tovey, Elder, Cushion
Yellow Cards: Harrison
Albion scorers: tries Bowen, Grace; cons Cusack (2); pens Cusack (2)
Cornish Pirates: Bodilly, Holland, Riley, Fatialofa, Moyle, Hallett, Kessell; Andrew, Channon, Prescott, McGlone, Barry (capt), Parker, Cheesman, Carpenter
Replacements: Elloway, Davies, Carrick-Smith, Conlon, Duncan, Sinclair, Hendrickson
Yellow Card: Carpenter
Pirates' scorers: tries Bodilly, Riley, Kessell; con Hallett; pens Hallett (3)
Referee D.Gamage (RFU)
Redruth recorded a vital win at home in their fight to avoid relegation against high-flying Ampthill & District, who were making their first visit to the Recreation Ground, reports Bill Hooper.
Despite a bright start form the visitors it was Redruth who posted the first points with an unconverted try scored by winger Rhodri McAtee on 16 minutes, from a Redruth scrum in the Frame Suite corner. Good work from No.8 Matt O’Leary saw full-back Murray Westren slip the scoring pass to the Welsh Whippet.
Ampthill got right back into it when skipper No.8 Maama Molitka picked up and drove over from a scrum just five meters out from the Redruth line, full-back Elliot Clements-Hill adding the first of four successful conversions.
The game swung back Redruth’s way just three minutes later, as lock Damien Cook finished off a concerted period of Redruth pressure in the scoreboard corner for a second unconverted try for the home side.
Redruth were very much in the ascendancy in the lead up to half-time and their domination was rewarded with a third try from a catch-and-drive, scored by lock Mike Allen, with Westren adding the conversion for a 17-7 half-time lead.
Redruth’s half-time advantage was wiped out five minutes into the second half as Ampthill upped the pace, scoring tries through winger Dean Adamson and their giant prop Joseph Sproston. Clements-Hill added both conversions to turn the game on it’s head once again, as Ampthill led 21-17.
Redruth clawed back three points when Westren kicked a penalty from in front of the posts when the visitors were penalised at a scrum.
The Reds then got their noses ahead once more with the try of the afternoon. A high ball from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow caused confussion in the Ampthill defence, allowing winger Luke Jones to hack the ball on. Centre Sam Parsons gathered the ball before feeding Jones, who scored the bonus point try under the posts. Westren’s simple conversion gave the Reds a six-point advantage, 27-21.
Clements-Hill chipped away at the lead with a penalty for the visitors, before the Redruth pack scrummaged their way to yet another penalty-try, converted by Western, for a ten point lead 34-24.
Further pressure from the Redruth forwards led to try number six, scored by replacement Ben Priddey, who has been busy with the Royal Navy rugby team in Toulon and Bath during the past week.
Amptill did strike back near the end, to score two further tries through fly-half Joseph Tarrant and centre Jonathan Raven, with Clements-Hill adding a conversion to earn the visitors a couple of bonus points from their visit to Redruth.
A fracas between both sides right at the end saw Redruth skipper Chris Fuca singled out and shown a yellow card by referee Haskins!
Redruth: M Westren, L Jones, C Bonds, S Parsons, R McAtee (B Rule 73), P Thirlby, G Goodfellow, J Tompsett, R Brown (N Turner 73), C Williams (P Joyce 66), D Cook, M Allen (B Priddey 55), C Fuca (Capt), J Stevens (M Gidlow 73), M O’Leary
Yellow Card: Fuca (80)
Reds' scorers: tries McAtee, Cook, Allen, Jones, penalty-try, Priddey; conversions Westren (4); penalty Westren
Amptill & District: E Clements-Hill, G Williams, R Davies, J Raven, D Adamson, J Tarrant, T Warfield; J Sproston, A Bloisi, M Collins (J Wright 71), L Bray, P Lane, M Popham (S Walsh 76), M Burke (J Bercis 35), M Molitika (capt)
Replacements (not used): M Bohill, J Morgan
Ampthill scorers: tries Molitka, Adamson, Sprostson, Tarrant, Raven; conversions Clements-Hill (4); penalty Clements-Hill
Referee: Luke Haskins (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Damien Cook
The Cornish All Blacks remain in serious relegation trouble after seeing a 21-7 lead slip through their grasp in a 25-21 loss at fellow strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday.
The hosts knew they needed to win to stand any realistic chance of retaining their National Two South status, but looked to be up against it after they conceded three converted tries inside the opening 29 minutes.
However, the All Blacks failed to trouble the scoreboard again in the contest, and defeat, combined with Dings Crusaders’ impressive 43-10 bonus-point victory over Clifton, saw the Launceston men drop back into the relegation zone.
“We were the dominant team in the first 20 minutes, we dominated up front, but in the second half we came out and just switched off a little bit, and that has been the story of our season for reasons unknown, and they managed to get their tails up,” said All Blacks lock Bryn Jenkins.
“They had a back row who were very good at turnovers, and they capitalised on that and made the most of their chances, whereas we just didn’t take the opportunities we were presented with.”
The All Blacks are two points adrift of Dings, but have a game in hand, and three of their four remaining fixtures are at Polson Bridge, starting on Saturday with the visit of already-relegated Exmouth, whose head coach is former All Blacks’ director of rugby Jon Hill.
Exmouth pulled off a shock result on Saturday by winning 27-12 at home to sixth-placed visitors Cambridge.
“No one wants to look at the possibility of going down,” said Jenkins.
“In our eyes we are staying up, and everyone else at the club has got to have the same mentality as the players and the coaches.
If you have any doubt in your mind, you have lost already, so everything for us is just going to be positive from now on in.
“We are strong at home. We did have a little hiccup when we lost two back-to-back games at Polson recently, but those are the only two we have lost there all season, so we are going to back ourselves to win the three games we have got left at home, and try and find a little bit of form against Dings away.
“Exmouth did a job on Cambridge at the weekend, and you can’t underestimate any team in this league. That is the story of the season for every team. We are not going to take them lightly at all.”
The All Blacks took the lead after only five minutes with a try off a catch-and-drive line-out from hooker Jamie Salter, converted by full-back Kieron Lewitt.
Scrum-half Richard Friend added a second 12 minutes later off the back of a five-metre scrum, with Lewitt again supplying the extras, before Bournemouth hit back with an interception touchdown from wing Wyn Roberts, converted by fly-half Jack Metters. The All Blacks restored their 14-point advantage with a try by winger Kyle Speare after a well-worked move, with the score once more improved by Lewitt.
However, penalties either side of half-time by Metters cut the deficit to eight points, before a 44th-minute try by loose-head prop Andrew Spikings, converted by Metters, left the hosts only one point adrift.
That is how it stayed until seven minutes from time, when Bournemouth full-back Karim Lynch crossed for the match-winning score to leave the travelling All Blacks devastated.
The Cornish All Blacks earned a much-needed 18-17 derby win against Exmouth as their battle for National Two South survival continues.
The victory was welcomed by Launceston assistant coach Tom Rawlings, who said: “We needed to win today. I think a lot of people were expecting a big score but I wasn’t and I know Neil Bayliss, our director of rugby, wasn’t.
“A lot of credit to Exmouth today, they’ve battled hard all season. They came down here and they really worked at it and it was a really close encounter for us. They would have loved to come down after their win over Cambridge last week and win, but we sent them packing.
“We’ve kept our good home record going, having only lost two home games. The important thing is we got the win, we got four points. Big credit to our defence today. Tackles were flying all over the place and we kept our shape.
“There were slight discipline problems creeping back in and we gave away a few crucial penalties, especially right at the end of the game when a little bit of back chat allowed them to finish the game off on a high note. We’ve got a few areas to work on but all in all, it was very positive.”
Despite being a more experienced team, it was never a walk in the park for the hosts. Exmouth put up a good fight and were helped by a few mistakes and occasional lack of discipline by the home side.
The Polson side played plenty of good rugby in the first half, with fluent passing and powerful tackling. A good penalty by Kieron Lewitt put the first score on the board for the Launceston men and BJ Chapman notched up their first try after he found a gap in the Exmouth defence.
The hosts conceded a number of penalties but Exmouth failed to use them to their advantage and All Blacks led 8-0 at half time.
The Launceston side came out at the start of the second half firing on all cylinders. Jake Murphy caught Exmouth on the hop, weaving in and out of the pack, before passing the ball to Ryan Westren. He had a clear run to touch down for the home side’s second try, converted by Lewitt.
A George Meadows penalty gave the visitors their first three points but his attempt at another soon after failed. The visitors were back on the attack and had a man advantage as the hosts were a man down after a yellow card for Lewis Webb. The Cockles took play right to the line, taking the All Blacks by surprise. A mistake by the home side led to referee Paul Kimber awarding Exmouth a penalty try, converted by Meadows.
The Polson side extended their score with what would become a crucial penalty by Lewitt.
The home side managed to hold Exmouth off but in injury time they gave away a penalty which led to the visitors finishing off the game with a converted try, scored by Alexander Brown, and although the Cockles had managed to narrow the deficit to one point it was the Launceston side who secured the win.
Rawlings hopes the win will boost his side as they prepare to face Dings Crusaders away next weekend in a crucial relegation battle.
“We were disappointed last week and we let our supporters down,” he said. “This week there was a good response and we got the win, so onwards and upwards. We’ve got to be really on our game next week away to Dings, and hopefully the pride and passion we put into the jersey will prevail.”
A patched-up Redruth side - with six changes from the side that turned over Ampthill the previous Saturday - were dragged back into the National Two South relegation mire as they were run off their feet on their first visit to Bishop’s Stortford, losing 53-8.
Not only was this a disappointing result for the men from the Recreation Ground but wins for Cornish All Blacks and Chinnor, combined with London Irish Wild Geese and Dings Crusaders picking up bonus points – leaves the Cornish side just four points above the drop zone with two games to go.
Head coach Ashley Morcom, who was an unused replacement, and his skipper Chris Fuca, who played much of the game at centre, both recognised that Saturday’s home game with Clifton is crucial.
Fuca said: “We did some very positive things and we have got to move them into next week now which is going to be a massive game for us.”
Morcom acknowledged that Redruth were beaten by a better side and lamented the lack of player numbers.
“You could see they [Bishop’s Stortford] are a good side the way they play their rugby,” he said. “We had players in some strange positions today; there is nothing we can do about it – we were down to the bare bones regarding numbers of players.
“We have got to make sure that we turn up ready next week – it is a must-win. We have got to go with a mentality that we are going to blow this team [Clifton] away.
“I really feel we will be on top of our game next week. I think everyone has the mentality that it is a must-win.”
Redruth took the lead at Silver Leys with a Brett Rule penalty after nine minutes and bravely defended their line for the next 17 minutes but once they were broken the visitors shipped a further three tries in the five minutes before the interval to trail 26-3.
Although outplayed by a young side that stretched their defence, the Cornishmen held on grimly until a yellow card for replacement Matt Gidlow saw them concede three tries in the final 14 minutes to concede a half century of points for the first time this season.
Rule stroked over a penalty from 30 metres on the right of the posts after nine minutes to put the Reds in front but Stortford, playing good flowing rugby, were stretching the defence, and full-back Craig Bonds made several important tackles.
Stortford finally unlocked the door when flanker Steve Ball was driven over for an unconverted 26th-minute try.
In a disastrous spell leading up to the interval Redruth conceded three tries, first an interception following a scrum near their own line to Arran Mahoney that skipper Tom Coleman converted.
Redruth allowed Stortford to kick to the corner as they conceded penalties and No.8 Mark McCraith and Ball went over for tries in a couple of minutes before the interval, both converted by Coleman.
At the start of the second half full-back Jimmy Rea had plenty of space to run in for an unconverted try at the corner.
Redruth spirits were briefly lifted when strong forward play led to an unconverted try for replacement Craig Williams after 46 minutes.
Coleman put over a penalty from in front of the posts after 52 minutes to keep the scoreboard ticking over but the Reds held out for a good period until replacement Gidlow was yellow-carded for going off his feet at a ruck close to the line.
McCraith touched down for a second score before Nick Hankin went over in the 69th minute, both tries being converted by Coleman.
The visitors tried hard for another score with Fuca moving back into the pack as South West Under-18 full back Dan Rutter came on to make his Redruth debut in the final quarter.
In the final play of the game, a flowing move from deep inside their own half ended with Jon Child going over for the eighth try, and Coleman added the extras.
The Cornish Pirates’ final home game of the Championship season ended in a 40-20 defeat against play-off chasing Rotherham Titans at the Mennaye Field.
The Cornishmen finished empty-handed, despite taking a 13-point lead into the half-time break following a score from Tom Riley and a penalty try.
Pirates immediately set up in the Rotherham half, going close after breaking from one scrum and winning a penalty off another. Fly-half Kieran Hallett got the scoring underway with a solid strike from the Titans’ 22.
The home side were dominating at the scrum and line-out and were good value for a six-point lead when Hallett struck another successful kick for goal in the 12th minute. But he was less successful with a third, which drifted wide from distance.
Rotherham deserved credit for their defensive work in the opening 20 minutes. Their tenacity ensured Pirates’ possession was turned over numerous times when the try line was coming within range.
The pressure eventually paid off and it was centre Riley who pierced the Titans’ defence to touch down under the posts. Hallett then added the easy extras.
The visitors’ work-rate continued to impress and their reward came when full-back Sean Scanlon finished a fine counter-attacking try involving a number of his fellow backs. Juan Pablo Socino, who played an integral part in the touchdown, converted to bring the scores back to within six points as half-time approached.
However, the scrum was still proving a profitable area for Pirates to exploit and they were awarded a penalty try, converted by Hallett, just before the sides departed for the break.
Rotherham hooker Thomas Cruse put Pirates under immediate pressure early in the second half with a quick try, converted by Socino, and looked to break again.
Both sides attacked and counter-attacked up to the hour mark, but it was Rotherham who gained the upper hand with two tries in almost as many minutes. Wing Michael Keating scored the first, before Dan White earned his side a bonus point with a fourth Titans’ try, both converted by Socino.
Rotherham scored their fifth and sixth tries in the final ten minutes, with centre Jack Roberts going over in the left corner before Keating added his second to complete the scoring against a tired-looking Pirates side.
Redruth edged closer to National League Two South safety with a 34-15 win over Clifton at the Recreation Ground.
Five tries and five points from their clash with the Bristolians in their final home game of the league season means just two points from their last match at Cambridge will put them clear of the bottom three.
There are still four teams between them and the relegation places, so results elsewhere could make any outcome at Volac Park irrelevant in two weeks’ time.
Home is where the hard work needed to be done and the Reds did not disappoint. It was close up until the hour before Ashley Morcom’s men pulled clear.
Replacement forwards Matt Gidlow and Neal Turner got three tries between them in the second half to supplement first-half scores from backs Murray Westren and Craig Bonds.
It was Westren who opened the scoring with an early penalty, before visiting full-back Ben Foley scored the first try of the game, converted by Brad Barnes.
The Reds kept their heads despite the stakes and slowly applied pressure in the Clifton half.
A break from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow put the hosts in a prime position. And after going close on the left, it took a smart missed pass from ten Rhodri McAtee to open up the visitors on the other side, with Westren eventually going over.
Another defence-splitting break from Goodfellow caught even his own team-mates by surprise, but he managed to stall – fake-passing to no one more than once – before Bonds arrived in support.
The Reds’ centre, playing his last home match for the club in the league, dummied a pass outside before touching down under the posts.
Clifton missed one penalty kick at goal in the lead up to half time, but fly-half Barnes made amends with another kick soon after to bring the gap back to five points at the interval.
That advantage was erased shortly after the break with Charlie Foley scoring a breakaway try to level the scores.
A yellow card for Reds’ replacement Jake Rayment made the task even more difficult for the hosts, who were being forced to defend their own line for extended periods.
Redruth certainly had moments of their own, however, despite being a man short.
Wing Tom Notman got himself over the Clifton try line but was adjudged to have been held up and Westren narrowly missed with a penalty attempt.
Once back to a full complement, the Reds marched on again with a huge maul gaining 30 metres to the try line before Turner touched down for his side’s third try, converted by Westren.
And the bonus-point fourth try came from more good work by the forwards, with Gidlow scoring before Westren hit the post with his conversion attempt.
Turner made the game safe during a dominant final ten minutes for the Reds and Westren added the extras.
Head coach Morcom said: “It was a great match to end our home games this season. We seem to like to leave it late to show our dominance but it is a massive five points for us.
“It would be nice to go to Cambridge now and blow them away in the final game – let’s hope we can do that now and make sure it is a perfect send-off.”
The Cornish All Blacks’ bid to avoid the drop will go to the final weekend of the season after they suffered an away defeat to their relegation rivals Dings Crusaders.
The result leaves the All Blacks two points adrift of safety in National Two South, but with two games remaining, both at Polson Bridge.
First up next Saturday is London Irish Wild Geese, who are only four points ahead of the Cornishmen, before the All Blacks bring the curtain down on their disappointing campaign seven days later with a visit from mid-table Shelford.
Dings, boasting a five-point advantage over the Launceston side, do not play their final match until April 26, so nothing will be decided until then.
It was quite fitting, in a match against Dings, that it was a real ding-dong battle.
Dings dominated the opening quarter to build up a 13-point advantage, but the visitors hit back to score 17 points around the interval to briefly take the lead early in the second half, only for Dings to regain control and dominate the rest of the match.
The Landseer Avenue defeat leaves the All Blacks with a final away record this season of two wins in 15 matches, which explains why they find themselves in such trouble.
All Blacks’ assistant coach Tom Rawlings said: “It is the tale of our season really.
“It was a tough day at the office. It was always going to be a big ask going up to Dings, and the guys put in a very worthy performance, but the penalty count was against us and we had a few guys in the sin-bin throughout. We gave it our all, though, and you can’t fault the guys’ effort.”
He added: “You can’t just win home games and expect to stay in this league. But luckily we have got two home games left.
“We have really got to up our game though and something has got to change in these next two matches if we are to have a chance of staying in this league, which we very much want to do, because the guys deserve it, and so do our supporters.”
Full-back Mark Woodrow kicked Dings into an early lead, followed by a try for wing Jack Nowell, with Woodrow converting, then adding a penalty, for a 13-0 advantage.
The All Blacks hit back with a try by full-back Kieron Lewitt in the corner after 25 minutes, and he slotted two penalties in quick succession to make it 13-11 to the hosts at the break. Woodrow and Lewitt exchanged penalties early in the second period, before a drop-goal by fly-half Jake Murphy edged the visitors 17-16 in front.
Dings hit back with two tries in three minutes, with No.8 Mike Uren crossing from a five-metre scrum, and hooker Dave Wheeler gathering a cross-field kick from fly-half Mitch Burton.
Dings collected their bonus-point try in the 70th minute through replacement flanker Sam Steer, with Woodrow converting, and adding another penalty, to make it 36-17.
The All Blacks managed a last-minute try by centre Ryan Westren, converted by Murphy, in response.
Bedford Blues maintained a winning run at home against the Cornish Pirates stretching back to March 2011 in this 14-try end of season thriller, reports Dick Straughan at Goldington Road
The Pirates were out of the blocks in a hurry on a hard Goldington Road pitch and took the lead with the opening try after just three minutes.
Good approach play featuring a good half break from Max Bodilly ended with lock Neale Patrick held up over the Blues line before referee Tom Foley called play back and awarded the Pirates a penalty.
They kicked to touch, won the ball at the restart and spun it left at pace for centre Tom Hendrickson to score. Kyle Moyle converted.
With ten minutes played the Pirates struck again as the Blues hesitated in defence, seemingly waiting for the referee’s whistle and Moyle seized a loose ball to score in the corner.
Bedford gradually worked their way back into the game and hit the Pirates with two converted tries just before half-time from veteran Samoan lock Paul Tupai, to lead 14-12 at the break.
Tom Duncan scored his first Pirates’ try early in the second half to put his team back in front, but the home response was to run in two more tries of their own. Impressive prop Nick Auterac claimed the first and Tupai completed his hat-trick on 54 minutes.
The sin-binning of Tom Kessell for a deliberate knock-on cost the Pirates dearly, though, with three more Blues tries in quick succession from Pat Tapley, Joe Vandermolen and Tony Fenner. And the Pirates’ skipper returned with his team trailing 41-17.
Their response was a second try from Duncan and after, TJ Harris had added an 8th Bedford try, the Pirates had the last word with two stoppage-time touchdowns to take their tally to six.
Luke Jones claimed his first try in Pirates’ colours after an error by James Pritchard and Hendrickson scored his second on the final play of the game.
Bedford Blues: Pritchard (capt), Tapley, Le Bourgeois, Atkinson (Sharp 36), Hircock, Fenner, Veenendaal (Peck 68); Auterac (Boulton 63), Clare (Harris 72), Cooper (Fearn 63), Tupai (Howard 55), Wells, Gillanders, Fox, Vandermolen
Replacement (not used): Armes
Blues' scorers: tries Tupai (3), Fenner, Vandermolen, Tapley, Harris, Auterac; cons Pritchard (4)
Cornish Pirates: Bodilly (Jones 72), Goss, Hendrickson, Fatialofa (Riley 53), Moyle, Sinclair, Kessell (capt) (sin-bin 58-68); Davies (Prescott 53), Channon (Carpenter 61), Andrew, Patrick (Bolwell 61), Graulich, Parker, Conlon, Duncan
Replacements (not used): Cheesman, Holland
Yellow Card: Kessell
Pirates' scorers: tries Hendrickson (2), Duncan (2), Moyle, Jones; cons Moyle (3)
Referee T.Foley (RFU)
The sun shone at Clifden Park as Cornwall League 1 runners-up Bodmin held off a determined second half challenge from Devon League 1 runners-up Totnes in this play-off match for promotion to the Tribute Cornwall and Devon League, to clinch their spot at the higher level next season by 17-15.
The win and second successive promotion for the Bodmin club delighted Chairman Dave Saunter. He said after the final whistle. “A great day for the club and for Bodmin. We have worked towards this for the last ten to fifteen years, through our youth policy of bringing players through the club.
“We were disappointed a couple of seasons ago when we were relegated into Cornwall 2, but having won that league last season and then having another great season this time, finishing runners-up to our friends from Liskeard-Looe and now the play-off against a valiant Totnes side, we are delighted to be playing next season at our highest-ever level in the current league structure.
“As a club we are in a good position for the step up. We own our ground, we are financially stable, and have some great sponsors, whom I must thank for their support and hopefully they and others will continue to support us again next season.”
It turned out to be a proverbial game of two halves, with both sides playing the better rugby when playing up the slope and into the stiff breeze.
Crucially Bodmin scored three first half tries and were able to withstand a sustained assault by their opponents during a nail-biting second half.
Totnes had the first chance of points with just two minutes on the clock but their goal kicker, full back Scott Hingston, saw his effort go well wide.
Bodmin looked menacing with the ball in hand, with flanker Ollie Wendon a constant threat, along with the centre pairing of Paul Carter and Andrew Coad.
It was Carter who scored Bodmin’s first try on eight minutes as the home side broke the game line with a cross-field kick which put the centre in.
Winger Cody Armstrong couldn’t land the extras in the tricky wind.
Totnes soon registered their first points when Hingston kicked a monster penalty, with the aid of the wind, from 40 meters.
The same player missed with a further penalty attempt before being forced to leave the field with an injury.
Bodmin kept up the pressure to score a second un-converted try on 20 minutes, through Armstrong as the ball was again moved wide.
As the half drew to a close, Bodmin scored a vital third try from fine combination play between forwards and backs. Carter scored crucially under the posts, making the conversion a formality for Armstrong and a 17-3 half-time lead.
Totnes looked a different team after the break and good pressure from the visitors saw their No. 8 Gareth Williams score a good try, which was converted by fly-half Andy Rive to cut the deficit to just seven points after 51 minutes.
Totnes continued to have the lion’s share of possession; however, Bodmin defended like demons to keep them out.
With five minutes remaining, Totnes, who had just moments earlier seen a try disallowed for a double movement, scored a second try through winger Callum Douglas. The score was in the corner and Rive crucially couldn’t add the conversion to tie the scores and send the game into extra-time.
Bodmin saw out the final moments and when they were awarded a final penalty booted the ball into touch to confirm their second consecutive promotion.
After the final whistle Bodmin skipper Lee Taylor couldn’t contain his delight. “A great win for Bodmin and a massive boost for the town and rugby in the area. I am very proud of my team and their performance. We had great support here this afternoon which hopefully we will see again next season to prove that Bodmin can sustain rugby at this level.”
Bodmin 17 pts: tries Carter, Armstrong, Coad; conversion Armstrong
Totnes 15 pts: tries Williams, Douglas; conversion Rive; penalty Hingston
Bodmin: D Pooley, A McPhee, P Carter, A Coad, C Armstrong, M Trevarthen, S Helgessen; G Taylor, S Williams, J Rutty, L Thomas, J Day, O Wendon, M Orton, L Taylor (Capt)
Replacements (all used): A Trevarthen, D Cullip, A Pengelley, M Cunniffe
Totnes: S Hingston, O Tregellis, J Michelmore, R Smith, C Douglas, A Rive, A Bartlett; T Woodward, J Ruddock, T Edmonds (Capt), M Shackelton, S Edwards, B Pountney, E Browse, G Williams
Replacements (all used): A Shore, J Nash, C Browse, J Green
Referee: Mr R Watt (Somerset RRS)
It was a tense and nail biting encounter at Polson Bridge on Saturday when Launceston faced London Irish Wild Geese, but the Cornish side’s determination saw them secure a crucial 27-23 victory.
It wasn’t a walk in the park for the Cornish All Blacks, as they faced tough opposition throughout, but the pleasing result has given them fresh hopes of survival in the National Two South relegation battle.
Neil Bayliss, the All Blacks new director of rugby, said he asked his side for two more good performances and they didn’t let him down on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, he said: “I’m delighted with the performance. I asked the boys to perform and they did. We needed a win, we stuck to it and we’ve got that win.
“All credit to the boys, they were outstanding from 1 to 20. We knew where London Irish would be strong and we weathered that pretty well. We let them back in with some soft tries but that’s rugby. One win next week and we’re safe.”
The Cornish Pirates were comfortably beaten in their final Championship game of the season, going down 36-3 at Headlingley against Leeds Carnegie.
Leeds maintained their promotion push in drizzly conditions in Yorkshire, despite the Pirates taking a third-minute lead through a Kyle Moyle penalty after Leeds had been penalised several times in quick succession for not releasing the ball in the tackle.
Flanker Joel Conlon almost celebrated his call-up to the England Under-20 squad for the Junior World Championships this summer with a breakaway try moments later — only to be halted by Ryan Burrows just short of the home line,
Leeds cranked up the pressure and the Pirates lost fly-half Angus Sinclair to the sin bin as former Pirate James Doherty was halted just short of an opening try. The Cornish side then withstood a punishing period of defensive 5-metre scrums before stealing the ball and counter-attacking.
Leeds finally went ahead at the end of the first quarter as Jonny Bentley released full-back Steve McColl for an unconverted try in the corner, but the game remained scrappy with no further scoring until the end of the half.
Prop Ben Prescott became the second Pirate to be sin-binned and, with 39 minutes played, home flanker David Sisi grabbed a second try from a driving lineout. Bentley converted to make it 12-3.
The second half began with the Pirates again defending well and frustrating Leeds, but the latter eventually threw off the shackles imposed by the Cornish side as Mike Myerscough set up wing Jonah Holmes for a third try in the 56th minute.
Two minutes later, Leeds broke from deep and at pace in a fine move completed by centre Rob Vickerman as he scored under the posts. Alex Lozowski converted.
The Pirates regained a degree of control, without ever really threatening the home line, but were undone again four minutes from time as Lozowksi unlocked the defence and Walker added a fifth try.
In injury time the Yorkshire side struck again from a period of forwards power driving up to the Cornish line, before replacement prop Ben Hooper provided the finish.
The Cornish All Blacks are safe, but they left it late and by closer margins than they would have liked.
Launceston went into the final weekend of the National League Two South season knowing they probably needed a win to stay up – and so it proved.
Results elsewhere meant a negative outcome at Polson Bridge against Shelford would have been fatal. Fortunately, the All Blacks were able battle through the wind, rain and mud to a 16-6 victory.
There were more than a few nervous moments for the 799 in attendance as Shelford took the lead twice in the first half.
Visiting fly-half Elliot Bale was proving almost as reliable with his kicking boots as namesake Gareth in the first half hour, with two successful penalties either side of Barrie-John Chapman’s opening try in the 23rd minute.
And even though full-back Kieron Lewitt ensured the All Blacks left the field for half time in front, following a penalty of his own, the slender two-point advantage meant home confidence was kept in check.
The heavy showers and high winds gradually mellowed in the second half and, eventually, so did any lingering threat to Launceston’s hopes of survival. But while Shelford lost Will Lawson and Luke Beales to the sin-bin in the first half, Launceston took their now customary yellow card in the second half.
Referee Nick Williams, taking charge of his final game before hanging up his whistle, waved his last-ever yellow card in the direction of home prop Bruce Pow in the 50th minute.
Despite that, Lewitt kicked another penalty within eight minutes of the restart and Pow returned to the field to touch down a match-clinching try in the last few minutes.
It was rarely pretty but never dull – a fitting finale for another traumatic season at Polson.
There also an emotional, but ultimately happy, goodbye for flanker Tom Rawlings, who leaves the club after seven years’ excellent service.
He said: “I have loved every minute of the last seven years. When you pull the Cornish All Blacks’ jersey on at Polson Bridge, it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
“We’ve done it at the final time of asking today and got the result. I’m really pleased.
“It was really important that we stayed in this league after battling against all the odds this season. We have come out on top one last time and I’m glad we were able to do that in my last game.”
Equally happy and relieved was director of rugby Neil Bayliss, who took over from sacked head coach Spike Rainford last month.
He admitted the change in weather from dry and sunny to persistent rain in the 24 hours leading up to the game nearly caught him out.
“When we got here and saw it was pouring with rain, we knew it was going to be one of those games,” he said.
“But I thought we played the conditions well and the boys stuck to the gameplan, which we had to change after thinking it was going to be dry.
“We changed the way we wanted to approach the game overnight and the boys were outstanding, one to 20. The replacements made a big impact when they come on as well.”
Redruth showed a lot of character to end the season on a high, Jake Rayment's late try securing a bonus-point 20-19 National Two South win at Cambridge that sees them finish in ninth place.
The Cornish side’s head coach, Ashley Morcom, was full of praise for his side. “Full credit to the guys – they played out of their skins.
“We were always going to come here and try to play rugby and make it interesting, and we stuck to our game plan and our structure. This goes to prove where we have come from when Cambridge beat us at our place in the first game of the season. First half Cambridge came at us, we absorbed it and went back at them.”
Although the coaching set up for next season under Steve Larkins has yet to be announced, many Redruth fans are surprised a role has not yet been found for Morcom.
“I am disappointed that I am not going to be involved with Redruth in any role next season,” said Morcom. “I firmly believe this is the kick-start to next season for Redruth – with most of the players staying we are going to be climbing back up again.”
England Counties Under-20 full-back Jim Wigglesworth was Cambridge’s danger man and a long run took play to the Redruth line. Powerful lock Martin Wolfenden forced his way over for a try that Wigglesworth converted on 12 minutes.
Some good kicking down the left-hand touchline by visiting scrum-half Greg Goodfellow got the Reds a position near the line. Good ball in the line out from Damien Cook led to a catch-and-drive try by Neil Turner after 24 minutes.
As half time approached, successive penalties gave Redruth a five-metre line out and another big surge by the pack, expertly handled by Turner, saw the hooker touch down his second try after 35 minutes.
At the start of the second half Redruth kicked long and gave Cambridge space to counter attack, with Mike Ayrton finishing well for a try in the left corner that Wigglesworth converted from the touchline.
A turnover in midfield saw England Counties Under-20 prop Jamal Ford-Robinson put in a 35 metre run that led to a second try in the corner for Ayrton after 50 minutes, to open up a nine-point gap.
Another turnover, in favour of the Reds, on halfway saw Goodfellow race away down the left wing and squeeze over in the corner.
At the start of the final ten minutes, with a four-point lead Cambridge enjoyed a spell of pressure and Turner was shown a yellow card for slowing the ball up at a ruck. Redruth then dominated and Cambridge hooker Ean Griffiths was shown a yellow card for killing the ball.
Three successive penalties saw Redruth ramp up the pressure on the Cambridge line, before teenager Rayment peeled away for a try before the hosts’ Sam Harry was yellow-carded.