The Senior Leagues 2004-2005

A summary of the 2004-2005 league season

This page summarizes all the league games involving Cornish clubs in National League 1, National League 2, National League 3 (South), and SW1 that take place in the 2003-2004 season.

Saturday 4th September


In National League 2, Launceston came away from the County Ground Harrogate with 2 league points following a 27 – 27 draw. The Cornish All Blacks may well feel slightly aggrieved that they didn’t come away with a precious away win, having led 27 –13 with 10 minutes to play. Marc Dibble (2), and Dave Risdon scored the Cornish All Blacks' tries, while Steve Perry converted all three tries and kicked a couple of penalties.

Still, a very encouraging start for Launceston bearing in mind the injuries they have at the moment.


In National League 3 South, Redruth got off to a flyer with a first-ever win at Westcombe Park. The Reds scored four tries and thus clinched a vital bonus point as well! Try scorers for the Reds were wing Nathan Pedley (2), skipper John Navin, and centre Paul Thirlby.

Mark Scriviner converted all three plus three penalties.  

In South West 2 (West), Camborne got their season off to a winning start by beating Hornets by 29 – 13 at the Recreation Ground. The Cherry & White try scorers were prop Adam Coombes, left wing Peter Butler, and right wing Kelvin Smitham. Ian Morgan and David Mankee kicked the other points.

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay delivered a statement of intent with a ten try demolition of Ivybridge at the Mennaye. Try scorers in the 60 – 12 win were left wing Martin Worthington (2), hooker Pete Bush, full back Seb Berti, flanker James Jago, right wing Adam Redgrave, skipper Mark Roderick, flanker and recent signing from Old Macks in Chile, Edmondo Olfos, Tom Outram, and finally Victor Olonga. Berti and Trezise kicked the other points.  

Bude won impressively at the Rectory, defeating Devonport Services 39 – 3. Glen Johns (2), wing Mark Dennis, fullback Julian Morris and Paul Williams. Johns kicked four conversions and two penalties.

Saturday 11th September

REDRUTH 18 HAVANT 7 (HT 5 – 0)

National Division 3 South. Report by Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground.

It is a measure of the aspirations that the Redruth club have for this season that, despite winning and claiming the four points for a win, the failure to secure the bonus point left the players and supporters a bit flat!  

Redruth felt that they missed at least seven try-scoring opportunities during the match, three of which were over their opponents’ line. However, Havant’s dogged defence also denied the Reds on a number of occasions.  

For its first league match of the season the Redruth pitch was in immaculate condition. A stiff breeze was to make the goal kicking difficult.

Soon after the kick off, and following a missed penalty from Mark Scrivener which the wind blew on to the post, Redruth’s scrum half Mark Richards appeared to go over close to the posts, but the ball was dislodged from his grasp as he dived over.

Redruth started with purpose as they threatened the Havant 22. Richard Carroll, making his home debut, carried the ball extremely well and with great purpose. Scrivener had a chance to make amends with a second penalty attempt, which the wind held up. Redruth maintained the pressure, Scrivener kicking for position in the 22. Havant competed well at the lineout to disrupt Redruth’s possession.

Tempers boiled on 10 minutes with handbags in front of the grandstand. Havant took play down into the Redruth 22 and Carroll was shown the yellow card by referee Mr Woodmason for foul play. Redruth were under the cosh. A drop attempt from Havant fly half Steve Claffey sailed wide of the posts as Havant enjoyed territorial dominance for around 10 minutes. Redruth finally got out of their 22 after a fine charge up field from second row Neil Corin.

With Carroll back on, Redruth started to look dangerous as the backs began to string moves together. Full back Craig Bonds and centres Paul Thirlby and Bede Brown looked dangerous as they attempted to crack the stout Havant defence. In the end it was to be the Kiwi duo of James Lancaster and Bede Brown who unlocked the visitors’ defence to release Richard Carroll out wide to score in the Strawberry Lane corner, to great acclaim from the Redruth faithful. Scrivener was unable to add the extras. Lancaster again was in the thick of it, releasing Richards who threw a pass out to the wing but alas there was no one there! Half time 5-0 to the Reds.

With Redruth playing down the slope in the second half and with the breeze behind them, the crowd settled down anticipating further scores from the Reds. During early pressure, Richards and Nathan Pedley were denied what appeared certain tries.

Redruth pressure finally told when Scrivener kicked a penalty from in front of the posts. James Lancaster shortly after scored the Reds' second try close to the posts, following good work from Scrivener. The fly-half added the conversion and Redruth were now 15 – 0 up. However, it was Havant who hit back, with a try from wing Keith Molyneux, which fly half Steve Claffey converted.

Redruth drove time and time again at Havant. Julian Hosking at flanker was having a storming game. As Redruth used the bench, Hosking moved from flanker to hooker in place of Sam Harrison. Scrivener stretched the Reds' lead with a second penalty in front of the posts near the end.   

Powergen Cup action for Redruth next Saturday as they entertain Berry Hill.  

Redruth: 15. Bonds, 14. Vinnecombe (Hymans) 13. Brown, 12, Thirlby, 11. Pedley, 10. Scrivener, 9. Richards; 1. Jacques (Douch), 2. Harrison (Pryor*), 3. Heard (Cowie), 4. Corin, 5. Carroll, 6. Navin (Capt), 7. Hosking*, 8. Lancaster. 
*Positional switch on replacement.  

In National League 1, Penzance & Newlyn went down to a second league defeat at Pertemps Bees by 33-12. Trailing by 23-6 at the break, the Pirates improved during the second half. All the Pirates' points came from the boot of fullback Tom Barlow, who kicked four penalty goals. Next Sunday Coventry visit the Mennaye in what is now a must-win game for the Pirates.  

In National League 2, Launceston enjoyed a fine win over Moseley at Polson Bridge by 25-6. There were three tries for the Cornish All Blacks, from centre Richard Stenhouse, No.8 Mike Heyns, and skipper Nick Burnett. Steve Perry and Rhys Gosling each converted a try, while Perry added two penalties.  

In South West 1, Penryn put on an improved display to defeat Gloucester Old Boys at the Memorial Ground by 19-5. Winger Chris Mann grabbed a brace of tries, the second a family affair with brother James, in which they combined twice in the move. Flanker Tristan Lark scored the third Borough try. Scrum half Dave Pascoe converted two of the tries.  

In South West 2 West, Truro secured a fine win in North Devon at Barnstaple by 19-8. No.8 Mario Danielli and Josh Lord scored the City side’s tries with the referee awarding a penalty try to Truro. Scott Martin kicked two conversions.

Camborne went down to defeat at Spartans by 33-22.

In Western Counties West, it was a good day for the four Cornish clubs as they all won. Mounts Bay travelled to Torquay Athletic and won by 46-12 scoring six tries, Victor Olonga (2), Martin Worthington, Mark Roderick, James Jago, and Peter Bush claiming the scores. James Trezise kicked 3 conversions and a penalty, while Seb Berti added two more conversions to the Mounts Bay tally.  

Bude enjoyed a second win with an impressive 18-0 win at Ivybridge. No.8 James Comber(2) and flanker James Kingsford scored the North Cornwall side’s tries. Glen Johns added a penalty to complete the scoring.  

Trailing 3-0 at the break, St.Ives scored 31 unanswered points after half-time to secure a fine win over Wessex. Ian Veal (2), Daniel Hooper (2), and Sheldon Waetford scored the Hakes tries. Hooper kicked three conversions.   After a disappointing opening day loss,

Hayle got back to winning ways with a win over Devonport Services by 25-14. Tries came from Paul Lello, James Davis, Richard Harris and Anthony Treloar. Lello kicked a conversion and dropped a goal.

Saturday/Sunday 18th/19th September


NATIONAL LEAGUE 1.  By Dick Straughan at the Mennaye Field.

With defeats in both their opening games, Kevin Moseley's Pirates had taken their fair share of ill-informed criticism from a number of sources during the previous week. The visit of Coventry, by contrast unbeaten before this game, had the doom-mongers licking their lips at the prospect of another home team failure and the apprehension was clearly reflected by the quietness of the crowd as this crucial game kicked-off.

Like the Pirates, Coventry have recruited heavily in recent months but backroom unrest still dogs the Midlanders and the news of the resignation of their Head Coach immediately prior to this game did little to inspire their travelling supporters. Whether this affected the team or not is unclear but for the first half an hour they were little more than spectators as the Pirates turned possession and territorial dominance into points, running in three tries.

Under the guidance of newly-appointed assistant coach Jim McKay, the Pirates revamped back line is quickly becoming an effective unit and they demonstrated fast and accurate link play through James and Barlow to put Rob Thirlby in for the game's opening try. Lee Jarvis slotted a difficult touchline conversion and the Pirates were off and running. So often last season the Pirates failed to hang on to their lead, but a moment of sublime brilliance from No.8 Matt Evans should have blown away any lingering doubts as to how good this Pirates' side really is. Back row forwards are not usually accustomed to out-pacing fleet-footed defensive covers, but Evans' chip and chase from halfway left the Coventry backs in his wake and his try brought a much-deserved standing ovation. Again Jarvis was on target and even when the visitors finally got on the scoreboard with a Barker penalty, Thirlby quickly added a third try. This time Jarvis was tested from the left hand touchline and once again he hit the target with ease.

Struggling as they were with the pace of the game, Coventry's forwards tried hard to slow matters down. They kept the ball tight and began to deny the home team time and space. Frustration grew amongst the Pirates, leading to a flurry of penalties which allowed Jared Barker to bring the score back to 21-6. Then, with half-time approaching, Barker kept the Pirates pinned in the Clubhouse corner until the catch-and-drive routine finally worked and Van Rensburg scored.

The half-time scoreline of 21-11 flattered the visitors, who still looked one-dimensional in all phases and bereft of attacking ideas. Flanker Dan Farini was a shadow of the man who played a key role in ensuring the Pirates' survival last season, and even the late addition of old Mennaye favourite Lakalaka Waqanivere did little to boost their options, although Lakalaka did manage two typically forceful breaks, only to be wrapped up by James and latterly Barlow.

Penalties were traded by Jarvis and Barker as both sides rung the changes and the game lost much of its shape. Coventry kept going somehow but it was only the Pirates who ever looked like troubling the scoreboard operator again as they searched for a fourth try and a vital bonus point. It took a while and tested the nerves but, after several good scoring chances had gone begging, Jarvis' inch-perfect chip ahead allowed Thirlby to pierce the Coventry defence, gather the ball and claim his hat-trick. Or so we thought. Referee Biggs did not agree and only the alertness of Jarvis following up secured the score.

Matt Evans secured the Man of the Match award for a solid all-round performance but there is still work to be done. Jim McKay said afterwards that the Pirates should have scored forty or fifty. There was not a single Coventry supporter who disagreed with that sentiment.



Launceston secured another two valuable points away from home with a 13 all draw at Blackheath, who did the double over them last season in National League 3 South. Launceston trailed 10-0 after 15 minutes to a Del Coates penalty and a Colin Ridgeway try, which Coates converted.

Steve Perry kicked a penalty for the Cornish All Blacks before half time to make it 10-3. Perry and Coates traded penalties early in the second half.

Injuries again hampered the Cornish side, with Mark Dibble (shoulder) and Rhys Gosling (torn hamstring) leaving the field. Still the team got it together in the final 10 minutes with centre Dan Morris collecting a Richard Stenhouse chip to score under the posts for Perry to convert and tie the scores.

In the only game in Western Counties West, St. Ives travelled to Newton Abbot but lost 11-7. Wing Ben Trevorrow scored the Hakes' try, which was converted by Dan Hooper.

Saturday 25th September


NATIONAL LEAGUE 1.  By Dick Straughan at Ireland Avenue.

What a difference a year makes. Barely twelve months since the promotion-winning Pirates were forced to live off scraps against the big guns of Division One the same dubious privilege has now befallen last season's Division Two Champions. Some critics pointed to the Pirates' unproven away form and talked of a shock result yesterday in the East Midlands. Some at Nottingham had targeted this as a must-win fixture. In truth the result was never in doubt.

Ireland Avenue is a small traditional rugby ground with a small band of loyal supporters. Yesterday it wasn't just their team that came second. Roared on by a large travelling contingent of fans from as far afield as North Yorkshire, Kevin Moseley's men could have been forgiven for forgetting they were over 300 miles from home. A sea of red, white and black occupied the Clubhouse terrace behind the banner of the Press Gang Supporters' Club, shouting and cheering themselves to an eighty minute standstill.

Predictably the Pirates deviated from the script, infringing in the third minute within the range of the boot of Neil Stenhouse. Trailing by three points, the Pirates' faithful had vocal competition for a while until Kevin James restored the natural order of matters with a powerful run and a try in the corner. Jarvis added the extras as Captain Benbow danced a jig on the touchline and we were off and running - or so we thought. A determined Nottingham team fought hard to keep possession and make slow yardage up the field. The Pirates resolve was tested time and again as they halted a succession of rolling mauls and back line moves, but Nottingham lack a real cutting edge in attack and a try would have been harsh on the solid Pirates' defence. Instead it was up to Stenhouse and Jarvis to exchange penalties as the game spluttered and coughed its way towards the interval.

With the Pirates' pack steadily grinding down the opposition, fitness was always likely to be a key factor after the break. Only seven days before, Nottingham finally ran out of steam and succumbed after leading at Plymouth Albion, and an early score here was essential if the Pirates were to gain not just a win but maximum points. With discipline and decision-making possibly key talking points over their half-time refreshment, the Pirates were quickly up through the gears. Having bulldozed the Nottingham pack into a full scale retreat, Gavin Cattle secured the ball from a close range scrum and darted in to score. Moments later Lee Jarvis atoned for his try-resulting interception pass against Bristol by picking off a flat Nottingham movement and dashing 60 metres for try number three.

The Pirates were on top and had recovered well from the loss of impressive Number 8 Matt Evans with a serious ankle injury. Will James was again awesome at the heart of the Pirates pack, repeatedly providing the extra power to repel Nottingham's key offensive tactic - the rolling maul. It was James too who provided a beautiful cameo moment when Nottingham Number 11 David Jackson threatened a touchline breakaway. Maybe Jackson expected the threat to come from Barlow or Davies, who lay deeper in defence. What he clearly did not expect was the flat out defensive sprint from Will James who emerged from over his right shoulder. Jackson clearly did not anticipate James being so fast either and committed rugby's equivalent of chucking in the towel by pathetically throwing the ball forward and into touch. The inconsistent Mr Higginson, not for the first time during the match, failed to register the infringement.

Fortunately for the home support, not all of Jackson`s team mates were prepared to surrender and a well-worked move finally resulted in a try under the posts for Thompson before another darting run from Cattle brought his second of the match. Once again Lee Jarvis was forced into attempting a touchline conversion. He must love his team-mates. Easter scored a second for Nottingham as they desperately sought to secure something from the game before Tim Cowley and then Dan Seal drove over to wrap up a comprehensive victory for the Pirates.

Next week sees the visit of Exeter to the Mennaye Field, and on recent meetings they will probably start as favourites. The Pirates are due to beat a big gun and with so much talent now coming to fruition what better time to start.



Previously unbeaten Launceston gave a lacklustre performance in going down to Wharfedale, who had previously picked up just one losing bonus point. That Launceston limited the loss to just five points and nick a point will be of little consolation to the Cornish All Blacks' supporters. Martin Olima scored an unconverted try late on for the home side, with Steve Perry kicking a couple of penalties, one in each half. Hopefully this was just a case of a bad day at the office.



Redruth picked up two points on the road with this fine draw at Barking, who are tipped by many pundits to be one of the league's front runners this season. At half-time Redruth were up against it. Barking, with the elements in their favour, led 15-0. However, in a storming second half display the Reds scored three un-converted tries to take a share of the spoils. Skipper John Navin led the fight back, followed by a 12 man maul over the Barking line which saw centre Paul Thirlby claim the try. With 11 minutes remaining, Nathan Pedley set off on a mazy cross-field run which took him over in the right hand corner. Redruth even looked to have clinched it at the end when Mark Richards went over, but the referee had spotted an infringement. Redruth remain unbeaten. Next up in a fortnight North Walsham!  

In South West 1, Penryn maintained their 100% record with an impressive win away ay Keynsham by 37-17. Prop forward John “Oggie” Wright grabbed the Borough’s opening try after 5 minutes. Hooker Richard Burns got the second, which Dave Pascoe converted, as well as a penalty to leave Penryn 15-10 up at half time. Penryn moved further ahead with tries from James Greville-Smith and Peter Gregory. Flanker James Mann scored the final Borough try towards the end. Pascoe’s two conversions and a penalty in the second half completed Penryn’s haul.

In South West 2 West, it was a good day for both Cornish clubs. Truro demolished Hornets at St. Clements Hill by 61-3, scoring 10 tries. Former Pirate Josh Lord led the way with three, Butt (2), Trescothick (2), Martin, Gay, and Danielli scoring the others. Scott Martin kicked four conversions and a penalty.

Camborne scored six tries in beating Stroud 38-17 at the Recreation Ground. Todd Blythe, Ali Durant, Tom Hinds, Ian Morgan, Dave Roberts and Tristan Wetherelt all crossed for the Cherry & Whites, Morgan kicking four conversions.

In Western Counties West, the score of the day was Mounts Bay 95 Paignton 0! Bay scored 15 tries, with Adam Redgrave notching 3. In three matches the Bay have already passed the two hundred point mark for the season!

Hayle lost for the second time, going down at Newton Abbot 45 – 16. The Devon side lie second on points difference behind Bay. Pete Redgrave got the Lions try, which Paul Lello converted, as well as 3 penalties. Bude were held at Bencoolen Meadow by the Tic’s at 6-6. Glen Johns kicked two penalties for Bude, whilst Micheal Blank replied in kind for Torquay. St. Ives earned a fine win at Crediton, winning 20-15. Ian Veal scored the visitors' only try, whilst Aussie full back Daniel Hooper kicked five penalties.                     

Saturday 2nd October

In South West 1, Penryn made three wins from three matches defeating Maidenhead at the Memorial Ground 20-10. Justin Doney and Chris Mann scored the Borough’s tries. Dave Pascoe kicked both conversions and a couple of penalties to seal the win.  

In South West 2 West, mixed results for Cornish teams. Camborne won well at Exmouth 52-5. Full back Todd Blythe scored a hat-trick of tries, Dave Roberts grabbed two and there was one each for Brett Wafker, Peter Butler, and skipper Ian Morgan. Morgan added six conversions. Not such good news for Truro, who went down 17-10 at Spartans. Tom Butt scored the City side’s try with Scott Martin adding the conversion and a penalty.  

In Western Counties West, a tremendous derby match at St. Ives saw Mounts Bay maintain their un-beaten league record 16-6. All the Bay’s points came in the first half. Victor Olonga scored the only try which Seb Berti converted adding three penalty goals as well. Kiwi full back Dan Hooper kicked a couple of penalties in the second half for St. Ives.

Hayle enjoyed a 19-8 win over Wessex. Tries were scored by  Clackworthy and Seager, with Lello kicking three penalties.

Bude maintained their fine start with a 24-22 win at Paignton. No 8 James Comber scored three tries with winger Mark Dennis grabbing Bude’s fourth. Glen Johns kicked two conversions.  

Sunday 3rd October


NATIONAL LEAGUE 1. By Dick Straughan at the Mennaye Field.

This game was never going to be pretty. Indeed, pretty rugby and Exeter are not words you would commonly associate. Needless to say, this dour encounter at the Mennaye Field was notable for the complete absence of tries but, much more importantly, it resulted in the Pirates' first-ever league victory over their Devonian rivals.

Dour rugby it may have been but you can't blame the tactics of the visitors for everything. The south-westerly gale and sheets of rain that swept often horizontally across the pitch dictated that it would be a day for the forwards. Exeter's pack are formidable opponents under any conditions but the Pirates wanted this one badly and the sheer passion and determination of Kevin Moseley's men soon warmed up the large crowd with a gutsy display from the off.

With the strong wind at their backs, the Pirates were straight on the offensive, probing, testing, and disrupting. Exeter had arrived at the Mennaye on the back of a comprehensive victory over a highly-rated Bedford side, but in truth they never got going against the Pirates. They simply were not allowed to. Even when Dave Whitehead was sin-binned during the early exchanges the Pirates dug deep and held firm. Yet for all the Pirates' efforts it took 25 minutes to trouble the scoreboard operator when Exeter were penalised on halfway and Lee Jarvis brilliantly slotted the kick. The visitors fought back briefly with the Pirates struggling at the restart but Jarvis was again on hand minutes later to double the lead. Having slowed the game down to a crawl, Exeter tried to exert their driving maul on the home defence but time and again the Pirates held firm. Only a late infringement in the half allowed Tony Yapp to open Exeter's account with three points that few of the home faithful felt they deserved.

The great concern was that Exeter had weathered the Pirates' storm and would now use the unrelenting elements to greater effect after the break. Many in the crowd expected a different kind of game from them - the Pirates weren't prepared to surrender the initiative though. Time and again Exeter were disrupted at the scrum, the Pirates guarded their own line out ball with steely determination and, with aggression the hallmark of their defence, the Pirates forced turnover ball with increasing regularity.

Ian Bremner rang the changes in a bid to step up the tempo. So did Kevin Moseley. Will James had been held back for the last quarter, Ryan Peacey made his long-awaited home debut, and Exeter were fast running out of ideas until the Pirates threw them a lifeline. Two penalties in quick succession kept Yapp in business and suddenly it was all square at 9-9 with less than ten minutes to go.

Some things, however, are meant to be. Urged on by the baying crowd, the Pirates attacked with renewed ferocity. Something had to give, and it was Exeter's nerve that cracked. Mark Fatialofa, enjoying a fruitless return to the Mennaye, strayed offside in front of his own posts and Jarvis gratefully pocketed the penalty. Suddenly Exeter started running the ball in desperation as the clock ran down, only to find a wall of red blocking their every twist and turn. Jarvis capped a birthday to remember with a fifth successful penalty and, deep into injury time, the Pirates had the visitors by the throat pinned inside their own half. There was just time for Fatialofa to earn a yellow card for a stupidly late tackle on Wes Davies before the referee called an end to proceedings and the ground erupted.

Gavin Cattle earned the man of the match award for another polished performance at scrum half but in truth this was a huge team performance. The Pirates have finally claimed their first major scalp in the league since being promoted and in doing so have shown that they are capable of winning ugly. The result will be remembered longer than the game itself but what is certain is that this season Division One really is there for the taking.

Saturday 9th October



A case of déjà vu as the Pirates once again travelled to Manchester only to lose to a team without a league win. How the Pirates, in such a dominant position at half-time, let this match slip away during the second half beggars belief!

Mosley's boys got off to flying start with an opening try within three minutes from flying back Wes Davies, which Lee Jarvis converted. Jarvis and Park's Blair Feeney swapped penalties, before Penzance & Newlyn increased their lead with a try from impressive scrum-half Gavin Cattle following a fine break by No8 Tim Cowley who, having beaten three men, off-loaded to Cattle near the try-line. Jarvis's conversion plus a further penalty ended the first half scoring. The Pirates, sitting pretty, should then have gone in search of the try-scoring bonus point to add to their win. They got a bonus point BUT not the one they were after!

Pirates replaced the whole front row at half time and Will James came on for the influential Cowley; who presumably must have picked up a knock during the first half. Sedgley Park took heart and hit back with an early try from prop Huw Thomas, following some good work from No8 Jon Skurr, Feeney adding the extras. Then a penalty pulled the score back to 20-13. Despite this, it was the Pirates who scored next as Marc Sweeney latched on to an interception and scored the Pirates' third try, which Jarvis converted to extend the Pirates' lead to 27-13.

Park kept on attacking as the Pirates soaked up the pressure. However, following a line-out on the left, centre Jim Naylor crossed for an unconverted try. Feeney made up for this with a crucial penalty success to bring Park back to 27-21. The Pirates were very tired at this point. The re-start went directly into touch, giving Park a scrum on half way. Park earned another penalty which was kicked to touch. From the lineout the ball was spun out to winger Richard Welding who crossed in the corner. Feeney, with the last kick of the match, clinched the win for Park.



The Cornish All Blacks chalked up their first five pointer of the season, scoring four tries at basement side Bracknell.

Launceston opened the scoring on 6 minutes with No 8 Nick Burnett crashing over for a try following a catch-and-drive from a lineout. The try remained un-converted. However, Steve Perry made amends with a penalty kick from 40 meters. More was to follow as scrum-half Shaun Hawkey fed centre Ed Nancekivell, who ran for 50 metres to score under the posts. Perry kicked the simple conversion.

Bracknell, many of whose players were literally fighting for their rugby lives following a curtailment in club funding this week, fought back through a try from fly-half Stuart Peel, which he also converted. Perry stretched the Launceston lead with another penalty, before further Bracknell pressure brought them a second try from winger David Budge. Prop Wayne Reed muscled his way over the line for the Cornish All Blacks third try, which Perry converted to make the half-time score 25-12.

Bracknell were the first to score in the second-half. With Launceston down to 14 men with hooker Dave Risdon in the bin, Peel charged down a clearance, to score a try which he again converted. Launceston got it back together and, following some fine play from Hawkey, Perry, and centre Dan Morris, winger Martin Lacey crossed for Launceston's fourth try, earning the bonus point. Perry kicked another penalty to stretch the lead to 33-19. However, Bracknell had the final say as scrum-half Phil Friel scored his side's fourth try, which he converted to earn Bracknell 2 bonus points, Bracknell finishing seven points behind Launceston at 33-26.



The Reds will feel disappointed that in the end all they got from this match was a losing bonus point, when it could and perhaps should have been much more. Criticised for playing only for 40 minutes in their last two matches, Redruth gave arguably their finest performance over 80 minutes this season at league leaders North Walsham. A combination of missed penalties and ill discipline proved to be the Reds' downfall. The play was evenly matched, with the opening score coming on 24 minutes from a Mark Scrivener penalty. The score remained the same until 34 minutes when, following a ruck near their line, the Reds' defence bought a dummy from the Viking's scrum-half Andy Gowling, who scored under the posts. Jonny Wyatt kicked the conversion to make the half-time score 7-3.

Early on in the second half Scrivener missed a couple of penalty chances. North Walsham increased their lead on 51 minutes with a second try through centre Will Farrer which went un-converted. The Reds soon hit back with a try from winger Nathan Pedley, following a defence-splitting run from Lewis Vinnecombe. The try went un-converted. Redruth kept the pressure on the home side and reduced the arrears to a point after Scrivener's second successful penalty kick. Vinnecombe once more split the home defence to set up Pedley for a certain try. However, referee Mr Steele-Bodger ruled the pass forward!

With five minutes remaining, Scrivener kicked a third penalty goal to put the Reds into a two-point lead. Deep into injury time Redruth conceded a penalty 40 meters out. Backchat to the referee cost them more than the extra 10 meters, as Wyatt kicked the winning penalty.

In South West 1, Penryn's unbeaten run came to an abrupt end as they went down to bogey side St. Mary's Old Boys 26-7. The only score for Penryn was a try from flanker James Mann, converted by Dave Pascoe.

In South West 2 West, it was a good day for both Cornish clubs. Camborne remain top on points difference, following a tight 17-14 win at home to Cleve. Wingers James Richards and Peter Butler scored the Cherry & Whites' tries, with skipper Ian Morgan kicking both conversions and a penalty kick.

Scott Martin scored 24 points in Truro's 29-15 win over Stroud. Lawrence scored the other Truro try.

In Western Counties West, Mounts' Bay served up another try-feast at the Mennaye, winning 85-6 against Withycombe. Running riot, Bay scored 13 tries with Olly Lambert leading the way with three. Martin Worthington (2), Ben Eddy, Victor Olonga, Marc Richards, Francisco Deformes, Tom Outram, Ryan Westren, Richard Humphries, and Cullam Osborne scored the other Bay tries. James Trezise converted seven and Seb Berti three.

Hayle went down at Crediton by 37-19. The Lions scored three tries through No8. Tom Ball, fullback Paul Lello, and lock Kevin Jenkin. Lello also kicked two conversions.

The match at Bencoolen Meadow between Bude and St. Ives was abandoned due to an injury to the referee. The match, which St.Ives were leading 13-3, will be re-played.

Saturday 23rd October



Despite travelling up to Yorkshire on Thursday to alleviate the effects of a long journey, the Pirates were unable to plunder any points on the road.

There were some fine performances from the West Cornwall side, notably from the forwards and fly half Lee Jarvis with astute tactical kicking. Otley’s fly half Simon Binns kicked two penalty goals to establish a 6-0 lead for the home side. The Pirates were then reduced to fourteen men as prop forward Alan Paver picked up a yellow card. During this period, the Otley pack took advantage to allow scrum half Dave Scully to score the first of his two tries, which Binns converted for a 13-0 lead. Jarvis kicked two penalties before halftime to reduce the arrears to 13-6.

Otley enjoyed early domination in the second half without adding to the score. Indeed, Jarvis missed a couple of penalty chances that would have brought Pirates closer on the score board. Instead, it was Scully (60mins) who thrust the dagger into the Pirates with his second try, following an identical build up to his first. Binns was unable to convert the score. Otley were soon reduced to fourteen men as prop Kris Fullman was ordered to the bin. Any hopes that the Pirates could gain an advantage were quickly dispelled as No 8 Joe Bearman was shown a yellow card. Binns turned the dagger with two more penalties to put his side safe at 24-6. Replacement hooker Peter Ince grabbed a consolation try for the Pirates near the end, which Jarvis converted.

Penzance & Newlyn will be hoping for better things next Sunday as they entertain the Bedford Blues.



A typical Cornish autumnal gale greeted the visitors from Yorkshire. However, it was unable to prevent Doncaster from maintaining their fine start to the season as one of the main pacesetters in National 2.

Launceston appear not to be enjoying the rub of the green at present as they lose out in these tight matches. With a blank scoreboard approaching half time, Doncaster scored a breakaway try to lead 7-0 at the break. Second row Dan Cook got the touch down with fly half Jon Boden adding the extras. Wayne Sprangle had the best chance for the home side during the first half, following some good work from Andy Birkett and Martin Olima. The Cornish All Blacks also lost left wing Martin Lacey after 18 mins with an injury to his left leg, which required an X-ray.

Doncaster were down to fourteen men after losing flanker Simon Grainger to the bin. Launceston sensed a chance, Richard Stenhouse kicked a penalty for Launceston to cut the arrears, but that was all they could muster. As the game went into the final quarter it was Doncaster who took their chance to score a second try through scrum half Charlie Harrison (67 mins), which went un-converted.

Trailing 12-3, Launceston gave their all, with all-action Birkett setting off on a run that took him clear of the defence to set up Mark Dibble, who had switched to the wing following Lacey’s injury. Stenhouse was unable to convert but at 12-8, Launceston lived in hope. However, Boden kicked a final penalty to stretch the gap to 7 points at the end. Launceston did collect a losing bonus point, which they will regard as scant consolation.  



The sombre weather matched the mood of many as the faithful gathered to watch James Lancaster’s final game at the Recreation Ground. His final match in a red shirt will come next Saturday at Dings Crusaders, before he departs to pastures new in London.   Lancaster will be pleased that he leaves the club riding high in National 3 South following this bonus point win against Reading.

It was anything but straight forward as the Reds once again gave a Jekell and Hyde performance. Soon after prop forward Ewan Cowie had been shown a yellow card, hooker Sam Harrison got a red for an alleged stamping by referee Mr. Parker-Sedgemoor. Redruth also lost the services of fly half Mark Scrivener; play was held up for 20 minutes whilst he was stretchered off to Treliske Hospital.

Before his untimely departure, Scrivener had contributed 14 points to the Reds' haul with a try and three penalties. Graham Sparks had pulled five points back for the visitors before half time.

Redruth then put in a devastating opening to the second period, racing to a 33 – 5 lead. The Reds scored three tries through winger Nathan Pedley, helped by his pack, scrum half Mark Richards, and finally skipper John Navin. Bede Brown, who had switched to fly half following Scrivener’s departure, added two conversions.

With hitherto unbeaten North Walsham losing at Barking, the gap at the top is now cut with Redruth picking up five points.

In South West 1, Penryn squeaked a narrow win over Bridgewater & Albion at the Memorial Ground by 21-20! Playing with a driving gale at their backs in the first period, hooker Phil Wells gave the Borough an early lead with a try. Fly half Andrew George reduced the deficit for the Albion with a penalty, as Penryn quickly found themselves down to thirteen men with Wells and prop Matt Keverne both sin-binned within two minutes. George proceeded to kick a penalty and convert a penalty try to establish a 13-5 lead for the visitors.

Back to full strength, Penryn hit back with a Dave Pascoe penalty, which he followed up with a conversion of winger Chris Mann’s intercept try.

Albion were reduced to 14 men early in the second half as their full back was shown a red card. Penryn extended their two point lead with a second Pascoe penalty, before Albion scored a second try through wing Neil Meyer, which George converted to put Albion 20 – 18 up. Pascoe’s third penalty two minutes from time proved decisive. 

In SouthWest 2 West, Camborne defeated previously unbeaten Berry Hill 13-3 at the recreation Ground. A superb first half defensive performance by the Cherry & Whites restricted Berry Hill to a single penalty score. However, it was not until 70th minute that Ian Morgan squared matters with a penalty kick.

Camborne then produced the only try of the match and it was a beauty. A storming run through midfield by back row David Roberts set up Paul Gadsdon, whose pass released full back Todd Blythe, who ran in from 30 meters. Morgan kicked the conversion and an injury time penalty.

Truro lost at Exmouth 21-11. Ed Lawrence scored Truro’s only try and Scott Martin kicked two penalty goals.

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay won at Hayle 13-0 to maintain top spot. St. Ives enjoyed a fine win at Alexander Road, defeating Ivybridge 48-0. The Hakes scored six tries through centre Sheldon Waetford, winger Ben Trevorrow, flanker Ian Boase, full back Daniel Hooper, flanker Nigel Laity, lock Andy Skinner, and a penalty try. Hooper also kicked five conversions and a penalty goal.

Bude were well beaten at Withycombe by 20 – 3, Glen Johns kicking the North Cornwall side’s only points. 

Saturday 6th November


NATIONAL LEAGUE 3 (South).   By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground, Redruth.

After last Saturday’s disappointment away to Ding's Crusaders, an injury-hit Reds' side put up a superb display against a strong Tabard side who played their part in this exciting league encounter.  

Young Tom Glover, normally a scrum half, came into the side in place of the injured Ian Hambly and enjoyed a fine all-round game, capped with the scoring of the only try of the match in the 40th minute. A lesson in perseverance and never giving up a seemingly lost cause, Glover’s speculative high kick into the visitors' 22 rolled into the in goal area, seemingly covered by the Tabard full back and wing. Glover chased his own kick; it seemed a futile cause, yet the ball rolled awkwardly away from the Tabard player as he was about to lay his hand on it, allowing the enterprising Glover to dive and get a touch. Referee Mr Bickle raised his arm to signal the award of the try. Bede Brown was unable to add the conversion. However, that score enabled Redruth to go in at halftime 17-0 up, much to the relief of all.  

Redruth had kicked off playing down the slope in the first half, eager to get early points on the board. Bede Brown took a drop goal chance on 2 mins to settle early nerves. Tabard looked dangerous outside. Their fly half Rob Colborne made a dangerous break into the Reds 22, only for Andy Hymans to put in the first of his telling tackles of this match. Brown was to double the Reds' score after 8 mins with a penalty kick.

Tabard were still looking dangerous yet the Reds defence held firm. Lewis Vinnecombe made a fine run into the Piggy Lane corner but was denied. Redruth maintained the pressure and on the half hour mark Brown kicked another penalty to make the score 9-0 to the Reds. Neil Douch and Richard Carroll, who received the Bill Osborne Memorial Shield as Trelawny’s Army Player of the Year after the match, combined well in a break which took play into the Tabard half. Tabard conceded another penalty, which Brown again converted. With time running out and the prospect of playing up the slope in the second half, Glover scored his try to make the half time score a healthy 17-0.  

Tabard brought on replacement flanker Jag Johal at half time. Immediately Tabard had points on the board as Rob Colborne kicked an early penalty. Redruth’s lineout was working well with Carroll and Damien Cook securing good ball.

Redruth had Tabard on the back foot for long periods without finding a way through their resolute defence. No 8 Ally Metcalf, Tabard’s captain, led by example. Bede Brown took advantage of a quickly-taken penalty, which resulted in another 10 meters, allowing the Reds to kick another 3 points. Brown then combined with Mark Richards in a break along the Eastern Bank touchline, which ended with a deliberate knock on from Tabard full back Dene Miller, earning him 10 mins in the bin. Brown kicked the penalty to establish a 20 point lead for the Reds, a margin they were unable to build on before the end of the match. Andy Hymans, who deservedly got the Man of the Match award, had a splendid break near the end but was unable to finish.  

This win puts Redruth back in the hunt near the top of the table and in good heart for the trip to Weston-super-Mare next Saturday.  

Redruth Scores: Try Glover; Pens (5) Drop, Brown.  

Saturday 13th November


NATIONAL LEAGUE 1. By John Horswill and John Prowse at the Old Deer Park.
The Pirates run out at Old Deer Park

A clear crisp afternoon saw the Pirates take on London Welsh at the Old Deer Park in Richmond.  There were enough supporters to make the Pirates feel that it was a home away from home - certainly they outnumbered the local support.

The first half was fairly even. Pirates were beginning to show their superiority but after 20 minutes the score was still 0-0.  The Welsh had a penalty but the kicker pushed it wide. A second penalty attempt put the Welsh 3-0 into the lead.  Then Matt Jess, who looked dangerous every time he received the ball, picked his way through the Welsh defence to open the Pirates' scoring on the far right of the field.  Lee Jarvis's conversion attempt into a low sun missed its target.

At this point the Welsh were getting the better of the rucks and mauls and seemed to be able to manipulate the Pirates pack at will. In particular, the Pirates had no answer to the Welsh rolling maul. Eventually the pressure told and Welsh scored an unconverted try. At half-time it was 8-5 to the Welsh.

During the first half it had sometimes been difficult to tell the teams apart: the Welsh were in red-and-black and the Pirates in black-and-red! A change of strip for the second half seemed to do the trick for the Pirates, for within two minutes scum-half Rhodri McAtee picked up the ball just inside the Welsh half and jinked his way through the defence to score a beautiful try at just the moment that it was needed - a fine individual effort easily converted by Lee Jarvis. Things were looking up and we hoped that this was going to be the turning point and lead to a flood of tries, but instead we got only a penalty a dropped-goal from Lee Jarvis. That coolly-taken dropped-goal, however, took the Pirates' lead to 18-8, and meant that the Welsh would have to score at least twice to win the match.

For about 20 minutes the Pirates' defence was severely tested, but it showed that it was able to cope with everything that the Welsh threw at it.  Nail biting times.  Then the Welsh got a try from a slightly fortuitous charge down. The conversion cut the Pirates' lead to just three points. Suddenly, with the score at 15-18, the Welsh were right back in the match. 

The Pirates shored up their pack, which by this time was looking even more vulnerable to the Welsh rolling maul, by bringing on new signing Hattingh and the giant Will James. The Pirates' scrum suddenly looked more solid. New trialist Arasa also came on.

The clock showed that the 40 minutes were up and we all hoped that the referee would blow his whistle and we would get away with the win. All afternoon we had been treated to some fine handling by the Pirates' backs, but the best was to still come.  Matt Jess (who else?)  ran in a try down the right and conveniently placed the ball in the centre to make the conversion a formality. And then a move that swept across the entire width of the field and ended with a man over to add the icing to the cake. Lee Jarvis converted from the touch line, the clock showed 50 minutes, but we didn't care. We had got the bonus point and, with Bedford and Otley both losing, jumped two places up the league table.

It had been a close game which held the attention to the end. Pirates were the better side and deserved the win, but even in injury time the game could have gone either way. Plus points for the Pirates were their solid defence and the superb handling of the backs. The pack held their own in the first half and, after the two substitutions, looked to have the edge in the second. Man of the match was Matt Jess.



Launceston gave their best performance of the season at Polson with this fine win over Manchester in a 10-try thriller. Whilst claiming 5 points with the try-scoring bonus, the Cornish All Blacks will be disappointed to have allowed the visitors to score 5 tries of their own and thus claim a try-scoring bonus point. Indeed, if they had scored another point they could have had another!

Launceston scored three first half tries, through lock Julian Wilce, centre Dan Morris, and back rower Wayne Sprangle. Perry kicked a conversion and, with Manchester grabbing an un-converted try through Lucas Onyango, the half-time score was 17-5 to Launceston.  

The visitors doubled their tally with another unconverted try scored by Andre Wilson early in the second half. Perry kicked a penalty to make it 20 – 10, before Sean Hawkey started the move which led to a try from Eddie Nancekivell which Perry converted, 27-10. As play ebbed to and fro, Manchester scored their third unconverted try through Isaac Richmond. Launceston came again, with full back Andy Birkett coming into the line to feed flanker Stuart Williams, who passed on to Perry, who finally released Marc Dibble to score the Cornish All Blacks' fifth try. Manchester then hit back with their two late tries from Onyango and Gareth Martin, one of which Leyden converted. Perry kicked a penalty to calm Launceston nerves.



A fine win for the Reds as they recorded another win at Weston. However, the elusive bonus point once again went begging as all the sides above them picked up wins and bonus points. Redruth trail leaders Lydney by 9 points; yes, those bonus points do make a difference!  

Redruth will point to two disallowed tries, which appeared valid! The Reds gave a debut to on-loan signing Rhys Gosling, and the Welshman gave a sound display, kicking a couple of conversions and a penalty.

The Reds pack held the upper hand and, from a rolling maul, the ball was spun out to full back Craig Bonds to score the Reds' first try on 5 minutes. Redruth added two more tries in the second half through wingers Nathan Pedley and Lewis Vinnecombe. Weston did score a consolation try near the end through prop Dave Swann.  

Next Saturday Redruth entertain Haywards Heath, who have lost all their seven matches played to date.  

In South West One, Penryn enjoyed a narrow win over Clevedon 21-19. Penryn lie in 6th place in the table on 10 points  

In South West 2 West, the match of the day in Cornwall was the meeting of Camborne and Truro. Camborne won the day, winning 33-21 in an entertaining match. The Cherry and Whites' full-back, Kiwi Todd Blythe, scored three of his side's five tries. There was regrettably a long delay just before half-time as the Camborne lock Tristan Wetherelt needed to be evacuated from the field of play by air ambulance. Replacement hooker David Smith and flanker David Roberts claimed the other two Camborne tries. David Mankee added a couple of penalties and a conversion.

Truro scored two fine tries through winger David Coombes with Scott Martin kicking a conversion and three penalties.

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay will have enjoyed defeating Wessex on their own patch. Bay ran in seven tries in a 46-17 win against a side that have been one of their more vociferous detractors in recent seasons! Victor Olonga (2), Martin Worthington, Steve Evans, Adam Perkin, Olly Lambert, and Tom Outram scored for the Bay, with Ryan Westren kicking the other points.  

St. Ives scored 12 tries in defeating Paignton 79 – 6 at Alexandra Road. Ian Veal (2), Sheldon Waetford (2), Stuart Turnbull (2), Ian Saunders (2), Paul Sanders, Tony Stevens, Scott Perkin, and Ed Skewes scored the Hakes' tries. Aussie full-back Daniel Hooper kicked eight conversions and a penalty.  

Hayle had a welcome win at the Memorial Ground, beating Ivybridge 36-20.  Treloar,  Jenkin, Kearey and Redgrave scored the Lions tries. Paul Lello converted a penalty try and kicked the other points.  

Bude found the pace to hot at Newton Abbot as the home side ran out winners by 54-3. Steve Johns kicked the North Cornwall side’s only points.  

Jimmy Tucker announced his retirement this week from rugby. Tucker, aged 34, who latterly played for the Exeter Chiefs, will be best remembered for his exploits in the black shirt of Launceston, and of course in the Black and Gold shirt of Cornwall, for whom he played 50 times. Tucker played and scored in the 1999 County Final when Cornwall defeated Gloucestershire by 24 – 15 at Twickenham. A former TASC player of the year, we wish him well for the future and say a big "Thank You" for all you have done for Cornish rugby over the years. 

Saturday 20th November


Western Counties West. By Bill Hooper at the Nursey Field, Penzance.

Due to the heavy rain the previous day, this league encounter was switched from the adjourning main pitch to preserve it for the Pirates v Rotherham match on Sunday.  

A dull damp day and a heavy pitch were probably not going to suit the speedsters in the Mount's Bay side and so it was to prove for 70 minutes, as Crediton made the Bay work very hard to maintain their 100% record in this league. It was good to see Joe Bearman and Alan Paver with the Pirates' latest signings from Kenya, Ben Ayimba and Oscar Osir, at the match. Quite what the Kenyans made of the weather I shudder to think!

Bay, resplendent in a new strip, played up the slope in the first half and were soon under pressure from a well-drilled Crediton pack. Stuart Pickard kicked two penalties to put the visitors 6-0 up as Mount's Bay, through a combination of errors and the abrasive nature of the opposition, couldn’t get their game together at all. Ryan Westren was at the heart of many of Bay’s better moments during the first half, as was the ever-willing Mark Richards.

It needed a moment of inspiration to get Bay back into the game. Fullback Victor Olonga was to provide that with one of his trademark deceptive runs, wrong-footing the defence as he streaked in under the posts for Westren to add the extras. At 7-6 the crowd expected the home team to take command, but no, it was Crediton who continued to dominate play, as they scored a third penalty which Pickard converted.

Phil Angove brought on Martin Worthington and James Jago at half time in place of Ben Eddy and Ollie Lambert. Tempers were never far from boiling over, with Edmondo Olfos seemingly targeted by the visitors! Olfos was soon in trouble as referee Mr Denham showed him the yellow card for retaliation. Crediton increased their lead when Morne Scheepers dropped a goal.

Then Crediton lost their influential outside half and skipper Richard John with a nasty head injury. Another moment of inspiration was needed to get the Bay back in front. This time it was Worthington who broke out of defence, beating the cover and racing almost the length of the field to score under the posts. With Westren’s conversion Mount's Bay had at last got their noses in front at 14-12.

Olfos, back on, was soon off for good as another fracas led to him being dismissed. Callum Osborne for Bay and Allan Westcott for Crediton were also shown the yellow card as the game continued to be spicy.

As Crediton tired, Bay’s superior fitness began to tell. Tom Outram began to make some telling runs at the opposition, before Jago broke to score Bay’s third try, with Westren again converting. Olonga then added a fourth try with another slick run to the corner. Bay’s pack began to turn the screw and, in the final move of the match in the gathering gloom, Pete Bush was driven over, with Jamie Trezise converting to make the final score 33 – 12.

So Mount's Bay continue on their relentless march to promotion.  

After the match, I was delighted to be able to officially present Ryan Westren with the Trelawny’s Army Supporters Club shield for the best Cornwall Under 20 player of the year for 2003/4. Grateful thanks to the officials at Mount's Bay RFC for the courtesy afforded to me on the day.



A first defeat on the road for the Cornish All Blacks as they lost to high-flying Newbury in Berkshire. In difficult playing conditions, Launceston found themselves up against a big pack of forwards and, in David Harvey, Newbury possessed a goal kicker of renown. Number 8 Mark Styles scored the home side's first try from a catch-and-drive, with Harvey adding the extras. Steve Perry kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit but, before half-time and down to 14 men with John Griffiths in the bin, Launceston conceded a penalty try, which Harvey converted to make it 14-3 at the break. 

Harvey kicked another penalty to extend his side’s lead. Launceston, to their credit, kept going. Right wing Martin Olima went close, before Mike Heyns took a lineout and was driven over for a try. Harvey once again kicked a penalty, before Launceston had the final say with flanker Wayne Sprangle scoring a try, which secured a losing bonus point.



Redruth at last earned five points, scoring six tries in this healthy win over basement side Haywards Heath. Winger Nathan Pedley led the way with three tries. Flankers Julian Hosking and Paul Edwards each scored tries before Lewis Vinnecombe ended proceedings with the sixth. Fly-half Rhys Gosling kicked seventeen points with the boot. Neil Corin gave a storming display to earn the man of the match accolade. This win will put the Reds in good heart for the trip to league leaders Lydney next Saturday. 

In South West 1, it was a bleak day for Penryn as they crashed unceremoniously at league leaders Cinderford by 63-0! Cinderford ran in 10 tries in this rout. The Borough also picked up a fair few injuries during this match. They will hope to pick themselves up when they entertain Clifton in two weeks time.

In South West 2 West, Camborne were beaten by a plucky Brixham side 11-7. Kiwi full back Todd Blythe scored the visitors' try, which David Mankee converted on 10 minutes. But that was it.

Truro got back to winning ways, defeating Coney Hill 16-15 at St. Clements. Trescothick scored Truro’s try, which Scott Martin converted, as well as 3 penalties.

In Western Counties West, apart from the Mounts Bay result, St. Ives kept in touch with the leaders by winning 36-5 at the Rectory against Devonport Services. The Hakes scored six tries through Danny Bassett, Sheldon Waetford, Dan Hooper, Ed Skewes, Nick Rowe, and Stuart Turnbull. Hooper kicked three conversions.

Bude defeated Wessex at Bencoolen Meadow, 12-7. Bude scored two tries through centre Steve Yates and flanker Rob Uglow. Glen Johns kicked a conversion.

Hayle had no luck at Torquay as the Tic’s ran out winners by 29-8. Peter Redgrave scored the Lions' only try, and Paul Lello kicked a penalty.  

There was one Skinners' Brewery Cornwall Clubs' Cup 2nd Round tie played this week-end: St. Austell defeated Bodmin 16 – 5.

Saturday 27th November


National League 2. Report by Bill Hooper.

Launceston left it late to secure the win at basement club Nuneaton, trailing 6-5 with only five minutes remaining. However, two converted tries in the end gave them a flattering winning margin.

Nuneaton opened the scoring after 38 minutes in a generally scrappy and un-inspiring first half, with Nun's fly-half Peter Glackin kicking the penalty. This sparked the Cornish All Blacks, who momentarily upped the tempo, winning a penalty which fly-half Steve Perry kicked to the corner. From the lineout, the ball was spun wide to right-wing Martin Olima, who scored out wide to leave the score at half-time 5-3 to Launceston.

Play remained disjointed, with Nuns snatching back the lead when Launceston were caught offside in front of their own posts. Glackin kicked the resulting penalty. Launceston rang the changes, with Lee Soper coming on for John Griffiths and Richard Stenhouse coming on for Shane Hawkey. Tactical re-jigging saw Stenhouse on the left wing with Mark Dibble moving from the wing to scrum half. This seemed to kick-start the Cornish All Blacks; suddenly the tempo of their game increased.

Launceston enjoyed territorial advantage and were camped in the Nun’s 22 for long periods without finding the gap. With time running out Launceston had a penalty, which was kicked to the corner. The hoped-for catch-and-drive was thwarted. However, Perry put in a diagonal kick to the wing for Dan Morris to catch and score, with Perry converting. Deep into injury time, Lee Soper snaffled a loose ball and drove over under the posts for Perry to again convert. 



This was what can only be described as a tremendous result for the Reds as they travelled to Regentsholme to tackle table-topping Lydney. After this win Redruth remain fourth in the table. However, they have now completed their away matches against the three sides above them, crucially picking up points from all three games, which may prove a significant factor in the final outcome. There is, however, much rugby to be played before any dust settles. Nevertheless, this result is a major cornerstone of Redruth’s season.  

Lydney took an early lead as full back Adam Westall kicked a penalty. This was improved on when flanker Dan Jenkin scored a try on 12 minutes for an 8-0 lead. Redruth, roared on by a sizeable away support, hit back on 17 minutes following good play between forwards and backs that set up Reds' full back Craig Bonds to score in the corner. Rhys Gosling was unable to add the extras. With half time approaching, Lydney scored a second try through their back row, with their other flanker Regan Turor scoring with Westall adding the conversion, 15 – 5.

Redruth came back at their hosts in the second period, Rhys Gosling kicking two penalties within minutes of each other to reduce the deficit to 15-11. Redruth went in search of a winning score and it came through second row Richard Carroll. The Reds defended like fury as Lydney threw everything at them, but held out for this vital win.    

There were only two other league encounters involving Cornish clubs this weekend. In South West 1, Penryn were once more on the road and again they returned home without the points, being well beaten at Cheltenham by 32 – 16. Darren Pellow scored the Borough’s only try in the second half, which David Pascoe converted. Pascoe also kicked three penalties. Penryn lie in mid-table of South West 1.

In a re-arranged match in Western Counties West, St. Ives kept up their bid for a play-off place by winning 19-15 at Torquay Athletic. Hake’s flanker Ian Boase got the all-important try, which full back Dan Hooper converted. Hooper also kicked four penalties.  

In the Powergen Intermediate Cup 4th Round, Camborne recorded a superb win at London 2 South side Gosport & Fareham 32-0. Kiwi full-back Todd Blythe scored two tries, with other scores coming from Kelvin Smitham, Ian Morgan, and Adrian Downing. Morgan kicked two conversions and a penalty.

In the Powergen Junior Vase, Surrey 1 side London Cornish defeated higher-league, London SW 3 side, Old Amplefordians 20 – 0. (See Dickon Moon’s report in the forums.)  

There was one Skinner’s Brewery Cornwall Cup match played on Saturday: Bude travelled to Liskeard & Looe and won 21 –19. Mounts Bay and Truro had walkovers against Wadebridge Camels and St. Just respectively, whilst two sides who played league games on Saturday, Camborne and Penryn, were due to play Bodmin and Falmouth on Sunday. The winners go into Round 2 and join St. Ives, who had already beaten Hayle, Redruth, and Launceston.  

Saturday 4th December


National League 3 (South). By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground, Redruth.

Expectations were high following the Reds' magnificent win at Lydney last Saturday. Redruth gave their supporters the win they craved for, but not the result. Once again the bonus point went begging, to leave the crowd frustrated as Redruth contrived to deliver a game of highs, lows, and indiscipline, which saw them play with 14 men for 20 minutes! A worrying injury late in the game to hooker Mark Harper saw him helped from the field. One man stood out above the others: Richard Carroll. Time and again he was involved either in attack or in defence, an inspiration to his teammates.

Redruth got off to the best possible start as winger Lewis Vinnecombe carved his way effortlessly through the Old Pats' defence after 90 seconds to score the Reds' first try of the match under the posts. Rhys Gosling added the simple conversion and Redruth were 7-0 to the good.

The score seemed to spark Old Pats more than the Reds, as the visitors took the game to the home side. Fly-half Rob Nook was proving a handful as he probed Redruth's defence. This same player soon reduced the deficit with a penalty, having failed with an earlier attempt on 8 mins. Almost immediately Redruth hit back. Following a heel against the head from Mark Harper, scrum half Mark Richards made progress along the Eastern Bank touchline, the ball came back along the line, into which fullback Craig Bonds had come. His chip into the 22 found winger Nathan Pedley, who gathered to score his tenth try of the season. Gosling's conversion attempt was narrowly wide.

It was Old Pats who dominated for long periods territorially thereafter, whilst Redruth seemed to get bogged down and lose their shape, not helped when they lost Neil Corin on 28 mins to the sin bin. They weathered the storm and in the final play of the first period earned a penalty in front of the posts which Gosling converted to make the score 15-3.

In the second half, Gosling missed an early penalty as play ebbed and flowed from one end to the other. Instead, it was Nock who kicked a second penalty for Old Pats to reduce their leeway. Gosling was involved in and instigated many promising breaks but nothing came to fruition. Eventually he was replaced by Andy Hymans with 10 minutes to go, as the Reds re-jigged their back line in an attempt to score two more tries. They got one, almost on full-time, through Hymans, which Bede Brown converted. Lewis Vinnecombe then almost ended the match as it had began as he surged towards the line looking for that elusive fourth try. But it was not to be and the Reds had to settle for the four points.

Redruth scorers: Tries: Vinnecombe, Pedley, and Hymans; pen Gosling, 2; cons Gosling, Brown.


National League 1

A tremendous result for the Pirates, who in the process collected all five points on offer to lift them to 5th place in the league table.

The pack laid the foundation to this victory. Joe Bearman amongst many had a big game. Namibian back row player Lodewyk Hattingh scored three tries, with fellow back rower Iva Motusaga grabbing another. Lee Jarvis scored the only backs' try and kicked two conversions. Tom Barlow added a third.

Namibian Lodewyk Hattingh got a hat trick of tries

Jim McKay will no doubt be delighted with his charges' performance, which should set them up for a big game next Sunday at the Mennaye against Henley Hawks.


National League 2

The Cornish All Blacks ran in a total of nine tries, with an amazing forty-point haul during the second half of this pulsating game at Polson Bridge.

Stourbridge arrived in Cornwall lying a creditable third in the table and began the game well, taking a 10-0 lead early on. Launceston reduced the deficit with Steve Perry's try, which he converted, before Stourbridge kicked what proved to be their final points of the game to lead 13-7. Before half-time Martin Lacey had skipped in for his first two tries, and Perry's conversion saw the Cornish All Blacks 19-13 up at the break.

In the second half Launceston blew their opponents away with an awesome display of rugby. They got six tries through flanker Wayne Sprangle (2), scrum-half Marc Dibble, Lacey again to complete his hat-trick, centre Dan Morris, and No8 Martin Heyns. Perry added another three conversions before going off, and Richard Stenhouse two, to complete the rout! Launceston are up to 4th.

In South West 1, Penryn suffered a third successive defeat, this time at home to Clifton by 28-15. Penryn managed two second half tries through prop Willie Ongoongo and replacement back Darren Pellow. Dave Pascoe converted one try to add to a first half penalty.

In South West 2 West both Cornish sides enjoyed home wins. Camborne move up to 2nd following their 35-6 win over Gordon League. There were four tries for the Cherry & Whites through left wing James Richards, full back Todd Blythe, right wing Kelvin Smitham, and skipper Ian Morgan. Morgan kicked 3 conversions and 3 penalties.

Truro had a good win over Berry Hill at St. Clements Hill by 22-10. Seventeen points came via the boot of Scott Martin, with Matt Trevail getting the only try.

It was four-out-of-four in Western Counties West with all Cornish sides winning. Pride of place must go to Hayle who, after a few weeks of upheavals at the club, bounced back in the best possible way by crushing Paignton 81-5! The Lions scored 12 tries, with Paul Carter claiming four, Simon Pollard three, and Kevin Jenkin two, with one each for Cook, Jago, and new club skipper Kevin Mankee.

St. Ives had another fine win to consolidate their third place in the table, just behind Newton Abbott in the fight for a play-off place. The Hakes won 38-0 at Withycombe. Dan Bassett scored a couple of tries, with Ian Sanders, Ben Trevorrow, Ian Boase, and Ian Veal scoring the others . Dan Hooper kicked four conversions. Sets up the St. Ives v Hayle clash nicely for next Saturday.

Bude travelled to Crediton and came away with the spoils, 25-15. Uglow, Sowbey, and the prolific Steve Johns scored the tries, with Johns kicking two conversions and two penalties.

Finally, Mounts Bay continued their march to South West 2 West with a 67-28 win over Devonport Services at the Mennaye. Bay held a one-point lead at the break 29-28, but three early second-half tries killed off the Services' hopes. Victor Olonga (3), Martin Worthington (2), Pete Bush, Ben Eddy, Richard Humphries, Adam Perkins, Tom Outram, and Ryan Westren scored the Bay's tries. Westren added six conversions.

Saturday/Sunday 11th/12th December


National League 1

This was the first of three consecutive home games for the Pirates. This win lifts Jim McKay’s boys up to fourth in the table.

Skipper Martin Morgan found himself in the sin-bin after just two minutes following an altercation with Hawks' James Winterbottom. Despite playing with a man down, the Pirates held their nerve and fullback Wez Davies broke the deadlock on 12 minutes with the opening try. Lee Jarvis’s conversion made it 7-0.

Barry Reeves dropped a goal to peg back three points for the Hawks. This stirred the Pirates. Matt Jess went close but spilt the ball. The home pack finally cracked the resistance to let scrum-half Rhodri McAtee in for the second try, Jarvis again adding the extras. Davies then completed his brace with the Pirates' third try of the half. Jarvis added the conversion from in front of the sticks.  

Iva Motusaga scored the fourth, "bonus point", try soon after the re-start, with Jarvis kicking another conversion. The Pirates continued to dominate and play some exciting rugby and it came as no surprise that Matt Jess should score a fifth try to make the score 33-3.

Henley dominated the final quarter as Penzance & Newlyn let up somewhat. They scored a couple of well-worked tries through full-back Peter Davies and winger Nnamdi Obi. Next up Albion on the 27th. What a cracker!               


National League 2

Another marvellous win away for the Cornish All Blacks, which lifts them up to third place in the National League 2 table.  

With mid-point of the season fast approaching, it may well be that Launceston will revise their initial aim for the season of staying up, and push for a promotion slot to National League 1! Scrum-half Marc Dibble is making a name for himself in this division. He's only 19 but playing with a wily old head that belies his youth. Dibble was involved in both Launceston’s first half tries, which saw them turn around 15-8 to the good. For the first try Dibble broke down the blind side, linking with wing Richard Stenhouse. An exchange of passes between the two players put Dibble clear to score out wide. The second, scored in injury time, saw Dibble combining with Steve Perry to launch Andy Birkett on a surge through the Park cover. Dibble, in support, took the ball before releasing wing Martin Lacey who ran in the try. Perry added the conversion together with an earlier penalty to give Launceston a healthy advantage.  

Launceston raised the tempo in the second half. They were awarded a penalty try following a catch-and-drive resulting from a penalty award and Park penalised for persistent collapsing of the maul. A similar move a short time later resulted in prop Martin Rice being driven over for the fourth, "bonus point", try. Sam Howard scored Park’s first half try and a penalty kick. Dominic Brindley kicked the conversion of the penalty try awarded to Park near the end.


National League 3 (South).

Trailing 11 – 3 going into the last ten minutes, it seemed that the Reds would come away empty handed from Hoe Lane. However, this Redruth side is never beaten until the final whistle. Two late tries saw them maintain their unbeaten run and remain in touch with the sides above them, all of whom again picked up crucial bonus point wins. Bede Brown kicked the Reds into a 20 minute lead but Hertford’s Neil Barella cancelled that out almost immediately, before putting the home side in front on 24 mins with a second penalty kick. The score remained 6-3 to half-time.  

Redruth looked the better side after the break, putting together some good moves. However, they were contained by the home side’s defence. Hertford countered with danger at times.  The Reds defence held firm, typified by scrum-half Mark Richards' try-saving tackle on Barella. They were undone by a break away try which saw Hertford sweep almost the length of the field for centre Craig Wilson to score a try that remained unconverted.

At 11 – 3 the Reds' run, possibly their season, looked on the line. Redruth hit back with flanker Julian Hosking scoring an important try following a catch-and-drive. Brown’s conversion cut the deficit to a point. With time running out, Paul Thirlby found winger Lewis Vinnecombe, who crashed over in the corner to secure a vital win.  

In South West 1, Penryn suffered another defeat, this time going down to Oxford Harlequins by 27-14. Due to various commitments, Penryn were without several regulars. Mid way through the second half, the scores were tied at 14-14. Ben Short had scored a try and Dave Pascoe had kicked three penalties. Unfortunately, Quins then scored two soft tries to pull away and secure the win.  

In South West 2 West, Camborne travelled up to North Devon and secured a useful win at Barnstaple by 17-13. James Richards and Adrian Downing scored the Cherry & Whites' tries, both of which Ian Morgan converted, as well as a penalty.

It was not such good news for Truro as they lost at Brixham 32-17. Richard Lacey and Matt Trevail scored tries for Truro, both of which Scott Martin converted, together with a penalty kick.  

Western Counties West runaway leaders Mounts Bay were held for the first time this season in drawing 15-15 at Bude. Roland Nancekivell and Steve Yates scored tries for Bude, one of which was converted by Justin Uglow. Victor Olonga scored a try which was converted by Ryan Westren to reduce the arrears before half-time. Soon after the re-start Uglow kicked a penalty to stretch the North Cornwall side's lead. Olonga with a second try and a penalty from Martin Worthington gave the Bay a hard fought draw.  

St. Ives moved up to second place with an emphatic 46-5 win over neighbours Hayle at Alexandra Road. Sheldon Waetford led the way with a hat-trick of tries. Further scores came from Ian Veal, Ian Boase, Ben Trevorrow, and Daniel Hooper. Hooper kicked four conversions and a penalty. Peter Redgrave got the Lions consolation try.

Saturday 18th December


National League 2

Launceston served up a Christmas feast for the supporters with another six try spectacular to cement their 3rd place in the league at the halfway stage of the season. Andy Birkett’s 3rd minute try settled any nerves as the Cornish All Blacks mastered the treacherous conditions. Esher hit back, using the high ball to good effect, flanker Gavin Hart scoring with fly half Neil Hallet converting to make it 7-5 to the visitors.

Following a catch-and-drive near the Esher line, fine play from Launceston set up No 8 Mike Heyns for a try which Steve Perry converted. Esher’s Hallet kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to 12-10.

Launceston’s play again proved irresistible as Perry kicked a grubber towards the line for Richard Stenhouse to collect and score. Perry was successful with the conversion. On 30 mins the bonus point was in the bag as Marc Dibble rounded off more fine work from Heyns and Dan Morris. Perry again converted to establish a 26-10 lead. Esher had the final say in the half as prop Duncan Cormack scored a well worked try and Hallet a penalty kick to make it 26-18 at the break.  

Launceston remained firmly in the driving seat after the break as their superior fitness told in the difficult conditions. Martin Olima scored a couple of tries, with Perry a fourth conversion to cap a fine performance.  


National League 3 (South). By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground, Redruth.

On a damp dank dreary December afternoon, Redruth recorded their seventh win in a row to maintain their fourth place in the league. It will not be a performance that will live long in the memory, as the play matched the weather.  

Redruth gave a debut to on-loan signing from the Pirates Duncan Murray at outside centre. Murray caught the eye on several occasions during the match; indeed he played a major role in setting up the only try of the game for winger Lewis Vinnecombe on 28 minutes.  

The Reds kicked off playing towards the town end. Early moves seemed promising with backs and forwards combining well. Southend, a big physical side in the forwards, had a well-organised defence which coped well, aided by the treacherous conditions under foot.

Bede Brown kicked an opening penalty after 6 mins for the home side. Southend had a chance of reply almost immediately from the re-start, Simon Hoult’s effort sailing wide with the wind. Scrum-half Mark Richards went very close down in Hell Fire corner as the Reds mounted strong pressure on the visitors' line. Bede Brown kicked a second penalty on 14 mins following an offside offence.

Kiwi No 8 Dan Goodwin enjoyed another fine game in the Red shirt, always prominent in attack and defence. Following Vinnecombe’s try, Redruth continued to press without success. Having soaked up the pressure, Southend came back into it before half-time, pressing in the scoreboard corner.  

The second half was to remain scoreless despite both sides' endeavours. Play was scrappy with far too many stoppages for players going down. Both sides used their full bench compliment, which added to the hold ups in play.  

A break now from league action. However, Redruth do have some attractive fixtures over the festive period. On Boxing Day they host traditional rivals Camborne. The following Sunday, January 2nd, they will play Exeter Chiefs at the Recreation Ground. On Monday 3rd January Redruth are again at home, in the 2nd Round of the Skinner’s Brewery Cornwall Cup against Truro. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

In South West 1, Penryn suffered yet another worrying defeat at home to league leaders Cinderford by 58-3. Skipper Dave Pascoe kicked the only points for the Borough in the first half. Borough will look for a morale booster on Monday 27th December as they take on old rivals Falmouth at the Rec.  

In South West 2 West, Camborne took revenge for an earlier league defeat by Brixham, winning 18-7. Kelvin Smitham and David Mankee scored the home side’s tries with skipper Ian Morgan kicking the other points.

Truro slipped to another defeat on the road, going down at Coney Hill 35-13.  

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay maintained top spot, winning 21 – 7 at Crediton. Martin Worthington and Victor Olonga scored the Bay’s tries with Ryan Westren kicking the other points. St. Ives remain second following a 48-0 home win over Devonport Services. Stuart Turnbull scored a brace, with other tries coming from Ben Trevorrow, Dan Hooper, Paul Sanders, Justin Paul, Andy Skinner and Daniel Bassett. Hooper added three conversions and Bassett one.  

Hayle beat Torquay Athletic 9-7 with Paul Lello kicking all the Lions points. Bude had a fine win at Wessex winning 22-0. Steve Yates, Mike Vickery, and Trewin scored tries for Bude, with Johns kicking the other points.  

Saturday/Sunday 8th/9th January


National League 1

The Pirates got 2005 off to a winning start in difficult playing conditions at the Mennaye Field on Sunday afternoon. The lack of a bonus point sees the West Cornwall outfit lying 6th in the table just behind the Bedford Blues and Otley.  

It took only six minutes for the Pirates to open the scoring. Lee Jarvis kicked long from his own 22 and winger Rob Thirlby gave chase. The England 7s' star gathered and scored a fine try, with Jarvis adding the difficult conversion.

Penzance & Newlyn had to wait until the 21st minute to add to their score, despite pressure and possession. Following a catch-and-drive near the Bees line, hooker Nick Makin crossed for the try, and Jarvis again added the extras.

The Bees came more into the game as the half drew to a close; Tim Walsh kicked a penalty, following a couple of misses, to get his side on the scoreboard. The half ended at 14-3 to the Pirates.  

Early in the second half the Pirates were dealt a blow with an injury to scrum-half Rhodri McAtee forcing him to come off and be replaced by Ricky Pellow. Undaunted, the Pirates kept up the pressure despite the conditions. The forwards created a platform to spin the ball out to Wez Davies, who grabbed the Pirates' third try, which went unconverted.

The Pirates went in search of the elusive fourth try in vain. Instead it was the Bees who enjoyed a final say, with flanker Luke Narraway scoring a fine try, which Ryan Lamb converted. 


National League 2

Launceston, in completing the double over their opponents, moved up to second place in the league table and are currently occupying one of the two promotion spots! With their coaching duo of Chris Brown and Jon Hill picking up the NCA National League 2 coach award for December affairs couldn’t be sweeter at the start of 2005.  

Despite falling behind to two early scores from their hosts, a try and a penalty from fly-half Duncan Hughes (the last offence resulting in the sin-binning of the All Blacks' second row John Griffiths), Launceston roared back with their now customary gusto. Fly-half Steve Perry fed wing Martin Olima, who sped off in direction of the try line. Despite being held up, Olima managed to slip the ball to fellow wing Martin Lacey, who in turn fed centre Dan Morris, who scored. Perry was unable to add the extras, nor a penalty a short while later.

However, Launceston’s tails were up. Olima once again went close to scoring a try. With half-time approaching, Lacey and Wayne Sprangle combined with Andy Birkett, who kicked ahead and re-gathered. Despite being tackled, Birkett got the ball to Dan Morris, who scored his second try of the game. Perry’s conversion gave the Cornish All Blacks a 12-8 lead.   

Launceston began the second half as they finished the first, Eddie Nancekivell snaffling a loose ball and heading up-field before releasing scrum-half Marc Dibble, who scored in the corner.

Launceston should have gone on and killed the game from that point. Instead, Stourbridge turned the pressure on Launceston. Centre John Ewen pulled a try back for the hosts. Back came Launceston. However, the home defence was solid. It was the 67th minute before Launceston could add to their score as No 8 Mike Heyns went over for the all-important fourth try, Perry again converting.

Hughes scored and converted a second try to bring Stourbridge back to four points. But All Blacks' replacement Rhys Gosling made the game safe with a penalty in stoppage time.


National League 3 (South)

Redruth's fine league form continued with a dramatic win at Everest Road, a first success at Old Pats! Ten unanswered points in the final eight minutes of the game turned the tide, to the joy of the sizeable Reds' support.

Russell Nunn gave Old Pats an early lead, which Reds' fly-half Paul Thirlby, playing in that position due to the unavailability of Bede Brown, soon matched.

Old Pats' big pack were dominating proceedings, offering Nunn another penalty chance, which he took on 25 minutes. However, Redruth managed to take the lead before half-time: the impressive Duncan Murray made a break, feeding flanker Julian Hosking, who in turn found the flying Nathan Pedley, who scored in the corner, making it 8-6 at half-time to the Reds.   

An early Thirlby penalty stretched the Reds' advantage to five points at the start of the second half. Old Pats came back. Following three successive penalties near the Reds' line, each of which was scrummaged, the fourth proved fatal as the referee ran under the posts to award the home side a penalty-try. Nunn’s conversion gave Old Pats a two point lead 13-11!

The Reds stormed the Old Pats' line and, with 6 minutes remaining, Old Pats killed the ball in front of their posts. Thirlby kicked the points to give Redruth a slender one point advantage. Redruth then made the game safe as Duncan Murray was driven over the line for the game's clinching score, which Thirlby converted.  

In South West 1, there was another disappointing result for Penryn as they slid to another defeat, this time at Clevedon by 19-6. Penryn were once again cruelly hit by unavailabilities, which did not help their cause. Skipper Dave Pascoe kicked the points for the Borough.  

In South West 2 West, the match of the day in the Duchy saw Truro gain revenge for their pre-Christmas defeat at the Recreation Ground, denting Camborne’s promotion hopes with a fine 24-13 win at St. Clements. Truro scored four tries, with on-loan Red Scott Martin grabbing a brace; Luke Trescothick and Ed Lawrence scored the other two. Martin also kicked two conversions. For Camborne, James Richards and Ali Durant scored tries with Ian Morgan kicking a solitary penalty.  

Mounts Bay maintained the pace at the top of Western Counties West, defeating lowly Wessex by 51-0. There were eight tries for the Bay, with two each from Jim Trezise and Ryan Westren. Victor Olonga, Danny Clackworthy, Adam Redgrave, and Tom Outram claimed the others. Westren kicked four conversions and a penalty.  

St. Ives maintain second spot, following a good second half performance to earn a 43-9 win at Paignton. Joe Palmer scored a couple of tries, with other scores coming from Ian Veale, Andrew Skinner, and Lee Taylor. Dan Hooper kicked the other points.  

Hayle found themselves trailing 32-7 at Ivybridge before rallying to finally go down 32-19.  Dave Seager and Ben Waller scored the Lions' tries with Paul Lello’s boot adding the other points.

Bude lost at home to Newton Abbot 26-3, Steve Johns kicking the solitary points for Bude.  

News from France of Addy Winnan, who scored a fine try on Saturday night for his side Tarbes in their 21-12 win over La Rochelle in a Pro 2 league match. 

Saturday 15th January


National League 1

This was a game the Pirates will quickly want to forget, as they slumped to a comprehensive defeat at Butt’s Park Arena. Coventry ran in five unanswered tries through Adrian Olver, Garath Gravell, Viliami Fitita, Kurt Johnson, and Kisi Pulu. John Higgins managed just the one conversion and a penalty. For the Pirates, fly-half Lee Jarvis kicked a first-half penalty, but that was as good as it got for the Pirate faithful.


National League 2

This game was anything but an advert for fine rugby, as the visitors pulled out every trick in the book to spoil and sneak a result in their bid to avoid the drop. Nuneaton won’t care much as they sneaked a precious win. The game turned on the awarding of a penalty try, right on time, to Nuns. The referee, Mr Newitt, adjudged the seven-man Launceston pack to have pulled down once too often near their own line. Launceston had lock John Griffiths in the sin bin, an all too regular occurrence and one that this time cost Launceston dear! Launceston could point to their own claims for a penalty try, which Mr Newitt saw fit to decline!

The first half was scoreless as Launceston failed to get any rhythm going, not helped by Nuns' dubious tactics, which the referee seemed to allow!

It looked as if Launceston had managed to break free of the opposition’s strangle-hold with Rhys Gosling’s try, which Steve Perry converted to establish a 7-0 lead. The stop-start nature of the game was playing into Nuns' hands. Fly-half Peter Glackin kicked a penalty for Nuns on 65 mins to give them hope. The drama at the end gave them the points!

Launceston will want to bounce back next Saturday when they entertain 2nd place Newbury. 

REDRUTH 36 LYDNEY 14 (HT 22-11)

National League 3 (South)

The Reds completed a league double over a Lydney side which, prior to the match, was level on points with Redruth in third place. In doing so Redruth produced their best display of the season. Despite going behind to an early penalty from Lydney’s full back Adam Westall, Redruth soon had their noses in front as fine play brought the first of four first-half tries to secure the bonus point. Winger Nathan Pedley crossed on 10 minutes, for the first of his brace after a fine passing move. On 15 minutes the Reds added to their score as Lewis Vinnecombe went over close to the posts, for Paul Thirlby to add the conversion, making the score 12-3. Westall kicked a second penalty to reduce the arrears.

Redruth were playing with conviction, with forwards and backs combining well and threatening further scores. Duncan Murray and Andy Hymans in mid-field were creating space, and the forwards Julian Hosking and Dan Goodwin consistently crossed the gain line. It came as no surprise to the large crowd when Redruth went further ahead with Pedley scoring his second try with an angled run to the posts.

Lydney then scored a try through prop Paul Price, who later received a yellow card as Lydney cynically tried to spoil the game. Redruth kept their cool and refused to be drawn into Lydney’s spoiling game. The bonus point was secured with scrum-half Mark Richards scoring just before half-time. Thirlby’s conversion hit the post.  

Redruth maintained their dominance during the second half with some fine play. Further tries came from John Navin and Dan Goodman, with Thirlby adding the conversions. Lydney could only muster a third penalty from Westall.

This result leaves Redruth in 3rd place, still 10 points behind leaders Barking and 7 points behind second-placed North Walsham. With both these sides due to visit the Recreation Ground on successive Saturdays in March the promotion stakes are still very much wide open.  

Saturday/Sunday 22nd/23rd January


National League 2

A second consecutive home defeat for the Cornish All Blacks has probably brought to an end any realistic hopes of promotion for this season. Newbury showed their pedigree in gaining a result which keeps them in the second promotion spot just behind league leaders Doncaster.

Launceston had to do without their mercurial fullback, Andy Birkett, Rhys Gosling coming into the fullback berth. The match was played in atrocious weather. Newbury, with their Australian fly-half Dave Harvey dictating play, better mastered the conditions and did not panic when under pressure. Launceston did have their chances, even spurning a promising three-man overlap on one occasion during the first half.

It was Harvey who was instrumental in setting up Newbury’s first-half try, getting the ball out to centre Mark Ireland, who crossed over from 5 meters. Harvey’s conversion attempt failed and 0-5 remained the score to half-time.

Despite some promising breaks by the All Blacks' Gosling and winger Martin Olima, it was Harvey who added a penalty for Newbury, to make the score 8-0. Launceston went down to 14 men as lock John Griffiths went to the bin. Gosling pulled back three points for Launceston after Newbury went off-side. However, a second Harvey penalty ensured the win for Newbury and denied Launceston a losing bonus point.


National League 3 (South). Report by Bill Hooper.

Third-placed Redruth maintained the pressure on the sides above them with this eight-try win at basement side Haywards Heath. The Reds gave a debut to on-loan signing lock Dave Whitehead, a former player with French side Castres Olympique.

After an early scare when Heath’s fly half O’Donnell cut through the Reds' defence (his pass to centre Mafi went behind), Redruth took command and were soon awarded a penalty try, which Bede Brown converted. John Navin then set up Lewis Vinnecombe, who ran 60 meters to score his first try of the afternoon on 19 minutes. Again Brown added the extras.

Redruth were now dominating the lines-out and scrums. No 8 Dan Goodwin made some powerful runs at the home defence. Hooker Mark Harper scored an unconverted try on 33minutes, before Vinnecombe rounded off the first half with his second try on 39 minutes and secured the bonus point.

Redruth kept up the momentum in the second half, with centre Andy Hymans scoring the Reds' fifth try following good work from Nathan Pedley. Craig Bonds added to the scoring with his first try on 49 minutes, following good work on the blind side from Mark Richards, Duncan Murray, and Dan Goodwin. Brown’s conversion was successful. On 58 minutes Vinnecombe completed his hat-trick of tries by scoring in the right hand corner.  

With the game secured Redruth brought on their bench replacements. Game to the end, Heath scored a couple of unconverted tries before the finish, interspersed by Bonds' second and Redruth’s eighth.

In South West 1, Penryn stopped the rot and recorded a much-needed win at the Memorial Ground against Oxfordshire side Chinnor by 19-13. The Borough scored all their points during the first half, with the wind at their backs. Flanker James Mann scored their first try on 5 minutes when he was driven over by the pack following a penalty award. Skipper Dave Pascoe converted. Chinnor scored a couple of penalties through fly-half Cathcart before Penryn took the game by the scruff of the neck with two quick scores. The first saw them run the ball out of their own half. Lewis Vague, Peter Webster, and Peter Gregory were all involved before Gregory released fullback Nick Brown to score. Soon after winger Chris Mann passed to Brown who chipped ahead, re-gathered, and fed the other winger James Greville-Smith who cantered in under the posts. Pascoe converted.  

The only score of the second half was a Chinnor try for Hewitt, which Cathcart converted.  

In South West 2 West, Camborne after their disappointing recent losses got back to winning ways with a fine 23-11 win over a tough Coney Hill outfit. The Cherry and Whites gave a first team debut to flanker Nathan March, who had a fine game, capped by scoring Camborne’s second try.  Despite falling behind to an early penalty, Town scored an opening try on 15minutes following some fine play from winger James Richards. The move also involved Adrian Downing and Kelvin Smitham and from the ensuing ruck lock Tristan Wetherelt scored. Ian Morgan added the conversion. Before half-time both sides swapped penalties and Morgan also dropped a goal for Camborne.   Early in the second half came the try for March, which Morgan converted, before Morgan kicked a final penalty to complete Camborne’s haul. Coney Hill hit back with a late try.  

The match between Cleve and Truro was postponed as the referee was called away to another match!

In Western Counties West, St. Ives moved to a point behind defeated leaders Mounts Bay following their 16-3 win over Torquay Athletic. The Hakes scored a couple of tries through flanker Nick Rowe and fullback Dan Hooper. Hooper also kicked a couple of penalties.

Mounts Bay slipped to their first league defeat of the season, going down 19-10 to third-placed Newton Abbot. Bay managed two tries from No8 Tom Outram and hooker James Owen.  

Bude completed a league double over Hayle, winning 30-10. The north Cornwall side scored five tries through Comber, Yates, Johns, Trewin, and Williams. Johns kicked a penalty and a conversion. The Lions scored a try through Trathen, with Mankee adding the conversion and a penalty.  


National League 1. By Bill Hooper at the Mennaye Field

The Pirates bounced back from their large defeat at Coventry last weekend to see off a spirited Nottingham side, which gamely secured a bonus point by scoring four tries.  

On a cold January day under clear blue skies and following a minute’s silence in memory of “Puggy” Trudgeon, Penzance & Newlyn began slowly, committing too many basic errors. An early penalty by Nottingham fly-half Neil Stenhouse for a ruck infringement put the visitors in the lead. The same player then kicked the conversion for a penalty try awarded by referee Mr Richards, who adjudged Will James had pulled down a maul when Nottingham were driving for the line. The Pirates hit back immediately when Lee Jarvis converted a 40-metre penalty from in front of the posts.

The Pirates looked dangerous when the ball was spun out wide, with Wez Davies prominent. Another attack soon saw Lee Jarvis crossing for a try; his conversion tying the scores at 10-10.

Nottingham were to regain the lead on 40 minutes. Following a catch-and-drive, No 8 Mark Easter came up with the ball from the pile of bodies in the Western National Depot corner. There was still time and, with the Pirates rampant in the clubhouse corner, Nottingham’s Warren Coles was sent to the bin for a deliberate knock on. From the penalty, the Pirates launched another move, which saw fullback Wez Davies beat the cover to score in the scoreboard corner. Jarvis’s conversion was to prove the difference between the sides at the break.  

Matt Jess made his appearance at half-time in place of Rob Thirlby, and immediately made an impact, flying like an arrow to the line following some fine play from Jarvis and Wade Kelly. Kelly then got on the score sheet with a fine dummy which took him clear to the line, before Davis grabbed his second to seemingly put the game beyond Nottingham. Jarvis converted all three to put the Pirates 38-15 up.

With the result and the bonus point secured, the Pirates then appeared to retreat into their shell and hand back the imitative to Nottingham. Mark Easter scored a third try and his second of the match for the visitors, who went looking for their own try-scoring bonus point and achieved it with centre Alan Cook’s late effort.  

With a tough trip to the County Ground next Saturday, for what is bound to be a pulsating West Country derby with Exeter Chiefs, the Pirates will need to give an eighty minute performance to get anything from the game.

Pirate scores: tries Davies (2), Jarvis, Jess, Kelly; pen, cons (5), Jarvis.

Saturday 29th January


National League 1

A tremendous West Country derby at the County Ground saw Exeter just prevail against their Cornish neighbours, who threw everything at the Chiefs in the final moments but to no avail.

The Pirates lost influential fly half Lee Jarvis just before the kick off with a calf strain, allowing Tom Barlow to make a start. The Pirates, with Club President Dicky Evans looking on, made a tremendous start: after soaking up initial pressure, they countered brilliantly after a minute, with full back Wez Davies scoring in the corner. Barlow’s touchline conversion made it 7-0 to the Pirates. Marc Sweeney knocked on in a promising counter shortly after.

The Chiefs used their pack to drive through the Pirates' defence and via this route Richard Baxter crashed over for the Chiefs' opening try. Tony Yapp’s conversion levelled the scores. Exeter were on top during this period, with Baxter being held up over the line.

Then Penzance & Newlyn conjured up a fine move, with scrum half Gavin Cattle feeding back-row player Joe Bearman, who passed through his legs to winger Matt Jess, who put hooker Vili Ma’asi over. Barlow kicked another prodigious touchline conversion.

Exeter hit back as, following several phases of play, Tony Yapp’s chip found fullback Stephen Ward, who gathered to score. Yapp’s conversion once again levelling the scores. Barlow missed a penalty attempt, before both sides were reduced to 14 men as Will James and Rob Baxter were sent to the bin.

Exeter got the crucial first score after the break as flanker Tony Walker capitalised on some loose play to cross for a try. Yapp converted and added a penalty kick to put the Chiefs two scores ahead. The Pirates came again with No 8 Iva Motusaga scoring after fine work from Barlow and Sweeney. Barlow’s conversion cut the deficit to three points but that was as close as the Pirates would get. Yapp kicked a second penalty goal to make it 27-21. Despite the end of match siege the Pirates couldn’t find a way through to clinch the win.   

Pirates scorers: Tries: Davies, Ma’asi, Motusaga; Cons (3) Barlow


National League 2

A third straight loss for Launceston, who will want to bounce back as soon as possible, preferably against Waterloo next Saturday at Polson. Coaches Chris Brown and Jon Hill will have a busy week re-focusing the players. Launceston were without lock John Griffiths, who picked up a four week suspension from the RFU Disciplinary panel this week, following three yellow cards. The game also saw the end of Rhys Gosling’s season, as the full back went off with a broken ankle. Lock Lee Soper also left the field with a worrying injury. 

The damage was done in the first half as Manchester scored 22 points. After falling behind, the Cornish All Blacks hit back with a try from hooker Dave Risdon. Manchester were always dangerous and, with Kenyan speedster and divisional top try-poacher Lucas Onyango, posed a real threat.  Indeed the Kenyan scored two first half tries before completing his hat-trick later on.

After falling further behind Launceston hit back with the first of Wayne Sprangle's tries, which Steve Perry converted. Sprangle grabbed a second but Manchester scored a seventh try to cap a fine win.

Next Saturday will be a big test of Launceston’s mental resolve to bounce back after the setbacks of the last three Saturdays. 


National League 3 (South). Report by Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground.

In the second half Redruth put away a plucky Weston side who defended stoutly but in the end were swept away by the Red surge, which was cheered on by the partisan home crowd. The game itself was very much a “stop start” affair with Weston in particular stopping play for injuries far too often; indeed it appeared that their physio spent more time on the pitch than off! To their credit, the Redruth players refused to be rattled by such blatant “gamesmanship”, although their frustration was all too evident.  

Weston kicked off playing down the slope. Play flowed from end to end as both sides looked for an opening with defences on top. Towards the end of the first quarter Redruth finally found a breach in the visitors' defence. After tremendous pressure up in the “Strawberry Lane” corner, winger Nathan Pedley eluded the cover to squeeze in at the corner. Bede Brown’s conversion failed.

Redruth continued to enjoy the upper hand. Weston spurned a penalty chance, which the referee improved by 10 meters for backchat from a Reds player. Play was often interrupted for stoppages, chiefly by the visitors. Frustration was simmering and there were one or two altercations! Bede Brown helped settle Redruth nerves with a penalty just before half-time.  

The Reds came out fired up for the second half and soon had more points on the board as fullback Craig Bonds ripped through the cover to score near the posts. Brown’s conversion made it 15-0. Lewis Vinnecombe, who also had a fine all round game, went close in Hell Fire corner. Hooker Mark Harper grabbed a try from a catch and drive in the same corner shortly after.

Redruth now went in search of the all-important bonus point and it arrived via a collective effort through the forwards on 68 mins, with replacement prop Peter Joyce coming up with the ball. Brown added the conversion. The industrious back row got on the score sheet with Nathan Pascoe going over in the Piggy Lane corner following great work from scrumhalf Mark Richards and No 8 Dan Goodwin. The Reds got a sixth try after a flowing move was finished off by Nathan Pedley, which Brown converted.  

A fine performance from the Reds who maintain the pressure on the two sides above them and sets them in good heart for the trip to Tabard next Saturday.  

Redruth scores: Tries: Pedley (2), Bonds, Harper, Joyce, Pascoe. Pen, Cons (4) Brown.  

In South West 1, Penryn lost on the road at Bridgewater & Albion 42-15.The Borough were undone by a three-try burst in six minutes during the second half and never recovered. Ben Short and Dave Pascoe scored the Penryn tries with Pascoe adding a conversion and penalty.  

There were mixed results in South West 2 West. Truro recorded a fine win at home to Exmouth 32-26. Luke Trescothick, Ed Lawrence, Scott Withycombe, Martin Carew, and Josh Lord scored the City side’s tries with Scott Martin adding the other points with the boot.

Camborne went down to defeat at Berry Hill by 33-15. Todd Blythe and Dave Roberts scored the Cherry and Whites' tries, with Ian Morgan kicking the other points.  

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay maintained top spot with a fine win at the Mennaye over local rivals Hayle by 57-10. Ben Eddy(2), Steve Evans (2), Adam Nichols, Hugh Levis, Ryan Westren, Callum Osborne, and Adam Redgrave crossed for the Bay. James Tresize added 6 conversions. Neil Turner pulled a try back for the Lions, which Paul Lello converted, and a penalty kick.  

St. Ives maintained the pressure on Mounts Bay with a fine win over Ivybridge by 29-15. Sheldon Waetford (2), Stuart Turnbull and Ben Trevorrow scored the Hakes' tries, with full back Dan Hooper kicking the other points.

Bude defeated Withycombe by 41-0.

Saturday 5th February


National League 2

Launceston appeared to have the game all wrapped up at 30 – 13 as the game moved into injury time but referee Nick Williams' watch went on to allow an incredible 12 minutes of stoppage time, allowing the Drummers to score two converted tries and thus snatch two bonus points!

It certainly proved to be an entertaining game at Polson, with both sides scoring four tries apiece. Full back Steve Nutt scored the opening try for the visitors after 15 mins. This sparked the Cornish All Blacks, who hit back with a couple of tries, the first from scrum half Mark Dibble and a second through No 8 Stuart Williams. Fly half Steve Perry converted both scores. Nutt reduced the deficit with a penalty goal for Waterloo, before Perry kicked a couple of penalties to extend his side's lead at the interval.  

After the break, Dibble scored his second try of the game following a catch-and-drive near the visitors' line. The match looked to be all up, as Launceston set about achieving a bonus point win. Waterloo scored a second try through winger Jan van Deventer, before a fine run down the wing from Martin Olima set up Eddie Nancekivell for Launceston’s fourth try.

Launceston again lost a player to a yellow card late in the game as flanker Wayne Sprangle made his way to the bin. Van Deventer’s second try and Tony Handley's score made the final score much closer than Launceston coach Chris Brown would have wished! 


National League 3 (South)

Redruth notched up a twelfth successive win with this resounding success over Tabard, which will have sent shivers of discomfort down the backs of Barking and North Walsham, the two sides above them in the league. The Reds ran rampant, scoring ten tries in all. Hooker Mark Harper started the scoring with a try on 12 minutes. A slight worry for the Reds was the departure of centre Andy Hymans after 17 mins, to be replaced by Paul Thirlby. Despite this set back the Red machine was to prove irresistible. Further tries from Richard Carroll (20 mins), Lewis Vinnecombe (26 mins), and Dan Goodwin (28 mins), together with three conversions from Bede Brown, had the Reds 26-0 up. Just before half-time Tabard managed to get a try through Richard Marshall, which Rob Colborne converted to make it 26-7 at the break.

In the second half Redruth carried on as before, totally dominating and running in a further six tries through full back Craig Bonds, Richard Carroll, Mark Harper, Nathan Pedley, Lewis Vinnecombe, and finally Pedley once more. Bede Brown kicked a further three conversions to complete the scoring.  

Redruth will have a week’s break before tackling Dings Crusaders at the Recreation Ground, where they will be eager to exact revenge for the league defeat at Dings earlier in the season.  

In Powergen South West 1, Penryn left it late to score the wining try against St. Mary’s Old Boys at the Memorial Ground. Full back Nick Brown’s late try and the conversion by skipper Dave Pascoe gave the Borough two precious league points in their struggle to avoid a quick return to South West 2 West. Flanker Doug Maynard, and wingers Chris Mann and Darren Pellow scored the other Penryn tries.  

In South West 2 West, Camborne’s slim play-off chances in all probability evaporated with a sixth league defeat at Cleve by 41-22. Despite being level at half-time 14-14, Camborne were rocked in the second half as Cleve ran away on the scoreboard. Adrian Downing ,Kevin Penrose, and Nathan Marsh scored the Cherry & Whites' tries, with Ian Morgan kicking the other points.  

Truro won away at Stroud by 17-3. Trescothick and Butt scored Truro’s tries, with Scott Martin kicking the other points.  

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay gave a debut to new signing Mo Oto Ota, well known locally from his days at Camborne. The Tongan made an immediate try-scoring impact. Other tries for the Bay came from Dan Fisher, Steve Evans, Ben Hilton, Victor Olonga, Tom Outram, and Danny Clackworthy, as Mounts Bay won comfortably 46-3.  

St. Ives maintain the pressure in second place with a 75-5 win over Bude. Two tries each for Paul Sanders, Sheldon Waetford and Lee Taylor with other tries coming from Jason Perkin, Joe Parma, Ian Boase, Scott Perkin, Ben Trevorrow and Andy Skinner. Dan Hooper kicked six conversions and a penalty. For Bude Steve Johns scored a well-worked try.    

Crediton won by 27-14 at Hayle. Ben Warner scored the only try for Hayle with Paul Lello kicking three penalties.  

Saturday 12th February


National League 1. Report by John Horswill at the Memorial Ground, Bristol.

Initially all the play seemed to be in the Pirates' half but all the possession was the Pirates'. A Pirates' infringement led to a penalty miss by Bristol. A little later they missed a dropped goal too. Was this going to be Pirates' day? Eventually came a move into the Bristol half and a gap in the Bristol backs, and full back Wez Davies broke through on the left for the first try (about 12 mins) of the afternoon. No conversion this time: 5-0 to Pirates.

The Shoguns clawed back a penalty on 20 minutes.

ln the second quarter Pirates continued to dominate. Eventually left-winger Gerald Arasa charged down a poor clearance just inside the half-way line and ran in the second try. Try converted: score 12-3. Things were looking up for Pirates. However, a penalty was given away on the stroke of half time and the score was 12-6 to the visitors.

A display of unarmed combat at half time demonstrated potential new tactics!

The second half demonstrated the determination of the Pirates. Bristol had almost all the possession but the Pirates defence was awesome. Time after time the Bristol attack was blunted.

Pirates had precious little possession, won very few of the line-outs, and we missed the usual scintillating back moves, but clearly they came here with a clear game plan that was well executed and very effective.

Lee Jarvis came on at about 70 minutes (the clock on the stand had long since given up). With the action just in the Bristol half he kicked a penalty that helped to secure the points. As if that wasn’t good enough, he stepped up for a second kick, but this time from ten yards inside the Pirates' half, and suddenly the score was 18-6. The scoreboard on the stand couldn’t bear to confirm this. For Shoguns there was a consolation try at the final whistle, to make the full time score 18-11. With Pirates beginning to win critical away games there is tons of optimism for the future.

Dicky Evans was optimistic before the game: he must be over the moon now.

The Bristol supporters were very complimentary after the game. They said that the performance of the well-organised Pirates' side had muted the Bristol crowd, who were usually much noisier.

Saturday/Sunday 19th/20th February


National League 3 (South). By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground.

With Penzance & Newlyn recalling Duncan Murray to the Mennaye, Redruth moved fullback Craig Bonds into the centre to partner Paul Thirlby, giving a debut to on-loan signing South African Pieter van der Walt from Launceston at 15.  

Dings kicked off playing down the slope and with a stiff breeze behind them set about establishing territory in the Redruth 22. The opening 10 minutes or so were fraught with dangers for the Reds as Dings pressed very hard. Stout and resolute defence kept the visitors at bay. In the end, the Reds did concede points but only via a penalty kick on 8 mins, kicked by fullback Dean Weaver.

Redruth came back at the visitors, with the Reds' back row carrying the ball into the Dings' half. Dan Goodwin at No 8 had another influential game, with Julian Hosking and skipper John Navin never far from the action. Redruth had a penalty chance from in front of the posts, which Bede Brown hammered against the upright while trying to keep the ball low in the wind. Redruth were beginning to dominate play through the forwards, while the backs looked dangerous as they attempted to weave a passage through the Dings' defence. A typical run from Bonds set up another penalty chance for Bede Brown, which the Kiwi accepted on 28 mins. Dings, sensing that they needed more before half-time, pressed. However, the Redruth defence held firm and kept them out so the score remained a very satisfying 3-3 at half-time.  

Redruth kicked off the second half and immediately went in search of the tries they needed to secure the five points. Dan Goodwin was instrumental in setting up the opening try for Bede Brown on 44 mins; Brown missed with the conversion. Soon it was another try for the Reds, Richard Carroll ripping the ball in a tackle mid-way between the half-way and 22 in Dings’ half and setting off for the line. He was caught just short. However, Nathan Pascoe, who had just come on for Julian Hosking, was on hand to rip the ball out and dive over. Brown added the extras.

Redruth continued to play some delightful rugby with forwards and backs combining menacingly. Again Goodwin was involved in the Reds' third try, which Lewis Vinnecombe scored in Hell Fire corner on 57 mins to make the score 20-3.  

Redruth continued to have the upper hand as they sought the fourth try. With time running out, it was Paul Thirlby who made a break and found the dangerous Nathan Pedley on the wing, who scored the all-important fourth try. Pedley wasn’t finished yet as in injury time he scootered in for his second of the match, going in at the Piggy Lane corner and touching down under the posts. Pedley hoisting his tally to 18 tries for the season. Brown converted both scores, enabling Redruth to gain ample revenge for their league defeat at Dings earlier in the season.

With Barking and North Walsham both picking up five points it’s as you were at the top. Next Saturday Barking visit North Walsham and Redruth will want to keep the pressure on with a win and five points at Reading, before North Walsham and Barking visit the Recreation Ground on the first two Saturdays in March.    

Redruth scorers: Tries (5), Pedley (2), Brown, Pascoe, Vinnecombe; pen, cons (3) Brown.    


National League 2

Any faint hopes that Launceston had of promotion this season were well and truly buried as league leaders Doncaster continued their impressive march on Division 1 with this nine-try blitz of the Cornish All Blacks. Doncaster fielded three players who had played for England Counties the previous Saturday: second row, Dan Cook, and back row players Russell Ernshaw and Oliver Cook. The damage was done in the first half as Doncaster tore into the Cornish All Blacks, scoring four first-half tries through Phil Williams, Donavan van Vuuren (2), and Ed Norris. Rob Liley’s boot made it 39-0 at the break.  

Eddie Nancekivell came on at the start of the second half and made an immediate impact with Launceston’s first try. Rob Liley then scored his first try of the afternoon before Martin Lacey scored a second try for the visitors, which Richard Steinhouse converted. But that was that. Doncaster ran in further tries through Oliver Cook, Steve Meyer, and Liley to seal an emphatic win.

In South West 1, Penryn, despite giving one of their better performances on the road, still went down to defeat at Maidenhead by 25-15. Lewis Vague and James Mann scored tries for Penryn, with Dave Pascoe kicking a penalty and a conversion.  

In South West 2 West, Truro, in beating league leaders Spartans at St Clements Hill by 40-19, moved above Camborne in the table. Truro ran in five tries through Trevail, Withycombe, Hambly, Allen, and Moyle. Scoot Martin added 15 points with the boot.  

Camborne went down to a surprising defeat at home to a struggling Exmouth side by 44-17! Exmouth ran in six tries with a strong display during the second half. James Richards scored the Cherry and Whites' only try, with Ian Morgan kicking 3 penalties and a drop goal.  

In Western Counties West, match of the day was at the Mennaye Field as first played second with Mounts Bay defeating St. Ives by 24-6. The Hakes had a slender half time lead of 6-3, two penalties from Dan Hooper against a solitary effort from Ryan Westren. Bay, with the wind at their backs in the second half, finally broke through with a brace of tries from mercurial winger Victor Olonga. Callum Osborne added a third near the end, with Westren converting all three tries.  

Bude had a fine win over Paignton by 48-10. Dan Statton, Steve Yates, Barry Sobey, Tristan Kingsford, Matt Trewin, Justin Uglow, and Rob Uglow all scored tries. Steve Johns kicked five conversions and a penalty.

Hayle did themselves no favours in losing at Wessex by 35-10 and are now involved in the relegation dogfight. Paul Lello scored all the Lions' points with a try, conversion, and a penalty.  

Saturday/Sunday 25th/26th February


National League 1

The Pirates committed the cardinal sin of conceding penalties to an Otley side which possesses in fly-half Simon Binns one of the best goal kickers in the division. In all Binns kicked five penalties to crucify the Pirates' indiscretions.  

Following an early Binns penalty, the Pirates took the lead with the awarding of a penalty try. Marc Sweeney saw a gap and went for the line, only to be pulled down by Ian Shuttleworth, Otley’s fullback, in a manner that referee Mr Ashton-Jones deemed dangerous. Lee Jarvis converted to make it 7-3 after 15 mins. Binns soon reduced the lead with a second penalty, before kicking a third on 22 mins to put Otley 9-7 up. Despite pressing, the Pirates found Otley’s defence in mean mood. Matt Jess was unlucky not to score.

With half time approaching, Binns struck a fourth penalty before Jarvis replied in kind. However, Binns kicked a fifth penalty before half time to make it 15-10 to Otley.  

If the Pirates hoped to make amends in the second half they were denied. Indeed, it was Otley who went further ahead with centre Neil Taylor scoring a try for the visitors, after fine play from Binns, Kyle Dench, and Ian Shuttleworth. Despite a flurry of replacements the Pirates were unable to add to their score, until Wade Kelly was on hand to finish off a fine move in which Kevin James was involved. Unfortunately, the Pirates could not add to their score and were left to rue the number of penalties conceded in the first half!   


National League 2. Report by Bill Hooper.

With their promotion ambitions halted for this season, Launceston are already preparing for the next exercise. With the departure of prop Martin Rice to Plymouth Albion, Jason Bolt came into the side. Other changes saw Shane Hawkey at 9, Richard Stenhouse at 15, with Martin Olima switching to 13. Bracknell were without the services of their Czech Republic internationals Miroslav Nemecek and Ladislav Vondrasek, both on international duty in Lisbon against Portugal in the European Nations' Cup.  

Launceston, to the delight of their spectators, got back to winning ways after the trauma of the defeat at Doncaster, scoring five tries in the process, thus picking up another useful bonus point. However, all was not rosy in the All Black camp. Coaches Chris Brown and John Hill will be disappointed that Bracknell ran the home side so close. No doubt they will be taking a close look at the line out this week!  

Eddie Nanckivell got the scoreboard going on 3 minutes with a well-worked try, following a break by Steve Perry who supplied the scoring pass. Perry added the conversion. Bracknell soon had points on the board themselves with centre Andrew Frost kicking a penalty.

Launceston stretched their lead with a second try, this time from scrum half Shane Hawkey. Winger Martin Lacey received the ball in his own 22, beat the cover and ran down the touchline, slipping the ball to Hawkey as the covering tackle came in. Perry added the extras. The end-to-end nature of the game continued as Bracknell then scored their first try, with scrum-half Philip Freil scoring after a catch-and-drive near the Launceston line. Frost’s conversion made the score 14-10 to Launceston. Launceston came back again to score their third try of the half, with Martin Olima splitting the defence to release Lacey, who beat three attempted tackles to score. The score remained at 19-10 for the rest of the half.    

Bracknell cut the deficit soon after the break with a try from winger Chris Massey. This was cancelled out with a try from Launceston’s lock David Kimberley. Bracknell then scored two penalties through Frost to trail by 3 points at 24-21.

Kimberley was on hand again to score a second try, following good work from replacement Wayne Reed. Perry’s conversion making the score 31-21. Frost missed a penalty for Bracknell before prop Michael Guess scored Bracknell’s third try, which Frost converted to make the final score 31-28. A win, but a score line which was probably a little too close for comfort.

READING 23 REDRUTH 48 (HT 11-17)

National League 3 (South). By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground.

Redruth maintained their promotion push with a fine seven-try win at Home Park, with hooker Mark Harper grabbing three of the tries.

As the score line suggests, Reading (who included former Truro player Jamie Crauana) made Redruth work hard for the win. Indeed, it was Reading who opened the scoring with a try from full back Chandler. Redruth were soon level when Lewis Vinnecombe rounded off fine work from Nathan Pedley and Bede Brown to score his 13th try of the season.

Scrum-half Mark Richards put in a good kick, which led to a scrum near the Reading line. Vinnecombe was again close to scoring. However, Richard Carroll was on hand to score the Reds' second try near the posts, which Bede Brown converted. Chandler cut the deficit with a penalty, before Redruth went further ahead with a third try from South African full back Pieter van der Walt. Caruana kept Reading in touch with a neat drop goal just before half time, to make it 17-11 to the Reds. 

Redruth kept up the pressure early in the second half with No 8 Dan Goodwin once again prominent. Despite this, it was Reading who scored the next try, with Caruana charging down a van der Walt clearance, allowing the Maltese international to score on 47 mins.

The Reds remained focused on the job at hand. Hooker Mark Harper scored two tries in four minutes, the second of which Brown converted, to make it 29-16 to the Reds. Another charged-down kick, this time from Paul Thirlby, saw Reading claw back another try through centre Nick Brooks, which Chandler converted.

Turnover ball saw the Reds launch a blistering attack through skipper John Navin. Bede Brown was on hand to round off the attack and convert his own try. Redruth then went on to close off the match with Harper completing his hat trick of tries on 78 minutes. Brown converted, and finally Paul Thirlby scored the seventh try, which remained unconverted.  

So the stage is now set for the visit of North Walsham, beaten at home yesterday by league leaders Barking by 12-5, on St. Piran’s day at the Recreation Ground. The Reds are now just two points adrift of the Norfolk side. With Barking to visit the following Saturday it promises to be a defining fortnight in Redruth’s season. A word of caution, all three sides must play Havant, who appear to have run into form. It may well prove to be the results against the Hampshire club that settle promotion and the play-off place from this league. 

In Powergen South Western League 1, Penryn eased their immediate relegation fears with a league double over basement side Keynsham, but by only 16-15. Keynsham raced to a 15-0 lead within 30 mins. Dave Pascoe kicked a penalty to leave the Borough trailing 15-3 at the break. Two second half penalties from Pascoe edged the home side closer, before flanker James Mann scored the all-important try with 7 minutes remaining. Pascoe’s conversion ensuring a precious win.  

In South West 2 West, there was defeat for both Cornish sides. Camborne lost 16-8 at Stroud, with Brett Wakfer scoring Town’s only try and Ian Morgan kicking a solitary penalty. Truro fared worse at Hornets, losing 67-26! Trailing 35-7 at halftime, Truro rallied late in the game, scoring three tries. Hambly scored in the first half, with Dunkin, Allan, and Butt scoring in the second. Scott Martin kicked three conversions.  

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay moved a step closer to the league title by winning 81-29 at Paignton. Bay’s 13 tries came via Mark Richards (4), Ben Eddy (2), Mo Oto Ota (2), Steve Evans, Peter Bush, Richard Sharp, Adam Redgrave, and Tom Outram. Ryan Westren landed eight conversions.  

St. Ives maintained pressure on Newton Abbot for the play-off spot with a 22-5 win at home over Crediton. Neil Corin got the Hakes' opening try, with other scores coming from Ian Boase, Daniel Bassett, and Matt May. Daniel Hooper kicking just the one conversion.  

Meanwhile, just up the road from St. Ives, Newton Abbot compounded Hayle’s woes by winning 48-7, with Paul Lello again scoring all Hayle’s points.   

Bude returned scoreless from South Devon, going down 23-0 to Torquay Athletic.  

In the Under 20s County Championship, Cornwall made it two wins from two games with a fine away win, by 16 - 8, against Devon at Ivybridge. The South West Group title will be decided when Cornwall play Gloucestershire at Lydney.      

Saturday 5th March


National League 3 (South). By Bill Hooper at Redruth Recreation Ground.

Redruth leap-frogged their visitors into second place following this hard fought battle on St. Piran’s day. Whilst nothing yet is certain in the promotion/play-off stakes, it is a result that will give the Redruth team a tremendous psychological boost ahead of next Saturday’s encounter with table-toppers Barking.

Redruth kicked off, playing down the slope with a stiff breeze behind them, knowing that they would need to run up a sizeable lead during the first half. They set about their task with purpose, however North Walsham’s defence was well organised to snuff out the opening attacks. Following a penalty by scrum-half Mark Richards into “Hell Fire “ corner, Redruth secured the line out to set up a rolling maul. The maul split, allowing the Reds to surge towards the visitors' line, enabling hooker Mark Harper to claim Redruth’s opening try after 6mins. Bede Brown’s conversion attempt failed from out wide.

North Walsham hit back from the re-start, with prop Tim Groom putting in a strong surge, followed by a fine run from fullback Andy Thorpe. The Reds' defence was strong and well organised: they could not afford to allow North Walsham a score in the first half.

Redruth were soon back on the offensive, roared on by the large vocal support. Another penalty kick by Mark Richards set up a catch-and-drive in “Hell Fire” Corner. From the resulting scrum, Bede Brown found space to dart in for a second Redruth try, which he converted to make the score 12-0 after 17 minutes. Soon after, winger Lewis Vinnecombe had a strong run down the grandstand touchline, only to be forced into touch.

Tempers at time were frayed as the tension of the match intensified. Referee Mr Harland and his linesmen were kept busy!

Redruth pinned the opposition back in their 22, forcing them to run out of defence, forcing errors and earning Bede Brown a penalty chance, which he took on 23 minutes. Redruth’s pack were working hard and turned over North Walsham possession on many occasions. This helped earn another penalty chance for Brown on 31 minutes, which he converted from distance.

Redruth again stemmed attacks from the dangerous North Walsham centre Pena Sokia, who was lively and willing all match. From another turnover, Reds' fullback Craig Bonds launched a powerful attack into the “Piggy Lane” corner. He was stopped but from the resulting maul the Red forwards drove over Richard Carroll to claim the third try of the half. Brown’s conversion attempt, again from wide out, failed. Half-time 23-0 to the Reds.

North Walsham, playing with the elements, got early encouragement as prop Stuart Loose was driven over for an unconverted try. However, that was all they were to score. Redruth’s defence was very solid.

Tempers frayed once more as North Walsham became more frustrated, as they could see the result and their promotion chances slipping away. Redruth went close to grabbing a fourth try but the visitors' defence held firm.

Both sides made changes from the bench. Redruth lost Mark Richards for 10 minutes to the sin bin as the game drew to a close. At the final whistle, the home crowd cheered both sides from the pitch. Richard Carroll got man of the match but his fellow lock Damien Cook had an equally big game yesterday for Redruth.

Next Saturday will be another big test for the Reds. Barking, in beating Lydney 34-5, strengthened their position at the top and are 8 points ahead of Redruth. It promises to be a titanic struggle.  

Redruth scorers: tries (3), Harper, Brown, Carroll; con, pens (2) Brown.  

In the only league encounter involving a Cornish club, Truro travelled once again to Cleve, where a referee showed up this time. They probably wished he hadn’t bothered as they lost 58-13. Trescothick scored a late try, which Scott Martin converted to add to two earlier penalty successes.

The result of the “Bottle Match” played last weekend: Royal School of Mines again got the better of Camborne School of Mines 17-15 in London.

Saturday 12th March


National League 1. By guest reporter Cyrus Moghtadaii at Bedford.

This was, as they say "a game of two halves". In the first half, Penzance & Newlyn had things pretty much their own way, running in three fine tries, all immaculately converted by fly-half Lee Jarvis, and bossing things up front. The Pirates' pack had the edge in the scrums and at times their rolling mauls rumbled forwards for huge distances.

It has to be said that Bedford were not at full strength. The previous week they had qualified for the final of the Powergen Shield in a hard game against Birmingham/Solihull and, with nothing much to play for in the league, a few of their first-choice players were rested for this game. That's not to take antything away from the Pirates: you can only play the team that turns up and, in the first half at least, the Pirates played some delightful running rugby.

The only weakness in the Pirates' game (and the only thing that kept Bedford in the game) was their habit of conceding far too many penalties. Bedford fly-half Leigh Hinton missed a couple but was successful with three, making the half-time score 9-21 to the visitors.

In the second half the Blues brought on a string of substitutes and immediately seized the initiative. It was now the Pirates' turn to be put under pressure. Generally, the Pirates' defence was solid, but a couple more penalties brought the Blues right back into the game.

Although the Blues had the better of the second half, in both possession and territorial terms, they didn't have things all their own way. The Pirates still managed to put a few running moves together, and one of these led to a breakaway try, again converted by Lee Jarvis.

The Pirates made a few substitutions. Joe Bearman went off, looking concussed, and was replaced by Tim Cowley. Martin Morgan came on, to replace Heino Senekal, and soon afterwards was sent to the sin-bin. Sensing an advantage, the Blues upped their game, and suddenly the Pirates' pack were under pressure. They managed to halt the Blues just short of the try-line, but Hinton put over a drop-goal.

At last the Blues' pressure told and they crossed the Pirates' line, out wide. Hinton couldn't add the extras but, at 23 - 28, the Blues were now only one converted try short of victory. The Pirates held out for a few anxious minutes, to secure the victory.


National League 3 (South). By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground.

Redruth’s 15 straight wins in National 3 South came to an abrupt halt on Saturday at the Recreation Ground, as league leaders Barking all but sealed the divisional title, and with it the automatic promotion spot to National League 2 next season.  

Barking snatched the win with a fine comeback, when full back Nick Montgomery kicked what was to prove the winning kick two minutes from time. The penalty award also saw Reds' fly half Bede Brown sent to the sin bin for lashing out at Barking centre Jacques Steyn. Redruth had two penalty chances following this incident. However, stand-in goal kicker, scrum-half Mark Richards, was unable to convert either chance.  

Redruth, playing down the slope first half and with the wind at their backs, should have built up a useful lead by half time, as they had done the previous week against North Walsham. Instead, they turned around at half time only 8-0 up. Bede Brown kicked a penalty on the half hour mark, having spurned an earlier chance on 9 minutes. A few minutes later the large crowd at the Recreation Ground went crazy, as winger Nathan Pedley rounded off a superb move involving forwards and backs to score his 19th try of the season. Brown was unable to add the conversion. Tom Glover, playing at full back, almost scored a second try for the Reds.

Barking soon had points on the board at the start of the second half, Montgomery kicking a 35-metre penalty. Brown struck twice more with two penalties, which took Redruth to a 14-3 lead. But Barking stormed back to score two unconverted tries, the first from fly-half Eham Helemand after a burst from centre Lloyd Williams; the second from winger Casey Mee following a strong run form Steyn.

Montgomery’s penalty from the Brown incident put the East Londoners in front. Despite a huge effort to pull the result around Redruth were unable to get the score to snatch the win.  

The sombre mood at the Recreation Ground was only lifted when news came through of North Walsham’s surprise 32-17 defeat at home to Havant, who Redruth visit next Saturday! So Redruth remain second, 3 points ahead of North Walsham. No more slip-ups can be permitted.


National League 2

Launceston got revenge in the Yorkshire Dales for an earlier home defeat by Wharfedale. However, from a position of strength, 22-0 up, they were made to cling on after a spirited come back by the Yorkshiremen.  

Launceston took the lead with a trademark catch-and-drive allowing Nick Burnett to score, Steve Perry adding the conversion. Perry added a penalty after Wharfedale’s hooker John Lawn was binned for a professional foul. Launceston scored a second try just before half-time as prop Ian Langbridge was driven over.

Launceston carried on where they left off at the start of the second half as winger Kerion Lewitt ran 40 meters to score his side's third try, Perry adding another conversion.  

It was Launceston’s turn to have a man in the bin as Burnett spent 10 minutes in the cooler. Making the most of their numerical advantage, Wharfedale’s driving maul sent in hooker Lawn for a try. Full back Jonathan Davies then kicked a penalty to cut the deficit further. Wharfedale scored again soon after, as good work from No 8 Ben Wade and centre Chris Malherbe set up winger Andy Lovatt for a second try. Davies conversion and a subsequent penalty kick brought Wharfedale to within four points of the visitors.

The Cornish All Blacks stirred themselves and won a penalty, which Perry kicked. Wharfedale came again as Wade finished off a catch-and-drive, scoring a try out wide. Davies missed the conversion and a last gasp drop goal attempt, which might have clinched the home side a win.  

Launceston could well end up finishing as high as third in the league this season, which for their first season back at this level would be a tremendous achievement for all involved at Polson.   

In the Powergen Leagues, Penryn in South West 1 took a big step away from the relegation area with a 45-12 win at Gloucester Old Boys. The Mann brothers scored three of the Borough’s six tries, two for flanker James and one for winger Chris. Nick Brown, Ben Short, and Peter Webster scored the other tries for Penryn. Skipper Dave Pascoe kicked 3 penalties and 3 conversions.  

In South West 2 West, Truro beat bottom side Barnstaple 23-15 at St. Clements Hill. Ian Hambly scored two first half tries, with Richard Tucker and Scott Martin adding another two in the second half. Martin also kicked a penalty.

Camborne slipped to another disappointing defeat at home to Spartans by 22-19, letting slip a 9 point lead! Todd Blythe, James Richards, and David Roberts scored tries for the Cherry & Whites, with Ian Morgan kicking a couple of penalties.  

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay defeated Torquay Athletic at the Mennaye by 48-23 in an entertaining match. Victor Olonga scored four of Bay’s eight tries, with other touchdowns coming from Steve Evans (2), Ben Eddy, and Tom Outram. Ryan Westren kicked four conversions.  

St. Ives continued their duel with Newton Abbot for the runners-up spot with a 34-21 win at Wessex. Joe Parma, Sheldon Waetford, Dan Bassett (2), Andy Skinner, and Neil Corin scored the Hakes' tries. Dan Hooper kicked a penalty and four conversions. St. Ives next league match on April 2nd is at home to Newton Abbot!  

Bude defeated Ivybridge in a tough struggle at Bencoolen Meadow by 27-22. Julian Uglow, Steve Yates, Steve Johns, and Crispin Sobey scored the North Cornwall’s sides tries, with Johns adding two conversions and a penalty.

Hayle eased their relegation fears with a good win at Devonport Services by 30-10. Paul Lello scored a try and kicked two conversions and two penalties. Other try scorers for the Lions were Kevin Jenkin, Kevin Mankee, and Dave Seagar.  

Congratulations to St. Austell and St. Day in securing the Cornwall 1 and Cornwall 2 division titles.   

Saturday 19th March


National League 3 (South).

The Reds got back to winning ways at Hooks Lane, earning four valuable points in their quest for the runners-up spot in the league and that vital play-off spot for National League 2.  

It wasn’t a polished performance, but then it was the win that mattered. Coupled with North Walsham’s latest slip up, it gives the Reds a seven-point cushion with three league matches remaining.

Fly half Bede Brown kicked an opening penalty on 6 minutes to establish an early lead. This was cancelled out quickly as Havant’s Cam Avery chipped over the Red’s defence to gather and score an unconverted in the left hand corner. Brown added two further penalties before half time to make it 9-5 to the Reds.  

Redruth added to their lead soon after half-time when referee Mr. Garner awarded the visitors a penalty try, with Brown adding the conversion. Havant centre Sid Claffey kicked a penalty to reduce the arrears, before Brown dropped a goal to leave the reds 19-8 up with 18 minutes remaining. Havant laid siege to the Redruth line. Eventually the pressure told and full back Anton Petzer scored a try, which Owen Cobbe converted. Despite a frantic last ten minutes, there was no further score and the Reds held out for a vital win. 


National League 2.

Launceston once again threw away a commanding lead of 23-8 to go down to a fifth home defeat of the season in disappointing fashion at Polson on Saturday.  

Despite going 8-0 down early in the game to a try from Blackheath’s No. 8 Chris McEwan and a penalty from fly-half Steve McCashin, Launceston stormed back, first with a Steve Perry penalty kick and then a try from back row forward Stuart Williams, which Perry converted to give the All Blacks a lead of 10-8. Perry kicked a second penalty to edge the Cornish All Blacks further ahead. Andy Birkett scored a second Launceston try just before half time to leave the home side 18-8 up.  

Early in the second half prop Wayne Reed rounded off a fine move to score Launceston’s third try of the afternoon. It all appeared to be going Launceston’s way, but then the whole show went off the rails! Prop Des Brett scored a try for Club, which McCashin converted to cut the deficit. Launceston then suffered injuries to a couple of key players, as Andy Birkett and Eddie Nancekivell were both forced to leave the fray. Blackheath’s Cornish full back Chris Trace scored a fine try which McCashin converted to bring the visitors to within a point. Deep into injury time Blackheath sealed their come back when wing Prince Moyo raced in under the posts. McCashkin adding the simple conversion.

Saturday 2nd April


National League 3 (South). Report by Bill Hooper.

With just two more league games remaining, this five point win over visitors Westcombe Park, coupled with another defeat for nearest challengers North Walsham, ensures Redruth the runners-up spot in National League 3 South and thus a play-off with the runners-up of 3 North, most likely Macclesfield, on Saturday April 30th. If Redruth win their last two league matches at Southend and at home to Hertford, then the play-off match to decide who will play in National league 2 next season will be at Redruth. There are still too many ifs and buts, and Reds coach Nigel Hambly will just take one game at a time. However, the prospect of National League 2 is starting to loom, a prospect that Redruth must grab with both hands.  

Once again, it was the Redruth pack which lay the foundations for this latest win. Hooker Mark Harper scored the Reds' opening try on 10 minutes, Bede Brown’s conversion attempt failing. Combe cut the deficit with a penalty struck by Sam Barnett. Redruth soon struck back, with winger Lewis Vinnecombe scoring the first of two tries in the Strawberry Lane corner, with Brown this time converting. Redruth then scored two further tries before half time to secure the bonus point. Vinnecombe scored his second and young fullback Tom Glover grabbed the first of his brace. Redruth then allowed the visitors a converted try just before the interval scored by Simon Jervis, which Barnett converted.  

Redruth soon improved on their score when flanker Dan Goodwin scored a fifth Reds' try, which Brown again converted to put the Reds 29-10 up. The match became a little fraught at times and Reds' prop Sam Heard spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin. Tom Glover sped in for his second try, which Brown converted to open up a twenty-six point advantage. However, Westcombe Park scored a second try, again through Jervis, to round off the scoring.   


National League 2.

Launceston were well beaten at much-improved Moseley in a game in which only pride was at stake. Launceston were forced to re-shuffle their side as they were once more hit by injuries, notably to Eddie Nancekivell and Andy Birkett, both of whom will be out for the rest of the season. In scoring five tries, Moseley picked up a valuable bonus point. No 8 Stuart Williams and scrum half Shane Hawkey scored the Cornish All Blacks' tries, with Steve Perry and Richard Stenhouse each kicking a conversion. Perry also kicked a penalty.    

In Powergen South West 1, Penryn made it a week to remember. Following on from their Skinners' Brewery Cornwall Cup semi-final success at Redruth, they ensured South West 1 rugby at the Memorial Ground for another season with a fine 34-10 win over Cheltenham. Winger Chris Mann ran in a hat-trick of tries with other scores coming from brother James and Lewis Vague. Peter Gregory kicked three conversions and three penalties.  

In South West 2 West, both Cornish clubs lost on the road. Camborne, for whom influential kiwi full back Todd Blythe has now returned home, lost 39-27 at Hornets. Truro slipped to a 28-13 defeat at Gordon League. Ian Hambly and Tom Butt scored tries for the City side, with Scott Martin adding a penalty.  

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay are now one win from being crowned champions following a 62-24 win at Ivybridge. Ben Eddy(2), Pete Bush, Mark Richards (2), Victor Olonga (2), Tom Outram (2) and Mo Oto Ota (playing against his former club) scored the Bay’s tries. Ryan Westren kicked 6 conversions.  

St. Ives put themselves in pole position for the play-off place with a hard-fought win over Newton Abbot at Alexandra Road by 18-7. Sheldon Waetford and Ben Warner scored the Hakes' tries with Dan Hooper kicking a conversion and two penalties.  

Bude defeated Devonport Services 42-19 at Bencoolen. Will Kingdom, Roland Nancekivell, Steve Johns, James Comber, Julian Morris (2) and Zerren Bell scored the North Cornwall side’s tries, with Johns kicking a couple of conversions and a penalty.  

Hayle are not safe from relegation yet as they slipped up at Withycombe 26-21. Hayle saw a little try scoring decision go against them to leave them looking for another win to ensure safety. Warner and Cook got the Lions' tries with Trathen kicking the other points.       

Saturday 9th April


National League 1.

The Pirates scored a fine win against the side relegated from last season’s Zurich Premiership in the week when club President Dicky Evans revealed the club’s ambitious plans to reach the Zurich Premiership.

Centre Kevin James and back row player Iva Motusaga, who last weekend picked up the President’s Player of the Season award, scored the Pirates' first-half tries, both of which Lee Jarvis converted, together with a penalty, to give Penzance & Newlyn a 17 – 13 half-time advantage.  

Early in the second half hooker Vili Ma’asi powered over to score the third Pirate try, which Jarvis again converted. Pirates then ensured the try-scoring bonus point with a try from replacement Tim Cowley. Jarvis slotted another successful conversion, having previously kicked a second penalty. Rotherham winger and England Counties player Dave Strettle was a thorn in the Pirates' side, scoring three tries.  


National League 3 (South).

Redruth earned a hard-fought win which guarantees a home playoff against the runners-up of National League 3 North, in all likelihood Macclesfield but it could yet be Bradford & Bingley, on Saturday April 30th. They were, however, made to scrap hard for the win, especially when at one stage during the second half they had two players in the bin at the same time. Andy Hymans, their influential centre, left the field with a broken nose, an untimely blow for the Reds. Lewis Vinnecombe too picked up an ankle injury.

After opening penalties from each side, Reds' Craig Bonds scored the opening try after good work from Dan Goodwin, Lewis Vinnecombe, and Bede Brown. Brown slotted the extras. Nathan Pascoe soon added a second try for the Reds, which Brown again converted.

A mistake let the home side in for a try from lock Craig Lyons, which Ben Green converted, making it 17-10 to the Reds at that point. Green kicked a second penalty to cut the deficit once more. Vinnecombe limped off after 35 mins to be replaced by Kenyan international Oscar Osir. Hooker Mark Harper then dived over for an unconverted try to put the Reds 22-13 up at the break.  

Soon after the restart Southend collapsed a maul in front of their own posts. Brown kicked the penalty and Southend had their hooker yellow-carded. Well on top now, Redruth added a fourth try from all-action kiwi Goodwin to lead 30-13. Richard Carroll also limped off, to be replaced by Paul Edwards.

Then came the double blow for the Reds with Harper and John Navin being sent to the bin within 2 minutes of each other. Southend took full advantage and scored two converted tries through No8 Tony Connors and centre Chris Green, both of which Ben Green converted to bring them right back at 27-30. Redruth weathered the storm to strike back with a second Craig Bonds try with 7 minutes remaining. Brown again converted to make the game safe.  

We now await news on the injury front as Redruth have a two week break before their final league game at home to Hertford.


National League 2.

Another disappointing reversal for the Cornish All Blacks as they prepare for next Saturday’s Skinners' Brewery Cornwall Cup Final against Penryn at Camborne. Little has gone right for Launceston since the turn of the year and they were made to pay by a Harrogate side fighting to avoid the drop.

Half-time arrived with the scores tied at 5-5. Martin Lacey had scored a 16th minute try for Launceston, which was cancelled out with an unconverted try by “gate” No 8 Andy Boyle in injury time. Launceston had not made the most of the conditions in their favour.

Harrogate soon made proper use of the advantage when fly half Lee Cholewa broke the line, releasing centre Jamie Barker to score. Cholewa added the extras. Cholewa then proceded to kick three penalties to put the Yorkshiremen 21-5 up. Time was running out for Launceston as they chased the game. Their only consolation was a second try for Lacey, which Steve Perry converted. The season’s end can’t come soon enough for the men in black! 

In Powergen South West 1 Penryn, perhaps with their minds on next Saturday’s Cornwall Cup Final, succumbed at home to Oxford Harlequins 25-22. The Borough had a great start when flanker James Mann surged over the line from his own 22 to score the opening try, which Dave Pascoe converted. But it was the Quins who scored the next 25 points. Penryn hit back in the second half with tries from Darren Pellow and Chris Mann, with Pascoe also adding a conversion and a penalty, but it wasn’t enough.  

In South West 2 West, Camborne recorded a win in defeating relegated Barnstaple 37-13. Dave Roberts scored a brace of tries, with other tries coming from Steve Instance and Martin Woolcock. Ian Morgan kicked the other points.  

In Western Counties West, the champagne is still on ice at the Mennaye as Mounts Bay where held 10-10 by Bude. In a game that was held up due to the non-arrival of the referee and went ahead only when a replacement was found, Bay gave a disappointing performance. Steve Evans scored an early opening try for the home side. Bude were level before the break when Sam Cushing scored for the visitors. Adam Redgrave then scored a second try for Bay early in the second half. James Comber scored Bude’s second try.  

St. Ives won the local derby at near neighbours Hayle by 46-23. Hakes' fullback Dan Hooper scored three tries, as well as kicking three conversions and a penalty for a personal haul of 24 points. Ian Veal, Louis Stevens, Andrew Skinner, and Neil Corin scored the other St. Ives' tries. For Hayle, Kevin Mankee, Mark Stevens, and Jamie Hollow scored tries, with Trathen and Lello adding points via the boot.  

Saturday/Sunday 23rd/24th April


National League 3 (South). Report by Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground.

Redruth completed their league program with a hard-fought, and at times rugged, win over a feisty Hertford side.

Both sides took time to settle and it was not before the end of the first quarter that Redruth opened the scoring with an excellent try from their on-loan Kenyan international winger, Oscar Osir. Bede Brown added the conversion and a short while later a penalty to put the Reds 10-0 up. Hertford hit back with a try from scrum half Matthew Reed, converted by Neil Barella. Osir scored a second try for the Reds, with Brown adding a penalty kick before the break to stretch their advantage.  

Barella reduced the arrears soon after half-time with a penalty kick, before Bede Brown finished off a fine move involving centres Craig Bonds and Paul Thirlby, Brown converting his own try. A second Barella penalty took the Hertfordshire side to 13 points. However, the Reds were not to be denied and centre Paul Thirlby scored the fourth Redruth try, with Brown again converting.  

So, Redruth go into next Saturday’s winner-takes-all match against Macclesfield at the Recreation Ground, with their confidence sky-high. Coach Nigel Hambly will have a busy week preparing his charges for this grand finale. The prize is a place in National League 2 next season. We, One & All, wish the Reds good luck for next Saturday.   


National League 2.

Launceston, fresh from their Cornwall Cup success over Penryn the previous Saturday, returned to their disappointing league form with another resounding thumping, this time at Esher, who for the best part of the season have been fighting to stave off relegation. Coaches Chris Brown and Jon Hill are going to have a busy summer rebuilding the morale of the Cornish All Blacks in time for the new season. Their form since Christmas has resembled that of a side near the foot of the table, not that of the confident Cornish All Black machine of the autumn, which played some exciting rugby.

Esher scored 31 unanswered points during the first half to kill off the game. The home side had the try bonus point also sewn up at the break after scoring four first half tries through prop Duncan Cormac, winger Matt Moore, centre Piers Gregory, and a penalty try for collapsing a 5 metre scrum. Neil Hallet’s boot added the other points.

Launceston, with no doubt coach’s Chris Brown half-time lecture still ringing in their ears, got on the scoreboard with a well-worked try from winger Martin Lacey, which Steve Perry converted. Esher soon regained the initiative with a couple more penalties from Hallet and a try from full back Nick Defty. Matt Moore grabbed a second try, with scrum half O’Reilly scoring his side's 7th, the points tally now well over the fifty mark.

Replacement David Kimberly scored a second try for Launceston near the end to nudge them into double figures.

It was also the final Saturday for the regional leagues. In South West 1, Penryn, after their heroics the previous Saturday against Launceston, were totally blown away at Clifton 122-0.

In South West 2 West, both Cornish sides won away from home, Truro won 20-15 at Berry Hill, with fly half Scott Martin scoring 15 points with 4 penalties and a drop goal. Scott Withycombe scored Truro’s try.

Camborne won 15-12 at Gordon League, condemning the home side to relegation. Nathan March and Chris Hewitt scored the Cherry & Whites' tries, with Ian Morgan adding a conversion and a penalty.  

In Western Counties West, Mounts Bay were crowned champions and promoted to South West 2 West next season after crushing Devonport Services 90-5 at the Rectory Field. Mo Oto Ota capped a fine display with 5 tries. Dan Kennedy, Victor Olonga, and James Tresize all bagged a brace, with Ben Eddy, Ben Hilton, Ryan Westren, and Tom Outram all crossing for tries. Tresize kicked 9 conversions and Outram one.  

St. Ives, in defeating Withycombe 77-0 at Alexandra Road, claimed the runners-up slot and the play-off place next Saturday against Thornbury for the right to join Mounts Bay in South West 2 West next season. Joe Parma (3), Ian Sanders (2), Sheldon Waetford (2), Ian Veal (2), Dan Hooper, Brett Rouncefield, Neil Corin and Ben Trevorrow all scored tries. Hooper kicked 5 conversions and Parma one.  

Bude completed their best ever season by finishing 5th after a 33 – 8 win over Crediton, with Rob Uglow, Glen Johns, Justin Uglow, Steve Yates, and Sam Cushing all crossing for tries. Johns added 4 conversions.  

Hayle completed their league season with a 30-9 defeat at Paignton, with Stuart Trathen kicking the Lions' points. This game marked the final appearence of Cornwall’s most capped player, Tony Cook, as he steps down as player coach at Hayle. What a great player he has been over the last twenty odd years and a fine example to all.

In the Skinners Brewery Cornwall Club Cup Final played at Truro, St. Austell defeated Perranporth 11-9, scoring their winning points in the eighth minute of injury time to snatch the cup from Perran. Full back Ian Venner was the hero for the Saints, scoring a try and two penalties. Adi Matthews kicked three penalties for Perranporth. Congratulations to St. Austell, who complete a Cornwall 1 and Club Cup double. Commiserations to Perranporth who came so close to an upset.

Saturday 30th April


Saturday 30th April. By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground, Redruth.

The roar from the 4,000 plus crowd which greeted referee Nick Williams final whistle could I am sure be heard above the din of the traction engines in the heart of Camborne on Trevithick Day!

Redruth were worthy winners of this winner-takes-all match and I am sure will do well next season in National League 2. Macclesfield played their part in this fine game and showed their class with true Northern grit and tenacity.

It was a murky old day at the Recreation Ground as Bede Brown, playing possibly his last game for the Reds, kicked off up the slope, cheered on in the crowd by his old mate James Lancaster. How fitting that he should be present on this day. From the off Richard Carroll sounded the charge with a quick tap penalty, tearing at the heart of the Macclesfield defence. Fisticuffs were soon happening as the packs greeted each other in time-honoured fashion! A first penalty to the Reds, which Bede Brown kicked to open the score.

Redruth continued to take the game to the visitors with powerful runs from the forwards, notably props Darren Jacques and Sam Heard. The northerners’ defence was solid as they repelled the repeated attacks of Redruth, who were urged on by their superb support. In the end, their defence was finally breached on 18 minutes as a powerful forward drive splintered the Macclesfield defence to send Richard Carroll over for a try. The noise which greeted the score was deafening!  Brown was unable to convert.

Macclesfield were further rocked, first with the sin-binning of flanker Richard Jones and then with an injury to their England Counties' flanker Dave Muckalt, sustained tackling the pugnacious Reds' winger Nathen Pedley. By now, the myth of Southern Softies was fast disappearing! To their credit, Macclesfield denied the Reds while the latter had a man advantage, though Pedley appeared to have a good try disallowed for a forward pass. Then scrum half Mark Richards appeared to have scored, but referee Mr Williams bizarrely called for a television replay, or was it divine intervention, and gave a scrum.

As half-time approached Macclesfield capitalised on some loose play and launched a blistering counter-attack into the Piggy Lane corner. Winger Steve Campbell was stopped in the nick of time with a try-saving tackle by Lewis Vinnecombe. Macclesfield earned a penalty from this attack which fly-half Mike Newell kicked to leave the score at 8-3 at the break. Would it be enough? All that possession and territorial advantage and just a five-point cushion.

Macclesfield chose to stay on the pitch at halftime. Whatever was said worked wonders as within two minutes Redruth’s advantage had been wiped out by two penalties from Mike Newell.  If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind it was quickly dispelled as another quick Reds' attack saw centre Paul Thirlby chip over the defence and win the race for the touchdown in the Piggy Lane Corner. There was a moment's hesitation before Mr Williams gave the try. The crowd went mad! Brown’s conversion missed.

Julian Hosking had to leave the field to be replaced by Nathan Pascoe, who made his presence felt with some telling bursts in mid-field.

Redruth were now in the ascendancy, Number 8 Dan Goodwin made another powerful break in midfield. Craig Bonds was a constant danger coming into the line late. Penalties were coming Redruth’s way as they sought to set up an attacking platform in the famous corner. On 57 minutes the Reds were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. With the crowd baying for a simple three points, skipper John Navin, sensing that the moment was nigh, opted for a kick to the corner. From the catch-and-drive the irresistible Red surge carried hooker Mark Harper over for the crucial try. Brown struck a majestic conversion to make it 20 - 9. The decibels from the crowd reached fever pitch! Macclesfield, for the first time, were more than a score behind. They launched a blistering counter-attack of their own which saw their winger Ben Wheale lose the ball reaching for the line.

Redruth, sensing another score was needed to put the game beyond the reach of their opponents, carried on attacking. Another fine run from Brown and Jacques saw the Reds earn a penalty, which Brown kicked to make it 23-9. As the match entered the final 10 minutes the Reds put the icing on the cake with tries from Craig Bonds and Nathan Pedley. The roof on the old stand at Redruth was set for lift off as the crowd roared its appreciation of its favourites. The replacements were now all on to share in the crowning glory. However, Macclesfield had the final say with a concerted final effort which brought a try for flanker Richard Jones, which Newell, was unable to covert.

The referee’s final whistle signalled Redruth’s promotion to National League 2.  

Tries (5) Carroll, Thirlby, Harper, Bonds, Pascoe; pens (2), con Brown.
Macclesfield: Try Jones; pens (3) Newell.


National League 1.

The Pirates rounded off their season with a fine win over the relegated Hawks at Dry Leas. A fourth place finish in the table is a tremendous achievement by the club as they now look to aim even higher next season. Lee Jarvis opened the scoring with a penalty but the enterprising Hawks soon struck back with a try from centre Ali James, which Matt Honeyben converted. The Pirates soon struck back with player-of-the-year Iva Motusaga charging down a kick and running in from 35 meters, Jarvis converting. The see-saw nature continued as the Hawks scored next with a try from prop Paul Laffin, Honeyben adding the extras.

Penzance & Newlyn then took an option on the win with two converted tries from skipper Heino Senekal and centre Kevin James. Henley got another try before the break through No8 Dave Lubbins, to leave them trailing 24-19.  

The Pirates made sure of the win and the bonus point with two further tries in the second half. The first, from deep following a turn over and involving full-back Wez Davies, centre James, winger Matt Jess, and finally scrum half Gavin Cattle to finish off the move. Iva Motusaga grabbed a second following a mess up on a Hawks' heel and ran in from 30 meters. Sam Johnstone scored another try for the Hawks to complete the scoring.

Jim McKay will be well pleased with this finish as he starts to prepare for the new season.


National League 2.

Launceston finished off the season with a win that ensured them of 5th place in the league, which coaches Chris Brown and Jon Hill would gladly have accepted in September. However, it is the dip in form since Christmas which is the lasting memory of this campaign. No doubt this failing will be sorted before the new season commences.    

Launceston led 10-0 at half-time, courtesy of a couple of tries from Dan Morris and lock Nick Burnett. It was Park who scored after half-time when, under pressure form Launceston, they capitalised on a poor pass to sweep the length of the field to score through winger Joseph Toohey, Lewis Gunn converting.

Launceston soon scored a third try after a scorching run from Martin Olima, which Richard Stenhouse converted. Park then scored a second converted try through prop Jon Cooke to cut the deficit to 17-14. Olima scored his second try, which Stenhouse converted, before Park cancelled that out with another converted try from centre Paul Antony. Launceston led perilously 24-21. With time running out, Stenhouse kicked a final penalty to seal the win.