There may well be a lot of traffic heading into Cornwall on Saturday as the up-country folk make their way down to their second/third homes for Christmas,but there will be a sizeable amount of traffic heading east up the A.30 for the Cornish derby between Launceston and Redruth at Polson Bridge.
For eighty minutes both sides will be at it hammer and tongs for bragging rights to take into the New Year.
Despite Redruth’s large win back in September when they beat the Cornish All Blacks 46-24, Launceston have improved greatly and I predict another close affair with victory going to the side that best holds it’s nerve under the extreme pressure of a derby encounter.
The other intriguing perspective form a Cornish point of view is that this is virtually a trial match for the County Championship team in May and no doubt the county selectors will be out in force on Saturday at Polson.
If you can’t make it to Polson then BBC Radio Cornwall will be providing full match commentary with Dick Straughan and Dave Jenkins behind the mics.
A little further west there is also a re-arranged local derby in Tribute Cornwall & Devon League as St. Ives entertain Hayle. The Hakes and the Lions will again be doing battle on Boxing Day this time at Hayle’s Memorial Park for the Bay Shield.
Talking of Boxing Day there are two other major rugby encounters in the duchy that day. Redruth will play Camborne for the Rodda’s Milk Cup and Falmouth will be at home to the Borough (Penryn). There are also various matches against President’s XV at other clubs not forgetting Pirates Amateurs against Brooksy’s Barbarians at the Mennaye 2 pm.
Last weekend’s action saw the Cornish Pirates consolidate their position at the top of pool 3 of the British & Irish Cup completing back to back wins over Swansea at St. Helens. Their 30-10 win coupled with Carmarthan Quins slip up at Dundee High puts the Cornish Pirates in a strong position with two pool games to play. Despite trailing to an early Swansea try the Pirates fought their way back for a famous win on Welsh soil. Dick Straughan’s match report can be found in the link
Differing results for our National League 2 sides as they prepare for this Saturday’s encounter. Redruth had a good win over Clifton thanks to a strong second half performance. My match report is in the link whilst Launceston despite shipping three early converted tries to leaders Worthing they fought back only to go down 28-12. Liam Yeo and Lewis Paterson getting their tries.
In Tribute South West 1 West, Cambone slipped up at Thornbury 15-10, Dave Mankee kicked the points and a conversion for the penalty-try.
Wadebridge Camels defeated leaders North Petherton 30-15. Sean Johns, Dan Lumb and two from Matt Ballard were the Camels try-scorers with James Grubb kicking the other points.
In Tribute Western Counties West, St. Austell will see in the New Year as league leaders following another impressive win, 43-17 over Ivybridge. Sam Tank grabbed a hat-trick of tries to add to his already impressive haul for the season, Ian Venner, Alex Welland and Matt Shepherd scoring the other tries. Shepherd kicked five conversions and a penalty.
Bude visited near neighbours Bideford and came away with a 5 all draw, Dan Speare got the vital score.
Penryn beat Kingsbridge 5-0 at the Memorial Park, Colin Campbell with the only try of the game in the first half.
Truro had a much-needed win to boost morale winning 14-8 against Devonport Services at St. Clements. Jack Tidball got the try with Jake Champion kicking three penalties.
Up in London 2 SW two late tries from Nick Harlock saw London Cornish to a 26-12 win over Old Alleynians.
In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League St. Ives kept the pressure on leaders Teignmouth with a good win over OPM’s 39-14. Ben Taylor, Tom Nicholson, Sam Heath, Neil Corin and Joe Prisk all crossed for the Hakes with Ceiron Thomas kicking the other points.
Saltash defeated Pirates Amateurs at Moorlands 16-3. Will Morton and Ryan Cruickshanks scored tries for the Ashes with Max Venables kicking three penalties.
Liskeard/Looe suffered a defeat at Tiverton going down 59-3, whilst Falmouth also lost in Devon 24-0 at Crediton. Newquay Hornets had no joy at Teignmouth losing 40-0.
Hayle had a good win at Wessex winning 22-13. Martin Strick (2) and Talan Daniels scored the tries with Strick kicking the other points.
In Tribute Cornwall 1, Veor pipped Sthithans 15-14 to stay top of the table, Perranporth lost at near neighbours St. Agnes 16-8, whilst Helston won at St. Just 17-15.
In Tribute Cornwall 2 leaders Bodmin defeated Camelford 55-0, St Day beat Illogan Park 10-0 and Redruth Albay had a walk-over as Lankelly-Fowey couldn’t raise a side.
All it leaves me to do is to wish “One & All” a very Merry Christmas or as we say in Cornwall “Nadelik Lowen”