UNDER 20 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
JASON LEONARD CUP
YORKSHIRE 63-10 CORNWALL
By Bill Hooper
There are just some days in rugby when you have acknowledge that the other side were better and this turned out to be one of those.
Yorkshire were a different class to a brave, but eventually overwhelmed Cornwall side, who battled to the final whistle getting some reward when winger Shae Cornish, to my mind Cornwall’s most dangerous player in attack on the day, deservedly went over for a try converted by fly-half James Tucker.
Up until that point it looked like semi-final score-line from three years ago, 63-3, was going to be repeated, that would have been a bitter pill to swallow.
Cornwall held out for the first nine minutes, but eventually numbers told following a half break from fly-half Sam Brooke, the ball was then moved at pace through the hands of centre Connor Field before full back Luke Hazell scored in the corner.
Brooke then added a fine conversion and a penalty moments later to give Yorkshire a 10-0 lead.
Yorkshire always had players flowing into the channels to take the pass and that proved crucial.
Cornwall needed some points, despite missing with his first shot at goal Tucker made no mistake with his second effort to get Cornwall on the board.
It proved a brief respite as Yorkshire scored two tries in the space of four minutes. Winger Jonathan Keh, showed his class to score and then Brooke put in a sublime cross-kick that flew over the head of Jake Penprase into the arms of Field who dotted down, Brooke added both conversions and Yorkshire were well in command at half-time 24-3.
Cornwall needed the first score of the second half, instead Brooke kicked his second penalty to nudge Yorkshire further ahead.
Cornwall had some pressure in the Yorkshire twenty-two but the White Rose defence was up to it and Cornwall’s efforts came to nought.
Two quick-fire tries from Yorkshire again illustrated their excellent support play as flanker James Sanderson and centre Tom Allott went over. Brooke adding a conversion to the first score for 39-3 lead.
Cornish again showed his willingness to have a go, taking a quick tap that led to Tucker bursting away but his inside pass only found a Yorkshire player! Both Declan Matthews and Connor Gilbert looked to make ground but support was lacking.
Skipper Zak Poole got on the score-sheet off a catch-and-drive to take Yorkshire to 44-3.
Dan Hubble had a good run down the wing but sadly was bundled into touch just five meters out as Cornwall looked to salvage something from the game, but further tries from Will Lewin, flanker Will Burns and finally Gareth Stephens with Brooke adding a further two conversions brought up the 63 point mark.
Cornwall can be proud of their season, but now know the gulf that separates them from the very best. Many of the current Cornwall squad will be eligible again next season for another crack.
Yorkshire U.20 (Doncaster Phoenix unless stated): Hazell (Beverley), Bulumaku, Field (Huddersfield), Allott (Sandal), Keh (Leeds Beckett), Brooke, Pocklington; Butler (Harrogate), Holling, Dennis (Hull Ionians), Robinson, Newman (Hull Ionians), Burns (Driffold), Sanderson (Hull Ionians) Poole (Hull) (Capt).
Replacements: Routledge (Leeds Beckett), Wheelhouse, Cartwright, Thompson-Green (Leeds Beckett), Dixon (Leeds Beckett), Lewin (Leeds Beckett), Stephens (Leeds Beckett)
Yorkshire U.20 scores: Tries, Hazell, Keh, Field, Sanderson, Allott, Poole, Lewin, Burns, Stephens, Cons, Brooke (6), Pens, Brooke (2)
Cornwall U.20 (Launceston unless stated): Tyler (Penryn), Cornish (Pz&N Colts), Penprase (Bath Uni), Matthews (Camborne), Hubble (Falmouth), Tucker (Redruth), Nash (Brixham); Bentham, Lightfoot, Andrews (Falmouth), Goldsmith, Reed (Wadebridge Camels), Gibson (Cardiff Met & Penryn), Cross (Wadebridge Camels), Clarke (Capt).
Replacements: Barnes (Camborne), Jenkins, Gratrix (Penryn), Rowley, Gilbert (Redruth), Boyce (St. Austell), Edwards.
Cornwall scores: Try, Cornish, Con, Tucker, Pen, Tucker
Referee: Charles Gayther