U.20 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP JASON LEONARD CUP
HAMPSHIRE U.20 14 – 61 CORNWALL U.20
By Bill Hooper
Cornwall’s youngsters produced a scintillating performance on a glorious afternoon on the 3G pitch at Havant scoring nine tries and eight conversions to secure a place in the national quarter-finals.
Whether that will be a home draw or not will depend on their final pool game against the other unbeaten side in the pool Gloucestershire whom they meet on Sunday 17th March at St. Austell RFC with a 1:30 pm kick-off.
Backs coach Richie Kevern was delighted with his side’s performance. He said. It was a really good performance by the whole squad, first 30minutes we were clinical in all areas. Credit to Hampshire who never gave up and made things difficult in the second half. It builds nicely for a top of the table clash against Gloucestershire for a home quarter-final.”
Hampshire pressurised Cornwall from the kick-off pinning them in their twenty-two, but Cornwall lifted the siege with a blistering counter that led to a try from scrum-half Owen Davey, converted by full-back Aaron Simmonds, who went on to kick eight conversions during the game.
Cornwall then ran riot scoring another three tries before the end of the first quarter. Prop Jack Hodge powered over for Cornwall’s second and then turned provider with a neat kick ahead for fellow Red, centre Connor Gilbert to beat the cover and score.
Lock Mawgan Osborne rounded off a fine move for the bonus point try to put Cornwall in a commanding position 28-0 up.
The Cornish lads didn’t lift their foot off the pedal scoring three further tries before the break through Gilbert, his second, flanker Aden Brassington and Osborne for his brace.
Hampshire bagged a consolation just on half-time when lock Balazs Magda powered over near the sticks, with skipper Nick Blumlein converting, but at 7-49 down at the turn the game was gone for the home side.
Hampshire began the second half on the front foot, but an interception by Jake Penprase saw the centre race in from his own half to increase Cornwall’s lead.
Cornwall’s final try came from replacement James Tucker who tore down the wing to score the only unconverted try of the afternoon.
Replacement lock Noah Stanier-Smith was yellow carded reducing Cornwall to fourteen for ten minutes which allowed Hampshire to score their second try through scrum-half Ollie Burden, Blumlein adding the extras.
The final whistle brought cheers from the Cornish contingent, attention now turns to the game against Gloucestershire, who beat Devon at Crediton 43-12 and are currently level on points with Cornwall with 10 points in the pool.
HAMPSHIRE U.20s: Cameron McDonald (Bracknell), Ross Fraser (London Scottish & St.Mary's University), Ollie Fielder (Alton), Cameron McGuigan (Havant), Alex Gooch (University of Loughborough), Nick Blumlein (Petersfield, capt), Ollie Burden (Alton); George Cotterell (Bracknell), Tom Mew (Bracknell), Mike Gorry (Trojans & Oxford University), Toby Warburton (London Scottish), Balazs Magda (Chichester & University of Chichester), Will Owen (Havant), Karter Whittock (Alton), Pita Koroi (London Scottish).
Replacements: Alex Hankins (Alton & University of Portsmouth), Sam Walker (Trojans), Adam Richards (Basingstoke & University of Portsmouth), Luke Spring (Richmond), Josh Prior (St.Mary's University), Will Matthews (Petersfield & University of Portsmouth), Charlie Atkinson (Worthing Raiders).
CORNWALL U.20: Aaron Simmonds (Redruth), Reuben Edwards (Launceston), Jake Penprase (University of Bath), Connor Gilbert (Redruth), Charlie Levick (Penryn Colts), Will Trewin (Cardiff Met University), Owen Davey (Truro); Jack Hodge (Redruth), Rory Mead (Bude), Chae Jenkins (Launceston), Dan Goldsmith (Launceston), Mawgan Osborne (Penzance and Newlyn Colts), Harry Lightfoot (Launceston) Aden Brassington (St.Ives), Torin Clarke (Launceston, capt).
Replacements: Luke Barnes (Redruth), Cain Worley (unattached), Eddy Hall (Pirates Amateurs), Noah Stanier-Smith (Camborne), Jamie Murray (Redruth), Alistair Harding (Falmouth), James Tucker (Redruth).
Cornwall scores: Tries, Davey, Hodge, Gilbert 2, Osborne 2, Brassington, Penprase, Tucker, Cons, Simmonds 8.
Referee: Lloyd Davies (Somerset RRS)