Cornwall U20s 25 v Hampshire U20s 22

Following a pulsating win over Hampshire all roads will lead to Dorchester on Sunday 18th March when a win over Dorset & Wilts will guarantee a home quarter final in the 2018 Jason Leonard Under 20 County Championship.

Pictured are coaches Josh Lord and Matt Shepherd smiling after Sunday’s win.

Not only are there TWO match reports for the price of one below – also check out Kevin Bishop’s fantastic “behind the scenes” video here:




By Bill Hooper at Tregorrick Park, St. Austell

Time added on proved dramatic indeed as Hampshire scored a fourth try to level a pulsating game, the conversion was missed after the ball toppled over and the Hampshire player was forced to make a drop attempt into a biting easterly wind.

There was still time, from the re-start, Cornwall managed to win a penalty allowing fly-half Reuben Edwards to split the posts and keep Cornwall on track for the quarter-finals with a 25-22 win.

Speaking after the game joint Cornwall coaches Matt Shepherd and Josh Lord were happy with the result. Shepherd said. “I was pretty happy with our first half performance we played the game in the right areas of the pitch, we went in having played into the wind 12-5 up. I thought we could go on and dominate the second forty but it didn’t quite work out that way which was a little disappointing.

“We encourage the lads to play an expansive game, sometimes you have to be more street-wise with what’s in front of you. Heads could have dropped when they levelled it near the end but all credit to the boys for working to get that final penalty to get the win.

Josh Lord was pleased with the way his forwards played. “I thought our pack looked good and went well, we dominated in the set-piece, although at times the line out was a bit of a lottery in the wind. It’s a young side these guys are still learning the game. There are still things to work on but I can’t fault the lads’ commitment.

“Torin Clarke played well for us today, as did the whole of the back row, we have got some great talent there and he leads by example. The whole squad works hard not just those in the match day twenty-two but those who turn up for training and are knocking on the door.”   

Despite the bitterly cold weather there was a good crowd at Tregorrick Park as both sides took to the field. Interestingly last season’s Trelawny’s Army Cornwall Under 20 player of the year Will Gilder was an assistant referee, part of the trio of officials from Gloucestershire, Will now studying at Hartpury.  .

Cornwall began well making some good early breaks and with barely two minutes on the clock one such break by centre Connor Gilbert almost saw the Redruth player make the line, however winger Jake Penprase was in support to score in the corner an unconverted try.

It was just the start Cornwall would have hoped for, however despite dominating the first quarter they couldn’t add to the score.

Hampshire came more into it and from a penalty kicked to the corner by fly-half Harry Johnstone from the resulting lin out and drive skipper Josh Moore crossed to level matters.

Cornwall certainly looked the better side during the first half with the forwards driving well and the backs looking very threatening.

Their endeavours were rewarded before half-time when skipper Torin Clarke drove over after a series of pick and goes near the Hampshire line, Edwards adding the extras for a 12-5 half-time lead.

The second half began much as the first as Penprase intercepted a pass running hard for the line cutting inside the last defender to score nearer the posts allowing Edwards to convert for a handy 19-5 lead.

Hampshire replied almost immediately when following a kick chase by centre Russell Bennett fellow centre Eddie Jenkinson scored a try converted by Johnstone to bring them back into it.

Despite losing prop George Cotterell to a yellow card Hampshire maintained their pressure when following a good burst from No.8 Pita Koroi led eventually to an unconverted try scored by lock Toby Warburton from close-range, leaving Hampshire only two points adrift.

Cornwall got back downfield to earn a penalty in front of the posts, Edwards making no mistake with his kick with some 18 minutes to play.

Hampshire threw everything at Cornwall, as the game moved into time added on, Johnstone made a fine break eluding tackles to score in the corner and tie the scores.

However, Edwards second penalty of the half made the game safe for Cornwall much to the relief of the Tregorrick crowd.

Onwards to Dorchester and Dorset & Wilts on March 18th.

Cornwall U.20: E Tyler (Penryn), J Penprase (Bath Uni), C Gilbert (Redruth), D Matthews (Camborne), J Carr (St. Austell), R Edwards (Launceston), N Nash (Brixham); R Bentham (Launceston), L Barnes (Camborne), K Gratrix (Penryn), D Goldsmith (Launceston), D Reed (Wadebridge Camels), T Clark (Camborne), W Gibson (Cardiff Met), T Clarke (Launceston, capt).

Replacements: H Lightfoot, C Jenkins, R Cinnamond, B Rowley (all Launceston), D Hubble (Falmouth), C Boyce (St. Austell), K Bradley (Penryn)

Cornwall scores; tries, Penprase (2), Clarke, cons Edwards (2), pens, Edwards (2)

Hampshire U.20: T Jennings (Portsmouth Uni), A Gooch (Chobham), E Jenkinson (Birmingham Uni), R Bennett (Wild Geese), J Rudder (Havant), H Johnstone (Cardiff Met), J Prior (Wimborne); M Gorry (Oxford Uni), S North (Hartpury Uni), G Cotterell (Bracknell), R Cuffe (Havant), T Warburton (London Scots), M Whitehead (Havant), J Moore (Swansea Uni, capt), P Koroi (London Scots)

Replacements: A Hankins (Portsmouth Uni), A Warner (Wild Geese), W Owen (Havant), S Rai (Camberley), O Cook (Winchester), S Bloomer (St. Mary’s Uni), C McGuigan (Havant)

Hampshire scores: Tries, Moore, Jenkinson, Warburton, Johnstone, Con, Johnstone

Yellow Card: Cotterell (51)

Referee: Astie Bolton (Gloucs RRS)

Match balls sponsored by Trelawny’s Army Supporters Club   



Cornwall 25-22 Hampshire

Report by Christopher Jones

Cornwall U20’s left it very late to defeat Hampshire at Tregorrick Park to make it two wins from two so far in The Jason Leonard County Championship.

Cornwall benefitted from Hampshire’s slow starts and scored very early in the first and second half.

After a late 78th minute try from Hampshire to make it 22-22, it looked as though the points would be shared, however a late 80th minute penalty conversion from Rueben Edwards secured the win for the Black and Golds.

Coach Josh Lord said after the game: “A fantastic result, but I’m not sure we were up to scratch in terms of what we expect from our players.

“At times we looked absolutely brilliant, and at times we look shambolic but championship rugby is about getting results and this is another win and we can take this into the next match and hopefully get another one.”

Cornwall got off to a lightning start and scored within the first three minutes when Connor Gilbert broke the Hampshire line before offloading to Jake Penprase who scored just to the right of the posts. Edwards could not convert leaving the scores at 5-0 early on.

Both sides had further chances but it wasn’t until the 35th minute until the game saw its next score. This time Hampshire with a try as Captain Josh Moore crashed through the Cornwall line to level the scores at 5-5. Again the kick was missed leaving the scores level.

But Cornwall were back in the lead on the stroke of half time Torin Clark this time going over the line under the posts, before Edwards converted to secure a 12-5 lead going into the break.

Almost immediately after the break the home side were further ahead, Penprase with his second try of the game after he stepped past his opposite number and Edwards again converted to make it 19-12.

Hampshire were having no luck and found themselves a man down when George Cotterell was given a yellow.

But this only seemed to give Hampshire the wake-up call they needed as they scored six minutes later in the 56th minute when second rower Rob Cuffe went over the line, and after Harry Johnston missed the conversion the scored read 19-17.

Edwards then put Cornwall an extra three points ahead at 22-17 after he converted a penalty from straight in front in the  60th minute.

However, Hampshire pulled back level in a breath-taking finish when Johnston shrugged off the tackle from Ethan Tyler to dive over the line and equal the scores for the second time of the day at 22-22. Johnston again could not convert the try.

The game seemed destined for a draw with neither team really playing to the best of their ability, however a late penalty directly in front of the posts presented Edwards with the opportunity to seal the win for the Cornwall in the final seconds. With the crowd silent and tension in the air he stepped up and coolly converted the penalty to leave the final score at 25-22.


Gloucestershire U20s 15 v Cornwall U20s 24


Cornwall u20s overcame a very good Gloucestershire team at a very chilly Cinderford on Sunday 11th February to get the 2018 campaign in The Jason Leonard Under 20 County Championship. The boys are pictured celebrating their win courtesy of Simon Bryant (Iktis Photos).

Cornwall secured a four try bonus point with Kyle Gatrix (Penryn) scoring 2 tries and Noah Nash and Jake Penprase scoring 1 try each.

Kyle Gatrix got Cornwall underway with an early driven maul for Gloucestershire to get back on terms. The home team added a penalty on 20 minutes to make the score 8-5 to Gloucester before Cornwall scrum half Noah Nash exploited a gap and nipped over to regain the lead for Rueben Edwards to add the extras. On half time Tian Clarke scored a well worked try for Edwards to take a 19-8 lead.

The second half was a very well contested game. A tribute to u20 rugby and in particular the Cornish defence. Relentless attacking play led to Gloucester winger adding a try to make it 19-15 Cornwall. The enthusiastic crowd had to wait until the 75th minute for Cornwall to seal the game following good control in the Gloucester 22. Kyle Gatrix went over for the all-important score to set up a final 24-15 score-line.

With the final whistle the Cornwall boys could celebrate a well-deserved victory knowing that there is still work to be done before Hampshire at St Austell on 25th February.

The Cornwall team is selected from players who have a birthday after 31 August 1998, were born or reside in Cornwall, or are registered as a player with a Cornish club. 

The squad of over 50 players have been training since the start of the year and are coached by Matt Shepherd and Josh Lord both of whom have played senior rugby for Cornwall and are RFU qualified coaches. The squad consists of 18, 19 and 20 year old players and forms part of the CRFU’s progression and development of young players.

The gates open at St Austell on the 25 February at 1200. Entry will cost £5 including a match programme with accompanied U16’s having free entry. Please come along and support the young “Black and Golds” in the potential pool decider.

Gloucestershire U20 v Cornwall U20

Sunday 11February @ Cinderford RFC

Cornwall Squad 


Rikki Bentham

Launceston RFC


Luke Barnes

Camborne RFC


Kyle Gatrix

Penryn RFC


Dan Goldsmith

Launceston RFC


Jack Osborne

Not affiliated


Tiaan Clark

Camborne RFC


Will Gibson

Cardiff Uni


Torin Clark (Captain)

Launceston RFC


Noah Nash

Brixham RFC


Reuben Edwards

Launceston RFC


Matt Blee

Exeter Uni


Connor Gilbert

Redruth RFC


Jake Penprase

Not affiliated


Dan Hubble

Falmouth RFC


Callum Boyce

St Austell RFC


Harry Lightfoot

Launceston RFC


Chae Jenkins

Launceston RFC


Jack Hodge

Redruth RFC


Dan Reed

Wadebridge Camels RFC


Declan Matthews

Camborne RFC


Liam Jolly

St Ives RFC


Jake Carr

St Austell RFC


Travelling reserves


Rory Cinnamond

Launceston RFC


Brandon Rowley

Launceston RFC


Ethan Tyler

Penryn RFC


Seb Firth

Falmouth RFC


Coaches - Matt Shepherd, Josh Lord

Medical cover - Lauren Albury, Sam West

Kit - Paul Hurrell, Colin Hatch





Dave Mankee crosses for Cornwall’s seventh try to seal a convincing win over Hertfordshire (Photo courtesy of Simon Bryant, Iktisphoto).




By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground Camborne

Glorious, simply glorious, Cornwall ran in seven tries against Hertfordshire to book another return to rugby HQ next Sunday for a fourth encounter in five years with the red rose of Lancashire.

There was a sense of excitement as kick-off approached, nerves too it has to be said, but the beating of the bass drum from the Falmouth Marine Band soothed the nerves, what a joy to see them doing what they do best raising the temperature of the crowd parading around the pitch. The hanging of the pasty from the crossbar and the sight of “Betty Stoggs” what more could you ask for!

As kick-off approached and with a crowd of 3,000 plus the scene was set. There was drama before kick-off as news emerged that Hertfordshire had a number of changes to their published side as a number of players from the Old Albanian club had withdrawn due to a players wedding, forcing head coach James Shanahan to don the number 25 shirt at fly-half.

Cornwall, led by skipper Jake Murphy emerged from the tunnel to huge roars from the crowd, having won the toss they elected to play up the slope in the first half.

What a start it proved to be, Tom Notman collecting the ball and turning on a sixpence ran hard into the Herts twenty-two, ruck ball saw Cornwall pound the Herts line with scrum-half Jack Oulton slipping the ball to flanker Sam Matavesi to crash over, full back Matt Shepherd added the extras and Cornwall were up and running.

Cornwall had a little bit of trouble in the scrums early on, Shanahan found touch towards the scoreboard corner following a series of drives from the Herts’ forwards the wily fox at 10 sold a great dummy to stroll under the sticks for scrum-half Tom Banks to convert and level the scores. Game on.

Cornwall lost Oulton to a heavy knock allowing local favourite Dave Mankee to come on at 9. Cornwall had to soak up a lot of pressure putting in tackles like demons. They lifted the siege getting field good position. No.8 Grant Randlesome made a fine break, one of many, linking with lock Tony Whittle who in turn found fly-half Joe Elderkin, whose soft pass put flyer Lewis Vinnicombe away in the corner for try number two. Shepherd kicked a fine conversion from five meters in from touch.

Hooker Richard Brown played scrum-half at a ruck feeding Elderkin who broke away linking with Shepherd before giving the scoring pass to Notman for try number three and a 19-7 lead.

Hertfordshire pulled a score back through full back Pierre Dotta off a pass from centre Francis Denny, there was a brief altercation amongst the players before Banks added the conversion and the game remained poised at 19-14 up until the break.

Once again Cornwall began the half with a bang. Good work from centre Robin Wedlake and the impressive Matavesi saw Cornwall get a penalty. Shepherd kicked to the West Bank corner and with the crowd baying the lineout was secured and Cornwall drove for the line with Brown getting the bonus point try.

Still Hertfordshire would not lie down back they came with a try from lock James Apperley converted by Banks.

A speculative kick into the Herts’ twenty-two bounced very high allowing replacement hooker Matt Ballard to claim the ball he was hauled down short of the line, Hertfordshire killed the ball with the useful flanker Harry Bate yellow carded for his sins.

Another kick to the West Bank corner, another catch and drive for Matavesi to bag his second try of the game.

Brilliant lineout play from lock Bryn Jenkins saw him feed replacement No.8 BJ Chapman who set off down the touchline like a scalded cat; he looked certain to score a great try but was bundled into touch…just!

Try number six came soon after a lovely move involving Wedlake, Seti Raumakita, Shepherd and the excellent Elderkin put Vinnicombe in for his second try finished in Chris Ashton style. Shepherd added both conversions and Cornwall had space 38-21.

Raumakita was again involved for Cornwall’s final try as the backs moved the ball wide for Mankee to cross and dot downtry number seven. Shepherd added the extras and the party on the terraces was in full swing.

Hertfordshire had the satisfaction of the final say when their excellent lock Sam Lunnon deservedly got over for their fourth try with the final play again converted by Banks.

The final whistle heralded scenes of great excitement as the prospect of a fifth consecutive final dawned and the chance to get a hat-trick of wins on the bounce at Twickenham.

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): M Shepherd (Plymouth Albion), L Vinnicombe,  R Wedlake (Plymouth Albion), J Murphy (Barnstaple, capt), T Notman, J Elderkin, J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstaple), T Whittle (Camborne), C Fuca, S Matavesi (Camborne), G Randlesome (Penryn).

Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), A Zacharovas (Camborne), B Howe, G Jones (Penryn), BJ Chapman, D Mankee (Camborne), S Raumakita (Plymouth Albion).

Cornwall scores: Tries: Matavesi (2), Vinnicombe (2), Notman, Brown, Mankee; Cons: Shepherd (5)

Hertfordshire: (Bishop’s Stortford unless stated): P Dotta, B Creasey (Hertford), N Hankin, F Denny (Letchworth), S Barnes (Tring), J Shanahan (unattatched), T Banks; H King (Bishop’s Stortford), B McNamee (Hertford, capt), K Garside (Old Albanian), S Lunnon (Old Albanian), J Apperley, H Bate (Old Albanian), D Elsom, D Archer (Hertford).

Replacements: J Taylor (Old Albanian), W Roberts, A Berry (Old Albanian), J Concoran (Hertford), J Daly (Old Albanian), J Scantlebury, M Bendin (Hertford).92

Hertfordshire scores: Tries: Shanahan, Dotta, Lunnon (2); Cons: Banks (4)

Yellow Card – Bate 55

Referee: Ben Russell (RFU)





















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con, banks


try, brown






try, lunnon




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Surrey 14 v Cornwall 34


Simon Bryant’s (Iktis Photography) photograph shows Chris Fuca helping Matt Ballard drive over for Cornwall’s second try.

Cornwall scored four tries in the final quarter to secure a vital bonus point win against Surrey at Richmond as they began the defence of their County title, reports Bill Hooper.


It began brightly for Cornwall as Cornwall got a try after just 8 minutes as No. 8 BJ Chapman was driven over from a powerful maul for a try converted by fly-half Dave Mankee.

They were soon pegged back by Surrey as fly-half Matt Noble found a hole in the Cornwall defence before wing Karyim Noble sped in for a good try bettered by Noble.

Noble set the alarm bells ringing in the Cornish defence soon after but the defence scrabbled back to snuffle the threat.

Surrey maintained the pressure and when scrum-half Jack Oulton was sin-binned on 19 minutes for Cornwall the signs looked ominous for the champions. 

Cornwall coped with the initial threat but when Chapman was also sent to the bin and where down to 13 men for about sixty seconds the pressure told with referee Neil Chivers awarding the home side a penalty-try converted by Noble.

Cornish wing Robin Wedlake went close to a try from a Mankee crossfield kick.

Oulton was proving a constant thorn in the side for Surrey with his snipes around the rucks and scrums. Before half-time Cornwall earned a penalty which Mankee despatched between the sticks leaving Cornwall 14-10 down at the break.

With the wind now in Cornwall’s favour Mankee saw an early penalty opportunity drift wide of the posts early doors in the second half as Cornwall looked to their replacements to maintain the head of steam they were building.

Lock Bryn Jenkins was having a great game in the lineout, whilst the forwards drove with purpose with Tommy Phillips, Andrius Zacharovas, George Jones, Chris Fuca all putting in big shifts.

Mankee kept pinning Surrey back with his kicking, Cornwall were dominating but the score wasn’t coming as news of Gloucestershire’s big total against Devon began to filter through.

Cornwall pinched a lineout  in the Surrey twenty-two to set up a big drive that saw replacement hooker Matt Ballard driven over for the black and golds' second try to huge cheers from Trelawny’s Army.

The cheers got even louder just two minutes later when Wedlake showed his Albion form to run in from 50 metres from a Grant Randlesome pass. Mankee nailed the conversion but Cornwall wanted and needed more.

It came from replacement winger Tom Notman who gleefully took skipper Jake Murphy’s pass to score the vital bonus point try.

Fellow Red Matt Bowden rounded off the scoring with Cornwall’s fifth try from a Wedlake pass to complete the scoring, with Mankee adding his third conversion of the game.

After the game Cornwall head coach Graham Dawe was pleased with the win. “It was a tough start, Surrey took the game to us in the first half scoring a couple of tries and challenging us defensively putting us on the back foot a bit up front. We had to survive the best part of twenty minutes with just fourteen men and did well to contain them.

“ We took time to gel as a side but as the game went on we saw that cohesion coming through, all the work we have put in showed through.

“At half-time we had a good chat, the boys knew they were in a game and needed to lift their efforts especially up front. I think our defence stood up well and when we got the ball our backs showed their scintillating pace.

“On reflection we did well to turnaround just 14-10 down at the break, the penalty just before halt-time was crucial. That wind was moving around we made good use of it second half with Mankee and Oulton getting us the territory. 

Cornwall will train on Wednesday prior to the game at Devon next Saturday at Ivybridge kick-off 3 pm.


Surrey (London Irish WG unless stated) E Carne (Dorking), T Richards, B Kitching, B Meeson, K Irving (Worthing), M Noble (Dorking), T Trotter (Cambridge); K Furey, N Sweeney, C Zeiss (capt) (all Esher), J Touma, D Flashman (Wimbeldon), T Bush, H Elbrow (Dorking), H Rowland.

Replacements: C Connor, K O’Sullivan, C Burman (Esher), F Osborne (Dorking), E Milne (Rosslyn Park), J Reville (Wimbeldon), M McDonald (Amersham & Chiltern).

Surrey scores: Tries Irving, Penalty-try, Cons Noble (2)

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): J Elderkin,  L Vinnicombe,  J Murphy (Barnstaple) (capt), J Simmons (Camborne), R Wedlake (Plymouth Albion), D Mankee (Camborne), J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstaple), T Whittle (Camborne), C Fuca, G Jones (Penryn), BJ Chapman.

Replacements: A Zacharovas (Camborne), M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), R Dugard (Barnstaple), B Howe, G Randlesome (Penryn), T Notman, M Bowden.

Cornwall scores: Tries Chapman, Ballard, Wedlake, Notman, Bowden, Cons, Mankee (3), Pen, Mankee

Yellow Cards: Oulton (19), Chapman (28)

Referee: Neil Chivers (RFU)

Crowd: 643


Hampshire U20s 25 v Cornwall U20s 19

Despite a valiant fight back in the last ten minutes the young “Black & Golds” went down to a well organised Hampshire side who sealed the group with their third victory of the campaign. Gloucestershire’s victory over Berkshire meant the end of the road for this season’s campaign for Cornwall who finished third in the group.

Cornwall were well supported at Overton RFC who ply their trade in Hampshire II (Level 10 of the rugby pyramid). It was a strange setting for county rugby at the end of what appeared to be a lengthy farm track on a steeply sloping pitch. Apparently, Hampshire Under 20s love it there and they were certainly quickly out of the blocks looking well fired up for the encounter.

Playing up the hill with a strong breeze at their backs the hosts opened the scoring after five minutes with a forty-five-metre penalty from centre Matt Evenhand.  Ten minutes later left wing James Wise showed electrifying pace to exploit the space vacated whilst Cornish full back Toby Robinson was off the field for a head injury assessment. His touch down in the corner went unconverted.

With five minutes of the first period remaining the visitors set up a promising attack on the Hampshire line but the ball was turned over and kicked up field culminating in a try for full back Adam Musa. Evenhand added the extras to give Hampshire a 15 – 0 lead at the break. 

Despite having the advantage of the wind for the second half the steep slope appeared to give the visitors a mountain to climb both metaphorically and literally and despite a try-saving tackle by Robinson it seemed all over when Jerome Rudder and Cameron Smith combined for Smith to touch down for an unconverted try which extended the Hampshire lead to 20 – 0.

Cornwall dug deep with centre Declan Matthews carrying well and a period of sustained pressure saw the visitors open their account with a Jack Osborne try converted by Fraser Honey fifteen minutes into the second half.

The “Black & Golds” continued to press but ten minutes later Hampshire’s flying left wing, Wise, used his pace once again to cross in the corner for the home side’s bonus point try.

The final ten minutes saw the Cornish boys show real character as they stormed forward to set up a try for Cameron Sayer. Honey’s conversion attempt went wide but with the deficit reduced to thirteen points the visitors sensed that an upset was possible and threw everything at Hampshire. An excellent backs move led to a Robinson try converted by Honey.

With four minutes remaining and only one score separating the sides Cornwall kept the ball alive and pressed hard but the Hampshire defence held on to secure their quarter-final berth.


T. Robinson (St Austell), E. Tyler (Truro), D. Matthews (Redruth), M. Blee (Camborne), C. Boyer (St Austell), F. Honey (Launceston), N. Nash (Brixham), J. Bishop (St Ives), L. Powell (Redruth), J. Hodge (Redruth), H. Culverhouse (Wadebridge), D. Reed (Wadebridge), H. Smith (Wadebridge), W. Gilder [Capt.] (St Austell), M. Duggan (St Austell).

Replacements: M. Healey (Penryn), A. Vincent (Lankelly-Fowey), J.  Osborne (Launceston), C. Sayer (Camborne), R. Edwards (Launceston), T. Sandercock (Launceston), H. Jones (Unattached).  

Coaches: Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins, Matt Shepherd

Team Manager: Chris Lea