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County Championships

CORNWALL 45 v HERTFORDSHIRE 28

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

 

BILL BEAUMONT CUP

CORNWALL 45 – 28 HERTFORDSHIRE

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Hertfordshire had a number of changes to their published side as a number of players from the Old Albanian club had withdrawn due to a players wedding, forcing head coach James Shanahan to don the number 25 shirt at fly-half.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)



SCORING SEQUENCE

 

CORNWALL

 

HERTFORDSHIRE

Min

 

Score

 

1

TRY, MATAVESI

5-0

 

2

CON, SHEPHERD

7-0

 

6

 

7-5

try, shanahan

6

 

7-7

con, banks

17

try, vinnicombe

12-7

 

18

con, shepherd

14-7

 

22

try, notman

19-7

 

28

 

19-12

try, dotta

29

 

19-14

con, banks

43

try, brown

24-14

 

52

 

24-19

try, lunnon

52

 

24-21

con, banks

55

try, matavesi

29-21

 

55

con, shepherd

31-21

 

66

try, vinnicombe

36-21

 

66

con, shepherd

38-21

 

68

try, mankee

43-21

 

68

con, shepherd

45-21

 

80

 

45-26

try, lunnon

80

 

45-28

con, banks

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Devon 11 v Cornwall 56

Pictured in action is Robin Wedlake the winner of the “Most Valuable Contribution of the Match” award (Photo courtesy of Simon Bryant, Iktis Photo). Robin scored two of Cornwall’s eight tries at Ivybridge.

 



SCORING SEQUENCE

 

HOME TEAM

 

AWAY TEAM

Min

 

Score

 

2

 

0-3

PEN – MANKEE DAVID

3

 

0-8

TRY – WEDLAKE ROBIN

3

 

0-10

CON - MANKEE DAVID

7

TRY – OLLIE RICE

5-10

 

13

 

5-15

TRY – SHEPERD MATT

13

 

5-17

CON - MANKEE DAVID

24

PEN – WHEALAN TOM

8-17

 

27

PEN – WHEALAN TOM

11-17

 

33

 

11-22

TRY – WILLIAMS CRAIG

34

 

11-24

CON - MANKEE DAVID

37

 

11-27

PEN - MANKEE DAVID

43

 

11-32

TRY – VINNICOMBE LEWIS

52

 

11-37

TRY – FUCA CHRIS

52

 

11-39

CON - MANKEE DAVID

55

 

11-44

TRY – MATAVESI SAM

55

 

11-46

CON – shepherd matt

67

 

11-51

TRY – WEDLAKE ROBIN

78

 

11-56

TRY – CHAPMAN BARRY

 

BILL BEAUMONT CUP

DEVON 11 – 56 CORNWALL

By Bill Hooper at Cross-in-Hand, Ivybridge

Cornwall ran in eight spectacular tries as they defeated Devon with something to spare to set up a final pool game decider at Camborne next Saturday against Hertfordshire who beat Gloucestershire 46-19 at Hertford.

The win delighted Cornwall head coach Graham Dawe. “It was a good win, pleasing to come to Devon and get a result, it wasn’t our best performance but we had enough to win. Fair play to Devon they challenged us and put their bodies on the line, they made it awkward for us in the first half before we broke free in the second to score five tries.

Dawe praised his whole squad. “The quality we have throughout the squad was evident today, we are able to maintain the same intensity and pressure for the whole eighty, the boys that came on certainly added zip and power, I thought Sam Matavesi showed what a fine footballer he is.

Dawe’s thoughts now turn to Hertfordshire next Saturday. “Our battles against them have been tight affairs in recent seasons and I expect nothing less on Saturday. We will keep our feet on the ground this week and work hard in training, there is always work tom be done and make sure we are both mentally and physically fit for a hard game with hopefully a big crowd at Camborne to support us.”

Roared on by the huge Cornish contingent the black and golds got off to a great start. Fly-half Dave Mankee kicked an early penalty and then added the extras to centre Robin Wedlake’s interception try as Cornwall raced to a 10-0 lead.

Devon got back into it when Cornwall had a clearance kick charged down in their twenty-two allowing Devon centre Ollie Rice to pounce on the ball and score, fly-half Tom Whelan’s conversion struck the posts.

Cornwall were getting good possession from the lineout through lock Bryn Jenkins, whilst Camborne prop Andrius Zacharovas was like a rampaging bull in the loose. No.8 BJ Chapman also made a lot of ground with his surging runs.

Cornish pressure told when full back Matt Shepherd scored a second try following scrum-half Jack Oulton’s quick thinking from a tap penalty allowing Mankee another simple conversion.

A couple of penalties from Whelan saw Devon claw their way closer on the scoreboard but their momentum was stopped following an injury to their skipper James Harris who felt the full force of Sam Matavesi’s knee in an attempted tackle.

Cornwall then finished the half the stronger, Shepherd made a great break down the wing and when the ball was recycled hooker Richard Brown burrowed over for try number three again bettered by Mankee, who added a penalty soon after.

Devon thought they had scored a second try but it was ruled out for a double movement by the officials and Cornwall led 27-11 at the break.

Cornwall then secured the important bonus point soon after halt-time when winger Lewis Vinnicombe was put away by Wedlake.

Matavesi was having a storming game and it was no surprise that the Fijian international went over for Cornwall’s fifth try near the posts, Mankee added a fourth conversion before making way for youngster Joe Elderkin.

Wedlake and replacement hooker Matt Ballard were involved in the build up to winger Tom Notman’s try, converted by Shepherd.

Wedlake then mesmerised the Devon defence with his balance and running to score a wonderful try from distance to cap his fine performance.

As they tired visably, Devon lost centre Lewis Paterson to the sin-bin for a professional foul. Penryn’s George Jones had the final say as the flanker scored Cornwall’s eighth try to complete a fine win.

 

Devon (Ivybridge unless stated): C Briant, W Topps (Barnstaple), O Rice (Exmouth), L Paterson, T Scoles, T Whelan (Sidmouth), C Setter (Plymouth Albion); R Morris (Brixham), A Crouch (Barnstaple), M Finn, M Richards (Exmouth), G Wilson, M Harvey (Brixham), J Harris (Exmouth), (capt), S Thomas (Brixham).

Replacements: A Taylor, I Dalton (both Exmouth), M Dowrick (Newton Abbot), T McGratton (Okehampton), R Dingle, J Bond (Newton Abbot), M Pinkus

Devon scores: Try, Rice, Pens. Whetton (2)

Yellow Card: Paterson (80)

 

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): M Shepherd (Plymouth Albion), L Vinnicombe, R Wedlake (Plymouth Albion), J Murphy (Barnstaple) (capt), T Notman, D Mankee (Camborne), J Oulton; A Zacharovas (Camborne), R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstaple), T Whittle (Camborne), G Randlesome, G Jones (both Penryn), BJ Chapman.

Replacements: T Phillips, M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), B Howe, C Fuca, S Matavesi (Camborne), S Raumakita (Plymouth Albion), J Elderkin.

Cornwall scores: Tries, Wedlake (2), Shepherd, Brown, Vinnicombe, Matavesi, Notman, Jones, Cons, Mankee (4), Shepherd, Pens, Mankee (2)

Referee: Robbie Bourke (RFU)

Crowd: 1,025

Cornwall-man-of-the-match: Hard choice so many standout performances but Robin Wedlake played like a man on fire, high skill set allied with his formidable pace, his second try will live long in the memory.

 
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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

 
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Next Up Surrey!

 

Hertfordshire 15 v Cornwall 23

Saturday 14th May 2016

Once again the Cornish boys were made to dig deep by a determined Hertfordshire side who were keen to upset the odds in a game which was always going to be a vital step in determining the outcome of Division 1 South of the Bill Beaumont County Championship.

 

Position

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

+/-

TB

LB

Pts

1

Cornwall

2

2

0

0

56

42

+14

1

0

9

2

Gloucestershire

2

1

0

1

65

55

+10

1

1

6

3

Hertfordshire

2

0

0

1

46

51

-5

1

0

5

4

Surrey

2

0

0

2

50

69

-19

0

1

1

 

The table shows that a win over Surrey at Camborne on Saturday 21st May (3.00 p.m.) will see the “Black & Golds” return to Twickenham for their fourth consecutive County Championship Final.

 

Despite getting quickly out of the blocks at Bishop’s Stortford the result was in doubt until the 69th minute when Sam Matavesi crossed for his second try of the afternoon and fourth of the campaign.

Cornwall dominated the opening quarter and scored two tries in the opening 17 minutes, with both coming from their effective catch-and-drive line-out drill after they turned down kickable penalties.

The first arrived in the 11th minute from Plymouth Albion forward Matavesi after Kyle Marriott's initial line-out catch.

The second, six minutes later, was finished off by No.8 Herbie Stupple, after Ben Hilton's mid-air claim of the ball, and full back Matt Shepherd banged over the conversion to give Cornwall a 12-0 lead.

The visitors were then guilty of letting their opponents back into it as they fell-foul of referee Luis Caviglia giving away a string of penalties and making far too many unforced errors. By the end of the game the penalty count was fourteen against Cornwall compared to seven against the hosts.

Hertford hooker Brett McNamee snaffled a loose ball to score in the corner, then fly-half Josh Sharp kicked a penalty to bring his side to within four points of Cornwall.

Hertfordshire sensed the tide was in their favour pounding the Cornish line and twice being held up over the line. Cornwall then conceded a penalty-try as Hertfordshire racked up the pressure from a five metre scrum, converted by Sharp for a 15-12 lead at the break.

Cornwall made a perfect start to the second period with a scrum penalty from 42 metres out by Shepherd to level the scores, but Hertfordshire soon returned to spending a lengthy spell in the visitors' 22 after a sizzling break that resulted in a yellow card for Duchy centre Jake Murphy for not rolling away from the tackle.

They were awarded a succession of penalties, but twice they turned down kicks at goal in favour of first a line-out and then a close-range scrum, but the Duchy defence remained firm.

Then Goodfellow burst clear and booted the ball downfield, and even though Hertfordshire initially rescued the situation, McNamee got isolated and Cornwall were awarded a penalty, which Shepherd slotted to establish an 18-15 advantage.

Cornwall then made the game safe when Matavesi scored his second try of the game, his fourth in two games, to set up a finale at Camborne on Saturday against a Surrey side who have lost both their opening games. The Cornish players, coaches and management will be hoping for a packed Recreation Ground to spur the boys on to a Twickenham return.

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Last Minute Try Seals Win

CORNWALL 33 v GLOUCESTERSHIRE 27

Saturday 7th May 2016

The CRFU was pleased to welcome a student journalist, Christopher Jones, from the university in Falmouth to cover the game. His report is below.

Cornwall 33-27 Gloucestershire

By Christopher Jones

Cornwall won their opening Bill Beaumont County Championship match against Gloucestershire in a tensely contested game at the Recreation ground in Redruth.

Last year’s champions left it extremely late to win the game - hooker Rupert Freestone with the fourth and final try at the very end of the contest to secure the bonus point.

Gloucester were leading for the best part of the game and thought they had the game tied up in the 74th minute when Chris Rovery went over the line, however the last minute effort from Cornwall means the team from Gloucester will be heading home disappointed.

Cornwall started the game as the better team, making it 6-0 through two quick penalties from Scrum-half Matthew Shepherd in the 4th and 7th minutes.

However it was the away side who scored the first try, quick hands down the left hand-side of the field put winger Sam Baker through to score in the 16th minute, and Leo Fielding converted to make the score 6-7.

Cornwall soon hit back with a try of their own in the 30th minute, Sam Matavesi with their first try of the game after Cornwall won the lineout and drove the ball over the line, however Shepherd could not convert leaving the score at 11-7.

Gloucester started the second half strongly. First Baker found a hole in the Cornwall defence to charge through and score his second in the 41st minute, before Fielding converted two penalties in quick succession to make it 11-20.

The home side’s pack had been dominant all game, so it was no surprise that their second try came from the forwards. Matavesi getting his second in the 58th minute after another superbly driven maul, Shepherds converted to make it 18-20.

Cornwall soon regained their lead, first through a converted Shepherd penalty from close range in the 70th minute, before replacement Greg Goodfellow raced through the Gloucestershire back line to score in the 69th, making it 26-20.

The scoring did not end there. Gloucestershire, despite being down to 14 after Jack Robson was sent to the bin, may perhaps have thought that they had won the game after flanker Chris Rovery was driven over the line from another lineout to score six minutes from time, and Fielding converted making the score 26-27.

Cornwall however, had other ideas, scoring with the last play of the game. Freestone rounded off the scoring in the 80th minute after a tense final five minutes. The Cornish forwards again proved their might and drove the ball over the try-line. Shepherd then converted with his fifth successful kick of the game to leave the score reading 33-27.



SCORING SEQUENCE

 

CORNWALL

 

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Min

 

Score

 

4

SHEPHERD Matthew pen

3-0

 

7

SHEPHERD Matthew pen

6-0

 

16

 

6-5

BAKER Sam try

16

 

6-7

FIELDING Leo con

30

MATAVESI Sam try

11-7

 

41

 

11-12

BAKER Sam try

42

 

11-14

FIELDING Leo con

46

 

11-17

FIELDING Leo pen

48

 

11-20

FIELDING Leo pen

58

MATAVESI Sam try

16-20

 

59

SHEPHERD Matthew con

18-20

 

68

SHEPHERD Matthew pen

21-20

 

69

GOODFELLOW Greg try

26-20

 

74

 

26-25

ROVERY Chris try

74

 

26-27

FIELDING Leo con

80

FREESTONE Rupert try

31-27

 

80

SHEPHERD Matthew con

33-27

 

 

 
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