Skipper, Jake Murphy’s try (photo Dan Barbary) is not enough to stop Cornwall going down to Devon for the first time in nine years.
BILL BEAUMONT CUP
CORNWALL 19-20 DEVON
By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground, Camborne
The dream of a sixth successive trip to Twickenham for the Cornwall team was brutally scattered to the four corner of the Recreation Ground as Devon beat Cornwall for the first time in the County Championship in eight years.
Speaking after the game Cornwall backs coach Marek Churcher said. “It’s always disappointing to lose, especially against Devon, but you have to give them credit for their game plan today. It’s always hard when you’re trying to play catch up and I thought we did well to come back in the second half, we had a chance to win it at the death but it didn’t go our way.
“In the final analysis we made too many errors both collectively and individually. As I said last week these guys are young and playing at a higher level than they have, full credit to them they have come back into the game and just fallen short, they will learn and take that into the final game at Hertfordshire.”
Once again, as they did at Redruth the week before, Cornwall were slow off the blocks, guilty of far too many errors as the pressure told during the opening half.
Playing down the slope first half, Devon gave notice they hadn’t travelled to make up the numbers. Despite missing with his initial attempt at the posts fly-half Tom Putt was on cue moments later from the 10-metre line.
Cornwall had chances in the first quarter but having kicked for touch, the Duchy’s line-out didn’t function as three good opportunities went begging.
Cornwall suffered a blow when fly-half Fraser Honey, who this week signed for Plymouth Albion, was forced off with his leg in a brace.
Moments later Cornwall fell further behind as Devon’s Matt Crosscombe hacked the ball down the touchline, the bounce proved awkward for the covering Cornish defence and Cornwall’s Mitch Vague was adjudged to have held back the flying Crosscombe. Referee Veryan Boscawen trotted under the posts awarding Devon a penalty-try and Vague 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
From the clever re-start, wing Tom Notman had a good kick chase down the wing, resulting in a Cornwall penalty, Dave Mankee, on for Honey, kicked for the corner but again the line-out was lost and Devon broke clear through centre Tom Palmer.
Just before half-time Cornwall conceded another try when Devon skipper Nathan Hannay was driven over and Putt added the extras for a 17-0 advantage to stun the ranks of Cornish supporters.
Cornwall needed a good start in the second half and they got it after 49 minutes, when they secured good line-out ball and the pack drove over the Devon line with Penryn’s George Jones getting the touchdown.
Sadly, Mankee’s conversion attempt veered away from the far post and the try went crucially unconverted.
Cornwall lost another player as centre Duncan Tout went off with a collarbone injury, Redruth’s Jack Simmons coming on.
Cornwall had more of the play, a good driving burst from prop Andrius Zacharovas took play into the twenty-two, Cornwall went through the phases before skipper Jake Murphy cut back to take a scoring pass and go over under the posts, Mankee’s conversion made it game on!
Crucially for Devon they enjoyed a period of pressure in the Cornwall twenty-two and from it milked a penalty that Putt slotted to put them two scores ahead.
Cornwall struck back, Murphy kicked a penalty into the West Bank corner, the line-out was secured by BJ Chapman and the maul set up with Notman getting in amongst the forwards to claim a try for the second game running, Mankee’s conversion making it a one point game.
Despite good runs from Richie Kevern, Murphy and No.8 Grant Randlesome, Devon held firm, the ball went wide with wing Jon Dawe going close in the scoreboard corner before bundled into touch and with it Cornwall’s last chance had gone.
Cornwall: M Vague (Penryn), J Dawe (Launceston), D Tout (Tonbridge Juddians), J Murphy (Barnstaple, Capt), T Notman (Redruth), F Honey (Bury St. Edmunds), T Peacock; A Zacharovas, T-L Southworth, J Drew (all Camborne), L Hattam, E Pascoe (both Redruth), BJ Chapman (Newton Abbot), G Jones, G Randlesome (both Penryn).
Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), J Tompsett (Redruth), D Cook (Camborne), B Humber (Wadebridge Camels), D Mankee (Camborne), R Kevern, J Simmons (both Redruth).
Cornwall scores: Tries, Jones, Murphy, Notman, Cons, Mankee (2).
Yellow Card: Vague (31)
Devon: C Briant (Ivybridge), K Browne (Newton Abbot), R Palmer (Okehampton), M Crosscombe (Plymouth Albion), J Bond (Barnstaple), T Putt (Brixham), B Watts (Ivybridge); G Snell (Bideford), A Crouch (Barnstaple), T White (Newton Abbot), N Hannay (Honiton, Capt), T McGratton, D Abrams (both Okehampton), W Sprangle (Tiverton).
Replacements: A Taylor (Plymstock AO), W Vermingle (Ivybridge), T Coats (Okehampton), B King (Ivybridge), K Munslow (Topsham), C Bedwell (Brixham), B Pinkus (Ivybridge).
Devon scores: Penalty-try, Hannay, Cons, Penalty-try, Putt, Pens, Putt (2)
Referee: Veryan Boscawen (RFU)