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:
JASON LEONARD CUP UNDER 20 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP POOL 4
CORNWALL 25 – 22 HAMPSHIRE (HT 12-5)
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.