Cornwall u20’s secured a home quarter final fixture after a superb away victory in Weymouth.
Chris Jones reports from Weymouth & Portland RFC
Photo shows Declan Matthews diving over to open Cornwall’s scoring - courtesy of Simon Bryant (Iktis Photo)
Click on the link for a glimpse behind the video courtesy of Kevin Bishop:
It was end to end stuff between the two young sides in the first half, but a strong second half from Cornwall secured the victory in a well-fought battle.
Coach Mat Shepherd was pleased with his side’s performance after the game and felt that they thoroughly deserved the win.
He said: “We scored six tries away from home and didn’t give away too much that we didn’t need to and from what we did on the pitch I’m really happy with the boys today.”
It only took three minutes for the first points to be put on the board and it was Cornwall with the first say of the day when Declan Matthews got on the end of a superb passing move from midfield to dive over in the left corner. Reuben Edwards missed the kick from a tight angle leaving the scores at 5-0.
But the home team responded quickly when Noah Cannon latched onto the end of a superb kick over through and his pace was too much for the Cornwall defence as he put the ball down under the posts which left Harry Bazalgette with an easy conversion to make it 7-5.
Dorset and Wiltshire scored again in the 17th minute. After a successful line out the home pack heaved themselves over the line, Captain James Hill this time with the try, and after Bazalgette missed the conversion the scores read 12-5.
The young Cornwall side never doubted their chances and their free flowing rugby was rewarded in the 19th minute when Jake Penprase made it 12-10 after Ethan Tyler’s great line and offload allowed the pacey winger to score down the right side.
The away side then put themselves in front for the second time in the match when a well drilled lineout turned maul was too much for the Dorset and Wiltshire defence and Harry Lightfoot got his first of the match right under the posts and Edwards converted with ease taking the scores to 17-12.
It truly was end to end stuff with both teams hungry for the victory. Dorset and Wiltshire regained their lead in the 33rd minute in mirrored fashion to Cornwall’s last try. A good lineout and drive pushed Tom Cordery over the line for Dorset and Wiltshire and after Bazalgette missed the kick it was 19-17.
But the scoring for the first half wasn’t done there, and Cornwall wanted to have the last say of the half and they succeeded when Tiaan Clark heaved himself over the line from the back of maul in the right corner taking the scores at half time to 22-17.
Three minutes after the break though and Dorset and Wiltshire were level at 22-22 after Bazalgette converted a penalty from straight in front of the posts.
Cornwall started to run away with it after 60 minutes and it was 27-22 when Connor Gilbert received the ball from the back of a scrum in the Dorset and Wiltshire final five and placed the ball down unchallenged before James Tucker converted with ease.
Ten minutes later and after a fairly dominant second half the young Black and Golds put the game to bed after Falmouth Prop Ollie Andrews scored in the corner and after Tucker missed a difficultly placed kick the scores ended 34-22.
1. R. Bentham
2. H. Lightfoot
3. K. Gratrix
4. D. Goldsmith
5. N. Stanier-Smith
6. T. Clark
7. A. Brassington
8. T. Clarke ©
9. B. Callum
10. R. Edwards
11. D. Hubble
12. D. Matthews
13. C. Gilbert
14. J. Penprase
15. E. Tyler
16. Q. Cross
17. C. Degenhardt
18. O. Andrews
19. B. Rolwey
20. J. Tucker
21. N. Nash
22. K. Bradley
Cornwall Scores: Tries by Declan Matthews, Jake Penprase, Ollie Andrews, Tiaan Clark, Connor Gilbert and Brandon Rowley with a conversion each for Reuben Edwards and James Tucker.
- CRFU Competitions: U20s County Championship