Cornwall 26 Royal Navy 26

CORNWALL began their preparations for this season’s Bill Beaumont Cup campaign in an exciting match against a very lively Royal Navy side which ended all square on the night at 26-26, writes Bill Hooper.

After a cagy opening it was the Navy who landed the first salvo when their wing Kane Teear-Bourge plucked a Cornish pass as the Black and Gold looked to play out of their 22, to fly in under the posts. Full-back Ben Chambers adding the simple conversion (0-7).

Roared on by the 1,000-plus Tregorrick Park crowd at St Austell, flanker Adam Hughes steamed up to the Navy 22, the ball was recycled quickly by the forwards who went through a couple of phases before the ball got to wing Harry Larkins, via a Josh Matavesi pass, darting into the corner to score. Full-back Matt Shepherd judged the conversion to perfection to make it 7-7 after 15 minutes.

Cornwall kept the momentum going when hooker Luis Powell finished off a great phase of play for the Black and Gold’s second try, which went unconverted.

The nip and tuck of the game continued as Navy skipper Kye Beasley made good ground into the Cornwall 22,and from an ensuing maul, the Navy got over the line with hooker Jack Wright credited with the score. 

Teeor-Bourge time and again showed his pace out wide keeping the Cornwall defence on it’s toes. 

Just before half-time Wright got his second try, again from a powerful Navy maul, with Chambers adding the extras, Navy turned around at the break 19-12 up.

Shepherd, fly-half Will Hennessy and flanker Cam Taylor had caught the eye for Cornwall in the opening period.

Kickable penalties were ignored by both sides as they looked to their set-piece. 

From a kick to the corner, Cornwall got the drive on for Powell to score his second try of the game, Shepherd adding the extras to tie the scores.

With the game well into the final quarter and both sides emptying their benches, Cornwall’s number eight Brandon Rowley cut a fine line to dot down a fourth try for the Black and Gold, Shepherd judging his third conversion to perfection.

Navy had a final broadside up their sleeves; a chip over the Cornwall defence was seized upon by Teear-Bourge who steamed in unopposed under the sticks for Danny Ronald to tie the game with his conversion (26-26).

Both sides had chances to win it, but a draw was a fair result at the final whistle.

After the final whistle, Cornwall head coach Graham Dawe was satisfied with the result. 

He said: “Credit to the boys, they played for the shirt tonight, we can look back and perhaps if one or two lineouts had gone our way we could have made more of it. 

“Our scrum went well, I thought the reserve front row went well when they came on, but overall we missed some chances in that second half. 

“Hopefully the lads will go away and train hard, improve their fitness and look to fight their way into the squad come May.” 

Cornwall (Launceston unless stated): Matt Shepherd (St Austell), Lewis Thomas (Redruth), Josh Semmens (Pirates Ams), Josh Matavesi (cast), Harry Larkins (both Camborne, Will Hennessy (Truro), CJ Boyce (St Austell); Ethan Pearce-Cowley, Luis Powell (Truro), Declan Prowse (Camborne), Albert Horne, Dan Goldsmith, Adam Hughes (Camborne), Cam Taylor (St Austell), Brandon Rowley. Replacements: Pete Harris (St Austell), Adam Strick (Penryn), James Lambourn (Pirates Ams), Mark Vian (St Austell), Chris Fuca (Camborne), Adam Tyndale-Powell (Liskeard/Looe), Will Tanswell (Camborne), Freddie Davies (Devonport Services), Cam Fogden, Ben Bryant.

Tries: Larkins 15, Powell 23, 54, Rowley 67; Convs: Shepherd 16, 55, 68; Pens: N/A.