Cornwall triumph to keep Twickenham dream alive

Chris Fuca and Tom Notman congratulate Greg Goodfellow. Picture by John Beach

Chris Fuca and Tom Notman congratulate Greg Goodfellow. Picture by John Beach

First published in Sport

Cornwall 33

TRIES: Notman (2), Goodfellow, Williams, Vinnicombe. CONS: Lewitt (4).

Gloucestershire 27

TRIES: Bozzard, Fielding, Molitika. CONS: Fielding (3).
PENS: Fielding (2).

Gloucestershire provided Cornwall with a stern test last Saturday at Camborne's Recreation Ground and, despite some late controversy, the result was a deserved win for the home side.

The win means that Cornwall's match with Hertfordshire on Saturday becomes a winner-takes-all decider for who will play at Twickenham in the Bill Beaumont Cup final, with both sides tied on ten points.

Cornwall's match didn't get off to a good start as two penalties were conceded in the first 15 minutes, which were both converted by Leo Fielding. The away side showed real intent and Cornwall did well to limit the scoring to six points.

The attacking prowess of Cornwall shone through soon after though, as Tom Notman touched down after an excellent long pass from Ryan Westren. Neat passing from Greg Goodfellow and Chris Fuca saw the former score Cornwall's second try in four minutes soon after.

Just before the break however, ill discipline saw Jamie Salter and Joe Smart sent to the sin bin. Gloucestershire took advantage of their numbers to score a try and go in to the break one point ahead at 13-12.

In the second half it was Cornwall's turn to start quickly as Craig Williams charged forward to score a try after just two minutes.

Gloucestershire again proved tenacious though, and struck back soon after with Fielding scoring after some good passing from the visitors.

The see-saw swung back Cornwall's way though as they scored two tries. Lewis Vinnicombe charged down a kick to score the first, and Notman scored his second after a good drive from the forwards.

There was late drama though as Gloucestershire set up a tense finale, the referee awarding a try despite Loti Molitika appearing to ground the ball short of the line for the visitors.

Cornwall were to hold on, however, and now look forward to their match with Hertfordshire when they will vie for a place at Twickenham.

Cornwall coach Ian Morgan said: “The match against Gloucestershire was never going to be easy with people’s expectations high after last week’s win over North Midlands.

"Everyone involved with the squad knew this was going to be a tough mountain to climb; Gloucestershire teams are renowned for their power and were out to avenge their defeat of last week against Hertfordshire. The sun was lovely for the spectators but was really telling on the players and so we used our rolling substitutions and lots of hydration during the game.

"Everyone involved played with heart and pride to ensure a climax to the pool stage next week at Hertford RFC”.

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