Cornwall lifted the Bill Beaumont Cup for the first time in three years after a breathtaking 14-12 victory over Cheshire at Twickenham.

Camborne’s Alex Ducker had given the Black and Gold the lead with a try converted by Frazer Honey, but Redruth's Jack Oulton was shown a straight red card in first half added time.

Cheshire made the most of their man advantage after the break with an unconverted try by Tom Morton, and while Cornwall did well to withstand a barrage of attacks, Tom Sanders’ converted try ten minutes from time looked to have been enough to hand Cheshire their first County Championship since 1998.

But Cheshire lost two men to the sin bin as the game ticked into injury-time, with replacement Seti Raumakita going over in the seventh additional minute to level the scores, with Matt Shepherd’s kick completing an unbelievable comeback.

After missing out on Twickenham for the first time in six years after a dismal campaign in 2018, Cornwall bounced back in style this time around, winning all three of their matches to seal a 12th appearance at rugby HQ and their sixth since 2013.

The Black and Gold opened their campaign with a hard-fought 25-21 win at Kent to seal their first victory in the competition for two years. A six-try win at home to Hertfordshire followed to set up a decisive final pool game against Tamar rivals Devon, with the Cornish side running in eight tries in a 50-20 thrashing of their old rivals.

Cheshire, meanwhile, had to battle their way to two nail-biting single-point victories over Eastern Counties (Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk) and 15-time County Championship winners Yorkshire in their opening fixtures, before thrashing Durham County to book their place in their first Twickenham final since a 35-13 defeat to the Black and Gold in 2016.

Both sides came into the final off the back of 50-point victories in their respective final pool games, but it was Cornwall’s defence that won out in the early exchanges at Twickenham, with Shepherd turning over a Cheshire attack before Jess Tompsett somehow did the same from a five-metre driving lineout.

The Trelawny’s Army had been quietened by those close escapes, but they were in full voice again a few minutes later when Richard Kevern fed Alex Ducker, who weaved past three grey shirts and dotted down under the posts for the opening try of the game and his fourth of the competition, with Frazer Honey adding the simplest of conversions.

That maiden Twickenham try capped off a fine few weeks for the Camborne winger, who scored a record 44 tries in a single season for the club before being announced in the England Counties squad for their upcoming tour of Georgia.

Cheshire enjoyed a prolonged period of possession in the Cornish 22 but were again victims to a well-executed turnover by the Black and Gold. Turnovers were the story of the half with Cornwall having the tables turned on them when they lost possession with a lineout five metres from the Cheshire line.

Cornwall passed up the chance to extend their lead shortly before half-time when they won a penalty on the Cheshire ten-metre line. Scrum-half Oulton tried to take it quickly but was denied by referee Phil Davies, with Honey striking the post with the kick in the final minute of the half to deny the Black and Gold and ten-point lead at the break.

The half-time whistle blew, but the drama was not over just yet. On the advice of one of his assistants, Davies called the players back before showing Camborne’s Oulton a straight red card for foul play. Play resumed, with the clock ticking into the ninth minute of additional time before Davies ended the half for the second time.

A much quieter Cornish contingent greeted the players when they returned for the start of the second half, with Trelawny’s Army undoubtedly still digesting the events of the end of the first half.

Those decibels dropped even further when Cheshire scored their first points of the game in the eighth minute of the second half. A move down the right saw replacement Christopher Speed move to within a metre of the line, with fly-half Tom Morton making a quick pick and go to go over and get Cheshire on the board. Cornwall retained a two-point lead, however, with Morton sending his kick wide of the mark.

Cornwall responded with a triple substitution, with Penryn duo George Jones and Grant Randlesome joining Taron Peacock on the pitch in place of Edd Pascoe, Sam Stevens and Brad Howe as the Black and Gold changed their entire back row.

It hadn’t been a good weekend for Cornish rugby at Twickenham so far, with Exeter Chiefs' Duchy duo Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan-Dickie on the end of a 37-34 defeat to Saracens in the Premiership final on the same pitch 24 hours earlier.

But, despite facing increasing pressure, the 14-man Cornwall team were not prepared to make it a second defeat for the Duchy, with a turnover being greeted by a huge roar from the travelling Trelawny’s Army, who had certainly found their voice again.

Cheshire made full use of the extra man and entered a period of dominance. Tony Whittle and Ducker made try-saving tackles for the Black and Gold, before replacement hooker Matt Ballard did brilliantly to stop David Jones from grounding the ball from a ruck on the try line.

But that resistance was finally broken in the 70th minute when another prolonged attack ended with Sanders driving the ball over the line. Morton converted this time to put the three-time winners five points clear.

Knowing that they needed something and quickly, Cornwall threw caution to the wind and went on the attack with their pressure resulting in a couple of penalties, with Sanders shown a yellow to even up the numbers for the final few minutes.

Cheshire ended the match with 13 men after Jack Collister joined Sanders in the sin bin as the game ticked into injury-time.

But in the seventh minute of time added on and after a succession of scrums, replacement Raumakita burst through to level the scores and hand Shepherd the chance to seal a famous victory from the boot, which he did to send the Trelawny's Army wild.

Cornwall: Matt Shepherd, Jon Dawe, Jack Simmons, Richard Kevern, Alex Ducker, Frazer Honey, Jack Oulton; Dan Job, Rob Elloway, Jess Tompsett, Tony Whittle, Ben Hilton (c), Edd Pascoe, Sam Stevens, Brad Howe.

Replacements: Matt Ballard, Craig Williams, George Jones, Grant Randlesome, Taron Peacock, Dean Bonds, Seti Raumakita.

Cheshire: Rhys Hayes, Sam Stelmaszek, Jack Moorhouse, Michael Barlow, Rory Hardman,Tom Morton, Nicholas Allsop; Nathan Rushton, Neil Briggs, Derek Salisbury, Martin Gerrard, Jack Collister, Harrison Crowe, Callum Ridgway, Josiah Dickinson (c).

Replacements: Brendan Berry, Daniel Matthews, Tom Sanders, David Jones, Josh Brown, Chris Crowley, Christopher Speed.

Man of the match: Tony Whittle (Cornwall)