Gloucestershire 19 Cornwall 24
Cornwall made the perfect start to their Bill Beaumont Cup campaign as they beat 33-times finalists Gloucestershire at Cinderford, reports Dick Straughan from Dockham Road
It was the first win for the Black & Gold on Gloucestershire soil for eight years and they thoroughly deserved their success producing a committed team performance and dominant second half display.
Gloucestershire, with nine Cinderford players in their starting line up, took the lead after just three minutes as skipper Will Warden broke through some non-existent tackling to score under the posts. Wilcox converted but Cornwall roared back with Sam Matavesi`s converted try immediately levelling the tie.
The home side had much the better of the first half and finally extended their lead after 25 minutes with a fine solo try from wing Lloyd Stapleton, but Cornwall dug in defensively and Thirlby`s penalty kept them in the hunt trailing 12-10 at half time.
Two minutes into the second half Redruth prop Craig Williams smashed his way over the line for a second Cornwall try and Thirlby added the extras.
Cornwall then had to shrug off the combined effects of a mis-firing lineout, a yellow card for skipper Ben Hilton and a third Gloucestershire try as centre Barney Pascall scored from close range. But when Nev Codlin was sin-binned for killing the ball close to his own line Cornwall were handed a chance and they took it.
From a series of five metre penalties and attacking scrums they relentlessly punished Gloucestershire with Number 8 Sam Hocking finally racing off down the blind side to score his team`s third try. Thirlby converted and Cornwall remained strong throughout a prolonged period of injury time to secure their win.
Cornwall's next game is away to Kent, who lost 50-26 at home to Championship holders Hertfordshire today, on Saturday
Hawkins, Codlin (both Cinderford), Pascal (Richmond), Done, Stapleton, Wilcox (all Cinderford), Arnott (Southend); Bundy (Cinderford), Wilkes (Moseley), George (Stourbridge), Warden (capt) (Richmond), West (Cinderford), Joyce (Dings Crusaders), Foden, Evans (both Cinderford)
Replacements – Smart, Selway, Critchley, Allen, Pointon (all Cinderford), Hemming (Old Centralians), Sutherland (Esher)
Tries – Warden, Stapleton, Pascall
Cons – Wilcox (2)
Yellow Card – Codlin 67-77
Murphy, Bright (both CABs), Johns (Coventry), Webber (CABs), Notman, Thirlby, Goodfellow (all Redruth); Jacques, Brown, Williams, Cook (all Redruth), Hilton (capt) (CABs), Fuca (Redruth), Matavesi (Camborne), Hocking (Unattached)
Replacements – Priddey (Redruth & Royal Navy), Rice, Chapman (both CABs), Lawton (Camborne), Semmens (Unattached), Shepherd (St.Austell), Vinnicombe (Redruth)
Tries – Matavesi, Brown, Hocking
Cons – Thirlby (3)
Pen - Thirlby
Yellow Cards – Hilton 54-64, Priddey 80+8
Referee – R.Kitt (RFU)
Attendance - 350