CORNWALL 45 DEVON 10
COUNTY champions Cornwall retained the Tamar Cup with an emphatic display against Devon at St Austell on Tuesday night.
Graham Dawe’s Duchy side ran in seven tries – three in the first half and four in the second.
Among their scorers were Albion winger Jon Dawe and former Plymouth captain Kyle Marriott.
It was a tough night at the office for the new-look Devon side, who struggled to handle Cornwall’s powerful pack.
However, with former Albion and London Welsh forward Dan Williams impressing, the Green and Whites did not give up and were rewarded with a second half try courtesy of Exmouth’s James Mattin.
Cornwall took the lead in the seventh minute when captain Marriott powered over following a scrum. His Redruth team-mate David Mankee converted.
And 10 minutes later it was 14-0 with another Marriott try, this time following pressure from a line-out, which Mankee again converted.
Winger Sam Parsons added a third for Cornwall in the 40th minute before Devon fly-half Dan Powell kicked a conversion with the last play of the half to make the score at the break 19-3.
Cornwall had certainly deserved that lead. They were powerful and dynamic up front, while their backs also looked sharp.
After the interval Jon Dawe went over in the left corner before he was taken off nine minutes later, no doubt with Albion’s final match of the season against Richmond in mind.
Richard Keverne added a fifth try for the home team in the 63rd minute when he crashed over under the posts, to give Bude’s Dan Pearce an easy conversion.
Devon managed their only try six minutes later when Williams, who you could tell had played at a higher level, broke through before unselfishly off-loading to Mattin five-metres from the try line. Bideford’s Olly Wickets converted.
The home crowd gave Albion’s Matt Shepherd, who used to play for St Austell, a big cheer when he came on in the 72nd minute.
Seconds later Cornwall added a sixth try when the experienced BJ Chapman, who like Marriott was a County Championship winner with Devon, powered over and Parsons converted.
In the dying minutes Devon had prop Issac Dalton sin-binned as Cornwall pushed forward at a scrum. The Duchy opted for another scrum and this time went inside where Bude’s Duncan Tout, who played for Albion’s development team in their last match, stormed over and his club colleague Pearce converted.
It was a big learning curve for Devon’s team built around Ivybridge, Exmouth and Brixham players. They still have a lot of players to come into the squad and they are unlikely to face teams as strong as Cornwall in their second tier County Championship pool games.
Although Cornwall had not selected the likes of Herbie Stupple, Sam Matavesi, Christian Judge and Robin Wedlake, they still had a lot of players with Championship or National One experience in their squad, including ex-Albion players Tom Cowan-Dickie, Pale Nonu and Luke Chapman.
Devon’s main experience was in their back-row where Williams and Wayne Sprangle lined up on the flanks. Ivybridge players Charlie Briant, Lewis Paterson, Jon Morgan and Dom Loomes started for them, with Mike Cox on the bench.
Cornwall: Dan Pearce (Bude), Sam Parsons (Redruth), Duncan Tout (Bude), Nielson Webber (Redruth), Jon Dawe (Albion), David Mankee (Redruth), Tom Cowan-Dickie (Redruth), Richard Brown (Redruth), Craig Williams (Redruth), Todd Prisk (St Ives), Ben Hilton (Launceston), Grant Randlesome (Penryn), George Jones (Penryn), Kyle Marriott (Redruth). Reps: Ben Taylor (St Ives), Luke Chapman (Launceston), Chris Fuca (Redruth), Matt Shepherd (Albion), Richard Kevern (Camborne), Ben Kemp (Camborne), Damien Cook (Camborne), Pale Nonu (Redruth), Luke Jones (Redruth)
Devon: Charlie Briant (Ivybride), Tom Goodman (Brixham), Mark Wathe (Exmouth), Lewis Paterson (Ivybridge), Ollie Rice (Exmouth), Dan Powell (Exmouth), Matt Ryan (Exmouth0, Jon Morgan (Ivybridge), Chey Bryce (Brixham), Matt Dowrick (Newton Abbot), Jack Fahy (Exmouth), Dom Loomes (Ivybridge), Dan Williams (Torquay), Wayne Sprangle (Tiverton), Ross Moorshead (Exmouth). Reps: Issac Dalton (Exmouth), Nigel Berry (Exmouth), Alex Priest (Bideford), Dean Folland (Bideford), Olly Wickets (Bideford), James Mattin (Exmouth), Harvey Ridgway (Exmouth).