Devon 20, Cornwall 50

Cornwall booked their return to Twickenham in impressive style scoring eight tries as they defeated a gutsy Devon side, writes Bill Hooper from Astley Park.

There was a late change to the published team, with Sam Stevens failing a late fitness test. Fellow red Edd Pascoe came into the back row, with Falmouth’s lock Dan Sanderson onto the bench.

Roared on by Trelawny’s Army, Cornwall kicked off and looked to stamp their authority on the game.

It didn’t take long with an opening try after just four minutes scored by the mercurial Alex Ducker following some good phases by the Cornish forwards, Ducker’s balance and pace bamboozled the Devon defence.

Fly-half Fraser Honey made no mistake with the first of his five successful conversions.

Devon came back into it with some good play from former Cornwall player Lewis Paterson and the impressive back row Tom McGratton, they earned a penalty that fly-half Tom Putt kicked to cut the deficit.

Honey then missed with a penalty attempt at the other end, before the game erupted with a dust up involving Brad Howe and Devon’s Dean Avery, both players were invited by referee Nick Wood to spend ten minutes on the naughty step.

Cornwall’s defence was again rock-solid with Pascoe knocking over Devon players at will.

Cornwall then found themselves down to thirteen men when Ducker was adjudged to have deliberately knocked-on, it seemed a harsh call.

Putt, who had just seen a penalty attempt canon off an upright, made no mistake at the second time of asking.

Cornwall survived the short period of being down to thirteen before Howe returned, indeed wing Dean Bonds was just inches away from scoring Cornwall’s second try.

The Black and Golds maintained the pressure near the Devon line, with penalty decisions going their way at scrum-time, eventually it told as scrum-half Jack Oulton sniped, seemed to lose balance but kept his feet to score near the posts, Honey was again successful with the extras.

Full-back Charlie Briant went close for the green and whites, denied once more by the granite Cornish defence.

With half-time fast approaching Cornwall got their third try, from a ruck near the Devon line, prop Dan Job drove and planted the ball on the line, Honey’s conversion put Cornwall in the driving seat at the break 21-6.

Cornwall didn’t deal well with the kick-off at the beginning of the second half handing possession to Devon, they went through the phases near the Cornwall line before scrum-half Ben Watts went over, Putt’s conversion brought Devon back into contention momentarily as Cornwall got their act together getting the bonus point try through the impressive Howe, Honey again made no mistake with the conversion.

Just four minutes later further pressure in the Devon twenty-two saw giant prop Jess Tompsett drive over for try number five, and Honey adding his final conversion.

The Cornwall supporters were by now in full-cry as Cornwall, with the game in the bag cut loose with further tries from Kyle Speare, following great work from Ducker, Jon Dawe, given the scoring pass by full-back Richie Kevern and finally Taron Peacock, who found a big hole and gleefully accepted it.

Devon did have the final say with a try from Avery from a missed lineout near the Cornwall line, converted by Putt, but by then Cornwall’s black and gold army was in full celebration as the plans for Twickenham were being made.

Head coach Graham Dawe was pleased with the win, saying: “Delighted for the boys but it took us awhile to get going, we fell foul of the referee again, so we have to make sure we understand what he wants. We will look to prepare for Twickenham and make sure the boys are in the best shape going into that game.”

Devon (Ivybridge unless stated): Charlie Briant, Billy Pinkus, Rhys Palmer (Okehampton), Lewis Paterson, Frank Kelly (Plymouth Albion), Tom Putt (Unattached), Ben Watts; Matt Dowrick (Newton Abbot), Dean Avery (Unattached), Charlie Tribble (Exmouth), Adam Thomas (Brixham), Jamie Tripcony, Tom McGratton (Okehampton), Sam Thomas (Brixham), Wayne Sprangle (Bridgwater & Albion, Capt).

Replacements: Ashlee Crouch (Plymouth Albion),Shane Cooper (Exmouth), Ben King, Olly Schuster-Wood (Cullompton), George Wilson, Mitch Pinkus (Brixham), Jamie Hext (Brixham).

Devon scores: Tries, Watts, Avery, Cons, Putt 2, Pens, Putt 2

Yellow Card: Avery (19)

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): Richie Kevern, Dean Bonds, Jack Simmons, Jon Dawe (Plymouth Albion), Alex Ducker (Camborne), Fraser Honey (Plymouth Albion), Jack Oulton; Dan Job (Lanner), Rob Elloway (St. Ives), Jess Tompsett, Tony

Whittle (Camborne), Ben Hilton (Barnstaple, Capt), Edd Pascoe, Grant Randlesome (Penryn), Brad Howe.

Replacements: Matt Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), Craig Williams, Dan Sanderson (Falmouth), George Jones (Penryn), Seti Raumakita (Plymouth Albion), Kyle Speare (Bude), Taron Peacock (Camborne).

Cornwall scores: Tries, Ducker, Oulton, Job, Howe, Tompsett, Speare, Dawe, Peacock, Cons, Honey 5

Yellow Cards: Howe (19), Ducker (27)

Referee: Nick Woods

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