Report by Stuart Hood
St Ives RFC 27 – 33 Cornwall Clubs XV, Monday 5th February 2024
Coaches Graham Whitmore and Dan Sanderson pulled together a strong Cornwall Clubs squad selecting players from nine Counties 2 and 3 clubs to play St Ives as part of their Feast celebrations.
Playing against the wind Cornwall Clubs pressure led to a succession of St Ives penalties, leading to Perranporth fly half Justin Irons driving over under the posts to score which he duly converted to give Clubs an early lead 0-7
The reply from St Ives came after 15 minutes with some close carries by the forwards leading to their first try with a missed conversion in the windy conditions. 5-7.
Back row James Hall and Kaiden Karne along with Hayle centres Liam Wotton and Matt Vincent carried strongly and linked well as Cornwall opted to run the ball out of their 22.
St Ives made good use of the wind and their sustained pressure led to their second try, weaving through a broken defence, 10-7 to St Ives.
Cornwall responded swiftly with the strong running Bailey Williams and Morgan Gratrix plus good handling from the three-quarters. With the ball being moved from their own 22, a swift break from Wadebridge scrum half Ieuan Davies led to captain Aaron McPherson crashing over by the posts. This was quickly followed by more play out of defence and a barnstorming run from Veor second row Olly Reynolds bursting down the wing followed by quick hands through the backs giving Talan Daniels his first try in the corner. Justin Irons converted both tries to leave Cornwall clubs leading 21-10 at half time.
Just ten minutes into the second half Daniels burst through tackles on the left wing to give Perranporth speedster Kris Evans the opportunity to dot down with his first touch of the ball. Substitute scrum half Dan Jane converted, 10-28
Cornwall continued strongly and Hayle’s Matt Vincent cut through the St Ives defence to set up Daniels for his second try of the evening. 10-33
Down, but not out, St Ives rallied strongly in the last fifteen minutes, scoring three tries to bring them within a score with five minutes remaining, however Cornwall Clubs’ defence held strong for a well deserved victory 27-33.
Cornwall Clubs XV Squad: Akiva Eaton (Veor), Sam Bartle (Camborne Crusaders), Bailey Williams (Redruth II), Aaron McPherson (Newquay Hornets, Capt), Olly Reynolds (Veor), Kaiden Carne (Redruth II), James Hall (Perranporth), Morgan Gratrix (Camborne Crusaders), Ieuan Evans (Wadebridge), Charlie Barron (Lankelly Fowey), Henry Eddy (Redruth II), Matt Vincent (Hayle), Liam Wotton (Hayle), Amori Matanatabu (Helston), Talan Daniels (Camborne Crusaders), Mikey Allan (Redruth II), Cadan Brown (Lankelly Fowey),Dan Jane (Lankelly Fowey), Aiden Cullis (Wadebridge), Jacob Johns (Wadebridge), Tyler Tresidder (Lankelly Fowey), Kris Evans (Perranporth), Justyn Irons (Perranporth).