Cornwall Knockout Cup Final
St Ives 20 v 19 Wadebridge
The 2017/18 season had already been a historic season for St Ives RFC, for the first time in the clubs history they had won promotion as champions. So when they took to the field in the Cornwall Knockout Cup final last Saturday another chapter in the clubs history books beckoned.
It was the last game for the club for joint Head Coach Paul Thirlby who was unable to name himself in the squad for this match due to him picking up an injury at home to Falmouth last week. The squad had a familiar look with no major change from the clubs successful run in to the end of the season.
St Ives began the game well, they laid siege to the Wadebridge line for the first 10 minutes of the match. Despite all this pressure they could not break through a very determined Wadebridge defence who held out until Rhys Brownfield successfully converted a penalty chance in the 9th minute following an illegal tackle.
With the Hakes 3 points up they continued to attack the Wadebridge line but still could not find a way to score the opening try of the match. In the 10th minute St Ives suffered a setback when they lost their other player coach Rob Elloway to an ankle injury forcing the Hakes to reshuffle their pack.
As the clock ticked past the quarter hour mark Wadebridge began to build their first attack of the match. They showed good movement through their back line and with the St Ives defence missing tackles Jake Grubb squeezed over the line in the corner for the first try of the match. The conversion was missed but the Camels were in front by 5 points to 3.
Only 5 minutes later and Wadebridge pressed home another attack to rock the Hakes back on their heels. This time it was fly half Danny Thomas who crossed for the try. He converted himself to put the Camels further ahead by 12 points to 3 with 21 minutes gone.
On the half hour mark there was an incident that changed the game. Following a scrum on the St Ives 22 metre line there was a clash between St Ives winger Peter Mabbott and Camels scrum half Adam Collings. Following a discussion with his linesman the referee showed Mabbott a yellow card but Collings saw a red card for his part in the fracas.
As Wadebridge tried to adjust for the loss of their scrum half St Ives began create some more pressure of their own. In the 38th minute their pressure paid off when second row Jamie Prisk went over from close range to score St Ives first try of the match. The conversion was missed to leave the Hakes trailing by 8 points to 12 at the half time whistle.
With the Hakes back up to a full complement of 15 players at the start of the second half they started well applying all sorts of pressure on the Camels defence. Wadebridge still displayed a resolute defence however but in the 49th minute it became too much and St Ives winger Peter Mabbott crossed for the Hakes second try of the match. Peter had last week collected the top try scorer award. This stretched his tally to 19 for the season in 24 appearances, making his points contribution four per match. No conversion again, but St Ives were now back in front at 13 points to 12.
The pattern of the game continued with St Ives using their extra man advantage and Wadebridge looking to counter attack. The St Ives players looked the more likely to add to their points tally and sure enough in the 66th minute second row Jamie Prisk stretched out an arm to score his second try of the match. Jamie's try scoring as a second row forward is quuite outstanding; 15 for the season. Brownfield added the conversion to make the score St Ives 20 Wadebridge 19. Apart from the obvious and crucial fact that Rhys sent the ball between the sticks to ensure that vital one point lead, in the event of Camels scoring another try, it also put him over the 200 points for the season.
As the game entered its climax in the last 10 minutes the Wadebridge players rallied and began to pin St Ives back in their own half. A penalty to the corner in the 71st minute saw the Camels catch the ball and drive the maul to the St Ives line allowing second row Jack Scott to score the try. Danny Thomas converted to put the Camels right back in the match at just a point adrift of St Ives at 20 points to 19.
With the clock ticking away Wadebridge somehow managed to keep up the pressure on the St Ives line. As the Hakes desperately tried to keep the Camels from scoring a potentially cup winning try they lost Cameron Bone to a yellow card in the 76th minute. This only added to the pressure on the Hakes but they remained defiant in defence and Wadebridge eventually ran out of time leaving the referee to blow the final whistle crowning St Ives Cornwall Knockout Cup winners for 2017/18.
This has been an outstanding season for the St Ives players and coaching staff and the achievement of the double has ensured that this season will be remembered for a very long time.
St Ives: Ben Taylor, Rob Elloway, Leigh Hocking, Jamie Prisk, Jamie Hocking, Harry Parton, Chris Quick, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Grant Thirlby, Peter Mabbott, Rhys Brownfield, Tom Nicholas, Jacob Ninnes, Joe Parma.
Replacements: Sam Carter, Ben Jenkins, Lewis Thomas, Kye Beasley, Cameron Bone, Sean Stevens (All Used).