St Ives 26 v 30 Wadebridge Camels
On Good Friday at Redruth RFC the final of the Cornwall Knockout Cup was played between last year’s winners St Ives and Wadebridge Camels in a replay of last year’s final which was won by St Ives by a single point.
The match was played in good spirits and was an entertaining spectacle as the lead changed hands several times before the final whistle.
St Ives kicked themselves into an early lead through the boot of Grant Thirlby when the Camels were penalised for a dangerous tackle in front of their own posts. Wadebridge came straight back at the Hakes and in the very next attack they chipped the ball over the heads of the St Ives defence for Shawn Hartley to gather the ball and score in the corner. Danny Thomas converted to put the Camels ahead by 7 points to 3.
Another Thirlby penalty when the Wadebridge defence was found to be offside pulled the Hakes back to within a point after 10 minutes, but once again the Camels broke through the St Ives defence only 5 minutes later through Owen Wilson. No Conversion this time, but the Camels had stretched their lead to 6 points at 12 points to 6.
On 20 minutes the St Ives scrum was penalised and the resulting penalty was successfully converted by Danny Thomas to extend the Camels lead to 15 points to 6.
The remainder of the half saw St Ives push forward looking for their first try of the final. Just past the half hour point a sweeping St Ives attack saw the ball passed wide into good space. A try looked inevitable, but full back, Jack Kessell, made an uncharacteristic error and knocked the ball on and the chance was gone. The referee then pulled the play back for an earlier offence and St Ives took the 3 points from the boot of Thirlby once again to make the score 9 points to 15.
With no further score in the first half the teams turned around for the second half with all to play for. Once again St Ives went on the attack, they were finding space out wide and Lewis Vinnicombe underlined this with a try in the 44th minute. Thirlby converted to put the Hakes ahead by a single point at 16-15.
Wadebridge retook the lead in the 50th minute with another from the boot of Danny Thomas (16-18), and Thirlby replied 4 minutes later with a penalty for St Ives (19-18).
At this stage of the final it was the Hakes that were pressing and they attacked the Wadebridge line on several occasions. Eventually the power and size of the St Ives forwards told and Ben Taylor went over for a try. Thirlby converted to put the Hakes in the driving seat at 26 points to 18 with 62 minutes played.
Wadebridge reacted well to going behind and battled their way forward and back into the match. An unconverted try from Rupert Edwards in the 66th minute gave them the confidence that they could still topple the Hakes from their lead. In the 71st minute they found space in the midfield once again and Will Pengelly made a break and scored under the St Ives posts. Man of the match Danny Thomas converted again to put the Camels ahead by 30 points to 26 with 7 minutes to play.
To their credit the St Ives players pushed forward looking for the score that would win them the cup for the second year in a row, but it wasn’t to be and the referee brought the game to a close with no change in the score to crown Wadebridge Camels Cornwall Knockout Cup Winners for the 2018/19 season.
St Ives now head into the summer period with time to prepare for the coming season. There is rugby action at Alexandra Road on Saturday 4th May when a Stevens XV take on Skeggsy’s All Stars in a charity game. Kick off in St Ives is scheduled for 2:00pm with entertainment afterwards from Sandy Acre 7 following the charity auction in the clubhouse.
St Ives: Ben Taylor, Rob Elloway, Leigh Hocking, Jamie Prisk, Jamie Hoskin, Chris Fuca, Chris Quick, Martyn Lawrance, Liam Jolly, Grant Thirlby, Joe Parma, Steve Kenward, Tom Nicholas (Captain), Lewis Vinnicombe, Jack Kessell.
Replacements: Ben Jenkins, Joji Volaisaya, Aden Brassington, Alistair Stacey, Adam Hosking, Dan Magee (All Used).