Cornish rugby preview
By Bill Hooper
Photo: Dan Barbary
With the dawn of the month April upon us, the club rugby season is fast drawing to a close, it is traditionally a very busy period with Cup finals, Easter touring sides and sevens competitions all to look forward to plus of course the Tamar Cup and County campaign to come.
The Cornish Pirates have a week off as it’s British and Irish Cup semi-finals that take centre stage at their level.
The Pirates have however announced further signings for next season with scrum-half Alex Day, wing Alex O’Meara and hooker Tom Channon all signing contract extensions, whilst lock Toby Freeman, a Borough boy, who also played in Spain with Ampo Ordiza and at Rotherham Titans, has signed from rival Championship side Nottingham on a two year contract.
Freeman said of his signing. “The challenge that awaits at the Cornish Pirates is one I am really looking forward to. Offering me the chance to play under what is a great coaching setup and with a hardworking group of lads is what has drawn me down there, and I hope to add all I can to the group. The chance to play in front of my friends and family back home where rugby began for me, as well as in front of the passionate Mennaye faithful, is also very exciting. He also added “My thanks are also expressed to Nottingham Rugby for all they have done for me during my time at the club. Coaches, players and supporters alike have made my time here both enjoyable and memorable, and I wish everyone all the best.”
Redruth play their penultimate home game in National League 2 South when they take on Worthing Raiders, kick-off 3pm.
The Reds will want to bounce back after their 32-7 defeat at league leaders Bishop’s Stortford last Saturday.
Redruth were narrow 29-27 winners up in Sussex back in November against a side who are just above the relegation zone.
Redruth will again be without fly-half Joe Elderkin, who is currently touring Canada with Truro College, whilst utility half-back Angus Taylor has returned to Australia.
Shaun Buzza comes into the second row to partner Brad Howe, whilst young Connor Gilbert will be given his chance from the bench having made his debut off the bench last week.
In National 3 SW, it’s a must win game for Launceston when they travel to Lydney. With the Forest of Dean side sitting seven points above them in the table, the Cornish All Blacks have it all to do with just three league games remaining.
Camborne travel to Brixham for what is likely to be a tight encounter. The Cherry and Whites travel without James Goldsworthy, the latest to join the casualty list at the Rec.
Camborne will be desperate for the win to keep their play-off hopes alive.
In the Tribute Western Counties West, Truro will look to pick themselves up following their double disappointments last weekend in both league and county cup.
They travel to Devonport Services, but their focus will now be their Intermediate Cup semi-final against Charlton Park on Easter Saturday.
Wadebridge Camels will put to bed thoughts of the County Cup final when they travel to play-off hopefuls Cullompton.
St. Austell make the trip to Sidmouth buoyed by last Saturday’s big win against Torquay Athletic.
Bude have a relegation decider at Crediton but should be full of confidence following their fine win at home against St. Ives last week.
St. Ives travel to Wellington.
In London 2 SW, Champions London Cornish play their final home game of the season when they entertain London Exiles.
In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth will be confirmed Champions should they win at Withycombe. The Eagles would have claimed the crown before but it looks like they will be docked five points for a player registration irregularity.
Saltash travel to battling Honiton, the Ashes need the win to keep the pressure on Paignton for the second promotion spot.
There is a good derby at Penryn where the Pirates Amateurs pitch up. Borough won the Cornwall Cup tie 40-0 between the sides back in October and the league encounter at the Mennaye 20-16 in December.
Lanner will look to keep their run going when they entertain Plymstock Albion Oaks at St. Day a top half finish is on the cards for the Falcons.
Bodmin take on Tavistock needing a win to get out of the bottom three.
In Tribute Cornwall 1, champions Hayle wrap up their league program with a trip to Veor.
Newquay Hornets take on Camborne School of Mines in the student’s final league game of the season, whilst Liskeard-Looe travel to Helston eager to maintain their play-off hopes.
In the other game Roseland entertain St. Agnes.
In Tribute Cornwall 2 a win for Illogan Park at home to their nearest challengers Lankelly-Fowey will wrap up the title, however the visitors will have other ideas with a win putting them in pole position with one round to play.
Camelford are due to play Stithians and Perranporth travel to Redruth Albany.
FIXTURES Saturday 1st April 2017
SSE NATIONAL LEAGUE 2 SOUTH
REDRUTH – WORTHING 15:00
NATIONAL LEAGUE 3 SW
BRIXHAM – CAMBORNE 14:30
LYDNEY – LAUNCESTON 15:00
TRIBUTE WESTERN COUNTIES WEST
CREDITON – BUDE
CULLOMPTON – WADEBRIDGE CAMELS
DEVONPORT SERVICES – TRURO
SIDMOUTH – ST. AUSTELL
WELLINGTON – ST. IVES
LONDON 2 SW
LONDON CORNISH – LONDON EXILES
TRIBUTE CORNWALL & DEVON LEAGUE
BODMIN – TAVISTOCK
HONITON – SALTASH
LANNER – PLYMSTOCK
PENRYN – PIRATES AMATEURS
WITHYCOMBE – FALMOUTH
TRIBUTE CORNWALL 1
HELSTON – LISKEARD-LOOE
NEWQUAY HORNETS – CAMBORNE SCHOOL OF MINES
ROSELAND – ST. AGNES
VEOR – HAYLE
TRIBUTE CORNWALL 2
CAMELFORD – STITHIANS
ILLOGAN PARK – LANKELLY-FOWEY
REDRUTH ALBANY – PERRANPORTH
TRIBUTE DUCHY LEAGUE
- AUSTELL RES – SALTASH RES