1st XV
Sat 06 Apr 2024  ·  Regional 2 South East
London Cornish RFC
1st XV
Tries: M Hakes, M Osei Tutu, D Phoenix, R MackayConversions: G Kimmins (2)Penalties: G Kimmins (2)
Exiles Go Down all Guns Blazing!

Exiles Go Down all Guns Blazing!

Dickon Moon11 Apr - 16:01
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Cornish on wrong side of last day thriller!

Rugby pales into insignificance when incidents occur such as that taking place at the REMPF last Saturday, which is covered elsewhere on the website. However, a match did take place and the hosts can count themselves incredibly unfortunate not to have claimed a 5 point win, conceding tries quickly after the injury incident only to recover, then see the referee trip up and become unsighted when the exiles drove over for what would have been the winning ‘try’ in the closing minutes, the arbiter correctly unable to award what he could not see.
Played on the 2nd pitch at the REMPF, which was in great condition having recently hosted the Rosslyn Park 7s and plenty of rain in between, the incident that caused the injuries took place inside the first 5 minutes with no score on the board, a wholesale reshuffle seeing Cornish bring on Niko Mirosevic-Sorgo in the back row and George Jackson at 9, George Kimmins moving to 10 and Dan Phoenix to 13. A long delay followed and at the restart, Beckenham found the understandably distracted home d wanting, an offload from their marauding no 8 sending another forward over for a converted try. 7 minutes later, Tony Pellow broke from a rolling maul to plough his way into the visitors half. Kimmins, Pete Brogden and Dan Phoenix took play to 5 out down the left flank before Jackson sent Matt Hakes away to canter around the cover and cross 10 in from the touchline, the conversion attempt into a stiff breeze flying wide. On 16 minutes Cornish gave up a penalty, the Kent side kicking to 5 out from the right hand tryline. They set their maul and as it edged forward the referee surprised everyone by awarding a penalty try and binning an exile. Worse was to follow, for at the restart a visiting back found some weak tackling down the narrow side and was able to take the ball to the house from his own half for a third converted try. Back came Cornish, Mark Osei-Tutu producing a barnstorming run from the base of scrum inside his own half, linking with Skip Alex Davey who sent Hakes skipping down the left wing from half way into the Beckenham 22, though a knock on from an offload ended the attack. On 32 minutes the home side won a penalty and elected to kick for the left hand corner. Pellows arrow picked out David Chalkley and the exiles drove over, Osei-Tutu claiming the try and Kimmins converting from out wide, his side now 21-12 down. Now with the momentum. Jackson was the architect of the next land grab, his snipe on halfway taking play to the visitors 22. A couple of penalties won saw Cornish elect for scrums and from the third of these a flat pass gave Phoenix the chance to make the half break and reach over the line for a third try, this conversion attempt also held up on the wind. The whistle sound at the break shortly after, the home side 4 points down.
Now playing towards the clubhouse and with the wind at their backs, Cornish won a penalty early on after a Beckenham forward was pinged for not rolling away, Kimmins lifting a decent kick between the uprights to reduce the arrears to 1. 5 minutes later Davey won a penalty on the floor just inside the visitors half. Though the penalty attempt fell short, the clearing kick didn’t make touch and was well fielded by George Bromage. He linked with his full back Robbie Mackay, who countered, chipped over the advancing d, regathered, stepped the full back (pictured) and took the ball to house under the posts, Kimmins adding the extras to give his side a 6 point advantage. The try came at a cost however, Mackay pulling a hamstring, Jimmy New on in the pack and Osei-Tutu moving to the wing, another reshuffle in the backs. At this point you would have had your money on the exiles, but the injuries now meant a few lads playing out of position and whilst the visitors could bring on fresh legs, Cornish could not. Just before the hour mark Beckenham struck back when a player broke from a maul and scored in Terry’s Corner, the extras not awarded after the kick flew over a post, the score now 27-26 to the home side. A few minutes later and Cornish won another kickable penalty after Jackson had intercepted a Beckenham pass, the visitors then marched back 10 for back chat. Unfortunately, the penalty attempt was rushed and smacked into the near post to be cleared. No matter, 2 minutes later a Brogden break into the visitors half saw them pinged again for not rolling away. This time Kimmins strike was true and his side was back out to a 4 point lead with 18 left on the clock. However, when Cornish flew up from in d from a set piece on half-way, then two players left a tackle for each other out wide, a Beckenham back was able to sashay around the d and canter in for a try by the posts, converted by their kicker to give his side a 4 point lead. Playing an enterprising brand of rugby in the closing minutes, Cornish attacked from their own 22, two long cutout passes giving Hakes the chance to stretch his legs, him linking with Bromage and Phoenix to take play into the visitors half. When the ball was worked back into midfield Brogden again crossed the gainline, the ball sent out to Osei-Tutu to fly past a tackle only for the final pass to be lost forward yards out. Winning a scrum penalty, Cornish had one last chance and this time they worked room for NMS to drive to the line and plant the ball over it under the nose of your correspondent, only for this to be the point the referee was unsighted (I can vouch for that too!). The whistle sounded shortly afterwards, the exiles 3 points behind and having played their full part in a well contested encounter that really could have gone either way.
Beckenham were great value post match and seem in really good spirits ahead of their foray into the top level of the Cup. We wish them well and hope we might see them again at the higher level in the future.
Cornish end their 7 season stay at Level 6 with a narrow defeat. The league doesn’t lie but it really is astonishing that a club can survive for so long at that level when they don’t own a pitch, training ground or clubhouse. I recall that on winning our Level 7 league back in 2016 an opposition alickadoo telling us we would only last a season or two before injuries took their toll and back down we would come – we are delighted to have proved them wrong!

Match details

Match date

Sat 06 Apr 2024




Regional 2 South East

League position

London Cornish
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