Cornwall RLFC make history by claiming their first-ever win

Cornwall RLFC players SWpix
Photo: Patrick Tod/SWpix

League 1 newcomers Cornwall RLFC etched their name into the history books by getting their first-ever win as a rugby league club.

Neil Kelly’s side won 22-4 against fellow expansion club West Wales Raiders at Stebonheath Park on Saturday afternoon.

It’s their first win in their 11th game as a club. The result lifts them off the bottom of the League 1 table.

West Wales had previously won 20-0 in the reverse fixture in Cornwall, but Kelly’s side turned the table on them on Saturday afternoon.

The closest Cornwall had come to a win before today was a narrow 24-20 loss at home to London Skolars earlier this month.

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How Cornwall RLFC got their first-ever victory

Cornwall entered the match without their most experienced player, former Super League winner Anthony Mullally.

They did hand a debut to Tom Ashton at centre though, after signing him from Rochdale during the week.

Former West Wales forward Charley Bodman made his debut against his former club, having arrived from Hunslet.

Their revenge mission in Llanelli got off to a dream start when they scored a try inside the first minute.

Joe Purcell’s kick through was fumbled in goal and Harry Aaronson pounced to touch down.

Aaronson claimed his second try acrobatically 10 minutes later and they led 8-0.

Both sides had tries ruled out either side of a yellow card for Raiders player Lloyd Allen.

Liam Whitton burrowed over for Cornwall’s third try on the half hour mark, converted by captain Jamie Prisk.

West Wales did get on the board to give themselves some how five minutes before the interval through Ben Jackson.

There was no score for the first 26 minutes of the second half as Cornwall stood firm to West Wales’ attack.

The gamebreaking moment came on 64 minutes though. Tom Morgan was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Ashton, leaving the Raiders with 12 men for a second time.

Cornwall made the most of the numerical advantage as Purcell dummied through, and though he missed the kick, they led 18-4.

And with six minutes left, Whitton pounced for his second try and make the game safe and claim a historic first victory for the south west side.

Elsewhere in League 1

In other League 1 action, Swinton moved within two points of leaders Keighley with a 48-22 win away at London Skolars.

Rochdale bounced back from their defeat against the Lions last week by beating Hunslet 32-24 at South Leeds Stadium.

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About Drew Darbyshire 8178 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.


  1. This historic day for Cornish rugby league has been coming as our performances have been getting better and better. The narrow loss to London Skolars has spurred the team on and today was a massively well deserved victory. It is only one victory but will act as a springboard for the rest of the season for Neil Kelly and the team.
    A number of people have doubted the wisdom of launching a rugby league side in Cornwall but we are here to stay. Nearly 1500 attended the first home game and nearly 1100 saw the recent home game against Keighley. The Memorial Ground at Penryn will be buzzing for the match with Hunslet next Saturday. Within minutes of the final whistle, the Facebook page of Cornwall RLFC was deluged with congratulatory comments – many coming from fans of other teams in the rugby league pyramid.
    We are firmly behind our Cornish boys and look forward to the rest of this season and beyond.

  2. Well done! Now they’ve broken their duck I hope it spurs them on to future success. Growth of the sport is vital, this is a bold venture, starting at the bottom, but with a small squad instead of a series of 50+ wins to get easy promotion. This will be nurtured along hopefully to future success.

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