North Wales 62-22 Cornwall: North Wales defeat spirited debutants

Steven Hughes
Tommy Johnson North Wales

North Wales Crusaders became the first recipients of the Celtic Shield after beating newcomers Cornwall on their competitive debut.

Crusaders raced into a 30-0 early on, but Matthew Turton made history as the first ever try scorer for Cornwall.

The visitors started fast in the second half, and got three tries back to keep themselves alive in this contest.

But a late flurry of tries at the end of the game, helped Crusaders comfortably home. Reece Briers scored two, with Patrick Ah Van, Brad Billsborough and Jack Holmes also going over.

Match Report

North Wales took the lead after just three minutes. Gav Rodden was able to get through a gap in the defence, and ran 30 metres to score. Tommy Johnson scored the conversion to open up a six-point lead.

Just four minutes later, the hosts were able to double their advantage.  They worked the ball well from the scrum, and Rob Massam was able to get over out wide. Johnson added the conversion.

With barely 10 minutes on the clock, North Wales added a third. They found joy down the right hand side once again, and Jordy Gibson was able to run over under the posts. Johnson converted once again.

However, North Wales soon shot themselves in the foot, after Callum Wood was sent to the sin bin for a cannonball tackle.

Despite their disadvantage, it would be North Wales who scored next. They had joy through the middle this time, and Rodden breezed through for his second of the evening. Johnson maintained his perfect record with the boot.

Just past the 20 minute mark, Crusaders added a fifth. Massam came down the right-hand side again and passed inside for Johnson to score. He was able to convert his own try to get North Wales up to 30 points.

North Wales were then given a second yellow card of the game. Callum Hazzard was sent to the sin bin for hitting out after a penalty.

Before half-time, history was made as Cornwall scored their first ever try. They worked the ball out to the right-hand side and Matthew Turton was able to score in the corner. Kyle Johns scored the conversion from the touchline.

However, those celebrations would not last long as Cornwall knocked on from the kick-off. From the resulting field position, Harry Swarbrick was able to get over on the left-hand side. Johnson was off-target for the first time.

HT- North Wales 34-6 Cornwall

Cornwall struck first in the second half. Harry Aaronson intercepted the ball inside his own half, and had the speed to go over under the posts. Johns was unable to get the conversion on target.

The visitors soon made it two in seven minutes at the start of the second half. Liam Whitton managed to step clear and go over under the posts. Johns was back on target with the conversion attempt.

Just 11 minutes into the second half, Cornwall got themselves another. This time, it was Sam Snell who got to the line after they found an overlap. Johns added the conversion.

North Wales needed something to settle them down, and they found it when Patrick Ah Van got the ball out wide and scored after a good move. Johnson could not get the conversion attempt.

The Crusaders made the game safe with 15 minutes to go. They worked it out to that right-hand side again and Massam went over for his second try. Johnson’s conversion attempt hit the post.

North Wales continued their late show with another try. Cornwall failed to deal with a high ball in the sun, and Reece Briers was able to collect the ball and score. Johnson was back on target with the conversion.

The hosts then edged closer to 60 points with their 11th try. They found an overlap, and Brad Billsborough was able to score out wide. Johnson missed the conversion.

Then with the final act of the game, Jack Holmes managed to get through a tiring defence to complete the scoring for the hosts. Johnson was off-target with the conversion.

It is a second straight win now for North Wales. They will hope to make it three in a row when they travel to London Skolars next week.

Meanwhile Cornwall can build on a promising first performance when they welcome Midlands Hurricanes as the first visitors to the south coast.

FT- North Wales 62-22 Cornwall

North Wales: Johnson, Turner, Swarbrick, Ah Van, Massam, Gibson, Billsborough, Barratt, Wood, Hazzard, Rodden, Sherratt, Fletcher. Subs: Briers, Grainey, Houghton, Holmes.

Tries: Rodden (2), Massam (2), Gibson, Johnson, Swarbrick, Ah Van, Briers (2), Billsborough, Holmes Goals: Johnson 7/12

Cornwall: Whitton, Aaronson, Snell, Johns, Symons, Turton, Purcell, Mullally, Lloyd, Ray, Hartshorne, Thompson, Prisk. Subs: Bolger, Guilder, Trerise, Collings.

Tries: Turton, Aaronson, Whitton, Snell Goals: Johns 3/4

Elsewhere in League 1

Rochdale Hornets claimed their first win of the season after a 52-12 over West Wales Raiders at Steboheath Park.

The Raiders took the lead through Fergus Simpson, but tries from Lewis Sheridan, Cobi Green and Dan Nixon before half-time lay the platform for a strong second half performance.

Gregg McNally added three, Nixon also completed his hat-trick, and Sheridan also added a second to complete the scoring for Rochdale.

Alan Pope scored for the Raiders in the second half.

Read More: ‘We’re not here to take part’- Cornwall forward ahead of League 1 opener