Notman and Rice show the way as Cornwall conquer old foes
Cornwall warmed up for their County Championship opener against Gloucestershire on May 4 with a comfortable, if hardly emphatic, 17-0 defeat of Devon at Brickfields.
Tries from Redruth's Tom Notman and Martin Rice, of Cornish All Blacks, were enough for the Duchy to retain the Tamar Cup against their old rivals, although there are a number of kinks to be ironed out ahead of the trip to Cinderford next month.
Cornwall enjoyed plenty of early possession last night, but some stout defending from Devon restricted them to just one Matt Shepherd penalty in the 13th minute.
Having survived a close shave in front of their own line, when Redruth lock Damian Cook took a pass inside from Cornish All Blacks centre Lewis Paterson but lost the ball in the tackle, Devon should have drawn level after 27 minutes, but Devonport Services' Charlie Attis missed a kickable penalty.
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Cornwall responded well, and would have scored the opening try two minutes later, but for a fine saving tackle from Saltash's Max Venables on a careering Joe Parma in the right corner, the Camborne full-back's boot just clipping touch as he slid over the try line. But there was no stopping Notman just a minute later.
The Redruth flyer took a pass from Paterson on the wing and crashed over in the left corner. Shepherd added the extras to make it 10-0 with ten minutes of the half to go.
It was long enough for Cornwall to move up a gear or two, but it merely brought a reduction in their numbers as the All Blacks wing Richard Bright was sent to the sin-bin and the visitors came under a period of pressure
It amounted to nothing and, after bringing on three replacements nine minutes into the second half, Cornwall found their groove.
One of those, Plymouth Albion's Rhodri McAtee, made an instant impact on familiar ground.
The left wing burst into the Devon 22 to the five-metre line but his offload was picked off and went out for a Cornwall line-out. They made the most of the opportunity from such close range and Rice, aided by good support, buried his way to the line. Shepherd proved perfect again from the tee.
Devon, who begin their Championship fixtures away to North Midlands, almost found a way through when Brixham's Tom Goodman broke the Cornwall line and headed for the whitewash, but a perfect tap tackle from Albion's Jamie Salter halted him in his tracks.
Devon: Espin (Okehampton), Venables (Saltash), Williamson (Plymouth Uni), Sowden (Teignmouth), Goodman (Brixham), Attis (Devonport Services), Jeffery (Torquay); Morris (Torquay), Bryce (Brixham, capt), Stout (Rotherham), Lee (Taunton), Flashman (Brixham), Thomas, Rudkin (Teignmouth), Brown (Brixham). Replacements: Friend (Cornish All Blacks), Topps (Barnstaple), Manton (Taunton), Turner (Okehampton), Avery (Newton Abbot).
Cornwall: Parma (Camborne), Bright, Paterson, Webber (all Cornish All Blacks), T Notman (Redruth), Perry (Barnstaple), Shepherd (St Austell); Rice (All Blacks), Brown, Williams, Cook (all Redruth), Hilton (All Blacks, capt), Fuca (Redruth), Goldsworthy (Camborne), Lord (All Blacks). Replacements: Vinnicombe (Redruth), Drew (Redruth), Salter (Albion), Hearn (Camborne), McAtee (Albion), Pearce (St Austell), Hosking (Redruth), Duke (All Blacks).
Referee: D Parrott.