Parkes pleased with Devon's performance against Cornwall in Tamar Cup

17 Apr 2018 10:10 | Sara Raine

DEVON head coach Dan Parkes said he was chuffed with how the county side performed in Monday’s Tamar Cup match with Cornwall at St Austell.

Although Devon eventually lost 24-12 they did dominate possession for long periods of the game and it was only tries right at the end of each half that decided the annual fixture.

“I was really chuffed,” said Parkes.

“There was a lot of lower league players in there but they really stepped up and put their hearts on their sleeves.

“There are some guys there who have cemented their place for the County Championship side.

“We played some lovely rugby. There were a lot of guys I have never even meet before. We just came together and had a quick line-out session, a quick chat and away we went, but the boys really stepped up.

“It would have been nice to have kept it a little bit tighter.

“With the amount of possession we had we probably could have scored another couple of tries, but Cornwall defended very well. Yet it was nice to get a driving line-out try over Cornwall.

“I was pleased and proud of the all the boys.”

Devon, with Plymouth Albion’s Cameron Setter pulling the strings at fly-half, made a great start to the game and dominated possession for the first 30 minutes.

Cornwall hardly got their hands on the ball. However, for the first 20 minutes Devon did not really threaten the try line, but that changed on 24 minutes when they looked like they were going to score, only to be penalised right on the try line.

But they kept the pressure on and camped on Cornwall’s line. The hosts defending well but they eventually gave away a penalty and Devon went for the line-out and from it they scored through Okehampton number eight Martin Browne in the 31st minute. Albion’s Setter, who was influential despite playing out of position at fly-half, was unable to convert in the strong wind.

That try did seem to wake up Cornwall and six minutes later the hosts went in front when they scored a try through impressive Wadebridge flanker Ben Humber after a 70 metre move which featured Penryn’s Mitch Vague and Barnstaple’s Jake Murphy. Camborne’s David Mankee converted the try to put the Duchy 7-5 ahead.

On the stroke of half-time, they made it 14-5 when Humber added his second after Camborne’s Taron Peacock had been stopped just short following a great move by Duchy captain Murphy. Mankee again converted.

Cornwall pressed at the start of the second half and had a number of penalties on the line but were not able to make them tell.

And Devon got back into the game with replacements Ben Watts and Lewis Paterson featuring heavily and linking up well with the outstanding Charlie Briant at full-back, Setter at fly-half and Matt Crosscombe on the wing.

Ivybridge full-back Briant nearly created a chance for his club colleague Watts to score on 53 minutes but the scrum-half was just pushed into touch three metres from the try line.

However, eventually the try Devon threatened came on 65 minutes when Bideford prop George Snell crossed from close range after earlier good play by Setter, who brilliantly converted from out wide.

Cornwall, though, responded. After a great break they camped on the line before going right and there was Launceston’s former Plymouth Albion back Jon Dawe to score and make it 19-12.

In the final minute the hosts added a fourth try when after intense pressure on the try line under the posts Cornwall threw it out wide quickly and there was Barnstaple’s Kyle Speare to cross.

After the match Devon president Treve Mitchell presented the Tamar Cup to Cornwall captain Murphy.

Devon: 15 Charlie Briant (Ivybridge), 14 Matt Crosscombe (Plymouth Albion), 13 Rhys Palmer (Okehampton), 12 Matt Grieveson (Ivybridge), 11 Kyle Browne (Newton Abbot), 10 Cameron Setter (Plymouth Albion), 9 Jacob Nash (Brixham), 1 George Snell (Bideford), 2 Ashlee Crouch (Barnstaple), 3 Wes Vermigle (Ivybridge), 4 Tim Coats, 5 George Wilson (Ivybridge), 6 Dean Abrams (Okehampton), 7 Tom McGratton (Okehampton), 8 Martin Browne (Okehampton). Replacements: Lewis Paterson (Ivybridge), Ben Watts (Ivybridge), Aiden Taylor (Plymstock Albion Oaks), Adam Northcott (Ivybridge), Chey Bryce (Tamar Saracens), Morgan White (Exmouth), Ben King (Ivybridge).