Rugby Union: Cornwall shot down

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The Independent Online
Cornwall. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Yorkshire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

TRELAWNY'S Army will not be marching on Twickenham in April after all, the annual exodus denied them as Cornwall foundered on true Yorkshire grit in front of 15,000 at Redruth yesterday. Bad enough news for followers of the black and gold but desperately so for the Rugby Football Union.

In one fell swoop, the County Championship final lost something like a half of its capacity gate, which is the measure of Cornish support for the team who made it to headquarters in three out of the last four seasons.

So a Roses showdown it will be and Yorkshire earned it the hard way. Any side who survive a visit to Hell Fire Corner deserve a badge for courage and Cornwall had rubbed it in on this ground last season when the pair were drawn together at the same semi-final stage.

Yorkshire, too, had lost out in extra time to Cornwall in the 1991 final. Now it was their turn to emerge triumphant and they took the game by the scruff of the neck, Peter Buckton and his back-row colleagues never giving an inch. It was a magnificent victory.

Graham Dawe, Cornwall's captain, had seen the danger signals from a long way off. Unable to score a single try along the way to the last four, their progress was marked only by regular thumps from the boot of Darren Chapman, who had secured 33 of their 36 points in making shaky progress.

Dawe had already come across Buckton when Bath crashed out of the Pilkington Cup at Waterloo. 'Buckton was one of the men who destroyed us then,' he said. 'He is so quick across the ground and such a good scavenger.' It summed up the flanker perfectly and Buckton is on course for a Twickenham double-header with Harlequins having to visit Blundellsands next weekend in a Cup quarter-final.

It was 3-3 at the break after Chapman and Robert Liley had exchanged penalties. Cornwall then had to defend their corner of the rugby world. But Buckton broke superbly off a line-out to send Simon Tipping over and Alan Crowley completed the demolition in the 74th minute.

CORNWALL: K Thomas (Redruth); A Mead (Redruth), C Laity (Cardiff), M Brain (Clifton), M Chatterton (Exeter); D Chapman (Camborne), I Sanders (Bath); A Ellery (Redruth), G Dawe (Bath, capt), R Keast (Redruth), M Wesson (Penzance & Newlyn), A Cook (Redruth), M Addinall (Penryn), M Haag (Bath), J Polglase (Camborne & Exeter University). Replacements: J Pearce (St Ives) for May, 33 min; D Weeks (Camborne) for Chatterton, 61 min.

YORKSHIRE: R Thompson (Wakefield); J Eagle (Leeds), P Johnson (Leeds), D Edwards (Wakefield), J Sleightholme (Wakefield); R Liley (Wakefield), A Crowley (Bradford & Bingley); J Woodthorpe (Harrogate), T Garnett (Wakefield), S Rice (Otley), I Carroll (Wakefield), D Baldwin (Sale), S Tipping (Otley), C Vyvyan (Wharfedale), P Buckton (Waterloo, capt).

Referee: K Ricketts (Hampshire).

Scores: Chapman (pen, 21 min, 3-0); Liley (pen, 39 min, 3-3); Tipping / Liley (try / conv, 48 min, 3-10); Liley (pen, 52 min, 3-13); Crowley / Liley (try / conv, 74 min 3-20).