Wadebridge Camels march forward to the semi finals of the Tribute Cornwall Cup after edging out the Falmouth Eagles in a compelling game at the Recreation Ground.
A good crowd gathered at the Recreation Ground to watch the only of the four quarter finals to take place after Saltash, Hayle and Penryn all conceded their fixtures. The Cornwall Cup has a great history but is a competition that requires a serious revision by the CRFU to remain credible in the county rugby calendar. St Ives and Launceston have both reached the semi finals without playing a match.
In surprisingly good conditions Falmouth began the stronger, with good phases of possession, however, they were stung by a familiar problem when pressing in attack, they were turned over in the tackle and punished when the Camels counter attacked, releasing the ball to wing Dom Hawkey to score, Danny Thomas converting.
The Eagles continued to press, aided by dominance in the scrum and were rewarded with a try through Simon Bailey, Justyn Irons missing the conversion but atoned for the error with a penalty soon after to give Falmouth the lead.
The visitors troubled the Eagles defence continually, centre Wilson showing great physicality and making several breaks but a clear chance was spurned as wing Hartley knocked on with no defence to trouble him. There was no mistake soon after when Wadebridge prop forward Ballard steered a drive over the Falmouth line, following a penalty kick to the corner to give the visitors a 4 point lead.
Irons kept the scoreboard moving for Falmouth with another penalty but the hosts lost way as despite repeated warning, they conceded a stream of penalties to interrupt their momentum. The Camels capitalised as Danny Thomas added 3 more points to take the score the 15 – 12 to the visitors.
Unforced errors were costing the Eagles, as mistakes from kick offs and sloppy kicking gave easy possession to Wadebridge. Scrum half and skipper Collings steered the visitors forward with a adept passing and kicking game but the Eagles managed to fight back into contention with their own catch and drive from a line out, Ashley Searle touching down with a rare foray into the centre of action.
The Eagles had clear opportunities to retake the lead but again unforced errors proved costly, as they missed opportunities, with dropped passes and missed touch kicks. Camels were not so forgiving and moved further ahead with a try from Armstrong and Thomas added a penalty soon after to take a seven point lead.
The result was sealed with a little controversy as the Eagles were penalised for a crooked feed into a scrum, an area where they had been in control all game, Thomas gladly taking the points to take the visitors over a score clear and held on for the final minutes.
Falmouth again demonstrated that they are fully capable of competing with teams at this level but just need a little more composure to turn the narrow defeats into victories, they will now turn their thoughts back to the Western Counties league with a visit to Torquay on Saturday.
Falmouth reserves will face local rivals Penryn for the third time in little over a month, this time in the Cornwall 2nd team Cup, with a 2pm kick off at the Recreation Ground, there will be free entry for all local rugby fans.