After last week’s narrow loss in the Championship Cup away at Ampthill, Gareth Davies and his team are on Cup duties again this week with a 750-mile round trip to Cornish Pirates. Against Pirates Davies will be hoping for a faster start than the Ravers managed to produce at Ampthill. On the 20-minute mark, Caldy were 31-7 in arrears with only a dazzling Lewis Barker score in the credit column and a buoyant and confident Ampthill looking to run riot after securing an early 4-try bonus point.
That the Ravers were able to shore up their defence and secure 2 losing bonus points is a testament to the grit and determination that runs through the squad. Two tries from Mike Cartmill and a penalty try after the forwards repeatedly demolished the Ampthill scrum brought Caldy within 5 points of Ampthill, with Caldy in the ascendancy at the final whistle. There were encouraging performances from a number of players who stepped up from the 2nd XV, most notably from second row Sam Olyott who got stronger and more effective as the game progressed.
The trip to the Mennaye Field isn’t Caldy’s first visit. 15 years ago Caldy travelled to Penzance to take on the now-defunct Mounts Bayside in the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup. It was a great occasion with North 1 (level5) Caldy taking on English rugby’s form side Mounts Bay sprinkled with stardust including Ricky Pellow at scrum half, Lee Jarvis at no 10 and centre Palepoi Nonu.
Win the game and there was a final at Twickenham. It was a big ask but the Caldy squad, which contained a number of experienced players including Marcus Coast, Matt Holt, and Simon Mason were well prepared and focussed with a compelling picture montage to preview the big match (courtesy of Roger Flashman)
The Caldy supporters travelled hopefully, determined to make it a weekend to remember. None more so than our recently departed friend Dave Harrison who arrived at the Mennayeon the Friday night to meet up with ‘Big Eddie’ and ‘Deano’ to ensure that the good people of Penzance knew a little more about the Ravers before the big day. Dave pulled out all the stops, ensuring the local economy was bolstered by exceptional bar takings and cementing his online friendships in the nascent online rugby fraternity with his first physical acquaintance with such luminaries as Newlyn Boy, Mounts Bay Blogger and Cornish Centre.
Caldy missed out 33-10 against a splendid Mounts Bay team who went on to win the final at Twickenham.
The Caldy squad for tomorrow’s Championship Cup match at the Mennaye Field is
1. Parker 2. Stagg 3. Higginson 4. Gerrard 5. Sanders 6. Jones D 7. Parry 8. Dickinson 9. Murray 10. Barker 11. Jones B 12. Barlow 13. Cartmill 14. Fletcher 15. Hayes 16. Rushton 17. Clarke 18. Aigbokhae 19. Olyott 20. Spencer – Wolfe 21. Ainscough 22. Walters 23. Jones M