Cornwall make Rugby League debut

03 Apr 22, 8:49AM 0 Comments

Written by Rugby Football League

Photo by RFL

Cornwall RLFC made their Rugby League debut this afternoon, falling to a 62-22 defeat at North Wales Crusaders.

The clash, hosted at Eirias Stadium in Colwyn Bay, was the first time a professional club had ever represented Cornwall in Rugby League but there was no room for sentiment early on as North Wales ran into a 30-0 lead after an impressive opening 30 minutes.

They were 30 points up after just 24 minutes thanks to two tries from Gav Rodden, a score for Jordan Gibson, the first of Rob Massam’s double and another for Tommy Johnson, who also kicked five goals from five attempts.

But then it was time for a moment of history as Matty Turton scored Cornwall’s first-ever try 34 minutes in, diving over after a Kyle Johns offload. Johns converted from the touchline but North Wales did have the final say of the first half, Harry Swarbrick going in to leave the home side 34-6 up at the break.

There was a spirited fightback from Cornwall after the restart as, with the words of Neil Kelly still ringing in their ears, they scored three tries in the 12 minutes after the restart.

First, Harry Aaronson bagged a long-range interception try on 42 minutes, before Liam Whitton ran over shortly after. Johns aded the goal to make it 34-16 with 48 minutes played.

Then Sam Snell became the first Cornwall-born player to score for the side as he bounced over on 51 minutes. Johns again goaled to make it a 12-point game, the visitors just 34-22 down at the home of the current League One Player and Coach of the Year.

But as injuries and a lack of match fitness began to take their toll – Cornwall didn’t arrange any pre-season friendlies – it was North Wales who would finally regained their grip on the match in the final quarter.

Rob Massam’s try on 65 minutes kicked things off, before a quickfire Reece Briers double on 70 and 73 minutes broke the game open. Tommy Johnson added two more goals for an unassailable 54-22 lead.

Late unconverted tries from Brad Billsborough and Jack Holmes added extra gloss to the scoreline.

Elsewhere in Betfred League One on Saturday, Gregg McNally and Dan Nixon registered a hat-trick of tries each in a 52-12 win for Rochdale Hornets at West Wales Raiders.

The Raiders did take the lead early on through a Fergus Simpson try on eight minutes, a try he converted himself.

But Rochdale struck back to lead 16-6 at the interval. Their first-half tries came courtesy of Lewis Sheridan, Cobi Green and Dan Nixon, Sheridan with two goals.

And the visitors found their form in the second period as Sheridan got his second within a minute of the restart, swiftly followed by McNally’s first and a second for Nixon.

Sheridan converted both – he ended the day with eight successful conversions – as Rochdale built up a 28-6 advantage.

They pressed home their lead on the hour as Nixon completed his hat-trick before McNally went in for his second.

Alan Pope got on the scoresheet after 73 minutes for West Wales, Simpson goaling, but McNally had the final say with his hat-trick try on 75 minutes.

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