Cornwall vs Dewsbury – Match Report
June 11, 2023
Cornwall gave unbeaten Dewsbury a huge fright as the home side belied their recent struggles to push the league leaders every step of the way.
This was evidenced perfectly in the 59th minute when Cornwall’s Ewan Badham was penalised by merry whistle blower Will Gilder for an apparent ball steal. Thirty-five metres out, Dewsbury opted to take the two points on offer and after Callum Turner obliged, they opened up a two-score lead.
Once in front, Dewsbury finally began to find their straps but tries in the closing stages from Lewis Carr and Caelum Jordan gave the scoreline a flattering look from the away side’s perspective.
Cornwall have not tasted victory since defeating basement dwellers London Skolars in late March and after an injury-ravaged Choughs side were nilled at Workington seven days previously, Mike Abbott’s men were up against it once more.
But right from the first blast of referee Gilder’s whistle, Cornwall defended with gusto and through the outstanding forward duo Harry Boots and Ewan Badham, carried with purpose too.
The early exchanges were even with both teams guilty of errors on a wet pitch after heavy rain fell an hour before kick-off. It was Dewsbury who were first to show as an attacking threat but Cornwall held firm.
At the other end, a wonderful 40/20 from Cameron Brown gave Cornwall a platform to attack but with the Australian halfback probing for a way through, play was pulled back for crossing.
Finally, after 20 minutes, Cornwall’s brave resistance was finally broken when prop Jimmy Beckett steam-rollered his way up the middle to score under the posts. Turner knocked over the extras and it was now expected that Dewsbury would seize control and a fragile Cornwall defence would crumble.
Again, though, Cornwall made life difficult for Dewsbury and despite a number of marginal calls inside the home side’s red-zone going Dewsbury’s way, the visitors were either wasteful in possession or shut down brilliantly by the Choughs’ edge defence.
The Rams’ frustrations boiled over in the 32nd minute with centre Davey Dixon fortunate in the extreme not to see red. He kicked out at home skipper Liam Whitton when the former Halifax man was on the ground. Cornwall took exception to Dixon’s actions and a spate of handbags ensued.
When calm was restored Dixon was only shown yellow while Brown joined him in the sinbin for running in.
Cornwall were awarded the penalty and after breaking up field, the Choughs thought they had opened their account through Harry Aaronson, but he was ruled to have knocked on.
Shortly after, Cornwall were then really under the cosh when Morgan Punchard was also shown a yellow card for slapping former home loanee Jackson Walker.
Again, heroic defence saw Cornwall keep Dewsbury at bay and the title chasers only led 6-0 at the break.
A similar pattern unfolded in the second stanza too before Cornwall levelled the match. Brown’s long kick penned Dewsbury on the back fence and a suicidal offload from Dixon presented the ball to Coby Nichol who made no mistake.
Brown’s conversion made the score 6-6 and Cornwall were very much in the hunt. But Dewsbury haven’t swept almost all before them so far this season by fluke and Bailey O’Connor’s break was finished off by Jordan before Brad Graham twisted and turned to dot down.
Cornwall’s hopes faded as time ticked down with Dewsbury’s late two try salvo making the points safe against a home side that will be encouraged by their promising showing.
Cornwall: Whitton, Carter, Nichol, Ashton, Aaronson, Brown, Punchard, Boots, lloyd, Hartshorne, Weetman, Dimech, E Badham. Interchange: (all used) Trerise, Bolger, Barraclough, I Badham.
Tries: Nichol (48)
Goals: Brown 1/1
Sinbin: Brown (32) – running in, Punchard (36) – slap to face
Dewsbury: Restall, Carr, Jordan, D Dixon, Whiteley, O’Connor, Turner, Beckett, Butterworth, R Dixon, Graham, Summers, Collinson. Interchange: (all used) Littlewood, Morris, Walker, Ferguson, Collins.
Tries: Beckett (20), Jordan (55,79), Graham (61), Carr (74),
Goals: Brown 4/5
Sinbin: Dixon (32) – kicking
Referee: Will Gilder