Cornwall vs Workington Town – Match Report
July 23, 2023
Cornwall’s brilliant recent run of form was ended by promotion chasing Workington Town after a keenly contested affair in the Duchy.
A 34-16 victory for the visitors – their sixth on the trot – was hard fought against a Cornwall side who matched Workington for long periods of the game.
It wasn’t until the 59th minute that the Cumbrian outfit finally pulled clear when on-loan Wigan youngster Reagan Sumner crossed for his second try of the afternoon.
Before this point in the match, neither side had been able to build any kind of real momentum, even though Workington held a 20-4 interval lead.
Cornwall scored first after the break through Cam Brown and despite Jordan Burns replying in kind shortly after, Adam Rusling’s fortunate effort after 54 minutes, which he then converted, reduced the gap to just eight points.
Sumner then gave Workington breathing space and eight minutes from time, with Cornwall down to 11 men after yellow cards for Brown and skipper Liam Whitton, the visitors made victory safe through Burns’ second score of the afternoon.
Coming into the match full of confidence after wins over London Skolars and Midlands in their previous two games, Cornwall shipped the first try of the game after just seven minutes when giant prop Stevie Scholey powered his way over from close range.
The outstanding Ciaran Walker converted to give the Cumbrians an early 6-0 lead.
In the return fixture at Derwent Park in June, Workington also scored early and a Cornwall side depleted by injury, then failed to stem the Town tide. But a yardstick to Cornwall’s progress saw the hosts dig in and they scored next.
Burns was sent to the bin by referee Ryan Cox after he ran in and sparked a melee and from the next passage of play, Coby Nichol finished brilliantly out wide for his third try in as many games.
Rusling couldn’t convert but Cornwall had their tails up. However, Town held firm and once back to a full complement, they scored three tries in eight minutes.
Brown diffused Walker’s bomb but was penalised and from the resulting penalty, Malik Steele ran a brilliant flat line to score. The extras were added by Walker before luck favoured the visitors.
Nichol couldn’t grasp a grubber kick and the ball found its way into Sumner’s arms and he had a stroll in. The Town lead was then further extended before half-time when prolific winger Sean Sabutey plucked a high kick from the air despite the attentions of both Whitton and Brown.
After the break, Cornwall drew first blood when Brown pounced on Rusling’s kick into the in-goal to register his 11th try of the season to date. The score was improved upon by Rusling and Cornwall were back in the game once more.
It appeared that Workington had wrestled back control when Burns chimed into the three-quarter line and scored but another missed conversion from Walker kept Cornwall’s chances alive.
And the candle of hope burnt a little brighter after 54 minutes when Workington once again couldn’t deal with Rusling’s short kicking game. The former Castleford and Hull Kingston Rovers youngster managed to pounce on his own kick to dot down and turn it into a six-point score.
Workington then resorted to sensible game management tactics of kicking the ball into touch on the last, forcing the hosts to play from deep. But Cornwall struggled to break through a well-drilled defence and further scores by Sumner and Burns secured another two competition points, either side of a harsh yellow card for Brown and one for Whitton after tempers boiled over as time ticked down.
Cornwall: Whitton, Brown, Croston, Ashton, Nichol, Punchard, Rusling, Hartshorne, Collins, Newbound, Cullen, Weetman, Lloyd. Interchange: (all used) Barraclough, Dimech, I Badham, E Badham.
Tries: Nichol (17), Brown (44), Rusling (54)
Goals: Rusling 2/3
Sinbin: Brown (68) – professional foul, Whitton (71) – other contrary behaviour
Workington: Burns, Sumner, Sabutey, Bickerdike, Burns, Walker, Forber, Thomson, Mallinson, Scholey, Brdaley, Steele, Stephenson. Interchange: (all used) Marwood, Kirkup, McAvoy, McNicholas.
Tries: Scholey (7), Steele (26), Sumner (31,59), Sabutey (34), Burns (47, 72)
Goals: Walker 3/7
Sinbin: Burns (17) – running in
Referee: Ryan Cox