By Gareth Davies at the Memorial Ground, Penryn


Cornwall RLFC 6 Midlands Hurricanes 72

CORNWALL were comfortably beaten by Midlands Hurricanes as the wait for a maiden triumph in 2024 goes on for Mike Abbott’s side. 

Cornwall matched league leaders Oldham for long spells the week before, but were made to pay by an impressive Hurricanes outfit who responded to a defeat to Hunslet.

Jake Sweeting was at the heart of all Midlands’ good work and he claimed 28 of the Birmingham based outfit’s 72 points, with a try and 12 successful conversions from as many attempts. 

Abbott made five changes from the side which lost to the Roughyeds at Boundary Park seven days ago. In the back division, Kyle Marvin came in for his debut as the unavailable George Mitchell missed out.

Skipper Adam Rusling returned for the first time since the opening day and partnered Bailey Black in the halves with Morgan Punchard dropping to 18th man.

Injuries in the pack to Nathan Cullen and Harry Boots saw Kaine Dimech start at prop alongside Matt Ross while Nathan Conroy packed down in the middle of the front row as Luke Collins was named at interchange. 

David Weetman moved from lock to second-row with Jake Lloyd starting at the base of the scrum.

Cornwall, playing at the Memorial Ground in the league for the first time this year due to recent wet weather, were behind after three minutes when a Sweeting bomb was not dealt with by debutant Marvin. The ball found its way into the hands of Todd Horner and Midlands were on their way. 

The home side then gifted Mark Dunning’s side the next score when a loose pass from a kick return was fumbled and Sweeting went in from the resulting scrum. 

Ross Oakes then grabbed the first of his two tries before Scottish international Callum McLelland scored his side’s fourth inside the opening 20 minutes to knock the stuffing out of Cornwall. 

Black, making his home debut, charged down Sweeting’s kick but the ball was not seized upon by a home player and instead, McLelland picked up the scraps to dot down. 

Even at that early stage, there was a sense that it could be a long day at the office for Cornwall and so it proved. 

Winger Ryan Johnson was next in on the scoring act when he touched down in similar fashion to Sweeting, straight from a scrum.

And Oakes crossed again three minutes shy of the half-time interval with Sweeting once again making no mistake with extras, giving him a perfect record of six from six at the turnaround. 

A Cornwall reaction was expected in the second half, but Midlands left off where they had started.

A devastating 15-minute spell before the hour mark resulted in five converted tries as the Hurricanes simply blew Cornwall away. 

Matty Welham got the visiting ball rolling and then Tom Wilkinson pouched a high a kick on the last to score. 

The half-century was reached by interchange Aaron Willis and with Sweeting tagging on two more, after 54 minutes, the score was 54-0.

More tries followed as Horner broke from inside his own half to finish before Liam Welham then scored his side’s 11thconverted try.

Cornwall opened their account when Coby Nichol intercepted and ran almost 80 metres to score with Cameron Brown making it a six-point score.

But fittingly, the final word went to Midlands as Johnson scored in the final minute and Sweeting converted after the siren. 

CORNWALL: Brown, Marvin, Nichol, Ashton, Aaronson, Black, Rusling, Dimech, Conroy, Ross, Weetman, Simpson, Lloyd. Interchange: (all used) Rhodes, Collins, O’Callaghan, Bannister.