Local clubs find out fixtures for new season
Ian Goldsmith (left) and Ryan Westren will take their Cornish All Blacks side up the A30 to take on Exeter University in their opening South West Premier fixture on Saturday, September 4. Picture: Paul Hamlyn
RUGBY clubs across the South West have found out their fixtures for the 2021/22 campaign which is scheduled to get underway in September.
Last season was a non-event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning for most clubs, competitive rugby hasn’t been played since February last year.
Launceston – better known as the Cornish All Blacks — are once again in the South West Premier Division, at Step Five of the national pyramid.
They will once again be led by the joint coaching team of Ian Goldsmith and Ryan Westren, and like 2019/20, have the toughest of starts as they tackle Exeter University at the Topsham Sports Ground on September 4.
On their last visit in September 2019, a very strong home side ran out comfortable 54-12, while the return at Polson Bridge wasn’t played due to the pandemic.
The second game sees Exmouth visit North Cornwall. Both teams won their away games last time.
There are several different opposition for Launceston to get acquainted with including Bournemouth and Old Redcliffians (Bristol) who went down from National Two (South) while Wiltshire-based Royal Wootton Bassett and old rivals Old Centralians from Gloucestershire who the Blacks famously beat in the South West One play-off final in April 2019, were awarded promotion.
The other sides in the division include Cornish rivals Camborne and neighbours Okehampton, who the Blacks have built up quite the rivalry with in recent seasons.
Oke welcome Launceston on October 2, with the return on January 22.
Camborne visit Polson Bridge on the third to last weekend (April 2) with the Recreation Ground meeting set for a winter battle on December 4.
Bude were in the top four of the Cornwall and Devon League when the 2019/20 season was curtailed, and they again have Angus Hodges in charge as player/coach.
The Bencoolen Meadow outfit are traditionally strong at home, which is where they start against East Devon side Withycombe, who were leading Devon One before the pandemic struck.
Cullompton, who were in South West One (West) as recently as 2018/19, travel down on September 11, before Bude’s first away day sees them make the long trip down to promoted Hayle.
Once more, an incredible amount of travelling awaits them with most Cornish clubs being in far west Cornwall, while away games see them go to east Devon three times.
Three slightly closer games for them are Tavistock, North Tawton and Liskeard-Looe.
Saltash join Cullompton in coming down from Western Counties (West) while Newquay Hornets are the third team to come up alongside Withy and Hayle.
Saltash will hope to be in the mix for a return to Western Counties rugby come April, although they will have to navigate a difficult September which sees three of their first four games away from home.
There are also two derbies for them to enjoy with them facing Liskeard-Looe and Plymstock Albion Oaks. The Liskeard games are set for December 4 and April 2, while they go across the Tamar to face Plymstock on September 18, before the home fixture is on January 8. They start and finish with clashes against North Tawton, the last of which sees them entertain the mid-Devon club at Moorlands Lane.
Liskeard-Looe have announced Lewis Elliott as their new player/coach. The Lions host Topsham on matchday one before going to Torquay Athletic on September 11. They visit Topsham on the final day (April 23).
Like Saltash they have plenty of travelling to do with only Saltash being less than half an hour away.
Both Bodmin and Lankelly-Fowey will compete in Tribute Cornwall One, which runs from September 4 to December 4.
Seven teams take part with one having a bye each week. Bodmin don’t play on September 4, whereas Lankelly-Fowey go to Illogan Park.
The derby games between the sides, which are situated just ten miles apart, are scheduled for October 2 at Lankelly Farm, and November 13.
Camelford play in Tribute Two of the Cornwall League.
They will compete in the six-team division that runs from September 11 to November 20, and includes five teams from the west of the county.
Camelford start with two home games against Stithians and Perranporth respectively before heading down to Redruth Albany to round off September.
Reformed St Ives visit North Cornwall on matchday four before Camelford go to St Just.
The league season ends on November 30, before a cup competition starts in the new year.
For the fixtures in full, see this week’s paper or visit www.swrugby.co.uk
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