WITH Somerset Women having pulled out of the competition earlier in the week, this game became a knockout match with the winner guaranteed a place in the Gill Burns Cup Division Two semi-finals, writes Bill Hooper.

Cornwall made sure it was they who are in the last four with this comprehensive 57-0 win against Oxfordshire at Polson Bridge.

The visitors kicked off playing towards Devon and with less than a minute on the clock they were lining up under the posts. The ball was moved wide and when skipper Amy Bunt got the ball there was simply no stopping her, she bounced off attempted tackles and surged imperiously to the try-line.

What a start, it really set the tone for the match. Fly-half Georgia Hall kicked the first of her six successful conversions.

Cornwall maintained pressure in the visitors’ half. From a kick to the corner, the fired-up pack drove Oxfordshire back with flanker Rosie Ninnis getting the unconverted try.

The midfield of Jo Roberts and Megan Okey proved a constant threat, whilst in the forwards, flanker Rhiannon Thomas and No.8 Katherine Wherry caught the eye.

A good break from wing Lydia Hawkins saw her hauled down near the line, Cornwall kept the ball alive and profited with a score from prop Josie Ninnis, to make it  a family double. 

Bunt again showed her strength and determination to bag her second try, before Okey sliced through the cover to put Cornwall 33-0 up at the break.

Cornwall again made an ideal start to the second half with a try from close range from hard-working prop Mel Ruby.

With the game in the bag, Cornwall emptied the bench and Bunt completed her hat-trick of tries before Lisa Allin came on to replace Amy Warman – another fine game from the Launceston nine –  at scrum-half and bag herself a brace of scores.

Oxfordshire, to their credit, never gave up and stuck to it and were a shade unlucky not to score, but Cornwall did not want their line crossed and they made sure of it.  

Cornwall coach Jo Holden was over the moon with her side’s performance. “You know what is the most satisfying is that they went through the plays we have been working on to the letter. It’s a great score today but there are some areas to work on ahead of our semi-final,” she said. 

“The other pleasing aspect was when we brought on the bench, the level didn’t drop, we maintained our physicality and our systems perfectly, so great credit to the girls.  

Cornwall Women: Amy Bunt (Ivybridge, Capt), Lydia Hawkins (Falmouth), Jo Roberts (Plymstock AO), Megan Okey (Ivybridge), Joey Sandercock (Launceston), Georgia Hall (Penryn), Amy Warman (Launceston); Mel Ruby (Launceston), Jenna Arnold (Launceston), Josie Ninnis (Penryn), Megan Arnold (Launceston), Sian Westgarth (Truro), Rosie Ninnis (Penryn), Rhiannon Thomas (Launceston), Katherine Wherry (Ivybridge). Replacements: Kim Upcott (Launceston), Lara Wallace (Camborne), Caitlin Milliken  (Camborne), Roberta Smith Scotland (Plymstock AO), Lisa Allin (Bude), Rebecca Bennett (Truro), Bryher Freight (Truro). 

Oxfordshire Women: Grace Chandler (Chinnor), Chelsea Round (Banbury), Charlie Groves, Shannon Loney (both Oxford Quins), Lucy Hardman(Oxford Brookes), Emily Dwyer (Banbury), Nicolle Guiliani (Chinnor);  Aisling Dulson-Ormsby (Chinnor), Daisy Hopkins, Imogen Coker, Katie Geary (all Oxford Quins), Poppy Thompson (Banbury) Jessie Jordan (Witney), Chloe Black (Oxford Quins), Hannah Hawthorne (Didcot). Replacements: Izzy Baker, Sophie Rawlings (both Witney), Mollie Bourke (Chinnor), Gemma Rosati, Becci Matthews (both Oxford Brookes), Amy Johnson (Didcot), Elly Scane (Witney).

Cornwall: Tries – Bunt (3), R Ninnis, J Ninnis, Okey, Ruby, Allin (2); Cons – Hall (6).