Cornish army await Lancashire in final

Roger Banks is the new house chairman at the Woodlands.
Roger Banks is the new house chairman at the Woodlands.
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Lancashire rugby supporters are set to be massively outnumbered by their Cornish counterparts when the County Championship final is contested at Twickenham on Sunday.

Cornwall officials are expecting as many as 8,000 spectators to travel up from the South West rugby hotbed for the Bill Beaumont Cup.

Cornwall secretary Alan Mitchell said: “We are already getting plenty of interest from people inquiring about tickets and that is growing all the time.

“It is hard to tell, but I am expecting that we will have anything between 5,000 and 8,000 followers at Twickenham.”

When Cornwall got to the final against Yorkshire in 1991, the Duchy nearly emptied that day when 40,000 flocked to Twickenham.

Cornwall coach Dave Thomas said that playing against Lancashire on Sunday would provide the ‘ultimate test’.

Cornwall topped the southern pool and reached the final after beating holders Hertfordshire on Saturday. On the same afternoon, Mark Nelson’s men qualified for the decider after the match with Cheshire.

They lost 17-10 at Macclesfield but got through thanks to picking up a losing bonus point.

Sunday’s match follows the England v Barbarians clash and kicks off at 3.15pm.

Cornwall captain Ben Hilton said: “We always say that the Cornish crowd is our 16th player. Well, on Saturday they were our 17th and 18th players!”

“Lancashire topped their group but lost a game on the way, so they are beatable.”

• Former second row forward Dave Young has been confirmed as the chairman of rugby at Fylde RFC.

Current first-team lock Roger Banks takes over as house chairman, in overall charge of activities at the clubhouse. Former Chairman Mike Brennand returns to the committee as president and Rob Parr, another former player, is new treasurer.

Other newcomers are Dave Campbell (commercial and sponsorship), Gary Ferguson (membership), Vicki Houston (social and ladies’ committee) and Roger Westbrook (volunteers’ co-ordinator).

• Fylde winger Ben Rath was part of the winning England Counties U20 team that beat their counterparts from Georgia 25-13 in Tbilisi.

England scored three tries on their way to victory.

Head coach Bob Hood said: “This Test match was an 
excellent display of powerful, controlled and aggressive rugby played by two talented teams.”