By Dan Pearce

LAUNCESTON Ladies were crowned the inaugural winners of the Women’s Cornwall Cup at Truro RFC on Sunday, March 24.

The Cabettes were one of five teams vying for the title which were played over 20-minute games and in a round-robin format, while the presence of Trelawny's Army getting in voice for the men’s and women’s County Championships seasons ahead, gave the day a superb atmosphere.

Launceston faced The Cornish Babas, an invitational team with some of the Duchy’s best female players; Penryn, who currently ply their trade in the league above the Cabettes; Helston, a team that gave Launceston their closest league match of the year so far, and hosts Truro, flying high in their first season in the league below and clearly growing stronger very quickly. 

The first game was against the Cornish Babas, a tough fixture to start the day as the Babas brought the game and the physicality straight to the Cabettes. 

After a very sporadic February and March in terms of actual game time, Launceston took a moment to find their rhythm. 

The Babas made numerous visits to Launceston’s 22 but the Cabettes defended strongly and with Vicki Doidge stealing the ball for fun, they were able to survive. 

The rhythm soon came though as Launceston tore up with ball in-hand. 

A brace from Abbie Smith as well as scores from Joey Sandercock and Kim Upcott, complemented by two conversions from Holly Williams gave the ladies the perfect start at 24-0. But they knew they were in for a tough tournament.

Game two saw Launceston back in action against higher-league Penryn. 

That higher league experience proved a tougher nut to crack, and with a few players still reeling from the physicality of the previous match, Launceston had to be patient and break down the organised defence. 

A second clean sheet and unconverted tries from Sandercock and Meg Arnold were enough to see them make it two from two. 

The third encounter was against Women’s NC 2 South West (West) rivals Helston, a side they still have to face in the league for a second time and who gave them a tough test in West Cornwall.

The Cabettes caught a second wind in their third match and Emily Kneale proved a real handful with a performance worthy of her ‘Forward of the Tournament’ award, scoring a try and setting up another by bumping off four would-be defenders to set Sandercock off for her third try of the tournament. 

Two more tries from Caitlyn Hancock and Amy Warman accompanied by two conversions from Williams rounded off a strong penultimate performance, once again without conceding a point. 

With the County Championship title in sight, it was hosts Truro who stood in their way. 

They sit second in the league below and have been producing stand out performances of late so Launceston knew they couldn't take this game for granted. 

Buoyed by the prospect of becoming champions of Cornwall, the Cabettes left everything they had on the pitch. 

Launceston’s impervious defence was once again left unbreached, and with their attack firing on all cylinders with tries from Holly Williams, Kim Upcott, Amy Warman and Ellen Armstrong and two conversions from Williams meant Launceston were crowned champions with a 24-0 success. 

A huge congratulations to Launceston Ladies, earning their first bit of silverware of the season and now boast the title of Cornwall county champions on a proud day for Launceston Rugby Club. 

The Cabettes look to add league champions to their honours this year as a win in their next league fixture on Sunday (April 14) at Bude will see them do exactly that.