- Lancashire beat Cornwall 19-8 in Division One final
- Lancashire's first Championship final win since 2014
Lancashire ended Cornwall's attempt to win three successive County Championship finals with a deserved 19-8 win at Twickenham.
This was the fourth time the two sides have met in the Division One final in the last five years with Cornwall winning their last encounter in 2015.
The defending champions started well with a try from back row George Jones and penalty from Matt Shepherd giving them a 8-0 lead at half-time.
But Lancashire dominated the second half scoring three tries through Anthony Bingham, Tom Burtonwood and Scott Armstrong as well as two conversions from Chris Johnson to give them a 19-8 victory.
Cornwall start strong
The defending champions had all the possession and territory in the opening 10 minutes and a driving maul after 13 minutes saw flanker George Jones touch down for the first try of the game.
Full back Matt Shepherd was unable to slot the extras, hitting the uprights with his conversion attempt.
It remained close between the two sides for much of the first half with neither team able to get the upper hand.
With 10 minutes left on the clock Cornwall found their way into Lancashire’s 22’ and the pressure soon told. Lancashire’s number 8 Tom Ailes was sent to the sin bin for infringement at the breakdown.
Lancashire were penalised again minutes later for a high tackle and Shepherd opted to go for the points, slotting the penalty to make it 8-0.
Lancashire’s fly half Johnson had the chance to narrow the gap when they were awarded a penalty from 45 metres out but the ball hit the post.
Lancashire piled on the pressure with minutes remaining in the first half but Cornwall’s defence held firm and the score stayed 8-0 at the break.
Lancashire dominate second half
Cornwall had a clear chance to extend their lead five minutes into the second half with centre Robin Wedlake in clear space on the left wing but the pass to find him edged forward.
And they were soon made to pay for the miss when the Lancashire spread the ball wide from a scrum on the halfway line to winger Anthony Bingham who showed incredible speed to beat two Cornwall defenders, finishing superbly in the corner.
Johnson stepped up and added the extra points with an impressive conversion to make it 8-7 to Cornwall after 50 minutes.
Lancashire kept up the momentum and were punishing Cornwall out wide. After 58 minutes the ball was once again spread and this time hooker Tom Burtonwood finished in the corner.
Johnson wasn’t able to slot the conversion making the score 12-8 with Lancashire firmly in the ascendancy.
Lancashire continued to pile on the pressure with Cornwall struggling to cope. Their backs put the ball through the hands to winger Scott Armstrong who finished with ease. Johnson made the conversion to bring the score to 19-8 with 15 minutes remaining.
Johnson had the chance to extend Lancashire’s lead after 72 minutes with a penalty from 30 metres out but the ball drifted wide.
Cornwall continued to attack until the very last play of the game but weren't able to break down a well organised Lancashire defence and the match finished 19-8.