Monarchs record victory in belated first-ever fixture

Monarchs record victory in belated first-ever fixture

Monarchs record victory in belated first-ever fixture

Cornwall Monarchs defeated Jurrassic Coast Raptors 38-12 PICTURE: IZZY NINNIS

30th June 2021

By Tom Howe

Following the outbreak of covid-19, Cornwall Monarchs were finally able to mark their first-ever match with a win at home to Jurassic Coast Raptors on Sunday. Formally known as the Cornish Sharks, the team, based at Newquay’s Sports Centre, were taken over by a new committee and head coach at the end of 2019 but were made to wait until last weekend to play their first game after covid forced a cancellation of the 2020 season.

The Monarchs began the game strongly, moving the ball up the field under the leadership of young quarterback Tom Atkinson.

The first two drives were unsuccessful but the Monarchs defence stood strong and prevented the Raptors from gaining any kind of momentum. It was the Monarchs’ third drive of the day which saw Atkinson pick out Joby Wolfendon-Brown with a pinpoint pass for their first touchdown and a subsequent 6-0 lead.

On the next drive, the Monarchs ran a sweep play from which running-back Darnell Barbour found Wolfendon-Brown with a 30 yard touchdown pass to double the home team’s lead.

Shortly after, Atkinson ran the ball up the middle from a few yards out for an 18-0 Monarchs lead. The home defence remained unbreached throughout the first half, with the Jurassic offence moving backward on most plays.

Big hits from Lewis Carne, Alex Benbow, Paul Houghton and Steve Dawe saw the visiting offence frustrated and led to the Monarchs’ next two points, coming from a safety in the Raptors’ end zone, for a strong half-time lead.

The start of the second half saw the Raptors offence find a little momentum and this ultimately helped them to find the end zone and claim their first touchdown, narrowing the home side’s lead to 20-6.

A few mistakes by the Monarchs saw the Raptors add to their tally and reduce the deficit to 20-12 midway through the third quarter. Head coach Richard Atkinson steadied the Monarchs and put the starting offence back on the field, which allowed the Cornish to hit two quick scores.

Firstly, running-back Callum White powered over, as did his counterpart Matt Cann, to extend their side’s lead to 32-12. The defence stepped up at this point and held the Raptors on three consecutive drives, inflicting hard hits and tackles to leave the Dorchester-based side frustrated.

In the fourth and final quarter, running-back Jayvon Donatien ran the ball over to conclude the scoring and finesse the final score to 38-12 in favour of the Monarchs.

At the final whistle, head coach Atkinson said, although ‘pleased’ with his team’s performance, the Monarchs would have to cut out their mistakes as the opposition begins to improve throughout the campaign.

The Monarchs host Torbay Trojans this Sunday (2.30 pm) in what promises to be another bruising encounter as the famous Devon/Cornwall derby fixture returns for 2021.