The Amateurs history began with links to Penzance & Newlyn RFC, where ‘The Ams’ play and base themselves at the Mennaye Field and the famous Westholme clubhouse. With the rise of the professional Pirates, “The Cornish Pirates” there was a lack of rugby being provided for locally based players at a lower level. Mounts Bay RFC’s original concept was to provide this but the sad demise of them having done quite the opposite left something to be done. Step forward Scott Dugdale.
Scott organised and developed what was known as the 2nd’s and the team was still under the umbrella of Penzance & Newlyn RFC. They dragged players from unknown depths of retirement and the peak of unfitness to play and give local boys something to look forward to on a Saturday. This began to grow into quite a useful team of Pirates, young and not quite so young which won the CRFU Merit Table. Scott had a desire to bring a good level of competition back for these boys so they could wear the red, black and white stripes and not have to venture further afield to find league rugby. This would provide a route of progression for upcoming colt’s and bring together a mix of experience and youth so planning began in order to gain entry into league rugby.
Presentation Evening 2006
Unfortunately league rules prohibited 2nd XV’s entering, thus a barrier was to be overcome. There was a reluctance to do so because of the links, history and support everyone was accustomed to as being part of Penzance & Newlyn RFC. However with the help of Pirates stalwart Paul Greaves and committed player Andrew Snell, a separate club had to be formed with its own constitution, committee and finances.
The Ams were admitted into the bottom rung of the league structure, the Cornwall League in the 2009/10 season after a CRFU vote amongst the counties club’s. A tough first season was endured but ended with gaining promotion in the playoff against the 2nd place Devon League finisher’s Wessex in a glorious day at the Mennaye. Revenge was then taken over league winners Veor by the Ams wining the Cornwall Junior Knockout Cup in their first attempt.
An important note in the history of the Amateurs was the sad passing of Darren Hicks in February 2010, whilst serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Darren is sadly missed and captained the side in a match at local rivals St Just before he departed for duty. Darren’s memory was upheld in a special day at the Mennaye on 11th June 2010 when the Amateurs hosted a team from the Coldstream Guards with an attendance of approaching 2000 people and over £12000 was raised. Darren is remembered fondly by all at the club and show our respect with the laying of a wreath at the war memorial in Newlyn each year on remembrance day.
Darren Hicks Memorial Game
Chairman Paul Greaves & Darren Hicks in his last game for the Amateurs
For the past few season’s the club has resided in the Tribute Devon & Cornwall League and provides an increasingly good standard of rugby for local players, for the 2014/2015 season the team will be coached and managed by former Pirate’s Cullam Osborne (Director of Rugby), Steve Evans (Head coach), Lee Williams (Forwards) and Ben Eddy (Backs) assisted by Paul Greaves and Team Manager Jack Lugg. There is also a new appointment on the coaching side with Phil Gray being appointed as Strength and Conditioning specialist. Scott still also runs a 2nd team for the Amateur’s who play a mix of friendlies and Merit Table fixtures. Des Thomas completes the coaching set up, driving terror and fear into every player when the words ‘Pre Season’, ‘Fitness’, or ’30 minutes hard work gentleman’ are uttered around the training field. His tried and trusted techniques along with unique motivational words are very much valued by all the Amateurs!
“Once a pirate, always a Pirate”