ALEX DUCKER scored a hat-trick of tries as Cornwall retained the Tamar Cup on Tuesday night with a 28-13 victory over Devon at Plymouth Albion’s Brickfields ground.

Devon had led 10-7 at the break but Cornwall scored two quick tries at the start of the second half to take a grip of the game.

Both counties were using the game to look at players for next month’s County Championship.

Tom Putt gave Devon the lead on nine minutes with a penalty, but Cornwall hit back with a try from close range by Camborne hooker Tommy Lee-Southworth on 24 minutes, which Matt Shepherd converted.

Devon regained their lead 13 minutes later when a clever chip kick by Mitch Pinkus bounced perfectly for scrum-half Ben Watts to gather and touch-down. Putt added the conversion to make it 10-7.

Cornwall did end the half on the attack but Devon defended well to keep them out.

However, within 30 seconds of the restart the visitors did get a second try when Camborne winger Ducker scored in the right corner and Shepherd brilliantly converted.

Putt cut the gap to one point with a penalty on 44 minutes but straight from the restart Cornwall scored another when the dangerous Shepherd broke through Devon’s defence and unselfishly put in Ducker for another. Shepherd again converted from out-wide.

Ducker then completed a hat-trick in the 57th minute when he went over in the left corner and Shepherd continued his 100 per cent kicking record by putting over the conversion.

Devon continued to battle hard and they had a lot of pressure in the closing minutes but were unable to get a second try.

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