WIRRAL RFC are celebrating after they were crowned Papa Johns Community Cup winners following a thrilling 55-45 victory over Cornish side Launceston.

The new national cup competition, backed by Papa Johns, was part of the season restructure where player feedback indicated a preference to condense the league season and create a cup competition after the regular league season had ended.

The two sides played out a 100-point thriller in the Papa Johns Men’s Regional 1 Shield Final at Sixways in Worcester, with the Merseysiders holding on to win 55-45, after a sensational second-half comeback from their Cornish opponents.

In the first ecer meeting between the two sides it was the Cornish team who took an early 12-0 lead through the use of their more powerful forwards.

Eventually Wirral got into the game and were able to score through Tom Akehurst, Jacob Mitchell, Mark Williams and captain, Chris Crowley, to establish a 12-26 lead.

In the two minutes before half time before teams were able to score with Crowley going over for his second try.

After half time, Wirral were able to dictate the pace of the game with further tries from Mitchell and Matt Ringer to set up a 19-45 lead.

At this stage, Wirral made a number of changes to ensure all squad players played in the showpiece final with coach, Craig Harvey going over and a penalty from Dan Harvey giving Wirral a comfortable lead.

But the game was not over as Launceston staged an ulmighty comeback to score further tries in the last quarter against a weakened Wirral team who were able to see out time and win the trophy in its first year. 

As well as lifting a trophy, all 29 teams winners across the Papa Johns Community Cup Finals will be entered in a prize to win a visit from a Red Roses’ coach and a free Papa Johns pizza order.