Sunday September 11th 2016
Greene King IPA Championship Rd 2
Mennaye Field Penzance
Buoyed by the excellent result last weekend at Goldington Road, hopes were understandably high of something similar perhaps, to mark Gav & Paves' first game in charge at home – and Moyle's 50th appearance in Pirate colours.
Maintaining a 100% start to the season may have been just beyond the Cornishmen – but a thrilling second half turnaround at least ensured the column marked 'L' remained – deservedly – at zero.
Having missed the drop last time around – Ealing had been rewarded with the chance to build during the close season – a task that seemingly has been carried out with commendable canniness.
Any side containing the likes of former Bristolians, Grieve & Lawrence – full Welsh international Harries and – most worryingly from a Pirates perspective, Mark Bright – need to be given full respect.
Anyone doubting this were to be swiftly slapped down – as the visitors' intent was made apparent from the get-go.
Hesitation in the Cornish defence at Trailfinders' DoR and fly half, Ben Ward's kick off towards the Newlyn End, signalled an opening quarter spent almost exclusively in the Pirates 22.
Mercifully some spirited defence from the hosts - at least prevented the contest being all but decided by the time the half time oranges had been cut up. Ryan's 18th minute opening try therefore came as no surprise and rewarded Ealing's reluctance to opt for the tee, when three pointers were offered – something that occurred with alarming regularity in the first period.
The lack of points for this dominance appeared to matter little as the Londoners continued to own the first half – despite a brief, ten minute spell, when the Pirates threatened an immediate riposte.
A fine try by Pirates' Canadian international wing Matt Evans in the 27th minute, had followed a close call from Moyle & Beukeboom, as the home side at last enjoyed possession of their own.
This consequently proved to be only a temporary comeback, as the visitors merely brushed aside this inconvenience, and picked up from where they'd left off.
Two tries in six minutes before the break by Wilson & Casson affirmed their ascendancy.
When Ward hoofed a 45m penalty just after, to extend the lead to 17 points – things looked decidedly precarious from the homesters.
The triple substitution by the Cornishmen that followed this latest setback- proved to be decisive and - arguably the turning point of the game.
Up front – the introduction of Paul Andrew (at long last!) & Tom Channon, immediately changed the dynamic in both the loose and set play. Stuart Townsend's impact also added spark behind the pack and in an instant – the game had turned on a tanner (that's six old pence kids!).
When Brighty's 'apprentice' – Tom Duncan crashed over for the Pirates' second try, fifteen minutes into the second period– a sustainable revival was now in progress. Cargill's penalty five minutes later only affirmed this - making it a seven point game and with a full quarter still remaining.
Ealing's set piece suddenly looked ropey and Mr Ridley's whistle was now signalling a penalty count turning against the men in green & white.
Moyler's levelling score, converted by Cargill – with ten minutes still to go – handed the hosts with the initiative they would surely press home? Their flair and daring when going forwards was at times breath taking – and Ealing by now had no answers. Bright's 'fuse' at the back of his hair had well and truly extinguished – or so it seemed.
With less than five minutes left – a seemingly harmless 'Garryowen' from Ward – ultimately dampened Cornish hopes. That infamous thing in rugby – namely the bounce of the ball - gifted Wilson with his second dot down of the afternoon in the Clubhouse Corner. Ward's (3rd) precision shot from out wide then gave hope of a full sweep of the points and left the home faithful deflated – temporarily it transpired.
Townsend's quick thinking and vision – on top of a stunning show of determination when many would have rolled over and accept their fate – saw the replacement scrum half snatch the Pirates' bonus point try. Cargill's accuracy once gain levelled the contest and – maintained Will's100% record from the tee.
There was also time for once last effort – at least until a breakdown infringement just inside Ealing's half – gave the visitors the chance for a prolonged conference – until Ward finally decided to hack the pill into touch and settle for honours even and three points each.
15 Toby May, 50 Kyle Moyle, 13 Alex Dancer, 12 Nicolas De Battista
11 Matt Evans, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day (21 Stuart Townsend 46)
1 Marlen Walker (18 Paul Andrew 46), 2 Jack Innard (16 Tom Channon 46)
3 Tyler Gendall (17 Jack Andrew 64), 4 Chris Morgan (capt), 5 Brett Beukeboom
6 Dan Lee (20 Sam Simmonds 49), 7 Alex Cheesman, 8 Tom Duncan (19 Jake Parker 67).
Replacements: un-used 22 Laurence May
Tries: Evans (27), Duncan (54), Moyle (71), Townsend (79)
Cons: Cargill (4)
1 Nacho Lancuba (18 Alex Penny 49), 2 Rhys Lawrence, 3 Lewis Thiede (17 Will Davis 49), 4 Carwyn Jones (19 Llewelyn Jones 59), 5 Harry Casson, 6 Willie Ryan (20 Mike MacFarlane 64), 7 Iain Grieve, 8 Mark Bright (captain), 9 Luke Carter, 10 Ben Ward, 11 Phil Chesters, 12 Joe Munro, 13 Lewis Jones, 14 Curtis Wilson, 15 Will Harries (22 Aaron Penberthy 72).
Replacements: un-used 16 Arthur Ellis, 21 Alex Walker
Tries: Ryan (18), Wilson (30,75), Casson (35)
Cons: Ward (19,31,36,76)
Pens: Ward (45)
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Brian Ravenhill
Assessor: Christopher White
Man of Match: Chris Morgan