Saturday 18th March 2017
Greene King IPA Championship Rd 19
Half an hour of O'Blitzkreig all but ended any Cornish hope of some share of the craic at the St Patrick's Party at the Madejeski – as an ominously strong London Irish outfit came out of the blocks on fire.
Tries for Ojo, Paice, De Chaves, Ransom (2) & Lewington cruelly exposed a Pirates side functioning on fumes it would seem – as a promising season appears to have taken it's toll.
Some woeful defence at times clearly contributed – but that spirit that has been synonymous of the current campaign – did at last shine through as the first period's conclusion hove into view.
Inspired by the reliable hands in the air of full back Toby May – the visitors finally got their hands on the ball properly. Cargill's break down the left created a sight of the line for Jake Parker – accompanied by a couple of Irish defenders clambering all over the back row's back. Parker 1 Irish 0!
From the restart, the Cornishmen pressed again and set up camp in the hosts' 22. A side step from Dan Lee revealed daylight that the impressive Alex Dancer – on his return to action – benefitted from for a try of his own. From nothing but a hiding all but on the cards – the Pirates looked good for a four try bonus if nothing else.
This possibility grew ever closer as the second period kicked off and the Cornishmen picked up from where they had left off.
Wave after wave of attacks were thrown at the men in green – whose defence was now booked in for some overtime it seemed.
In the end however Irish's line was not to be breached – despite some valiant attempts – most notably by Nicholas De Battista, who came agonisingly close on no less than three occasions.
Kyle Moyle took the hit of the match from Tikoirotuma – but even the winger had the presence of mind to offload to a team-mate – as the proverbial stars appeared before his eyes.
Sir even took a tumble over a prostrate Marlen Walker – much to the amusement of a new Championship crowd record (11671). Not something the Pirates have been unaccustomed too in their time at Level 2 – twice before having been party to record National One attendances, pre- Championship, at Quins & Northampton respectively.
Their entertainment was completed with a cruel twist of fortune as Topsy Ojo finished off as he'd started – with a try in the corner to complete the scoring.
It mattered little for we however. Cornish heads can be held high – as pride and honour had been upheld with dignity – for a last 50 minutes that will inspire greater things for sure.
15 Toby May, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Alex Dancer (19 Bar Bartlett), 12 Nicolas De Battista, 11 Kyle Moyle (22 Jack Arnott), 10 Will Cargill (21 Laurence May), 9 Alex Day (20 Mike Pope), 1 Marlen Walker (17 Luke Chapman), 2 Jack Innard, 3 Paul Andrew (16 Jack Andrew), 4 Chris Morgan (c), 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Jake Parker, 7 Dan Lee , 8 Tom Duncan (18 John Stevens)
Replacements: all used
Tries: Parker (32), Dancer (36)
15 Ben Ransom, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 12 Fergus Mulchrone, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 James Marshall (22 Jacob Atkins), 9 Brendan McKibbin (21 Scott Steele), 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (17 Harry Elrington), 2 David Paice (c)(16 Dave Porecki), 3 Ben Franks (18 Ollie Hoskins), 4 George Robson, 5 Sebastian De Chaves (19 Josh McNally), 6 Luke Narraway, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Senitiki Nayalo (20 Jerry Sexton)
Replacements: all used
Tries: Ojo (7,78), Paice (15), De Chaves (22), Ransom (25,30), Lewington (27)
Cons: Marshall (23,26)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
AR1: Jonathan Healey
AR2: Roger Baileff
4th: Mike Hudson 5th: Tom Tahany
Man of Match: Blair Cowan (Irish). De Battista (Pirates)