Sunday February 5th 2017
Greene King IPA Championship Rd 15
Mennaye Field Penzance
It was drama all the way till the final whistle - as a late, LATE try for the Cornish Pirates by Penalty A, sealed the win for the hosts – in a game that had more twists & turns in it, than all the rural lanes in Cornwall combined!
Credit then to both sides on producing such a combative and yet enterprising encounter, in conditions that could so easily have cancelled out any thought of endeavour.
Scottish will surely rue not killing the game off sooner - in a second period that saw them relentlessly turn deficit into a late lead. But having turned a game of two halves into a winning position – promptly committed another cliché by not playing until the final whistle.
A deceptive sunny afternoon thus began well for the hosts, keen no doubt to maintain their recent upturn in form – and capitalise on their unexpected extra 'free weekend'. The early exchanges however gave ample warning of the visitors' potential, until the Pirates finally opened the scoring with a May L. penalty fifteen minutes in – at the second time of asking.
A`penalty from the Exiles' full back Lydon did though level things five minutes later – but given the need for some ferocious Cornish defence – this may well have felt a good trade-off. It certainly appeared so as the Pirates ramped things up somewhat, in a second quarter that saw them take the ascendancy.
Tom Duncan's disappointment at seeing a try scrubbed out, was quickly erased by fellow back rower, Alex Cheesman - as the latter rounded off a carbon copy move at maul time, for the game's first try.
A second score on the stroke of half time for Toby May, handed the Pirates with a deserved and comfortable-looking lead – off the back of a cruel bounce of the ball for Lydon in the Old Western National Corner. The beleaguered full back having only just savoured trading penalties with the 'other' May, to keep his team in contention.
After the break and it was a different story as London Scottish came out meaning business 'big time'. We can only presume there was a 'nip of something' strong in their cuppa's.
Pressure mounted quickly, with the Cornish side struggling from the period's outset. It was no surprise then, when centre Ross Neal, rounded off an excellent handling move covering some 50m, in the 48th minute. The visitors now were more than back in it – they were dictating the game with ever increasing ease.
Cornish gains were only fleeting – and when former Pirate, Joe Atkinson, strode on and almost scored with first touch – his past team were now clearly dallying with the ropes.
When Walker found himself binned on the hour, things looked even bleaker. A brace of tries – courtesy of hooker Cherry & Lydon in the space of this ten minute period only added to the home side's woes. The latter also added a penalty – but importantly not the difficult conversions – but with it came the lead f0r the first time in the afternoon.
Surely a win on the road beckoned? All the Exiles needed to do was keep their discipline...
The Pirates though were back to their full quota of personnel and channelled everything into seeking a final throw of the dice.
Caution was not an option and this surge of determination not only created a chance – but forced Scottish into just that vital lapse in concentration. Prop Koroi – whose offloading and general effectiveness had been more than evident – was the first to crack. Two menacing Cornish mauls drew the Fijian into transgression – which not only earned him a yellow – but saw Mr Kirby trot under the posts to gift the Pirates the lead.
Then Danny Kenny's frustration got the better of him at the death – when the Exiles desperately needed possession for one last chance.
On such small details are outcomes decided.
15 Toby May, 14 Jack Arnott, 13 Nicolas De Battista, 12 Bar Bartlett (20 Tom Hendrickson 56), 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Laurence May (21 Will Cargill), 9 Alex Day (22 Mike Pope 49), 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Tom Channon, 3 Paul Andrew (16 Jack Andrew 40), 4 Chris Morgan (capt), 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Dan Lee (19 Jake Parker 52), 7 Alex Cheesman, 8 Tom Duncan.
Replacements: un-used 17 Luke Chapman, 18 Josh Caulfield,
Tries: Cheesman (29), T.May (39), Penalty (75)
Cons: L.May (30,76)
Pens: L.May (15,36)
Yellow (Walker 58-68)
15 Peter Lydon, 14 Alec Coombes, 13 Robbie Fergusson, 12 Ross Neal, 11 Jason Harries, 10 Tom Galbraith, 9 Ed Hoadley (21 Jamie Stevenson 40), 1 Grant Shiells, 2 David Cherry (16 Tom Lindsay 63), 3 Dan Koroi, 4 Rory Bartle (c), 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 6 Ally Miller (20 Joe Atkinson 56), 7 Danny Kenny, 8 Ifereimi Boladau (19 Dom McGeekie 71)
Replacements: un-used 17 Jonny Harris, 18 Phil Cringle, 22 Ben Rath
Tries: Neal (48), Cherry (59), Lydon (69)
Cons: Lydon (60,)
Pens: Lydon (20,34,66)
Yellow Koroi (75-)
Referee:Fergus Kirby (RFU)
Assistants: Andrew Pearce & Daniel Parrot
4th Official: Kevin Williams
Performance Reviewer: Steve Leyshon
Man of Match: Chris Morgan