Westholme, Alexandra Road,

Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4LY

Tel: 01736 331961 Email: [email protected]

Cornish Pirates 20

Nottingham Rugby 29

1 December, 2019

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League / Cup

Championship Cup Rd 4

Stadium

The Mennaye

Attendance

1079

Home

Cornish Pirates 20

Away

Nottingham Rugby 29

Martin 'Woll' Woollatt

Never take anything for granted – so wise people rightfully say. And so it may have come to pass on a torrid afternoon at the Mennaye from a Pirates perspective.

The sun shone as kick off approached and – after a welcome break from action last weekend – confidence was understandably high coming into round 4 of the Championship Cup. With three successive home ties to look forward to – expectation(s) may have got ahead of itself as well. This with an awareness that a number of changes had been made coming into the fixture (nine) – including four making their competitive debuts for the club.

Thus, Nottingham rocked up into Pz – keen also no doubt to right some of the wrongs from two home losses to the Cornish side already this season. They’d have been delighted then, to have begun so brightly – their early endeavours rewarded by a try under the Penzance End posts from hooker, Brownlie, in the 4th minute – following a positive break through the Pirate line from lock, Jones. Canadian fly half O’Leary couldn’t miss the extras.

Encouragingly from a home perspective – the Pirates’ response came instantly. Skipper for the day, Cargill, slotted a 35m penalty to get his 100th appearance off to a good start straight after the restart – to hopefully calm any early jitters.

Two tries in four minutes before the first quarter was done, quickly built up a ten point cushion from which would surely be a platform to kick on. King and Davey marking their first competitive start and debuts respectively in promising fashion – whilst Cargs calmly adding the extras. Things looked rosy….

The visitors however had other ideas – and why shouldn’t they? The swift manner in which they’d fallen behind seemingly inspired – as they refused to roll over. Engineered by the impressive O’Leary and a known accomplice in the shape of former Pirate, Strong – they regained enough of a foothold to build from.

And lo – up stepped winger Spittle to ghost over for a second try just before the half hour -albeit with a suspicion of Pirates’ Holden being obstructed in the process. The officials thought otherwise and a nervy and scrappy feel beset the remainder of the first period.

Words were obviously said in the home changing room during the break – and the home front row had been 2/3 freshened up in the process. Channon & Rodman being introduced to try and kick-start the hosts. Cargill’s second penalty three minutes into the second half suggested possibly such.

But this never really transpired as the Cornishmen struggled to establish any rhythm and energy – despite obvious effort. It happens.

Quite rightly the Midlander’s exploited these weaknesses via tries from the impressive Strong and left wing Williams – and the clock now ticking ever faster in the final quarter. Harry’s dot down coming from a couple of side steps from the Pirates 22 line – that left a wake of flailing tacklers. David’s from persistence in chasing O’Leary’s kick into the Old Western National Corner and – significantly and un-noticed a limping Davey – who pulled up when turning to give chase too.

Harry (Davey)’s afternoon that had begun so pleasingly – sadly coming to an end with ten minutes remaining moments later – as the young winger was forced to trudge off.

Significantly this reduced the hosts to 14 players – as they’d used all their replacements – making the task of seeking a converted try of their won to (hopefully) win, that bit harder. But as if to underline their fortunes – valiant effort only got thrown back in their faces with O’Leary sealing a deserved five pointer – with a last kick of the game penalty, in front of the Newlyn Posts – denying the Pirates even a losing bonus point.

Match Officials

Referee:

Joe James

AR1:

Simon Park

AR2:

Adam Wookey

No:4:

Kevin Williams

Assessor:

Craig Maxwell-Keys

The Line Ups

Cornish Pirates Starting 15

15

AJ Cant

14

Harry Davey

13

Robin Wedlake

( 22

Javier Rojas Alvarez)

52

12

Rory Parata

( 23

Matt Evans)

62

11

Maliq Holden

10

Will Cargill (c)

9

Alex Schwarz

( 21

Ruaridh Dawson)

56

1

Hayden King

( 17

Will Norton)

56

2

Dan Frost

( 16

Tom Channon)

40

3

Craig Mitchell

( 18

Sam Rodman)

40

4

Cian Romaine

( 19

Jake Clemson)

49

5

Danny Cutmore

6

James McRae

7

Antonio Kiri Kiri

( 20

Sam Matevesi)

49

8

Tom Duncan

Substitutes

16

Tom Channon

17

Will Norton

18

Sam Rodman

19

Jake Clemson

20

Sam Matavesi

21

Ruaridh Dawson

22

Javier Rojas Alvarez

23

Matt Evans

Tries

Dan Frost

14

Harry Davey

18

Conversions

Will Cargill

15

Will Cargill

19

Penalties

Will Cargill

8

Will Cargill

43

Nottingham Rugby Starting 15

15

Tom Benjamin

14

Jack Spittle

( 23

Caetano Branco)

40

13

Harry Strong

12

Will Simonds

11

David Williams

10

Shame O'Leary

9

Murray McConnell

( 21

Alex Dolly)

69

1

Jamie Jack

( 18

Oisin Heffernan)

52

2

Ben Brownlie

( 16

Luke Cole)

58

3

Ben Betts

( 17

Aniseko Sio)

52

4

Llewelwyn Jones

( 19

Callum Allen)

64

5

Oliver Chessum

6

Seb Cecil

7

George Cox

8

Tui Uru

Substitutes

16

Luke Cole

17

Aniseko Sio

18

Oisin Heffernan

19

Callum Allen

20

Scott Hall

21

Alex Crocker

22

Matt Riddington

23

Caetano Branco

Tries

Ben Brownlie

4

Jack Spittle

27

Harry Strong

45

David Williams

65

Conversions

Shane O'Leary

5

Shane O'Leary

28

Shane O'Leary

66

Penalties

Shane O'Leary

80