Cornish Pirates 31 Jersey 20


Cornish Pirates 31 Jersey 20
British & Irish Cup, pool 6

Three weeks ago Jersey scored 10 points in the final four minutes of play to claim a dramatic victory over the Pirates.

Yesterday it was the Cornishmen's turn to stage an 11th hour comeback, with converted tries in the 77th and 80th minute. The first saw them reclaim a lead that had been seized by a cussed Jersey side, and the second was a hammer blow, taking Jersey's losing bonus point and upgrading the hosts' haul to a full-house of five.

The result, and an impressive win for Ayr at home to Ulster Ravens by 41-22, saw Pirates pull clear in pool 6 of the British & Irish Cup - they have a maximum 15 points, well clear of Jersey (6), Ayr (5) and Ulster (4), although Jersey will be looking to gain revenge at St Peter next Saturday. Three wins could yet propel the Islanders to the cusp of qualification for the B&I quarter-finals, especially with two places available to the best runners-up in the six pools.

After a lively start from the visitors, playing their first game under Interim Head Coach Steve Boden, it was Pirates who got on the scoreboard through tries by James Phillips and Kyle Moyle; Moyle converted both scores.

Niall Bed

Niall O'Connor (above) got Jersey back into the game with a penalty on 18 minutes, and Jersey fought back into the game on the back of some committed forward play that showed a real dominance over the home pack, especially at scrum time. A penalty try on 30 minutes and another O'Connor penalty soon afterwards made it 14-13 at the break.

A crowd of 1,223 were looking for the home side to score first after the interval - the Pirates achieved this, but only via a Moyle penalty after 58 minutes, and otherwise were repelled by Jersey's defence.

The scrum remained Jersey's most potent weapon and with 15 minutes to go there began a series of scrums on the Pirates' line. It was estimated that there were around 12 scrums, including re-sets and numerous penalties, and eventually the referee gave another penalty try, converted by O'Connor to give Jersey the lead for the first time (17-20) after 74 minutes.

Matt Evans, scorer of a hat-trick at St Peter in Jersey's first Championship game 15months ago, took an inside pass from scrum-half Gavin Cattle to score his side's third, and then Darren Barry crossed during the final play to seal a bonus point and leave Jersey empty-handed.

The return match is next Saturday at St Peter (k-o 3pm) and Jersey will be hoping for a big crowd to cheer them back to winning ways.

Cornish Pirates
Tries: James Phillips, Kyle Moyle, Matt Evans
Conversions: Kyle Moyle 2, Angus Sinclair 2
Penalty: Kyle Moyle

Tries: Penalty 2
Conversions: Niall O'Connor 2
Penalty: Niall O'Connor

Cornish Pirates: 15 Craig Holland, 14 Kyle Moyle (Mike Pope 74), 13 Tom Riley (Alex Dancer 35) 12 Rheon James, 11 Luke Jones (Angus Sinclair 54), 10 Matt Evans, 9 Gavin Cattle (capt); 1 Shane Cahill, 2 Rob Elloway (Tom Channon 74), 3 Peter Joyce (Jack Andrew 47), 4 Will Graulich, 5 James Sandford (Darren Barry 49), 6 Chris Morgan, 7 Joel Conlon, 8 James Phillips (Alex Cheesman 77)

Jersey: 15 Drew Locke, 14 James Copsey, 13 Mark McCrea (Jimmy Williams 13), 12 Mark Foster, 11 Jack Burroughs, 10 Niall O'Connor, 9 Joel Dudley; 1 Tom Fidler, 2 Dave Felton (Elvis Taione 54), 3 Nick Selway (Jon Brennan 54), 4 Nick Campbell (Alex Rae 61), 5 Dave Markham, 6 James Voss (Latu Makaafi 61), 7 Fred Silcock, 8 Tom Brown (capt). Replacement not used: Luke Stratford

Referee: Dean Richards

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