Cornish Pirates 30 Ealing Trailfinders 10
By Phil Westren
Playing not only their eagerly awaited first
home fixture of the season but also an opening Greene King IPA Championship
league game in 2019/20, the Cornish Pirates simply couldn’t have got off to a better
visiting Trailfinders had finished runners-up in the past two Championship
campaigns, besides having lifted the Championship Cup after beating London
Irish in last season’s final, so for the Pirates merit marks were fully
hard work during the summer and autumn, both on and off the field, was
seemingly rewarded, and following a wet spell the sun also showed itself as if
to Dicky Evans and the work undertaken by committed individuals the ground
looked superb. The new pitch surface impressed, as did higher new posts, whilst
an erected big screen in the Newlyn gate corner provided an extra special
addition to the match day experience.
in the context of the game, playing towards the Newlyn end of the ground the
Pirates got off to a terrific start, with flanker Fa’atiga Lemalu in rampaging
form and tries from wing Maliq Holden and man-of-the-match centre Nicolas De
Battista putting the Pirates 10-nil up in just as many minutes. Fly-half Javier
Rojas Alvarez was luckless with an early penalty and with an attempted
conversion of the team’s opening try, however he added the extras to the second
score and then landed a penalty midway through the half after his opposite
number Craig Willis appeared fortunate just to be shown ‘yellow’ for dangerous
the Trailfinders hardly helped their cause by twice kicking the ball dead from
restarts, approaching the half-hour mark full-back David Johnston was at least
on target with a penalty effort.
half-time the Pirates needed to react and once again show who was in charge,
and they did just that, a converted try by skipper Brett Beukeboom giving them
a fully deserved 22-3 points lead.
minutes a second well struck penalty by Rojas Alvares put the Pirates further
ahead, whilst they would soon be tested defensively for a lengthy spell.
Pressurised inside their ‘22’ the team showed immense grit and determination in
the tackle area, a will to give every ounce of themselves demanding admiration.
replacement scrum-half Jordan Burns, who has inflicted damage upon the Pirates
in times past, managed to show a clean pair of heels to break clear and score a
converted try, but the Pirates would soon hit back again. Identified from a
mass of bodies at the clubhouse corner, the game’s final points, a bonus point
try, was scored by centre Callum Patterson.
result for the Pirates, especially in performance terms, will rank highly.
These are though, early days, and I guess we shouldn’t get carried away just
yet – should we?
Cornish Pirates: 15 AJ Cant, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Callum Patterson, 12 Nicolas De Battista, 11 Maliq Holden, 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 9 Alex Schwarz (Rhodri Davies 67); 1 Jack Andrew (Marlen Walker 47),
2 Tom Cowan-Dickie (Tom Channon 47), 3 Jay Tyack (Craig Mitchell 47), 4 Danny
Cutmore (Matt Bolwell 63), 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Fa’atiga Lemalu, 7 John Stevens, 8 Will Wilson (James McRae 67).
(not used): Will Cargill, Robin Wedlake.
Ealing Trailfinders: 15 David
Johnston (Tommy Bell 70), 14 James Cordy Redden, 13 Jack Tovey,12 Pat Howard,
11 Reon Joseph, 10 Craig Willis (Stephen Shingler 46), 9 Nathan Fowles (Jordan
Burns 45); 1 Jordan Els (Will Davis 40), 2 Alun Walker (Matt Cornish 40), 3
Craig Trenier (Elliot Millar Mills 40), 4 Sam Dickinson (Dave McKern 26), 5
James Cannon (Andrew Durutalo 63), 6 Kieran Murphy, 7 Jordy Reid, 8 Rayn Smid
Pirates – tries: Holden, De Battista, Beukeboom, Patterson; cons: Rojas Alvarez
(2); Pens: Rojas Alvarez (2).
Trailfinders – try: Burns; con: Shingler; pen: Johnston.
Referee: Adam Leal
Man of the Match: Nicolas De
Try-of-the-Match winner: Maliq Holden