A two week rest for the Cornish Pirates from league action, but no chance of putting up their feet. Instead a new competition to get stuck into with the first couple of rounds of the British & Irish Cup.
Having got off to a flying start last weekend at Camborne against Scottish opponents Gael Force winning 29-8, the Pirates and many of their fans travelled across to Ireland, to Donnybrook spiritual home of European Champions Leinster to take on the Irish province. No Leinster A or any other such notion this was very much a Leinster side that the Pirates tackled boasting at full back Irish International Girvan Dempsey.
It was a tight affair throughout with the home side such sneaking it 12-10 thanks to the boot of australian Shaun Berne. For the Pirates Rob Cook landed a first half penalty and then converted skipper Gavin Cattle’s second half try. A result that leaves the Pirates second in the Pool A table two points behind the leaders Leinster. WMN match report here
The competition takes a break now until February with home games against Exeter Chiefs and Newport and a trip to Plymouth Albion to decide who tops the pool and advances to the semi-finals.
With the game only broadcast by Radio Cornwall on medium wave, those unable to pick up commentary from Dick Straughan reverted to the good old Pirates’ sportsnetwork site for updates from those of us “back home” including Dicky Evans. It was good to be all togeather once more on the boards!
In National League 1 the week’s break was anything but tranquil over at Redruth were the club were obliged to undertake a financial review reulting in playing staff and coaches being asked to take a pay cut to help the club ease it’s cash flow problems. This resulted in six players leaving the club. If Newbury thought that Redruth would be a soft touch then they had a very rude awakening on Saturday as Redruth produced one of their best performances of the season in atrocious playing conditions to win 29-3. The pack played a fantastic game allowing half backs Mark Richards and Brett Rule to dictate play, Richards tactical kicking in the conditions was simply marvellous. A penalty try award with further tries from Richard Carroll, Mark Bright and Richards secured the bonus point, proving that Redruth are still very much a force to be reckoned with. Bill Sobey’s WMN match report here
Up at Polson Bridge, the Cornish All Blacks enjoyed a fine win at home against Nuneaton by 30-3 with Sam Hocking, Ed Lewsey, Mal Roberts and Jamie Salter all scoring tries for Launceston, Yapp and Roberts landed a conversion each with Yapp also kicking a couple of penalties.
For more on this game see Mike Barlow’s WMN report here
In the regional Tribute leagues, in South West 1 West, the battle of the Fishermen went the way of Brixham as they defeated St. Ives 13-7. Andrew Skinner scored the Hakes try, which Ian Morgan converted.
In Western Counties West,the Cornish derby of the day was up in North Cornwall with Bude entertaining Truro, with the city side losing touch at the top of the table as Bude won 12-8. Truro led 8-0 at half-time thanks to try from centre Justin Irons and a penalty from Scott Martin. In the second half Bude struck back with tries from prop Matt Williams and Joe Wilson with Paul Williams adding a conversion.
Camborne continue to lead at the top of the table after another good win at home against Tiverton 36-0 thanks to tries from Sam Matavesi (2), Joe Parma, Laurie Manna, Dave Roberts and Tom Notman. Dave Mankee banging over three conversions.
Wadebridge Camels are just behind Kingsbridge in third spot following their 36-10 win at basement side Withycombe. Despite being depleted Camels were too good for the hapless withies, tries for the Camels came from Sam Stone, Matt Ballard (2), Tom O’Donnell, Ben Miskowicz, and Dan Lumb with Josh Taylor kicking three conversions.
Penryn gave Kingsbridge a good game before losing 11-7 at High House with Darren Pellow scoring for the Borough and Taron Peacock converting .
Newquay Hornets lost at home to North Petherton 22-7 with Rob McIntyre scoring the hornets try and Sam Cullen converting.
In London 2 SW, London Cornish enjoyed a fine win on their “overseas” travel as they won in front of a large crowd 9-6 in Guernsey. Dickon’s report on the events in Guernsey can be found here
In the Cornwall & Devon League; St. Austell are our best place side lying 5th after their 16-10 win over Exeter Saracens at Tregorrick. Stithians slipped up at Crediton 23-6, whilst Hayle won a low scoring game at home to Plymstock 5-3, Scott Powell getting the try. Falmouth had a good win at home against Teignmouth 17-13, Sam Burke and Steve Instance scoring the tries. Liskeard & Looe had a welcome win at Lux Park against OPM’s 10-3, whilst Saltash’s trip to leaders Wellington fell foul to the weather.
With the Autumn International’s winding up, it was pleasing to note Josh Matavesi getting his third cap this autumn for Fiji playing at fly-half in their 29-18 win over the “Oaks” Romania in Bucharest on Saturday. Josh contributing 9 points with three conversions and a penalty.