Photo: Cattle & Paver pleased with result and performance
BRITISH & IRISH CUP
CORNISH PIRATES 23 – 14 ULSTER A
By Bill Hooper
A strong second half performance from the Cornish Pirates made sure it was two wins out of the first couple of rounds played in this season’s British & Irish Cup.
Two tries from Tom Cowan Dickie and the trusty boot of Will Cargill gave the Pirates the win and denied Ulster a losing bonus point, which could prove vital in the final analysis.
The win delighted Pirates’ backs coach Gavin Cattle. He said after the game. “I am delighted really; these two games have seen our squad tested to the full. I thought the lads stuck at well and then took their chances well when they came, patience was key today. I was also delighted for Chris Fuca who has come in and had a big game for us, also Kieran Westlake who shows a lot of promise for the future.”
As mentioned above the Cornish Pirates were forced to bring in a couple of players from other Cornish clubs for this fixture as their injury list continues to grow.
Vastly experienced Redruth forward Chris Fuca went straight into the starting line up in the back row, whilst Camborne’s Kieran Westlake was named on the bench.
Prior to the game a minute’s applause was held in remembrance of a great Pirate, Stack Stevens who passed away last week.
The Cornish Pirates had an early chance for points but Will Cargill’s penalty sailed wide of the posts.
For the rest of the first half it was pretty much stalemate as both defences worked hard to keep the opposition at bay.
The Pirates pack carried well through Cowan-Dickie, Fuca, Brett Beukeboom and Rupert Cooper.
Pirates were dealt a blow when winger AJ Cant was adjudged to have deliberately knocked the ball on and sent to the bin, it looked a harsh call.
Happily the Pirates weathered the ten minute sin-bin period despite the pressure Ulster A put them under. Lock Jack Regan was a big ball carrier for the visitors, whilst out wide Irish International winger Craig Gilroy was a constant threat.
With half-time fast approaching the stalemate was finally broken when Cargill kicked a penalty to put his side 3-0 up.
The Cornish Pirates began the second half with greater intensity the pressure finally told when Cowan-Dickie drove over from short-range for his first try, Cargill adding the extras.
The Ulsterman soon struck back when the dangerous Gilroy slipped a tackle and jinked his way to the line for a try converted by fly-half Peter Nelson.
Young Westlake came on and showed some good touches but sadly for the Camborne player his debut with the Pirates was short-lived as he was forced off after a nasty bang to the head.
Good field position set up the Pirates for another score; again the forwards drove for the line and again it was Cowan-Dickie who squeezed over with Cargill’s conversion making it 17-7.
Cargill then kicked a further penalty as time began to ebb away, however a late try from Ulster A scored by replacement lock Greg Jones, again bettered by Nelson looked to have given them a losing bonus point.
There was still time for the Pirates to get back down field and sneak a penalty that Cargill popped through the uprights to seal the win.