The Cornish Pirates’ 16-14 loss in the Quarter-final of this season’s British & Irish Cup at the Mennaye Field on Sunday against an excellent Pontypridd side once again condemns the club to an early season finish for the second year running.
The Welsh Premiership leaders were well worth their win and now look forward to a semi-final against Leinster A on their Sardis Road pitch.
The Cornish Pirates final home Championship game will be this Sunday against Rotherham Titans with two away games against Bedford Blues and Leeds Carnegie to end with.
The Welsh side brought down 20 odd coaches of supporters, which given some rough maths equates to some 1,000 people. Given that the gate was just officially 2,155, that doesn’t say much for the level of local support and the Pirates’ un-offical fans forum has been in meltdown today for the reasons why!
In truth the match day attendances on a Sunday have not been that much better than those seen on a Friday evening despite the clamour!
The club need another Josh Lewsey to come in and hopefully stick with it and drive the club forward.
It needs an outside person preferably with a rugby background allied with business acumen to come in and see the big picture!
In my view the decline started when the club re-located back to the Mennaye from Camborne, it was and has proved to be a PR disaster!
The Cornish Pirates need to re-locate as soon as possible back to either Truro or the Camborne/Redruth area and the new board of directors need to grapple quickly with this problem. I accept that the continued uncertainty over the provision of a stadium has not helped matters and for that Cornwall Council must shoulder some responsibility, their attitude and that of some of their councillors has been and continues to be UNBELIEVABLE!
The Managing Director of INOX Rob Saltmarsh publicly stated on Laurence Reed’s BBC Radio Cornwall’s phone-in program that if the development of the stadium does not begin this year then he didn’t feel that it would go ahead at all. Time is of the essence both on and off the pitch!
I still harbour the hope that matters off the field regarding the stadium will be resolved and tangible progress will at last be seen to happen.
On the playing side the Pirates have some exciting talent that given the chance will see the club through. Kyle Moyle and Max Bodilly are but two of the youngsters who have thrilled us this season with the promise of more to come.
Back to the rugby, a match report by WMN’s Bill Sobey can be viewed in the link here.
Whilst Ian Davies’ post-match reaction can be viewed in this link here.
In National League 2 the suspense lingers as the games run out and both Cornish sides are still embroiled in the battle to avoid the final relegation berth!
Bournemouth are now confirmed as being relegated along with Exmouth.
Launceston made hard-work of defeating Exmouth at Poslson Bridge on Saturday edging home by a solitary point 18-17.
They are just above Ding’s Crusaders by virtue of points difference having played one game less. They travel to Ding’s this Saturday for what will prove to be a key clash in the final reckoning.
Bill Sobey’s match report from Polson Bridge can be found in the link here.
Redruth travelled to Bishop’s Stortford only to be sent back to Cornwall after suffering another heavy defeat 53-8. With skipper Chris Fuca forced into playing at centre and head-coach Ashley Morcom named amongst the replacements and three players on-loan from the Pirates the paucity of players able to travel at the Reds was once again clear for all to see.
Read Ed Bawden’s WMN match report in the link here.
Redruth play their final home league game against Clifton this Saturday knowing that they must win and claim all five points to keep their heads above water, whilst at the same time keeping an eye on the results of sides around them in the relegation dog-fight.
It’s going to be a very busy summer for Redruth’s new head-coach Steve Larkins who was appointed last week.
It also now appears likely that current Redruth head-coach Ashley Morcom will not be at Redruth in any capacity next season as he has heard nothing of his offer to carry on in a coaching role at the club and he is now actively looking for a position at another club.
In Tribute South West 1 West, already relegated Coney Hill in all likely-hood dealt St. Austell’s play-off hopes a deadly blow as they defeated the Saints 22-17.
St. Austell have just one league game remaining this Saturday at home to North Petherton and are just three points ahead of Cleve (a game in-hand), Chard (two games in-hand) and Camborne (one game in-hand).
This Wednesday evening St. Austell will play their Tribute Cornwall Cup semi-final against Saltash at Tregorrick Park with a 7-30 pm kick-off.
I watched Camborne keep their slim play-off hopes alive with a 34-6 win over Thornbury. It was Town’s final home league match with two tricky away games to play against Wadebridge this Saturday and then Clevedon on Easter Saturday.
My report on the game in the link.
Camborne’s Tribute Cornwall Cup semi-final against Penryn due to have been played this Wednesday evening at 6 pm has been postponed. New date to be advised.
Wadebridge Camels lost 40-29 at Bridgwater & Albion and know that nothing less than a win against Camborne will do, though their chances of escaping the drop back to Western Counties West look very slim now.
In Western Counties West, Truro recorded a fine win at Devonport Services 37-14 with full-back Tom Hatfield scoring three tries with further scores coming from Matt and Theo Gayton and Lewis Vinnicombe. Jake Champion kicked the other points.
This Saturday Truro conclude their league program when they entertain champions-elect Ivybridge!
Penryn lost at Burnham-on-Sea 26-12, St. Ives moved above Bude winning 48-14 at Paignton, whilst Bude beat Kingsbridge 25-19 to keep their faint hopes of avoiding the drop alive.
Up in London 2 SW, London Cornish’s excellent end of season run continues after defeating Old Alleynians 55-15. That makes it seven straight bonus point wins for the Cornish exiles on the bounce, a remarkable achievement at any level. Well done to DoR Dickon Moon and the boys.
In the Cornwall & Devon League Falmouth lost at home to promoted Tiverton 23-20, Saltash won at Newquay Hornets 71-5, Hayle look to have condemned Exeter Saracens to the drop after beating them 55-5, Veor lost at Wheal Gerry to Honiton 40-13 and finally Withycombe beat Pirates Amateurs 69-8.
This Saturday sees the Quarter-final ties of the Tribute Cornwall Clubs Cup they are as follows;
All ties kick-off at 2.30 pm
Illogan Park v Stithians
Helston v Redruth Albany
Perranporth v Bodmin
Liskeard/Looe v Roseland
THE WINNERS OF QUARTER FINALS WILL GO INTO A DRAW FOR THE
SEMI FINALS. THE 1st and 3rd NAMES OUT OF THE BAG WILL BE AT HOME.