The opening day of the RFU Championship saw the Cornish Pirates travel to Billesley Common to take on Moseley, a side that many pundits reckon will end up once again the relegation play-offs come March. However the form book was torn up as the homeside battled back to from a 24-5 deficit to draw 27 all against a Pirates side that once again hopes to be at the buisness end of the RFU Championship season.
First half tries from winger Dave Doherty, lock Ian Nimmo and full back Rob Cook together with Cook’s boot put the Pirates in a useful 24-10 lead. With centre Drew Locke once again drawing the praise from the commentators for his performance, the Pirates looked set for an opening day win, but it was not to be. Moseley hit back with a converted try after half-time. The Pirates then saw Locke go off injured and Cook yellow carded and the jitters set in!
Deep into injury time Moseley were awarded a penalty try with former Pirate Olly Thomas kicking the conversion to snatch an improbable draw.
No doubt the Pirates will want to put the record straight on Sunday at the Mennaye when Doncaster Knights are the visitors, the Knights suffered an opening day defeat at home to Bristol, who may well prove to be the dark horse in this season’s campaign.
Other news this week from the Mennaye is signing of Redruth’s fly-half Aaron Penberthy by the Championship club. Young Penberthy will remain on loan at Redruth. Pirates CEO Rod Coward stated “The application and effort displayed by Aaron during pre-season has been impressive, and he is clearly a talented young player with real potential. “Aaron will have game time on loan to Redruth but we can recall him when and as required.”
Redruth gave former St. Austell scrum-half Matt Shepherd his debut at Worthing. Despite a fine performance from their new recruit the Reds went down 27-25 to the Sussex side. Shepherd who has also been training and impressing at the Cornish Pirates played for Cornwall in last season’s Tamar Cup match coming on as a second half replacement he made such an impression that he picked up the man-of-the-match award.
Worringly for the Reds Penberthy picked up a rib injury and may well be doubtful for Saturday’s Cornish derby against Launceston at the Rec.
Not a great start for the Cornish All Blacks as they lost their second league match in National league 2 South going down 26-22 at Polson to Clifton. Out-scored on the try front three to one Launceston had Kieron Lewitt’s boot to thank for keeping them in touch. Ben Hilton got the CAB’s sole try, but it was not the start that skipper Tom Rawlings would have hoped for and no doubt they will travel to the Rec as a wounded animal desperate to get their season back on track with a win in the derby.
The refurbished bottom bar at the Redruth clubhouse will have it’s grand un-veiling on Saturday the bar will now be know as The Richard Sharp Bar and the great man himself will be there to offically open the bar. With the England v Argentina World Cup game being shown live in the morning along with a video of the Reds game at Worthing it should prove great pre-match entertainment in the clubhouse.
Camborne had a good opening day win in Tribute South West 1 West 15-6 against Cullumpton with Ben Priddey and Laurie Manna getting the tries. Dave Mankee’s boot got the other points. Wadebridge Camels lost at Avonmouth 22-5 with skipper Gary Gynn getting the Camel’s sole try. A depleted Penryn side were no match for Oldfield OB’s going down 37-8 with lock Danny Laity getting the Borough’s try and Rob Banks kicking a penalty.