There was huge disappointment for the Cornish Pirates on Friday night when they lost their quarter-final tie in this season’s British & Irish Cup to Jersey Reds at rue des Landes 36-20.
A late flurry from the visitors when they scored a couple of tries saved some blushes on a night to forget.
Despite having lock Brett Beukeboom back from international duty with Canada, the Pirates lost flanker Alex Cheesman early in the game with a suspected dislocated and broken thumb.
Despite a couple of early Will Cargill penalties the Pirates found themselves trailing 21-6 at half-time and it got worse soon after the re-start. With time running out and trailing 36-6 the Cornish side struck back with late tries from skipper Tom Duncan and prop Paul Andrew both converted by Laurence May, but it was far too little too late.
Coach Gavin Cattle rued his side’s performance. “It was far below what we have achieved this season, our kicking game was poor as was our kick execution, we were second best at scrum time also. Hats off to Jersey who deserved the win on the night.”
In National League 2 South on Saturday, Redruth defeated Clifton at the Recreation Ground 26-7.
A dour first half saw the Reds lead 7-0 at the break thanks to a pick and go try from skipper Kyle Marriott converted by fly-half Joe Elderkin.
In the second half Elderkin finished off a fine move for the Red’s second try with late scores coming from Dean Bonds and the excellent Jack Oulton, Elderkin added a further two conversions.
In National 3SW, Camborne fought back at Bournemouth from 27-5 to draw 33 all.
Trailing 17-0 the Cherry and Whites got on the board thanks to an unconverted try from Jack Simmons. Bournemouth stretched away again before Town struck back with tries from Rhodri McAtee and Jon Drew both converted by Rhys Brownfield. Bournemouth added two further penalties before further converted tries from Drew and Sam Bartle tied the scores.
Camborne’s three points from the game keep them in third place, two pints behind second placed Dings Crusaders.
At the other end of the table Launceston lost 20-15 at Bracknell and now find themselves eight points behind Lydney and safety.
There was a welcome and timely return from injury for Fraser Honey who kicked a conversion and penalty, Greg Loydall and Jordan Duke with the tries for the All Blacks.
In Tribute Western Counties West, defeat for Truro at relegation haunted Crediton 20-16. Jack Tidball scored Truro’s try converted by Ashley Hosking who also kicked three penalties. With five games to play Truro could still nick a play-off place if other results go their way.
St. Ives completed the double over Wadebridge Camels winning 20-15 at Alexandra Road. Jacob Ninnes, Paul Nicholas and Lewis Thomas scored tries for the Hakes with Jordan Gott kicking a conversion and a penalty.
For the Camels Mike Rawlings and Jack Scott scored tries with James Grubb adding a penalty and a conversion.
St. Austell went down to likely champions Exeter University 38-14. Toby Robinson and Peter Rowe scored tries for the Saints both bettered by Liam Freeman.
Bude got a vital win in their battle at the bottom of the table against fellow relegation candidates Wellington 22-15. Adam Black, James Comber and Matt Trewin scored tries with Dan Pearce kicking a penalty and two conversions.
In London 2 SW, London Cornish won 41-27 at Old Tonbridgians, a result that sees them crowned champions and promotion to London 1 South next season (level 6). James La Broy (3), Tom Jeffery (2), Jake Slade and Matt Hakes scored the exiles tries with George Kimmins adding three conversions.
Celebrations were marred by an injury to centre Dave Funston early in the second half who had to be hospitalised but thankfully appears to be on the mend. We wish him well.
In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth clinched promotion without playing as Tamar Saracens couldn’t raise a side. The league title should be clinched at home to Tavistock on March 25th.
Saltash kept the pressure on Paignton for the second promotion place with a 38-17 win at Bodmin, who have slipped into the relegation berth following this latest defeat.
Ryan Rayner (2), Ryan Cruickshanks, Steve Hillman, Shaun Crawford and Lewis Wells all crossed for tries for the Ashes with Harrison Reburn kicking four conversions.
For Bodmin Paul Carter, Cody Armstrong and Harry Harland scored tries with Jamie Taylor adding a conversion.
Penryn lost at Paignton 35-7 with Matt Horton scoring their only try which he converted.
Lanner enjoyed another resounding win seeing off Pirates Amateurs at St. Day 43-3.
The Falcons scored seven tries through Dave Hewett (3), Jordan Hood (2), Robbie Kessell and Nick Prout who also added a conversion and two penalties.
Dan Magee kicked a penalty for the Amateurs.
In Tribute Cornwall 1, Hayle took a big step towards the title and an immediate return to the Cornwall & Devon League next season with a 33-0 win over Newquay Hornets.
Liskeard-Looe moved above Hornets into second place following their 36-7 win at Lux Park against St. Agnes.
Veor are within striking distance in fourth place after their 27-7 win at home to Roseland.
Helston beat Camborne School of Mines 24-0 at Penryn.
The Students are in action this Wednesday evening when they travel to leaders Hayle a game brought forward due to the forthcoming Easter holidays.
Sadly only one game was played in Tribute Cornwall 2 when leaders Lankelly-Fowey won at Stithians 19-7. The game was cut short due to an injury to a Stithians player after 63 minutes. We wish him well.
Both Illogan Park and St. Just were awarded walkovers against Redruth Albany and Perranporth respectively; however Perran travelled to St. Just and played a friendly game.
Congratulations to Jack Nowell as England retained the Calcutta Cup and the RBS 6 Nations Championship following their 61-21 against Scotland at Twickenham.
They now look to complete back-to-back Grand Slams and Triple Crowns in Dublin on Saturday.
England Under 20s will seek to complete their own Grand Slam against Ireland at Donnybrook with Cornish Pirates dual registered player Josh Caulfield in the squad.