Photo by Simon Bryant Iktisphoto. Cattle & Paver see Pirates’ play-off hopes evaporate in London haze
An exciting weekend of rugby that saw some promotion and relegation issues settled up and down the leagues.
Cornish Pirates were for the second time this season denied by Richmond as a late converted try sealed a 35-32 win for the London side.
That defeat now means that the Pirates cannot qualify for the end of season play-offs and they will play their final game this season on Easter Saturday against Bedford Blues 3pm.
It began brightly for the Pirates with early tries from Max Bodilly and Kyle Moyle both converted by Laurence May.
Despite Richmond pulling a couple of converted tried back, Toby May grabbed a third try for the Pirates before the break which Laurence May converted as well as a couple of penalties for a handy 27-14 half-time lead.
Having lost Alex Day to the bin prior to the break Pirates were up against it as Richmond roared back with two converted tries in the space of four minutes to lead 28-27.
A Brett Beukeboom try regained the initiative for the Pirates but they were undone as Richmond scored a fifth converted try to take the spoils.
Cornish Pirates coach Gavin Cattle was disappointed at the end. “The game was in our hands, we showed some great attacking intent but we seemed to get complacent with a lack of execution. A very frustrating end for us with a top four place to play for.”
A late try from scrum-half Jack Oulton converted by Brett Rule gave Redruth a share of the spoils at Taunton 33-33 in National League 2 South.
Redruth other tries came from Kyle Marriott, Lewis Vinnicombe, Chris Fuca and Richard Brown with Rule adding a further three conversions.
Reds remain fifth in the table a point behind Taunton with two games to play.
In National League 3 SW, Camborne completed their home fixtures with a 22-12 win against Lydney. It was Dave Roberts final home game for the Cherry and Whites he led the side out prior to kick-off.
The strong wind dictated play, Camborne having faced the elements playing up the slope were happy to turnaround 7-5 at half-time thanks to an Ashley Lawton try converted by Dave Mankee.
Despite being down to fourteen men with prop Jon Drew in the bin Town extended their lead thanks to a try from Richie Kevern converted by Mankee who also added a penalty. Centre Jack Simmons scored a third try for Camborne before the end.
The game ended on a sour note as a player from each side was red carded, after a bout of fisticuffs, Lawton being the Camborne player signalled out.
Launceston went down in the final home game of the season 19-12 to Cleve. The All Blacks’ tries came from Rueben Edwards and Ryan Westren with Fraser Honey adding a conversion.
In Western Counties West, Truro’s game against league champions Exeter University was ended five minutes early when the referee picked up an injury.
At the time Truro led 15-14 having fought back from 14-0 down. The result should stand and keeps Truro fourth with a shout at third place ahead of their final two fixtures at Torquay and Burnham.
Wadbeidge Camels defeated Devonport Services 27-20 and remain in fifth spot. Matt Ballard, Ben Hawken, Ben Humber and Dom Hawkey scored tries with James Grubb kicking two conversions and a penalty.
St. Ives rounded off their home league program with a 52-10 win against Crediton.
St. Austell defeated Wellington 28-14 a result that sees the Somerset side relegated.
Welly were caught up in the mayhem on the M5 heading to Cornwall so kick-off was delayed, Saints did enough for a bonus point win thanks to tries from Adam Kellow, Hugh Noot, Shane Johns and a penalty-try award. Liam Freeman converted all four scores.
Sadly Bude’s return to this level only lasted the season, their defeat at home to Cullompton 45-0 seals their return to the Cornwall & Devon League next season.
In London 2 SW, London Cornish had to come from behind to complete their league program unbeaten. They finally ran out winners at Twickenham 34-21, having trailed 18-0 at one stage. Ross Harper, Chris Kolapo-Ajala, Rich Stephens, Tim Homan and George Kimmins all scored tries with Kimmins adding three conversions and a penalty.
In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, champagne corks were finally popped at Falmouth as the Eagles ran riot under the sunshine defeating Cornwall 1 bound Bodmin 103-0. Falmouth ran in fifteen tries to celebrate their title in front of their home crowd.
Saltash were given a stiff test by the fast improving Lanner side before emerging winners 24-14. Phil Eatwell, Harrison Reburn and Shaun Crawford scored tries for the Ashes with Reburn kicking all three conversions and a penalty. For Lanner Bev Stone scored a try and Ben Prout kicked three penalties.
Paignton’s win at Plymstock 61-0 ensured their promotion leaving Saltash in third place.
Elsewhere, Penryn won 38-31 at Plymouth Argaum and Pirates Amateurs defeated visitors Withycombe 49-27 in an entertaining game.
In Tribute Cornwall 1, Newquay Hornets finished runners up after defeating Roseland 58-10, though whether they will contest the play-off for promotion to the Cornwall & Devon League with the runner-up from Devon 1 Torrington is still unclear.
Liskeard-Looe finish in third place following their 45-3 win at home to Veor who ended up fourth.
St. Agnes defeated Helston 21-0.
In Tribute Cornwall 2, congratulations to Lankelly-Fowey who were confirmed champions prior to their game against Camelford. A friendly game was played between the clubs with Lankelly-Fowey winning 91-0.
Stithians had a walkover against Redruth Albany, whilst Illogan Park won 52-10 at St, Just.
With the completion of the league program in Cornwall 1&2, apart Camelford v Stithians due to be played Easter Saturday, attention for the rest of the season turns to cup rugby.
The Tribute Cornwall Clubs Cup has been split into four competitions. The top four sides in Cornwall 1 will play for the Clubs cup the draw is;
Liskeard-Looe v Hayle
Newquay Hornets v Veor
To be played on Saturday 22nd April.
The Tribute Clubs Plate will involve, Helston, St. Agnes, Roseland and Camborne School of Mines
The Tribute Clubs Bowl will involve Lankelly-Fowey, Illogan Park, Stithians and St. Just.
The Tribute Clubs Shield, (to be played as a round robin with top two in the final) Redruth Albany, Perranporth and Camelford.
At present the fixtures and dates for the last three competitions are unknown. The finals of all four competitions is scheduled to take place on Monday 1st May.