THE CORNISH PIRATES took the honours on the opening day of the National League 1 campaign with a hard fought 26 – 12 at new boys the Cornish All Blacks.
Whilst the Cornish Pirates will be satisfied with the win they will no doubt be less than satisfied with their second half performance which the East Cornwall side shaded by 12-7.
Leading 19-0 at half-time thanks to a try from winger Brian Tuhoy converted by fly-half Gareth Steenson who also kept the scoreboard ticking over with four well struck penalty goals, the travelling Press Gang faithfull would have been contemplating their side finishing the job during the second half and travelling back West with all five points in their booty. The Cornish All Blacks had other ideas. A trademark pushover try was scored by CAB’s No 8 Dave Kimberley to cut the Pirates’ lead to 19-7 with Stuart Alred kicking the conversion. Former Pirate Matt Jess scored a spectacular try on his competative debut for the CAB’s, the flying winger chipped the ball over Pirates’ Nick Buckley and Adryan Winnan to score in the corner, Alred couldn’t add the extras at 19-12 Launceston could sense at least a losing bonus point.
The Pirates made the game safe with their second try scored by skipper Tim Cowley following a break from Iva Motusaga, Steenson’s conversion completed the scoring.
Both sides will take positives from the match, however the Cornish Pirates will have their sternest test of the season already on Sunday when Northampton Saints roll into Camborne.
On Sunday, Redruth got their National League 2 campaign off to a fine start with a 21-14 win away at Nuneaton. This the first of three away matches for the Reds during September before their first home match against Blackheath on October 6th!!
Clive Griffiths kicked a couple of penalties to give the Reds a 6-0 lead before Huw Thomas cut the deficit to 6-3, there was no more scores during the first half. Nuns then took the lead with a try scored by flanker Ian Critchley. Redruth proceeded to score three tries in a 15 minute burst, the first from winger Nathan Pedley followed by a brace from fellow winger Lewis Vinnicombe, further penalties from Griffiths completed the Reds tally.
Next weekend the Redruth front row head to SW France for the FIRA-AER International Festival as part of the England Counties squad to play against Russia, Spain and France Amateurs.
And so to perhaps the most emphatic scoreline of the day and one which I couldn’t have forecast MOUNT’S BAY 63 – 10 BARKING.
Bay could not have wished for a more glorious debut as a National League club then this demolishon of a club that last season played in the league above. 35-3 up at half-time, Bay turned the screw mercillously during the second half running in a total of NINE tries ALL converted by fly-half Lee Jarvis. Australian Tim Mosey lead the way with a hat-trick of tries with the other tries coming from Jarvis, Nick Burnett, former Barking skipper Jon Marlin, Andrew Cheung-Fook, John Griffiths and Ben Hilton, Barking’s full-back Harry Bryan scored all their points with a try, conversion and a penalty.
This scoreline will have sent shockwaves throughout the whole division, with Bridgwater next up to tackle Bay on Saturday.
In the two EDF-Energy Senior Vase 1st Round ties involving Cornish clubs on Saturday there were mixed results. Falmouth progressed defeating Bideford 30 – 20 at the Recreation Ground, whilst Newquay Hornets bowed out 31-10 at Okehampton.