Winning starts for Cornish Pirates & the Reds

Photo – Ian Davies pleased with Pirates winning start. Photo Simon Bryant Iktis photo

Just the start the Pirates wanted an 18-14 win, following the decision in July that will enable their new home in Truro to be built.

There is no question that there is a spring in the step down at the Mennaye, both on and off the park.

The visit of Nottingham brings back to Cornwall a dear friend of Cornish rugby, former Pirate Martin Haag. Those of an older generation will remember his exploits for Cornwall, St. Ives and Bath.

Former Penryn player Toby Freeman also played for Nottingham and his return to Cornwall enabled to meet up with his old playing companion from Ordiza, Spain, recently retired player Tom Parker, who played for and captained the Spanish National team. Yes, he is related to Pirates back row player Jake Parker.

A glorious afternoon (typical as the schools go back) greeted the players for this opening IPA Greene-King Championship game.

The first half was a cagey affair with just a Kieran Hallett penalty separating the sides.

The second half was better, an early try by Nottingham centre Pila Iongi, converted by Lawrence Rayner, who had inexplicably fluffed a first half penalty attempt from in front of the sticks, put the visitors ahead.

Nottingham then had loose-head prop Kieran Davies yellow carded and whilst he was off the Pirates bagged a couple of scores.

The first a well-worked unconverted try from a driving maul from hooker Rob Elloway.

Elloway made way shortly after for Tom Channon, who went off on strong run up to the twenty-two. The ball ended up with centre Tom Hendrickson who showed great balance as he sped in for a cracking score at the posts.

Hallett then added a second penalty to put the Pirates 18-7 up, but a late try from centre Viliami Hakalo again converted by Rayner gave the visitors a losing bonus point to take home.

Following the game Director of rugby Ian Davies expressed his satisfaction with the win and praised his side’s commitment, whilst acknowledging there was still plenty of work to do prior to their trip to Jersey.

In National League 2 South, it proved to be an afternoon of contrasting fortunes for our Cornish sides.

Redruth got off to a flying start with a 37-16 win at Redingensians. The Reds ran in six tries through prop Tom Cowan-Dickie (2), flanker Ben Priddey, centre Neilson Webber, winger Alex Ducker and No. 8 Kyle Marriott. Ashley Hosking and Murray Westren each kicked a conversion with Hosking also adding a penalty.

Not such a good day for Launceston at Polson Bridge as they went down to defeat 3-47 against Old Albanian, recent signing Fraser Honey kicking their solitary points.

In Tribute South West 1 West, a much changed Camborne side put up a good fight against the league favourites Weston-super-Mare before going down 21-23 at home.

Sam Matavesi, Ben Jordan and Andrius Zacharovas scored tries for the Cherry and Whites with scrum-half Taron Peacock adding all three conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West, St. Austell made a fine start in their bid to bounce back up at the first attempt beating Tiverton 29-15 at Tregorrick.

Saints scored four tries through Ian Venner, Sam Rhodes (2) and Ben Chenoweth, Andy Ashwin kicked the rest of the points.

A depleted Penryn side went down to a Gareth Evans inspired Okehampton 29-19. Kirk Oldfield, Ben Trevaskis and Dan Booth scored tries for the Borough with James Salisbury adding a couple of conversions.

Newly promoted Saltash went down at Moorlands 14-20 to Kingsbridge. Flanker Lewis Wells scored a try for the Ashes with Max Veneables kicking three penalties.

Wadebridge Camels lost a tight affair at Devonport Services 29-25, tries were scored by Rich Trevarthen (2) and Rhys Bright along with penalty-try converted by Matt Grubb who also landed a penalty.

Truro defeated Cullompton 20-18 at St. Clements Hill. Tries for Truro were scored by Darren Symons and Ben Teasdale with Toby Armstrong kicking both conversions and a couple of penalties.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, there was a fine start for St. Ives as they won 36-21 at Plymstock. The Hakes scored five tries through Lewis Thomas, Neil Corin, Paul Thirlby, Nathan Allen and Martin Lawrence with Grant Thirlby kicking four conversions and a penalty.

Falmouth got off to a winning start defeating Tavistock 22-5 at the Rec. Tom Edmonds, Tom Spiller and Rafael Baragwanath scored tries for the Eagles with Justyn Irons kicking the other points.

Hayle won the Cornish derby defeating newly-promoted Newquay Hornets 25-19 after a ding-dong battle, Alex Thornton, Tony Matthews and Damien Lynes scored tries for the Lions with Lynes also kicking tow conversions and a couple of penalties.

For the Hornets, Dick Burns, Taylor Stevens and Cornwall Under 20 player Sam Furse scored tries with Burns kicking a couple of conversions.

Bude earned a fine draw at Paignton 24 all. Kingdom, Comber and Ball scored their tries with Pearce adding all three penalties and a conversion.

Pirates Amateurs went down to defeat at Withycombe 29-15. Steve Evans and Tom Excell scored tries with Jack Lonsdale kicking a penalty and conversion.

Bodmin went down to a narrow defeat at Exeter Saracens 31-29 but at least picked up a couple of bonus points. Cody Armstrong (2), James Taylor and Lee Taylor scored tries for Bodmin with James Taylor kicking the other points.

Sad news this past week with the death Cornwall RFU President John Grindle. I am sure everyone will wish to convey their condolences to John’s wife Joyce, family and friends.

The funeral will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, 12 noon at St. Columb Major Parish Church.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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