Cornish Pirates 30 – 15 Ealing Trailfinders
Ealing Trailfinders endured a frustrating afternoon at the Mennaye Field, where they fell short of claiming a losing bonus point against a Cornish Pirates team that has now enjoyed 10 wins from their last 11 matches.
Alex Bradley, Harrison Orr and Iain Grieve all crossed for Ben Ward’s side, but it was the home side who made better use of the wet and windy conditions to take four of the five points on offer.
The home side started the stronger and two penalties from fly-half Lawrence May gave them the early impetus. May and his namesake Toby May were happy to use the wind to send a series of up and under kicks towards Ealing Trailfinders full-back James Love and wings Rhys Crane and James Stephenson to build pressure, but Ealing Trailfinders’ defence held out after the early onslaught.
Eventually the visitors forced their way down the field and after Danny Barnes was unable to touch down Tristan Roberts’ grubber kick, the pack drove Alex Bradley over for his third try in two matches.
Cornish Pirates again used the conditions well and Toby May swooped on a loose ball to score the home side’s opening try of the match and while they pushed hard for a third, Ealing Trailfinders captain Rhys Lawrence twice stopped them; first he swooped on an overthrown line-out and then he ripped the ball from a rolling maul as the Pirates pack began to rumble ominously towards the Ealing Trailfinders line.
May scored his third penalty of the half to keep the host’s score ticking over, but it was the visitors who ended on the offensive.
They carried on in the same vein at the start of the second period, but they were unable to capitalise on good field position. Eventually the hosts cleared their lines and went on the attack which finished with hooker Robert Elloway going over for their second try.
Orr hit back soon after when he linked up with reserve hooker Alun Walker at the front of the line to plunge over for a simple try, but the Pirates again stretched the lead when wing Kyle Moyle cut in through the centre to score between the posts.
Grieve scored from another rolling maul with less than five minute on the clock and despite keeping the ball alive as the clock ran down they were unable to find a way through the hosts swarming and fierce defence.
Tries (May 21, Elloway 61, Moyle 73), Conversions (May 21, 61, 73), Penalties (May 4, 9, 35)
Tries (Bradley 15, Orr 64, Grieve 76)
Toby May, Arnott, Riley, Hendricksen, Moyle, Lawrence May, Townsend; Walker, Elloway, Paver, McGlong, Beukeboom, Parker, Simmonds, Carpenter (captain)
Channon, Andrew, Gendall, Cheeseman, Duncan, Day, Hallett
James Love, James Stephenson, Danny Barnes, Joe Munro, Rhys Crane, Tristan Roberts, Alex Walker; Will Davis, Rhys Lawrence (captain), Michael Holford, Llewelyn Jones, Adam Preocanin, Iain Grieve, Alex Bradley, Chris York
Jamie Kilbane, Alun Walker, Alex Penny, Carwyn Jones, Harrison Orr, Alex Davies, Toby Howley-Berridge
Referee – John Meredith
Attendance – 1, 348