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Scots go down to Pirates despite late comeback

Scots go down to Pirates despite late comeback

London Scottish lost for the first time since the opening day of the season, suffering a narrow 21-17 defeat to Cornish Pirates at Mennaye Field. 

London Scottish lost for the first time since the opening day of the season, suffering a narrow 21-17 defeat to Cornish Pirates at Mennaye Field. 

The Scots trailed 18-3 at half-time and ultimately left themselves with too much to do despite rallying in the second half, with tries from Matt Williams and Oli Grove to come within a score of the hosts. 


The signs looked ominous from the beginning with the Pirates in the ascendancy at scrum-time, and Kieran Hallett opened the scoring to put the hosts 3-0 ahead after eight minutes. 

Hallett doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark, before the Pirates took control of the match with two tries before half time. 

With Matt Heeks in the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle, Rheon James scored the first try of the afternoon after 35 minutes. The centre drover over from close range after a period of sustained pressure, and Hallett’s conversion from the touchline gave the Pirates a 13-0 lead. 

Just two minutes later the Pirates scored again. Craig Holland raced clear off the fringe of a ruck and showed an impressive turn of pace to run in from 30 metres. 

Peter Lydon got the Scots on the scoreboard right on the half-time whistle, his penalty made the score 18-3 to the hosts at the break. 

Alex Cheeseman had a golden chance to give the Pirates the ideal start to the second half, but when he appeared to have a clear run-in on the wing he lost his footing and lost the ball. 

Hallett’s third penalty of the afternoon put the Pirates 21-3 ahead after 44 minutes, before the Scots responded and got themselves back into the match. 

Matt Williams scored shortly afterwards as the momentum in the match changed entirely. Lydon broke through the defence and offloaded to Jason Harries on the wing who beat a number of defenders on the way into the Pirates 22. Mark Bright brought the Scots to within five metres of the line, and after the ball was recycled it was spun out to Williams on the wing who scored in the corner. Lydon’s conversion made the score 21-10 with 25 minutes left to play. 

Williams looked like he was in to score his second try of the afternoon minutes later. Lee Millar’s grubber kick was hunted down by the winger but as he went for the ball he was impeded, and the referee awarded the Scots a scrum. From the resulting scrum the Pirates got a penalty and were able to clear their lines. 

Oli Grove scored his first try of the season with 15 minutes left to bring the Scots within a score. With Scottish heaping pressure on the Pirates line, Grove found a gap to run in under the posts. The conversion from Lydon cut the gap to just four points. 

Scottish were playing all of the rugby in the closing stages, and came within inches of securing a late victory as they have done in the previous two matches. The Scots were camped in the Pirates 22, but the hosts eventually turned the ball over kicked the ball into the stands to the delight of the Mennaye Field crowd. 

Cornish Pirates:
15 Toby May, 14 Jack Arnott, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Rheon James, 11 Craig Holland, 10 Kieran Hallett (replaced by Will Cargill), 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker (replaced by Alan Paver), 2 Rob Elloway, 3 Adam Jamieson, 4 Marcus Garratt, 5 Laurie McGlone, 6 Alex Cheesman (c), 7 Sam Simmonds, 8 Matt Bolwell.

16 Jack Innard, 17 Jack Andrew, 18 Alan Paver, 19 Bradley Howe, 20 John Stevens, 21 Rob Coote, 22 Will Cargill.

Tries: Rheon James (34 minutes) Craig Holland (38 minutes)
Conversions: Kieran Hallett (34 minutes)
Penalties: Kieran Hallett (8, 30, 44 minutes)

London Scottish:
15 Peter Lydon 14 Matt Williams 13 Joe Marchant 12 Jason Harries 11 Craig Jackson (replaced by Lee Millar) 10 Oli Grove 9 Russell Weir (replaced by Matt Heeks) 1 Kurt Schonert 2 Adam Kwasnicki (replaced by David Cherry) 3 David Young (replaced by Matt Shields)4 Josh Thomas Brown 5 Neale Patrick (replaced by Will Carrick Smith) 6 Rory Bartle (replaced by Jimmy Litchfield) 7 Alex Brown (replaced by Kieran Treadwell) 8 Mark Bright (c)

16 Jimmy Litchfield 17 David Cherry 18 Matt Shields 19 Will Carrick Smith 20 Kieran Treadwell 21 Matt Heeks 22 Lee Millar

Tries: Matt Williams (54 minutes) Oli Grove (66 minutes)
Conversions: Peter Lydon (54, 66 minutes)
Penalties: Peter Lydon (40 minutes)
Yellow Cards: Matt Heeks, Matt Shields 

Referee: Gregory Garner
Assistant Referees: Brian Ravenhill & Clare Daniels
Fourth Official: Christophe Ridley

Half-Time: Cornish Pirates 18 – 3 London Scottish

Full-Time: Cornish Pirates 21- 17 London Scottish

Attendance: 1054

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