Beaten Cornish Pirates face anxious wait on the home front
Carmarthen Quins 17 Cornish Pirates 12
Defeat in Wales in their final Pool fixture in the British & Irish Cup means that the Cornish Pirates now face an anxious wait to see if they have secured their sought after home quarter-final in the competition, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates qualified for the last eight a week ago and just needed to avoid defeat at a freezing Carmarthen to achieve their objective.
A superb seventh minute try from flanker Alex Cheesman converted by Kieran Hallett gave them the perfect start but they failed to control the game thereafter and paid the price.
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Carmarthen battled back into the game scoring three penalties from the reliable boot of fly-half James Dixon and the Pirates were disrupted by injuries to Grant Pointer and Junior Fatialofa.
The penalty count against the Cornish side continued to rise in the second half and Dixon was then instrumental in setting up a 42nd minute try for centre Jason Harries as he raced through to gather a well-placed chip ahead.
Dixon missed the conversion but leading 14-7 the Quins then lost former Pirates Darren Daniel to the sin-bin for punching.
With 15 minutes to go the Pirates scored their second try through Rob Elloway but a fourth Dixon penalty and a yellow card for Gavin Cattle ensured that the Welsh Premiership side hung on to win.
The Pirates will need to rely on the results from the Llanelli v Moseley tie on Sunday and the yet to be rearranged Nottingham v Llandovery match to learn their fate in the tournament.
Carmarthen Quins: Maynard, Daniel, Harries, Morgan, Banford, Dixon, Wells; Evans, Guest, I.Jones (capt), C.Jones, Pugh, Bennett, E.Lloyd, Gallagher.
Replacements: Beaujean, Robinson, Davies, Laxton, Joseph, Rhys, C.Lloyd.
Scorers. Try – Harries; Pens – Dixon (4).
Yellow card: Daniel.
Cornish Pirates: Pointer, Bedford, Hill, Fatialofa, Mercer, Hallett, Kessell; Storer, Elloway, Prescott, Barry, Johnson, Marriott (capt), Cheesman, B.Maidment.
Replacements: Joyce, Semmens, Tyas, Duncan, Cattle, Riley, M.Maidment.
Scorers. Tries – Cheesman, Elloway; Con – Hallett.
Yellow card: Cattle.
Referee: J Van der Merwe (SRU).