Cornish Pirates stage second half fightback to earn draw at Nottingham
Nottingham 25 Cornish Pirates 25
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The Cornish Pirates maintained their unbeaten run at Meadow Lane stretching back to February 2009 as a strong second half fightback in the Midlands on Friday night earned them two Championship points, writes Dick Straughan.
It could have been more had referee Steve Lee controversially not awarded the Pirates a penalty as the home side illegally disrupted an attacking Pirates scrum ten minutes into stoppage time, electing instead to blow the final whistle.
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After a shaky start to the game which saw Nottingham open up an 11-0 lead through two Kieran Hallett penalties and a Juan Pablo Socino try, the Pirates got back into the game with a well-worked try from Wes Davies.
Rob Cook reduced the lead to a single point with a penalty but Nottingham added a second try late in the half through Mike Holford to make it 18-10.
Cook added a second penalty as Nic Rouse was sin-binned for fighting before Charlie Hayter's third try of the evening for Nottingham extended their lead again.
But in a thrilling climax to the game Davies raced clear to score for the Pirates on the hour and despite Cook missing the conversion he was called on again four minutes into added time after Grant Pointer's touch down had silenced the home crowd.
Cook held his nerve to tie the scores before Mr Lee denied any late hopes of victory.
Nottingham: Hallett, Cobden, Erinle, Socino, Jackson (Hayter 30), Arlidge, Jones, Holford, Duffey, Prescott (Parr 63), Hammond (capt), Rouse (sin-bin 45-55), Kalamafoni, Eggleshaw (Morley 69), Shaw.
Replacements (not used): Taylor, Shields, Baird, Barnham.
Scorers. Tries – Socino, Holford, Hayter; Cons – Hallett (2); Pens – Hallett (2); Yellow Cards – Rouse.
Cornish Pirates: Davies (Westren 80+4), McAtee, Pointer, Locke, Doherty, Cook, Cattle (capt) (Doherty 73), Andrew (Storer 75), Elloway (Ward 63), Brits (Storer 75), McGlone (Myerscough h/t), Nimmo, Morgan, Burgess, Cowan (Marriott 69).
Replacements: Storer, Ward, Rimmer, Myerscough, Marriott, Doherty, Hill.
Scorers. Tries – Davies, Pointer, Locke; Cons – Cook (2); Pens – Cook (2).
Referee: S Lee (Yorkshire).