Pirates cruise to eight-try cup win at Scottish champions Ayr
Ayr 10, Cornish Pirates 53
The Cornish Pirates sit on top of Pool 6 in the British & Irish Cup after their second successive bonus point victory and an eight-try demolition of Scottish Premiership champions Ayr at Millbrae.
In perfect conditions for running rugby the Scottish side started brightly and dominated the opening eight minutes as they forced the Pirates into errors and ran in ten points.
An early Ross Curle penalty was added to two minutes later as Ayr swarmed on the Pirates line and eventually found space down the right hand flank for wing Craig Gossman to score. Curle converted for a 10-0 lead.
The response from the Pirates was swift, however and decisive with fly-half Angus Sinclair forcing his way under the home posts to score. Sinclair converted and with his opposite number Curle yellow-carded for a deliberate knock on the Pirates made their numerical advantage count.
Huge pressure from an attacking five-metre scrum brought a penalty try and then Aaron Carpenter cropped up on the wing for a third score. With Ayr threatening less and less Sinclair ended the half with a penalty to make it 22-10.
Ayr were rejuvenated at the start of the second half, penning the Pirates back in their own 22, but again could not turn their good field position into points. The Pirates weathered a difficult 15 minutes and then scored a bonus point clinching try with their first attack of the half.
No8 Joel Conlon raced in from 25 metres and three minutes later, after Matt Evans had gone close for the Pirates they struck again with Darren Barry barging home from short distance.
Evans then found space to score his second try in two games before Barry`s fine break down the flank set up Kieran Goss for an easy run-in.
The scoring was completed in stoppage time as Shane Cahill stole an interception in his own half and made the break which led to Tom Hendrickson's first try in Pirates colours. Hallett converted with the final kick of an entertaining cup tie.
AYR: Anderson (capt), C Gossman, Fergusson, Kelbrick (McCluskie 31-40, 71), Dalgleish (K Gossman 71), Curle (sin-bin 17-27), Jerecevich (McConnell 55); Mutamangira (Cox 42), Young (Fenwick 63), Hunter (Rae 55), Williamson, Sutherland (Fisken 63), Eddie, McCallum, Templeton.
Scorers: Try – C Gossman; Con – Curle; Pen – Curle.
Yellow Card – Curle.
CORNISH PIRATES: Holland, Pope, Dancer, Hendrickson, Evans, Sinclair (Hallett 60), Cattle (capt) (Goss h/t); Davies (Joyce 53), Carpenter (Channon 55), Prescott (Cahill 53), Patrick (Barry h/t), Graulich, Parker, Cheesman, Conlon (Atkinson 60).
Scorers: Tries – Penalty, Hendrickson, Evans, Sinclair, Carpenter, Conlon, Barry, Goss; Cons – Sinclair (3), Hallett (2); Pen – Sinclair.
Referee: C Maxwell-Keys.
* The Cornish Pirates have confirmed that their Greene King IPA Championship weekend home games against Ealing Trailfinders, Nottingham, and Rotherham Titans, will now be played on Sundays and not Fridays, as follows:
Cornish Pirates v Ealing Trailfinders - Sunday February 2 (2pm)
Cornish Pirates v Nottingham – Sunday March 23 (3pm)
Cornish Pirates v Rotherham Titans – Sunday April 13 (3pm)
The changes have been agreed with the clubs concerned and have been ratified by the RFU.
All fixture information can be viewed on the club's website www.cornish-pirates.com