Wed­lake try at the death steals points for Pi­rates

The Rugby Paper - - Championship Cup - By AN­DREW BEACHAM

HART­PURY were ag­o­nis­ingly close to pick­ing up a much-needed re­sult but a last minute Robin Wed­lake try sealed the win for the Cor­nish­men.

How­ever, this was a hugely im­proved Hart­pury per­for­mance and a draw, as seemed likely with the score at 29-29 with sec­onds to play, would have been de­served.

Pi­rates coach Gavin Cat­tle said: “It wasn’t a stand out per­for­mance from us, but it was pleas­ing to be able to ex­e­cute un­der pres­sure, in the fi­nal sec­onds of the game.”

Op­po­site num­ber Mark Corn­wall lamented: “It was a frus­trat­ing last 30 sec­onds but over­all we were much bet­ter this week, with the boys putting in a coura­geous sec­ond half.”

Both sides made changes from last week’s en­counter, with Pi­rates ro­tat­ing their squad, and Hart­pury with a num­ber of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers re­turn­ing from in­jury.

Pi­rates were quickly into their stride as James McRae pun­ished some slack de­fence by grab­bing the open­ing try in the fourth minute, con­verted by Javier Ro­jas Al­varez.

But Hart­pury were fired up, and the scores were level six min­utes later when Luke Eves bat­tered his way over to score on his re­turn to the team. Luke Scully added the ex­tras.

Penal­ties were com­ing thick and fast as both sides earned the dis­ap­proval of ref­eree Matt Tur­vey and, from one of them, Scully nudged Hart­pury in front.

Al­varez re­stored the Pi­rates ad­van­tage with a well-taken try which he con­verted him­self.

But the hosts hit back again and it was an­other pow­er­ful fin­ish, from hooker Luke Strat­ford, which took Hart­pury into a 17-14 lead af­ter Scully’s con­ver­sion.

The clos­ing few min­utes of the half were to prove costly for Hart­pury. Scully was too am­bi­tious with his penalty to touch and kicked the ball dead.

Good play from the scrum saw cen­tre Dan Koster score for Pi­rates and he was in again on the stroke of half time, af­ter Hart­pury had been loose in mid­field.

Hart­pury dom­i­nated for large stretches af­ter the in­ter­val and, de­spite a yel­low card to Harden, had the bet­ter of the scor­ing with winger Elias Caven round­ing off a good at­tack in the 51st minute and Will Tan­ner fin­ish­ing strong li­ne­out drive with five min­utes re­main­ing. That brought to scores level, be­fore Pi­rates late win­ner.

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