Saturday 15th April 2017
Greene King IPA Championship Rd 22
Mennaye Field Penzance
For the neutral spectator – this would have been an absolute blast. A Helter Skelter of a game, that would even have had Bob Dylan's dulcet tone crack under the excitement. For the committed fan and the defensive coaches of both sides well...perhaps it would be best to retire to the nearest hostelry - take a deep breath (and a swig of something strong) – and reflect on the bigger picture.
That - and at least concede that a match of eighty points shared, in a final match of the season with no consequence – could so easily have been as flat as a flat thing. Any 'what-ifs' and 'switched off/on's' will achieve nothing now.
So. How did we get to this point?
Well. The Blues turned up - clearly meaning business after their pre match shakedown along the Prom' and keen to erase the season opener at Goldington Road from all their records. That and mark the loss of former Bedford & England skipper, David Perry, in the best way possible.
Incessant pressure from the visitors from the get-go – and a try from hooker Dan George six minutes in – gave plenty of cause for hope. At least to start with.
Early endeavour however proved to be their undoing, as a quickly taken lineout in their own 22, created pressure that hadn't existed. No 8 Tom Duncan pounced for the first of his hat-trick and the mould for the remaining seventy minutes was set.
Two further scores from Alex Day & Jack Arnott with barely ten more clicks passed – the latter rounding off a flurry of sidesteps by Bodilly and audacious footwork from Parker – handed the Pirates the initiative.
Cargill's binning then interrupted the hosts' flow. His absence conceded some momentum which Dan George duly punished, before service apparently resumed with Dunks' dotting down either side of the break. Three scores in it with over half an hour remaining would surely be enough. Wouldn't it? Perhaps not.
Two tries from the visitors in five minutes – from Buggea & Dorrian – turned proceedings on their head. The game back on whether we liked it or not.
Stung by last week's play off ending disappointment at the Athletic Ground – the hosts did however stem the flow and regain a grip that was threatening to allude them.
Cargill's missed penalty may well have proved decisive ultimately – but it's effect was temporally delayed, as O'Meara followed this up with a score in the Clubhouse Corner to restore a two score advantage with ten minutes remaining.
Bedford huffed and puffed. But their chance seemed to have been lost five minutes later - when some fierce defence close to the Pirates line went in favour of the Cornish. Lines cleared. All over surely?
Apparently not - as firstly O'Conor rounded off a long run by Clement-Hill in style. And then Dorrian repeated this feat and levelled it with a drop conversion - as O'Meara's wing was exposed as the youngster received treatment for a broken arm.
A cruel way for a encouraging and exciting season for the club to end perhaps. But once the pleasures of the post match prize-giving and their significance set it – and Gavin & Alan exorcise some of their frustration in pre-Season....the future looks bright. Very bright.
15 Toby May, 14 Jack Arnott (22 Alex O’Meara 54), 13 Tom Hendrickson, 12 Alex Dancer (21 Bar Bartlett 63), 11 Max Bodilly, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day (20 Mike Pope 54), 1 Jack Andrew (16 Marlen Walker 59), 2 Tom Channon, 3 Paul Andrew (17 Luke Chapman 70), 4 Josh Caulfield (18 Chris Morgan 63), 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Jake Parker, 7 Dan Lee, 8 Tom Duncan (capt)(19 John Stevens 54)
Replacements: all used
Tries: Duncan (11,39,44), Day (19), Arnott (23), O'Meara (69)
Cons: Cargill (12,20,24,40,45)
Yellow: Cargill (26-36)
15 Piers O’Conor, 14 Pat Tapley, 13 Michael Le Bourgeois (c), 12 Myles Dorrian, 11 Elliot Clement-Hill, 10 Jake Sharp (22 Dan Lewis 63), 9 Jordan Burns (21 Tom James 21), 1 Camilo Parilli-Ocampo (17 James Hallam 59), 2 Dan George (vc)(16 Jacob Fields 56), 3 Christian Judge, 4 Mike Howard (18 Jordan Onojaife 46), 5 Will Carrick-Smith, 6 Justin Blanchet (19 Ed Taylor 59), 7 Ben Adams, 8 Paul Tupai (20 Josh Buggea 46)
Replacements: all used
Tries: George (6,29), Buggea (53), Dorrian (58,80), Clement-Hill (78)
Cons: Sharp (7,30,54,59), Lewis (80)
Referee: Dean Richards
AR1: Andrew Pearce
AR2: Rob Warburton
Man of Match: Jack Andrew
Will was joined on the phone on Monday's Morning Show by Alan Paver, joint coach of the Cornish Pirates for a a review of Saturday's match and the season which you can listen to below.