THIS pre-season fixture played at the Mennaye Field on Saturday proved worthy for both teams.
Strong Rosslyn Park sides were regular visitors to Cornwall back in the 1950s and 1960s, and the modern day version, who ended as impressive runners-up to Doncaster Knights in National One last season, were always expected to provide a test.
In the starting line-up making their home debuts for the Cornish Pirates were full-back Sam Marland, wing Alex Ducker, and prop Adam Jamieson, whilst former Pirates named in the visiting squad were centre Mark Ireland, full-back JJ Kilmartin, and their skipper James Inglis.
Rosslyn Park never lacked for purpose at the beginning of this match, so were perhaps a little despondent when the Pirates took the lead.
The Surrey side were applying pressure when the Pirates suddenly acquired possession to enable wing Kieran Goss to breeze down the wing and pass to lock Darry Barry, who displayed a mix of strength, determination and athleticism to run nearly 50 metres for an outstanding try scored at the Newlyn gate corner.
After continuing to thwart the visitors' efforts, the Pirates then scored again with Goss the deserved try-scorer. Fly-half Kyle Moyle slotted the conversion to make it 12-0.
The Pirates now held control, and following a catch and drive it wasn't long before hooker Aaron Carpenter forced his way over the line for try number three. Moyle added the extras.
Outstanding in the back-row for the Pirates was flanker Alex Cheesman, and it was he who next made a telling break which led to a second score for Goss.
As the first half drew to a close, a penalty awarded Rosslyn Park was taken by fly-half Tom Whelan whose successful strike made it 24-3.
During the half-time period, Rosslyn Park's President, Geoff Bayles, was invited to make the 50-50 Draw, and he also met Harvey Richards, who not only played in the Pirates first ever match back in 1945, and was later a successful captain of the club, but also played for the Rosslyn Park. Harvey attended Saturday's game with his son Mike.
On a return to the match action Whelan pulled back three more points back with his second penalty of the afternoon, and the expected changes in personnel were also taking place.
For the Pirates, scrum-half Stuart Townsend, who is dual registered with Exeter Chiefs, made his home debut, as did gifted young forwards Jamal Ford-Robinson and Brad Howe. A guest from Guildford, England Counties under 20s back, Bertie Hopkin, also featured.
The hard work put in by Rosslyn Park saw a reward when replacement back-rower Sam Shires went over at the old Western National corner, and they would also manage one more try when Ireland stretched to score on the right.
Despite the Pirates not having scored in the second half, the contest had still proved beneficial, as their focus now turns to this coming Saturday's pre-season friendly away to Aberavon Wizards. The kick-off at Aberavon is at 4pm, during part of their Family Fun Day.
CORNISH PIRATES: 15 Sam Marland, 14 Kieran Goss, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Rheon James, 11 Alex Ducker, 10 Kyle Moyle, 9 Tom Kessell;1 Paul Andrew, 2 Aaron Carpenter, 3 Adam Jamieson, 4 Will Carrick-Smith, 5 Darren Barry, 6 Chris Morgan (c), 7 Alex Cheesman, 8 Laurie McGlone.
SUBS (all used): Tom Channon, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Will Graulich, Jake Parker, Joe Atkinson, Brad Howe, Stuart Townsend, Bertie Hopkin, Alex Dancer.
ROSSLYN PARK: 15 Charlie Gower, 14 Robbie Martey, 13 Dante Mama, 12 Courteney Morrison, 11 David Vincent, 10 Thomas Whelan, 9 Luke Carter; 1 Aaron Liffchak, 2 Adam Bellamy, 3 Sam Staff, 4 James Inglis (c), 5 William Bowley, 6 Gregor Gillanders, 7 Harry Broadbent, 8 Michael McFarlane.
SUBS (all used): Scott Wright, Richard Palframan, Alex MacKenzie, Richard Boyle, Jamie Harries, Sam Shires, Hugo Ellis, Jack Gash, James John Kilmartin, Dominic Shabbo, Mark Ireland, Kiba Richards, Charles Broughton, Peter Cole, Anthony Hitchcock.
Cornish Pirates – tries: Goss (2), Barry, Carpenter; cons: Moyle (2).
Rosslyn Park – tries: Shires, Ireland; pens: Whelan (2).