Cornish Pirates 19pts Plymouth Albion 17pts
Returning to the Mennaye Field on loan from Gloucester, in this tense encounter a seventy-fifth minute penalty kicked by full-back Rob Cook proved decisive.
Both teams had won their opening games in the Championship this season, the Pirates away to Jersey and Albion at home to Doncaster Knights, thus adding a few extras ingredients to this 'derby' affair.
The Devon visitors dominated early on, and during a period when Cornish Pirates prop forward Paul Andrew was yellow-carded by referee Mr. Matt Carley. However, it was the home side who opened the scoring in the seventeenth minute when fly-half Kieran Hallett gave them the lead with a successful penalty kick.
Albion's fly-half Paul Roberts was off target with two penalty attempts, as in their ranks a sense of real frustration grew that pressure wasn't being turned into points.
Flankers Herbie Stupple and Sam Hocking, plus prop Jack Andrew, brother of 'Pirate' Paul, carried strongly for Nat Saumi's side, and just past the half-hour mark there was a just reward for Stupple and his team when he scored at try in the scoreboard corner. Roberts, with a much more difficult kick on offer than his two earlier attempts, added the extra points with a fine conversion from the touchline.
All but from the restart Plymouth Albion infringed, gifting their former captain Hallett a quick opportunity to pull three points back. Striking his effort well, he duly delivered for half-time to arrive with the scoreline reading 6-7.
There had been little to cheer home supporters, but for a break out of defence by flanker Phil Burgess and some solid play from centre Junior Fatialofa, and it was clear that players, officials and supporters were in for a tense second period, and so it proved.
An early score for the Pirates would get them back on track, and with there seemingly extra tempo applied they regained the lead when wing Matt Evans picked up a bobbling ball to squeeze over for an unconverted try.
There was hope that the Pirates would now settle and perhaps take more control, but it was not to be as shortly after the restart Albion notched up their second try of the match. Initially securing possession through a catch and drive, the ball was moved swiftly right and then back to the left corner where centre Bevon Armitage stretched to score. Roberts missed the conversion.
A thumper off a tackle by Stupple on Pirates lock Gary Johnson typified Plymouth's commitment to this contest, but he was injured in the process and had to be replaced by a recent arrival at the Brickfields in the shape of Fijian Rupeni Nasiga. Another new signing and international, Canadian lock Brett Beukeboom, also made yardage down the right to bring former Pirates favourite Rhodri McAtee threateningly into play.
Understandably, there was concern when Albion would score again through Hocking, but the conversion from Roberts, who had an off day with the boot, wasn't awarded, although some about felt it had been successful.
The Pirates had by now introduced two news faces off the bench, and both from Bath's Academy in prop Max Maidment, brother of Ben, and flanker Joe Buckle. It was also hoped that fresh legs would provide impetus to help create another score, and the crowd didn't have to wait long as Evans jubilantly crossed for his second try of the match to add to his hat-trick recorded in Jersey.
With the score standing at 16-17, Cook, who took over the kicking duties now that Aaron Penberthy had replaced Hallett, was unable to add the conversion, but it ultimately mattered not.
After Albion had responded to apply further pressure inside the Pirates half, replacement scrum-half Tom Kessell's telling kick from hand gained territory from where the Pirates would soon be awarded that all important penalty, and it the one successfully landed by the the returning hero, Cook.
It was a stunning blow against a passionate visiting Plymouth Albion side who, as had been expected, brought much to this particular contest. The bonus point was the least they deserved, whereas on the day the Pirates must have been happy to have settled simply for a second consecutive victory.
Cornish Pirates: R. Cook, T. Bedford, T. Riley, J. Fatialofa (A. Cheesman 65), M. Evans, K. Hallett (A. Penberthy 65), G. Cattle (capt, T. Kessell 51), B. Maidment
(J. Buckle 65), P. Burgess, K. Marriott, G. Johnson, D. Lyons, B. Prescott (M. Maidment 48), R. Elloway, P. Andrew.
Replacement (not used): D. Semmens..
Yellow card: Andrew.
Plymouth Albion: L. Messer, R. McAtee (T. Bowen 65), P. Bailey, B. Armitage, J. Arnott, P. Roberts, P. Rowley (R. Cushion 72), A. Carpenter, S. Hocking, H. Stupple
(R. Nasiga 51), S. Michael-Stephen (capt), B. Beukeboom, D. Morton, J. Vickers, J. Andrew (R. Hopkins 78).
Replacements (not used): K. Fisilau, T. Cowan-Dickie, I. Ascroft-Leigh.
Scorers:- Cornish Pirates - tries : Evans (2); pens: Hallett (2), Cook.
Plymouth Albion - tries : Stupple, Armitage, Hocking; con: Roberts.