THE Cornish Pirates made it three league wins on the trot with this hard-earned result away to a determined London Scottish side in Round 17 of the RFU Championship.

Conditions were just a little bit slippery but otherwise fine at the Athletic Ground in south-west London as Cornish Pirates fly-half Harry Bazalgette kicked the game off playing towards the town end of the ground.

Lock Matas Jurecivius, who was one of several Harlequins-associated players in the home side, stole an early line-out, but in general his side was guilty of giving too many penalties away.

Falmouth Packet: In form full-back AJ Cant was a try-scorer once again.In form full-back AJ Cant was a try-scorer once again. (Image: Brian Tempest)

Scrum half Alex Schwarz was again in lively mode for the Pirates, who proceeded to apply considerable pressure with a series of ‘pick and go’ drives for the line. The Scottish defence initially held firm, however in the fourteenth minute, following a strong carry near to the posts from lock Will Britton, the ball suddenly found the hands of Bazalgette.

Quickly assessing the situation, he fired a long pass left to enable wing Will Trewin to take advantage of available space and breeze in for the game’s opening try. Bazalgette also added the extras.

London Scottish looked to respond with full-back Cameron Anderson, a former Scotland under 20s player, influential in glimpses, but they then lost the services through injury of Army man lock Dan Lewis.

To add to home woes, the potency of a Pirates driving maul, with several backs adding their weight, ended when referee Sara Cox raising her arm to signal a try scored by hooker Will Crane, which was again by converted by Bazalgette.

Falmouth Packet: Pirates' flanker Will Gibson looks to tackle opposition backrower Viliami Taulani.Pirates' flanker Will Gibson looks to tackle opposition backrower Viliami Taulani. (Image: Brian Tempest)

An excellent attack from Scottish saw them work the ball through 10 phases, and it was not long before they managed to open their account with a try scored by Anderson and converted by fly-half Cameron Scott.

Soon after the restart the Pirates looked forceful once more inside their opponents’ half, with forwards and backs in determined mode, However, when home wing Luke Mehson intercepted nobody was going to stop the former ‘Wasp’ as he ran 80 metres to score. His effort was also converted to level the scores.

The Pirates regained the lead before the break, which they did thanks to a well-struck penalty slotted by Bazalgette.

Falmouth Packet: Ben Grubb pictured in determined mode when making his debut for the Pirates.Ben Grubb pictured in determined mode when making his debut for the Pirates. (Image: Brian Tempest)

So, with a 14-17 scoreline there was all to play for in the second half, with the Pirates pleasingly getting off to an encouraging start.

A third try was very welcome, and it one scored by full-back AJ Cant who has been in superb form of recent. Acquiring possession some 30 plus metres out he showed accustomed footwork, strength to perhaps belie his frame, and his usual pace to score a converted try.

Making it clear that they were still very much in for the scrap, London Scottish promptly replied with an unconverted try scored by wing Billy Wara. 

It had been a let off for the Cornish side, but it did not last long as further good play by the home team saw Mehson notch his second try in the match. Scott’s conversion attempt again missed for the score to remain level.

Falmouth Packet: Fly-half Harry Bazalgette was faultless off the tee.Fly-half Harry Bazalgette was faultless off the tee. (Image: Brian Tempest)

From the restart the Pirates caught London Scottish cold, a sudden burst from replacement hooker Morgan Nelson ended with replacement prop Ollie Adkins scoring a try that was once again converted by Bazalgette.

After an excellent 50-22 kick from Pirates replacement Carwyn Penny provided an opportunity for the visitors to trouble the scoreboard operator once more, the award of a penalty saw Bazalgette given the nod to step forward. Once again his kick was on target, plus it opened a likely vital 10 points gap. 

With just seconds remaining Mehson closed the gap when scoring his hat-trick try, this time converted by replacement Nathan Chamberlain. It gave the never-say-die London Scottish a deserved losing bonus point, whilst the Cornish Pirates equally deserved their victory.