Cornwall's meeting with promotion-chasing Rochdale Hornets ended in defeat.

A hat-trick of tries from Luke Forber, and a brace for Dan Nixon, ensured the away side's victory.

Indeed, with less than 15 minutes left, Cornwall’s outstanding Australian full-back Cameron Brown pounced on Adam Rusling’s kick forward, before it was ruled out.

That score, if converted, would have left the game intriguingly poised at 30-20 in the Hornets’ favour.

To compound Cornwall's woes, Forber then scored after a clear forward pass from Ben Forster was not pulled back.

That was the game for Rochdale and even though Cornwall wouldn’t lie down, Forber bagged his third of the afternoon.

Cornwall chanced their arm, spreading the ball out wide and after Forber intercepted, he found Lewis Else who was cut down 10 metres from the Cornwall line.

Aaron Small was initially shown a yellow card, but then sent off for alleged use of the head.

Afterwards, Martyn Ridyard kicked over a routine penalty to put the gloss on his side’s fourth consecutive win.

(Image: Colin Bradbury)

Despite the late Rochdale flourish, it was Cornwall who started the better of the two sides thanks to Coby Nichol.

It got even better when Luke Nelmes was sent to the bin for use of the head but Cornwall couldn’t make it count.

And before Nelmes was back on the field, Cornwall had a man in the bin when Nichol allegedly raised an elbow.

Unlike Cornwall, the Hornets did score points when a man up as Nixon matched Nichol’s efforts out wide before Aiden Roden scooted over from dummy-half.

Ridyard could only manage one conversion.

(Image: Colin Bradbury)

New signing Dan Spencer-Tonks then powered his way over the line for Rochdale’s third try but Cornwall came storming back.

The pendulum then swung in Rochdale’s favour as Forber and Nixon both registered either side of the interval.

But another Brown special after 49 minutes kept the Choughs on the coat tails of the visitors.

Cornwall would dominate the next quarter, but they could not find a way.

Harry Aaronson broke brilliantly from a scrum deep in home territory and found the supporting Brown.

However, Brown checked back inside and despite finding Nichol in space, Rochdale managed to survive.

Shortly after, Brown dabbed through for Aaronson and after the ball hit the corner post, George Mitchell touched down.

But Hughes ruled that effort out and once again, Rochdale clinging on and keeping the Choughs out.