Bedford Blues 32, Cornish Pirates 6
The Cornish Pirates slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season as they surrendered their five game unbeaten run on a chilly night at second-placed Bedford Blues, writes Dick Straughan.
After a sloppy start by the Pirates, Bedford took control with three Jake Sharp penalties inside the first 16 minutes as referee Greg MacDonald punished the Pirates at the breakdown.Had Aaron Penberthy slotted his two early penalty attempts the Blues may have been forced to play a different game but they survived the sin-binning of full back Mark Atkinson, and then made it 12-0 as Sharp struck again on the half hour.
For the Pirates, Burgess went close before the foul which led to Atkinson's yellow card and the pack drove over the Blues' line moments later only to be penalised.
It wasn't until the third quarter when Kieran Hallett came on for the injured Penberthy and landed two quick penalties that the momentum of the game threatened to shift.
But the Pirates again lost their way and Neil Cochrane's converted try in the 66th minute killed the game.
Sharp added two more penalties for Bedford before Brendan Burke rounded off Atkinson's break in stoppage time for a second home touchdown. Sharp converted.
Bedford Blues: Atkinson,Kohler, Burke, Staff (Vass 73), Bassett, Sharp, Baldwin (Veenendaal 61); Fearn (Reeves 47), Cochrane (Spurling 76), Boulton (Seal 63), Howard, Gulliver (Rae 68), Gillanders, Harding, Tupaid (Fox 68).
Scorers. Tries, Cochrane, Burke; Cons, Sharp (2); Pens, Sharp (6).
Yellow card: Atkinson.
Cornish Pirates: Kilmartin, Pointer, Riley, Fatialofa (Cheeseman 68), Mercer, Penberthy (Hallett ht), Cattle (Kessell 73); Andrew (Prescott 61), Elloway (Yeandle 73), Paver (Andrew 73), Barry (Lyons 68), Johnson, Maidment (Buckle 68), Burgess, McGlone.
Scorers. Pens, Hallett (2).
Referee: G MacDonald (RFU).