Nottingham 27 Cornish Pirates 27
It was honours even at Meadow Lane as the Cornish Pirates and Nottingham drew this fixture for the second time in three seasons, writes DICK STRAUGHAN.
After a slow burner of a first half played in perfect conditions which ended 10-all both teams turned up the heat after the break. Both teams will feel that they did enough to win but the tie was ultimately decided as a draw when Nottingham full-back Matt Jarvis landed an injury time penalty with the final kick of the match.
A scrappy start to the match saw both Pirates lock James Sandford and home flanker Tom Calladine sin binned for a midfield tussle.
Angus Sinclair`s penalty was cancelled out by one from Jarvis and it took until the 26th minute for the opening try when Nottingham skipper Brent Wilson scored from a penalty and driving lineout.
Fine individualism from Matt Evans saw the Canada international race home from half-way just before the interval and Sinclair`s excellent touchline conversion levelled it.
Nottingham were back in front early in the second half with wing Sean Morris` converted try but the Pirates hit back with a Kieran Hallett penalty moments before his 8 minute stay on the pitch was ended by a broken thumb.
Nottingham then extended their lead with a converted touchdown from Ryan Hough before Evans scored again for the Pirates and Craig Holland banged over the extras just before the hour.
With four minutes to go hooker Rob Elloway drove over for a third Pirates try and Holland landed the extras to make it 27-24 to the Cornish side.
But not for the first time this season the Pirates failed to close out a tight game with Jarvis forcing the draw with his third penalty late in the game.
Jarvis, Morris, Styles, Munro, Hough, Lynn, Barnham (Romans 62); Bower, Walker (Thacker 69), Holford, Keogh, Montagu, Calladine (sin bin 6-16), Wilson (capt) (Price 62), Shaw (Laxton 62)
Replacements (not used) –Williams, Burton, Knight
Tries – Wilson, Morris, Hough
Cons – Jarvis (3)
Pens – Jarvis (2)
Yellow Card – Calladine
Holland, Goss, Riley, James, Evans, Sinclair (Hallett 46, Pope 54) Cattle (capt) (Kessell h/t); Davies, Channon (Elloway 62), Joyce (Prescott 66), Patrick (Graulich 75), Sandford (sin bin 6-16), Morgan, Cheesman, Phillips (Conlon 74)
Tries – Evans (2), Elloway
Cons – Sinclair, Holland (2)
Pens – Sinclair, Hallett
Yellow Card – Sandford
Referee – R.Campbell (RFU)
Attendance – 1,229