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Cup offers chance to exact revenge on Jersey

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

GOOD EVANS:  Pirates' Canadian wing Matt Evans goes over for his second try of the afternoon at Meadow Lane.

GOOD EVANS: Pirates' Canadian wing Matt Evans goes over for his second try of the afternoon at Meadow Lane.

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IN THE normal scheme of things, a draw on the road at one of the league's traditionally tougher nuts to crack would not be such a bad thing. Except that right now, this one still feels like a defeat.

The celebrations among the home fans at Matt Jarvis' last gasp penalty leveller were immediately snuffed out by the final whistle and Meadow Lane fell silent as a sense of huge anti-climax descended.

Both teams had their chances to win the game and failed to take them. And both teams looked at differing stages of the match as if they were beaten and then bounced back.

Neither side really wanted a draw, but in the end were left with one. And they only had themselves to blame.

It was a weekend of crazy results in a Championship campaign which is starting to come to a simmer as we approach the half-way stage. Bedford Blues had to come good at some stage and did just that at the expense of leaders London Welsh, while across the water in Jersey there was an almighty shock.

Ealing Trailfinders pulled a real rabbit out of the hat in not only beating Jersey but claiming a winning bonus point too, leaving the big spending Islanders one place off the bottom and Ben Harvey's tenure as head coach under some scrutiny.

Irritated

Nobody saw this result coming and it left Pirates boss Ian Davies even more irritated that his team lost there a couple of weeks ago, but they do at least have a chance to make amends, starting on Saturday.

The curious way in which the season is structured means that just as the Championship begins to build up a head of steam, we all take a fortnight's break from it once more to concentrate on the British & Irish Cup.

The Pirates lead Pool 6 after two games and further victories in their next two would go a long way to ensuring their qualification to the next stage. Their opponents over the next couple of weekends – Jersey.

With the way the Championship table is starting to jam up at both ends, it is hard to tell how much of a priority the cup competition will now be to Harvey and his squad.

They have a huge basement battle at Moseley coming up just before Christmas before taking on London Welsh at home in early January. Jersey need points and they need to keep their best players fit and fresh.

The same can be said for the Cornish Pirates, although flirting with the league drop zone is not a concern for them. However, such is the traffic jam building up behind the Welsh now that just three points separate five teams.

And if the Pirates hadn't gifted Jersey a win and had held on to win against Nottingham on Sunday, they would now be sitting in second place and not sixth.

Plymouth Albion will be the next Championship opponents for the Pirates when they come to Penzance on Boxing Day in what will be a must-win game for both teams.

December promises to be an intriguing month for the inconsistent Pirates. The question is, where will the rollercoaster of fortune take them next?

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