Cornish Pirates 50 Bristol 22
The Cornish Pirates produced a second half revival to match any comeback in sport as they ran in six tries and 43 unanswered points to dismiss the challenge of the current British & Irish Cup holders.
Bristol travelled to Cornwall with a largely untested and youthful side but blew the Pirates apart with two converted tries inside the first ten minutes from impressive flanker Mitch Eadie
The Pirates briefly rallied as Charlie Walker-Blair went under the posts at the Newlyn End but a penalty from Mark Cook and a third Bristol try from skipper Marco Mama after half an hour left the shell-shocked home side chasing the game.
But several key changes at half-time as well as some stern words from the coaching team turned the game on its head.
With flanker Chris Morgan restored to the pack and hooker Dave Ward at his rampaging best the Pirates were first on the scoreboard after the break as Rhodri McAtee profited from a driving maul to score.
Bristol lost experienced lock Darren Barry to the sin bin after 50 minutes and then conceded three tries in his absence as Ward with two touchdowns and Paul Andrew all went in from close range. Rob Cook converted all three and when Barry returned it was a different game with the Pirates leading 33-22.
Cook slotted a penalty before Ward completed his hat-trick after a powerful break from debutant back row Ben Maidment.
Then with just a minute remaining McAtee completed the scoring after flanker Dave Ewers had rampaged through the Bristol defence only to be halted three metres short of the line, before setting up the wing with a deft pop pass.
The Cornish Pirates play their next match in the competition when they travel to Brickfields to face Plymouth Albion on Wednesday October 12th (7.45pm).
Lewitt, McAtee, Westren, Hill (Cooper 57), Davies, R.Cook, Kessell (Cattle 67), Storer (Andrew 50), Cowan-Dickie (Ward h/t), Fairbrother (Rimmer h/t), Smith (Morgan h/t), Myerscough (Maidment 67), Ewers, Walker-Blair, Marriott (capt)
Tries – Ward (3), McAtee (2), Walker-Blair, Andrew
Cons – Cook (6)
Letherby, Woodburn, Mercer (Goodridge 60), Mosses (Braley 72), Edwards, M.Cook (Thomas 55), Keyte, Davis, Channon (Lawrence 67), Caulfield (Cano 54), Montagu, Barry (sin-bin 50-60), Eadie (Hone 73), Mama (capt) (Poole 67), Danielli
Tries – Eadie (2), Mama
Cons – M.Cook (2)
Pen – M.Cook
Yellow Card – Barry
Referee – S.Lewis (RFU)