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Penzance Trip Ends In Frustration For Ulster ‘A’ Team
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Penzance Trip Ends In Frustration For Ulster ‘A’ Team

Penzance Trip Ends In Frustration For Ulster ‘A’ Team

Ulster ‘A’ were made to pay for their indiscipline as Will Cargill’s 80th-minute penalty – his fifth successful kick of the afternoon – denied the province a losing bonus point in Cornish Pirates’ 23-14 British & Irish Cup win at Mennaye Field.

Making his 50th appearances for the Cornish side, out-half Will Cargill proved to be the game's dominant figure with a 13-point kicking haul, adding to a brace of second half tries from flanker Tom Cowan-Dickie, older brother of Exeter Chiefs and England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie.

Ulster 'A' gave a debut to South African prop Schalk van der Merwe, who got 70 minutes under his belt, and they dominated most facets of play in a scrappy and ultimately frustrating first half in Penzance.

Fit-again winger Craig Gilroy went closest to breaking the deadlock on a couple of occasions, but the resolute Pirates defence kept their line intact, even when winger AJ Cant was in the sin-bin.

Having lost their momentum, the Kieran Campbell-coached Ulstermen allowed the hosts to make headway closing in on half-time. A 35-metre penalty saw Cargill, who had missed an earlier shot at the posts, belatedly open the scoring and give his team a 3-0 lead after quite a dour opening 40 minutes.

The sides swapped converted tries during an improved third quarter, Cowan-Dickie driving over from close range in the 48th minute before Ireland international Gilroy, who was making his seasonal bow after suffering a back injury in August, responded just four minutes later with a classy effort via a breakout from just inside the Ulster 'A' half.

Joe Dunleavy and Jonny Stewart combined off the back of a scrum, linking with Peter Nelson and Rory Butler in midfield with the latter's pass freeing up Stewart to dash up to the Pirates' 10-metre line. His flat pass found Gilroy who still had plenty of work to do, but he got up from a tap tackle, evaded a second defender and outpaced two more players to score close to the posts. Out-half Nelson added the extras for a 10-7 scoreline.

The Ross Kane-captained visitors were left to rue a couple of lapses in defence and discipline, though, as Cowan-Dickie muscled over to complete his brace in the 64th minute and Cargill added a penalty for a 20-7 lead with four minutes remaining.

A try from Ulster Academy forward Greg Jones, who was sprung from the bench, briefly threatened more than a losing bonus point, as the province got back within a converted score of their English Championship opponents.

Again, Campbell's charges managed to score from deep, Johnny McPhillips, Robert Lyttle, Jack Owens and Gilroy leading a charge up the right wing, with number 8 Dunleavy also involved, before Jones burst onto a ruck pass from Lyttle to muscle his way over from five metres out.

However, Cargill's subsequent penalty took the bonus point out of the visitors' clutches and confirmed Pirates' second victory of the campaign. They lead the way at the top of Pool 5 with nine points, followed by the Scarlets Premiership Select (five) and Ulster 'A' (four). Campbell's charges play bottom side Hartpury in the December back-to-back fixtures.

Referee: Mike English (England)

Lineups Scorers

Match Lineups

Home Team

Toby May; Nicolas Coronel, Dan Koster, Nicolas de Battista, AJ Cant; Will Cargill, Mike Pope; Billy Keast, James Fish, Jack Andrew, Toby Freeman, Brett Beukeboom, Chris Fuca, Tom Cowan-Dickie, Rupert Cooper.

Replacements used: Christian Judge for Andrew (half-time), Laurence May for de Battista (44 mins), Tom Channon for Fish (48), Kieran Westlake for Beukeboom (54), Alex O'Meara for Cant (58), Marlen Walker for Westlake (63), Angus Taylor for Pope (65).

Away Team

Jack Owens; Craig Gilroy, Callum Patterson, Rory Butler, David Busby; Peter Nelson, Jonny Stewart; Schalk van der Merwe, Adam McBurney, Ross Kane (capt), Jack Regan, Matthew Dalton, Clive Ross, Aaron Hall, Joe Dunleavy.

Replacements used: Robert Lyttle for Owens (32 mins), Aaron Cairns for Stewart, Caleb Montgomery for Hall (both 53), Johnny McPhillips for Patterson, Jonny Simpson for van der Merwe (both 70), Greg Jones for Dalton (71). Not used: Zack McCall.

Match Scorers

Home Team

Tries: Tom Cowan-Dickie 2; Cons: Will Cargill 2; Pens: Will Cargill 3

Away Team

Tries: Craig Gilroy, Greg Jones; Cons: Peter Nelson 2