Ulster A went down by 23 – 14 to Cornish Pirates at Mennaye Field, Penzance on Sunday afternoon in the second round of the British and Irish Cup. It’s a point dropped for the Ulster boys who are, like the senior team, two points down on where they should be in their pool matches.
Ulster had their chances in the first half and if they had found the line it’s likely that a fairly makeshift Cornish side would have crumbled.
However the visitors profligacy with the ball in hand saw the home team grow in confidence throughout the half and they put the icing on the cake with Will Cargill landing a late penalty to give the Pirates a 3 – 0 lead at the break.
With something to fight for, the Pirates came out full of confidence at the start of the second half and they extended their lead with a Tom Cowan-Dickie try, converted by Cargill.
Acrobatics from Craig Gilroy saw Ulster A hit back within minutes, the international winger showing good form throughout; and with Peter Nelson converting it was game on at 10 – 7.
Mistakes continued to hamper the Ulster side, though there were some good performances from the youngsters against the gnarly Championship side, and a second try from the experienced Cowan-Dickie, converted by Cargill, pushed the lead out to 17 – 7.
Cargill added a second penalty before Ulster replacement Greg Jones crossed for a converted try with minutes to go, and they would have been happy to return to Belfast with a losing bonus.
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, as Cargill slotted his third penalty in the last minute to give the Pirates a 23 – 14 win.
Plenty of work for Ulster A to do before they face Hartpury RFC away and home in the December head to heads where they will be looking for bonus point wins in both games and hoping that Scarlets and the Pirates split their results.
Still plenty to play for.
British and Irish Cup – Pool 5 Standings after 2 Rounds.