Cornish Pirates v Bedford Blues

Sunday, 11 November, 2018 - 14:30
1st XV Cup
Lost 22-20

Bedford’s winning streak came to an end on Sunday afternoon as they went down 22-20 to Cornish Pirates in the opening round of the Championship Cup.

Some great tries from Alex Gliksten, Dean Adamson and Ryan Hutler just weren't enough as the boot of Javier Rojas Alvarez kept the scoreboard ticking and ultimately secured the win for the hosts.

Despite having a couple of early penalties and the chance to make yards, the Blues then failed to find touch and were on the back foot following a good Pirates break. A penalty followed and Javier Rojas Alvarez converted to make it 3-0

Another penalty in the eighth minute allowed Alvarez another opportunity from 40 odd metres out but his effort pulled to the left of the posts. But the Pirates continued to dominate the early exchanges and another penalty saw the ball fired into the Blues 22. A lineout drive followed before Harry Strong was played in for the score with Alvarez converting superbly to make it 10-0.

A funny few minutes followed as pressure at the ruck saw Pirates scrum half Alex Schwarz caught as he tried a box kick with Will Carrick-Smith recovering. Tadgh McElroy then grubbed through to put pressure on before Pirates kicked, then volleyed, then half volleyed to take the ball all the way back and out of the Blues dead ball line. 

A succession of scrum penalties allowed the Blues to find touch five metres from the PIrates try line, but the training ground move didn’t quite work out with Bedford looking to release the backs before being tied up in the ruck and a penalty went to the Pirates who cleared.

Bedford continued to dominate the scrum but they just couldn’t put any real phases together as the Pirates defence held firm. The hosts then went on the attack going from wing to wing, but the Blues defence proved just as solid with a turnover following then the first high tackle under the new law was inflicted on Harry Davies. A lineout maul followed which the PIrates brought down illegally and Ed Coulson sent the ball into the hosts’ 22.  The resulting maul didn’t really kick in, but Al Gliksten spotted a gap and sailed through to score with Ed Coulson converting.

Unfortunately the Blues then shot themselves in the foot as they gave away a penalty form the restart and Alvarez took the opportunity to extend the Pirates lead to 13-7. 

Bedford responded in kind though as McElroy, Oli Curry, Chris Czekaj and Harry Davies all carried well before Ben Cooper, Jack Nay and Ed Taylor all made yards before a penalty followed and Coulson made it 13-10.

A change to the Pirates front row had the desired effect as the hosts battered the Blues in the first scrum giving Alvarez another shot at the uprights and the Argentinian converted well from the right wing to restore the hosts six point lead at the interval.

The second half started with three Blues lineouts but nothing really came of them. The Pirates broke away with Callum Patterson making huge yards but his offload was intercepted by Dean Adamson who ran, kicked, controlled and dotted down for an unconverted score as Bedford narrowed the gap to a single point.

There was almost a second shooting of the foot as the Pirates looked to make an immediate response from the restart but as they piled down the left wing, the ball went forward. The scrum was solid and Chris Czekaj struck a great clearance kick.

Both sides made use of the benches with Charlie Clare, Toby Trinder, Justin Blanchet and Jarad Williams all coming on to sure up the scrum that only went back once during the opening 50 minutes.

The Pirates went through a number of good phases before looking to chip over the top, but the Blues held firm, collected and dashed down the right through Davies and Ryan Hutler before a Coulson kick had too much on it and trickled over the try line giving the Pirates a 22 drop. The Blues attacked again with Taylor finding Adamson before Coulson grubbed through but the defence was there to cover.

The pendulum swung back the way of the Pirates and a penalty in the Blues 22 gave the hosts the chance to shoot at the sticks and Alvarez did just that to make it 19-15 with around 20 minutes left on the clock.

With the time ticking down, the Pirates broke from the back of the scrum and made their way into the BLues 22 and picked up a penalty which Alvarez dispatched once again to make the score 22-15.

Bedford had possession back from the restart but a fumble saw the Pirates turn the ball over and spread the ball wide, but the final pass to Alex O’Meara was forward and the scrum went to the Blues in the hosts’ half. A penalty followed from the scrum so Bedford went quick with the ball spun down the line to Hutler who ran a great line to score and reduce the deficit to two points as the conversion fell short.

The Blues had their tails up with time running out and put together well over a dozen phases with some great running play, but a lack of concentration saw the ball being knocked on with time in stoppage. The Pirates retained the ball from the scrum, held firm and then kicked the ball to touch to seal the victory.

Cornish Pirates: 15 Maliq Holden, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Dan Koster, 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Harry Strong, 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 9 Alex Schwarz; 1 Jack Andrew, 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 3 Jack Owlett, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Danny Cutmore, 6 James McRae, 7 Dan Lee, 8 Tom Duncan (c).

Replacements: 16 Marlen Walker, 17 Tyler Gendall, 18 Matt Bolwell, 19 Chris Morgan, 20 Jake Ashby, 21 Will Cargill, 22 Rory Parata. 

Bedford Blues: 15. Harry Davies, 14. Ryan Hutler, 13. Lewis Robling, 12.  Chris Czekaj, 11. Dean Adamson, 10. Ed Coulson, 9. Alex Gliksten; 1. Hayden King, 2. Tadgh McElroy, 3. Ben Cooper, 4. Ed Taylor (c), 5. Will Carrick-Smith, 6. Oli Curry, 7. Jack Nay, 8. Huw Worthington.

Replacements: 16. Charlie Clare, 17. Toby Trinder, 18. Alex Penny, 19. Jarad Williams, 20. Justin Blanchet, 21. James Lennon, 22. Rich Lane

Next Home Match

Saturday 21st September
1st XV Cup
Goldington Road



See more pictures courtesy of Nigel Rudgard at