By Richard Grainger
JERSEY FINALLY registered their first win of the season at the eighth attempt, with a 27-33 win over Leeds on Saturday in the British & Irish Cup.
Leeds were the worst offenders in a match hampered by poor discipline and littered with yellow cards. Michael Le Bourgeois had struck six penalties before a Donovan Sanders try gave them some comfort with a lead of 10-23.
Curtis Wilson’s late try for Carnegie added to Jamel Chisholm’s first half effort putting them within 7 points of the visitors and setting up a tense finish. However, the Channel Islanders held on to share the lead in Pool 5 with Leinster A and Pontypridd, while Leeds shore up the group.
Watched by a crowd of over 400 fans, Bristol secured back-to-back wins after defeating Ulster Ravens 34-28 at the Memorial Stadium on Sunday.
James Merriman scored in the corner inside five minutes, then James Grindal chipped a defender and collected to score a fine solo effort before Iain Grieve blasted over to give the hosts a 34-21 lead.
Ulster’s James Simpson scored late in the game but Bristol held on to lead Pool 1, and now look forward to their Championship clash against the Blues at the Memorial Ground this Sunday.
Head Coach Liam Middleton told the Bristol website: “There is still lots to improve upon and we need to work on killing teams off, but the way the guys worked for one another shined through and it made the difference on Sunday.”
In Pool 2, Bedford disposed of visitors Stirling 87-10, scoring 11 tries. The game was dead as a contest within the first quarter and the hosts led 47-3 at the interval. Mark Kohler was named Man of the Match despite James Pritchard’s contribution of 32 points.
The Cornish Pirates had a profitable 1200 mile round trip to Dundee with a 6-32 bonus point win in Pool 3.
Phil Burgess scored twice with Jack Nowell and Grant Pointer also crossing to leave the Pirates at the head of the pool with maximum points. However, Robbie Lavery was red-carded for an alleged punch by referee Mr. Graffikin in the final minute of the game, which tarnished the day’s work.
The clash of the big birds in Galway on Friday night saw the Falcons emerge victorious over the Eagles. Connacht had no answer to Newcastle’s power and pace and the visitors ran in six tries to make it eight wins from eight in all forms of competition, and top the pool.
At the Athletic Ground, London Scottish finished on the wrong end of a 78-point thriller as Moseley recovered from a 0-20 deficit to win 37-41 in Pool 6. Moseley’s winger Ollie Thomas was in the thick of things with a try, 5 conversions, 2 penalties and a yellow card.
The Exiles led 20-17 at the break but the Midlanders finished the stronger, and both sides scored 5 tries in this hugely entertaining contest. Moseley lead the pool after two bonus point wins.
At Clifton Lane, Rotherham blitzed Plymouth win a nine-try 59-26 win to lead Pool 7.
Mike Doneghan crossed the Albion line three times in the first half, plus a double effort from Eamonn Sheridan. Brothers Fergus and Charlie Mulchrone, Ted Stagg and Lee Blackett also crossed the whitewash. James McKinney was successful with 7 conversions.
Finally, in Pool 8 Doncaster defeated Nottingham 13-27 at Meadow Lane on Friday night. The Green and Whites paid the price for fielding a side short on experience, and handling errors saw them squander any opportunities they managed to create.
The Knights were well in control by the interval with tries from Rhys Buckley and Jethro Rawlings but Nottingham used the bench to good effect in the second period, scoring the only try of the half through David Jackson.
All this leaves round 2 of the pool stage of the B&I Cup looking like this…
This weekend sees a return to Championship action. For details of fixtures, click here…