THE Amateurs maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a third successive league win as they deservedly earned bragging rights with a convincing home victory over local rivals Hayle at the Mennaye Field on Saturday.
The match certainly lived up to expectations and attracted a bumper crowd, swelled by good contingent of travelling supporters were treated to an excellent derby clash which perhaps inevitably, given the history between the two sets of players, developed into quite a feisty affair.
The visitors were first to put points on the scoreboard with full back Dan Magee putting over an eighth minute penalty.
But six minutes later the Amateurs scored the opening try when Nick Hichens gathered a pass from Rhys Brownfield to canter over the line and touch down under the posts, with Brownfield adding the extra two points.
The teams traded a further penalty apiece through Magee (19) and Brownfield (28), and within a minute the Amateurs scored again when following good forward pressure, player-coach Steve Evans provided the pass for Danny Toolan to burst through the smallest of gaps to crash over the line.
With the conversion attempt missed, Brownfield made amends with a successful penalty attempt six minutes before the interval to make the half-time score 18-6 in the home side’s favour.
Although the home side continued to enjoy the majority of possession in the second half they were often guilty of choosing the wrong option or spilling the ball in good attacking positions.
However they did manage another try when Ashley Weston made a superb run down the left wing and when tackled just short of the line, off-loaded the ball to Brownfield who triumphantly dived over for a try he converted himself to complete the scoring.
Among the stand-out performers in the home line-up was Tom Somers, making his first appearance in nearly three years at No8, while Craig Stevens was outstanding in the No7 jersey and all the backs were razor sharp when running with the ball.
Amateurs chairman Paul Greaves felt the home side ran out worthy winners and was delighted with a rare home win over the Lions, who had proven something of a bogey side for his charges in recent seasons.
“It was a good occasion and an enjoyable, hard-fought match,” He said.
“Hayle as you would expect had the advantage in the scrum, they’re a strong scrummaging unit, but we were excellent in the lineout and in the loose and it was good to see us prepared to throw the ball around and score some excellent tries.”
Hayle player-coach Danny Clackworthy said: “It was great to see a lot of support for both teams which made it an even better match to play in, but we were disappointed with the result.
“We are a better team than what we showed on the day and we have to move on and focus on our next game rather than dwelling on our mistakes.
“Fair play to the Amateurs though, they played some nice rugby and kept their tempo in the second half when we dropped off. But we can’t wait for the return fixture after Christmas.”
Hayle will be keen to return to winning ways at home to Saltash on Saturday (3pm), while the Amateurs will face arguably their toughest test to date when they travel to fellow unbeaten side Honiton, who have also won all of their opening three games.
Meanwhile, the Amateurs 2nd XV make the short trip to St Just for a friendly (3pm).
Pirates Amateurs: N Hichens, S Kent, R Brownfield, J Semmens, A Weston, S Evans, T Dugdale, T Somers, C Stevens (c), B Brittain, R Humphries, D Law, R Stanley, D Toolan, K Brownfield. Reps (all used): C Goldsworthy, L Stevens, R Farley.
Hayle: D Clackworthy, J Nicholls, D Wood, T Barber, J Griffiths, M Lea, J Chadwick, T Matthews, R Rowe, S Harvey, R Cutter, J Rule, D Lyons, T Daniels, D Magee. Reps: D Penrose, F Carter, S Richards.