Championship: Jersey 28-26 Cornish Pirates

By Tim PryorBBC Radio Jersey at St Peter
Aaron Penberthy
Aaron Penberthy popped up with a late Jersey winner for the second home game in a row

Aaron Penberthy held his nerve with a last-gasp conversion to give Jersey a narrow win over his former club Cornish Pirates.

The islanders trailed after Pirates tries from front-row trio Tom Channon, Marlen Walker and Paul Andrew followed by Matt Evans' score.

Joe Buckle's pushover-try though pulled Jersey level at 26-26, setting the stage for Penberthy's winner.

Sami Fisilau and Martin Garcia-Veiga earlier claimed tries for the hosts.

The first half though had given no indication of the open and very watchable second period that was to follow.

Pirates in action v Jersey
Despite the loss, Pirates take two points from the game and move into the top half of the table

Three Penberthy penalties, two of which were from inside his own half, helped Jersey to a 9-5 lead at the break, with Channon crashing over for the only try of the first 40 minutes when the islanders had lock Pierce Phillips in the sin bin.

The visitors were in front for the first time within two minutes of the restart. Walker powered over from close range, with Jersey again down to 14 men, this time with Nick Campbell off the field.

It seemed to spark Jersey into life and they responded almost straight away when scrum-half Fisilau burst through the defensive line to touch down.

Argentine international hooker Garcia-Veiga got Jersey's second from a driving maul to open up a 21-12 advantage but back came the Pirates again with prop Andrew scoring to reduce the deficit before Canadian full-back Evans capitalised on a bobbling loose ball to score their fourth.

Jersey have the most losing bonus points in the Championship this season, but they were not about to settle for another narrow defeat. Penberthy kicked for the corner and from the line-out Buckle grabbed the equalising try leaving the full-back the tricky conversion from out wide on the left.

Joe Buckle
Joe Buckle's late try, against his old club, helped Jersey to their second-ever win over the Pirates

It was the second home game in succession that Penberthy had popped up with a late winning score after his dramatic long-range drop-goal three weeks earlier gave his side a

The Channel Islanders now look assured of a mid-table Championship finish - the first time they have not been involved in a title push or relegation battle since 2002.

The two bonus points for Pirates meanwhile sees them move up a place and into the top half of the Championship table.

Jersey: Penberthy; Foster, Locke, McCrea, Otto; Robling, Fisilau; Lockwood, Garcia-Veiga, Williams, Phillips, Campbell, Rae (capt), Buckle, Kaho

Replacements: Lancuba, Selway, Herriott, Markham, Glynn, Bentley, Bishop

Cornish Pirates: Evans; Pope, Hendrickson, Dancer, Holland; Hallett, Townsend; Walker, Channon, P. Andrew, McGlone, Barry, Morgan (capt), Atkinson, Parker

Replacements: Innard, J. Andrew, Graulich, Bolwell, Homer, May, James

Att: 2,241

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