First home win of the season for Jersey

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Three first-half tries – two from Tom Pincus and one from captain Roy Godfrey – ultimately proved enough for the hosts, although they had to survive a late period of pressure from Pirates to secure the six-point win.

Jersey took the lead eight minutes into the contest when Pincus crossed the whitewash in the Aero Club corner after his team had held onto the ball in the Pirates 22 for the best part of 20 phases. With the visitors’ defending their line, a looping ball from Cope found Pincus, who finished with aplomb.

Cope missed the difficult conversion before Laurence May converted a penalty to cut the Reds’ lead to two.

Undeterred by the visitors’ first points, Jersey scored their second try before 20 minutes had been played. Having won a penalty against the head at a scrum just ten metres from the Cornishmen’s line, the Islanders kicked for the corner and safely claimed the resulting line-out. Their maul was going nowhere, but when they opted to shift it to the backs, an excellent delayed pass from Cope set Pincus free for his second.

The Jersey stand-off added the extras but Pirates responded immediately with a converted try from Pete Laverick.

Visiting prop Jack Andre was sent to the sin-bin for illegally breaking down a Jersey attack just metres from his own try-line but the hosts struggled to make their man advantage count until the very last minute; Godfrey powering through the last line of defence on the stroke of half-time.

Cope converted a tough kick from the left touchline to give the Reds a 19-10 lead.

Having crossed the whitewash three times in the opening 40 minutes, Jersey will perhaps have been disappointed not to claim a four-try bonus point, but only three points were scored in a scrappy second period.

After the break Rory Pitman was penalised for holding onto the ball at a ruck and Laverick duly converted to give his team the perfect start to the second period. But Pirates were unable to kick-on.

Jersey perhaps shaded the second half territory but they, too, could not add to their tally. The hosts might have scored a fourth try with ten minutes to play but Matt Rogerson knocked on in the face of a solid Pirates defence.

It wasn’t until the final six minutes that the visitors enjoyed a sustained period of second-half possession in the Jersey 22 but first Dan Lee and later Tom Cowan-Dickie both knocked on just metres from the line as Jersey held on for victory.

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