The Cornish Pirates are through to the final of rugby's Championship play-offs at the expense of Westcountry rivals Bristol. The Pirates lost 29-18 at the Memorial Ground this afternoon but go through 63-53 on aggregate. Bristol trailed 7-10 at half time, Rob Cook scoring a try, landing the conversion and kicking a penalty for the Pirates with Tristan Roberts adding the extras to a Jon Goodridge try for Bristol.
A Roberts penalty and his conversion of Goodridge's second try put Bristol 17-10 up and their hopes at a shot of returning to the Premiership were rising. But a Phil Burgess try stretched the visitors' overall lead again. Bristol never gave up - further touchdowns from George Watkins and Will Helu plus a Matty James conversion made the aggregate scores 60-53 to the Pirates with around three minutes to go. However, with the home crowd urging their side to one last effort, the Pirates were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which Cook slotted to shatter Bristol dreams.
Trina Lake rounds up this afternoon's first half action at the Memorial Stadium:
The Cornish Pirates have one foot in rugby's Championship play-off final as they lead Bristol by 10 points to 7 at half time in their semi-final second leg at the Memorial Stadium. The Pirates are ahead 55-31 on aggregate after outscoring their hosts in the first 40 minutes. A Rob Cook penalty gave them the lead before Bristol hit back with a Jon Goodridge try, converted by Tristan Roberts. But Cook stormed over for a Pirates try which he converted himself, leaving Bristol with a mountain to climb in their bid to return to the Premiership.