I was there. Living in Exeter at the time and being a friend of a Chiefs supporter I travelled with him on one of the chiefs official buses. Being brave (or foolhardy) I wore all my Pirates regalia of the day and was ribbed all the way up - not so coming back though! The day was excellent with warm sunshine and HQ packed to the rafters, great singing by various Cornish and Welsh supporters. Wonderful banter and never a bad word or feeling anywhere - wonderful day out and one that will forever be in my memory. Probably one of the highlights was seeing the Falmouth marine band marching around making a noise as only they can - not sure the RFU knew what hit them to be honest, they certainly went down a treat with all the supporters from all the teams there.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2017 18:02 by cornishbob.
It was as close to a perfect day as you can get. Beautiful weather, seeing the boys run out on the hallowed Twickers turf, winning a thrilling match and Gav lifting that trophy. M Bay being there on the same day and winning their trophy was the icing on the cake. Unforgettable, one of the best days of my life.
One of the best days ever for Cornish rugby and one of the more memorable days in my life - one which I will never forget. Dickie Evans was over the moon when we met him in the bar later with the cup, which we had photo's with.
What with Falmouth Marine Band and then the singing in the bar Twickenham experienced something only the Cornish could provide.
A long but great day out seeing some fantastic rugby. I chose to watch the games sober rather than drink too much just so I could remember the day clearly. The highlight, obviously, was the Pirates winning followed by Mounts Bays win (and seeing a workmate, the Fijian, Mika Mua score 4 tries) and the Tigers vs Ospreys main event of the day (in theory - obviously the Pirates was the main event). Plus I took some decent photos too (posted some on Facebook).
2017 also marks a decade for me supporting the Pirates, as my first game was that day at HQ. I'd been following the club's fortunes for some time, and then with Twickenham just a few stops away, the perfect opportunity to see them arose.
A tough game that in true Pirates' battling fashion saw the silverware head across the Tamar - I became hooked after that. I'll be in South Wales on Saturday, providing proceedings are not curtailed by the incoming bad weather.
I remember it being a poor first half but the game coming to life with Vili's try. Have a great picture of the Newlyn Steak Club with our boy that season, Nick Makin holding the trophy in the bar after.
Was speaking of this only last week - Duncan Roke's name came up as he works as a rep in our industry these days
I was there - my first ever visit to Twickenham as well! The first thing that I will recall is the baking hot weather. Secondly, I was sat two rows from the front at the North End which meant that the pitch marking at the far end of the pitch were impossible to see, making it really hard to judge how close we were to scoring at any time! The atmosphere, the noise, the huge drums banging like crazy in the second half. And then there was the added bonus of Mounts Bay's win against Dunstablians later that day when everyone all moved round together to the one side of the pitch!
An unforgettable day in 80 degrees, marred inky by my inability to find a hoodie offering a treble on Pirates, Bay and Leicester.
I still think that Junior Fats'late tackle on Jonny Hylton proved to be a motivator for the lads to step up the pace and produce Vili's winning try.
Astonishing that it was 10 years ago.
10 years ago? Phew...
Anyway, below is my report of post a very special day:
Pinch me – was I dreaming?
This is written on the presumption that I am not in a dream, that what happened last weekend was real. Let me begin.
On reflection it was perhaps not too difficult to predict that the Cornish invasion to Twickenham would be something special. Indeed, the achievements of both the Cornish Pirates and Mounts Bay simply reaching their respective finals was unique in itself, let alone them taking their quest that one step further to actually lift the silverware on offer.
Journeying to London by car on Saturday, it was clear that the level of support would be impressive, many followers up for making a weekend of it , their vehicles flying the flag of St. Piran, with team colours evident from various attire worn. With the weekend's weather mimicking high summer, a fair consumption of the best ales the capital could offer was also guaranteed. All well so far then.
The night was hot and humid, with sleep not easy, or was it simply the tension many must have felt? For us mere mortals it should not have been a concern – this a time to consider how the players were feeling.
For my part, I needed to be at Twickenham early, but was it an ominous sign when the taxi driver taking me and my good lady to the ground pulled into a lay-by just a few minutes into our journey?
In broken English he politely asked if we knew the way, which seemed strange. Luckily I had a rough idea of the direction we needed to take, though it helped when the driver discovered a 'Sat Nav' in his boot. Thankfully it was not long before the magnificent stadium, the temple of the rugby world, built on a cabbage patch, came into view.
Already the colours of the Pirates were to be seen wherever you looked, it quite a scene to bring a lump in the throat. So many familiar faces, a nostalgic introduction to the days events confirmed especially in greeting numerous friends, a good percentage that were 'exile' supporters who were not going to miss this day – one which was a true gathering of the clan.
On the hallowed turf Northwich were enjoying their moment, beating Bradford Salem in the Senior Vase, their victory chants soon mingling with the sounds of Cornish pipers and then the Falmouth Marine Band.
Suddenly it was 12 noon, the Cornish Pirates and Exeter Chiefs about to scrap it out in the heat of the midday sun , with our Devon rivals the form favourites. Other columns will provide more concise match reports, but such an article as this cannot pass without some personal comments on the game.
The Pirates started well, a penalty from Alberto putting us 3-0 up with just two minutes on the clock, the score also taking him to a mightily impressive 301 points for the season. The lead, however, was short-lived, a Tony Yapp drop goal bring the scores level.
It was still 3-all at half-time, but the Chiefs had held territiorial advantage looked the more cohesive side with former Pirates, the Fatialofa brothers Mark and Alaifatu, looking a potent midfield pairing.
A bonus for the Pirates was that a number of players injured and unavailable in recent games were holding up well. However, second half underway Exeter quickly opened up a 10 points gap, a super try from full-back Gary Kingdom looking a killer blow.
Alberto and Yappy kicked a penalty a piece, the Pirates supporters then given hope, which they responded to, when that mighty warrior Viliami Ma'asi scored what was surely the most important try of his life. Alberto added the extras.
There was now not just three points in it, but also just one side looking the likely winners - the Cornish Pirates. It was as if the Chiefs had suddenly wilted in the sun, the sudden pressure on them increasing still further when the Pirates introduced fresh legs from the bench. Two penalties from Alberto, who has kicked vitally important goals whether it be in the sun or snow, saw Jim's men through for a win that they clearly so richly deserved. They were the comeback kings, remembering Leeds, Doncaster and Plymouth Albion, it as if their name was engraved on the EDF Energy National Trophy from 'a'. We need never have doubted!
Twickenham had heard the sounds of 'Camborne Hill', and when proud skipper Gavin Cattle lifted the trophy there were many tears about the ground as the tannoy system now played ' This One's For The Boys' – the proudest boy of all being Dicky, who had made all of this happen.
A period of handshakes, hugging and singing followed, the 'Invincibles ' Bar seeing nothing like it before with the Cadgwith boys leading the way.
Refreshments on board, snips of the Leicester and Ospreys final were then watched, many supporters then staying on to watch Mounts Mounts Bay's Intermediate Cup contest against Dunstablians, their match kicking off five hours after the Pirates had started theirs.
This was a game where many felt more confident of a Cornish victory, though Dunstablians opened the scoring with a converted try in just the seventh minute. By half-time, however, Bay were taking control, the half-back pairing of skipper Ricky Pellow and fly-half Lee Jarvis influential as they held a 20-14 lead.
In the second half , players now appreciating the shadow cast over the ground, the extra power and class in Mounts Bay's ranks took them comfortably enough to victory, Shane Laloata a powerful force and Mua, with four tries on the day, a clinical finisher. Dunstablians came back at the end with a couple of consolation tries, making the final score 46-36.
It was unbelievable, were we all in some form of dream? A unique double had just been confirmed, it surely one of Cornwall's most triumphant of sporting days. For Penzance it certainly was, both teams based in the town, the achievements quite remarkable.
For many hundreds it was soon time to journey back home, to hail the homeland, everyone deservedly happy, and all having also played their part.
Others, of course, were out for the night, public houses crammed, and later at such as places as the ‘Cabbage Patch' inn joined by players and coaches who deserved their moment – one we can surely never see the like of again.
On a personal note a taxi with family to relatives in Hanwell soon beckoned, followed by a meal and sleepy oblivion – a night of sweet dreams, and no need to pinch myself – it really did happen!
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