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PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
crowlasboy (IP Logged)
20 July, 2008 12:06
I`m putting together some material for the Press Gang website and next newsletter, and I need YOUR help!

First up, I`m after some ideas to compile the 5 Greatest Pirates performances of all time. Many of you have been playing for/supporting the Pirates for a lot longer than me so your input is greatly appreciated here.

All I need is the fixture, date (if you can remember), score, and a few words about the match. The most popular choices will make the list.

Also, I want to find the 5 Worst Pirates performances. Your suggestions, with the same detail as above, will be much appreciated.

You can either post your ideas here or email me at



Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
crowlasboy (IP Logged)
23 July, 2008 17:37

Anyone out there?????

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Pz01 (IP Logged)
23 July, 2008 18:25
Pirates, against I think it was Torquay, had to win by a shed load of points to be promoted on points difference, Nat & Victor where playing, the ball boy briefing before the game took half an hour, ball boys every 5Mts around the pitch, as soon as a ball went into touch there was a new one ready, as the ball was being touched down for a try, a ball was being placed in the centre, Victor ran in one from the Pirates in goal area without being touched, Pirates won, I think it was 124 - 14 and where promoted.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Pieces of Eight (IP Logged)
23 July, 2008 21:21
Good shout, the Victor, Nat and Rocky shows.How many times would you see Nat catch a deep high ball at full back, make ground up through the middle and then hurl it out to either Vic or Rocky they would dance through the opposition - majestic!!

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
old prop steve (IP Logged)
23 July, 2008 23:21
ok Crowlasboy if you want a great victory from "the good old days" here is one.

April 1960 Mennaye Field and we beat a Cardiff team packed with current Welsh internationals 11-3. I was 13 years old and watching with 5,000 others squashed in next to "Pirate Exile" (Colin Hill) opposite the stand under the tree.

Pirates were top dogs in Cornwall then and had beaten Saracens a week earlier although Redruth with Richard Sharp (probably at that time the most exciting player in Britain if not the world) had undone them on a packed Mennaye with a 40 yard drop goal from the great man a few days before.

I can't remember all the details apart from a slashing try from Gerald Luke which had us all jumping up in the air and Owen Barnes kicking a penalty. Cardiff have a huge lock called Mike Gough who starts dishing it out a bit until Alvin Williams cracks him with a peach of a backhand and thereafter he is as quiet as a mouse !

Just before the end there is a maul near the posts at the town end and Ray Burroughs batters his way over and the Mennaye goes beserk before Owen Barnes slots the conversion. We all ran on the pitch at the end and I was doing cartwheels. The following morning I went out with my dad and somebody staying with us and bumped into the Cardiff players sightseeing at Lands End. Alan Priday the Wales full back told me it was one of the toughest games they had had all season- Swansea and Llanelli included .

Before sending this I looked up the Pirates heroes of that evening long ago who were

Owen Barnes, Tony Stevenson, Gerald Luke, Stan Richards, Kenny Barnicoat, Johnny Thomas, Peter Michell (capt), Tony Byrne, Jimmy Hosking, Stack Stevens, Alvin Williams, John Edgecombe, Ray Burroughs, Brian Monckton, Jackie Bowden.

Happy days !

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
welshpirate (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 04:51
Worst performances recently:

1. Moseley at home last season..the worst game of rugby I have ever paid to see.
2. Rotherham away a couple of seasons ago when we lost by 40pts.
3. Loss to Waterloo 2 seasons ago.

1. Exeter at home last season-what a hard game
2. Exeter away 3 seasons ago when we put 40pts on them.
3. The 9-6? win in the rain against Ex about 4 years ago at home.
4. The away win at Bristol.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Newlyn End (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 12:41
Worst -

1) The 50 pointer at the Brickfields 2-3 seasons back It may have been our first season in div 1.
Beautiful weather though.
2) We lost by a fairly heavy margin at Polson bridge 6-7 years ago. A bit of a shock result as we had gained the upper hand but Lans had other ideas that day. 35-12????

Best -

1) The win against Albion at Kenwyn. Excellent rugby played by both sides, we snatched it in injury time 29-27 ???
2) Again against Albion at the Mennaye 6-7 years ago, the worst conditons I've watched a game of rugby in. We won 12-6 against a very strong Albion team at the time.
3) The Final at HQ must rank as a massive achievement when we looked to be struggling.
4) London Welsh at the Mennaye. Final minute try by Lee Soper. May have been the last game of the season. 36-34???
5) Although I didn't see the game at Rotherham when we came back from a 20-0 ht to win 20- 23?? it must have been some game.

Funny how I remember more of the better games .

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Ludgvan Boy (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 15:12
One of the Pirates greatest wins must also of been against Cardiff, I was about 10-11 at the time, so would have been early 50.s, Cardiff had Rex Willis at scrum half, Cliff Morgan at Fly Half, Dr Jack Matthews and Bleddyn Williams in the center, i cant remember the wings and fullback, and a number of welsh internationals in the forwards, I think i am right in saying that a Malcolm Collins was in their 2nd row, he was a Long Rock boy and uncle to Tony Collins who has been a stalwart to the Pirates, with his sons also playing for the Pirates. Phill W would fill you in with the history of this game.

The pirates had the Great John Kendal-Carpenter at No 8, who was captain of England on several ocassions, John (Ginger) williams who also played for England at the time and Mike Terry in the center. I cant remember any more of the pirates team, again Phill would fill you in, but the Pirates won 3-0 if my memory serves me right, but the pirates did win, infront of a packed ground

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Ludgvan Boy (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 15:35
Just to add i think i am right in saying that Cardiff had about 11 Internationals playing that day and 6 or 7 British Lions

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Phil W (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 16:41
Our 5-0 defeat of Cardiff in 1950 was highlighted in our 'Archive Antics' column for the London Welsh game played at the end of April (see below). It was indeed one of our greatest results, though in our next game five days later we lost 33-6 at home to Ebbw Vale.
In the 'amateur' days many of the top sides we played against were here on tour, and were probably a percentage below their best - as was definitely the case for us when a Pirates side lost 70-0 away to London New Zealand in 1979. Drinking during much of Friday, returning to the hotel in the early hours of Saturday, and then having to play a morning game of rugby after just four hours kip (and some would have been lucky to have had that) provided a somewhat less than ideal example of pre-match preparation!


For this end of season game we have various special people present, included among them Dicky Evans. Also, I'm delighted to say, we can highlight the presence of former player Harry Matthews, who has been a consistently steadfast supporter during the past 60 plus years. Now aged 83 (his birthday is today!), Harry first played for the Pirates back in 1947. He and George North were our first two players to be presented with a 100 games Merit Tie in 1951, and Harry was also our Assistant Treasurer (1957-61).

Joining Harry at a surprise pre-match hospitality lunch, has been an eclectic group of friends and colleagues representing interests that have included rugby (obviously), opera, bowls, snooker and work. John Uren, who played for the Pirates in their first ever match which took place at the Mennaye Field on the 22nd September, 1945, is also part of the prestigious gathering.

One of the proudest moments in the club's history evolved just a few years later on the 17th April, 1950, when we beat mighty Cardiff 5-0. It is certainly a date which Harry will be happy to recall, as he was also our vice-captain on that memorable day.

Having lost to Cardiff in three previous meetings, the Pirates were keen to get their revenge, and once again there was a very keen interest generated in both Newlyn and Penzance, and indeed further afield. A crowd of 5,000 gathered in the drizzle for the 6.30pm kick-off, with the weather soon further deteriorating to heavy rain. However, the atmosphere was still electric, as the match had the flavour of international combat. Mayor George Edwards and local MP Greville Howard had welcomed the teams, the sound of 'Land of My Fathers' had resonated around the ground, and the match was kicked off by our England U15s schoolboy international Gerald Luke.

The Pirates started the game not the slightest bit daunted, their handling superb despite the conditions. Full-back Rodda Williams appeared to have put our Cambridge 'Blue' centre 'Ginger' Williams (who would play for England a year later) over for an early try, but as the crowd rose to its feet the pass was adjudged to have gone forward.. Similar was to happen again, but two minutes before the break 'Ginger' collared a Cardiff defender and the ball suddenly ran loose. On hand to offer support was Jimmy Jenkin, who dribbled the ball over the line to touch down the vital try, which was converted by Dave Porritt.

The first half, exciting as it was, acted only as a curtain-raiser to the second, as Cardiff skipper Frank Trott made sure that his team threw everything into attack. It was essential that the Pirates defended heroically, and they did just that, denying scoring opportunities for Cardiff dangermen such as Trott, wing Burn and fly-half St. John Rees. Bill Tamplin, their 'king of kickers', was also luckless with a long, straight penalty attempt.

When the long blast of the final whistle eventually sounded, the crowd swarmed on to the field and formed two great lanes through which the teams passed amidst wild applause. 'Tinker' Taylor, as if imitating his exploits in World War 2, had now led his heroic troops to a memorable sporting victory against one of the very finest clubs in the rugby world.

The teams that day were as follows:-
Pirates: Rodda Williams, Carey Maddern, Mike Terry, John Williams, Dave Porritt, Harvey Richards, 'Tinker' Taylor (capt), Jimmy Jenkin, Chris May, Jackie Williams, Ron Penrose, Harry Matthews (vice-capt), Jack Gunn, Jimmy Hosking, John Dominy.

Cardiff: Frank Trott (capt), I. McJennett, R.T. Jones, Paul Ash, Russell Burn, St. John Rees, Brian Marks, G. Jenkins, G. Beckingham, Stan Bowes, Bill Tamplin, Len Evans, C.D. Williams, Sid Judd, Gwyn Evans.

Tribute was immediately paid to 'Tinker' for his inspiration and leadership, and after the game Frank Trott presented the Pirates with one of Cardiff's famous blue and black jerseys in recognition of the manner in which the game was won and of the brilliant exhibition of rugby which the Welsh side considered the Pirates had displayed.

It is also important that mention is made of the fact that Harry's father, Harry Matthews senior, was a Newlyn committee man and one their convenors who played a part in the decision making process that led to the Newlyn and Penzance clubs amalgamating in December, 1944, to form Penzance & Newlyn RFC. The archives also show that Harry senior was elected a committee member for the newly formed club which held its first AGM at the ATC headquarters in Queen Street, Penzance, on the 19th July, 1945. Harry junior also later became a committee man, with his youngest son Robert now continuing the family tradition.

Being the club archivist, I can't think of any other similar situation where there has been a grandfather-father-son committee link, which is really special. There are a small number of father-son combinations, but another three I don't think so, though I'll welcomely stand to be corrected!

Phil Westren
Harry, along with Johnny Thomas, also helped me compile the club history book '50 Golden Years', which we produced just over a decade ago. It took many hundreds of hours to complete, but it was worth it, and also helped raise nearly 5,000 for club funds.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
cheshire exile (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 16:53
Evocative post from OPS. Interesting to note that Stack Stevens was playing, ten years before he won his first England cap. Players these days tend to be thrust into the limelight somewhat earlier......

One from the past from me; Pirates' first County Cup win, 12-10 against Penryn[1975 or 6] with my namesake kicking 4 penalties.

From the professional era;

A great late Summer's day at Stourbridge, September 2002, with Pirates recovering from a 19-0 half time deficit and 3 sin binnings to win 24-22 with an injury time try and a touchline conversion from Dave Pascoe.

September 2005-the 43-16 win at Exeter referred to by Welsh Pirate; 5 tries and a perfect 4 win start to the season.

November 2006 as suggested by Newlyn End, 24-18 at Rotherham after being 18-0 down at half time playing into a biting wind.

Twickenham! (Sm128)


October 2004 away at Sedgley Park, the first CP game attended by my wife and step daughter. 24-0 [I think] up at half time,Kevin Moseley changes the whole front row at half time and brings on Will James at no 6, Lee Jarvis misses a penalty from inside the 22, we lose 27-28. KM sacked.

September 2006 first away game of the season at newly promoted Waterloo. A lacklustre display sees us lose 19-16. Being jeered at by a bunch of Scousers is not a pleasant experience, although at least my hub caps were still intact.
This year they play Mounts Bay in Div 2.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
cheshire exile (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 17:02
Phil's notes above remind me that it was seriously remiss of me not to thank him and the other club officials involved in Harry Matthews' lunch at the London Welsh game. My father was one of the guests and it was a great occasion for him. In these days of increasingly professional sport and rapid player movement, it is a tribute to the club that past achievements and loyalists are still celebrated.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
woll (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 17:19
A certain summery April day at the Cabbage Patch.

24-18 win at Rotherham previously mentioned which saw us go top of the league too. At 0-11 with half time approaching and playing into a gale force wind the Pirates that day looked assured. A late try and conversion by the home side before the break did little to deter such thoughts; and when Gavin went over in the opening seconds of the 2nd half it was a case of when; not if.

Worst: Coventry away last season even though we won. Moseley away at the end of the season wasn't far behind (Sm16)

If you're going through hell...keep going

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Ludgvan Boy (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 17:22
There you go CB, that has given you the true facts of the game and teams. The players that i mentioned must have played in the other games. But you have now got the history of that great game and I was 7 at the time, so not surprising that I had the names wrong

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Phil W (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 17:22
For the record - Cornwall KO Cup info - the competition one which for many years was indeed a very good one.

The first final was in 1968 - Penryn beat Redruth 5-0. We had won our opening games at home to Launceston (24-8) and then Newquay Hornets (20-5), but then lost 29-15 away to the 'Reds' in the 3rd round.

Our first appearance in the final was in 1975 - we lost 11-0 to Penryn in a match played at Camborne.

Lessons learned, we were then Champions in 1976 - beating Redruth 4-3 at Camborne. That was the season when we beat Penryn 12-10 in the 2nd round (which is what 'Cheshire Exile' indirectly referred to).

And our next final appearance? Well, amazingly, it was not until 1999 when we beat Launceston 34-16, whom we beat again 30-27 in 2000.

Phil W

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
SJP (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 17:23
The 15-9 win at home to Exeter in appaling conditions. No tries but what a titanic contest. Lee Jarvis kicking five penalties. A standing ovation at the end said it all.
The breathtaking victory at home to London Welsh 38-37 I think. We missed a chance seconds earlier to go in front and when the Welsh got hold of the ball deep into injury time I thought it was all over but,inexplicably, the Welsh started to throw the ball around instead of booting into touch. We somehow snaffled the ball and scored a try and the conversion ended the match.

Nightmares well we've had a few and Coventry away last season must be up there, we were awful and how we won I don't know. We were'nt that bright at home to London Welsh last season either or Moseley away.

I have only commented on matches I was present at.

EDF Trophy Winners 2007
B & I Cup Winners 2010

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 24/07/2008 17:24 by Sancreed Pirate.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
Black Pig (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 17:59
Stourbridge what a game. We didn't realy start to play until three quarters of the second half had been played and then Victor woke up and seemed to kick start the rest of the team . A day when all the points were scored by players from a Cornish team or a Cornishman !.And his mother was as is quite normal a guest of Dicky Evans

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
old prop steve (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 18:05
Phil being the modest chap he is could also have mentioned the first Cornwall cup win against Redruth in 1976 in which he was a key player.

Packed Camborne Rec (neutral ground) and Pirates winning 4-0 with a superb try from Nobby Roberts. Sadly Pirates didnt win anything again for nearly 20 years.

Team Malcolm Nicholls, (not Cheshire Exile!!) Nobby Roberts, Neil Care, Jeremy Gilbert, Mickey James, Roger Pascoe, Graham Michell, Stack Stevens, Chris Thomas, Brian Michael, Granite Waters, Alan Reynolds, Dumbo Dymond (capt), Phil Westren, John White.

One at the lowest ebb must have been losing at home to Helston in the Cornwall cup in 1985- seems barely credible today doesn't it.

I recall playing in a game myself where we actually managed to lose a first team match at Redruth Albany of all places. It was absolutely dreadful and the only thing I can remember was their first aid man running on to attend to an injured player and promptly attacking the referee ! He got a lifetime ban I believe.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
*Stalwart (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 18:19
I was there watching that game at Redruth Albany, OPS. I have a feeling Jimmy Glover played in that game (he was well over 40 by that stage!).
Mrs and I can recall seasons when we didn't manage to win a single game away from home. The lowest point for me was when we travelled to Bideford (Oct 1984) and couldn't even muster 15 players. Bideford loaned us a hooker, then Mike Arnold was injured and we were back to 14.
Captain Simon Nicholas (a No,8) had to play full back.
The best day (and there have been so many over the last few years) has to be that magical day at Twickers - I'll never forget it!

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
24 July, 2008 18:23
Again in October 1984, the game before the Bideford one, we lost 4 - 14 at home to Bodmin (a junior club!).

On the day England won the World Cup in 2003 the Pirates were away to lowly Manchester and lost. Steve Evans kept trying to chip and chase and gave away a couple of tries. Ricky Pellow was playing for Manchester then.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
crowlasboy (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 18:26
Thankyou all for your input. I`ve got some material to hang a few words onto now. Hopefully the finished piece will appear on the PG website over the weekend.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
ascloseasthis (IP Logged)
24 July, 2008 21:09
One of the best days I can remember was in the days of Roger Lane, we beat Albion at home, they were soooo peeeed off that they just jumped on their bus and went home. Losers!!!

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
24 July, 2008 23:14
Ah, Roger Lane .. wasn't it amazing how he transformed an ordinary pack into a superb one.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
scillylass (IP Logged)
25 July, 2008 10:10
that london welsh game back at the mennaye i will always remember daniel farini's think thats right spelling so please don't tell me off fergus!! The away game at bris, i remember an bris supporter telling me when we lost when we played them at home just wait and see when you come up to us, i think it may of put luck on our side that day, one bad match i remember was powergen shield semi against Bristol at home can't remember the score but we didn't play very well that day.

Re: PIRATES - The Best & The Worst
crowlasboy (IP Logged)
26 July, 2008 12:35
March 27th 2004 - Powergen Shield - Pirates 15 Bristol 40

An insipid Pirates performance to say the least. Had a quick chat with a certain Mr President after the game. I`ll never forget how he summed up the team effort that day but alas his words probably cannot be repeated on a family forum such as this!!!!

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