Ealing Trailfinders came away from Cornwall honours even but given they led 24-7 early in the second half and their opponents never once had the lead, they will feel a draw wasn’t just reward for their efforts.
Ealing dominated the opening quarter and pinned the Pirates in their own half but for all the territorial advantage weren’t able to put points on the board.
Good attacking positions were squandered by some loose handling but they finally made the pressure tell when hard working flanker Willie Ryan took advantage of a line out near the opposition line to nip down the blindside and touchdown.
Ben Ward converted to give his side a 7-0 lead but the visitors found themselves under pressure from the re-start.
Their defence held firm until a Pirates scrum near the posts, after which they worked the ball wide for Matt Evans to score.
Will Cargill brought the scores level with the conversion however Ealing regained possession from the kick off and a terrific run down the middle from skipper Mark Bright set up another good attacking platform and a long ball from Ward enabled wing Curtis Wilson to cross in the corner.
Ward converted from the touchline to make it 14-7 and just before half they went further ahead when lock Henry Casson forced his way over by the posts and Ward continued his 100 per cent kicking record to make it 21-7 at half-time.
Ward was on target early in the second half with a finely struck penalty from 45 metres to ease his side further ahead.
But Ealing soon found themselves under pressure and their defence cracked when Tom Duncan forced his way over and Cargill converted to reduce the arrears to 10 points.
Minutes later they lost a line out and subsequently conceded a penalty which Cargill kicked to make it 24-17 after 57 minutes. The momentum was clearly with the home side and with their line out under pressure, Ealing were having to work hard in defence to keep them at bay going into the final quarter.
A penalty gave the home side yet another good attacking position and after driving to the posts they spread the ball wide for wing Kyle Moyle to score. Cargill leveled the scores with the conversion to set up a tense finale.
With six minutes remaining Ward put up a high kick on the halfway line which seemed to be going nowhere but centre Lewis Jones seized on the loose ball and fed Wilson.
The winger sprinted 45 metres to beat the cover and score in the corner and Ward’s fine touchline conversion put them 31-24 ahead.
But the Pirates hit back immediately with Stuart Townsend crossing and Cargill levelling the scores with the conversion and that proved to be the final points of the match.