DONCASTER Knights had their hopes of a place in the semi-finals of the Championship Promotion play-offs sunk by Cornish Pirates at Castle Park.
After a fairly even start, Knights went behind after six minutes to a penalty by Pirates winger Grant Pointer.
Knights started to gain a slight territorial advantage and went ahead after 13 minutes with a great individual try by centre Andy Wright.
Wright received a flat pass straight from scrum half Jones following a good line out on the Pirates 10 metre line, and stepped inside his opposite number and then wrong footed the cover as he raced to the line for a try.
Fly-half Tristan Roberts added the extras and shortly afterwards extended Knights’ lead with a penalty.
Knights spent the next 15 minutes mainly inside the Pirates half but were unable to break down their dogged defence.
During this period, in just about their only incursion into Knights’ half, Pointer kicked his second penalty.
With five minutes to go to half-time, Pirates put pressure on Knights and, from a routine move just outside the Doncaster 22, full back Rhodri McAtee broke past a poor attempted tackle to score wide out which Pointer converted with the help of a goal post.
It was difficult to believe that Knights had turned around 13-10 down, but they continued to pressurise the Pirates’ defence.
Their break came after 55 minutes when full back Steve McColl brilliantly caught his own high up and under on the Pirates 22.
The ball was then recycled wide to the left where lock James Craig and prop Lewis Thiede were on hand to give flying winger Matty Williams just enough space to race the final 20 metres to dive over in the corner for a try that Roberts converted with a good strike.
As in the away play-off game at Penzance, Knights then fell foul of two sucker punches with two tries for the Pirates in the space of five minutes by McAtee and wing Nick Jackson - both of which came as a result of two poor attempted tackles.
Pointer’s conversion of both tries put Pirates 27-17 ahead with 15 minutes left.
After a five-minute period of intense pressure on the Pirates’ line, scored through Jones, who drove over from a five metre scrum. McColl added the extras, but it was not enough to save the Knights.
Knights: McColl, Flockhart, Goss, Wright, Williams, Roberts (Briers 66), Jones, Frazier, Lawrie (Boden 65), Thiede (Corsar 63), Kenworthy (Parsons 50), Craig, Rowen, Makaafi, Farivarz.