Paul Jarvis was Doncaster Knights’ hat-trick hero as they claimed a second B &I Cup Pool D victory against Cornish Pirates in dramatic fashion at Castle Park.
With the game five minutes into injury time and the final whistle set to blow, Knights elected to move the ball out wide after Pirates had somehow managed to repel a series of forward drives and there was Jarvis to touch down for a try goaled by fly-half Paul Roberts.
Pirates had looked set to repeat their Championship success at Castle Park a fortnight earlier after scrum-half Stuart Townsend ducked under a tackle on 76 minutes to score near enough for half-back partner Laurence May to convert to secure them a 25-22 lead.
It was the second try that Pirates had scored during Will Foden’s time in the sin bin - and given their record at the ground many home fans will have feared the worst.
Displaying the sort of handling which will have pleased skills coach Paul Cooke in the opening exchanges, Knights raced into an early lead with full-back Jarvis crossing for an early try after making the extra man out wide. Roberts, who had missed an earlier penalty, made it 7-0.
But any hopes of Knights may have entertained of running away with the game failed to materialise and they didn’t add to their tally until deep into stoppage time – though they had their chances and a midfield break by Jarvis on 22 minutes deserved better reward.
May hit the target with a brace of penalties, after two earlier misses, to cut the deficit to 7-6
Wing Richard Lane looked to have nowhere to go, but burst through several attempted tackles to race 40 metres for a fine try. May’s conversion made it 13-7.
Knights snatched a 14-13 interval lead in stoppage time, Jarvis – now playing on the wing following Dougie Flockhart’s earlier departure - racing in from 20 metres for a converted try after the ball had been moved to the right.
Pirates would have been pleased to concede just a 48th minute penalty by Roberts after being on the back-foot after the break.
They were reduced to 14 men on 51 minutes, wing Craig Holland being sin-binned.
A classic piece of centre play by Andy Bulumakua, finished off with a peach of a pass to Tyson Lewis just short of the line, saw the wing touch down for an unconverted try to make it 22-13.
Knights: Jarvis, Flockhart, Bulumakau, Armitage, Lewis; Roberts, Bravo; List, Hunter, R Davies, Hotson, Phelan, Makaafi, Hills, Eggleshaw. Rep: T Davies, Bergmanas, Quigley, Challinor, Foden, Tresidder, Lennard.