A youthful Yorkshire Carnegie side made the long journey to the Channel Islands to take on Jersey Reds in the opening game of this season’s British & Irish Cup and it proved to be a long night for the men from Headingley.

The back line is almost entirely made up of Carnegie Academy products with the only exception being winger Harry Davies, who is on loan from Bath Rugby. Carnegie found themselves behind after just four minutes when fly half Brendan Cope kicked a penalty from the visitors 22 when they were penalised for holding on.

Jersey took the game to Carnegie straight from the re-start and only desperate defence kept them at bay. However, they managed to cross for the opening try of the game less than ten minutes later when Matt Rogerson picked up from the base of the scrum and powered his way over. Cope added the conversion to make it 10-0.

Carnegie were once again hit by injury problems after that. Having lost three players in the first half at Richmond last week, Yorkshire now lost youngster Lewis Wilson to injury after fifteen minutes and was replaced by Elliot Ward, on for his debut.

The referee was having a big influence on the flow of the game with both teams being penalised in possession and Carnegie managed to get themselves back into the game when Harry Davey, who played at Huddersfield, dropped a kick into touch near the home line. Jersey failed to clear their lines and were penalised which Davey easily converted to make it 10-3 after 25 minutes.

The home side increased their lead with another Cope penalty before they crossed for a second try with an injection of pace. Initially it looked like they would keep the ball tight in the forwards from a line out drive but the ball was then whipped wide to winger Tom Pincus, who has been in great scoring form this season, and he stepped away from the defender and raced through to score. Cope added the conversion and made it 20-3 at the break.

Carnegie needed to find a way back into the game at the start of the second half but they found it tough going. The arrival of Charlie Beech and Elliot Millar Mills lifted the Carnegie pack but the visitors were finding themselves stuck inside their half too often and eventually the Reds made them pay. Having been camped on the Carnegie line, they kept their composure and at the sixth attempt Uili Kolo’ofa’I eventually went over from close range. Cope added the conversion to put his side 27-3 in front.

It was only a question of time before Jersey secured all five points with a fourth try and it came from a set move at the line out. Carnegie had been penalised for not releasing in possession, Cope kicked down field and from the line out Jersey found Kieran Hardy, who burst through and went on an arcing run to score in the corner. Cope missed the conversion but his side led 32-3 with 20 minutes to go.

The final quarter of the game was fairly flat as both teams knew the result was secured, Carnegie battled hard and Harry Newborn thought he had marked his debut after coming on as a replacement for Joe Buckle, only to see the referee call play back for a forward pass with five minutes to go.