Hartpury were much-changed from their recent Championship outings and paid the price for a stuttering performance against a far more cohesive Pirates outfit on a dry, fast surface.
Pirates were full value for their victory, in which they led by 32-5 before two late Hartpury tries put a slight gloss on the scoreline and gave another good home crowd something to cheer.
Hartpury frequently looked disjointed, never more so than at the lineout, and it was an early steal by Pirates from which Daniel Koster eventually crossed in the corner after good hands.
The hosts did create a fine try, well finished by debutant Ed Coulson a few minutes later (pictured), but that was as good as it got for the Red & Blacks before the break.
Will Cargill added two Pirates’ penalties either side of a try for full-back Kyle Moyle, who scored when he beat everybody to a wickedly bouncing ball from a kick ahead, after Hartpury had turned it over in midfield.
18-5 down at the interval, Hartpury needed to strike first after the re-start but they continued to make mistakes and it was Pirates hooker Thomas Channon who was next to drive over, after the home team had given up field position by kicking out on the full.
Hartpury’s afternoon was effectively over when weak midfield defence allowed Number 8 Tom Lawday to finish another Pirates attack.
Tries from James Williams and Darrel Dyer, following a late show of Hartpury defiance in which skipper Iain Grieve led by example, both came too late to affect the result and another Cargill kick produced the final scoreline with two minutes to go.
Hartpury: Coulson (Try 9), Ducker, Creed, Carpenter, Sheldon, Williams (Try 61, Cons 62, 69), Shaw; Flook, Walker, Ibuanokpe, Quinn, Dancer, Grieve, Safe, Dyer (Try 69). Bench: Stratford, Seville, Gibson, So’oialo-Chan, Cochrane, Boulton, Forrester.
Pirates: Moyle (Try 25), Koster (Try 5), Laverick, De Battistia, Colonel, Cargill (Cons 25, 45, 58; Pens 18, 31, 78), Day; Keast, Channon (Try 45), Andrew, Caulfield, Freeman, Cooper, Bolwell, Lawday 8 (Try 57). Bench: Fish, Walker, Judge, Cowan-Dickie, May, Taylor, Cant.
Referee: Joy Neville