Rotherham Titans claimed a second win of the season and arguably the biggest of the fledgling reign of Welshman Mark Jones.
Titans were in control throughout and a winning margin of just two points reflected better on Pirates, than it did the visitors from South Yorkshire.
Will Goodwin set Rotherham on their way with his first of three successful penalty kicks before Jordan Davies doubled the tally when temporarily taking over kicking duties.
It was a try scored by Davies himself on 26 minutes, converted by Goodwin, that put Rotherham in total control at 13-0 ahead.
That is how it stood until four minutes into the second half when Kieran Hallett kicked Cornish onto the scoreboard, but Goodwin swiftly re-established the Titans’ superiority.
Joe Barker, Davies’s partner in midfield, then scored Rotherham’s second and final try of the day, with Goodwin’s conversion making it 23-3.
Prompted into life, Pirates began their comeback, with No 8 Alex Cheeseman crossing, Will Cargill converting.
But a third Goodwin penalty on the hour-mark gave Rotherham a 26-10 lead that crucially meant Pirates needed three scores.
And how the men from Clifton Lane needed that advantage as first John Stevens (62) and then Jon Riley in the final minute scored tries that, with Cargill converting both, meant a nervy injury-time period for Rotherham who were grateful to hang on.
Cornish Pirates: T May, Moyle, Riley, James, Holland, Hallett, Day, J Andrew, Elloway, Jamieson, McGlone, Garratt, Simmonds, Atkinson, Cheesman. Replacements: Channon, Walker, Graulich, Stevens, Pope, Cargill, Arnott.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, J Hayes, J Davies, Barker, Wilson, Goodwin, White, Williams, C. Maddison, Tampin, Oram, B Maddison, Argyle, Birch, Cree. Replacements: Harris, Hislop, Thiede, Holmes, Calladine, A Davies, Owen.