Aaron Penberthy secures bonus-point win for Redruth against Worthing Raiders
at the Recreation Ground
Starved of any competitive rugby since mid-December, Redruth's faithful supporters finally got to see a game in 2013 and with it a win to savour against National Two South leaders Worthing Raiders, who suffered only their third loss of the campaign.
There was a return to the Recreation Ground too for fly-half Aaron Penberthy, on loan from the Cornish Pirates, as he looks to gain some match time on the road back to full fitness after a groin operation. And what a return it proved to be for the former Red.
Despite looking rusty and slightly disorganised during the first half, Redruth turned on the power during the second half to record a bonus-point win, with Penberthy scoring the fourth try to clinch the win. Worthing, for all their first-half dominance, should have been much further ahead at half-time.
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Redruth's director of rugby Adrian Edwards conceded his side had taken its time to find top gear. He said. "It's fantastic to get the bonus-point win. First half you could see that we were lacking match sharpness. The boys were about half a yard off the pace to the breakdown. At half-time we discussed it.
"These boys don't really need telling what to do they are experienced enough and can work it out for themselves. The great thing about this squad is that they never give up. The scrum really came to the fore during the second half – we put Worthing under tremendous pressure and that led to our scores."
From the kick-off it was the Raiders who dictated play, which was rewarded with a try when Kiba Richards sliced through the Redruth cover to put fellow centre Ollie Richards in under the sticks for Joe Govett to convert.
Worthing – for whom full-back Alex Neilson proved a constant threat all afternoon – were almost in again moments later but Reds winger Tom Notman made good ground to snuff out the danger.
Slowly Redruth got into the game. Having kicked to the scoreboard corner, the hosts mounted an attack resulting in a charged-down clearance leading to an unconverted try for Ben Priddey.
Despite some good breaks by Frazer Kellythorn and Lewis Vinnicombe, Redruth were unable to pierce the well-organised Worthing defence and Govett extended their lead with a penalty for offside.
Notman was once more called in to clear the danger as the Raiders again bore down on the Redruth line. Priddey then turned try preventer as he got back to foil the ever-dangerous Nielsen to leave the Raiders 10-5 up at the break.
The Reds looked a different side at the beginning of the second half and, playing down the slope, the forwards began to take charge with Darren Jacques and Damien Cook to the fore.
An attacking scrum in Hellfire Corner saw Tom Duncan pick-and-drive for the line for Redruth's second try, Paul Thirlby's conversion going over off an upright.
Just four minutes on and Duncan was at it again, being driven over from a ruck after good work from Craig Bonds, Vinnicombe and Jacques. Thirlby added the extras for a 19-10 lead.
Worthing showed their pedigree as they struck back to regain the lead. First a mix-up by Redruth in defence allowed the visitors an attacking platform in their 22. Raiders skipper Matt Miles took a quick tap penalty which led to Kiba Richards crossing for a second try, Govett adding a fine conversion form out wide.
Then a chip and chase by flying wing Jack Maslen bamboozled the Reds' defence allowing Maslen to pounce on the loose ball and touch down.
Having fought back so well, the Reds were in danger of letting the game slip away.
However, they got back downfield and patient build-up saw the forwards drive for the line before the ball was moved wide to Penberthy who side-stepped the defence to cross under the posts and secure the bonus point.
Thirlby's conversion sealed the vital win and gave Redruth the boost they needed ahead of the trip to Polson Bridge.