Redruth overcome difficult journey to win away at Taunton
Despite a delayed kick off caused by travel difficulties Redruth opened their National Two South campaign with a hard-fought victory.
Under the new coaching regime of Adrian Edwards, Ashley Morcom and Steve Evans, seven of the Reds' squad made their league debut.
Four of the newcomers plied their trade at Level eight last season while Redruth colt Jake Rayment was one of the youngest players ever to appear in a league game for Reds.
The visitors were quickly out of the blocks and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts for Paul Thirlby to put the visitors three points up with two minutes on the clock.
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Both sets of backs showed an early desire to run the ball with the pace of Redruth's left wing, Frazer Kellythorne soon catching the eye.
Quick thinking by Titans' live-wire scrum-half Mike Pope saw him take a quick tap from a penalty in midfield to scamper over for a try converted by Tony Yapp to give the hosts a 14th-minute lead.
An exciting backs move culminated in a clever flip of the ball by Romey Vassell to put Craig Bonds over in the opposite corner. Thirlby added the extras to put the Reds back in front.
The lead was short lived as Taunton back-rower Dean Menzies-Taylor drove over from short range to touch down for an unconverted try.
The dominant Reds' pack soon set up the opportunity for last season's top try scorer Tom Duncan to cross for one of his trade mark scores from the base of the scrum putting the visitors back in front. A long-range penalty by centre Brett Turner made it all square with 20 minutes left on the clock.
For the final quarter Redruth took control. Duncan crossed to complete his brace, Thirlby converting and then added another penalty. The final ten minutes saw the visitors efficiently close the game down to hold on for a creditable victory.
Reds' skipper Chris Fuca was especially delighted with the performance of the debutants but admitted he had felt very nervous about his first game as captain. "It's nice to get the first one out of the way," he said.
Head coach Edwards, felt that the difficult journey hadn't had an influence on events. "We knew they would come at us hard and we weathered their attack in the first half. Effort and team spirit is the key for us. I'm pleased with an away win."
Saturday sees Redruth host the Cornish All Blacks for the "Inferno In Kernow" in what is sure to be a full-blooded encounter in which the opening results will count for nothing.
Taunton: Gabitass (Conway 66), Claydon, Plummer, Turner, Giblett, Yapp, Pope, Morgan, Cooper (Beddard 71), Haines (Sinel 62), Ward, King, Harvey (Capt.) (Childs 69), Taylor-Menzies (Lee 69), Charlton.
Scorers: Tries – Pope, Taylor-Menzies; Conversion – Yapp; Penalty – Turner.
Redruth: Bonds, Notman (Westren 79), Vassell, Parsons, Kellythorne, Thirlby, Goodfellow, Joyce (Williams 51), Brown, Jacques, Heath (Rayment 78), Cook, Fuca (Capt.), Hambly, Duncan. Replacements (not used): Turner, Peacock.
Scorers: Tries – Bonds, Duncan (2); Conversions – Thirlby (2); Penalties – Thirlby (2).
Referee: K Lewis (RFU).