Reds' promotion hopes suffer a blow after first home defeat of the season
Redruth 19 Hartpury College 26
Redruth finally lost their unbeaten home record this season after giving themselves a mountain to climb in a poor first half against an impressive Hartpury side, writes Dick Straughan.
After a bright start the Reds fell behind to a Craig Jackson penalty and then conceded a try as former Exeter Chiefs wing Sean Marsden set up flanker Liam Wilkinson to race in at the corner. Bad then turned to worse for the home side as Billy Burns chipped through and Jackson won the foot race for a second try.
Two further penalties dispatched by Jackson kept the scoreboard ticking over and the Reds, disrupted by the early loss of Steve Evans to injury, took until first half stoppage time to find their feet with a try of their own.
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Greg Goodfellow took a quick tap penalty and raced 60 metres before slipping a pass to Lewis Vinnecombe to run in under the posts. Paul Thirlby converted to cut the arrears to 21-7 at the break but Hartpury added a third try early in the second half.
Wilkinson ran in his second touchdown after fine work by Gloucester dual-registered Number 8 Gareth Evans and it looked as if the contest was over. The men in red shirts disagreed.
Finally the home pack found some extra forward gears and a level of intensity to worry the Students and a series of attacking 5 metre scrums and repeated penalties was finally rewarded with a penalty try converted by Thirlby.
A tempestuous final ten minutes saw yellow cards for Hartpury`s skipper Chris Fortey and replacement hooker Dylan Rodrigues, whilst Murray Westren's 75th minute try had the crowd on the edge of their seats.
But Hartpury held on and Redruth will have to fight to the wire to secure a place in the end of season play-offs.
C.Bonds, Notman, Vinnicombe, Evans (Westren 6), Simmons, P.Thirlby, Goodfellow; Jacques, Brown, Williams, Cook, Collins, Priddey (Duncan 48), Hambly, Fuca (capt)
Replacements (not used) – B.Drew, Turner, Rayment
Tries – Vinnecombe, Penalty, Westren
Cons – Thirlby (2)
Jackson, Reynolds (Haile 6), Dancer, Rodwell, Marsden, Burns (Stevenson 70), Field; Gibbons (Cano 70), Fortey (capt) (sin bin 71), Crompton, Graulich, Raven, Thomas, Wilkinson (Walker 63, Rodrigues 73 sin-bin79), Evans
Tries – Wilkinson (2), Jackson
Con – Jackson
Pens – Jackson (3)
Yellow Cards – Fortey, Rodrigues
Referee – D.Richards (RFU)