Taunton Titans put up a fight as Redruth leave it late to clinch victory
Redruth 24, Taunton Titans 18
DESPITE Taunton playing all but four minutes of the game with just 14 men, following the sending off their scrum-half Stuart Townsend for foul play, Redruth had to wait until the final play of the game to ensure the win and try-scoring bonus point courtesy of a stoppage time try scored by scrum-half Ashley Hosking down in Hellfire Corner.
Games between these two sides are notoriously full of drama and this game was no exception.
Townsend's dismissal by referee Phil Watters was for a stamp on Redruth's fly-half Murray Westren as he lay at the bottom of a ruck. Luckily there was no harm to Westren as he went on to have a fine game along with his fellow half-back Hosking.
Buy one get one free on main course and specials excludes fillet steaks and beef Wellington
Must book to qualify 01209 860332 and present voucher on arrival
Mon- Thur 6-9pm
Contact: 01209 700617
Valid until: Saturday, December 21 2013
In the front row Redruth's Darren Jacques, who this week has been named Trelawny's Army Supporters Club Cornwall Player of the Year for 2013, was up against his old mate Peter Joyce, who is on loan at Taunton from the Cornish Pirates.
However it was flanker Jake Rayment, who again showed his exciting potential with his fine all round game, who deservedly took the man of the match plaudits.
Redruth's director of rugby Adrian Edwards was relieved his side got the bonus point win.
He said: "Full credit to Taunton for showing real spirit after going down to 14 men so early on, they forced us into errors and got themselves back into the game.
"For a neutral it was a cracking game of rugby with a knife-edged finish that thankfully went our way. We knew if we could get our forwards down into Hellfire Corner we could make something happen and we did just that with Ashley Hosking's last gasp try and that's great credit to our boys' hard work."
Despite his side's loss Taunton's forwards coach Chris Brown was pleased with his side's performance.
He said: "I am proud of the boys' efforts today, having gone a man down so early in the game I think we showed some great spirit and tenacity, and in the end I feel disappointed that we lost.
"However, in the end Redruth played an astute game pinning us back near our own try-line and getting the try that saw them home. I feel we missed a few chances that could have put us in a lead but it just wasn't to be today."
Redruth looked to make the most of their man advantage as they laid siege to the Taunton line. The Reds elected to scrum three successive penalties five meters out, and at the third time of asking skipper Chris Fuca managed to control a difficult ball to dot down in the Frame Suite corner.
Westren showed his growing confidence with an excellent conversion from wide out for a 7-0 lead.
Having soaked up a period of pressure from the visitors, Redruth were back on the front foot with a lineout again in the Frame Suite corner.
From the drive the Reds mauled their way over the try-line with flanker Kieran Smith getting the score. Westren was once again on cue with the extras for a well-deserved 14-0 lead.
Sadly for the Reds, Smith was forced to leave the fray with a shoulder injury shortly after with Owen Hambly, back helping the club out due to a back row shortage, replacing Smith.
Then, Taunton slowly began to get a grip on the game. Penalty chances came their way. Skipper Gary Kingdom, normally a reliable source of points with his goal kicking endured a shocker with just one successful kick from five attempts at goal.
Redruth also found themselves down to 14 men, but only for 10 minutes, as hooker Neal Turner was sin-binned for not rolling away on 32 minutes.
Taunton took full advantage with hooker Jon Gatford scoring their first try from the ensuing play.
Kingdom kicked his one successful penalty prior to half-time to leave Redruth 14-8 up at the break.
Redruth began the half with an early try scored by Rayment who showed tremendous strength breaking through the opposing forwards to charge for the line, although tackled just short he was able to stretch out his arm and score.
Westren this time saw his conversion attempt cannon off an upright.
Taunton again took the game to the Reds with the home side spending far too much time defending near their own line.
Pressure told with Taunton scoring a second try through lock Marshall Cormack to cut the deficit to six points.
The Reds then found themselves again down to 14 as lock Damien Cook was sin-binned for a professional foul.
Taunton pressed hard, a grubber kick to the corner almost saw former Cornwall U20s and Launceston winger Aron Struminski in for a try.
Eventually it came from No.8 Dan Lee who picked up and drove over from a scrum near the Reds' line bringing the visitors back to within a point.
That was as close as 14 man Taunton would get as Redruth played the final minutes down in the Taunton 22 with Hosking's late try giving the Reds only their second win of the season.
The final whistle allowed the Redruth faithful to breathe a huge sigh of relief and head home happy with the result.
Redruth are on the road on Saturday with a trip to Bournemouth and will welcome back to the mix scrum-half Greg Goodfellow who has now served his suspension.