Thrilling fightback by Redruth falls short in first defeat for three months
Redruth captain Chris Fuca was candid in his assessment of the Cornish side's one-point defeat at National Two South rivals Chinnor for their first defeat in more than three months.
The Reds trailed by 18 points adrift as the game approached the final quarter and staged a thrilling fight back. They even had a kick to win the match but Aaron Penberthy's conversion attempt fell short.
"We made too many errors and gave ourselves too much to do," said Fuca. "Chinnor are a really good side and we did not pay them enough respect in the first half.
"To fight back like that – and get two bonus points – I am happy with, but we will have to build on this and get ready for next week.
"Chinnor had more hunger than us in the first half. We complained to the referee too much; we did not play smart in the first half – they pinned us back and we did not have answers.
"It was nice to have a chance to win the game but it was a real hard kick for Aaron [Penberthy].
"There were two or three chances in the first half we did not take and it could have been a different game."
A converted try from Owen Hambly got Redruth back into the game from 18 points down and relentless forward play pinned Chinnor inside their own 22. The hosts rode their luck, conceding ten penalties and picking up four yellow cards, playing most of the final ten minutes with 13 men.
An unconverted try from Darren Jacques got Redruth within a converted score with four minutes to go and in the final dramatic finish Craig Bonds was stopped just short.
Redruth were then held up over the line and two scrums went down before the visitng pack could put the shunt on.
In the last play of the game Murray Westren touched down in the right-hand corner but Penberthy's conversion was short and the game lost.
For the first hour Chinnor had played some tremendous rugby, they had an impressive kicking game and took advantage of some poor kick returns from the Reds to open up the game for some strong running three-quarters and just after the interval had built up a 20 point lead before Redruth started to get to grips with them.
The hosts took the lead with a penalty by Henry Colver after ten minutes before Redruth were rewarded for a dominant scrum with a penalty try converted Penberthy.
Two well taken tries in quick succession by Adrian Hales, after a quick throw, and Liam Gilbert, from a lineout, left the visitors reeling.
Redruth had a couple of good chances with a catch-and-drive try chalked off for an obstruction and a Nick Simmons beak in midfield was not converted into a score in the right-hand corner.
A second penalty by Colver after 29 minutes quickly followed by an individual try by Will Millett after a chip-and-chase into the right-hand corner put Chinnor in the driving seat.
Penberthy pulled back a penalty on the stroke of half time following a high tackle on Westren but strong running from the home backs saw Matt Goode run in a try soon after the restart that Colver converted to open up a 20-point gap.
A massive surge by the Redruth pack ended with Dan Job touching down a try that Penberthy converted after 45 minutes.
Chinnor struck a vital blow on 56 minutes when good play down the left wing ended with Gilbert crashing over for his second try of the game before the Redruth rearguard action started.
The final few minutes were incredibly tense with referee Guy Steele-Bodger put under immense pressure as Redruth looked for a winning score and the hosts did everything to stop them.