Man of the match Gareth Griffiths scored all of Redruth’s points in this absorbing encounter at the Recreation Ground. In a closely fought encounter with the final result in doubt right up to the final whistle Redruth will be relived to have secured a win which once the ten point penalty is applied will still leave them at the foot of National League 2. The Reds have the ability and players to climb the table and get themselves out of the mire they currently find themselves in.
Redruth gave a debut to Rudolf Meredith at outside centre who has played with Mark Bright at Nelson Bay in New Zealand. Former Penryn player David Pascoe had a start in the number 9 jersey displacing Mark Richards.
Redruth kicked off playing down the slope, it wasn’t long before Griffiths had points on the board with an early penalty success for offside. The lead was short-lived as James Whittingham kicked a penalty for the visitors to level the scores.
The play was at times abrasive with some firm tackles going in from both sides. Both sets of forwards were getting through a tremendous amount of work. Westcombe Park enjoyed the lion’s share of territory and possession reflecting their fine start to the season. It was inevitable that tempers would come to a head with a flair up near the touchline following a late tackle on a Redruth player, Dave Pascoe (Redruth) and Will Thorpe (Westcombe Park) were duly dispatched to the sin bin by referee Mr. Phillips.
Redruth nudged ahead on the scoreboard with Griffiths’ second successful penalty after 28 mins following a big drive by the Reds pack into the visitors half forcing them to infringe. The home side looked to increase their lead as the interval approached with skipper Craig Bonds losing the ball close to the try line in Hell Fire corner, the visitors then cleared the ball up field carrying play deep into the Reds 22 thankfully the cover held firm.
Redruth played some of their best rugby of the game immediately after half-time. A fine passage of play saw Mark Bright almost score following some fine play with Meredith, Griffiths though was on hand to finish off the play with a try under the posts on 45 mins, Griffiths added the extras for a 13-3 lead. Griffiths missed a penalty attempt a short while later but made amends with a fine drop goal to stretch the Reds’ lead to 16-3.
If the Redruth faithful thought their favourites would go on to secure a handsome win then they were in a rude awakening. Whittingham kicked a second penalty to reduce the deficit, worse was soon to follow as scrum half Gideon Roux, who had been a handful all afternoon cleverly kicked deep into Hell Fire corner, the Reds cleared the immediate danger to touch following a lineout, however from their own throw in, Westcombe Park launched a fearsome onslaught into the Reds 22, various phases of play culminated in Roux sneaking in on the blind side from a ruck up in the Piggy Lane corner, Whittingham’s touchline conversion brought Park right back in it at 16-13 down with around 10 mins to play. The visitors sensed a result and put huge pressure on the Redruth line, That pressure resulted in a penalty slap bang in front of the posts on 77 mins which Whittingham kicked to level the scores.
Almost from the re-start Redruth were themselves awarded a long-range penalty, which Griffiths kicked right between the uprights as cool as you like to regain the lead at 19-16. The Reds then ran down the clock to earn a valuable and welcome four points.
Plenty of smiles in the Redruth camp after the game, a big game again next Saturday as the Reds will want to target their away game at fellow strugglers Halifax.
Redruth 19 pts – Try: G. Griffiths; Conversion: G. Griffiths; Penalties: G. Griffiths (3); Drop Goal: G. Griffiths.
Yellow card – Pascoe
Westcombe Park 16 pts – Try: G. Roux; Conversion: J. Whittingham; Penalties: J. Whittingham (3).
Yellow card – Thorpe
Redruth: R. Thirlby, L. Vinnicombe (P. Thirlby 38), R. Meredith, P.J. Gidlow, C. Bonds (Capt.), G. Griffiths, D. Pascoe, D. Jacques, G. Cooper, P. Joyce (A. Morcom 72), D. Cook, L. Collins, N. Pascoe (B. Fox 65), C. Fuca, M. Bright.
Replacement (not used): D. Job.
Westcombe Park: S. Naden, N. Davies (T. Latu 12), G. Purdy (C. De Klerk 62), P. Nacamavuto, A. Slade, J. Whittingham, G. Roux, D. Weston (B. McKinnell 60), D. Sole (J. Moyce 53), S. Croall, G. Frith, W. Thorpe, I. Hardcastle, T. Carruthers, T. Hayman (Capt.).
Referee: Mr Richard Phillips (RFU)