What a cracking game to start the 2017-18 league season at the Recreation Ground Redruth on Saturday. A ten try spectacle with nine scored by the home side in a resounding 58-10 win to put the Reds top of the table in National League 2 South.
Pre-season games against Swansea and Plymouth Albion indicated that the squad were in good shape, and so it proved.
The Redruth back three of full back Rob Coote and wings Jack Simmons and Jack Kessell were the stars of the show.
Following an early penalty by fly-half Ashley Hosking, back from a stint at Truro, the Reds scored three first half tries through Kessell (2) and centre Nielson Webber, with Hosking adding two conversions for a 22-3 half-time lead.
In the second half flanker Sam Matavesi came more into the game and further tries from skipper Rich Brown, flanker Chris Fuca, prop Craig Williams, scrum-half Jack Oulton and a brace from winger Tom Notman off the bench, Joe Elderkin, on for Hosking added a further three conversions.
It was a pleasing start for new head coach Pale Nonu along with forwards coach Gareth Tedstone. Redruth know that sterner tests await not least Saturday’s trip to Barnstaple who won 33-13 at Wimbeldon.
Oh so close, that was the result at Ealing as the Cornish Pirates saw Laurence May’s last-gasp conversion attempt sail past the post to condemn them to an opening day loss by a single point 29-28.
Despite the frustration at the final outcome, Pirates coaching staff took much from the game ahead of Sunday’s clash with Bristol ant the Mennaye.
Kyle Moyle, Tom Lawday and Toby Freeman scored the tries, whilst May added three penalties and two conversions.
In the South West Premier League, Cambone were given a tough examination by promoted Maidenhead at the Recreation Ground winning 30-27. Trailing 10-3 with just a Dave Mankee penalty on the board, The Cherry and Whites levelled matters following a length of the field move finished off by winger Matt Blee, Mankee adding the extras.
Despite falling behind again before half-time, Cambone first reduced the deficit in the second half through a Mankee penalty before adding the conversion to Taron Peacock’s try.
Skipper Jon Drew then scored with Mankee again adding the conversion.
A late surge from the visitors was to no avail as Mankee slotted another penalty to keep Maidenhead at bay.
In Tribute South West 1 West, Launceston got their season off to a winning start with a fine 41-29 win at Keynsham.
Dan Pearce, who arrived from Bude over the summer, scored 26 of his side’s points with two tries and three conversions. The Cornish All Blacks other tries came from Ryan Western Martin Kneebone and skipper Lloyd Duke.
It was a tough baptism for London Cornish in London 1 South as they lost at home to Havant 44-25.
They trailed 21-6 at the break with just a couple of George Kimmins penalties for their endeavours.
Cornish made a better fist of it during the second half scoring tries through Chris Kolapo-Ajala (2) and, James LeBroy with Kimmins adding a couple of conversions. Cornish will lick their wounds and come back stronger as they get to grips with the quicker pace of this league.
In Western Counties West, St. Ives won the derby clash at Falmouth’s Recreation Ground defeating the Eagles 30-15.
Wadebridge Camels also got off to a winning start defeating promoted Paignton 23-19 at the Molesworth Field. Matt Tarby and Will Pengelly scored the Camels’ tries with Danny Thomas kicking the other points.
There was disappointment for Truro as they slipped to a narrow defeat at Chard 26-24. Truro came away with two points thanks to tries from Luke Tidball, Ben Teasdale, Darren Jacques and Steve Evans.
Cornwall Cup holders St. Austell also made a disappointing start to their league campaign. Despite recovering from an eleven point deficit after a slow start to lead 22-11, they were undone at the end by two breakaway tries scored by the visitors.
Ian Venner, Peter Rowe, George Tregilgas, on his first team debut and Hector Bright scored the Saints tries to give them a couple of points.
In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Lanner made a great start with a 53-14 win against Torrington.
Hayle marked their return to this level with a 36-25 win over Wessex.
After a slow start Penryn put in a storming second forty to defeat Tavistock 43-24. Borough trailed 17-5 at half-time with just an unconverted try from James Salisbury on the board.
Penryn edged closer early in the second half thanks to Tomas Oliver try before Andrew Seviour’s try converted by Matt Horton tied it up. Horton added the extras to his own try to move Penryn ahead. Ross Hancock. Oliver and a 60 metre dash from Seviour put the icing on the cake for the Borough.
Bude found it tough going away at Withycombe going down 36-5.
Saltash served notice that they will again be in the promotion chase after posting a 50-19 win against Pirates Amateurs at the Mennaye.
Ryan Rayner, Ryan Cruickshanks (3), Ollie Mulberry, Will Morton and Adam Coutts, Kieran Downs kicking the other points.
For the Amateurs Jack Lonsdale and Noyce scored tries.