NATIONAL LEAGUE 2
REDRUTH 31 – 22 WHARFEDALE (HT 17-7)
By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground, Redruth.
After all the trials and tribulations of the past few weeks it was good for the Reds to get back to winning ways with this hard fought win over worthy and welcome visitors from the Yorkshire Dales.
Whilst coach Nigel Hambly will be delighted with the result he will be concerned at the Reds high penalty count and another sin binning for their recent signing Fale Seve. It may well be that the lads were a little over eager to get the result, which they badly needed. Redruth also had difficulty in dealing with the powerful Wharfedale maul, which resulted in three tries for the visitors.
It didn’t take long for the Reds to open the scoring as from a penalty kicked towards the Piggy Lane corner by fly-half Gareth Griffiths, Luke Collins secured the line out allowing hooker Glen Cooper to drive to the line and claim the try after only 3 mins, Griffiths adding the extras. After 10 mins the Reds had doubled their score when No 8 Mark Bright ripped the ball out of the tackle inside his own half and ran the ball in under the posts, Griffiths once more obliged with the extras.
Wharfedale soon hit back following a penalty kicked towards the Strawberry Lane corner a well worked catch-and-drive saw the visitor’s pack trundle over the line for flanker Oliver Renton to score, Andy Baggett kicked a fine conversion. Wharfedale continued to press and were denied by a fine tackle by winger Nathan Pedley, from the resulting scrum Seve was yellow carded for a professional foul. Thankfully for the Reds they conceded no points during their flanker’s absence, indeed Redruth were the more dangerous with Thirlby brothers combining well in attack. Redruth stretched their lead just before half-time when Griffiths kicked a penalty from 30 meters.
Wharfedale came out in determined mood for the second half with their England Counties centre Chris Malherbe looking dangerous. Baggett kicked a second penalty to reduce the arrears before the visitors drew level with another well worked try following another penalty kicked to the corner (Piggy Lane) which saw flanker David Clements driven over after 58 mins. Baggett kicked a fine conversion to make it 17-17. The crowd grew anxious wary of what had happened in the Reds last home game against Blackheath.
Redruth took play to the visitors with Pedley just being denied in the corner following good work from Bright. PJ Gidlow was twice denied from promising attacks, the points duly arrived through the boot of Griffiths, first a penalty from in front of the posts and then a neatly taken drop goal.
With their noses back in front the Reds looked to score tries, a blistering attack by Rob Thirlby up the Eastern Bank touchline saw his brother Paul finish off the move with the Reds third try which Griffiths failed to convert.
Wharfedale sensing a least a losing bonus point had another kick to touch from a penalty to set up another maul which, saw Clements claim a second try, Baggett couldn’t add the extras.
Redruth went in search of the fourth try and were pressing the Wharfedale line when they were awarded a kickable penalty with the last play of the game, Griffiths kicked the goal to deny the visitors a point.
Plenty for the Reds to build on as they embark next weekend on their longest trip of the season away up to Blaydon in Northumbria, they should travel in good spirits and will look to get a good result on the road.
Redruth 31 pts
Tries – Cooper, Bright, Paul Thirlby, Drop-Goal – Griffiths, Penalties – Griffiths (3), Conversions – Griffiths (2)
Wharfedale 22 pts
Tries – Renton, Clements (2), Penalty – Baggett, Conversions – Baggett (2)
Redruth: Rob Thirlby, Nathan Pedley, Craig Bonds (capt), PJ Gidlow (Simon Peters 75), Paul Thirlby, Gareth Griffiths, Mark Richards; Darren Jacques, Glenn Cooper, Peter Joyce (Ashley Morcom 77), Damien Cook, Luke Collins, Fale Seve (James Mann 49), Chris Fuca (Ben Priddey 77), Mark Bright.
Yellow Card – Seve (20 – 30)
Wharfedale: Neil Baggett, Dan Hart, Chris Malherbe, Andy Baggett (capt), Simon Horsfall, Luke Gray, James Doherty; Neil Dickinson (Adam Mason 72), Gavin Hindle, Chris Steel (Philip Peel 60), David Lister, Anthony Capstick, Oliver Renton (Robert Ladnor 72), David Clements, Robert Baldwin.
Rep not used; Mark Simpson
Referee; Mr Nigel Higginson (RFU)