With the RFU Championship having a week off it was Redruth who had to billing this week, however the script didn’t quite go to plan for Redruth in their first game of the New Year as they came up short 33-28 against bottom of the table Wimbledon, in National League 2 South, a side that had previously won only once this season.
Illness (flu) struck the squad on the morning of the game resulting in some unable to travel resulting with just four players available on the bench, including head coach Pale Nonu.
Wimbledon got off to a fine start with an early try scored by Nial McSweeney with James Doe adding the first for his four conversions.
Redruth levelled the scores soon after when prop Loma Kivalu crashed over with Richie Kevern kicking the extras.
The London side were keen to move the ball wide and were rewarded when Matt Gilbert rounded off a good move.
Wimbledon continued to press scoring a third try from a catch-and-drive through Dylan Flashman, Doe converted both scores leaving the Reds up against it.
To their credit Redruth raised their game to score before half-time through lock Shaun Buzza with Kevern again on the money with the conversion, leaving the visitors 21-14 in arrears.
Wimbledon proceeded to make the game seemingly safe early in the second half with two quick scores through Rhys Morgan and Charlie Esam with Doe adding a fourth conversion to stretch their advantage to nineteen points.
Redruth brought on prop Craig Williams for a welcome return following injury and with the home pack tiring in the final quarter the Reds began to take the initiative.
Nonu crashed over for Redruth’s third try with Kivalu getting his second try of the game soon after following good play from scrum half Jack Oulton. Kevern added the extras to both scores to gives the Reds a couple on bonus points. Despite pressing until the final whistle Redruth couldn’t manufacture a winning score.
After the game Nonu said there were no excuses. “We have to be more clinical when we travel, we have a good group of players who are good enough to step up when required.”
Redruth are on the road again this Saturday coming when they travel to Worthing.
Camborne made the trip to Rackerhayes to face Newton Abbot in the South West Premier, despite leading 16-5 at half-time Town lost their way during the second half as the home side scored three converted tries without reply.
Jake Champion kicked three penalties and converted Declan Matthews’ try for the Cherry and Whites but when the fly-half failed to appear for the second half, and with no backs on the bench, Town were up against it having to re-jig the side.
In Tribute South West 1 West, Launceston got their New Year off to a flying start with a 47-14 win against Matson at Polson Bridge. Dan Pearce bagged four tries and kicked two conversions and a penalty. Shaun Crawford, Brandon Rowley and Fred Bulut scored the other tries.
The Cornish All Blacks stay in fourth place and with third place Newent next up again at Polson next week will be aiming to move up to third.
In London 1 South, London Cornish slipped to a 13-10 defeat at Cobham, a disappointing defeat to start the New Year. Matt Chambers scored their only try converted by George Kimmins who also landed a penalty.
In Tribute Western Counties West, match of the day was unquestionably the clash at Alexandra Road when first placed St. Ives took on their nearest challengers St. Austell.
In the end, after an epic battle, the Hakes edged the Saints 23-17 to remain firmly in charge at the top.
Lewis Thomas, Rhys Brownfield and Jamie Prisk scored first half tries for St. Ives who led 15-14 at half-time. George Knowles with a try and three penalties from the boot of Liam Freeman accounted for the visitors’ half-time tally.
Freeman and Brownfield traded second half penalties before Rob Elloway’s bonus point try settled it.
Truro lost at home to Devonport Services 17-47, a result that puts the Services above St. Austell in the table.
Eggy Williams scored 12 points with a try, 2 conversions and a penalty, with Darren Jacques scoring the other try.
Wadebridge Camels drew 19-all at Tiverton, with Ben Humber and Jamie Grubb scoring tries and Dan Thomas kicking three penalties.
Falmouth had another good win this time at Torquay Athletic 33-29. Tom Edmonds (2), Tom Simmons, Seb Firth and Justyn Irons scored the tries with Irons kicking four conversions. The win sees the Eagles move away from the relegation places.
In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Saltash continue to forge ahead at the top following their 39-10 win at Moorlands against Plymstock.
Will Morton bagged a hat-trick of tries with Lewis Wells, Kieran Down, James Moriarty and Ryan Cruickshanks also dotting down. Down and Harrison Reburn each kicked a conversion.
Penryn lost ground as they went down to second placed Wellington 24-10. Andrew Seviour kicked a penalty with Chris Hellier scoring a try converted by Nathan Strick.
Bude lost at home 17-20, despite leading visiting Honiton 17-3 after 60 minutes!
Angus Hodges, Simon Jeffrey and Matt Williams scored tries for the North Cornwall side with Ollie Denford kicking a conversion.
Flu-stricken Pirates Amateurs put up a brave fight at Torrington but went down 17-10, a welcome win for the North Devon side. Mike Roach and Sam Coogan with the Amateurs tries gave them a losing bonus point.
Hayle went down at Withycombe 20-9. Dan Lelo kicked their points.
The match between Wessex and Lanner was postponed.
In Tribute Cornwall 1, Liskeard-Looe as expected are the early pace-setters after their 50-8 win at home to Veor.
In Tribute Cornwall 2, Lankelly-Fowey head the table after seeing off Redruth Albany 44-7.