A summary of the 2011-2012 league season
This page summarizes the league games involving Cornish clubs in the Championship and National League 2 South that took place in the 2011-2012 season. (There were no Cornish clubs in National League 1 this season.)
Redruth got their National League 2 South campaign off to a flying start at the Recreation Ground with a five-try win over opponents Shelford, reports Bill Hooper.
The Redruth forwards laid the foundations for an encouraging opening day win with a dominant display throughout. Whilst scrum-half Nick Simmons about to depart for Australia helped himself to a couple of tries as a parting momento.
The tone was set with lock Luke Collins pinching the opening Shelford line out. Domination soon turned to points with No.8 Tom Duncan powering over from a five-metre scrum after just 5 minutes. Six minutes later the Redruth faithful were on their feet as winger Lewis Vinnicombe ripped into the Shelford 22, chipping the ball forward for fellow winger Tom Notman to race in for a memorable try.
Both scores were converted by fly-half Aaron Penberthy for a 14-0 lead.
Redruth were then guilty of sitting back, allowing the visitors to come into the game with fly-half Harry Owens kicking a penalty.
The Reds weathered the storm to strike back with a third try scored by flanker Chris Fuca for a 19-3 lead after 19 minutes.
Shelford enjoyed a period of possession and got some reward for their efforts as full-back Jay Williams crossed in the Strawberry Lane corner for an unconverted try.
Just after the half-hour mark Redruth had the bonus point wrapped up as scrum-half Nick Simmons popped over in the Piggy Lane corner following a scrum. Penberthy kicked a fine conversion for a healthy 26-8 lead, which remained the score up to half-time.
Owens kicked a second penalty for the visitors just after half-time, and then added a conversion to his own try as Shelford countered from their own 22 as Redruth hesitated. Rupert Ransom at No.8 was proving a handful for the Reds' defence.
Any nerves about a remarkable revival from the visitors were quickly dispelled as Simmons grabbed his second try of the game and Penberthy his fourth conversion to leave the final score at 33-18 and a winning start for the Reds to send the faithful home in good heart.
Redruth 33 pts: tries Duncan, Notman, Fuca, Simmons (2); conversions Penberthy (4)
Shelford 18 pts: tries Williams, Owens; penalties Owens (2); conversion Owens
The Cornish All Blacks lost their opening fixture in National League 2 South when they were beaten 31-18 at Old Albanians.
It was groundhog day for the Cornish Pirates as exactly 51 weeks after visiting Moseley and conceding a late try in settling for a draw they did exactly the same thing, writes Dick Straughan.
The result was more surprising for the Pirates as after 38 minutes they led 24-5 and seemed in control of a difficult contest played in a strong blustery wind. But tries either side of half-time gave Moseley momentum and they refused to settle for second best.
A strong opening from the Pirates brought them points from a Rob Cook penalty and a David Doherty converted try after the wing broke from half-way.
Mike Ellery's try raised Moseley hopes, only for further converted Pirates' tries from Ian Nimmo and Rob Cook to stretch the lead.
But Paul Spivey's converted touchdown in first half stoppage time and a score from wing Brad Hunt changed the complexion of the game.
A Rob Cook penalty kept the Pirates ten points ahead but Brad Davies's place kick from half-way cut the lead back to seven points as Moseley threw everyone forward in the final half hour.
Then deep into stoppage time the Pirates were shunted back onto their own line and referee Terry Hall awarded a penalty try. Former Pirates' fly-half Ollie Thomas levelled the scores with the conversion to rub salt into the wounds.
Moseley: Carter, Robinson (Thomas 66), Adams (King h/t),
Reay, Hunt, Davies, Brown (Glynn 66), Voisey (Gadd 26), Caves,
O`Donnell (Quigley 62), Sanderson, Spivey, Maltman (Mason 61),
Replacement (not used) Protherough
Moseley scorers: tries Ellery, Spivey, Hunt, penalty; cons Davies, Thomas; pen Davies
Cornish Pirates: Cook, D.Doherty, Pointer, Locke (Cooper
61), Davies, Thomas, Cattle (capt), Storer (Andrew 65), Elloway
(Ward 65), Paver, Nimmo (McGlone 70), Myerscough (McGlone 58-65),
Ewers, Burgess (Cowan 62), Marriott
Replacements (not used) Fairbrother, Kessell
Pirates' scorers: tries Cook, D.Doherty, Nimmo; cons Cook (3); pens Cook (2)
Yellow Card: Cook
Referee T.Hall (RFU)
Redruth director of rugby David Penberthy was angered as his side went down to a narrow defeat on the Sussex coast after a good start.
"I am disappointed we lost but I am not unhappy with the result because this was a wake-up call," he said.
"We stuttered through last week and we have got to realise that there are some very good teams in this league.
"We are no longer a National One side, we are out there thinking we are a National One side in National Two, we are not, we are now a mid-table National Two side and we have got to wake up pretty quick if we are going to make something of our season."
Penberthy had words of praise for former St Austell scrum-half Matt Shepherd on his debut. "Matt Shepherd made an outstanding debut. It was a shame for him that it did not work out at the end," he said.
Shepherd, who varied his game well, took over the goal kicking when Aaron Penberthy hobbled off with a knock and showed ice-cool nerves to kick a penalty to bring the Reds within two points with 13 minutes to go.
However, with two minutes left, he had a difficult chance to the right of the posts to win the game for Redruth but the kick drifted across the posts.
Worthing took the lead with a Matt McLean penalty in the opening minute but Redruth had the better of the opening quarter, with unconverted tries by Tom Duncan and Owen Hambly, plus a long-range penalty from Penberthy.
The hosts got back into the game from a quickly taken free-kick. Kiba Richards tore through the Reds' defence and outstanding support play saw replacement Sam Hewick go over for McLean to convert.
In the Reds' best move of the game a two-man overlap was wasted when the pass was too high for Dean Bonds – on as a blood replacement for Shepherd – to take at pace.
A McLean penalty from in front of the posts levelled the scores after 30 minutes and McLean and Penberthy later exchanged penalties.
The Reds were on the ropes in stoppage time with a series of attacks ending with Rob Smith going over in the left-hand corner to give Worthing a 21-16 lead at the interval.
The second half was exciting, although there was a shortage of quality in either side and a further 13 penalties reduced the game to a stop-start affair.
Redruth were unable to take advantage of a superb break by Penberthy just before he hobbled off and some good play by Dean Bonds in the closing stages forced the penalty that could have saved the day but a narrow win for Worthing was probably the right result.
"Worthing wanted it more than we did today," said David Penberthy. "A win would have painted over the cracks but I want to address them now so we can move forward for the rest of the season.
"We have got to start playing some rugby like we did at the end of last season when the chips were down."
Worthing: McLean; Neilson, Richards, Clayton, Maslen;
Dudley, Gorvett (Matters 76); Pointing (Burns 15), Miles (capt),
Webster (Cleveland 52); Stuchbury, McGowan; Arthur (Hewick 21),
Replacements (not used): Briggs
Worthing scorers: tries Hewick, Smith; conv. McLean; penalties McLean (5)
Redruth: Rule; Vinnicombe (Pedley 14), C Bonds (capt), Parsons, Notman; Penberthy (Bonds 60), Shepherd (D Bonds 19-30); Jacques (Williams 63), Brown (D Semmens 49), Joyce; Cook, Collins; Fuca (Bailey 57), Hambly, Duncan
Reds' scorers: tries Duncan, Hambly; penalties Penberthy (4), Shepherd
Referee: Richard Phillips (RFU)
Cornish All Blacks director of rugby Simon Owens was highly critical of his side after their disappointing 26-22 defeat at home to Clifton.
The Launceston club came closer to achieving their first National League Two South victory than perhaps they deserved.
However, lock Ben Hilton's late try was not enough to overcome an organised Clifton side who dictated the pace for most of the game.
The losing bonus point was little consolation for Owens after seeing his side fall for a second consecutive match after last weekend's opening day loss at Old Albanians.
He said: "It's almost as if we didn't want to play today. It's hard to say that because I know the boys were well up for it.
"We made so many unforced errors and that's what infuriates the coaching staff. The boys will be gutted even more than we will and they know they have let themselves down.
"Clifton were very well drilled but a very beatable side and that's exactly what we should have done."
The early signs were positive for the All Blacks when full-back Kieron Lewitt put them ahead with the first of his five penalty kicks.
However, Clifton fly-half Will Blair also found his range quickly to level the scores moments later.
The visitors then took advantage of defensive errors to score a slick opening try through full-back Ben Roberts.
And despite Lewitt's efforts to kick his side back into the lead, a yellow card for number eight Josh Lord stifled their progress. Clifton were quick to exploit the numerical advantage and scored a try in the left corner through scrum-half Donald Blake, with Blair adding the conversion.
The All Blacks did start the second half in better spirits, winning line-out balls in the Clifton half and marching the visitors back to within a few yards of their own try-line.
However, a series of Clifton infringements stopped the All Blacks in their tracks. Lewitt then fired a penalty through the posts.
Clifton remained under pressure and Thomas Harrison found himself in the sin-bin within two minutes of coming on as a replacement for a ruck infringement.
However, an excellent penalty from Blair extended Clifton's lead back up to six points as the Cornish side struggled for fluency.
To make matters worse, All Blacks youngster Jake Keat was then shown a yellow card for inadvertently touching the ball before the penalty had been taken. Blair then kicked home from short range.
Despite another Lewitt penalty, the decisive score came from Clifton winger Sam Smee who rounded off a long period in the All Blacks' 22 by darting over in the left corner.
Peter Butcher's yellow card for killing the ball on an All Blacks' counter gave the hosts some late impetus and Hilton was able to force his way over the try-line with Lewitt converting to suddenly get the All Blacks back within four points.
However, the late resurgence was insufficient and Owens must now pick his side up before they face Redruth next weekend at the Recreation Ground – the scene of a 26-0 defeat in National League One last season.
Owens said: "We know we will go there next weekend and expect a thousand Redruth supporters with Hellfire Corner raging. If we go down there with the same attitude we showed against Clifton, they will repeat last year's performance.
"We'll be positive and we've got next Tuesday and Thursday to work on it. It is still early in the season and we're not pushing the panic button just yet."
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Hawken, Yeo (Rayner 14, Friend 77), Paterson, Moyle; Murphy, Webb; Hurdwell (Keat 61), Salter, Mathias; Hilton, Carrick-Smith; Dickinson (Hodgetts 61, Glew 77), T Rawlings (capt), Lord
All Blacks' scorers: tries Hilton; conversions Lewitt;
penalties Lewitt (5)
Yellow card: Lord, Keat
Clifton: Roberts (capt); Pomphery, Stark (Kilmartin 10),
Bell, Smee; Blair, Blake; Dean (Harrison 45), Fincken, Caufield;
Caunt, Spence; Butcher (Hawkes 49-57, Butcher 57), Stephen,
Replacements (not used): Mace, Salter
Clifton scorers: tries Roberts, Smee, Blake; conversions
Blair; penalties Blair (3)
Yellow card: Harrison, Butcher
Referee: Jonathan Healy
The Cornish Pirates achieved their first win of the Championship season but pushed their luck in the second half of a 39-32 victory over Doncaster Knights at the Mennaye Field yesterday.
The Cornish side, who surrendered a sizeable lead the previous week at Moseley, looked like the only winners yesterday when they left the field at half-time with a 36-11 lead. A double from the impressive Drew Locke and further scores from Ian Nimmo, David Doherty and Ceiron Thomas had given them a seemingly unassailable lead.
However, the Knights fought back and could have earned at least a draw after three second-half tries. Former Redruth centre PJ Gidlow had a late chance to pull his side to within two points of their hosts but fumbled possession having burst through the Pirates' defences five metres out.
It was a huge let-off for Pirates and, while backs coach Harvey Biljon was satisfied with the bonus-point victory, he accepted his side must be more clinical when trying to close out tight matches.
He said: "First and foremost we will take a bonus-point win at home. But the performance was the priority today; we wanted to get out there and correct some elements of our performance against Moseley.
"For whatever reason, it was a typical Pirates-Doncaster game. We were in a similar situation last year and it is something we've got to recognise after last week as well."
Although Pirates dominated the latter part of the opening half, it was Doncaster who made the early running. Fly-half Michael Whitehead gave his side the lead with a penalty.
However, the Cornish side levelled the scores with a penalty of their own through Rob Cook, following a quick counter led by lively scrum-half James Doherty. And Cook then showed his ability with the ball in hand as he pierced through the Knights' midfield.
The ball was worked out to the equally incisive Locke, who burst clear on the right before arcing his run towards the posts to set up an easy Cook conversion.
But when a clinical edge was needed, the Pirates eased off and allowed the Knights back into the game. This pressure told as, at the midpoint of the first half, Donny scored their first try.
It took another moment of brilliance from Locke to restore the Pirates' advantage, shaping to pass outside before bursting through to the try-line himself with Cook converting.
The Knights took advantage of more Pirates' overindulgence when winger Rhodri McAtee was penalised for holding on and Whitehead was on the mark with another penalty.
A sharper passage of play from the home side brought their third try, as Nimmo crashed through for an unconverted score.
Dangerman Locke was on the move again just before the half-time break, setting up the bonus point try with a selfless pass to David Doherty after slipping through several Donny tackles in midfield. And the Pirates still found time to score another first-half touchdown when a fine passing move was finished off by fly-half Thomas under the posts.
At the start of the second half, Cook took too long with his clearance kick and was charged down by Gidlow, who then raced through to touch down. Former Pirate Tom Luke added the conversion.
The visitors continued the fightback and scored their third try of the afternoon when David McIlwaine scored just to the right of the posts with Luke again adding the extras.
Pirates managed to temporarily stop the rot with a Cook penalty but Doncaster continued to apply pressure. Their reward came with five minutes remaining when Pirates were down to 14 men following a yellow card for replacement Dave Ward. Flanker David Bradford forced his way over for a try converted by Luke and suddenly the result was in doubt.
Cook had the chance to restore a ten-point lead but hit the post with a penalty.
It was another positive step forward for Pirates but there is still plenty of hard work ahead if they are repeat last season's heroics.
Cornish Pirates: Cook; McAtee, Pointer, Locke (Cooper
58), D Doherty; Thomas, J Doherty (Cattle 64); Storer (Fairbrother
60), Elloway (Ward 65), Paver; McGlone (Myerscough 58), Nimmo;
Ewers (Walker-Blair 65), Burgess, Cowan
Replacement (not used): Davies
Pirates' scorers: tries Locke (2), Nimmo, D. Doherty,
Thomas; conversions Cook (4); penalties Cook (2)
Yellow card: Ward
Doncaster Knights: McIlwaine; Flockhart, Luke, Gidlow,
Keating; Whitehead (Goss 40), Audis (Hallam 40); Corsar (Andy Brown
62), Boden (Yeandle 53), Burke-Flynn (Alex Brown 56); Challinor
(capt), Kenworthy; Boyde, Bradford, Noone (Parsons 39)
Replacements (not used):, Fairivarz
Knights' scorers: tries Burke-Flynn, Gidlow, McIlwaine, Bradford; conversions Luke (3); penalties Whitehead (2)
Referee: D Gamage(RFU)
Redruth just edged the National League 2 South Cornish derby at the Recreation Ground on Saturday in a tension-filled scrappy game littered with errors on both sides, reports Bill Hooper.
Cornish All Black lock Ben Hilton got the opening try of the match after 11 minutes following a period of pressure near the Redruth line. Winger Kerion Lewitt was unable to add the conversion in the windy conditions, which made kicking difficult all afternoon for both sides.
Redruth looked to get parity on the scoreboard but to the frustration of their supporters good build up play was wasted as the error count mounted.
Fly-half Brett Rule missed with his first penalty chance after 16 minutes, nor could Redruth capitalise when the All Blacks were reduced to fourteen men as prop Tim Mathias was yellow carded for foul play. Instead the All Blacks extended their lead to 8 – 0 with a penalty from Lewitt on the 22, following a fine break from centre Lewis Paterson.
Redruth desperately needed to get a score on the board and it finally came following a fine passage of play instigated by no.8 Tom Duncan, who broke down the blindside towards the Piggy lane corner. Tom Notman, Darren Jacques and Richard Brown were all involved before the ball was moved right towards Hell fire corner, with skipper Craig Bonds and Chris Fuca combining to put Bonds in for the try after 24 minutes. Rule couldn't add the extras, so the score remained 8-5 to the visitors up to half-time.
Unfortunately play didn't improve much after the break, but when the All Blacks did look to move the ball through the backs they looked the more threatening.
The visitors thought they may have scored when a Rule clearance was charged down behind his own try-line.
All they got was a five-metre scrum with Redruth eventually pushing them off the ball. On 62 minutes Rule eventually tied the scores with a penalty as the All Blacks once again infringed. Eleven minutes later Rule was adding the conversion to Tom Duncan's try following a series of scrums up in the scoreboard corner as the visitors persistently infringed as Redruth looked to capitalise through the forwards.
The Cornish All Blacks were to have one further chance to tie the game as a mis-cued kick from Rule fell invitingly to the visiting backs, with winger Ben Turner scoring in the Piggy lane corner on 77 minutes.
Turner couldn't land the conversion from the touchline and Redruth held out to record their second win of the season 15-13.
Redruth 15 pts: tries Bonds, Duncan; penalty Rule; conversion Rule
Cornish All Blacks 13 pts: tries Hilton, Turner; penalty
Yellow Card Mathias (19)
The Cornish Pirates maintained their unbeaten start to the new Championship season with this bonus point win at the league's newcomers, but they had a last-minute try from Blair Cowan to thank as they lost a first-half lead.
Just as in their opening two games against Moseley and Doncaster, the Pirates performed well in the opening period and took a 17-9 lead into half-time, before losing control of the contest at the start of the second half and they found themselves 23-17 down with an hour gone.
But a revival spearheaded by the introduction of club captain Gavin Cattle turned the game back in favour of the Cornish side and left backs coach Harvey Biljon pleased with the result.
He said: "We came out of the blocks well and the players delivered on everything we asked from them in the build-up. We were aggressive in the first half and put pressure on them at the breakdown."
"In the second half, we tried to control the game following some feedback we had received but Scottish got back into the match."
He added: "But I will say that good teams win ugly and I think this was one of those games. You have to look at the character the players showed to grind out the victory and I have to be impressed with that."
The Pirates had made four changes to their starting line-up for the game, while London Scottish gave a debut to Saracens loanee Rodd Penney on the wing, with head coach Simon Amor taking over from Matt Heeks at scrum-half.
They also included former Redruth talisman Mark Bright at No.8 and he produced a typically strong display, although it was former Launceston lock Steve Pape who almost stole the headlines with two second-half tries having come off the bench.
But it was the Pirates who opened the scoring after home fly-half Dan Mugford had missed an early penalty as the pack began to punish the Scots in both the loose and the set-piece.
From a penalty and catch-and-drive routine deep in the home half, a punishing driving maul carved through the Scottish defence, with back row Cowan claiming the touchdown.
Mugford replied with a penalty before the Pirates drove the home side back over their own line again with Exeter Chiefs dual-registered flanker Charlie Walker-Blair being credited with the score. Rob Cook converted for the Pirates and after a second penalty from Mugford, they stretched their lead even further with a well-worked third try.
This time, it was quick work at the base of a scrum on the London Scottish 22 which allowed James Doherty to release Tom Cooper and the centre set up wing David Doherty for his third league try in as many games.
But immediately from the restart, the Pirates were penalised for crossing and Mugford cut the lead to eight with a straightforward shot at the posts.
What happened immediately after half-time was clearly a concern for the Pirates as the Scots stormed back into the game and freed themselves from their grip.
Whereas before Ian Nimmo had reigned in the line-out, the scrum had held firm and the Exiles struggled to get over the gain-line, suddenly there was real momentum in the London Scottish ranks. Then, within moments of Nimmo being sin-binned for a set-piece infringement, Pape was driven over the try-line by his pack and the Scots were right back in the game as Mugford converted.
As the pressure continued to build in the third quarter, Pirates' hooker Dave Ward was also dispatched to the sin bin for illegally disrupting a tap penalty and once again the Scots pounced as Pape smashed his way over the line under the Pirates' posts. Mugford's extras made it a six-point lead.
Then rather than close the game down, London Scottish kept trying to run the ball back at the Pirates from deep and, with Cattle reorganising his forwards, the tide of the game turned as the rains arrived.
Cook's 67th-minute penalty put the Pirates right back in the contest and breathed new hope into their quest. Then, in the final minute, Cook gambled with another penalty after Scottish hands had delved illegally into a ruck.
This time he kicked to the corner and with Nimmo securing possession, the Pirates pack drove over the Scottish line to scenes of jubilation in the Cornish camp. Cowan was credited with the score. Cook's conversion smashed against an upright but it mattered not as the Pirates hung on.
London Scottish: Bordiss; Penney, MacDougall, Trueman,
Howells; Mugford, Amor (Heeks 74); Auterac (Clarke 30), Kwasnicki
(Standfield 74), Liffchak (Thiede 50); Thomas (Pape 46), J Brown; O
Brown, Andrews, Bright
Replacements (not used): Kellard, Ratford
London Scottish scorers: tries Pape (2); conversions Mugford (2); penalties Mugford (3)
Cornish Pirates: Cook; Davies, Pointer (Hill 53), Cooper, D Doherty; Thomas (Ewers 79), J Doherty (Cattle 48); Andrew (Storer 67), Elloway (Ward 53, sin-bin 57-67), Paver (Rimmer 80+2); McGlone (Smith 80+2), Nimmo (sin-bin 45-55); Ewers (Burgess 72), Walker-Blair, Cowan (Storer 62-67)
Pirates' scorers: tries Cowan (2), Walker-Blair, D
Doherty; conversion Cook; penalties Cook
Yellow cards: Nimmo, Ward
Referee: A Taylorson (RFU)
Redruth's director of rugby David Penberthy has said that things are "starting to click" for his side after an impressive win against Dings Crusaders at Lockleaze.
The match remained tight for the opening period as both teams traded penalties, but Penberthy was understandably delighted with the second-half display of his team as they emerged comfortable winners.
"I got a feeling things are starting to click, we are notoriously slow starters," he said.
"The second half today is really the way we have been wanting to play, setting targets in midfield, going through the phases then moving the ball.
"First half, I think we struggled a little bit, it was very unstructured. We had a chat about it at half-time; we said we needed to use Jamie Semmens, we did and he was outstanding.
"Tom Duncan is getting better and better every week. He does all the things right around the base of the scrum, works hard, turns the ball over and is scoring tries -- you cannot ask for any more than that.
"It was a great team effort in the second half and hopefully we can build on this."
Playing into a strong wind, Brett Rule – who was outstanding with his place-kicking – got Redruth off to a great start with a 40-metre penalty in the second minute.
Led by Stean Williams, Dings hit back and Waylon Gasson put over a drop goal from in front of the posts after ten minutes and a massive penalty from the halfway line in the 24th minute nudged the home side ahead.
Heavy showers disrupted play as Skelton could not find the posts with two further shots at the posts and in first-half stoppage time, Rule levelled the scores with another 40-metre penalty.
A big blow to Dings at the start of the second half was the loss of former Bristol centre Sam Cox with a nasty facial injury as the powerful running of Jamie Semmens made big inroads into the Dings defence to get Redruth going forward as Rule's third penalty after 50 minutes put the Reds back in front.
The decisive blow came midway through the second half with the Redruth forwards having their opponents on the ropes as the Reds gained five successive penalties in the Dings' 22 that saw forwards James Litchfield and Gareth Lloyd shown yellow cards.
Redruth took full advantage as Tom Duncan picked up from a scrum to go over in an unguarded left hand corner, with Rule converting with a great kick from the touchline.
Three minutes later, Dean Bonds, starting for the first time, showed a lot of determination to wriggle his way over in the right-hand corner. Rule converted from the touchline with another superb kick.
With Dings still two men down, Tom Notman crossed in the corner to put the Reds out of sight. In the closing stages Litchfield crossed for a consolation score converted by Skelton. Duncan then dummied in for his fifth try in four games from the halfway line, with Rule adding the extras.
Dings Crusaders: Oakley; Letherby (Lloyd 61-70, Spencer
71), Stevens, Cox (Haupt 42), Adams; Skelton, Gasson; Quick (Lloyd
74), Wheeler, Litchfield; Knight, Lloyd (Goodman 71); Uren,
Replacement (not used): Hudd
Dings scorers: try Litchfield; conversion Skelton;
penalties Skelton; drop-goal Gasson
Yellow Cards: Litchfield, G Lloyd
Redruth: D Bonds; Notman, Parsons, J Semmens (M Biggins 78), Pedley; Rule, Goodfellow (Shepherd 78); Jacques, D Semmens (Brown 68), Joyce (Williams 68); Cook, Collins; Bailey, Fuca (Morgan 72), Duncan
Reds' scorers: tries Duncan 2, Bonds, Notman; conversions Rule 3; penalties Rule 3
Referee: N Cockburn (RFU)
The smiles returned at Polson Bridge as the Cornish All Blacks broke their season's duck with a six-try rampage over Westcombe Park.
It was vital the Cornishmen won the game, after three straight defeats to start the campaign, but the manner of the victory was also very pleasing.
All Blacks' director of rugby Simon Owens said: "We were quietly confident going into the game, because against Redruth the previous week we had put to bed all the issues that we had, but just didn't get the result.
"We had been playing like a bunch of individuals earlier in the season, but it all came together on Saturday.
"Westcombe Park weren't the best opposition, but to score 48 points against anyone is a feat, and we were also pleased to 'nil' them until almost the last minute.
"The fact we were able to hold them out was perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the performance. Our defensive shape was good.
"It was a great team performance, but there were some very pleasing individual performances as well."
Among those were young scrum half Richard Friend, their summer signing from Okehampton, who had an outstanding game, while back-row brothers Mike and Tom Rawlings got through a tremendous amount of work.
All Blacks' winger Kieron Lewitt opened the scoring with an early penalty, and the hosts stretched their lead in the 13th minute when impressive centre Lewis Paterson sent Mike Rawlings in for a try, converted by Lewitt.
It was 17-0 just after the half-hour mark, when the All Blacks kicked a penalty to the corner and ever-improving lock Will Carrick-Smith was driven over from the line-out.
Park had tight-head prop Dale Bellinger sin-binned for punching, and Lewitt kicked the resultant penalty, and the hosts scored again before the break when a clever pass from player-backs coach Steve Perry sent Paterson racing away through the middle to score, and Lewitt's extras made it 27-0 at the interval.
The bonus point was in the bag within two minutes of the restart when Park scrum half Charles Edwards fumbled the ball under pressure behind a back-pedalling scrum, and Friend snapped up the gift.
Paterson then ran half the length of the pitch to score try number five, and Lewis Webb's chip kick set up Rawlings for his second touchdown, and three Lewitt conversions – to take his afternoon's tally to 18 points – made it 48-0.
The All Blacks brought on Martin Kneebone in the 68th minute for his debut on the wing, but the final score went to Park.
An All Blacks' attack broke down in Park's 22, and winger Alex Foster ran the length of the pitch to score at the posts, with full back Kieran Leeper converting.
The Cornish Pirates completed September unbeaten as they dished out a savage mauling to recently relegated Leeds at the Mennaye Field, writes Dick Straughan.
The Yorkshire side were out-muscled up front and out-thought in the backs as the Pirates ran in seven tries to one to send out a warning to the rest of the Championship.
After an early exchange of penalties, forward dominance set the Pirates up to claim two tries from close range in the first quarter, with influential skipper Gavin Cattle scoring both.
What few chances Leeds did create were often wasted and, after a Rob Cook penalty made it 18-3 to the Pirates, quick thinking by Phil Burgess released centre Drew Locke to score his team's third try from half-way just before the break.
Two minutes into the second half it was the turn of fly-half Ceiron Thomas to keep the scoreboard ticking over as he ran in to touch down against his former club, and moments later Cook added to the conversion with his third penalty to make it 35-3.
Burgess crossed for s fifth try for the Pirates before Ian Thornley scored a consolation for the Yorkshire side, converted by Tommy Bell.
But with lock John Pendlebury sin-binned for persistent fouling Leeds folded in the closing stages and the Pirates' superiority up front was rewarded with a further brace of tries from Number 8 Blair Cowan.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Davies, Pointer, Locke, D.Doherty, Thomas (Cooper 56), Cattle (capt) (Doherty 78), Rimmer (Brits 60), Ward (Elloway 56), Paver (Storer 72), Nimmo (Myerscough 63), McGlone, Morgan, Burgess (Walker-Blair 63), Cowan
Pirates' scorers: tries Cattle (2), Locke, Thomas, Burgess, Cowan (2); cons Cook (4); pens Cook (3)
Leeds: Blackett, Richards, Thornley, Barker (Nilsen 72), Wilson (Bell 35), Ford (S.Barrow 42), Hampson (Shaw 42), Denman (Swainston 57), Titterell (capt), Swainston (Young 42), Pendlebury (sin bin 67-77), D.Barrow (Beck 40+1), Hemingway (Walker 53), Rowan, Burrows
Leeds scorers: try Thornley; con Bell; pen Ford
Yellow Card Pendlebury
Referee L.Pearce (RFU)
A dramatic finale at the Recreation Ground saw a last gasp penalty attempt from Reds' fly-half Brett Rule sail agonisingly wide of the posts, leaving the Reds' No.10 inconsolable as the final whistle sounded, reports Bill Hooper.
Henley Hawks were, on the other hand, cock-a-hoop as they celebrated a hard-fought win on Cornish soil to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Despite the difficult playing conditions on the day, Rule opened Redruth's account with a penalty after 5 minutes as the Hawks' pack infringed.
But it was Henley who carried the early threat and their territorial dominance was rewarded with an unconverted try scored by No.8 Matt Payne -- scored up in the scoreboard corner on 18 minutes.
Rule missed with a penalty chance just after the half-hour mark, but it was Henley who carried the greater threat. But a combination of wrong options and ill-discipline saw promising moves go unrewarded, leaving the score at 5-3 to the visitors at the break.
Henley got the second half off to a good start as full-back James Combden edged his side further ahead with a penalty.
Redruth stormed back at their opponents with fine play up in the scoreboard corner seeing Owen Hambly put his fellow back row partner Chris Fuca in for a try on 44 minutes, Rule kicking a good conversion from the touchline to put Redruth 10-8 up.
Redruth's advantage lasted all of three minutes as Combden kicked a second penalty to put the Hawks back in the lead.
Rule missed with another penalty opportunity before an exciting passage of play involving prop Darren Jacques and lock Damien Cook saw winger Tom Notman chip ahead towards the scoreboard corner, with the Reds' winger just denied as the Hawks cover got back in the nick of time.
Rule got another penalty chance to nudge his side ahead and his fine kick put the Reds 13-11 up on 60 minutes.
The battle of the kickers continued as Combden saw a long-range penalty effort fall short for Henley, but the full-back was on song just three minutes from time following a fine run from Hawks' South African winger Xav Andre lead to a penalty for the visitors. Some back chat from the Reds saw referee Paul Kimber marching them back a further 10 meters making the kick easier for Combden to put his side 14-13 up.
A frenetic finale saw Redruth storm the Henley line, but the final twist sadly didn't go the Reds' way, leaving them with just a losing bonus point.
Redruth 13 pts: try Fuca; penalties Rule (2); conversion Rule
Henley Hawks 14 pts: try Payne; penalties Combden (3)
The Cornish All Blacks lost on the road at Shelford 33-30 but picked up two bonus points.
When you score 30 points and four tries, you would expect to win. The All Blacks must have been shattered to do just that and then lose by a whisker.
They have not had the best of starts in National Two South after relegation last term and are one of the clubs everyone else wants to beat.
This confrontation at the Davey Field was nip-and-tuck from start to finish, the difference perhaps being the boot of home fly-half Harry Owens, who bagged 18 points, converting all his side's tries and landing four penalties.
With Shelford 20-18 up at half-time, it was still anyone's game. Owens and All Black wing Kieron Lewitt had traded two successful penalty shots apiece early on and home dangerman, number eight Feofaaki Lea, demonstrated his drive and ball-handling ability with tries in the 19th and 34th minutes – crossing wide out after some tight recycling and going over on the end of some good inter-passing.
All Black loosehead prop Tim Mathias, who had an outstanding game in an impressive pack who were firmly on top in both ruck and maul, crossed on the end of a driving maul, Lewitt converting, and the wing kept the Cornishmen ticking over nicely with a well-taken try, finishing with a personal haul of 20 points, adding a second try soon after the re-start after sustained recycling and converting his side's final score.
The second 40 minutes were as hectic and closely fought as the first which saw the All Blacks ahead 30-26 with nine minutes remaining. Early on in the half, the visitors were all over their hosts, and Lewitt's second score, a superb one in the corner after the backs had mounted a sustained attack, saw them in front 23-20.
Two penalty awards in the space of five minutes – the visitors were judged to have been holding on – were converted by Owens, for a 26-23 Shelford lead.
Then on the hour, All Black lock Ben Hilton – who had been sin-binned in the 33rd minute for a high tackle – looked to have made the crucial score for the All Blacks. The pack drove ferociously and, camped in the home 22, the visitors mounted a powerful series of rucks and mauls which Hilton finished off. Lewitt added the extras to put the visitors 30-26 ahead.
However, the All Blacks then fatally lost possession in the Shelford half and the Cambridge men broke quickly and, with the defence pedalling backwards, they raced through to seal victory, breaking tackles to send in centre Taniela Bakoso for Owens to convert.
The All Blacks came close in the final four minutes but it was not to be. They did make the long journey home with two bonus points but that was hardly consolation for losing a match they could, perhaps should, have won.
Skipper Tom Rawlings said: "I really feel we were the better side. We scored some really good tries – four to their three – but made some crucial mistakes too, and their fly-half kicked all their penalties.
"It was ding-dong throughout and we should have closed it out – but we didn't. They stayed in touch and the score kept changing hands.
"Our defensive record is probably one of the best in the league, but it let us down a bit this time. It could have gone either way and we perhaps should have put it away by half-time. It was there for the taking."
Shelford: Williams; Bullen-Brown, Bakoso, Glitherow,
Chiwanga; Owens, Baker; Anderson (Briggs 17, Anderson 29), Conroy
(capt), Gregerson; Mills, Newberry; Ranson, Perry (Billows 14),
Replacements (not used): McLaughlin, Owens, Grabowski
Shelford scorers: tries: Lea (2), Bakoso; conversions: H Owens (3); penalties: Owens (4)
Cornish All Blacks: Murphy; Lewitt, Paterson, Perry, Caton
(Struminski 69); Webb, Friend; Mathias, Salter (Hurdwell 58), Pow;
Carrick-Smith, Hilton; Lord, T Rawlings (capt), M Rawlings
Replacements (not used): Keat, Rayner
All Blacks' scorers: tries: Mathias, Lewitt (2), Hilton;
conversions: Lewitt (2); penalties: Lewitt (2)
Yellow card: Hilton
Referee: D Proctor (RFU)
The first cross-Tamar bragging rights in the Championship this season belong to the Cornish Pirates, after they battled to a deserved 20-16 win in the unseasonal heat of early October at Brickfields.
A 70th-minute try from full-back David Doherty, superbly converted from the touchline by Ceiron Thomas, finally turned an absorbing contest in favour of Chris Stirling's side – and the Pirates' boss was happy with the result.
"The result is exactly what we came here to get," he said. "This is not an easy place to come and we know that derby matches between these two teams are always tough. But I'm over the moon with the victory.
"We were scratchy overall despite starting really well and playing some good rugby. We put a lot of pressure on the opposition, but then errors and penalties at crucial times cost us field position when we were looking likely to score."
The Pirates started the contest in determined fashion, taking the game to Albion from the outset to test a team containing several teenagers and a debutant fly-half in Henry Slade.
The home side then lost skipper Sean-Michael Stephen in the sixth minute with a badly broken hand, but they withstood the early onslaught.
Grant Pointer's 18th-minute penalty finally broke the deadlock, but Albion hit back through James Love to level the scores.
For the Pirates, Ben Maidment was already impressing in his first start for the club, and his drive from a free-kick on 24 minutes created the platform for the game's opening try. A quick ruck ball in front of the Albion posts was seized by Gavin Cattle and the Pirates' skipper sniped through a huge gap in the defence to touch down. Pointer converted.
It looked as if the Pirates would kick on and quickly score again, with little offensive threat up to this point from Plymouth.
But chances came and went as wrong options and penalties conceded thwarted the Cornish side, and Love's second penalty cut the lead to four.
Chaotic confusion in the heart of the Pirates' defence then allowed the impressive Slade to finish off a break from Bevon Armitage as he sprinted clear from distance, and Love's conversion for a 13-10 Albion lead turned the game on its head.
It took four minutes of the second half before Love struck again with the boot to move the scoreboard on further.
The Pirates continued to batter away at the Albion defence and finally earned three points as the home pack illegally disrupted a driving maul, and Thomas slotted a penalty.
With tension rising around Brickfields, the Pirates continued to push and probe, while the Albion defence, superbly marshalled by Wayne Sprangle, held firm and waited for the opportunity to counter-attack. But good sides so often find a way to win and, with just ten minutes left, the Pirates finally took their chance.
From a lineout and driving maul, the ball was suddenly shipped left to replacement flanker Chris Morgan, who drove strongly at the line.
He was tackled but the ball was kept alive and shifted wide again to David Doherty, who squeezed in at the corner for the all-important try.
Thomas added the conversion with a fine kick from an acute angle and, as Albion battled back in the dying minutes to try to preserve their unbeaten home record, cool heads and the experience of skipper Cattle kept Graham Dawe's side at bay.
While the nature of the opposition victory left Dawe frustrated, Albion's chairman of rugby was dealt another setback after the untimely injury to Stephen. The broken hand is likely to keep him out for around two months.
Dawe said: "Sean-Michael is facing a long period of time on the sidelines.
"He has had a cast put on, but he will see a consultant on Monday to see if he requires an operation. It is a big blow for the club.
"He is one of our most experienced players and our captain."
With Stephen out for a while, Albion will be hoping Herbie Stupple will be fit to face Doncaster this coming weekend, after missing the last two matches following a head injury.
They are also banking on getting fellow forwards Aaron Carpenter and Tyler Hotson back from the World Cup this week.
Carpenter and Hotson both featured in Canada's 79-15 loss to New Zealand yesterday which ended their World Cup campaign.
Carpenter played the full 80 minutes of the match, while Hotson came on in the 61st minute.
On the match itself, Dawe added: "It was a very frustrating day.
"We led for a large part of the game, but did not squeeze out a victory.
"Full credit to the Pirates for sticking to their game-plan. They were looking for field position and they got possession and drove us, and then got behind us to score a try that proved to be the difference.
"We are unhappy we did not win the game. That is what we set our stall out to do."
Albion fielded four teenagers on Saturday and Dawe was pleased with how they stood up, particularly former Plymouth College pupil Slade, who was handed his league debut in the big match with Paul Bailey out injured.
"Henry acquitted himself very well," said Dawe. "There are a few things he needs to brush up on, but he is a talented player.
"His try was the highlight for us. At times we did play with tempo, and tempo is always important when you are on the attack," the Albion boss added.
Plymouth Albion: Love, McGrath, Armitage (Nowell 73),
Fisilau, Lewis, Slade, Cushion (Farnham 73), Morton, Evans, Dugard
(Hopkins 53), Collier, Lockley, Stephen (Hocking 6), Sprangle,
Replacements (not used): M.Lee, Harris, McGregor
Albion scorers: try Slade; con Love; pens Love (3)
Cornish Pirates: D.Doherty, McAtee, Pointer, Cooper (Hill
65), Davies, Bentley (Thomas 31), Cattle (capt), Rimmer (Andrew
h/t), Ward, Brits (Rimmer 50), McGlone, Smith (Nimmo 50), Marriott,
Walker-Blair (Elloway 65), Maidment (Morgan 59)
Replacement (not used) Kessell
Pirates' scorers: tries Cattle, D.Doherty; cons Pointer, Thomas; pens Pointer, Thomas
Referee M.Carley (RFU)
Redruth director of rugby David Penberthy was satisfied with a bonus point win in the Forest of Dean.
"We made a game of it," he said afterwards. "We could have been home and dry after 50 minutes but five points away from home is pleasing."
"It was pretty error-strewn to say the least, but the one thing we said after last week's game was that we were playing within ourselves and that we wanted to express ourselves and have some fun and enjoyment.
"We have still got a lot to work on in basic skills such as passing, catching, sensible kicking, but we will still take the five points.
"Fair play to Lydney, they hung in there but I think in the second half we got our act together, we turned the screw, dominated possession and territory.
"The front row were tremendous. We gave Craig Williams a start and he worked his socks off for 50 minutes. Then we brought on Peter Joyce, who was outstanding.
"Maybe it is beginning to come right at the right time. We have got a tough two weeks ahead with Hartpury at home and Richmond away and we have got to build on this and hopefully keep playing and enjoying ourselves.
"The two games we have lost have shown that we need to be a bit more clinical and have confidence in our own ability. We are a good side, we have got good players and if we keep working together I am sure it will come."
Despite the high temperatures at Regentsholme, the Redruth pack ground their opposite numbers down with a relentless display that saw them dominate the second half in energy-sapping conditions.
Behind the pack Greg Goodfellow enjoyed himself, taking a try and having a big role in three others.
The Reds, who slipped to their first home defeat against Henley Hawks last weekend, got off to a flying start with unconverted tries by Owen Hambly and Tom Duncan in the opening 11 minutes.
Redruth fell away and successive penalties allowed Lydney to get into the Reds 22 for the first time, when a patient series of pick-and-drives ended with Nick Selway crashing over for a try after 17 minutes that Brett Turner converted.
The second quarter was a scrappy affair, punctuated with eight penalties. A charged-down clearance kick gave Josh Hannam a simple try under the posts to put Lydney ahead, with Turner adding the extras after 36 minutes.
Redruth hit back immediately with a well-taken try by Chris Fuca, but in first-half stoppage time replacement Stu Doust, playing on the wing, brushed off a feeble tackle to run 35 metres down the blind side for a try that Turner converted to put Lydney 21-15 ahead at the break.
Lydney had a good chance immediately after the restart, but Redruth penned them back into their 22.
The hosts conceded four penalties in as many minutes and it was no surprise when fly-half Craig Jones saw the yellow card for a deliberate knock-on.
Redruth took advantage of the extra man, with Goodfellow reaching over the line for the bonus point try that Brett Rule converted to put the Reds back in front after 47 minutes.
Starved of possession, Lydney hung on grimly and the decisive blow for the Reds came ten minutes from time when Goodfellow broke in midfield before Tom Notman touched down.
Rule had the chance to seal the game with two ambitious long-range penalties in the closing stages, but Redruth were well worth their fourth win of the campaign.
Lydney: B Turner; T Lakabuka, C Holder, R Webb (S Doust 2), J Hannam; C Jones, M Hagan; N Stoneman (L Green 55), B Lewis, N Selway (S Price 50), J McMahon (J Bashford 64), D Bennett, T Longton (D Emery 67), W Jones, P Scott
Lydney scorers: tries: Selway, Hannam, Doust; conversion:
Yellow Card: Jones
Redruth: C Bonds; T Notman, S Parsons, J Semmens, N
Pedley (L Vinnicombe 62); B Rule, G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown,
C Williams (P Joyce 48), D Cook, L Collins, C Fuca, O Hambly, T
Replacements (not used): A Rule, J Tresidder, J Morgan
Reds' scorers: tries: Hambly, Duncan, Fuca, Goodfellow, Notman; conversion: Rule
Referee: David Proctor (RFU)
It has happened again! Just when you think they're going to win, your hopes are dashed. Leading 24-20, the All Blacks were pipped in the last minute of proper time at Polson.
They have now lost five of their six National League Two South matches, but the telling statistic is that their last four defeats have all been by four points or fewer. So, if they are losing by that narrow a margin in the final minutes of matches, the most likely reason is bad defence, surely.
Skipper and openside flanker Tom Rawlings certainly thinks so. He said of the defeat by Worthing on Saturday: "We worked on our defence round the ruck in the week and that's where we go and leak against Worthing.
"Our defence was just poor. We really could have won. We had 14 points on the board in the first ten minutes.
"And then they had two sin-binned and we didn't take advantage of it and they scored eight points. It's maddening to lose in the way we did. Sometimes it's easier to accept defeat by 30 points than by one, especially when you know you should have won the game."
The All Blacks came out of the starting-blocks rocket-propelled and before their visitors knew what had happened, they were 14 points down.
Right-wing and new boy Aaron Struminski, a leggy colt of a figure, is proving a real find, slipping and twisting out of tackles and accelerating along his wing at startling pace. He broke from halfway deep into the Worthing 22, and from the ruck, the firm guiding hand of centre Steve Perry found Jake Murphy on the inside and the full-back touched down. Left-wing Kieron Lewitt, who converted all his side's tries, added the extras.
Within five minutes, the All Blacks were over again when the shrewd Perry sent out a long pass to fellow centre Lewis Paterson, who crossed on the left. 14-0 in seven minutes. Raiders' lock Will Stutchbury was carded for fighting but Lewitt, for once, missed the penalty.
Then the visitors got over their shell-shock and started attacking left and right, and lock Finlay Coxon-Smith breezed too easily through. No conversion and then Worthing centre Alex Wilcockson was sin-binned for coming in at the side. The visitors kicked a penalty through full-back Matt McLean and at the interval the All Blacks' lead had been cut to 14-8.
It was nip-and-tuck throughout the second period but the All Blacks kept their noses in front. Lewitt kicked an early penalty for offside – an offence for which Worthing should have been picked up far more often – and then the visitors' scrum-half Joe Govett – who proved the All Blacks' undoing – shot off a ruck in the 22 and breezed through virtually untouched. 17-13.
Back came the Cornishmen, and flanker Josh Lord broke away and roared over. 24-13. Worthing number eight Rob Smith rolled and twisted his way over from a penalty kick to the corner and a ruck, McLean adding the extras. 24-20 to the All Blacks.
So it remained until the 79th minute. Replacement number eight Mike Stubbs made crucial ground with a bullocking run and from an ensuing ruck in the 22, Govett again shot away with surprising ease to cross and shatter the All Blacks' hopes.
Cornish All Blacks: J Murphy; A Struminski, L Paterson, S
Perry, K Lewitt; L Webb, R Friend; T Mathias, J Salter (T Hurdwell
63), B Pow; J Tripcony, B Hilton; J Lord, T Rawlings (capt), M
Replacements (not used): F Bulut, A Dickinson, S Chapman, D Caton
All Blacks' scorers: tries: J Murphy, L Paterson, J Lord; conversions: K Lewitt (3); penalty: Lewitt
Worthing: M McLean; R Briggs, A Wilcockson, D Clayton (P
Dunckley 73), A Nielsen; B Dudley, J Govett; P Cleveland, M Miles
(capt), J Burns (J Smith 75); W Stutchbury (K Dawson 74), F
Coxon-Smith; J Redmayne, S Hewick, R Smith (M Stubbs 63)
Replacement (not used): J Metters
Worthing scorers: tries: F Coxon-Smith, J Govett (2), R
Smith; conversion: M McLean; penalty: McLean
Yellow cards: Stutchbury, Wilcockson
Referee: N Williams (RFU)
Gavin Cattle supervises a Pirates' driving maul. Picture by Bill Hooper
The Cornish Pirates lost for the first time this season on Sunday as they went down to Bedford Blues at the Mennaye Field, conceding four tries as the visitors ended a two game losing streak, writes Dick Straughan.
After a frenetic start the Pirates went ahead with a Rob Cook penalty after 12 minutes, only for the Blues to quickly draw level with a Jamie Lennard place kick.
It stayed all square until the half hour mark, when Stef Liebenberg's quick tap penalty caught the Pirates off-guard and the Blues' scrum-half went in under the posts for the opening try. Lennard converted.
It stayed that way until first half stoppage time when the Blues extended their lead as Tom Bedford's chip ahead was seized by Josh Bassett as he won the race with Rhodri McAtee to the corner to score.
Lennard converted and a further penalty apiece for each side left it at 20-6 to Bedford at the break.
A strong start to the second half from the Pirates yielded two more Rob Cook penalties before Dom Barrell scored a third try for Bedford from close range.
Blair Cowan earned the first home touch down of the game as he powered over the Blues' line at the rear of a driving maul and Cook's conversion cut the arrears to just eight points.
But within five minutes the Blues increased their lead again as they worked their way down field from their own twenty-two before Mike Howard put Duncan Taylor in with the scoring pass from short distance.
The Pirates completed the scoring with a Wes Davies try deep into injury time at the end but it wasn't enough to earn a losing bonus point on a disappointing afternoon for the Cornish side.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Davies, Pointer, Cooper (Hill
h/t), D.Doherty, Thomas (McAtee 7), Cattle (capt), Rimmer (Storer
62), Ward (Ewers 62), Brits (Rimmer 66), Smith (McGlone 47), Nimmo,
Morgan, Walker-Blair (Elloway 50), Cowan
Replacement (not used): Kessell
Pirates' scorers: tries Cowan, Davies; con Cook; pens Cook (4)
Bedford Blues: Burke, Schmidt, Taylor, Bedford, Bassett (Kohler 66), Lennard (Sharp 77), Liebenberg (Baldwin 66), Steenkamp (Walsh 70), Locke (Cochrane 52), Seal, Pailor (Howard 62), Tomes, Rae, Harding, Tupai (Barrell 52)
Bedford scorers. tries Liebenberg, Bassett, Barrell, Taylor; cons Lennard (4); pens Lennard (2)
Referee: T Hall (RFU)
Another nail-biter went down to the wire at the Rec on Saturday as Redruth for the second home match running had a late penalty to win the game, writes Bill Hooper.
Two weeks ago the penalty effort failed, this time centre Jamie Semmens, who was forced into goal kicking duties as fly-half Brett Rule had just limped off, calmly slotted his kick between the posts to put Redruth 18-17 up.
The drama didn't end there as a further passage of play saw Hartpury College's winger Ian Clarke red-carded for striking Redruth scrum-half Greg Goodfellow.
Semmens kicked the resulting penalty out and referee Tom Davies blew the final whistle to end a dramatic finale.
It certainly was an entertaining match between two sides who had never met before.
Hartpury took an early lead through fly-half's Tim Stevenson's 2nd minute penalty.
Redruth stormed back, taking play into the Hartpury twenty-two, a sustained period of pressure saw the Redruth pack drive the visitors back over their own try-line. As Hartpury kicked the ball out of the scrum, referee Davies had no hesitation in awarding a penalty-try, which Brett Rule converted.
Redruth increased their lead soon after with Rule adding a penalty, as Hartpury went offside.
Hartpury had shown signs that they were no pushovers, and after 21 minutes they levelled the scores as Stevenson went in for a try which he also converted.
Stevenson and Rule both missed with penalty chances to increase the score. Redruth also came close to scoring a try through winger Tom Notman. Up to half-time it stayed at 10-10.
Rule was unlucky with a penalty attempt just after the break which struck the post.
Redruth finally got reward for their possession with a fine try scored in the Piggy Lane corner by Notman following good work from Lewis Vinnicombe, who had replaced winger Nathan Pedley, and flanker Chris Fuca.
Rule couldn't add the extras from the difficult touchline conversion.
With just a five point advantage Redruth were in danger of a Hartpury reaction and it duly arrived following a big forward drive by the pack which saw prop Richard Barrington driven over, Stevenson's conversion giving the visitors a 17-15 advantage.
Redruth dug deep and threw everything at Hartpury. A great kick out of defence by Vinnicombe helped set up the position from which Semmens kicked the winning points.
Redruth scorers: tries penalty-try, Notman; penalties Rule, Semmens; conversion Rule
Hartpury College scorers: tries Stevenson, Barrington;
penalty Stevenson; conversions Stevenson (2)
Red card: Clarke (80)
Referee: Tom Davis (RFU)
The Cornish Pirates maintained their unbeaten run at Meadow Lane stretching back to February 2009 as a strong second half fightback in the Midlands on Friday night earned them two Championship points, writes Dick Straughan.
It could have been more had referee Steve Lee controversially not awarded the Pirates a penalty as the home side illegally disrupted an attacking Pirates' scrum ten minutes into stoppage time, electing instead to blow the final whistle.
After a shaky start to the game which saw Nottingham open up an 11-0 lead through two Kieran Hallett penalties and a Juan Pablo Socino try, the Pirates got back into the game with a well-worked try from Wes Davies.
Rob Cook reduced the lead to a single point with a penalty but Nottingham added a second try late in the half through Mike Holford to make it 18-10.
Cook added a second penalty as Nic Rouse was sin-binned for fighting before Charlie Hayter's third try of the evening for Nottingham extended their lead again.
But in a thrilling climax to the game Davies raced clear to score for the Pirates on the hour and, despite Cook missing the conversion, he was called on again four minutes into added time after Grant Pointer's touch down had silenced the home crowd.
Cook held his nerve to tie the scores before Mr Lee denied any late hopes of victory.
Nottingham: Hallett, Cobden, Erinle, Socino, Jackson
(Hayter 30), Arlidge, Jones, Holford, Duffey, Prescott (Parr 63),
Hammond (capt), Rouse (sin-bin 45-55), Kalamafoni, Eggleshaw
(Morley 69), Shaw
Replacements (not used): Taylor, Shields, Baird, Barnham
Nottingham scorers: tries Socino, Holford, Hayter; cons
Hallett (2); pens Hallett (2)
Yellow Cards: Rouse
Cornish Pirates: Davies (Westren 80+4), McAtee, Pointer,
Locke, Doherty, Cook, Cattle (capt) (Doherty 73), Andrew (Storer
75), Elloway (Ward 63), Brits (Storer 75), McGlone (Myerscough
h/t), Nimmo, Morgan, Burgess, Cowan (Marriott 69)
Replacements: Storer, Ward, Rimmer, Myerscough, Marriott, Doherty, Hill
Pirates' scorers: tries Davies, Pointer, Locke; cons Cook (2); pens Cook (2)
Referee: S Lee (Yorkshire)
Redruth were annihilated by a rampant Richmond side who played a fast and fluid style of rugby that saw them run in ten tries on a golden autumn day at the Richmond Athletic Ground.
On the day, the Cornishmen had few answers to the sweeping passing moves of the league leaders, who look more than capable of holding their own in the league above.
Redruth were up against it when they failed to take the kick-off and after they were shoved off the ball at the first scrum; Tom Gregory went over for an unconverted try after just four minutes.
Richmond, playing at pace, tore Redruth to shreds with quick ball and a long run by Nick Moore put full-back Tom Chesters over for a try on nine minutes. Cousins converted.
The difference in the sides in the first half was in the finishing: Redruth created good chances but the final pass to Tom Notman or Lewis Vinnicombe gave them too much to do; while Reds' best player Greg Goodfellow broke well down the left-wing but Brett Rule was beaten to his chip ahead by the cover defence.
Whenever the Reds turned the ball over, Richmond were prepared to counter-attack and man of the match Chesters made a long run to put lock Chris Davies over for a try after 26 minutes that Cousins converted.
Will Browne ran in the bonus-point try after just 26 minutes and Davies grabbed a second try just before the interval when he charged down Goodfellow's clearance kick, Cousins converting to leave the Reds trailing by a painful 31 points at the break.
It is a long time since anyone put 31 points past the Reds in a half and, with Aaron Penberthy replacing Brett Rule at fly-half, Redruth started the second half full of good intent. Goodfellow and Tom Duncan combined well but could not crack a good defence.
Another move from long-range ended with Doug Abbott crashing over in the corner after 48 minutes as the Richmond machine started to function again, Cousins converting from he touchline.
For a while, Redruth stemmed the tide but immediately after Duncan was sent to the sin bin in the 64th minute, Richmond replacement Jason Phipps scored a try with Cousins converting.
Good play from Goodfellow, Josh Morgan and Penberthy created a chance for Jamie Semmens to go over for the Reds' consolation score after 69 minutes, with Penberthy potting the conversion.
Redruth – with Danny Clackworthy and Alan Rule making their debuts – fell away badly in the closing stages as Richmond ran in further tries by Browne, Jonathan Whebe and replacement Danny Parkinson, Cousins completing a fine kicking display by converting all three.
Richmond: Chesters (Keville 64); Browne, Moore, Gregory, Whebe; Cousins, Henry (Nash 62); Walford, Burr (Phipps 60), Okeshola (Parkinson 62); Davies, Warden; George (capt), Abbott, Edwards (Fioro 40)
Richmond scorers: tries Davies (2), Gregory, Chesters, Browne (2) , Abbott, Phipps, Whebe, Parkinson; conversions Cousins (8)
Redruth: C Bonds (capt); Vinnicombe (A Rule 69), Parsons,
J Semmens, Notman; B Rule (Penberthy 40), Goodfellow; Jacques, rown
(Clackworthy 49), Joyce (Williams 49), Bailey (Morgan 55), Collins,
Fuca, Hambly, Duncan.
Yellow card: Duncan
Reds' scorers: Try Semmens; conversion Penberthy
Referee: Simon Harding (RFU)
With both sides badly in need of a win, it was Dings who came out on top to record their first win of the season in a fiercely contested match at Lockleaze that produced seven tries and a result that was in doubt to the final whistle.
The visiting All Blacks, despite trailing for most of the match, snatched a try in the closing minutes to salvage two bonus points.
Dings were first on the scoresheet on two minutes with a well-struck penalty from full-back Harvey Skelton and followed up with a try from wing Sylvan Edwards after a great drive by the pack produced a quick ball that was moved along the line for a score in the corner and 8-0 to Dings.
The All Blacks hit back on ten minutes when lively scrum-half James Lightfoot-Brown wriggled free on the Dings' 22 to scamper over for a try. With the visitors' pack now getting on the front foot, pressure on the Dings line produced a penalty for full-back Kieron Lewitt to level the scores at the end of the first quarter and, within five minutes, they were in front with a try from centre Liam Yeo after a great outside break from wing Aron Struminski for 13-8 to the visitors.
Two more Skelton penalties saw Dings go into the break with a slender 14-13 lead.
Within a minute of the restart, the home side extended their lead with a well-taken try from Skelton, who collected the ball on halfway to outrun the visitors' defence for Dings' second try, Skelton adding the conversion to extend Dings' lead to 21-13.
With the game continuing end to end, it was the visitors next on the scoresheet. The pack set up five minutes of pressure on the Dings line and, despite some stout defence from the home side, lock James Tripony eventually crashed over below the posts. Lewitt added the conversion to reduce the arrears to a single point at 21-20 to Dings.
Dings replied within a minute with a try out wide for lock Ollie Hodge, with Skelton adding the conversion for a personal tally of 18 points.
The All Blacks were not finished and in the closing minutes, with Dings prop Jerry Quick in the sin-bin, they mounted a last onslaught on the Dings' try line and the pressure told with lock Josh Lord breaking from a driving maul to touch down for the visitors' fourth try, securing well-deserved both try and losing points.
Dings: Skelton; Edwards, Cox, Gear-Evans, Stevens;
Gasson, Plummer; Hudd, Wheeler, Quick; Hodge, Lawrence; Goodman,
Replacements: Mackie, J Lloyd, G Lloyd, Oakley, Adams
Dings' scorers: tries Edwards, Skelton, Hodge; conversions Selton (2); penalties Skelton (3)
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Stuminski, Yeo, Paterson,
Turner; Webb, Lightfoot-Brown; Mathias, Salter, Pow; Tripcony,
Hilton; Lord, M Rawlings T, Rawlings
Replacements: Hurdwell, Keat, Carrick-Smith, Murphy, Moyle
All Blacks' scorers: tries Lightfoot-Brown, Yeo, Tripcony, Lord; conversion Lewitt (2); penalty Lewitt
The Cornish Pirates returned to winning ways with a 34-18 Championship victory yesterday, but they were made to work harder than expected against bottom side Esher.
It was tough on the visitors, who left Cornwall still without a league point this season, while the Pirates took five from another mixed performance at Mennaye Field.
The Cornish side, whose five tries yesterday came from Mike Myerscough, Rob Elloway, David Doherty (two) and Tom Kessell, move up to second in the table behind Bristol, despite their defeat to Bedford Blues at home and a draw at Nottingham in their previous League outings.
"It certainly wasn't a five-point performance today," said Pirates forwards coach Ian Davies. "We controlled the set-piece and did some really good things, but we also did some really dumb things. It was a real rollercoaster display.
"Looking at the scoreline, it seems like we've done enough. But if they'd come away with two league points or more, nobody would have been surprised. I thought Esher played well but we never got out of third gear."
It was not the smartest of starts from the Pirates, who gave away two penalties in the first two minutes. The second came within kickable range for Esher full-back Rob Kirby and he put his side in front despite a strong cross-wind.
A testing high ball then put home full-back Rob Cook under pressure deep in his own 22. He managed to hack the ball clear, but Esher came back and battered the Pirates' defensive line before hooker Kevin Corrigan found a gap to score the game's opening try.
It took the Pirates 14 minutes to mount a serious attack. A penalty was kicked into the corner by Cook, and although Esher halted a catch-and-drive try, they were powerless to stop lock Myerscough touching down after peeling off the back of the ruck for an unconverted touchdown.
When Pirates took the ball forward, they generally did so with greater pace and precision than the visitors. Indeed, the Pirates' second meaningful break led to a second home try, finished off with a series of quick passes out to winger David Doherty, who touched down in the left corner.
However, Esher pulled in front again with another Kirby penalty and caught the Pirates off-guard with a fine breakaway try from Phillip MacKenzie, converted by Kirby.
Pirates launched a sustained response with five minutes of the half remaining, but their rolling maul was repeatedly pulled down.
Referee Michael Tutty eventually produced a yellow card for visiting prop Oliver Mines and a home score soon followed through hooker Elloway, with Cook converting.
It was Cook who had the first opportunities of the second half after electing to aim for the posts with two penalties. The first was missed but the second put his side into a two-point lead.
Despite the greater firepower at their disposal, Pirates struggled to translate their superiority into points early in the second half.
Esher, meanwhile, were growing in confidence and running the ball from deep in the face of a changeable wind. Replacement winger Sam Edgerley made a huge impact after his half-time introduction with his consistently thrilling runs.
The England Sevens man frequently highlighted the Pirates' inability to make their tackles count. Fortunately, David Doherty was in clinical form for Pirates and scored his second of the day when he slipped between two Esher men in front of the posts for the fourth, bonus-point try, converted by Cook.
And the game was finally put beyond Esher in the first minute of stoppage time when replacement scrum-half Kessell crossed from close range with Cook again converting.
Davies knows his side will need to produce a more complete 80-minute performance at fourth-placed London Welsh next weekend. He said: "We just didn't twist that knife when we needed to today and we allowed them some hope throughout the game. It is things like that we've got to eradicate as we move towards the end of stage one of the season."
Cornish Pirates: Cook; Pointer (McAtee 55), Locke, Hill (Suniula 57), D Doherty; Thomas, J Doherty (Kessell 69); Andrew (Rimmer 55), Elloway (Cowan-Dickie 75) Brits (Andrew 66) (Elloway 74); Myerscough, Nimmo (McGlone 69); Morgan, Burgess, Maidment (Cowan 69)
Pirates' scorers: tries Myerscough, Elloway, D Doherty (2), Kessell; conversions Cook (3); penalty Cook
Esher: Kirby (Renwick 79); Walker, P MacKenzie, Wright,
Loizides (Edgerley 40); Atkinson (Ingall 60), Stuart-Smith (J
MacKenzie 70); Mines, Corrigan, Boot (Gething 51); Parker, Kench;
MacFarlane (Gething 39-41) (Synnott 58), Stitcher, Goodman
Replacement (not used): Mackie
Esher scorers: tries Corrigan, MacKenzie; conversion
Kirby; penalties Kirby (2)
Yellow card: Mines
Referee: M Tutty (RFU)
Redruth returned to National League Two South form with a thumping eight-try win over Barnes at the Recreation Ground at the weekend.
The Reds' 56-22 victory was just the response that director of rugby Dave Penberthy called for after a 66-7 loss at Richmond the previous week.
Scrum-half Greg Goodfellow capped a man-of-the-match performance with two tries, with further scores from Jamie Semmens, Chris Fuca, Lewis Vinnicombe, Tom Notman, Craig Bonds and Tom Duncan.
Dave Penberthy said: "To turn a 66-point stuffing last week into a 56-point victory today is very pleasing. There are still bits and pieces to work on but generally it was one of our better performances this season so far.
"The players were really up for this game. They knew that they let themselves, the club and supporters down last week. They came out and played some really good stuff, there were some good tries."
It took the Cornish side just two minutes to start the scoring when Aaron Penberthy's downfield kick took a fortuitous bounce straight into the hands of Brett Rule.
The full-back broke through the Barnes line and then unselfishly offloaded for Semmens to finish, with Aaron Penberthy adding the conversion.
Barnes came straight back and Redruth had more good fortune when winger Dean Butler knocked on when unopposed in the left corner. However, play was pulled back for an earlier infringement and full-back James Clark got his side off the mark with a penalty.
A slick move soon brought Redruth their second try, finished off by the power of Fuca and, after ten sloppy minutes from both sides, the Reds broke into the Barnes 22 again, with Vinnicombe taking Fuca's pass in his stride in Hellfire corner for an Aaron Penberthy-converted score.
A clearly outclassed Barnes side deserved credit for their perseverance and were rewarded with a try, off the back of a five-metre scrum, from winger Luke Sayer. Clark then struck an excellent conversion from out wide.
Despite some dogged resistance, it took the Reds just 30 minutes to secure the fourth-try bonus point. It was achieved with an exceptional individual score from Goodfellow, who beat the visiting defence inside and out before rounding the posts to set up an easy conversion for number ten Aaron Penberthy.
The fly-half then played a part in his side's fifth try, retrieving a bouncing ball outside the Barnes 22 before beating three men and handing off to Vinnicombe. The Reds had to be patient as the visitors held firm, but play was eventually spread out to the opposite wing, where Notman cruised over the try-line.
Butler made amends for his first-half mishap by scoring his side's second try five minutes into the second half, but Redruth's class shone through, with the excellent Goodfellow slipping through the Barnes line with some elusive play in front of the posts.
Notman then turned provider in the 65th minute, chasing his own grubber kick down the right wing, before setting up Craig Bonds for a simple finish.
Barnes continued the fight right to the end in search of a losing bonus point and Butler got his second with Gareth Williams-Davies converting.
But it was Redruth who completed the scoring when Duncan nipped in off the back of a drive before Aaron Pernberthy recorded the last of an impressive eight from eight kicking tally with the conversion.
Dave Penberthy, who takes his side to Hertford next weekend, said: "I always worry when we score so early because we tend to slacken off, but this time we turned the screw and we had five tries by half-time.
"We set about our business in the second half after starting slowly. Barnes were pressing at the end for a bonus-point try and we kept them out – that's just what we wanted."
Redruth: B Rule; Vinnicombe (Pedley 59), Parsons (C Bonds 49), J Semmens, Notman; Penberthy, Goodfellow; Joyce (capt) (Jacques 49), Clackworthy (Brown 60), Williams; Cook, Fuca; Fuca (Bailey 53), Hambly, Duncan
Reds' scorers: tries J Semmens, Fuca, Vinnicombe, Goodfellow (2), Notman, C Bonds, Duncan; conversions Penberthy (8)
Barnes: Clark (Gower 41); Butler, Riley, Hersey, Sayer; Williams-Davies, Moss (Godsall 53); Remfry (Matthews 53), Aliterec, Dawson; Taylor, Sayce; Holmes (capt) (Givens 41), Beckett, Harding (McAthur 53)
Barnes' scorers: tries Sayer, Butler (2); conversions Clark, Williams-Davies; penalty Clark
Referee: Warburton (RFU)
The real start to the All Blacks' National League Two season was not in late August but on Saturday at Polson Bridge, when at last they showed their true worth, completely demolishing third-placed Henley Hawks, who had won seven of their eight league matches.
The performance of this All Blacks side was so different from the ones in preceding home matches that had ended in defeat by a few points, and it turned their hitherto downcast supporters back into the fiercely partisan and vocal crowd that has often awed visitors to the scenic ground.
This win was no close-run thing but a thoroughly deserved bonus, five-point crushing that left an over-confident Oxfordshire club genuinely shell-shocked.
At the end, they trooped off, heads down. At half-time, their coach was overheard on the touchline saying: "Come on, you can beat these guys." Wrong.
The Cornishmen scored four cracking tries and the pack taught the bigger Henley eight a salutary lesson that scrummaging power comes not from weight, but from technique.
The All Blacks' front row of Tim Mathias, Jamie Salter and Bruce Pow were a revelation, and the line-out too worked like clockwork. In addition, defence, which had been an Achilles heel, was as solid as a brick wall.
The icing on the cake was the goal-kicking of Kieron Lewitt. The full-back converted all but the final try (he had been sin-binned seven minutes from time for persistently killing the ball) and missed only one kick all afternoon – a 68th-minute penalty, and that by just a whisker.
The pack knew only one direction to go – forward – and kept going the whole game, with a frisky back line dancing eagerly in attendance.
As a result of the forwards' dominance, key lock, man-of-the-match Ben Hilton, stormed unstoppably over close in for two tries in the 61st and 79th minutes.
Skipper, flanker Tom Rawlings, was understandably over the moon. He said: "It was the determination, the want to win. It had been a really frustrating couple of months, but it all came together on Saturday.
"Towards the end of the game, Henley didn't want to scrummage or get into line-outs, we were that dominant. Winning the set-piece was key and the front row set the pace and the scrummaging was unbelievable; and the way that scrum-half James Lightfoot-Brown managed the forwards in the loose play opened it up for us and we created space everywhere.
"There was such a good feeling after the game. The first ten to 15 minutes when they attacked and had three line-outs in the corner and came away with nothing were crucial. Everyone threw everything into the game and it showed what we can do."
By the interval, the All Blacks were 14-0 up.
Where Lewitt's boot was on song, Henley's goal-kicker, centre Daniel Wells, could not land a thing.
After stemming the early onslaught, the All Blacks got their familiar ruck-and-drive up and running and, after a scrum near the visitors' line was twice re-set, the Henley eight were driven back and Lightfoot-Brown shot away on the blind to score.
Then a huge Lewitt kick to the corner from halfway, a line-out and Lightfoot-Brown linked to send in centre Lewis Paterson.
The visitors' big pacy backs kept trying to run it through the middle or out wide but couldn't get through until the 56th minute when a line-out was overthrown and their tight-head prop Alex Penny had an unexpectedly easy run in. It was only a blip.
Five minutes later, the home pack moved inexorably upfield and Hilton crossed after some relentless drives. 21-5. A bewildered Henley began to bring on forward replacements.
It looked momentarily to have made a difference when they countered well and fly-half Tom Allen released flanker Ryan Newman to run round to the posts from a tap penalty. For once, Wells' boot couldn't miss the conversion to make it 21-12. However, the All Blacks reasserted themselves – another kick to the corner, a line-out, everyone piled into the forward drive, and Hilton shot away to touch down.
Centre Jake Murphy added a fine conversion and it was game over and what could turn out to have been a watershed win was in the bag.
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Struminski, Murphy, Paterson,
Yeo; Webb, Lightfoot-Brown; Mathias, Salter, Pow; Carrick-Smith
(Chambers 53), Hilton; Lord, T Rawlings (capt), Tripcony
Replacements (not used): Hurdwell, Keats, Caton, Moyle
All Blacks' scorers: tries Lightfoot-Brown, Paterson, Hilton
(2); conversions: Lewitt (3), Murphy
Yellow card: Lewitt
Henley Hawks: Baggett (Haynes 72); Andre, Daniel Wells, James, Bart; Allen (capt), Gaunt; Hadfield (Hepburn 40), Brennan (David Wells 72), Penny (Millford-Scott 67); Winterbottom, Nixon; Crossland (Blackburn 62), Newman, Payne
Henley scorers: tries Penny, Newman; conversion: Daniel Wells
Referee: S Lewis (RFU)
The Cornish Pirates drew on their travels for the third time this season as London Welsh clawed their way back into a fiercely contested match to finally grab parity with an Alex Davies penalty five minutes from the end, writes Dick Straughan.
The former Plymouth Albion fly-half made a telling contribution with the boot, landing three penalties in six minutes to cancel out a lead the Pirates had held since the end of the first quarter.
After a hectic opening quarter the Pirates finally went ahead with a try from Jonny Bentley as he rounded off a period of pressure down the right flank, weaving his way over the line from ten metres out.
After Rob Cook's conversion Bentley turned provider with a neat grubber kick in the 36th minute for Grant Pointer to grab a second try for the Duchy side. Cook again added the extras for a 14-0 lead.
Scrum-half Rob Lewis grabbed a crucial unconverted injury time try to finally open the Welsh account and it stayed that way until the 61st minute, when the Pirates lost Chris Morgan to the sin bin and Gordon Ross cut the lead to six points with a penalty.
Cook steadied Pirates' nerves with a penalty of his own after he had taken a late hit from James Lewis before the intervention of Davies proved telling.
There was still a chance for Cook to snatch a late win with a 79th minute penalty but his kick from a wide angle went wide.
London Welsh: Thrower, Hurrell, Tonga`uiha, Whatling,
J.Lewis, Ross (capt) (Davies 67), R.Lewis (Moates 67), Pittman,
George (Nelson 20), Moss (Bateman 70), Brown, Purdy, Beach, Denbee,
Replacements (not used): Corker, Russell, Smith
Welsh scorers: try R.Lewis; pens Ross, Davies (3)
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Pointer, Locke, Suniula,
D.Doherty, Bentley, Cattle (capt), Rimmer, Elloway (Ward 57), Brits
(Storer 74), Myerscough (McGlone 10), Nimmo, Cowan (Morgan 57,
sin-bin 61-71), Burgess, Maidment
Replacements (not used): Kessell, Thomas, Hill
Pirates' scorers: tries Bentley, Pointer; cons Cook (2); pen
Yellow Card: Morgan
Referee – C.Marchat (FFR)
"In a word, basics, silly schoolboy errors that cost us dear," was Redruth director of rugby David Penberthy's response to the Reds' five tries to three defeat in Hertfordshire.
"We were up against it, the scrum and breakdown were an issue and we came out on the wrong side of it. We have to pick ourselves up from this, we cannot rely on referees' decisions giving us the rub of the green when you are away from home because it just does not happen that way.
"We were at sixes and sevens for much of the time and it was summed up at the end when two players went for the same high ball.
"We are a little bit makeshift at the moment because we are missing Luke Collins, and losing Damien Cook at half-time was a blow but the front row were tremendous. Peter Joyce was very good again. Chris Fuca was tremendous in the second row.
"We were 10-7 up but a silly little error ended with us going 14-10 down cost us, it is just basics."
Redruth went seven points down early on when Olly Forrest danced through the Reds' defence after a quickly taken free-kick when Redruth dithered over a line-out throw, Rob Richardson converting from in front of the posts.
Redruth recovered well and a dominant period saw them take the lead after 15 minutes after a well-struck penalty into the wind by Aaron Penberthy, who then converted Tom Duncan's eighth try of the season as the Reds' pack drove their opponents over the line.
A couple of tries by left-wing Mike Allan changed the game and gave the hosts a massive boost when they were flagging. Redruth were making too many small errors and did not protect the ball well enough against opponents who tested the offside lines to the limit.
Hertford's coach Mike Owen, the former Wales captain, changed scrum-half and number eight as the hosts got stronger going into the interval and it was no surprise when Rob Schillaci went over near the posts after a series of rolling mauls for the bonus point try. Richardson's third conversion posting a 26-10 advantage to Hertford.
Despite intensive treatment at the interval on a back injury, Reds' lock Damien Cook was unable to continue and 19-year-old Lewis Moyle, a flanker, took his place.
A penalty by Richardson pushed Hertford further ahead.
Paul Foster went over for an unconverted try after 55 minutes. Chris Fuca and Owen Hambly replied with tries and Penberthy put over a magnificent conversion from the touchline.
Hertford: Richardson: Crompton, Storey (capt), Sloan, Allan: Forrest (Lawerence 78), Hankin (Foster 26); Basara (Patton 64), Walker (Moss 63), Schallaci, South, Hett, McNamee, Wilson, Corcoran (Leo 26, Walker 70-78)
Hertford scorers: tries Allan (2), Forrest, Schillaci,
Foster; conversions Richardson (3); penalties Richardson
Yellow cards: Basra, McNamee
Redruth: B Rule; Vinnicombe (Pedley 45), C Bonds (capt), J Semmens (Parsons 63), Notman; Penberthy, Goodfellow; Jacques, Clackwothy (Tresidder 63), Joyce, Cook (Moyle h-t, Williams 58-63), Fuca, Morgan, Hambly, Duncan
Reds' scorers: tries – Duncan, Fuca, Hambly;
conversions Penberthy (2); penalty Penberthy
Yellow cards: Pedley, Joyce
Referee: Michael Cooper (RFU)
The comeback is on – the All Blacks are clicking.
This was their second successive National Two win after a run of narrow defeats.
They were in front of the Forest Dean club until the 78th minute when, agonisingly, Lydney managed to nudge ahead by a point.
But the Cornishmen kept their composure, worked upfield and, deep in injury time, the unerring boot of full-back Kieron Lewitt slotted the winning penalty.
The pride in his charges' success was clearly detectable in coach Simon Owens' assessment of the victory at Regentsholme: "It was a tight game as we expected it to be. We started well enough and scored two tries, one converted, but Lydney kept in touch with penalties. We were pretty well on top but the second half was a slog. They scored two tries and inched ahead.
"But at the end we kept it tight and Lewitt kicked the penalty well into injury time. We showed great character. A few weeks ago, we wouldn't have toughed it out but our win the week before made all the difference. Tighthead prop Bruce Pow and blindside flanker Josh Lord were outstanding. We were very good in the scrum and were dominant. It gave us a great platform."
The All Blacks began in earnest: the pack worked play upfield, a tap penalty was quickly taken by scrum-half James Lightfoot-Brown on the 22 and spun out to Lewis Paterson, and the centre raced round to the posts for Lewitt to add the extras. But from the re-start, the visitors gave away a penalty which home full-back Anthony Wicks slotted.
The All Blacks, dictating the game now if occasionally conceding soft penalties, surged back at the start of the second quarter and it was Lydney who infringed. The penalty was again quickly tapped by Lightfoot-Brown. He linked with Aaron Struminski and the pacy wing scorched away to touch down in the left corner. There was no conversion this time but the All Blacks were now ahead 12-3.
A stalemate developed with play scrappy. It became a bit of a dogfight. All Black prop Tim Mathias had gone off injured and it seemed temporarily to unbalance the scrum. Wicks landed his second penalty and at the interval the visitors led 12-6. In the second half, a drive by the All Blacks' forwards and the ball went out to Paterson who crossed for his second try. Lewitt converted and the Cornishmen looked to be away and clear, ahead 19-6.
The Forest of Dean men attacked relentlessly and pulled back to 19-13. With two minutes left, Lydney took the lead for the first time, 20-19. But in injury time, Lewitt's boot delivered a deserved victory.
Lydney: Wicks; Lakabuka (Chui 55), Holder, Bryan, Hannam; C Jones, Kane; Price (Stoneman 56), Lewis, Selway; Bashford (W Jones 55), Bennett; McMahon (capt), Longton, Scott
Lydney scorers: tries Longton, Selway; conversions Wicks (2); penalties Wicks (2)
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Struminski, Paterson, Murphy, Yeo; Webb, Lightfoot-Brown; Mathias (Keat 15; Hurdwell 66), Salter, Pow; Chambers, Hilton; Lord, T Rawlings (capt), Tripcony
All Blacks' scorers: tries Paterson (2), Struminski; conversions Lewitt (2); penalty Lewitt
Referee: A Rawson (RFU)
The Cornish Pirates produced their best performance of the season to climb to the top of the Championship table with a bonus point victory over a tough Rotherham Titans side at the Mennaye Field, writes Dick Straughan.
They countered the Titans physical approach with a disciplined performance marshalled superbly at half-back by Jonny Bentley and Gavin Cattle, which forced the Yorkshire side to continually attack from deep.
The early pressure from a resolute Pirates' defence quickly told as they grabbed the lead after just ten minutes, forcing the Titans into an error in their own twenty-two.
A knock-on by Number 8 Semisi Taulava allowed the Pirates to spread quick ball wide to the left and Drew Locke set up David Doherty for a fine try in the corner.
Cattle then burst over for a superb solo score from a solid five metre scrum after Chris Morgan had been held up over the Titans' line and Cook converted to make it 12-0.
Cook extended the lead with a penalty in the 18th minute before two place kicks from Gary Law opened the Titans account. But more pressure in the Titans' 22 brought a third try just before the break as turnover ball was shipped wide to Bentley and his sublime grubber kick was touched down by Doherty for his eighth try of the season.
After a frantic start to the second half the Titans edged themselves back into the game on 51 minutes as Taulava crashed over from close range for a try. Law's conversion cut the Pirates lead to seven at 20-13.
The response from the Pirates, however, was perfect and as Tom Foden struggled to deal with Cook's kick ahead he was swamped by Suniula, Maidment and Nimmo, who created the platform for Ceiron Thomas to quickly ship the ball wide. Centre Drew Locke supplied the finishing touch to score under the posts.
Cook converted and added a late penalty to make the game safe for the Cornish Pirates.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Pointer (McAtee 64), Locke, Suniula (Burgess 75), D.Doherty, Bentley (Thomas 56), Cattle (capt) (Kessell 75), Storer (Rimmer 75), Ward (Elloway 68), Rimmer (Fairbrother 56), McGlone, Nimmo, Ewers, Morgan, Maidment (Cowan 79)
Pirates' scorers: tries D.Doherty (2), Cattle, Locke; cons Cook (2); pens Cook (2)
Rotherham Titans: Foden, Tellwright, Hamilton (Hodgson
63), Nonu, Monahan, Law, Rhodes (Williams h/t), Cahill (Kilbane
h/t), Baines, O`Donnell, Dickinson (capt), Maddison (Griffiths 43),
Copeland, Dougall, Taulava
Replacements (not used) Stagg, Stout, Kirwan
Titans' scorers: try Taulava; con Law; pens Law (2)
Referee D.Gamage (RFU)
Redruth just edged this pulsating National League 2 encounter against a dogged Taunton side in this southwest derby at the Recreation Ground, reports Bill Hooper.
In a game that was end-to-end throughout, both sides scored four tries. Redruth's win was once again down to a dominant performance by the forwards, with the front row of Darren Jacques, Danny Clackworthy and Peter Joyce destroying their opponents up front.
Reds weathered early pressure from the visitors to take the lead with an Aaron Penberthy penalty.
Both sides spurned chances to score tries before Redruth made the breakthrough with their first try on 28 minutes as Redruth's man-of-the-match Chris Fuca scored the first of his two tries in the game, Penberthy's conversion giving the Reds an encouraging 10-0 lead.
The game turned as Taunton enjoyed a purple spell during the final seven minutes of the first half. Fly-half Tony Yapp firstly cut the deficit with a penalty, then added the conversions to tries from skipper Sean Fox and then, moments later, from centre Jason Luff. Both scores came from some poor home defending and the visitors headed to the dressing room at half-time with an improbable 17-10 lead.
Early in the second half Penberthy and Yapp exchanged penalties, before Taunton scored a third try through flanker Dean Taylor-Mendes following a crossfield kick from scrum-half Joe Bartlett. Yapp was once again on cue with the conversion.
Redruth needed a quick response, and it came thanks to the forwards as No.8 Tom Duncan finished off a powerful series of drives up in the Piggy lane corner. Penberthy continued to match Yapp with another great conversion to leave the Reds just seven points in arrears at 27-20.
Penberthy kept the Reds on the front foot with his kicking pinning Taunton back. From a line out down in Hell fire corner the Redruth pack again drove at the Taunton line, with Fuca getting his second to bring the Reds back to within two points. Penberthy couldn't add the conversion to tie the scores, but he was on target shortly after as his third penalty wrested back the lead for the Reds.
A high ball caused panic in the Taunton defence and it was centre Jamie Semmens who made the most of it by powering over under the posts for Redruth's fourth try, Penberthy adding the extras for a 35-27 lead.
Taunton pushed hard in the final moments to try and salvage something from the game and their efforts were rewarded as replacement Sonny Haines drove over, Yapp's conversion being the final score of a thrilling match.
Redruth 35 pts: tries Fuca (2), Duncan, Semmens; penalties Penberthy (3); conversions Penberthy (3)
Taunton 34pts: tries Fox, Luff, Taylor-Mendes, Haines; penalties Yapp (2); conversions Yapp (4)
Referee: Paul Kimber (RFU)
The All Blacks' revival took a knock at Polson on Saturday when the semi-professional College showed their class in the second half to run out clear winners of this National Two South clash.
That said, the Gloucester side had a game on their hands up to half-time when the Cornishmen led 14-13.
All Blacks' coach Steve Perry said: "I was really, really pleased, especially in the first half. I felt it was an outstanding performance. Our set-pieces looked very good and we were going forward.
"In the second half, Hartpury showed what a good side they are. They played in the right areas, their back line improved and they were clinical in the way they took their chances.
"After half-time, we didn't seem to get the possession we did in the first half. We didn't take control of the ball and the game got away from us and then we were chasing it."
Hartpury were 6-0 up by the ninth minute from two penalties kicked by their large bullish fly-half Tim Stevenson, who went on to bag a personal tally of 14 points by converting all his side's four tries.
The home pressure brought penalty chances and full-back Kieron Lewitt just failed with one but succeeded with a second soon after.
Jack Hayes sliced through the All Blacks' midfield in the 22 to cross but Lewitt kept the All Blacks in touch with a second penalty.
Just before the half-hour, the home forward drive brought its deserved reward when Lewitt went over at the flag after a kick to the corner, a line-out, a ruck and a quick release on the blind to leave the hosts trailing 13-11.
The home pack was now humming and putting the visitors' eight under all sorts of pressure and, in injury time, Lewitt landed his third penalty to claim all his side's first-half points.
Hartpury went up a gear after the break, and in half an hour had posted 21 points without reply from three further tries: prop Richard Barrington going over from a forward drive close in and later crossing to the posts from a ruck and drive, sandwiching a try from flanker Rob Langley, who shot clean through, again to the posts, released by Stevenson.
The All Blacks had the last word, speedy wing Aaron Struminski released on halfway by Lewitt to scorch away, weaving and swerving to score wide out.
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Struminski, Murphy, Paterson,
Yeo (Turner 63); Webb, Lightfoot-Brown (Friend 81); Hurdwell (Keat
58), Salter (Bulut 85), Pow; Chambers (Rawlings 57), Hilton; Lord,
All Blacks' scorers: tries Lewitt, Struminski; penalties Lewitt (3)
Hartpury College: Speirs; Brende (Lewis 62), Hayes,
Rodwell, Clarke; Stevenson, Field (Davies 39-40, 85); Barrington,
Townsend (Thorne 62), Morris (Craven 62); Waldron, Casson; Walker
(Britton 58), Langley, Thomas
Hartpury scorers: tries Hayes, Barrington (2), Langley; conversions T Stevenson (4); penalties Stevenson (2)
Referee: J Healy (RFU)
A fair if inadequate summary of this National Two South match at the Athletic Ground would be the best side won.
The All blacks fought like tigers and never gave in, but they were up against it from the start.
They held their own in the scrums, particularly on their own ball, and for periods put the league leaders under a lot of pressure, but Richmond showed some real class, recycled well, had a good pack, and their handling at times was outstanding.
In broken play, however, it was often even and the All Black pack produced some good driving play.
By the quarter-hour, the hosts were 12-0 up, by half-time the home advantage was 19-8 and then straight from the re-start 24-8, but the All Blacks narrowed it to 24-15 with a cracking solo try from wing Aaron Struminski, converted by Jake Murphy.
Richmond hit back with two quick converted tries to lead 38-15 with 15 minutes of the second half gone.
The All Blacks' Neil Bayliss, an assistant coach for the match, said: "We played well in spells. The killer for us was probably letting them score just before and just after half-time.
"That seemed to knock us a bit. We came back straight away with a superb try from Aaron Struminski which gave us hope but Richmond then scored two quick tries."
Early Richmond pressure brought a try for flanker Juliano Fiori, peeling off close in. Then fly-half Tom Platt went in at the posts and converted.
The All Blacks now piled on the pressure and Richmond were pinned in their own half. Full-back Kieron Lewitt kicked for territory and from a catch-and-drive the pack and backs combined, a rolling maul, and hooker Jamie Salter had crossed wide out.
Lewitt's conversion hit a post but he landed a penalty to leave the All Blacks trailing 12-8. But deep into injury time, Richmond scored through flanker Jamie Thompson from forward pressure close in, with Platt adding two more points.
A minute into the second period and they had scored again, a grubber kick allowing wing Jonathan Wehbe to win the race to the touchdown.
The All Blacks hit back when, well into his own half, Struminski snatched up a loose ball and left at least three despairing defenders floundering, weaving his way untouched right through to the posts for centre Jake Murphy to add the extras for 24-15.
However, the two Richmond killer tries settled it: first a well-worked handling move ending with an All Black clearance being charged down and replacement wing James Brooks scoring. Then scrum-half Toby Henry shot through a gap after several scrums had been re-set.
Richmond: Chesters; Peters, Reid, Gregory, Wehbe (Brooks
47); Platt, Henry (Drewe 63); Walford, Phipps (Burr 75), Parkinson
(Okeshola 63); Warden, Davies (capt); Fiori, Thompson, Edwards
Replacement (not used): Abbott
Richmond scorers: tries Fiori, Platt, Thompson, Wehbe,
Brooks, Henry; conversions Platt (4)
Yellow card: Brooks
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt (Yeo 51); Struminski, Murphy, Paterson, Turner; Webb, Friend (Perry 56); Hurdwell (Norton 59), Salter, Pow (Meredith 75); Chambers, Hilton; Lord, T Rawlings (capt) (M Rawlings 65), Tripcony
All Blacks' scorers: tries Salter, Struminski; conversion Murphy; penalty Lewitt
Referee: Mr Paul Knowles (RFU)
The collapse of Redruth's defensive play continued with an eight-try humbling by the old boys of St Albans School.
Over their last five games, Redruth have conceded an average of 41 points.
Director of rugby David Penberthy summed up the Reds' abject showing.
"I'm very disappointed," he said. "I thought we had learned our lessons on the road of having people gloating at us when we have been well beaten away from home in the last two games.
"But to come here and perform in that way and have to take the banter is really hard to take as we are not a side who are 50 points worse than any team in this league.
"On both times when teams have put 50 points past us, they have exploited our weakness in defence wide out. I think seven of the eight tries were from 30-40 metres out and some of them were down the five-metre channels where we are being exploited wide out.
"Fair play to OAs. I thought James Shanahan ran the show superbly. We were on the back foot and maybe didn't get a couple of 50/50 calls.
"We have got a lot of work to do. Our form at home is good where we are buoyed by the crowd but when we come away, we are disjointed and we have to look at the preparation for that because there is something not right."
The Reds were on the back foot from the kick-off. After a near-miss, James Speirs took advantage of a miss pass from Shanahan to touchdown after just three minutes.
Redruth were left reeling by two tries in as many minutes. First South African Chris Lombaard found a weak spot in the Reds' defective line and raced 40 metres to touchdown under the bar for Richard Gregg to convert.
From the restart, Shanahan, Lombaard and Gregg combined to send Ollie Marchon flying over in the left-hand corner to see the hosts 17 points clear after 15 minutes.
The Reds recovered to have the better of the second quarter, sustained hard work by the forwards ended with a long pass from Greg Goodfellow giving Jamie Semmens the opportunity to touchdown for Aaron Penberthy to convert.
The Reds suffered the double blow of losing Damien Cook to a yellow card for foul play and a second try for Marchon in stoppage time converted by Gregg. OAs lost ex-Leicester flanker Paul Gustard to a yellow card for stamping but Speirs ran in a second try.
Redruth showed better spirit in the final quarter but late tries saw Marchon complete his hat-trick.
Old Albanians: Gregg; Speirs, Adams, Lombaard, Marchon; Shanahan (May 65), Bruzulier; Hughes (Ross 78), Coupe (Bailey 69), Cecere; Cooper-Millar, Bickle; White (Micans 69), Farenheim (Daish 65), Gustard
Old Albanians' scorers: tries Marchon (3), Speirs (2),
Lombaard, Cecrer, Daish; conversions Gregg (5)
Yellow Card: Gustard
Redruth: B Rule; Thirlby (D Bonds 71), C Bonds (capt), J Semmens, Notman; Penberthy, Goodfellow; Jacques, Clackworthy (D Semmens 47), Williams (Joyce 47); Cook, Collins; Fuca (Instance 71), Hambly, Morgan (Moyle 65)
Reds' scorers: try J Semmens; conversions Penberthy
Yellow Card: Cook
Referee: Simon McConnell (RFU)
A late converted try from Bristol wing John Goodridge proved enough to cap an epic comeback by Bristol and consign the Cornish Pirates to only their second defeat of the season.
The Pirates had taken the lead in the first minute through an Andrew Suniula try and, despite a brief fightback from the home side with a Junior Fatialofa touchdown and a conversion and penalty from Tristan Roberts, the first hour of a thrilling contest belonged to the Pirates.
Further tries from David Doherty, Tom Kessell and two from hooker Dave Ward left the Pirates 33-17 ahead going into the final quarter, but two long-range Roberts penalties and a James Merriman try set up the huge finale from which Bristol prevailed.
A bright start from the Pirates was rewarded with a try after just 60 seconds as American international Suniula barged over in the corner and even after Fatialofa's try had helped Bristol into a 10-7 lead the Cornish side were in complete control around the park.
The loss of Ceiron Thomas with a shoulder injury prompted a reshuffle just before the break with Rob Cook dropping to fly-half and Matt Evans coming on for his Championship debut at fly-half.
The Pirates had already regained the lead as Ward snatched an overthrown lineout from Rhys Lawrence five metres from the Bristol line and plundered a second try.
The try of the game then came two minutes into second half stoppage time as Bristol full-back Sean Marsden kicked. Pirates wing Doherty claimed possession on halfway and there seemed to be nothing on until he weaved his way through a congested midfield and found space on the right flank. Doherty sprinted for the line and slid in at the corner.
A half-time lead of 21-10 then became increased by another seven on 49 minutes, as from a penalty and close range lineout Ward showed supreme strength to hold off two Bristol defenders and fight his way over the line. Cook added his fourth conversion.
Bristol skipper Iain Grieve finished off a fine move started by Fatialofa for a second home try as Bristol searched for a way back into the game but when Tom Kessell ran in a fifth Pirates' try, it looked all over.
The Pirates scrum-half mopped up a loose pass after a strong break from Chris Morgan and dived in at the corner to seemingly make the game safe at 33-17.
Merriman then ignited the revival as he applied the finishing touch after Roberts had unlocked the Pirates' defence midway inside their own half.
Roberts converted and then added two penalties from long range in quick succession and, with the Pirates pinned in their own half, the final try had an air of inevitability about it as again Bristol's strong-running back row made space for Goodridge to score.
Roberts' conversion and penalty three minutes from time after Blair Cowan had infringed at a ruck on his own 22 finally killed off the Pirates' resistance.
Bristol: Marsden; Tovey, Otto, Fatialofa, Goodridge;
Roberts, Slater (Tipuna 52); Irish (Crompton 42), Lawrence
(Harris-Wright h/t), Hobson (sin bin 30-40); Sambucetti (Mama 52),
Winters; Grieve (capt), Merriman (Ovens 74), Montagu (Thompson
Replacements (not used): Barry, Silver, Davies
Bristol scorers: tries Fatialofa, Grieve, Merriman,
Goodridge; conversions Roberts (4); penalties Roberts (3)
Yellow card: Hobson
Cornish Pirates: Cook; Pointer, Locke, Suniula, D
Doherty; Thomas (Evans 39), Cattle (capt) (Kessell 55); Storer
(Paver 40), Ward, Rimmer (Andrew 58); McGlone, Nimmo; Morgan,
Burgess (Cowan 62), Marriott (Walker-Blair 74)
Replacement (not used): Elloway
Pirates' scorers: tries Suniula, Ward (2), D Doherty, Kessell; conversions Cook (4)
Referee: D Rose (RFU)
Cornish Pirates high performance manager Chris Stirling hopes his players learned a valuable lesson yesterday, after they contrived to turn a comfortable lead over Bristol into a painful 37-33 defeat.
The Pirates had scored five tries on their way to a 33-17 advantage with 18 minutes left on the Memorial Stadium scoreboard.
But, in an extraordinary turnaround, tries from James Merriman and Jon Goodridge – in addition to earlier scores from Junior Fatialofa and Iain Grieve – as well as some nerveless goal-kicking from Tristan Roberts, gave Bristol a bonus-point victory and sent them back to the top of the Championship table.
Stirling said: "I'm very disappointed and slightly shocked, to be honest. We had a 16-point lead with 20 minutes to go and we lost.
"We created opportunities to win the game and we didn't take them, so we will have to learn from it.
"I put it down to a lack of concentration," he added. "When you score and a team scores against you quickly, that is normally what it comes down to.
"This was a game the Pirates should have won at what is a pretty tough place to come. If we think that we are going to be contenders to go up into the promised land above, then the boys got taught a very harsh lesson."
In the wake of three successive defeats, two of which occurred in the Championship, Bristol's coach Liam Middleton was understandably delighted.
"I have maintained confidence in the players over the last few weeks, but it's been a hard time for everyone," said the Zimbabwean. "If you look at the league table, it's incredibly competitive – but you have to be there at the end."
After their heavy defeat the previous week at Old Albanians, Redruth got back to winning ways at home to Clifton, but it was a performance which left Director of Rugby David Penberthy still feeling frustration at his charges' performance. “After the disappointment of losing so heavily you’ll take anything to get back on the winning track. We scored forty-two points, which is good, we scored five tries, which is good, but we shipped thirty-six points, which is worrying. It’s an area we know we have to work on. Again we scored early and then seemed to lose concentration. We need a spark and that came from Rhodri’s (McAtee) first try -- he’s a quality player and we are lucky to have him on loan from the Cornish Pirates”.
Penberthy was also full of praise for opponents Clifton: “You can’t take it away from them, they never gave up and kept fighting and fighting right to the end and to go away with two points you could see just how much it meant to them at the final whistle”. He added “You have to be happy with five points but I am getting increasingly worried about our defence. Hopefully Rhodri will be able to have some input this week concerning our defensive frailties”.
Redruth got off to a great start with centre Jamie Semmens scoring their first try on 2 minutes after several phases. Aaron Penberthy kicked the conversion and then added a penalty shortly after for a 10-0 lead.
Then the feeling of déjà-vu returned as the Reds shipped two tries in the space of a minute. Clifton got a good forward drive up in the Piggy Lane corner, with prop Will Davis credited with the score. Then some nifty footwork from scrum-half Sam Smee saw him ghost through the Reds’ defence. Gareth Knox added both conversions and in an instant the game had turned on its head.
Redruth needed a swift response; it came initially from a Penberthy drop-goal to bring them back to within a point.
Re-galvanised, the Reds put Clifton under intense pressure in the scrums, resulting in penalties, which saw Penberthy kicking to the corners. Thwarted at first, Redruth got an attacking scrum just five meters out from which No.8 Tom Duncan picked up and powered over. Penberthy added the extras for a 20-14 lead.
Before half-time came two pieces of magic from McAtee. First he got hold of the ball some 50 meters out, setting off on a diagonal run to outpace the cover and score in the Strawberry Lane corner. Then he was on-hand to finish off a fine move instigated by scrum-half Greg Goodfellow, who made the most of some poor lineout ball to run a good 35 meters before passing to flanker Chris Fuca who in turn found the Welsh Whippet in support to take the scoring pass. Penberthy’s conversion saw the Reds head to the half-time dressing room 32-14 with the try-scoring bonus point in the bag.
Redruth began the second period well but saw chances to add to their tally go begging. Penberthy was off target with a penalty attempt and then winger Tom Notman just failed to gather a cross-field kick from another penalty award, which would have seen him score in Hellfire corner.
Having ridden their luck, Clifton came back into the contest. Despite being out-muscled in the scrums they had a more than useful lineout. A penalty kicked to the corner saw them set up a catch-and-drive, with replacement prop Mike Davies getting their third try. Knox was once again on cue with the conversion.
With tails up Clifton maintained the pressure. Some loose play by Redruth saw the ball kicked upfield by Clifton. Their chase was good and they managed to re-cycle the ball quickly, working it out to centre Jack Gadd who scored in the corner. Knox kicked the conversion and Redruth’s lead was a slender 32-28.
Redruth got a little bit of breathing space as Penberthy kicked a second penalty following a fine passage of play which saw forwards and backs combining well, ending with Clifton infringing.
The fifth Redruth try arrived four minutes from time. Again it was Goodfellow who made the break with Fuca once more the link before the scrum-half reclaimed the ball to score under the posts. Penberthy kicked his fourth conversion.
Clifton, urged on by former England hooker Mark Regan on the sidelines, threw everything into the final moments to try and secure a losing bonus point to go with their try-scoring bonus point. Winger Sam Harrison crossed for their fifth try, but Knox’s conversion attempt failed, to leave them still nine points adrift.
With referee Nick Williams playing time added on, Redruth gave away a soft penalty. This time Knox, with the final kick of the match, made no mistake. Just reward to the Bristol based side for their efforts in an entertaining game.
Redruth 42 pts: tries Semmens, Duncan, McAtee (2), Goodfellow; penalties Penberthy (2); drop-goal Penberthy; conversions Penberthy (4)
Clifton 36 pts: tries Davis, Smee, Davies, Gadd, Harrison; penalty Knox; conversions Knox (4)
Redruth: Rule (Pedley 65); Notman (Vinnicombe 52), Bonds (capt), J. Semmens, McAtee; Penberthy, Goodfellow; Jacques Clackworthy (D Semmens 65), Joyce (Williams 52); Cook, Collins, Fuca (Morgan 76), Hambly, Duncan
Clifton: Tilley; Pomphery Roberts (capt), Gadd,
S.Harrison; Knox, Smee; Davis (Davies 32), Fincken, T. Harrison;
Glynn, Cook; Tovey, Eadie, Levis (Butcher 69)
Replacements (not used): Evans, Wilkes, Salter
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Reds man of the match: Chris Fuca
A high five – five points and five tries – resulted in a confidence-boosting rise up the National Two South rankings for the Cornish All Blacks.
This could prove to have been a watershed win for the Polson Bridge outfit, perhaps even a turning point in their fortunes. They started with a bang, were then relatively low key, but exploded excitingly into points-scoring action in the last quarter.
Captain Tom Rawlings was more than pleased. He said: "We set out to get this win and we finished with the bonus point as well. A lot of credit to Barnes though. All the teams in the league are good, and Barnes came to play and they threw the ball about too.
"We knew they would come up fighting. We scored the early try but then got knocked down a peg when they scored. But we showed experience and we have become a better team in the last couple of weeks."
He singled out man-of-the-match, lock Ben Hilton, for praise, for having had "a special game, both scrummaging and ball-carrying", and saluted wing Ben Turner on his last game for the club before going to London to work.
The All Blacks led 20-10 at the interval. They were 7-0 up within three minutes, a penalty kick to the corner, a lineout taken by Josh Lord, two drives, and Hilton was over.
Full-back Kieron Lewitt – who bagged 14 points by converting all his side's tries but the last and added two first-half penalties – booted the extras. Barnes hit back almost at once. They mounted at least 15 uninterrupted phases deep in the home 22 and rounded things off with a lofted pass out to wing Antony Wilde, who had a clear run in. Full-back Warren Gower converted.
The visitors went into the lead for the only time in the match when Gower landed a penalty for not releasing; but Lewitt responded in kind.
Home centre Jake Murphy lofted a beautifully-weighted cross-kick and wing Ryan Westren, on loan from Cornish Pirates, went on a blistering run into the Barnes 22, linked with James Tripcony and the number eight sent hooker Jamie Salter in to score.
Barnes narrowed the gap straight from the half re-start, some fine interpassing being rounded off by another long pass to wing Nick van Buuren, who raced clear. Gower converted to make it 20-17.
The full-back missed a crucial penalty on 52 minutes and the All Blacks found second wind and inexorably pulled away: out on the left on the 10-metre line scrum-half Richard Friend found himself in space and set off, Hilton taking the move on to roar in from 25 yards; then some more slick interpassing saw Murphy combine with Westren, who made ground and released Friend to scamper gleefully in for 34-17.
Then from a lineout Hilton took and passed seamlessly to Bruce Pow and the prop delightedly finished off.
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Westren, Murphy, Paterson (Chapman 78), Turner; Perry (Yeo 56), Friend; Hurdwell (Norton 56), Salter, Pow (Meredith 78); Chambers, Hilton; Lord (M Rawlings 60), T Rawlings (capt), J Tripcony.
All Blacks' scorers: tries Hilton (2), Salter, Friend,
Pow; conversions K Lewitt (4); penalties Lewitt (2)
Yellow card: Paterson
Barnes: Gower; Wilde (Bevan 78), Riley, Dunlop, van
Buuren (Veeron Ramos 78); Williams-Davies, Reeves (Moss 62, Bevan
69-74); Foister, Alteirac, Remfry; Bryant, Watts; Malaney, Beckett
(Smyth 62), Holmes (capt)
Replacement (not used): T Galvin
Barnes scorers: tries A Wilde, N van Buuren; conversions
W Gower (2); penalty Gower
Yellow card: Smyth
Referee: Mr Luke Haskins (RFU)
Brett Davey's Doncaster Knights produced a storming first half performance to send the Cornish Pirates on their way to a second successive defeat as a deluge of first half points swamped Chris Stirling's side, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates travelled to Yorkshire unbeaten at Castle Park since 2002 and looked untroubled in an opening period in which the only points came from a long range David McIlwaine penalty.
But seventeen points in four minutes at the end of the first quarter proved decisive as individual errors cost the Pirates dearly.
Converted tries from wing Dougie Flockhart and prop Tom Davies propelled the Knights into a 20-0 lead and when Phil Burgess replied with a try for the Pirates converted by Cook, the Knights came roaring back with a try from Mike Keating and a conversion and penalty from McIlwaine.
A penalty try awarded to the Pirates right on half time was a due reward for their dominance in the scrum throughout the game and Drew Locke's early try in the second half, converted by Cook, cut the home lead to nine points at 30-21.
But the right boot of McIlwaine steadied the ship again and two further penalties midway through the second half ensured that the Pirates would leave Yorkshire empty handed.
Doncaster Knights: Mcllwaine, Flockhart, Goss, Gidlow (Burdon 28), Keating, Luke, Hallam (Audis 80), Davies, Boden (Yeandle 54) Alex Brown (Andy Brown 30), Challinor (capt), Kenworthy (Noone h/t), Makaafi, Bradford (Farivarz 54), Planchant (Boyde 72)
Doncaster scorers: tries Flockhart, Keating, Davies; cons McIlwaine (3); pens McIlwaine (5)
Cornish Pirates: Evans, Pointer, Locke, Suniula (Hill 54), D.Doherty, Cook, Cattle (capt) (Kessell 71), Andrew (Fairbrother 70), Elloway (Cowan-Dickie 75), Brits (Paver 59), McGlone, Nimmo, Cowan (Morgan 54), Burgess (Walker-Blair 70), Marriott
Pirates' scorers: tries Burgess, Locke, penalty; cons Cook (3)
Referee L. Ap-Geraint Roberts (RFU)
Attendance – 1,118
Redruth put in a tremendous all round performance to deservedly record their biggest win of the season at the Recreation Ground over spirited opponents Southend, writes Bill Hooper.
Despite looking the better side Redruth led only 9-3 after 23 minutes, with three Aaron Penberthy penalties against a sole reply from the Seasiders' full back Andrew Frost.
The breakthrough came a couple of minutes later as scrum half Greg Goodfellow fed centre Tom Cooper – another player from the Cornish Pirates looking for game time following injury – and the centre showed some lovely footwork to set up Rhodri McAtee for the Reds' opening try.
Penberthy couldn't add the conversion, but it was the only kick he missed at goal out of nine attempts.
Spurred on by the try, Redruth maintained the pressure with the forwards getting the upper hand in the set-piece.
Redruth got a second try before half-time with some quick thinking from man of the match No.8 Tom Duncan, who took a quick tap penalty near the Southend line to power over after 36 minutes.
Southend looked for a score before half-time with a period of pressure up in the Piggy Lane corner seeing them get a penalty with McAtee sent to the sin bin for the Reds for killing the ball. Frost kicked a second penalty for the visitors with the final kick of the half.
Redruth carried on in the second half, despite being a man down for the first ten minutes, with Penberthy getting his first try for the Reds after 48 minutes following good work from Cooper and prop Peter Joyce.
Ten minutes later the try-scoring bonus point was secured with McAtee again at the heart of the move with flanker Owen Hambly in support to feed winger Nathan Pedley, who crossed for the fourth Reds' try.
The best try of the afternoon came after 63 minutes when Redruth skipper Craig Bonds looked to move the ball from near his own line, McAtee took the ball near his own twenty-two before setting off on a long run towards the Piggy Lane corner.
He looked certain to score, but the Southend cover scrambled across. However, Hambly was in support to take the inside pass and score under the posts.
To round off the try scoring the Welsh Whippet showed his renowned sevens pace by scoring the Reds' fifth try following a good break from replacement hooker Darren Semmens, scoring with aplomb in Hell Fire corner to put the seal on a great performance.
Redruth scorers: tries McAtee (2), Duncan, Penberthy,
Pedley, Hambly; conversions Penberthy (5); penalties Penberthy
Yellow card: McAtee (40)
Southend scorers: penalties Frost (2)
Referee: Fergus Kirby (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks turned in one of their best performances of the season to continue their march up the National Two South table.
They were aided by some ill-discipline from their hosts, who had flanker Brett McNamee red-carded after only 23 minutes for punching opposite number Josh Lord while he lay on the ground, while two more of their players were sin-binned.
But that should take nothing away from an All Blacks' display that saw them run in five tries and capture their 11th bonus point of the season.
"It was a superb win and the boys were outstanding," said All Blacks' director of rugby Simon Owens.
"We were only 10-7 up at the break, and we knew they would chuck the kitchen sink at us early in the second half, because when you go down to 14 men, it seems to gel the team and focus the mind.
"They did that, and it took a little while to break them down in the second half, but we eventually did, and the boys played some outstanding 15-man rugby, with forwards and backs handling and interacting with each other, and it was great to watch.
"We felt we could have scored two or three more tries, but we will take what we got. We feel we are now on the right road, after our difficult start to the season. We just did the simple things well."
The All Blacks, who handed a second league start to winger Dominic Caton, took a 12th-minute lead with a penalty by full back Kieron Lewitt, for a dangerous tackle which saw Hertford winger Mike Allan sin-binned.
They stretched their advantage seven minutes later when they kicked a penalty to the corner, and Lord finished off the catch-and-drive with a try, with Lewitt converting to make it 10-0.
Four minutes later, Lord found himself on the receiving end of some blows from McNamee as the pair wrestled on the floor, with McNamee sent off by referee Rob Warburton and Lord yellow carded.
But Hertford made light of their one-man disadvantage five minutes before the break when the ball squirted out of a ruck and full-back Ryan O'Leary snatched it up, slipped several tackles and crossed beside the sticks, with fly half Olly Forrest adding the conversion to make it 10-7 at the interval.
Hertford continued to defy their visitors after the break, and laid siege to the All Blacks' line themselves, but the Cornishmen defended well and then hit their opponents on the counter-attack.
When the hosts knocked on, the All Blacks spun the ball through several pairs of hands, and after they were awarded a scrum, hooker Jamie Salter finished off with a try in the 54th minute.
That score sparked an onslaught from the visitors as they started to pile up the points.
Fly-half Jake Murphy broke away and some fantastic handling ended with centre Lewis Paterson grabbing his seventh league try of the season, with Lewitt converting for a 22-7 advantage, and he added a penalty after Hertford's replacement back rower Josh Corcoran had been sin-binned.
In the 75th minute, another powerful move took the All Blacks close to the posts, and when Hertford killed the ball, the visitors took the scrum and Murphy released centre Ryan Westren to cross for his first try since rejoining the club on loan from Cornish Pirates.
With time almost up, the All Blacks added a fifth try for good measure, with Lord bagging his second of the game after another superb handling move, and Murphy added the extras.
The Cornish Pirates returned to fourth in the Championship table with a comprehensive six-try rout of league newcomers London Scottish at the Mennaye Field, writes Dick Straughan.
Indeed the result of the game on an afternoon of drizzle in West Cornwall was never in doubt as early as the 15th minute as the Pirates responded to Dan Mugford's early penalty for the visitors with three quick-fire tries.
On-loan fly-half Myles Dorrian's sublime inside pass set up centre Sam Hill for the first after just four minutes and Tom Kessell then unleashed Rob Cook and Drew Locke to battle for the second score after Cook had added a penalty.
This time Cook seized on the hesitancy of Scottish full-back Jamie Sole and dotted down under pressure in the corner. Moments later Charlie Walker-Blair crossed for try number three as he raced around the blindside from a close range lineout.
Cook then added a second penalty as the Scots fell offside on their own twenty-two to make it 23-3, before Dorrian's attempted clearance was charged down by Dan Mugford for a simple try which he converted.
Just before the break Dorrian atoned for his error with another glorious pass to set Cook free down the left flank and the Pirates full-back broke two tackles to score under the posts.
The conversion made it 30-10 but the Scots, who were totally out-gunned in the first half, then lost Number 8 James Kellard to the sin bin on the stroke of half-time for illegally halting a maul which had driven 40 metres upfield.
Just sixty seconds into the second half David Doherty grabbed his tenth try of the season as Scots' flanker Ben Lonergan was dispossessed on his own 22 and Tom Kessell quickly shipped the ball left to the Pirates' wing.
London Scottish beefed up their pack with replacements, including former Launceston lock Steve Pape, but struggled to gain any meaningful field position and were forced to play much of the remainder of the game in their own half.
Five minutes from time turnover ball was again punished and Canadian international wing Matt Evans scored his first try in Pirates' colours. Cook's conversion completed the scoring.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, McAtee, Locke (Pointer 57), Hill, D.Doherty (Evans 61), Dorrian, Kessell (J.Doherty 61), Storer (Brits 76), Elloway (Ward 72), Brits (Paver 65), McGlone (Ewers 57), Nimmo, Morgan (capt), Walker-Blair (Burgess 72), Marriott
Pirates' scorers: tries Hill, Locke, Walker-Blair, Cook, D.Doherty, Evans; cons Cook (3); pens Cook (2)
London Scottish: Sole, Holgate (Trueman 54), Gosio, Mugford, Howells (Amor 67), James Brown (capt), Heeks, Clarke, Kwasnicki (Standfield 42), Thiede (Liffchak 47), Rudzki (Pape h/t), Thomas (Josh Brown h/t), Lipp, Lonergan (Calder 58), Kellard (sin-bin 39-49)
London Scottish scorers: try Mugford ; con Mugford; pen
Yellow Card Kellard
Referee I.Tempest (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks continued their climb up the National Two South table with their third successive victory.
This win was particularly sweet as it came against their South West rivals, who included three popular former All Blacks in their starting line-up – Nick Burnett, Tony Yapp and Gary Kingdom.
The Cornishmen ran in five tries to lift them up to seventh place in the table, and leave their relegation fears of a few weeks ago nothing but a distant memory.
Centre Ryan Westren made it three tries in two games since his loan move from the Cornish Pirates by recording a double, while lock Ben Hilton took his season's tally to a remarkable eight.
There were also touchdowns from prop Tom Hurdwell and flying winger Aron Struminski, with full back Kieron Lewitt's metronomic boot putting over four conversions and three penalties for a personal 17-point haul to put him top of the National League Two South kicking charts this season with 140 points.
"It was a superb day," said All Blacks' director of rugby Simon Owens. "We picked up where we left off against Hertford the previous week really.
"Defensively we were pretty sound, and in attack, we had Ryan feeding off Lewis Paterson, who had a great game, while Jake Murphy had another solid match at fly half and is really starting to mature in that position.
"On the wings, Aron Struminski can finish from anywhere, while Dom Caton has come in and proved to be a very solid winger, and has got gas, while Kieron only missed two kicks all afternoon, and is reaping the rewards for all the time and effort he has put into his kicking."
The one downside of the game for the All Blacks was their discipline, with both Jamie Salter and Ben Hilton sent to the sin-bin.
The All Blacks took the lead with a try after only three minutes from Westren after Salter had stolen a Taunton line-out, and Lewitt added the extras.
Two minutes later, Salter departed to the bin for foul play, and while he was off, Taunton replied with a try by flanker Dean Taylor-Menzies, which Yapp converted to level the scores.
Lewitt and Yapp exchanged penalties to make it 10-10, but the All Blacks were back in front before the break when they kicked a penalty to the corner, and after a series of rucks and mauls, prop Tom Hurdwell got over the whitewash for his first try of the season, with Lewitt adding the extras for a 17-10 advantage.
Nine minutes later, Struminski scored arguably the try of the game when the All Blacks took a quick tap penalty on halfway and the ball went out to the pacy winger, who raced in from 50 metres to score in the corner.
The bonus point touchdown followed just before the break when Paterson and Westren combined well for the latter to collect his second try of the game, and Lewitt slotted the extras for a 29-10 interval scoreline.
Taunton started the second half brightly, and hit back with a try by hooker Jon Gatford after a couple of drives, but a Lewitt penalty for offside put the All Blacks 32-15 ahead just past the hour mark.
Hilton then got his name on the scoresheet after a beautifully judged kick by Lewis Webb and good work by Westren, and a conversion by Lewitt, followed by a penalty, completed the scoring.
Redruth director of rugby David Penberthy dedicated Saturday's win to Nathan Pedley, who will play his final home game for the club against Worthing this weekend.
The 28-year-old, who has been with the club since he was five, is moving to Australia in January.
After Pedley played his part in Saturday's win at Westcombe Park, Penberthy paid tribute to the winger.
He said: "It will be Nathan Pedley's last home game and there is a lot of emotion around the squad at the moment.
"This win today was for Nathan, he is a fantastic character, he is dynamite, we will miss him big time."
Penberthy praised the response of his players after a much-improved defensive display on Saturday.
The Reds' frailties, especially on their travels, have been a cause for concern for Penberthy this season.
But he was delighted with their display at the weekend.
He said: "I am very pleased with the defensive effort, we have come in for a lot of criticism from myself over the last few weeks away from home where we have folded.
"A bonus point away from home is a confidence booster. This takes us into the two tough games leading up to Christmas in good heart."
Penberthy also heaped praise on Ben Fox, who came in for a start at the weekend.
He said: "I thought Ben Fox was absolutely outstanding by a mile. He has come back from Afghanistan, had a couple of games in the development team and we gave him 15 minutes last weekend and he came into the starting line up."
Penberthy has also been impressed with on-loan Tom Cooper's contribution since joining the club from Cornish Pirates.
He said: "Tom just brings that extra bit of experience to the backline, the first try showed that he is strong he is and he is good defensively.
"We still missed a couple of one on one tackles but that is going to happen in a game.
"I am pleased we have come away with five points for the third game in a row.
"We are scoring points which is great but now we have got to put a cap on conceding."
Mike Stephenson's 77th-minute try condemned the Cornish Pirates to their fourth defeat of the season – and third straight on the road – as Leeds came from behind yesterday to steal a 14-13 win at the death at Headingley.
The result was tough on the Pirates, who clearly felt they had done enough to hold out a determined Leeds side, but proved sweet revenge for the Yorkshire outfit, who suffered a 52-10 humbling at Mennaye Field in September.
The Pirates' coach Harvey Biljon said: "We are bitterly disappointed and have to look at ourselves, because a lot of the time we didn't control the pitch and we lost the kicking battle in what were pretty difficult conditions to play in.
"The try came from turnover ball and those errors are costing us. When we made the error, we didn't react, the referee played on and we have to make sure we react and get organised defensively."
The match-winning try resulted from an uncharacteristic error from full-back Rob Cook as he failed to hold a high ball midway inside his own half. The Leeds pack powered forward and stole possession, driving deep into the Pirates' twenty-two. Several phases later, Stephenson found a gap in the defence out wide and squeezed in at the corner.
The Pirates, missing injured captain Gavin Cattle, almost snatched a fifth-minute lead as Myles Dorrian's grubber kick only just eluded the on-rushing Rhodri McAtee as he stretched to claim a try.
Leeds' Joe Ford broke the deadlock with a seventh-minute drop-goal before Rob Cook levelled with a penalty.
Leeds were lively in attack and niggly in defence but, after wasting three good scoring opportunities down the left flank, fell behind as Stephenson conceded a penalty try and earned a yellow card for his efforts.
Tom Kessell's chip ahead unlocked the Leeds rearguard and David Doherty was cynically held back off the ball to deny a certain try. Cook converted for a 10-3 lead.
But, with Stephenson off the field, Leeds cut the lead to a single point through two Tommy Bell penalties and it took Cook's place-kick in stoppage time to send the Pirates in leading 13-9 at the break.
Bell missed a routine penalty early in the second half but was then in the thick of the action as two more chances for points eluded the home side.
Drew Locke's flying try-saving tackle denied him a near certain touchdown in the corner after a superb break from Thornley, and then he thought he had landed a penalty on 54 minutes, only for the referee to overrule his touch judges and disallow the score.
Cook's long-range penalty for the Pirates on the hour fell agonisingly short and the game remained locked at 13-9 into the final quarter.
When it came, the vital try for Leeds was harsh on Cook, who is normally one of the safest full-backs around under a high ball.
A late flurry in stoppage time saw the Pirates work the ball through repeated phases of possession into the Leeds half, but Dorrian's drop goal attempt went well wide.
Leeds: Bell; Stephenson, Thornley, Barker (Barrow h/t),
Lucock; Ford, Hampson (White 70); MacDonald, Titterell (capt)
(Freer 72), Palma-Newport; Hemingway, Hohneck; Burrows, Rowan (Beck
72), Paul (Walker 72). Replacements (not used): Zeiss, Mustafa,
Yellow card: Stephenson
Leeds' scorers: try Stephenson; penalties Bell (3)
Cornish Pirates: Cook; McAtee (Pointer 51), Locke, Hill, D Doherty; Dorrian, Kessell (J.Doherty 78); Storer (Andrew 54), Elloway (Ward 51), Paver (Brits 78); McGlone (Smith 80+2), Nimmo; Marriott, Morgan (capt), Maidment (Burgess 68)
Pirates' scorers: try penalty try; conversion Cook; penalties Cook (2)
Referee: D Richards (RFU)
It was the result that everyone had hoped for on a day of high emotion at the Rec as the Redruth faithful bid a fond farewell to one of their favourites, Nathan Pedley, playing his final game in the red shirt before emigrating to Australia in the New Year with his family.
A final try would have capped the occasion. Sadly it was not to be, though he came mighty close during the move which led to Chris Fuca's first try early in the second half.
The standing ovation that he received as he left the field of play on 77 minutes was long and warm, with tears streaming down the faces of many present. It was a moment of high heartfelt emotion for one of Redruth’s favourite sons.
Equally satisfied was fly-half Aaron Penberthy, who contributed twenty-two points on his fiftieth appearance for the Reds against the side he suffered broken ribs back in September, and which, prior to kick-off, lay second in the National League 2 South table.
Conditions at kick-off were ideal and Redruth got off to an ideal start as Worthing were pinged for going in at the side, allowing Penberthy to kick the opening points.
The fly-half soon doubled the Reds' tally with a second penalty just after prop forward Darren Jacques had been forced to leave the field with a twisted knee.
Despite the fine start, Redruth were under pressure from the visitors, with scrum-half Joe Govett a constant thorn in their side. Worthing's efforts were rewarded with a try after 14 minutes from skipper Matt Miles, as Redruth’s defensive frailties re-surfaced once again.
The see-saw scoring continued as Redruth snatched back the lead with a sublime try instigated by scrum-half Greg Goodfellow, who made the break before exchanging passes with Penberthy and then gave the scoring pass to centre Tom Cooper for the Reds’ opening try. Penberthy’s conversion put Redruth 13-7 up.
Back came Worthing. A fine run by winger Alex Nielsen, again making the most of some indifferent defence, set up No.8 Jamie Redmayne for the first of his brace of the afternoon. McLean’s conversion regained the lead for the visitors.
Once again the Redruth pack were getting the edge on the Worthing eight, which eventually saw flanker Sam Hardwick yellow carded for a side entry. Penberthy kept the scoreboard ticking over with a two further penalties before half-time, to give his side a useful 19-14 lead at the break.
An early score in the second half was just what the Redruth side needed and it came after just three minutes. Pedley went close in the Strawberry Lane corner before the ball was re-cycled, with flanker Owen Hambly making a good charge before putting in fellow back rower Fuca for the score. Penberthy missed with the conversion but made amends shortly after with a fourth penalty as Worthing were caught offside.
That effort cancelled McLean’s penalty shortly before when Redruth were guilty of handling in the ruck.
Worthing then found themselves down to fourteen men for the second time in the game as the lively Nielsen was sent to the bin for a professional foul. Penberthy kicked towards the Strawberry Lane corner to set up a catch-and-drive which resulted in man of the match Fuca getting his second try of the game.
Cooper, who once again had a fine game, was forced to limp off with a leg injury. Sadly for the Reds, his loan period from the Cornish Pirates has now ended.
A penalty for the visitors saw them kick towards Hellfire corner and look to set up their own catch-and-drive, from which Redmayne got his second try. McLean couldn’t add the extras, but they had a sniff of a couple of bonus points at 32-22 down.
Worthing let their frustrations boil over at times during the closing period. However, Redruth had other ideas: they secured their own try-scoring bonus point and confirmed their victory and Pedley’s send off with some style, with a fourth try just three minutes from time. Some good play between forwards and backs, notably replacements Paul Thirlby and Ben Fox, saw Penberthy get a try for the second home game running. He couldn’t add the extras as his conversion cannoned off an upright, to leave the final score 37-22 to the Reds.
Sam Parsons came on for a visibly moved Pedley as he took his leave from the field of play for the final time. With the final whistle all the players came over to Pedley dedicating the win to their departing teammate.
With four wins on the trot Redruth will travel in good heart up the A30 next Saturday for the Cornish derby against Launceston at Polson Bridge. The season of goodwill is not just yet upon us!
Redruth 37 pts: tries Cooper, Fuca (2), Penberthy; conversion Penberthy; penalties Penberthy (5)
Worthing 22 pts: tries Miles, Redmayne (2); conversions
MacLean (2); penalty MacLean
Yellow Cards: Hewson (31), Nielson (57)
Redruth: B Rule; T Notman, C Bonds (capt), T Cooper (P Thirlby 60), N Pedley (S Parsons 77); A Penberthy, G Goodfellow; D Jacques (C Williams 8), D Semmens (D Clackworthy 56), P Joyce; D Cook, L Collins; C Fuca, O Hambly, T Duncan (B Fox 48)
Worthing: M McLean; J Maslen, P Dunckley, D Clayton, A
Neilsen; O Luke, J Govett; P Cleveland, M Miles (capt), J Burns (R
Bruce 73); W Stutchbury, M Stubbs; S Hewick, J Heaver (K Dawson
70), J Redmayne
Replacements (not used): F Iraizoz, S Costigan, A Wilcoxon
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Chris Fuca
Redruth’s director of rugby, Dave Penberthy, was a happy man after the emotionally charged win of his side in Nathan Pedley’s final game for the club. “It was a great way for him to go out and he almost got in down in the Frame Hospitality Corner”. Penberthy added. “We had a very emotional talk from skipper Craig Bonds before the game which had a few of us in the changing room in tears. Peds said he would give everything in his last game and all he wanted from his team was the same commitment.
“In the first half we were a little slack and we missed a few one-on-one tackles again, but in the second half we made up for it, and I thought the performance from everyone in the second period was absolutely superb. They were a side that we felt we had some unfinished business with from our earlier encounter, so the manner of our win made it that little bit sweeter.
“We are developing that little bit of arrogance. We are not just sitting back and taking everything that other teams throw at us, we are on the offensive now, standing up for ourselves and you can see that by the way the younger players are playing, that they are growing in confidence and it bodes well for the future”.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s return encounter against Launceston at Polson Bridge, Penberthy said. “I am really pleased to have taken twenty points from our last four games, it takes us into next week game at Launceston. The form book goes out of the window on these occasions. We have never won there in the league. It’s going to be a tough, tough day. We are happy where we are now and will look forward to next week.”
He could well be faced with one or two selection problems. “We didn’t consider Jamie Semmens this week as he still has a little bit of a tweak, but he will be back in the mix next week. Tom Cooper returns to the Cornish Pirates for their British & Irish Cup game against Cross Keys. Hopefully we will keep hold of Aaron (Penberthy). There is a possibility that he could also be called up for that game. The other big doubt that we will have to sweat on this week will be Darren Jacques (twisted knee). He’s a resilient chap who will look to get himself fit. Sam Parsons gives us options in the backline and we also have young Luke Johnson, who’s still in the colts but is a talented footballer and has a promising future”.
Bravely spurning a last-gasp chance to draw this return National Two South clash at Cribbs Causeway with a penalty goal, the All Blacks went for the win – and just failed as they lost 24-21 to Clifton.
Both defences were rock solid and it was ding-dong, end-to-end stuff with the scores neck-and-neck.
The visitors attacked determinedly into the home 22 in the final minute. Clifton desperately infringed and the All Blacks were awarded a kickable penalty which would have earned them the draw. However, they elected to go for a try from a catch-and-drive. They knocked on and Clifton cleared from the scrum.
The All Blacks opened the scoring in the third minute, full-back Kieron Lewitt kicking the first of three penalties and a conversion.
Clifton levelled within a couple of minutes through a penalty from fly-half Gareth Knox for the first of four penalties and a conversion.
The All Blacks lost influential number eight Mike Rawlings, who had made a tremendous 25-yard break which would have ended in a try but for a final pass going astray, to the sin-bin before skipper and flanker Tom Rawlings and tighthead Bruce Pow went off injured.
This seemed to unsettle the All Black scrummage and Clifton led 18-3 by the 35th minute, thanks to tries by Thomas Pool and William Pomphrey, plus a Knox penalty.
The All Blacks narrowed it to 18-8 by the break with a try from lock Ben Hilton after a ferocious drive by the pack.
It was more of the same from the restart with the All Blacks now attacking powerfully. Lewitt fired over his second and third penalties in quick succession to cut the lead to 18-14 before Knox sent over his third penalty on the hour.
With five minutes to go, the All Blacks crossed, the pack again driving ferociously and scrum-half Lewis Webb twisting his way over. Lewitt added the extras to make it 21-21.
With two minutes left, Knox's final penalty from wide out seemed to have settled it before the awarding of the penalty to the All Blacks which brought no reward.
Captain Tom Rawlings said: "The option to go for the try at the end was the right one, but unfortunately it didn't come off. Really we should have beaten them. We had the chances. Of course, my and Bruce Pow's going off did make some difference. It meant that in the scrum we perhaps lacked that extra bit of necessary experience."
Director of rugby Simon Owens praised Will Norton who came on for Pow in the front row and did well in his 60 minutes.
Clifton: Roberts; Karyiannis, Golledge, Gadd, Pomphrey;
Knox, Smee; Davis, Evans (Tanner 47), Caulfield; Wilkes, Barry
(Purcell 55); Tovey (capt), Pool, Levis
Replacements (not used): Davies, Venn, Smith
Yellow card: Golledge 66
Clifton scorers: tries Pool, Pomphrey; conversion Knox; penalties Knox 4
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Struminski (Bright 14-18,
65), Paterson, Yeo (Lightfoot-Brown 73), Caton; Murphy, Webb;
Hurdwell, Salter, Pow (Norton 22); Chambers, Hilton; Lord, T
Rawlings (capt) (Tripcony 16), M Rawlings
Replacement (not used): Meredith
Yellow card: M Rawlings
All Blacks' scorers: Tries Hilton, Webb; conversion Lewitt; penalties Lewitt (3)
Referee: G Steele-Bodger (RFU)A
The Cornish All Blacks deservedly got their revenge for the defeat at Redruth earlier in the season at a freezing Polson Bridge, reports Bill Hooper.
As expected it was a tough uncompromising affair, dominated by the forwards in the heavy conditions.
Redruth should have made more of their domination during the opening 30 minutes, especially when they enjoyed a man advantage following the yellow card of All Blacks lock Damien Chambers on 22 minutes for throwing a punch.
However, all they had to show for their efforts was a 14th minute penalty kicked by fly-half Aaron Penberthy: it was to prove insufficient.
The All Blacks struck crucially either side of half-time, firstly from a try scored by hooker Jamie Salter, following a series of driving mauls on the Redruth line. Full-back Kieron Lewitt added the conversion, giving his side an improbable 7-3 half-time lead.
The Launceston full back then kicked a 42nd minute penalty to put his side ten points up and leave the Reds chasing the game.
The home side were visibly lifted, putting Redruth under greater pressure in the second period.
Man-of-the-match flanker Mike Rawlings was having a stormer in the back row, as was lock Ben Hilton, who was making a real nuisance at the breakdown. Salter seemed to be in the thick of all the action.
Also fly-half Jake Murphy kept his side on the front foot by kicking well for territory.
The match was decided on 54 minutes as the All Blacks scored the second crucial try through prop Paul Andrew, on loan from the Cornish Pirates. Lewitt's conversion left the Reds needing two converted tries to draw level.
It was to prove an insurmountable mountain to climb on an increasingly heavy pitch.
Both sides missed chances as the game went into the final quarter. However, Lewitt put the result beyond doubt with a second penalty on 72 minutes.
To their credit Redruth rallied. Centre Paul Thirlby was held up over the line, but moments later he squeezed in at the Polson Bridge corner, and Penberthy kicked a fine touchline conversion to give the Reds the whiff of a losing bonus point.
The Cornish All Blacks had other ideas and ran down the clock to take the honours in the battle of Polson and give their supporters an early Christmas present.
Fortress Polson Bridge remained intact at the weekend as the Cornish All Blacks once again repelled Redruth at home to take a deserved 20-10 National League Two South victory.
The Launceston men prevented in-form Redruth from achieving their first-ever league win at Polson with a smart display, equally reliant on both brains and brawn.
Home tries either side of the break from Jamie Salter and on-loan Cornish Pirate Paul Andrew visibly drained the Reds, who dominated early possession and territory with little to show for it.
In the end, as so often in the past, Redruth departed from Launceston empty-handed despite a late consolation try for Paul Thirlby, with fly-half Aaron Penberthy kicking a conversion to go with his early penalty.
The young number ten has been a revelation this season, growing in authority and confidence since being loaned back to Redruth after his move to the Pirates in the summer – but it was the boots of All Blacks' Kieron Lewitt and Jacob Murphy who played a greater role on this occasion.
Full-back Lewitt smartly took the penalty points when they were on offer while Murphy gained hard yards for his side throughout, kicking accurately for touch, safe in the knowledge his excellent lock Ben Hilton could claim line-out ball at crucial times.
Redruth were equally unsettled by the potency of the All Blacks' pack. The Launceston front row not only provided the tries but also plenty of drive up against what their coach Tony Roques described in his programme notes as "the best scrum in the league".
The hosts did supremely well to restrict Redruth's early advances. Penberthy kicked a penalty to the corner in the opening three minutes but his side were then unable to push their way over for a try.
A second penalty, this time in a more central position, was later kicked through the posts, but another ten minutes inside the All Blacks' 22 failed to yield a single point.
That frustration continued even when the All Blacks were reduced to 14 men following Damien Chambers' yellow card for an off-the-ball scuffle.
The game first began to turn the All Blacks' way when winger Richard Bright took Redruth scrum-half Greg Goodfellow's deep high kick well and slipped past three on-rushing Reds to set his side on the attack.
Murphy slipped as he attempted to side-step past visiting full-back Brett Rule but the subsequent drive allowed Salter to score from close-range with Lewitt converting.
An uncharacteristically poor pass from Goodfellow allowed home winger Aron Struminski a chance to race clear at the start of the second half. And although Goodfellow chased back with astonishing pace to rectify his error, Lewitt was soon able to extend the All Blacks' advantage by three points with a penalty.
There seemed little way back for the visitors when Andrew was driven over the line just short of the hour mark and even a losing bonus point looked out of reach when Lewitt supplemented the conversion with a late penalty.
However, a late burst saw Thirlby held up over the try line before he eventually crashed over near the left corner flag. Penberthy struck an excellent conversion but it was not enough to salvage anything meaningful from the game.
The All Blacks, meanwhile, certainly warranted nothing less than their four league points.
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Struminski, Yeo, Patterson,
Bright (Caton 70); Murphy, Webb (capt) (Lightfoot-Brown 53);
Hurdwell (Norton 59), Salter, Andrew (Meredith 79); Chambers
(Carrick-Smith 61), Hilton; Lord, M Rawlings, Tripcony
Yellow Card Chambers (22)
Redruth: B Rule; Notman, Bonds, Thirlby, Parsons (Johnson 70); Penberthy, Goodfellow; Williams, D Semmens (Clackworthy 56), Joyce (Tresidder 70); Cook, Fuca (Morgan 70); Fox, Hambly, Duncan (Bailey 68)
Cornish All Blacks scorers: tries Salter, Andrew; conversions Lewitt (2); penalties Lewitt (2)
Redruth scorers: try Thirlby; conversion Penberthy; penalty Penberthy
Referee: Richard Kelly (RFU)
A bonus point victory gave a bumper Mennaye Field crowd the perfect Christmas present as the Cornish Pirates claimed up to third place in the Championship table, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates had the perfect start with their first try after just 34 seconds as Rob Cook charged down Mark Lee's attempted clearance and raced through to claim a simple score.
Cook converted his try but the Pirates let their lead slip after just six minutes as flanker Herbie Stupple barged through the middle of a ruck just five metres from the home line before stretching to score. Paul Roberts's conversion levelled the score.
Two Cook penalties and a third from Grant Pointer, struck from half-way, extended the lead again to 16-7 as Albion lost Aaron Carpenter to the sin bin on the half hour.
Moments later Cook claimed his second try as he latched onto Gavin Cattle's perfectly weighted chip ahead. Two minutes into stoppage time Albion hooker Gareth Evans was yellow carded for fighting.
Despite the man advantage the Pirates were unable to build on their 21-7 lead and Albion reduced the arrears themselves after 50 minutes as Rupert Freestone crossed from close range for their second try.
Evans was sent off on the hour after a high tackle on Cattle as any Albion revival fell apart and two late Rhodri McAtee tries finally put the gloss on a hard-fought win for the Cornish Pirates.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Evans, Pointer, Locke (Cooper 52), D.Doherty, Thomas, Cattle (capt) (J.Doherty 76), Andrew (Rimmer 59), Ward, Paver (Brits 72), Smith (Morgan 52), Myerscough (Cowan 69), Marriott, Burgess (Cowan-Dickie 76), Maidment
Pirates' scorers: tries Cook (2), McAtee (2); cons Cook (2); pens Cook (3), Pointer
Plymouth Albion: Lee, Johns, Armitage, Fisilau, Lewis
(Bailey 54), Roberts, Rowley, Andrew (L.Cowan-Dickie 65), Evans
(sin-bin 40-50, sent-off 58), Hopkins (Dugard 80+2), Hotson
(Lockley 65), Stephen, Stupple (Freestone 63), Hocking (Freestone
41-51, Sprangle 62), Carpenter (sin-bin 30-40)
Replacement (not used): Cushion
Albion scorers:tries Stupple, Freestone; con Roberts
Yellow Cards: Evans, Carpenter; Sent off Evans
Referee L.Pearce (RFU)
Four first-half tries from Bedford Blues condemned the Cornish Pirates to their fifth defeat of the Championship campaign as the Goldington Road outfit completed a regular season league double over Chris Stirling's side.
In front of a bumper holiday crowd, both teams started brightly and a high-scoring game looked on the cards but by half-time, with the Pirates trailing 29-8 and the bonus point in the bag for the home side, the result was decided.
A brighter second-half performance from the Cornish side briefly hinted at an unlikely turnaround, but they struggled to turn possession into points, leaving their high performance manager honest in his post-match assessment.
Stirling said: "Three defensive errors in the first half cost us. I was pleased with the application and commitment in the second half, but some of the attacking and decision-making was poor."
Bedford went ahead after five minutes as impressive Saracens loanee Henry Staff found space down the right flank to attack, linking well with Jake Sharp for the first try. Then Josh Bassett broke free in midfield after some confusion in the Pirates' defence and raced clear for his 11th try of the season. James Pritchard converted to make it 12-0.
Good work by the Pirates' forwards set up a close-range score for Dave Ward after a line-out and catch-and-drive move, before a Rob Cook penalty cut the Blues' lead back to just four points. But Bedford roared back and hit the Pirates with another quick-fire double salvo to secure their four-try bonus after just 35 minutes.
Scrum-half Darryl Veenendaal took a superb inside pass from lock Ale Rae to sprint home and then flanker Sacha Harding rounded off a sustained period of forwards power on the Pirates' line to get his name on the score-sheet.
Pritchard converted both tries and fly-half Jake Sharp then landed an audacious 40-metre drop goal to leave the Blues 29-8 up at the break.
The Pirates were much better after the break as they tried to control through better kicking from Ceiron Thomas. But a Pritchard penalty five minutes into the second half extended the home lead by another three.
Thomas was eventually withdrawn with Rob Cook moving to fly-half and Matt Evans taking over at full-back, even though Chris Morgan had added a second Pirates' try from close-range.
Pritchard missed two late penalties for the Blues and a fine try-saving tackle from David Vincent halted Doherty just short of the home line.
Bedford Blues: Pritchard (capt), Vincent, Burke (Vass 64), Staff, Bassett, Sharp (Lennard 72), Veenendaal (Liebenberg 72); Steenkamp (Seal 75), Cochrane (Locke 78), Seal (Boulton 55), Howard (Tupai 55), Rae (Johnson 66), Gillanders, Harding, Barrell
Bedford scorers: tries: Starff, Bassett, D Veenendaal, Seal; cons Pritchard (3); drop-goal Sharp; pen Pritchard
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Evans, Cooper (Pointer 53), D Locke, D Doherty, Thomas (Kessell 67), Cattle (capt), Andrew (Rimmer 59) Ward (Cowan-Dickie 72), Paver (Fairbrother 72), Smith, Myerscough (Cowan 53), Morgan, Burgess, Maidment (Ewers 72)
Pirates' scorers: tries: Ward, Morgan; pen Cook
Referee: S Lee (RFU)
It was still some way short of a complete, 80-minute performance, but Cornish Pirates' 26-24 Championship victory over Nottingham yesterday was a morale-boosting return to form at just the right time.
Last week's 32-13 defeat at Bedford Blues put the Cornish side's title credentials into perspective and a win was essential to maintain their place in the top-four as the play-offs draw ever closer.
Tries from Blair Cowan, Grant Pointer and David Doherty helped see the Pirates clear of highly-rated Nottingham yesterday, although it came down to Rob Cook's steady nerve with the boot, kicking a decisive penalty to win the game.
Forwards coach Ian Davies said: "We spoke all week about how Bedford ran harder, tackled harder and worked harder than us last week. That's what the focus was this time. The result was important but it was more about putting those three things right.
"We saw that determination from everybody today. The result was not secure until right at the end but I think the set-piece was dominant enough. We certainly exerted pressure in the second half and got our rewards.
"We were a little bit too frantic in the first half and we were trying to do too much. We gave away some daft penalties through a little bit of over-eagerness, but it was a true result by the end."
Notttingham took advantage of an early Pirates infringement near the hosts' ten-metre line, allowing fly-half James Alridge to kick his side ahead. The Pirates maintained possession but struggled to break through the visitors' defence as individual errors mounted.
A long-range penalty for Pointer could have levelled the scores, but his kick drifted wide of the left post.
Nottingham were quicker and sharper when playing through their backs and extended their lead in the 18th minute when winger Alex Lewington found space on the right and sprinted clear to the line, with Alridge converting.
The Pirates finally got themselves off the mark midway through the first half as Cook struck a 30-metre penalty.
After gaining hard yards through their forwards and then kicking a penalty to touch, they failed to complete an accurate line-out. Nottingham cleared and the Pirates came again, but this time the Cornishmen knocked on when taking the ball into contact.
Mistakes such as those were frustrating, but surrendering possession in their own 22 proved even more costly. Nottingham stole possession and the influential Alridge fed Juan Pablo Socino to his right. The centre then supplied a perfectly timed pass outside to Tim Streather to round the posts and score, with Alridge converting once more.
The hosts regrouped and set up a drive inside the Nottingham 22 with seconds remaining in the first half. Visiting lock Filipo Levi repeatedly brought Pirates' move down but the hosts advanced past the try line regardless, with Cowan getting the touch.
Levi was shown a yellow card and flanker Brett Wilson then joined Levi in the sin-bin within two minutes of the restart for a dangerous tackle.
Cook punished that infringement with an accurate penalty, leaving his side just four points adrift and they increased the tempo thereafter. The pressure built and Pointer finished a sharp move by crossing in the right corner.
Nottingham, however, dragged themselves back in front within seconds of Levi and Wilson's return. Sione Kalamfoni's bruising run through to round the posts left several Pirates on the deck and Alridge compounded their misery by adding the extras.
The Pirates still looked dangerous every time they entered the Nottingham 22 and as more men were drawn to help stem the hosts' drive to the line, play was redirected out to David Doherty on the left for well-finished, but unconverted, try.
The decisive moment came in the 67th minute when Cook's long kick down field was fielded by Levi. He failed to clear the danger and was penalised for holding on, allowing Cook to put the Pirates ahead with the penalty.
There was still much to do but the Pirates held their collective nerve to take the points. They face Nottingham again in the British and Irish Cup quarter-finals on January 22 after a league trip to Esher.
Cornish Pirates: Cook; McAtee, Pointer, Locke (Hill 38), D Doherty; Thomas (Penberthy 60), Cattle (capt); Andrew (Rimmer 60), Ward, Paver (Andrew 79); Myerscough, Nimmo; Cowan, Morgan, Maidment (Marriott 68). Replacements (not used): Cowan-Dickie, Smith, J Doherty
Pirates' scorers: tries Cowan, Pointer, D Doherty; conversion Cook; penalties Cook (3)
Nottingham: Savage; Lewington, Streather, Socino, Cobden;
Alridge, Romans (Barnham 68); Parr (Holford 30), Duffy, Sheilds
(Prescott 51); Hammond (Cooper 68), Levi; Kalamafoni, Wilson, De
Carpenter (Morley 51)
Replacements (not used): Taylor, Munro
Nottingham scorers: tries Lewington, Streather,
Kalamfoni; conversions Alridge (3); penalties Alridge
Yellow cards: Levi, Wilson
Referee: R Campbell
With the final kick of the match, with almost ten minutes of time added on by referee Jonathan Healy, Redruth fly-half Brett Rule coolly kicked the winning conversion to give his side the win which for long periods of the game seemed unlikely, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
Rule, called up to the fly-half berth following Aaron Penberthy's recall by the Cornish Pirates, had a fine all round game and it was fitting that he should kick the winning points.
Redruth had much to contend with during the game: tough opponents in Dings CFrusaders, ably marshalled at fly half by Mitch Burton who kicked 18 points for his side with five penalties and a drop-goal, and a referee who struggled to impose his authority on the game!
Rule spurned an early opportunity to put points on the board as his first penalty attempt struck the post.
Burton kicked a couple of penalties to put Dings 6-0 up, before Redruth's scrum-half and man of the match Greg Goodfellow gave his side just the fillip they needed with a great solo try. Breaking from a scrum on the Reds' ten metre line, the Scotsman's jinking run took him under the posts for a memorable try. Rule's conversion put the Reds into the lead.
Thoughts that Redruth would build on the score were quickly squashed as Burton dropped a goal to re-gain the lead for the visitors and then flanker Elliot Goodman followed up a kick into space to score a try in the Piggy Lane corner.
On the half-hour mark Burton kicked a third penalty for a ten point lead -- 17-7 to Dings.
Frustrations soon boiled over with the first handbags. Redruth, despite being under pressure, held out to half-time.
Despite playing down the slope and with the breeze, Redruth fell further behind early in the second half as Burton once again punished the Reds.
Rule cut the deficit to just ten points with a penalty on 53 minutes. However, Burton restored his side's 13 point advantage with a fifth penalty following the sin binning of both try scorers, Goodfellow and Goodman, for fighting.
Redruth threw everything at Dings as the game entered its final ten minutes. Pressure at the scrum near the visitors' line saw the referee award a penalty-try to the Reds, Rule's conversion making it 17-23.
Back came the Reds, camped on the Dings line, opting for five scrums as the visitors infringed time after time! Replacement hooker Matt Hudd was shown the yellow card as the visitors went down to 14 men.
With the final play of the game it looked like No.8 Tom Duncan had scored the try to give the Reds a lifeline. Thankfully the referee, after consulting his assistant, gave the score, allowing Rule to kick the winning conversion.
Redruth 24 pts: tries Goodfellow, penalty-try, Duncan;
conversions Rule (3); penalty Rule
Yellow Card: Goodfellow (60)
Dings Crusaders 23 pts: try Goodman; penalties Burton
(5); drop-goal Burton
Yellow Cards: Goodman (60), Hudd (78)
Referee: Mr. J Healy (RFU)
A below-par Cornish All Blacks snatched an 18-12 victory four minutes from time in Saturday's National Two South return clash with bottom club Westcombe Park at Goddington Dene.
Their performance in the first half – error-strewn with dropped balls, missed tackles and poor decisions – smacked of post-Christmas blues.
They trailed 12-3 at half-time and had stayed in touch largely due to a sterling display from the back row of Josh Lord, Mike Rawlings and James Tripcony.
Assistant coach Cliff Rainford said of openside flanker Rawlings: "He had the best 80 minutes I've seen him have this season. In fact, the whole of the back row played well and kept us in it."
The Orpington club, down to 14 men from the 11th minute when lock Nick Coles was red-carded for head-stamping, played with huge spirit and determination, and, with full-time looming, the All Blacks were still a point adrift.
Full dominance over Westcombe's seven-man pack was only achieved after a stern interval talking-to.
The All Blacks came out all guns blazing and attacked with a will, but their efforts were spoiled by poor finishing and Westcombe hung on to their lead until the 76th minute.
The All Blacks won a line-out in the home 22 and set up a well-controlled driving maul. Westcombe pulled it down but from the re-set, the All Blacks again drove unstoppably towards the line and hooker Jamie Salter – another who had a fine game – got the vital touchdown.
Full-back Kieron Lewitt, fast earning a reputation as a kicker with an unerring boot, added the simple conversion, and a valuable away win had been bagged at the 11th hour.
However, if the ending was satisfactory, the beginning was not. Westcombe seemed inspired and, if they inevitably struggled in the tight, they still harried and hassled.
By the start of the second quarter, they had earned just reward. Flanker George Blomfield had twice surged past poor tackles towards the line from halfway, with number eight Jon West crossing.
Fly-half Luke Giles added the extras to the second score and, with these tries sandwiching a superb penalty wide out from 40 metres by Lewitt, Westcombe were deservedly ahead 12-3. They did not score again.
The All Blacks' second-half resolve saw them inexorably narrow the gap. Lewitt landed an easy second penalty and then wing Richard Bright scorched away to link with Lewitt and, with the centres up in support, the full-back sent Lewis Paterson in to touch down just a whisker from the corner-flag to make it 12-11.
Rainford said: "The three weeks off at Christmas made a difference and it took us 40 minutes to get our game heads on. But we took charge in the second half and should have had another three scores."
Westcombe Park: O'Neill (Toms 78); Leeper (Fuller 57), Davies, Hough, Hockedy; Giles, Edwards; McKinnell, Fry (Barton 77), Bellinger (Rainford 70); Coles, Wright (Clarke 51); Barton (capt) (Marshall 70), Blomfield, West
Park scorers: tries West (2); conversion Giles
Red card: Coles 11; yellow card: Edwards
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Bright (Caton 70), Yeo,
Paterson, Struminski; Murphy, Webb (capt) (Lightfoot-Brown 61);
Hurdwell, Salter, Norton (Bayliss 53); Carrick-Smith, Hilton; Lord,
M Rawlings, Tripcony (Lloyd 75)
Replacement (not used): Meredith
All Blacks' scorers: tries Paterson, Salter; conversion
Lewitt; penalties Lewitt (2)
Yellow card: Hilton
Referee: M Carley (RFU)
The Cornish Pirates came from behind three times at Molesey Road to beat a dogged Esher side in a nine-try thriller in the Championship, writes Dick Straughan.
The Surrey outfit led 17-0 at the end of the first quarter as the Pirates faltered, conceding tries from wing Charlie Walker and lock Matt Symons.
But with fly-half Aaron Penberthy growing in confidence and directing the pack with ever increasing effectiveness they got back into the game with converted tries from Paul Andrew and Chris Morgan late in the half.
Wing David Doherty punished slack Esher defending, running in his twelfth try of the season from half-way after 38 minutes to edge the Pirates into a 19-17 lead. But indiscipline from the restart resulted in a penalty for Esher, converted by Mark Atkinson.
Cook restored the Pirates' advantage early in the second half with a penalty following an offside call, but a good break down the right flank by Esher full-back Ross Chisholm resulted in their third try as he gathered his own chip ahead.
With lock Laurie McGlone sin-binned the Pirates conceded again, this time from Jamie Mackenzie, but on the hour a piece of brilliance from Penberthy shifted the momentum once again.
With little on in midfield he chipped over the Esher defence and raced through to touchdown as the home side looked on. Cook converted.
Trailing by a point with five minutes to go a fine piece of skill by Tom Kessell on the right touchline unleashed the Pirates' backs as they shipped the ball at pace to the opposite flank and David Doherty was on hand to finish again.
Cook converted and the Pirates survived a frantic finale to claim maximum league points.
Esher: Chisholm, P.Mackenzie, Cheeseman (capt),
Cruickshanks, Walker, Atkinson, J.Mackenzie (Garner 73), Millard,
Campbell, Collier (Nebbett 73), Symons, Inglis, Goodman, Stitcher,
Replacements (not used): Renwick, Doherty, Corrigan, Griffiths, Little
Esher scorers: tries Walker, Symons, Chisholm, J.Mackenzie; cons Atkinson (2); pens Atkinson (2)
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Evans, Pointer (Cooper 41), Hill, D.Doherty, Penberthy, J.Doherty (Kessell 66), Andrew (Rimmer 59), Cowan-Dickie (Ward 50), Brits (Fairbrother 66), Nimmo, Smith (McGlone 50, sin-bin 54-64), Marriott (capt), Walker-Blair (Morgan 22), Maidment T
Pirates' scorers: tries D.Doherty (2), Penberthy, Andrew,
Morgan; cons Cook (4); pen Cook
Yellow Card: McGlone
Referee: M.Tutty (RFU)
The All Blacks found themselves 7-0 down within 26 seconds of kick-off – and skipper Tom Rawlings said: "You just can't afford to start a game like that."
It set the pattern of the match. The Cornishmen trailed throughout, were behind 17-9 at the interval, and, if they mounted a spirited comeback in the second half which saw them come close to snatching victory at the death, the best side on the day won.
The All Blacks will have derived little consolation from their loser's bonus point and from preventing their opponents getting an extra point.
"We clawed a bit back but were still down at half-time," said Rawlings. "I think we tackled too high too. But they were a good side and different from the one we came close to beating up there. We did beat them in the second half but then we lost that crucial line-out when they scored."
The home pack, particularly the front row combinations, played well.
Jake Murphy is looking more and more the real thing at fly-half, the replacements all did the business, and fullback Kieron Lewitt looks to have a laser-beam attached to his boot, so accurate has his goal-kicking become – he landed all three of his first half penalty shots and converted his side's two tries.
That said, the start was disastrous. From loose play in midfield, Shelford got possession, broke through some weak tackling with startling ease, wing Shingai Chiwanga shot away and passed inside to Pecell Nacamavuto, and the centre crossed near the posts for fly-half Harry Owens to kick the extras. 7-0.
Within eight minutes, All Black counter-attacks led to Lewitt landing two penalties (for offside and coming in at the side) and narrowing Shelford's lead to one point. The rest of the half was ding-dong with the visitors' big rangy backs always looking dangerous, particularly on the counter. Owens and Lewitt traded successful penalties before the Cambridge club got their second try, wing Taniela Bakoso twisting his way through a half-formed maul and more poor tackling to touch down and put his side into a 17-9 half-time lead.
From the restart, this was extended to what looked like a commanding 24-9 advantage.
After a yellow card apiece, the All Blacks went up a gear. Shelford didn't score again and the Cornishmen laid siege to their line for ten minutes at a time. The pack took control and after a series of rucks and re-set scrums, a penalty try was awarded to make it 24-16 with 11 minutes left. Again the All Blacks ran the ball and the forwards pounded the Shelford line. A scrum in the 22 and Murphy shot away to release centre Lewis Paterson on his shoulder to cross triumphantly at the posts. 24-23.
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Struminski, Paterson, Yeo (Webb 52), Bright (Caton 68); Murphy, Lightfoot-Brown; Hurdwell (Mathias 52), Salter, Bayliss (Norton 52); Carrick-Smith, Hilton; M Rawlings, T Rawlings (capt), Tripcony (Lloyd 52)
All Blacks' scorers: tries penalty try, Paterson;
conversions Lewitt (2); penalties Lewitt (3)
Yellow card: Murphy
Shelford: Barnard; Bakoso, Nacamavuto, G Anderson,
Chiwanga; H Owens, Baker; M Anderson, Conroy (capt), Armitage
(Gregerson 68); Grey, Hall; Ransom (Jackowski 72), Hoad, Lea
Replacements (not used): J Owens, W Anderson, Grabowski
Shelford scorers: tries Nacamavuto, Bakoso, Grey;
conversions H Owens (3); penalty H Owens
Yellow card: Hoad
Referee: Mr Jonathan Healy (RFU)
A day after announcing he will be stepping down as director of rugby at the end of the season, David Penberthy was proud of the spirit the Reds showed in a 32-22 National League Two South defeat at Henley.
"It was quite an emotional dressing room before the game, with me stepping down at the end of the season. The players are doing it for me and I am humbled by that," said Penberthy.
"The performance today was superb and if they can do that for the rest of the season, then I will be a happy man.
"We had a slow start as we always do and we were exposed out wide but fair play, from 17-3 down when we were staring down the barrel at a bit of a hammering, the boys picked themselves up. I thought we deserved more than we got."
Redruth had a torrid opening quarter after Henley went ahead in the first minute with a massive surge from a catch-and-drive, giving James Winterbottom an easy touchdown.
Some strong scrummaging and the powerful bursts of Tom Duncan kept the Reds in the game until the 18th minute, when Brett Rule put over a penalty from in front of the posts following an offside offence.
Two tries largely down to poor tackling in a three-minute spell left Redruth reeling and 17-3 down after 23 minutes as Henley, with the powerful running of skipper Tom Allen from full-back, looked set to run away with the game.
With Greg Goodfellow working hard to get his forwards into the game, Redruth enjoyed a long spell in the Henley 22 as the interval approached but as they looked set to score turned the ball over under the crossbar.
Henley made the most of their good fortune in first-half stoppage time when good passing opened up acres of space for Christoph Bart to run in his second score and claim the bonus point.
Redruth stayed out on the pitch at half-time, showing their intent. A couple of minutes into the second half, driving forward play saw Darren Jacques go over for a try that Brett Rule converted.
With Owen Hambly moving out to the centre, Redruth looked more solid in the three-quarter line and some good movement ended with Dean Bonds racing down the right hand touchline to dive over in the corner to bring the Reds right back into the game with 49 minutes on the clock.
Henley appeared to benefit from an undetected knock on in midfield just before James Comben went over for a try after 57 minutes. Five minutes later, they put the game out of reach when another flowing move ended with prop Alex Penny crashing over for an unconverted try.
Redruth had the better of the final quarter, with Jacques going over for his second try after taking the ball at pace. Rule added the extras but Redruth could not get another score that would have brought two bonus points back to the Recreation ground.
Henley: Allen (capt); Bart, Cheesman, James, Baggett;
Comben, Gaunt (Holmes 55); Milford-Scott (Hepburn 61), Church
(Brennan 69), Penny (Milford-Smith 79), Downing, Winterbottom,
Sutton (Crossland 55), Newman, Wodward
Replacements (not used): Haynes
Henley scorers: tries Bart (2), Winterbottom, Newman, Comben, Penny; conversion: Comben
Redruth: D Bonds; Notman, C Bonds (capt), Parsons,
Johnson (Morgan 46); Rule, Goodfellow; Jacques, Tresidder (Brown
46), Joyce (C P Williams 59), Cook, Bailey, Fuca, Hambly,
Replacements (not used): C E Williams, Allen
Reds' scorers: tries Jacques (2), D Bonds; conversions Rule (2); penalty Rule
Referee: P Kimber (RFU)
Redruth completed a league double over visitors Lydney, outscoring the Forest of Dean side six tries to two in a well-deserved and entertaining win.
Having faced the stiff breeze during the first half, the Reds were well placed at half-time, leading 10 - 8. Two quick tries scored early in the second half effectively sealed the result, much to the pleasure of Director of Rugby Dave Penberthy. He said: "It's always good to get five points, but the manner in which we did, especially during the second half, was applaudable to the players. First half was a little disappointing with regard to our handling, but the conditions out there were difficult, the breeze was very strong. Second half we came out and scored two quick tries, which gave us the bonus point and effectively killed off the game".
Most pleasing for Penberthy was the performance of some of the younger players in the squad, with young winger Dean Bonds getting a brace of tries to add to his touchdown last week at Henley. "He has the makings of a very good player. Last week at Henley, despite scoring he was unhappy with some of his play, but today he more than made up for that and took both his tries very well. With Dean and the other young players we have to look after them and not expose them to too much, too soon. In the ten games I've got left I want to get as many of these lads into the side, as they are the future of the club".
Lydney kicked off playing down the slope. They soon had an early penalty attempt which full back Josh Innes pushed wide of the posts.
The full back was on target shortly after, as he nailed his second attempt at the posts for a 3-0 lead.
Redruth were looking to play their way out of their own territory due to the wind. They succeeded in brilliant fashion when on 13 minutes they broke out of their own twenty-two through centre Sam Parsons. His pass to flanker Chris Fuca saw the Reds' No.6 take the ball on before his clever pass released young Bonds, who streaked in for a try in the Frame Suite corner. Rule couldn't add the conversion, but Redruth's confidence began to grow and the pack began to dominate, with strong carries from prop Darren Jacques and the second row pairing of Damien Cook and Chris Bailey also featuring prominently in the exchanges.
Scrum-half Greg Goodfellow kept his side on the front foot and was a constant danger to Lydney.
A quickly-taken tap penalty near the Lydney line by Fuca saw No.8 Tom Duncan crash over for try number thirteen in the league this season and a useful 10 - 3 lead.
As the half neared its end Lydney looked for a score and they were rewarded with an unconverted try scored by centre Josh Hannam. Sadly for Redruth, the influential Fuca suffered a dislocated shoulder during the lead up to the try.
With the wind at their backs for the second half Redruth set about their task in impressive style.
An early penalty was kicked to the corner and from the catch-and-drive Jacques was driven over for the third Redruth try. Rule kicked a great touchline conversion to add the extras.
Just three minutes later Redruth had the try-scoring bonus point wrapped up as flanker Owen Hambly scored the fourth try after a flowing move, putting Redruth well in command at 22 - 8.
Redruth maintained the pressure and just seven minutes later try number five arrived as Parsons' jinking run from the twenty-two metre line took him to the posts. Rule had simple conversion for the extra two points.
Redruth's final try was another well-crafted score, with Cook, skipper Craig Bonds and Parsons all involved before young Dean Bonds finished off the move for his second try of the game. Rule once again kicked another excellent conversion.
Penberthy decided to bring on some more of the youngsters, with Luke Johnson and Craig "Eggy" Williams coming on for Goodfellow and Thirlby. Williams was soon in the action and was only just stopped short of scoring a seventh Redruth try as the Lydney cover got back in the nick of time.
The visitors managed the final say as winger Taitosi Lakabucka ran out of defence. His mazy run saw him beat a couple of weak attempted tackles to score a fine individual try. Innes added the conversion for a final score of 36 - 15 to Redruth.
Redruth 36 pts: tries D. Bonds (2), Duncan, Jacques, Hambly, Parsons; conversions Rule (3)
Lydney 15 pts: tries Hannam, Lakabucka; conversion Innes; penalty Innes
Redruth: Rule, Notman, C Bonds (capt), Parsons, D Bonds, Thirlby (C P Williams 58), Goodfellow (Johnson 64); Jacques (Clackworthy 54), Tresidder (Brown 50), C Williams, Cook, Bailey, Fuca (Morgan 39), Hambly, Duncan
Lydney: Innes, Kane (Kell 47), Hannam, Bryan, Lakabucka,
C Jones, Doust; Price, Lewis, Selway (Jennings 74), Bashford
(Nelmes 74) , McMahon (capt), Taylor, W Jones, Emery (Fowke 61)
Replacement (not used): Stoneman
Referee: Michael Cooper (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Damien Cook
A tremendous, morale-boosting away win over one of the division's top clubs was heartbreakingly snatched from the All Blacks in the second minute of injury time as they lost 24-16.
Coach Steve Perry said of the National League Two South match in Sussex against third-placed Worthing: "It was coming up to three or four minutes to go and we were leading 16-12.
"We had a scrum on the ten-metre line. We chose to kick and it went dead. The scrum was re-set and then we gave away three penalties around the ruck.
"We were now on our five-metre line and got a yellow card for another offence at the ruck and they scored from a pick-and-go and went ahead.
"And then, partly through poor tackling, they scored from our kick-off, so we missed the bonus point too."
The All Blacks had a strong wind in their faces in the first half. Worthing kicked for position but the visitors defended solidly and restricted their hosts to a 12-3 interval lead.
At the start of the second quarter, Worthing recycled from a line-out and, after a handling move, a ruck and a maul, they kept it tight and wing Alexander Nielsen crossed.
Their second score came five minutes from half-time. In the home half, the All Blacks were penalised for not releasing. Worthing full-back Mathew McLean kicked long close to the visitors' line and after a line-out and several mauls hooker Matthew Miles went over for McLean to convert to make it 12-0.
The All Blacks' only points before the break came from a 30-metre, touchline penalty goal from the metronomic boot of full-back Kieron Lewitt, who went on to score two more penalties and a conversion. For nearly all of the second half, the All Blacks put on a tremendous show – no mistakes, tight possession, relentless attack and good handling, particularly in the backs.
They had scored within four minutes of the restart when fly-half Lewis Webb put in a finely judged cross-kick which was taken on by wing Richard Bright, who rounded two defenders and sent scrum-half James Lightfoot-Brown racing in under the posts.
Either side of the hour, the All Blacks went ahead 13-12 and then 16-12 from Lewitt penalties. Then came Worthing's injury-time double whammy as first flanker Sam Hewick and then replacement number seven Robert Smith crossed.
Worthing: M McLean; Wilcockson (Clayton 69), Richards,
Dunckley, Nielsen; Dudley, Govett (Costigan 69); Cleveland
(Pointing 62), Miles (capt), Burns; Stubbs, McGowan; Hewick, Heaver
(Smith 59), Redmayne
Replacement (not used): Iraizoz
Worthing scorers: tries Nielsen, Miles, Hewick, Smith; conversions McLean (2)
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Bright, Murphy, Paterson,
Struminski; Webb (Yeo 70), Lightfoot-Brown; Mathias, Salter,
Bayliss; Tripcony, Hilton; Lloyd, T Rawlings (capt), M Rawlings
Replacements (not used): Norton, Hurdwell, Duke, Chapman
All Blacks' scorers: try Lightfoot-Brown; conversion
Lewitt; penalties Lewitt (3)
Yellow card: M Rawlings
Referee: R Warburton (RFU)
A strong display from the Cornish Pirates at a rain-sodden Mennaye Field saw them climb above visitors London Welsh in the Championship table as they made it four wins in a row, writes Dick Straughan.
The persistent drizzle and heavy pitch made running rugby a lottery but, after a bright start in which the Welsh took the lead with an 18th minute Alex Davies penalty, the Cornish Pirates' pack took control.
Rob Cook levelled the scores with a place kick almost immediately, before fly-half Aaron Penberthy smashed one over from half-way three minutes later to give the Cornish side a lead they never relinquished.
Power and patience from the Pirates' pack brought two tries late in the half from prop Rudi Brits and hooker Dave Ward, as they built pressure on the London Welsh line and punished a faltering defence.
Cook converted both before a second Welsh penalty from Davies in first half-stoppage time made it 20-6.
The Welsh started the second half positively but strong defence denied good breaks from Hudson Tonga'uiha and Joe Ajuwa, with Andy Short and Rob Cook again to the fore for the home side.
Then, with 50 minutes on the clock, Welsh Number 8 Ed Jackson lost possession midway inside his own half and Gavin Cattle's quick chip down the left flank caused consternation in their defence.
As Davies hesitated, Matt Evans hacked the loose ball on and won the race to claim the third try of the afternoon. Cook's conversion made the home lead unassailable.
In worsening conditions the game became increasingly attritional, as the Welsh ran out of ideas and ultimately steam in the face of a solid Pirates' defence.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, McAtee, Short (Pointer 64), Cooper, Evans, Penberthy (Thomas 56), Cattle (capt) (Kessell 74); Rimmer, Ward (Cowan-Dickie 74), Brits (Paver 56), McGlone, Nimmo (Myerscough 56), Marriott (Smith 74), Burgess, Maidment
Pirates' scorers: tries Brits, Ward, Evans; cons Cook (3); pens Cook, Penberthy
London Welsh: Davies, Gibson (Hurrell 39), Tonga`uiha, Jewell, Ajuwa, Ross (capt) (sin-bin 56-66, Brown 66), R.Lewis (Moates 61); Moss, Nelson (Ma`asi 74), Pittman (Roan 74), Corker (Johnson 66), Purdy, Russell, Hills (Thrower 61), Jackson
Welsh scorers: pens Davies (2)
Yellow Card Ross
Referee J.P.Doyle (RFU)
Two fine tries by Richard Bright helped the Cornish All Blacks return to winning ways with a convincing victory over Southend at Polson Bridge.
It was a nice way to go into this weekend's break from league action, as the All Blacks had previously struggled to find their form since the turn of the year, losing twice and only managing a narrow win at bottom side Westcombe Park.
Southend were dangerous opponents, lying one place behind the All Blacks in the table and having beaten them at Essex earlier in the season, and the Cornishmen held only a 14-10 advantage at the interval.
However, they managed to pull clear in the second half and now lie seventh in the National Two South ladder, 14 points adrift of their one-place-higher Duchy arch-rivals Redruth.
Southend got off to a fine start with a try after only nine minutes. Scrum half Sam Arnott broke from a ruck in the home 22, and he eventually finished off in the corner after an effective maul by his forwards.
The conversion was missed, but Southend continued to play well, and it took until the 28th minute for the All Blacks to get their first points on the scoreboard.
Bright came close to scoring when he was hauled down just short of the line after good work by full back Kieron Lewitt and flying winger Aron Struminski.
But he did manage to cross the whitewash soon after when the ball was fed out from the forwards to Lewitt, who released Bright to race through the visiting defence to score. Lewitt added the extras for a 7-5 lead.
Lewitt and Bright combined again to great effect six minutes later, with the winger scorching clear from halfway and running around the last defender to dot down by the posts, and Lewitt's conversion made it 14-5.
Southend, though, struck back in first-half injury time with a second try, crossing in the corner after they had been awarded a close-range penalty, with lock Andrew McClintock credited with the touchdown.
That gave the All Blacks a narrow 14-10 interval advantage, but the visitors did not score again in the match.
The boot of Lewitt stretched the advantage with penalties in the 54th and 59th minutes, and with the home forwards now dominant, it seemed only a matter of time before another try arrived.
Lewitt slotted his third penalty of the game nine minutes from time, and in the final minute of the match, All Blacks' lock Ben Hilton stole Southend line-out ball and, after several phases of play, his fellow second row forward Jamie Tripcony grabbed a try – his second of the season – with Lewitt making no mistake in adding the extras for a personal 15-point haul.
The All Blacks are next in action on Saturday week, when relegation-threatened Dings Crusaders are the visitors to Polson Bridge, for a 2.30pm kick-off, but the players will not be putting their feet up between now and then.
"It would have been nice to have had another game this weekend to try and keep up this run, but the guys have worked extremely hard since the Christmas break, and it has been quite a tough ride this month, so it is nice to go into the break off the back of a good win," said All Blacks captain Tom Rawlings.
"We will have a tough training session this week, then have the weekend off, and then two hard training sessions leading up to the Dings game."
The Reds' away day blues continued as they went down to their seventh defeat from 10 games on the road this season.
For half an hour Redruth looked the only side likely to win the match, but their failure to get more than five points on the scoreboard cost them as Hartpury ran in two tries just before the interval.
The Reds were a couple of minutes late coming out for the second half and in truth never got back into the game as the College side strolled to a comfortable win.
What changed? Well the Hartpury players were not going to let former Wales assistant coach Allan Lewis leave his Hartpury position on a losing note.
The popular Lewis is moving to become head of the WRU academy from the start of February.
After the match, Lewis recalled fondly how his son Emyr had played half a dozen matches for the Reds three seasons ago, while on loan from Exeter.
Redruth showed spirit in the way their scrambling defence chased back to cut off Rob Dempsey from running in a score with the hosts 28 points clear. Equally, the Reds kept having a go and replacement Craig Williams was tackled into touch at the corner just before another powerful run from Tom Duncan, followed by some good hands, saw Dean Bonds cross for a consolation score with the last play of the game.
And after the game, Redruth's director of rugby David Penberthy felt the Reds failure to take their first half chances was key in his side's defeat.
He said: "Maybe we were lulled into a false sense of security, that was the key. In the first half we had three or four chances and took one, Hartpury had two and took two.
"In the second half Hartpury's kicking game was good, they looked after the ball and kept us on the back foot all of the time. We were beaten by a better side. You cannot argue with that.
"We have got to keep going, this squad of players is what we have got. I was mighty pleased at the end: we had all the youngsters on the field. Mike Allen made his debut and showed up really well for 20 minutes.
"He came to the club aged six and has worked really hard and I am pleased that he has come through like that.
"We have got to pick ourselves up because after a week's break we have leaders Richmond on Saturday week.
"With nine games to go we have got to put all the effort we can to finish in a good position.
"Chris Bailey is getting better and better every week, Tom Duncan again carried well and Paul Thirlby at ten had a strong game.
"We have got to keep working hard. It is the work ethic now and keeping our heads up and putting in performances and finish in the top six."
Playing open rugby made the running in the early stages.
Following a surge by Duncan, Richard Brown was stopped on the line by the full back, before the ball was recycled and quick hands from Greg Goodfellow, Paul Thirlby and Sam Parsons gave Craig Bonds space to stroll over wide out on the right for an unconverted try after nine minutes.
After this Redruth had position and procession, with Chris Bailey having a lively game, but could not add to their score, with Darren Jacques unable to take an inside pass from Goodfellow on the line.
Then, five minutes before the interval when Hartpury kicked long, Redruth dithered in getting the ball away and from the second of two successive scrums, skipper Thomas forced his way over wide out on the right for a try that Craig Jackson converted with a good kick.
On the stroke of half time, following a bulldozing run by Morris that sucked in defenders, Hartpury moved the ball swiftly to the left hand touchline for Dempsey to run in a try that gave them a 12-5 advantage.
At the start of the second period, fly half Gareth Knox touched down for Jackson to add the extras five minutes into the second period.
The game had changed, and the next score was only going to come from Hartpury. Good handling saw Glen Lewis race over for the bonus point try that Jackson again improved to open up a 21 point lead with 25 minutes to go.
Redruth brought on Mike Allen, a tall teenager, and the latest product of the club's mini-junior section, to make his debut in the second row.
He showed good hands, winning ball in the middle of the line out, but the Reds were still on the back foot as Hartpury added tries by Walker and Lewis, both converted by Jackson.
Injuries to skipper Bonds, who limped off with a knee strain, and Parsons, who took heavy blows to the knee and head, will be a concern to the Reds.
In the final play of the game Duncan again made the hard yards and Redruth took advantage with a couple of swift passes giving Dean Bonds the chance to finish in the right hand corner for a consolation score.
The Cornish Pirates made it five wins in a row as they battled past a predictably bruising challenge from Rotherham Titans at Clifton Lane, writes Dick Straughan.
On a chilly wintry afternoon this game went ahead at the fourth time of asking after a series of recent postponements, but it was the Pirates who began the brighter of the sides and took the lead after just two minutes.
Ceiron Thomas's superb penalty kick found the corner and from the resulting lineout and driving maul hooker Dave Ward fought his way over the Titans' line to score.
Rotherham responded with a well-worked try from lock Barney Maddison, converted by Garry Law, but the Pirates regained control and scored their second touchdown just before the half hour. The pack stole a scrum against the head and scrum-half Tom Kessell darted twenty metres to the line.
Thomas landed a brace of penalties just before the break and then a third early in the second half to make it 19-7 to the Pirates, before the Titans responded with their second converted try, this time from former Plymouth Albion forward Robin Copeland.
In a gritty finale played amidst a heavy rain storm both teams had further chances, but the Pirates' defence held firm and ground out a deserved victory on the road.
Rotherham Titans: Foden, Kirwan, Monahan, Nonu, Hamilton,
Law, Williams; Kilbane (Harris 48), Baines (Stagg 62), O`Donnell
(Hooper 39 – 48), Patrick (McCall 48), Maddsion (Vaioleti
62), Dickinson (capt), Dougall (Copeland 48), Taulava
Replacement (not used) Tellwright
Rotherham scorers: tries Maddison, Copeland; cons Law (2)
Cornish Pirates: Evans, Daniel (McAtee 79), Short,
Cooper, Pointer, Thomas, Kessell; Storer (Andrew 68), Ward, Paver,
Nimmo, Smith (Maidment 79), Morgan, Burgess, Marriott
Replacements (not used) Cowan-Dickie, Rimmer, J.Doherty, Penberthy
Pirates' scorers: tries Ward, Kessell; penalties Thomas (3)
Referee M.Tutty (RFU)
A powerful second-half performance from the National League 2 South leaders Richmond saw the visitors consolidate their position at the top of the table and remain on course for the automatic promotion spot to National League 1 at the end of the season, writes Bill Hooper.
A brave Redruth side kept in touch, and indeed led during the first half, but a third try for Richmond just before the break gave them the platform they needed to kick on during the second period.
All five Richmond tries were scored by their pacy backline. It could have been much more but for some dogged Redruth defence.
For Redruth, their injury list continues to grow with Owen Hambly, Chris Instance and Tom Duncan all picking up injuries.
It looked ominous for the Reds early on when Richmond scored their opening try after just three minutes. A good break by centre Duncan Peters was finished off by winger James Greenwood in the Piggy Lane corner, and full back Tom Platt kicked a fine touchline conversion.
Redruth showed good spirit to strike back almost immediately with a penalty by fly-half Brett Rule.
They then grabbed the lead just two minutes later with a fine try scored by centre Sam Parsons following a fine break from scrum-half Craig Goodfellow. Rule was on target with the extras for a 10-7 advantage.
The Reds maintained the momentum with another Rule penalty following a good run by winger Tom Notman.
Platt cut the Reds' lead with a penalty after 18 minutes from in front of the posts as Redruth were guilty of going in at the side.
Further strong running from the visiting backs saw Greenwood go in for his second try, again in the Piggy Lane corner; Platt was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt.
From the re-start Richmond gave away a penalty, which Rule kicked to snatch back the lead at 16-15.
Redruth's hopes of turning around with an advantage were dashed as the ball was turned over close to half-way, allowing Richmond to counter with devastating effect with centre Duncan Peters scoring, Platt's conversion giving his side 22-16 half-time lead.
Richmond began the second half in determined mood to wrap up the try-scoring bonus point.
Having repelled numerous attacks, the Reds' line was finally breached after 50 minutes as fly-half James Brooks took the pass from No.8 Harrison Edwards.
Richmond maintained the pressure, scoring a fifth try just five minutes later through winger Will Browne.
Redruth had one moment to cheer in the second half when a clearance downfield by lock Damien Cook ended up in the hands of winger Dean Bonds, who scored a fine consolation try which Rule converted from the touchline.
Redruth 23 pts: tries Parsons, D Bonds; conversions Rule (2); penalties Rule (3)
Richmond 36 pts: tries Greenwood (2), Peters, Brooks, Browne; conversions Platt (4); penalty Platt
Redruth: C P Williams, Notman, C Bonds (capt), Parsons, D Bonds, Rule, Goodfellow; Jacques, Tresidder (Brown 41), Joyce (C Williams 57), Cook, Collins, Bailey (Allen 61), Hambly (Morgan 18), Duncan (Instance 61)
Richmond: Platt, Browne, Peters, Gregory, Greenwood,
Brooks (Chesters 57), Drewe (Nash 64); Walford, Phipps (Burr 69),
Parkinson, Warden, Davies, George (capt), Abbott (Taylor 61),
Replacement (not used): Lyon
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Redruth man of the match: Brett Rule
The Cornish All Blacks beat Dings Crusaders 18-0, also in Division 2 South.
In the grand scheme of Championship things, yesterday's 18-17 win over Bristol matters little, but the Cornish Pirates ensured they will take a psychological advantage into the end-of-season play-offs.
Bristol will not be caught at the top of the Championship table and will be the team to beat when the second phase of the season begins next month.
However, the Pirates enhanced their prospects of going into the play-offs as the second-seeded side yesterday afternoon. Tries from hooker Dave Ward and lock Ian Nimmo, along with kicks from Rob Cook and Grant Pointer, gave them just enough to see off Bristol at the Mennaye Field.
The Penzance club's forwards coach, Ian Davies, said: "I think it was a huge game for us psychologically. If Bristol had turned us over, they would have done the double over us. We needed a win, no matter how ugly it was."
The Pirates took the lead with a long-range Pointer penalty following a Bristol infringement in midfield. That was the start of a dominant period for the hosts, who strung together multiple phases in a push for the opening score. Fly-half Aaron Penberthy broke into the Bristol 22 with an elusive run coming just short of the line, but he retained possession and Ward supplied the close-range finish before Cook hit the left post with the conversion attempt.
Bristol put together their first fluid passage of play and thought they had scored their first try through Marco Mama in the 23rd minute, but referee Matt Carley spotted a forward pass in the build-up.
The home side lost centre Andrew Short to a shoulder injury midway through the half and Bristol continued their resurgence. They slipped into the Pirates' 22 after some missed tackles and punished the hosts. Centre Luke Eves cut through to the line at the end of a fine backs move for Bristol's opening score, but fly-half Tristan Roberts missed the conversion.
The visitors drew level with a Roberts penalty after the Pirates were penalised for not releasing. A badly-taken restart from Penberthy then put them under further pressure in the lead-up to half time. Indeed, Bristol went ahead with another kick from Roberts before the break. Pointer was taken off at half-time suffering with concussion and was replaced by Tom Kessell.
The hosts were cut open again early in the second half when flanker Henry Vanderglas trundled his way into their half. He was stopped at the cost of a penalty and a yellow card for replacement Matt Evans, and Roberts took the chance to push the visitors' lead to six points with another kick.
The Pirates responded with a Cook penalty that went through off the left post, but the turning point came moments later. A yellow card for lock Mariano Sambucetti, for punching home back-row Phil Burgess, gave the hosts a one-man advantage and they made it pay with a powerful drive for the line, finished by Nimmo.
Cook converted to give them a four-point lead but Bristol fought back with another Roberts penalty to reduce the deficit to a single point.
A tense finale followed but while the Pirates tightened up defensively, further indiscipline from Bristol prevented them from applying late pressure. The visitors replaced both their props for the final ten minutes but front row Darren Crompton's afternoon lasted less than a minute before he was sent to the sin-bin after another scuffle.
The Pirates never looked in danger against Bristol's 14 men, but injuries to Short and Pointer were compounded by the disturbing sight of prop Paul Andrew leaving the pitch on a stretcher at the final whistle with a neck problem.
Cornish Pirates: Cook; Pointer (Kessell 40), Short (Evans
22, 47-57), Cooper, D Doherty; Penberthy (Thomas 70), Cattle
(capt); Storer (Andrew 56), Ward, Paver (Rimmer 71); Smith
(Maidment 61), Nimmo; Morgan, Burgess, Marriott
Replacement (not used): Cowan-Dickie
Pirates' scorers: tries Ward, Nimmo; conversion Cook;
penalties Pointer, Cook
Yellow card: Evans
Bristol: Goodridge; Tovey, Eves, Helu, Williams; Roberts (Jones 69), Tipuna (capt) (Slater 75); Irish (Thompson 72), Johnson (Lawrence 47), Hobson (Crompton 72); Sambucetti (Glynn 69), Townson; Vanderglas, Mama, Montagu (Grieve 69)
Bristol scorers: try Eves; penalties Roberts (4)
Yellow cards: Sambucetti, Crompton
Referee: M Carley (RFU)
Head coach Tony Cook was pleased with a young Redruth side that overcame difficult conditions to record a 15-9 National Two South win at Barnes.
The Reds build on an early Peter Joyce try for their fourth away victory of the season.
"The way we defended in the second half, especially towards the end, was all credit," said Cook.
"We kept the penalties to a minimum in the places where it mattered and we ground out the win.
"We came out after half-time and in the first ten minutes put all the plays I asked the players to do, and did everything but score points. We got into scoring positions but did not put the chances away.
"Once Barnes weathered the storm and came back, they dominated possesion for the rest of the half. I think if we had finished one of the chances, we would have put them away comfortably."
There was some impressive play from young flankers Chris Bailey and Lewis Moyle and Cook was full of praise for 19-year-old Moyle.
"He is a great seven and sometimes this season he has been unlucky not to be more involved," he said. "With Owen Hambly out injured now, he has got a chance. His tackling in the first half was outstanding."
Redruth got off to a great start with Joyce going over wide out on the right after a series of pick-and-gos in the fourth minute. It was 21 minutes before Barnes got on the scoreboard with a penalty from Warren Gower that just crept over the cross bar.
Redruth were having the better of play and Brett Rule struck a penalty from the ten-metre line to increase the lead after 33 minutes.
Bailey was unlucky to have the ball knocked from his grasp as he went over the line but just before the interval Redruth got their reward for some powerful scrummaging as referee David Proctor awarded them a penalty try as Barnes interfered with the ball with Tom Duncan poised to score.
Rule's conversion gave the visitors a deserved 12-point advantage at the break.
When play resumed, a tremendous run by Bailey took play to the Barnes' line and Redruth had a couple of clear-cut chances but failed to take them. With good use of the bench, Barnes got stronger and kept Redruth penned in their own half for a long period after Gower kicked a second penalty after 51 minutes.
Barnes played some attractive rugby but the conditions and the pressure of the Redruth defence forced a number of errors and an on-the-line stop by replacement Paul Thirlby on Dave Riley was crucial to the final outcome.
The visitors had to dig deep in the final five minutes after Duncan was given a yellow card for lying over the ball. Gower kicked the penalty which went over via the bar.
A booming kick from Thirlby calmed Redruth nerves to take play into the Barnes 22 and Rule had a chance to close out the game with a penalty but his effort was wide of the posts.
Barnes: Gower; Poitrowski (Dunlop 46), Riley, Hersey, Bevan; Coles, Bugge (Reeves 55); Foster, Alteirac (Rogers 63), Matthews (Remfrey 56); Dumbleton, Chance; Beckett, Smyth, Uys (Malaney 68)
Barnes scorers: penalties Gower (3)
Redruth: C P Williams (Thirlby 50); Notman, C Bonds
(capt), Parsons, D Bonds; Rule, Goodfellow; Jacques (C Williams
60), Brown (Tresidder 61), Joyce; Cook, Collins; Bailey (Allen 50),
Replacement (not used): Jackson
Reds scorers: tries Joyce, penalty-try; conversion Rule;
Yellow card: Duncan
Referee: D Proctor (RFU)
The words of Cornish All Blacks' skipper Tom Rawlings just about sum up this crushing 28-5 defeat to Henley Hawks at Dry Leas: "Twelve minutes from the start of the game, we were suddenly staring down the barrel of being 21-0 down."
The Cornishmen spent much of the match in heroic defence and managed only a consolation try two minutes from the end.
The Oxfordshire club clearly have promotion ambitions and were also out to revenge an early-season defeat by the All Blacks at Polson Bridge. With their four tries and the bonus point on Saturday, they advanced the former and achieved the latter in style.
Tom Rawlings said: "They scored three tries and converted all of them in the first 12 minutes. We came back but they put on a lot of pressure and we had to defend a lot.
"We didn't have much ball and we didn't do a lot with what we did have, and having to defend constantly saps the energy out of you.
"They were just better on the day. We didn't use what possession we had well and we made too many errors."
Henley came on strong right from kick-off and were over in one minute. There was a scramble for possession on halfway, the ball squirted from a ruck, was snatched up by Xavier André and the home wing, who had the field open in front of him, ran 35 yards to score.
Fly-half James Comben, who converted all of his side's tries, added the extras.
Five minutes later, Henley won a penalty, kicked to the corner, and from the line-out and several rucks flanker Ryan Newman was driven over.
A further five minutes on and Henley produced a carbon copy of their second score, with Comben going over. 21-0, and if it was not game over, it was virtually so.
That said, the All Blacks' defence was tremendous, with Rawlings and his No.8 brother, Mike, tackling continually like demons.
The other plus was that the pack in the tight were superb, with the front row of Tim Mathias, Jamie Salter and Neil Bayliss ensuring that the home scrum was in a mess most of the time. The trouble was this was achieved mostly in defensive scrums.
There were sin-binnings for all the All Black front row when it was likely that the offenders were in fact Henley. And too frequent blow-ups did not help the flow of the game either.
After the early deluge of tries, the Cornishmen kept Henley out until after the hour. Then there was a lot of home pressure and flanker Matthew Payne crossed after a series of tap penalties and a scrum.
Just before the end, All Black centre Lewis Paterson kicked on, regathered and was held off the ball after chipping over. From the penalty in the home 22, a kick to the corner, a line-out and a scrum, fly-half Lewis Webb lined up his backs on the open side and then darted round on the blind from ten metres out to score.
Henley Hawks: Baggett; Haynes, Allen (capt), Ali, André (Bigley 61); Comben, Holmes (Wells 54, Trendell 71); Milford-Scott, Hepburn, Hadfield (Penny 65); Downing (Rossland 65), Winterbottom; Payne, Newman, Woodward
Henley scorers: tries André, Newman, Comben, Payne; conversions Comben (4)
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt (Moyle 58); Bright, Murphy, Paterson, Struminski; Webb, Lightfoot-Brown (Yeo 58); Mathias, Salter (Pow 61), Bayliss; Tripcony, Chambers; Lloyd (Hurdwell 40, Salter 51), T Rawlings (capt) (Duke 71), M Rawlings
All Blacks' scorer: try Webb
Referee: N Cockburn (RFU)
Two late tries from the Cornish Pirates ensured a bonus point victory as they extended their recent winning run to seven games against a stubborn Moseley side, writes Dick Straughan.
Needing a comprehensive win to stand any chance of overhauling second-placed Bedford in the Championship table, the Pirates started brightly and were ahead after just 8 minutes as Darren Daniel marked his return from injury with his first Championship try.
Rob Cook added a penalty and then fly-half Aaron Penberthy broke down the left flank before beating the full-back and setting up Tom Cooper for a second home try. Cook's conversion made it 15-0.
But the Midlanders wrestled themselves back into the game and a period of sustained pressure yielded a close range try for wing Anthony Carter late in the half, converted by Ollie Thomas, before a Cook penalty made it 18-7 to the Pirates at the break.
A scrappy third quarter was finally brought to life by a Thomas penalty before the former Pirate took a one handed pass from Carter to score in the corner on 64 minutes. The full-back then converted his own try to cut the Pirates lead to a single point.
Jangling nerves were finally settled when a Phil Burgess break and a scoring pass from Ceiron Thomas put Evans in to score under the posts.
Then in the final minute of normal time Cook and Penberthy led a counter-attack from their own 22, with Thomas somersaulting over the line for the bonus point clinching try.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Daniel, D.Doherty (Thomas 30), Cooper, Evans, Penberthy, Cattle (capt) (J.Doherty 49); Rimmer (Storer 68), Ward (Cowan-Dickie 68), Fairbrother (Brits 47), Myerscough (Burgess 70), Nimmo (Smith 57), Ewers, Morgan, Maidment
Pirates' scorers:tries Daniel, Cooper, Evans, Thomas; cons Cook (3); pens Cook (2)
Moseley: Thomas, Carter, King (Adams 79), Reay, Robinson, Davies, Brown (de la Harpe 62); Gadd (Quigley 77), Caves, Voisey (O`Donnell 79), Sanderson, Spivey (Lyons 53), Tyas (Maltman 62), Ellery (Pons 79), Pennycook
Moseley scorers: tries Carter, Thomas; cons Thomas (2); pen Thomas
Referee I.Tempest (RFU)
Trailing 24-15 at the break, Redruth scored 23 unanswered points during a dominant second-half display playing down the slope to exact revenge for defeat to Hertford at Ware earlier in the season.
The visitors' indiscipline at various stages during the second period helped the Reds as Hertford played for 20 minutes with 14 men as two players sat it out in the cooler.
Redruth's director of rugby David Penberthy was more than delighted with the way his side turned the game around in the second half.
He said: "I thought we were very lethargic during the first half, our set-piece wasn't good enough and we allowed Hertford to have the run of the game. Their fly-half [Olly Forest] was controlling the game – fair play to them, they played some good rugby.
"We had an outstanding second half. Ben Fox came on and played very well in the second row – Mike Allen did exactly what we wanted him to do in the first half, but he lacks a little bit of bulk and we needed to firm that up a little.
"We threw the ball around and made our hits count. We had a score to settle from the game earlier this season and I think we've done that today."
Redruth found themselves ten points down after just six minutes as fly-half Olly Forest landed a penalty and then a conversion to flanker Josh Corcoran's early try.
The hosts struck back with their opening try after 18 minutes as man-of-the-match wing Tom Notman followed up good work from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow and skipper Craig Bonds. Brett Rule added the conversion and kicked a penalty to level the scores.
Redruth were then caught napping as wing Mike Allan won the re-start and was on hand to finish off the move after a good drive from his forwards for Hertford's second try. Forest added the extras to give the visitors a 17-10 lead.
The hosts cut the deficit as Owen Hambly went in for an unconverted try after a flowing move from right to left saw Notman give an inside scoring pass to the flanker.
Hertford got good field position down in Hell Fire Corner and elected to scrum a penalty. They moved the ball wide and Forest slipped a tackle to score at the posts and convert his own try.
Redruth came out for the second half fired up. A penalty from Rule cut the deficit, then Hertford lost flanker Lewis Hett to the bin for a professional foul. A kick from Forest went out on the full and from the line-out the Redruth pack mauled their way to the line, allowing Hambly to claim his second unconverted try.
Their next score arrived after a good line-out ball from Ben Fox saw the ball moved wide and Sam Parsons' deft pass put fellow centre Craig Bonds away for Redruth's bonus-point try under the posts.
Rule added the conversion and another penalty as Hertford were once again reduced to 14 men as lock Craig South was sin-binned for foul play.
Redruth put the polish on a satisfying win with some audacious play, which saw the ball passed with some style and panache across the backline, for wing Dean Bonds to score in Piggy Lane Corner.
Redruth: Thirlby (C P Williams 77); Notman, C Bonds (capt), Parsons, D Bonds; Rule, Goodfellow (Jackson 77); Jacques, Tresidder (Brown 36), Joyce (C Williams 58); Cook, Allen (B Fox 40); Moyle, Hambly, Duncan
Reds' scorers: tries Notman, Hambly (2), C Bonds, D Bonds; conversions Rule (2); penalties Rule (2)
Hertford: Fox; Crompton, Ledsom (Lemon 59), Storey (capt), Allan; Forest, Hankin (Gash 50); Patton (Long 50), McNamee, Basra (McDougall 70); South, Weaver; Hett (Moss 56), Corcoran, Leo
Hertford scorers: tries Corcoran, Allan, Forest;
conversions Forest (3); penalty Forest
Yellow cards: Hett, South
Referee: F Kirby (RFU)
A conversion with the last kick of the game by full back Kieron Lewitt saved the Cornish All Blacks from an embarrassing home defeat to relegation-haunted Lydney.
The visitors had not won in their previous 12 league matches, but they looked on course to cause an upset when the contest entered its dying moments.
However, in the fourth minute of injury time, the All Blacks were awarded a penalty, opted for a scrum, and a tremendous driving maul was finished off by Jamie Salter – playing at flanker instead of his usual position of hooker.
The conversion was relatively easy for the National Two South's top points scorer Lewitt, but it was still a pressure kick, and he delivered the goods to send the All Blacks back into seventh place in the table.
Relieved All Blacks' skipper Tom Rawlings said: "We went 14-3 up after ten minutes, and I think we felt we had the right to throw the ball out wide and score easy tries.
"We took our foot off the gas big style, and we allowed them to crawl back into the game, and they put us under some serious pressure.
"We let them in for some scores, and suddenly we were staring right down the barrel of a home defeat.
"But the forwards were awesome throughout the game, and we got a driving maul going from a penalty to get the try, and then 'Man of Steel' Kieron stepped up again, and showed why he is top of the kicking charts by banging it through the uprights.
"I was so happy we had won at the end, but I was also a bit frustrated that we had played quite poorly.
"We are away to Hartpury College on Saturday, and we have got to up our game for that, because if we go up there and play like we did against Lydney, it could be a very hard lesson for us."
Lydney took a first-minute lead with a well-taken drop goal from scrum half Dave Arnott, but they were then hit by two tries by winger Richard Bright in the space of the next six minutes, with both converted by Lewitt.
His pass sent Bright away on halfway for the first, while lock Jamie Tripcony's fine lofted pass provided the second, and the All Blacks led 14-3.
Lydney hit back with a 20th-minute touchdown from winger Josh Hannam, who caught a crossfield kick by fly half Curtis Russell to bag his 18th try of the season.
The hosts lost lock Ben Hilton to the sin-bin for a professional foul in the 34th minute, which resulted in a penalty by full back Tony Wicks, and that made it 14-11 at the break.
Wicks added a try two minutes into the second period to put Lydney two points clear, before Lewitt and Wicks exchanged penalties, with Lydney's chance following a sin-binning for home prop Tim Mathias.
With 14 minutes to go, disaster struck for the 14-man All Blacks as Hannam intercepted a ball to race in for his second try, and Wicks added the extras for an impressive 26-17 lead.
Lewitt reduced the deficit with a penalty, but he missed another chance, and it looked as if the All Blacks would be beaten by the clock, until the dramatic finale, which was aided by a yellow card for Lydney's replacement lock James Bashford for coming in at the side.
If the Cornish Pirates are to fulfil their promise and win the Championship this season, they must produce better than Saturday's 14-14 draw at home to Leeds in Penzance.
Leeds, perhaps mindful of the 52-10 hiding they received at Mennaye Field earlier this season, came to spoil and frustrate, and the Pirates were simply unable to rise above it.
A score from Grant Pointer and a penalty try, both converted by Rob Cook, was the least the home side could have expected with such an overwhelmingly superior scrum.
However, they frequently failed to build on that solid platform as errors, both technical and in decisions made, cost them chances to punish an often cynical Leeds side.
The good news for them is that relatively little damage has been done – except on the injury front, with centre Tom Cooper's knee problem now adding to the Pirates' growing backs crisis.
Those still fully fit will travel to Goldington Road on Friday to face early group leaders Bedford Blues knowing a win can pull them back level on points at the top, or better should they win with a bonus point. But, first, high performance manager Chris Stirling will conduct a detailed review of this weekend's performance, where so much faltered.
The visitors looked sharper straight away and forced a penalty – for not rolling away – in the opening two minutes. The central position of the offence, 25 metres out, made life easy for Leeds fly-half Joe Ford and he kicked his side ahead.
The Pirates responded with some piercing moves of their own. Flanker Dave Ewers made the most progress, coming just short of the try line before referee Paul Knowles pulled play back for a Leeds scrum infringement.
Although Cook missed the resulting penalty, he played an integral part in the home side's first try a few minutes later.
Cook skilfully collected fly-half Aaron Penberthy's high kick into the Leeds half before helping the ball to Matt Evans. The winger's grubber kick down the left touchline was then finished well by Pointer, with Cook converting.
Although the Pirates' work at scrum time yielded a lot of ball, chances were not being taken. Leeds, meanwhile, were far less wasteful, with full-back Steve McColl finishing a spell of possession along the Pirates' 22 with an excellent try on the right.
Ford missed the conversion but extended his side's lead after the break with his second penalty of the afternoon following a disjointed start to the second half.
Andrew Suniula, one of only two remaining fit backs available on the Pirates' replacements' bench, was brought on to replace the injured Cooper in the 55th minute, as the home side again threatened to take control of the game.
A Penberthy kick into the right corner gained some valuable territory and the Pirates applied the pressure. Leeds were getting increasingly desperate with each drive for the line, and replacement Tom Denton found himself in the sin bin as the disruption tactics became more cynical.
Knowles' patience soon broke and he awarded the Pirates a penalty try, while Cook set up a three-point lead on the hour mark with the conversion. However, the Pirates' inability to maintain composure allowed Ford to kick the scores level straight away.
A Leeds tackler not releasing gave Pointer one final opportunity to win the game from inside his own half, but he was unable to generate enough power with his penalty kick. The end result was probably a fair one, with neither side setting a standard befitting the Championship play-offs. Bedford, who beat Rotherham Titans with a bonus point over the weekend, will demand better of the Cornish side on Friday.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Kessell, Pointer, Cooper (Suniula
57), Evans, Penberthy (Thomas 76), Cattle (capt); Rimmer (Andrew
68), Ward, Paver (Fairbrother 72), Smith, Nimmo, Ewers (Burgess
52), Morgan, Marriott (Maidment 52)
Replacement (not used) Cowan-Dickie
Pirates' scorers: tries Pointer, penalty try; cons Cook (2)
Leeds Carnegie: McColl, Stephenson (Davies 23), Thornley,
Barrow, Lucock, Ford, Cliff; Lockwood (Young 49, Aulika 80+3),
Titterell (capt) (Nilsen 44), Aulika (Denman 58), Pendlebury (Paul
68), Hemingway (Denton 46, sin-bin 65-75), Wlliamson, Rowan,
Replacement (not used) Hampson
Leeds' scorers: try McColl; pens Ford (3)
Yellow Card Denton
Referee P.Knowles (RFU)
Redruth director of rugby David Penberthy lamented his side's failure to see the game out as a stoppage-time try by Sean Fox gave Taunton a 35-34 win to ease their relegation worries and cap a highly entertaining afternoon.
"When we went 11 points up, we should have closed the game out," Penberthy said. "We were dominant in the scrum and won a good scrum 15 metres out. For some reason the ball got tangled up, turned over and then, bang, a silly penalty kills us to put them into a try-scoring position and we lose by a point."
The Reds got off to a great start with a try from Craig Bonds which Brett Rule converted. Rule made two outstanding one-on-one tackles early in the game before Jason Luff went over for a try that Tony Yapp converted to even things up.
Yapp put Taunton ahead after 16 minutes before good play by Greg Goodfellow and Chris Bailey saw Tom Notman go over wide on the right for Redruth, Rule again converting with a good kick with a quarter of the game gone.
As the game went from end to end, Yapp put over two penalties to one by Rule before a run by Luff led to a Christian Gervais try that Yapp converted to put the hosts ahead for a second time. Then a Rule penalty on the stroke of half-time saw the visitors go into the interval trailing 23-20.
At the start of the second half, Redruth withstood a long spell of pressure before Sam Parsons intercepted and raced away alone to touch down under the crossbar for Paul Thirlby to convert as the game went into the final quarter.
Two minutes later a powerful surge from the Redruth forwards at a well constructed maul led to a penalty try as Taunton dragged the maul down just short of the line, Thirlby adding the extras to see Redruth 11 points clear. A Reuben Haile try, his 23rd of the season, with ten minutes to go, converted by Yapp, kept the pot boiling in the final stages.
With a scrum deep in the Taunton 22 with a few minutes to go, a dominant Redruth pack looked set to deliver a telling blow, but the hosts managed to disrupt and turn the ball over to break out.
From a five-metre line-out, Fox burrowed his way over the line. Referee Ed Turnill consulting with his assistant, Steve Harland, before awarding the try.
Taunton: Kingdom; Popham, Luff, Gervais, Haile; Yapp,
Pope; Gatford (Chase 54), Beddard (Tanner 71), Phillips, Cormack,
Marriott, Hensley (Taylor-Menzies 46), Fox (capt), Charlton
Replacements (not used): Conway, Claydon
Taunton scorers: tries Luff, Gervais, Haile, Fox; conversions Yapp 3; penalties Yapp 3
Redruth: Rule (Fox 46); Notman, C Bonds (capt), Parsons,
D Bonds; Thirlby, Goodfellow; Joyce (Jacques 50), Tresidder (Brown
50), C Williams, Cook, Bailey, Moyle (Fuca 54), Hambly, Duncan
Replacement (not used): Johnson
Reds' scorers: tries C Bonds, Notman, Parsons, penalty try; conversions Rule 2, Thirlby 2; penalties Thirlby 2
Referee: E Turnill (RFU)
Redruth have finalised their coaching line-up for 2012-13. Joining new head coach Adrian Edwards will be Ashley Morcom (forwards) and Steve Evans (backs). The current management will remain in charge until the end of the season, but the new team will be employed from April 1 to plan for next season.
Cornish All Blacks came close to causing a surprise against high-flying Hartpury College in Saturday's 27-25 National League Two South defeat.
The visitors matched the Gloucester-based club almost score for score throughout and, after what turned out to be the winning home try 12 minutes from the end, the All Blacks piled on the pressure, winning four penalty awards. The last was within range of Kieron Lewitt's boot, but the wind blew it wide.
Coach Steve Perry said: "It was a very tight game and we were gutted to lose. They put in a huge effort but came up just short.
"Hartpury were a team we wanted to beat and needed to beat. Our effort and determination couldn't be faulted."
It was nip-and-tuck for most of the match, and by the end of the first quarter the All Blacks were 20-7 ahead and motoring. The students drew first blood when, from a turnover and a lot of pressure on the 22, flanker Rob Ladeley went over in the corner for Gareth Knox to convert.
The All Blacks hit back, Lewitt kicking two penalties and Richard Bright bagging a try, which Lewitt converted.
Ben Hilton touched down and Lewitt slotted the extras as All Blacks opened up a 20-7 advantage.
The students responded in positive fashion, with Ryan Brent scoring a try to reduce the deficit. Hartpury got their noses in front when Waylon Gasson burst through from a lineout to score, and Knox converted. Craig Jackson put them further in front with a penalty.
The All Blacks regained the lead when James Lightfoot-Brown scored in the corner, but the students wrapped up the win after replacement lock Brandon Walker touched down. The visitors turned up the heat in the final minutes, but Lewitt's penalty miss confirmed their fate.
Hartpury College: Spiers; Brent, Hayes, Rodwell, Clark
(Jackson 37); Knox, Gasson; Cano (Barrington 55, Cano 60), Collins,
Brandys, Head; Casson (Walker 63); Ladeley, Woodburn, Ailes
Replacements (not used): Rodrigues, Bradley
Hartpury College scorers: tries Ladeley, Brent, Gasson,
Walker; conversions Knox (2); penalty Jackson
Yellow card: Head
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Bright, Murphy, Paterson (Yeo 70), Struminski; Webb (Borrow 57), Lightfoot-Brown; Mathias (Hurdwell 76), Hurdwell (Semmens 51), Bayliss (Pow 65); Tripcony, Hilton; Salter, T Rawlings (Duke 57), M Rawlings
All Blacks' scorers: tries: Bright, Hilton, Lightfoot-Brown; conversions: Lewitt (2); penalties: Lewitt (2)
Referee: N Williams (RFU)
A dramatic converted try nine minutes into second half stoppage time completed a famous comeback for Bedford Blues as they edged past the Cornish Pirates to win this Championship play-off with the final kick of the game, writes Dick Straughan.
James Pritchard's steady nerve and accurate boot added the match winning score to Brendan Burke's late try as the Pirates, with two men in the sin-bin, desperately defended their own line.
But the result was harsh on the Cornish Pirates, who led 25-6 at half-time through tries from Matt Evans, Tom Kessell and Andrew Suniula.
A dominant display from the Cornish side denied Bedford any meaningful involvement in the game as they struggled to put any pressure on the Pirates' line, leaving the home crowd restless.
The game, however, turned on 47 minutes as Blues flanker Alex Rae clearly knocked on twice before grounding the ball over the Pirates' line and being awarded a try to the clear astonishment of the Pirates team.
Two Pritchard penalties, following the departure of the injured Referee Mike Tutty, chipped away at the Pirates advantage and during a prolonged period of stoppage time the pressure told with both Carl Rimmer and Alan Paver sin-binned.
Then with the final play of the game Burke scampered over for a second home try and Pritchard sealed a memorable but controversial win for the Blues.
Bedford Blues: Pritchard, Dodge, Vass, Staff (Burke 55),
Bassett, Sharp (Lennard 67), Baldwin (Veenendaal 60); Walsh,
Cochrane, Cooper (Reeves 49), Tomes (Harding 49), Tupai, Rae, Fox,
Fisher (Barrell 49)
Replacement (not used) Locke
Bedford scorers: tries Rae, Burke; cons Pritchard (2); pens Pritchard (4)
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Kessell, Pointer, Suniula, Evans,
Thomas, Cattle (capt); Storer (Rimmer 55, sin-bin 79-80+9), Ward,
Paver (sin bin 80+7), Smith (Myerscough 67), Nimmo, Morgan,
Burgess, Maidment (Brits 80+1)
Replacements (not used) Elloway, Marriott, Penberthy, McAtee
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans, Suniula, Kessell; cons
Cook (2); pens Cook (2)
Yellow cards: Paver, Rimmer
Referee M.Tutty (RFU), replaced by R.Kelly (RFU) 55mins
The Cornish Pirates grabbed their first win at the third attempt in the RFU Championship play-offs but were pushed all the way yesterday by a stubborn Rotherham Titans team.
The Yorkshire side travelled to Cornwall boosted by a win at Leeds in their previous outing and took the game to the Pirates from the off, scoring the opening try after just two minutes as centre Dave McCall scythed through a challenge from Sam Hill. But the Pirates dug in for the battle ahead, finally quelling the Titans challenge with their third try just before the hour on their way to a 25-17 success.
High performance manager Chris Stirling declared himself satisfied that his team have the edge going into Saturday's return at Clifton Lane.
Stirling said: "I'm very pleased. It was hard work and in certain areas of the game we made it hard for ourselves, but Rotherham are a good team and they proved that last week with their performance away at Leeds. I thought they played pretty well here, too."
Stirling dismissed the idea that conceding early points after McCall broke a Hill tackle to score a second-minute try made his team even more nervous. He said: "It was just one missed tackle. Nothing more from a guy who normally doesn't miss that many. We weren't overly worried and came back ourselves to score fairly quickly.
"It was a solid effort, the breakdown was competitive and with a great result for us at Headingley today, where Leeds and Bedford drew, we will go up to Rotherham next week knowing exactly what we have got to do."
After the Titans' opening try, the Pirates were quickly level as Gavin Cattle retrieved the ball at the base of a scrum and found wing Grant Pointer lurking in a narrow side channel to score.
Rob Cook missed the conversion but his 13th-minute penalty, after Titans prop Shane Cahill had pulled down a scrum, edged the Pirates ahead briefly. But an infringement by Dave Ward at a breakdown two minutes later allowed Gary Law to level.
Law's second penalty at the end of the first quarter ratcheted up the tension a notch or two as Rotherham went 11-8 up and, had wing Shane Monahan not knocked on instead of slipping a simple pass to Tom Foden, things could have been worse for the Pirates.
Then right on half-time the Pirates struck decisively as first Matt Evans and then Cook stretched the Titans' defence before setting up a ruck just short of the line. Cattle spotted a gap in the cover five metres out and darted through. Cook landed a touchline conversion to make it 15-11.
The Pirates lost Evans at half-time with a dead leg, and Rotherham again claimed the first points of the half with Law's third penalty.
Cook then restored the four-point lead with a penalty in front of the posts.
A penalty conceded as the Pirates stole a Rotherham scrummage 40 metres out gave Law the perfect chance to cut the lead again to a single point, but the see-saw scoring quickly continued as the Pirates landed the decisive blow.
Replacement wing Tom Kessell led a break-out from inside his own half but, realising that he could not outpace the Titans' cover, set up a platform for quick ball infield.
Hill could have scored but instead shipped a wide pass to Pointer on the wing, and he raced in from short distance. Cook's superb conversion from an acute angle gave the home side a two-score lead.
In a scrappy finale, Rotherham's former Plymouth Albion flanker Robin Copeland set alarm bells ringing as he raced 50 metres before offloading a sloppy pass to Pirates' hands short of the line.
In the dying seconds, Cook was denied a bonus point-clinching fourth try as he was bundled into touch by Cliffie Hodgson in stretching to touch down in the corner.
Cornish Pirates: Cook; Pointer, Suniula, Hill, Evans (Kessell h/t); Thomas, Cattle (capt); Rimmer (Storer 69), Ward, Paver; Smith (Myerscough 61), Nimmo; Morgan (Marriott 65), Burgess (Elloway 72), Maidment. Replacements (not used): Penberthy, Cooper.
Pirates' scorers: Tries – Pointer (2), Cattle; Conversions – Cook (2); Penalties – Cook (2).
Rotherham Titans: Foden; Hamilton, McCall, Nonu (Hodgson 63), Monahan; Law, Williams; Cahill (Harris 67), Baines (Stagg h/t), Hooper (O'Donnell 61); Maddison (Patrick 51), Griffiths; Kirwan (Taulava 51), Dougall (capt), Copeland. Replacement (not used) – Rhodes.
Rotherham scorers: Try – McColl; Penalties – Law (4).
Referee: D Gamage (RFU).Attendance: 1,923.
National Two South leaders Richmond paid the price for underestimating the Cornish All Blacks as the Launceston side pulled together to clinch a surprising 18-16 victory.
Despite leading 8-0 at half-time, the All Blacks had to put up a fight in the second half as Richmond fought back, but a missed last-minute conversion by the visitors, mixed with excellent defensive skills by the Polson Bridge, sealed the win.
All Blacks captain Tom Rawlings praised the skill of his pack. "We just came out of the blocks flying," he said.
"We put the pressure on them and within five minutes we scored a try. I think they underestimated us, as they're top of the table, but I was just proud of the effort all round. Our attacking was outstanding; we got on the front foot, but our defence was what won us the game."
Both teams played well, but the All Blacks' performance showed everyone that, when they gel as a pack, they can beat anyone in the league.
They scored their first try just four minutes in, after Richard Bright picked up a long ball and touched down. Kieron Lewitt's conversion attempt went wide.
Richmond conceded two penalties, giving the All Blacks possession and moving play deeper into Richmond territory, Lewitt converting the second to extend their lead. A number of errors by the All Blacks edged Richmond closer to the try line.
Richmond's William Browne kicked for the corner after a penalty and the home side were forced to use all their strength to keep the weighty Richmond pack in line.
Then the All Blacks conceded another penalty, forcing a scrum on the five-metre line. Another mistake led to the All Blacks being one man down, when referee Richard Phillips gave Mike Rawlings ten minutes in the sin bin.
Richmond then looked certain to score but, somehow, the hosts turned the scrum over and got possession of the ball, much to the relief of the home supporters.
Richmond came out in the second half with renewed strength. Three minutes in, Browne touched down but Thomas Platt's conversion attempt went wide.
The tide had turned. Richmond took control and play was in All Blacks' territory. Platt levelled the score when he converted a penalty in front of the posts, but he missed a later attempt which would have put the visitors ahead.
The All Blacks regained the lead when Lewitt kicked straight through the posts, but a Platt effort soon levelled things up again.
A try gave the All Blacks an advantage once more, Lewis Paterson passing to wing Aron Struminski, who powered down the wing past the Richmond pack for a converted score.
With only a few minutes left, tensions ran high as Richmond made their way closer to the All Blacks' line and Robin O'Sullivan found a gap to go over, but Browne missed the crucial kick which would have tied the scores.
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Bright, Yeo, Paterson, Struminski; Murphy, Webb; Mathias, Hurdwell (Semmens 44), Bayliss; Tricony, Hilton; Salter, T Rawlings (capt), M Rawlings. Replacements (not used): Pow, Duke, Perry, Moyle.
All Blacks' scorers: Tries – Bright, Struminski; Conversion – Lewitt; Penalties – Lewitt (2).
Yellow card: M Rawlings.
Richmond: Platt; Browne, Pascall, Gregory, Greenwood (Chesters 46); Cousins, Henry (Nash 63); Walford, Phipps, Sinckler; Warden, Davies; George (capt), O'Sullivan, Edwards (Merrick 57). Replacements (not used): Burr, Lyons.
Richmond scorers: Tries – Browne, O'Sullivan; Penalties – Platt (2).
Referee: R Phillips (RFU).
Old Albanians eventually put on a fine display of running rugby to become only the third side to win at the Rec this season. Their win coupled with Richmond’s defeat at Polson Bridge propelled the Hertfordshire side to top spot in National League 2 South and pole position for the automatic promotion spot.
The result pleased their player coach and former Plymouth Albion and Cornish Pirate player, James Shanahan. He said. “I felt Launceston would be a hard game for Richmond and that result was just what we needed today. After 15 minutes here we knew we were in for a tough game. All week I told the boys that Redruth is a difficult place to go. We stuck to our game plan and eventually it paid off, you have to play very well to get anything here and to their credit I thought Redruth were outstanding and they must be disappointed not to have got more from the game.
For Redruth’s Director of Rugby Dave Penberthy there was disappointment that his side had come off second best. “Naturally I am very disappointed, I felt that we were good enough to have won the game, but disappointingly for us we’ve ended up slipping off some vital tackles that have cost us. We played at times some good rugby, arguably some of our best this season. Our forwards were once again outstanding. In mid-field, both Sam Parsons and Craig Bonds played very well for us. But when you make mistakes you get punished by very good sides and Old Albanians are a very good side.
Penberthy was also left bemused and frustrated by some of the officiating. “I have to say that I was gob-smacked by some of the decisions. We’ve had this guy before when he refereed the Dings game. His refereeing of the scrum was poor then and frankly it hasn’t improved much since! We should have had a penalty-try, he disallowed a second try for Tom Duncan, Luke Collins was also denied when he felt he had scored and he wasn’t going to give Craig Bonds’ try, thankfully assistant Andy Bickle intervened.
Redruth, who were led out by fly-half Paul Thirlby playing his 200th game for the club, kicked-off playing up the slope with the stiff breeze at their backs and took the game to the visitors. Old Albanians were slow to settle and despite fly-half Brett Rule missing with an early penalty attempt, which struck a post, the Reds soon had points on the board when No.8 Tom Duncan scored a try off a 5 metre-scrum in the scoreboard corner, Rule’s conversion attempt again hitting the woodwork.
Redruth capitalized on an Old Albanians' mix-up for their second try scored after 14 minutes with winger Tom Notman being the happy benefactor, Rule's conversion putting the Reds 12-0 up.
By the end of the first quarter Rule had increased the Reds' lead with a penalty as Old Albanians were caught off-side.
The game then turned on it's head as Old Albanians finally slipped up a gear to score three converted tries in the space of eleven minutes.
First, No.8 Andrew Daish powered over for his side's opening score on 23 minutes following a scrum near the Redruth line. Seven minutes later winger Chris May finished off a fine line break by full back Richard Gregg to score near the posts, then moments later centre Chris Lombaard finished off a fine move in the Piggy Lane corner. Gregg slotted all three conversions for a 21-15 lead at the break and leave the Reds a little shell-shocked.
Redruth needed the first score in the second period, it came from a penalty kicked towards the Piggy Lane corner, from second phase ball lock Damien Cook broke the line to dot down after just three minutes of the second half, Rule's conversion giving the Reds a slender one point advantage 22-21.
Sadly for the Reds their lead was short-lived, almost from the re-start Gregg was cantering in under the Redruth posts to score his side's fourth try. Then further strong running from the impressive Old Albanian's backs saw centre James Speirs grab a fifth try, which Gregg couldn't convert.
Redruth looked for a way back, but a combination of errors and dubious refereeing decisions contrived to deny them.
Both props Darren Jacques and Peter Joyce along with Craig Williams when he came on carried well for the Reds.
Some poor tackling allowed Old Albanians to score a sixth try and it went to former Cornish Pirate James Shanahan who touched down behind the posts. Scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier having assumed kicking duties added the conversion to take his side to the forty-point mark.
Redruth did have a final say to earn their own try-scoring bonus point when skipper Craig Bonds was given the nod by Assistant referee Andy Bickle, as Mr Healy was unsighted!
Redruth 27 pts: tries Duncan, Notman, Cook, C Bonds; conversions Rule (2); penalty Rule
Old Albanians 40 pts: tries Dash, May, Lombaard, Gregg, Speirs, Shanahan; conversions Gregg (4), Bruzulier
Redruth: B Rule, T Notman, C Bonds (Capt), S Parsons, D Bonds (J Jackson 72), P Thirlby, G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown (J Tresidder 72), P Joyce (C Williams 64), D Cook, C Bailey (L Collins 53), C Fuca (B Fox 66), O Hambly, T Duncan
Old Albanians: R Gregg (M Evans 60), C May, J
Speirs, C Lombaard, O Marchon (L O'Keeffe 18), J Shanahan, J-B
Bruzulier; C Hughes, W Cope (S Bailey 58), M Cecere, L Bickle, O
Cooper-Millar, L White (Capt), M Hankin (S Lye 72), A Daish
Replacement (not used): M Cade
Referee: Mr J Healy (RFU)
After securing back-to-back wins over Rotherham Titans on successive weekends, the Cornish Pirates are now only one win away from claiming a place in the RFU Championship semi-finals for the second season in succession.
Having beaten Rotherham at Mennaye Field a week ago, the Pirates travelled to Clifton Lane knowing another stern physical test awaited.
Pressure was piled high on the Titans, who had to win to maintain their own league challenge, but Chris Stirling's side dominated much of the game and probably should have won by more.
Saturday's stop-start contest was never easy on the eye, but the Pirates defended well and frustrated the Titans. A 25th-minute injury to fly-half Garry Law also did little to help the Yorkshire side, as their influential play-maker was forced from the field.
Stirling acknowledged a job well done by his squad but also paid tribute to the test Rotherham posed: "This is a hard place to come and Rotherham are definitely a better team than they were last year.
"To get four wins out of four against them this season is pretty pleasing and we did what we needed to."
He added: "It wasn't a game for people who like free-flowing rugby. It was a game for the purist, but up here teams know what they have to do and we just tried to eliminate errors, build pressure, and take the points when they were on offer."
The bone-hard pitch suited the Pirates' style, and they took the game to the Titans from the outset.
A patient opening assault seemed set to yield a try only for referee Tim Wigglesworth to penalise the Pirates' hooker Dave Ward for an offence at a ruck two metres short of the Titans' line.
Rotherham responded in kind only for a promising left-wing move to be halted as Peter Homan threw out a clearly forward pass, and' as the pace of the game quickly fell away, the Pirates forced Rotherham ever deeper into their own half.
With lock Mike Myerscough making a nuisance of himself at the line-out and Ward and Chris Morgan hurting Rotherham at the breakdown, it took a surprising 18 minutes before the stalemate was broken.
Full-back Rob Cook had already missed with one long-range penalty but he made no mistake at the second time of asking after the Titans' pack had conceded a sloppy penalty in front of their own posts for a breakdown offence.
Cliffie Hodgson came on for the luckless Law and, with his first contribution, missed a penalty. And, with the home side clearly flat and out of sorts, the Pirates took their chance, scoring a crucial try on the half-hour mark.
Prop Alan Paver stole a fine turnover on his own 22 and Grant Pointer took play right to the other end of the field. Patience and accurate recycling released Phil Burgess as the ball went back to the right and the flanker made no mistake, galloping in from 25 metres out.
Cook's conversion was wide but again he made amends moments later after the Pirates' pack destroyed a Rotherham scrum to win a penalty for an 11-0 interval lead.
Forty seconds into the second half, it was 14-0 as the Rotherham pack were again pinged at the breakdown inside their own 22 and Cook landed his third place-kick.
That proved the catalyst for the home side to finally wake up in an attacking sense.
As the game moved into the final quarter, a spell of offensive pressure from the Pirates yielded a crucial penalty as the Titans' lock Adrian Griffiths hauled down a menacing maul rumbling towards the home try line.
Cook banged over the penalty and the Pirates were ten points in front.
As both teams fought each other to a standstill in the dying minutes, the Titans scored a late consolation as Tom Foden carved a path for Talite Vaioleti to bag their second converted try with the final play of the game.
Rotherham Titans: Foden, Homan, McCall, Nonu, Monahan, Law (Hodgson 25), Phillips; Cahill (Kilbane 66), Baines, Hooper, Patrick (Griffiths 53), Maddison (Kirwan 69), Copeland, Dougall (capt), Taulava (Vaioleti 66)
Replacements (not used) Stagg, Tellwright
Titans' scorers: tries Copeland, Vaioleti; cons Hodgson (2)
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Pointer, Suniula (Cooper 80), Hill, Evans, Thomas, Cattle (capt) (Kessell 80); Rimmer (Storer 78), Ward, Paver (Brits 71), McGlone (Smith 59), Myerscough, Morgan, Burgess (Elloway 69), Marriott (Maidment 64)
Pirates' scorers: try Burgess; pens Cook (4)
Referee: T Wigglesworth (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks did the National Two double over relegation-threatened Barnes with a gritty, inspired performance in a 20-13 win at Barn Elms – with only 14 men throughout the second half.
The All Blacks hit the ground running and within six minutes were 7-0 up. Several breaks and spirited attacking by centres Lewis Paterson and Liam Yeo took play close to the home line.
The Launceston team's pack did the rest, mauling powerfully over, with lock Ben Hilton touching down for fullback Kieron Lewitt's unerring boot to add the extras.
The visitors looked comfortable, but they ran into trouble. First, Paterson was sin-binned for not releasing and former All Black player, full-back Joshua Coles, punished the indiscretion with a penalty goal; then, in the 23rd minute, Hilton was yellow-carded for coming in at the side, and a minute before the interval was adjudged to have shoulder-barged and the second yellow became a red.
At half-time, the All Blacks led narrowly 7-3 but were down to 14 men. But as so often happens when a team is a player short, they upped their game and played with such controlled drive and strategic astuteness that it put them in command for much of the rest of the match.
They spent at least half an hour in home territory. Then Barnes scored a try against the run of play – and out of the blue it was all square at 13-13.
However, the All Blacks kept their shape, turned on the gas and mounted wave after wave of attack, resulting in Barnes prop Jim Remfry being binned before Richard Bright scampered over and Lewitt converted to seal victory.
All Blacks skipper Tom Rawlings said: "I'm over the moon. To come up here to play a side battling to survive the drop and beat them is something.
"They threw everything at us and Hilton's red card could have been a problem, but in the end wasn't. The pack were outstanding."
Barnes: Coles; Van Bruen, Hersey, Dunlop (Gower 59), Riley; Williams-Davies, Bugge; Foister, Alteirac (Rogers 34), Remfry; Dumbleton, Chance; Beckett (Galvin 63)(Givens 72), Smith (Harting 67), Holmes
Barnes' scorers: try Williams-Davies; conversion Coles; penalties Coles (2)
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Struminski, Yeo (Perry 59), Paterson, Bright; Murphy, Webb; Mathias, Semmens, Bayliss; Tripcony, Hilton; Salter, T Rawlings (capt), M Rawlings
Replacements (not used): Hurdwell, Lloyd, Duke, Moyle
All Blacks' scorers: tries Hilton, Bright; conversions Lewitt (2); penalties Lewitt (2)
Referee: G Steele-Bodger (RFU)
Redruth's director of rugby Dave Penberthy was dismayed by his side's display in Saturday's 31-24 National Two South defeat at Clifton, saying: "Let's be fair, we got a point for turning up.
"It's about effort, performance and commitment, and today the performance was not there. There is nothing I can take out of our performance to say we did well."
In a game where the Reds saw a nine-point interval lead disappear, Penberthy summed it up by saying: "It was just one of those games where we never really got going. Brett Rule kept us in the game with his kicking and his tackling."
After bringing the scores level with ten minutes to go, Redruth were finally undone by a freak try when Ben Roberts' chip ahead ricocheted off the crossbar into the hands of Jack Stark, who was able to cross the line unopposed and touch down near the sticks.
In stoppage time, the impressive Rule timed his run perfectly to go between two defenders and his pass looked set to give Tom Notman a 30-metre run in, but Dan Venn pulled off an interception to save the Bristol side.
The Reds dominated the opening quarter, with Greg Goodfellow frequently involved in attacking moves, and Rule put over two penalties to establish a six-point lead after 15 minutes. Locks Darren Barry and Harrison Tovey found big gaps in the Reds' defence to put Scotland Under-20 player Mitch Eadie in for a try and Roberts converted in Clifton's first serious attack.
Former England wing David Rees, playing his first game of the season, had a quiet game. But he did well to stop a rampaging run from Tom Duncan metres from the line but picked up a yellow card after not rolling away from the tackle.
Rule kicked the penalty to put the Reds back in front after 29 minutes. On the stroke of half-time, Paul Thirlby read a Clifton move and intercepted 40 metres out and had enough gas to make it to the try line before the cover defence could catch him.
Rule converted to see Redruth nine points clear at the break, which was extended to a dozen with a penalty early in the second half for a jersey-pulling offence off the ball.
Playing up the slope, Clifton raised their game as the Reds' line-out fell apart. Converted tries from Pomphrey and Gadd and a penalty from Roberts in a 16-minute spell saw Clifton go 24-19 in front after 56 minutes.
After a spell of pressure from the Reds, long passes from Greg Goodfellow and Thirlby gave Notman the space to go over in the right-hand corner with ten minutes to go, assistant referee Colin MacDonald being perfectly placed to judge on the touchdown.
With plenty of time to play, it was difficult not to see Clifton scoring again, but Lady Luck handed them a helping hand.
Clifton: Rees (Venn h-t); Stark, Pomphrey, Gadd, Smith; Roberts, Smee; Golledge (Davis 49), Fincken, Caulfield, Tovey, Barry (Westlake 71-74), Eadie, Stephenson, Lewis
Replacements (not used): Evans, Harrison.
Clifton scorers: tries Eadie, Pomphrey, Gadd, Stark; conversions Roberts 4; penalty Roberts
Yellow Card: Rees
Redruth: Rule; Notman, Bonds (Morgan 45), Parsons, Bonds; Thirlby, Goodfellow; Jacques (Joyce 51), Tresidder (Brown 51, Tresidder 62) Williams, Cook, Bailey, Fuca, Hambly, Duncan
Replacements (not used): Johnson, C Williams
Reds' scorers: tries Thirlby, Notman; conversion Rule; penalties Rule 4
Referee: M Cooper (RFU)
Cornish Pirates managed to put the emotion of Chris Stirling's imminent departure aside and score a valuable 21-20 victory over Bedford Blues at Mennaye Field yesterday.
That result – their first win in four attempts against the Blues this season – puts them into the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs and granted outgoing high performance manager Stirling's wish of making the day about reaching the last four, rather than him.
The outcome was in some doubt as the seconds of his reign counted down. A late try from the Blues' replacement, Darren Fox – and a conversion from Jake Sharp – brought the scores back to within one point with seven minutes remaining.
It took all the professionalism Stirling has instilled in his men over his three years at the club to see out the game, after earlier home tries from Carl Rimmer and Andrew Suniula, along with some steady goal-kicking from Rob Cook and Ceiron Thomas.
Stirling said: "Defensively, we were pretty good today, even though the opposition slipped through for a couple of tries in the second half.
"When the team defend like that, you know they really want it. There's a bit of rugby to be played but I know we're good enough. The questions were asked of us early on and we stood up."
The four Pool B points earned yesterday renders next weekend's trip to face Leeds a dead rubber, so the club's newly appointed head coach Ian Davies has time build his own battle-plan for the semi-finals, beginning in the first week in May.
Davies said: "We spoke all week about the fact that we had to win because we didn't want to go to Headingley and make it winner-takes-all this week. It showed in the performance today, it was very bitty although there was some good defensive effort.
"There were some elements that were a little poor too. Bedford came here with nothing to lose – they knew they were in the semi-finals already, and showed what an attacking threat they are."
The Blues' potency with the ball in hand stretched the Pirates early on. Despite making numerous changes to their usual XV, they worked through countless phases to break the Pirates' defensive line in a strong opening spell.
They were unable to apply the finish despite their domination, however. The Pirates' side of three seasons ago would surely have buckled but the class of 2012 stood firm for the loss of two kickable penalties to Bedford, both missed by visiting fly-half Jamie Lennard.
The Pirates fought for attacking opportunities of their own too. Suniula was proving an effective battering ram for them but lacked the guile to make it count on occasions. One promising move fell apart when he passed to his left despite two men running an overlap to his right.
The home pack was also capable of causing damage and it was a successful catch and drive that brought Rimmer's try after 30 minutes, arguably against the run of play.
Cook hit the post with his conversion attempt but extended the Pirates' lead to eight points with a penalty four minutes later, after another Suniula break.
The Blues infringed on multiple fronts to prevent that move working its way clear to the try-line.
Referee Luke Pearce gave winger Handre Smidt a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on – perhaps the most pertinent of his side's misdemeanours.
The visitors did get some reward for their hard work in the opening 40 minutes when Lennard struck a penalty after an infringement from the Pirates' hooker, Dave Ward.
Suniula's ability to exploit a gap came to the fore again early in the second half.
The American international ran straight through to the try line, with full-back Cook converting.
Cook's opposite number then showed excellent finishing ability with the ball in hand, carving through the Pirates' defence and rounding his run towards the posts from outside the Pirates' 22. Lennard added the conversion from close range.
A Cook penalty for looked to have settled his side again but he soon found himself in the sin bin for killing the ball. Lennard made it count, string the resulting penalty to bring the deficit back to five.
With Cook off the field, most expected winger Grant Pointer to take a potentially decisive Pirates penalty in the 67th minute.
However, Thomas took on the responsibility and confidently restored the Pirates' eight-point lead with his kick.
That margin proved crucial as the Blues showed all the spirit that brought them second place in the regular season phase of the Championship campaign with a strong finish to the game. A missed tackle in midfield allowed Sharp into the Pirates' 22 and he offloaded to Darren Fox for a close-range finish.
Sharp then set up a nervous final few minutes for Stirling with the conversion.
However, the Pirates' inspirational leader was able to leave Cornwall with one last win thanks to his side's resilience late on. The New Zealand Rugby Union's gain is Cornish Pirates' loss.
Cornish Pirates: Cook; Pointer, Hill, Suniula, Evans; Thomas, Cattle (capt); Rimmer (Brits 51), Ward (Elloway 72), Paver (Rimmer 68); McGlone (Ewers 68), Smith; Marriott (Burgess 80+4), Morgan, Maidment
Replacements (not used): Kessell, Penberthy, Cooper
Pirates' scorers: tries Rimmer, Suniula; conversion Cook; penalties Cook (2), Thomas
Yellow card: Cook
Bedford Blues: Burke; Schmidt, Staff, Vass, Kohler; Lennard (Sharp 67), Baldwin (Liebenberg 67); Steenkamp (Reeves 46), Locke, Boulton (Cooper 46); Pailor (Tomes 46), Howard; Fisher (Fox 46), Harding (capt), Barrell
Replacement (not used): Cochrane
Blues' scorers: tries Burke, Fox; conversions Lennard, Sharp; penalties Lennard (2)
Yellow card: Schmidt
Referee: L Pearce (RFU)
A National League Two South double and a four-try bonus point at Polson Bridge were ample recompense for the yellow and red cards and the questionable post-match citing and suspension which marred the Cornish All Blacks' crushing away win at Hertford
Without their inspirational captain, flanker Tom Rawlings, and key lock Ben Hilton (both at the wedding of suspended flanker Josh Lord), the All Blacks took time to find their rhythm in Saturday's fine 33-11 home win.
The first quarter consisted of an untidy toing and froing and the trading of two succesful penalty goals apiece from home full-back Kieron Lewitt and fly-half Olly Forrest. Level 6-6 with the interval approaching, the All Blacks needed a try to give them a psychological boost before half-time – and they got it.
They had begun to stir themselves just before the half-hour when flanker James Salter charged down a kick on halfway, followed up, and just failed to score under the posts when the ball bobbled out of his control as he regathered.
But four minutes from the break, fly-half Jake Murphy received the ball from a scrum on halfway and wove and dummied his way beautifully over for Lewitt to add the extras.
The All Blacks restarted without prop Tim Mathias, who was sin-binned for coming in at the side at the end of the first 40, and after the wind blew wide a penalty shot from Lewitt, the visitors narrowed it with their only try nine minutes into the second half.
They were counter-attacking with a will and almost drove over before flanker Josh Corcoran did touch down to make it 13-11.
For a moment, doubt crept in, but the last 30 minutes were virtually all All Blacks.
Lewitt bagged his third penalty before the hour. Then the backs opened up and centre Liam Yeo released Lewitt, who almost got over before the ball was shipped swiftly wide for replacement left wing Kyle Moyle – who had a cracking game and went on to score two tries – to send centre Lewis Paterson flying in. 21-11.
Hertford lock Lewis Hett was yellow-carded for foul play and, with ten minutes remaining, the All Blacks went into overdrive to score 12 more points. The pack was now in top gear, roaring up the middle and taking overall control, and Moyle crossed twice, galloping over wide out after a superbly engineered three-quarter move, and then blitzing over after taking a beautifully weighted long pass from replacement centre Steve Perry at full speed. Lewitt converted, and the double and the bonus point were in the bag.
Player-coach Perry said: "We were very happy to get a bonus-point victory at home. We've improved as a squad all year and it's nice to get a few wins together and get close to Redruth in the table. It was a difficult game against Hertford and getting the bonus point was fantastic. Kieron kicked well, too.
"Hertford are a good side and good at the breakdown and it took us time to get used to that."
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Bright, Yeo (Perry 60), Paterson, Struminski (Moyle 60); Murphy, Webb (capt); Mathias, Semmens (Hurdwell 75), Bayliss (Rainford 78), Tripcony, Lloyd; Salter, Duke (Hurdwell 45-50; Borrow 75), M Rawlings
All Blacks' scorers: tries Murphy, Paterson, Moyle (2); conversions Lewitt (2); penalties Lewitt (3)
Yellow card: Mathias (40)
Hertford: Fox; Crompton, Sella (Sloan 65), Storey (capt), Allan; Forrest, Gash (Hankin 72); Macdougall (Lewis 77), Speed (Leo 40), Basra; South, Hett; Church, Corcoran, McNamee
Replacement (not used): Lemon
Hertford scorers: try Corcoran; penalties Forrest (2)
Yellow card: Hett (70)
Referee: N Williams (RFU)
Redruth's end-of-season slide continues and head coach Tony Cook did not make any excuses for a dismal showing in a 47-14 loss at Southend.
"I was very disappointed the way we did not work hard enough in the second half," he said. "At the end of the day, it was us that dropped the ball, us that did not make the tackles, it was us in poor positions and us who did not kick the ball in the right places when we should have done."
He added: "At half-time, I felt it was a game that if we managed it well in the second half, we would have been OK, but we came out against 13 men and conceded another try.
"We chased the game the rest of it but not very well. Southend are a side whose confidence grew and will score points as they want to throw the ball around."
Both teams took time to become accustomed to the interpretations of the Canadian referee. Redruth seemed to adapt quicker and, by half-time, the penalty count was 13-1 in the Reds' favour, with two Southend forwards reflecting on life in the sin-bin, but the home side led 21-14 on the scoreboard.
With the advantage of a strong breeze, Redruth made a disastrous start to the second period with Southend still two men down. A loose pass gave the ball away and Martin Freeman took his chance well to run in the bonus point try that Jack Jones converted.
Injuries did not help the Reds' cause, losing two key players – Paul Thirlby in the pre-match warm-up to a knee injury and Luke Collins midway through the first period when he fell heavily after a tackle.
Playing the three props in the front row, Redruth dominated the scrums but the line-out was a struggle after Collins went off and Southend played with more pace and imagination behind the scrum. Too often, Redruth kicked the ball away at the wrong time and gave Southend's back three plenty of freedom to run back, which led to the second and third tries in the first half.
Redruth's Tom Duncan touched down another two tries, both of which Craig Williams converted.
Although there was a lot more pushing and shoving than blows landed, a mass brawl involving all 30 players late in the game was not a good advert for rugby at any level.
After a long debate with his assistants, the referee showed yellow cards to the Reds' Chris Fuca and his opposite number Andrew McClintock to end their participation, but half a dozen others could be brought to account. Redruth had plenty to contemplate on the long journey home to salvage some respect from the final two games of the season.
Southend: Billings, Driver, Cleare, Freeman, Vaughan (Ashton 73); Jones (Greatrex 65), Arnott; Williams, Grier (Keenan 50), Guess (Bailey 50), Waring, McClintock, Barker (Hudson 57), Johnson, Vander Molan
Southend scorers: tries Driver 2, Arnott, Grier, Freeman, Billings, McClintock; conversions Jones 4, Greatrex 2
Yellow cards: Barker, Waring, McClintock
Redruth: C P Williams, Notman (Wedlake 68), C Bonds, Parsons, D Bonds (Johnson 74), Rule, Goodfellow; Jacques, Joyce, Williams (Tresidder 74), Fuca, Collins (Allen 22), Morgan (Moyle 68), Hambly, Duncan
Reds' scorers: tries Duncan 2; conversions C P Williams 2
Yellow card: Fuca
Referee: B Arcerio (Canada)
The Cornish Pirates completed their play-off campaign in the RFU Championship, going down to Leeds at Headingley, but safe in the knowledge that their semi-final place had already been assured, writes Dick Straughan.
They will now face Bristol over two legs, with the first game scheduled for the Mennaye Field on Monday May 7 (kick-off 12.05pm) and the return game six days later at the Memorial Ground on Sunday May 13 (kick-off 12.45pm).
Here the Pirates ran into a Leeds team for whom many of the squad were making their farewell appearances before a summer clearout after a disappointing season.
A Mike Stephenson try set Leeds on their way after just 45 seconds and by the time 11 minutes had been played it was 17-3 and game over after Lee Blackett had raced in for a second converted try.
The Pirates battled back with touchdowns from Rhodri McAtee and Rob Elloway to leave just seven points between the teams at the interval but Leeds roared back at them as the second half got underway and killed the contest completely.
Tries from Iain Thornley, Chris Walker and Craig Hampson inside ten minutes left the home side sitting pretty at 42-13 before a late flurry from the Pirates secured a losing bonus point.
Phil Burgess scored after David Doherty had scorched 60 metres and with the final play Dave Ward burrowed over from close range.
Leeds Carnegie: McColl, Blackett (Lucock 38), Thornley, Barrow (Davies 66), Stephenson, Bell, Hampson (Cliff 66); MacDonald (Aulika 71), Titterell (capt) (Freer 55), Aulika (Mustafa 55), Pendlebury (Williamson 55), Hohneck (Barrow 24), Beck, Walker, Rowan
Replacements: Freer, Mustafa, Williamson, Walker, Cliff, Davies, Lucock
Leeds' scorers: tries Blackett, Thornley, Stephenson, Hampson, Walker; cons Bell (4);pens Bell (3)
Cornish Pirates: Pointer (Hill 71), McAtee (J.Doherty 39-40), Suniula, Cooper, D.Doherty, Penberthy (Thomas 55), Kessell (J.Doherty 55); Storer, Elloway (Ward 74), Brits (Rimmer 74), McGlone (sin-bin 67-77), Smith, Ewers (Burgess 56), Marriott (capt) (Morgan 71), Maidment
Pirates' scorers: tries McAtee, Elloway, Burgess, Ward; con Thomas; pen Pointer
Yellow Card McGlone
Referee R.Campbell (RFU)
Redruth had to dig deep to gave departing Director of Rugby David Penberthy, in his final home game in charge, the winning send off that he so richly deserved, reports Bill Hooper.
Westcombe Park, battling for their lives near the foot of the National 2 South table, gave the Reds plenty to think about, especially during the first half as they deservedly turned around at half-time with a 12-3 lead.
Despite taking the lead after nine minutes with a Brett Rule penalty, Redruth found themselves on the back foot for long periods of the first half.
Westcombe Park got their first try near the half hour mark as they capitalised on a Redruth mistake, with fly-half Joe Simpson hacking on and winning the race to the try-line.
Further pressure from the visitors brought them a second try before the break as flanker James Lindfield charged over from a quickly taken tap penalty near the Red's line, Simpson adding the extras for the half-time lead.
Redruth needed an early score at the start of the second half and it came from No.8 Tom Duncan, who ran strongly into Hell Fire Corner to touch down.
Rule kicked a fine touchline conversion to bring the Reds back to within two points.
The full back was on target again shortly after with a penalty from his own ten metre line to snatch back the lead.
Redruth kept up the pressure and were rewarded when Rule's fine cut-out pass found Paul Thirlby out on the wing, and the fly-half finished off the move in style.
Rule kicked a third penalty to stretch the Reds' advantage.
However, Westcombe Park managed to score a third try near the end with replacement Matt Holmes touching down in the corner from a quick tap.
Redruth saw out the game with an emotional Penberthy full of praise for his players at the final whistle.
Redruth 21 pts: tries Duncan, Thirlby; conversion Rule; penalties Rule (3)
Westcombe Park 17 pts: tries Simpson, Lindfield, Holmes; conversion Simpson
Redruth: B Rule, T Notman, C Bonds (capt), S Parsons, D Bonds (J Churcher 79), P Thirlby, G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown, P Joyce (C Williams 34-40 blood, 56), J Morgan (M Allen 71), C Bailey, C Fuca, O Hambly, T Duncan
Replacements (not used): J Tresidder, C P Williams
Westcombe Park: C O'Neill, C Lewis (M Holmes 67), B Hough, G Purdy (L Giles 49), K Leeper, J Simpson, C Edwards; B McKinnell, H Barton (capt), D Bellinger, T Clarke, J Wright, O Pryce-Tidd, J Lindfield, J West
Replacements (not used): M Brierley, R Conlon, D Watkins
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Tom Duncan
Cornish All Blacks gave head coach Tony Roques the perfect send-off as they upset the division's leaders for the second time in five weeks.
At the end of March, the Cornishmen sent Richmond packing 18-16 at Polson Bridge - a result which saw the Londoners lose top spot and ultimately cost them automatic promotion.
On Saturday, it was the turn of Old Albanians to feel the full force of the revitalised All Blacks, who notched up their fifth successive victory.
Despite the defeat, the Hertfordshire-based side still clinched the title and a place in National League One for next season as Hartpury College beat second-place Richmond 33-19, and they joined the Duchy side in the clubhouse after the game for some party!
There was also an auction of the All Blacks players' shirts to help raise money for the Players' Fund after the club recently announced a shortfall in expected income for the season.
After taking a 16-11 lead in the 47th minute with a penalty from the metronomic boot of full back Kieron Lewitt, the hosts looked like they had thrown the game away in the final minute of normal play when their defence cracked for almost the first time in the contest and centre Chris Lombaard slipped through a gap to score near to the posts, and full back Richard Gregg converted to make it 18-16 to the visitors.
However, straight from the restart, Old Albanians strayed offside and Lewitt smashed over a 35-metre penalty to take him to a superb 295 points for the season.
Even then, there was still time for Gregg to have the chance to break All Blacks' hearts with a difficult penalty opportunity from close to the right-hand touchline in the eighth minute of injury time, but from the moment the ball left his boot, the cheers of home fans confirmed the kick was off target.
"When they scored that late try, we knew we still had seven or eight minutes to go in the match, but probably, if that had been in the first half of our season, I would have said the game had gone for us," admitted Roques.
"But the players have now got that little bit more belief. You get a few wins under your belt and it just gives you that bit more confidence."
The All Blacks showed a desire and determination throughout the game of which Saturday's reunion of former Launceston heroes, such as Jimmy Tucker, Graham Dawe, Dean Shipton and Julian Wilce would have been proud.
Anyone wandering into the match unaware of the club's league standings might have thought it was the All Blacks who were sitting on top of the table, rather than their visitors, coached by former Penzance-Newlyn fly-half James Shanahan.
Gregg kicked the old boys into a 15th-minute lead with a penalty, but the All Blacks hit back at the end of the first quarter with one of the tries of the season.
They won a scrum on their own 22-metre line and moved the ball to the right where winger Richard Bright received it midway inside his own half, raced around one defender, chipped over the next and then hacked on before diving on the ball for his ninth try of the campaign, and Lewitt converted.
Old Albanians responded with a catch-and-drive line-out try by hooker Wes Cope five minutes later to make it 8-7 to the visitors, but two Lewitt penalties got the All Blacks back in front at 13-8, before Gregg struck again in first-half injury time for an interval scoreline of 13-11.
Lewitt's 47th-minute penalty stretched the hosts' advantage to five points, and then came a tense, nervous half an hour leading up to a dramatic finale that will send all those connected with Launceston RFC into their summer break with big smiles on their faces at the end of a tough season.
Twenty-six unanswered points in the final twenty minutes left promotion favourites Bristol bewildered and bemused at the final whistle at the Mennaye Field on May Bank Holiday Monday.
With a 12-05 pm kick-off, little did the crowd suspect the “high noon” drama that was about to unfold before them, in a match which early on Bristol looked to have a stranglehold on.
Two early converted tries during the first ten minutes for Bristol, scored by flanker James Merriman and winger William Helu, gave the visitors the perfect start they would have hoped for in the first-leg of this RFU Championship semi-final.
The Cornish Pirates had to dig deep to play their way back into the game after such a disappointing start.
Pirates’ full-back Rob Cook cut the deficit with a penalty on 15 minutes, but that was soon cancelled out as Bristol’s fly-half Matt Jones replied in kind to add to the two conversions he had kicked earlier.
Cook, though, struck twice more before half-time to leave the Pirates trailing at the break 17-9.
The Pirates had shown plenty of promise during the first half, with some big carries from locks Ian Nimmo and Laurie McGlone.
The man who always stands out in the Pirates’ shirt, and who will be sorely missed next season when he moves to Harlequins -- hooker Dave Ward -- had his usual immense game.
It was vital that the Pirates got the first score in the second period. It came following a period of Pirate’s pressure when a pass thrown out by centre Andrew Suniula was taken at pace by Cook, who weaved his way through a pretty ordinary Bristol defence to score the Pirates' first try of the afternoon on 49 minutes.
Cook’s conversion left the Pirates just a point adrift of the visitors: you could sense the home side’s spirits lifted by the score.
Flanker Phil Burgees put in a tremendous run before fly-half Cieron Thomas’s kick to the clubhouse corner put Bristol under huge pressure. Pirates managed to disrupt the lineout and almost got the try -- only for referee J. P. Doyle to penalise the visitors, giving Cook the opportunity to put the Pirates in the lead for the first time during the game, his fourth penalty making it 19-17.
Bristol still had some gas in the tank at this stage and played their way into the Pirates’ twenty-two. Fine play saw them create a try-scoring chance with scrum-half Tipuna Te Ruki providing the scoring pass to winger Helu, who ran in his second try at the Newlyn End. Jones’ conversion gave Bristol a five point lead with 22 minutes to play.
Just five minutes later the Pirates’ forwards created a try for prop Carl Rimmer, who powered over, with Cook’s conversion swinging the game back in the Pirates’ favour at 26-24.
Bristol looked to be dead on their feet as the game ticked into the final 10 minutes. The Pirates’ sensed it and took their chance in some style, scoring three more tries.
A penalty kicked towards the scoreboard corner saw Nimmo soar to claim the lineout ball. The forwards then drove towards the line before the ball was moved inside for winger Dave Doherty to streak in at the corner. Cook was once again on the money with his conversion, taking his points tally past the 1,000 mark in just three seasons at the club.
Then winger Grant Pointer got in on the action. Breaking a tackle, he ran in at the clubhouse corner for the Pirates’ fourth try. Cook kept up his strike rate with another good kick for the extras.
With time almost up the Pirate’s drove another nail into Bristol’s hopes as Rimmer crashed over for his second try of the game. Cook’s final conversion clipped the upright and stayed out.
The final whistle came when replacement scrum-half Tom Kessell kicked a penalty out, to the unreserved cheers of the Mennaye faithful.
Cornish Pirates: R. Cook, G. Pointer (M. Evans 76), S. Hill, A. Suniula, D. Doherty, C. Thomas, G. Cattle (capt, T. Kessell 79), B. Maidment (K. Marriott 44), P. Burgess (D. Ewers 76), C. Morgan, I. Nimmo, L. McGlone, A. Paver (R. Brits 79), D. Ward (R. Elloway 75), C. Rimmer (R. Storer 76)
Bristol Rugby: J. Goodridge, J. Tovey, O. Fautua, L. Eves, W. Helu, M. Jones (M. James 60), R. Tipuna, D. Montagu, J. Merriman, I. Grieve (H. Vanderglas), R. Winters, G. Townson (B. Glynn 5), J. Hobson (W. Thompson 27), J. Harris-Wright, M. Irish (M. Lilley 76)
Replacements (not used): T. Slater, T. Channon.
Cornish Pirates' scorers: tries Rimmer (2), Cook, Doherty, Pointer; cons Cook (4); pens Cook (4)
Bristol Rugby scorers: tries Helu (2), Merriman, cons Jones (3); pen Jones
Referee: J. P. Doyle (RFU)
After the match a delighted Cornish Pirates skipper, scrum-half Gavin Cattle, gave his reaction to his side’s tremendous win. Asked how he felt when his side found themselves 14-0 down early on, he said: “I wasn’t too concerned. As it happened early doors, I knew we could recover. I think half-time was the turning point for us. We said we needed to keep possession more, rather than trying to force the pass. We were perhaps trying to score too early in phase play, so we kept hold of the ball, made them tackle us, and then reaped the rewards as we were making positive gains, especially with the like of Laurie McGlone carrying. The forwards got us on the front foot and it went from there really. Retaining the possession was the key for us.
“We realised that their forwards were blowing a bit towards the end, but I think we had the greater hunger for the game. We had that edge at the breakdown again, giving us some good quality ball to attack with.
“I am really chuffed with the boys' effort today. We kicked well, used the space and played a really sensible game plan.
Cattle has no doubts that despite his side’s cushion it will be a tough game at the Memorial Ground next Sunday. “In the Championship game up there we had a nineteen point half-time lead and lost. We can’t afford to sit on our laurels and I know we won’t. In the group circle after the game we realised we had to calm down a bit as the job is only half done. We have to keep our feet firmly on the ground building up to Sunday.
The Cornish Pirates have reached a second consecutive Championship play-off final despite falling to a 29-18 defeat against Bristol at Memorial Stadium yesterday.
The margin of the Pirates' semi-final first-leg victory gave them just enough in reserve, as they saw a 21-point cushion reduced to ten by a spirited Bristol comeback.
Tries from Rob Cook and Phil Burgess proved vital in an eventual 63-53 success and they will now meet London Welsh in the finals later this month, having fallen to Worcester Warriors at the same stage last term.
For the majority of yesterday afternoon, the Pirates' participation in the end-of-season showpiece looked assured, but both sides knew a good start was essential.
Bristol's Jason Hobson certainly knew it and headed straight for opposite tighthead prop Alan Paver, squaring up to his rival before the game had even begun.
The Pirates kicked off and applied pressure, winning back possession and forcing two penalties. The second, awarded for holding on, was kicked through the posts by Cook to give his side the lead in the third minute.
However, the Pirates themselves were penalised after receiving the restart and Bristol used possession in the Pirates' 22 wisely. They worked the ball from right to left before fly-half Tristan Roberts' grubber kick through Pirates' defensive line was picked up by full-back Jon Goodridge for an early converted try.
The Pirates' response was critical, and they showed their intent immediately by going straight back on the attack. Such a policy did leave them open to counter-attacks, and Bristol had plenty of specialists on the break.
They snatched possession on the halfway line and scrum-half Ruki Tipuna spotted men over on the left.
Within a second or two, Fautua Otto broke free near the touchline and it took a fine covering tackle from the Pirates' flanker Phil Burgess to prevent the centre crossing under the posts.
A forward pass eventually brought the move to an end and the Pirates finally had a chance to settle.
Once again, they followed their instincts and went on the attack. The Pirates manoeuvred into position just outside the Bristol 22 and fly-half Ceiron Thomas set himself for a drop goal attempt. However, the pass back to him was a poor one and he did well to retrieve the ball and then grubber-kick into the right corner.
His side regained control from that position and forced another penalty, but Cook was unable to find the target from wide on the right.
Cook's big moment was just about to come, however. A chip over the top in midfield from Roberts, aimed at Otto, instead found the hands of the Pirates' number 15 – and the outcome could hardly have been worse for the home side.
He was still 60 metres out, but, once Cook built some speed, he pierced through the sparse home defence to the right corner with a line of Bristol pursuers in his wake, before adding the conversion for a three-point lead.
Bristol were by then truly desperate and applied huge pressure to get themselves at least in credit for the first half of this second leg. However, the Pirates had the one thing Bristol lacked – composure.
While Bristol snatched at chances, the Pirates defended resolutely. After surviving a long spell on their own try line, it was the Cornish side who had the chance to score more points just before the break with another penalty, but Cook dragged his kick wide of the posts.
An early Roberts penalty hit the left post as Bristol's misery continued into the second half. But he got another chance seconds later and brought the scores level on the day.
Then, as the hour mark approached, Bristol made some real progress when Goodridge scored his second try of the day, converted by Roberts.
The hosts' all-out attack did leave defensive holes, though, and Burgess exploited the situation brilliantly from inside his own half, powering through a gap and escaping the last lunge of Bristol flanker Josh Ovens to score an unconverted try.
The home threat still was not over, however. Another Otto break drew the Pirates' defence and wing George Watkins took advantage of the space provided to score an unconverted try in the left corner.
His opposite wing Will Helu then brought his side back to within seven aggregate points with a minute remaining. However, it was Pirates who had the last word with a second penalty from Cook.
Bristol: Goodridge, Watkins, Otto, Eves, Helu, Roberts (James 74), Tipuna (Slater 69); Irish (Lilley 38-h/t, 67), Harris-Wright (Johnston 50), Hobson (Thompson 67), Sambucetti (Glynn 50), Winters, Ovens, Merriman, Grieve (capt) (Vanderglas 67)
Bristol scorers: tries Goodridge (2), Otto, Watkins; cons Roberts (2), James; pens Roberts
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Pointer, Hill, Suniula, D.Doherty, Thomas, Cattle (capt); Rimmer, Ward, Paver, McGlone, Nimmo, Morgan, Burgess, Marriott
Replacements (not used): Storer, Elloway, Brits, Smith, Ewers, Kessell, Evans
Pirates' scorers: tries Cook, Burgess; con Cook; pens Cook (2)
Referee S.Davey (RFU)
The Cornish Pirates face a massive battle to win the RFU Championship trophy after going down at the Mennaye Field to four tries from a clinical London Welsh outfit, writes Dick Straughan.
The Exiles will start the second leg at the Kassam Stadium next Wednesday 16 points ahead on aggregate and the Pirates will need to massively step up their game to turn around the tie after a poor first half which cost them the match.
It all began so well for the Pirates with a Grant Pointer try after just four minutes converted from in front of the posts by Rob Cook. But two Alex Davies penalties and a yellow card for home fly-half Ceiron Thomas, following a deliberate knock-on, shifted the momentum of the game.
Tries from wings Joe Ajuwa and Nick Scott, followed by a Gordon Ross drop-goal, turned the game on its head at 23-7 and it took a late rally in the half, followed by a penalty try from the Pirates after the Welsh had consistently infringed at a series of 5-metre scrums, to add some respectability to the scoreline.
In the second half the Pirates fixed their creaking lineout but were constantly under pressure at the breakdown and struggled to play with their normal tempo and accuracy.
Cook missed with an early penalty as the game became a midfield scrap but the Welsh were the first to throw off the shackles and ambushed the Pirates with two tries in two minutes on the hour mark.
Centre Hudson Tonga'uiha ran in from 40 metres after an overthrown lineout by Dave Ward and from the restart James Lewis rounded off a move started by Lee Beach.
Tonga'uiha then received a yellow card for tackling Matt Evans in mid-air and, with ten minutes remaining, flanker Phil Burgess scored a third Pirates' try after a period of sustained attacking pressure. Cook converted.
In the closing stages Ajuwa for the Welsh and Burgess both went close to adding further tries, but the Welsh ultimately closed the game out to secure a deserved and potentially trophy-winning victory.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Pointer, Hill, Suniula (Evans 64), D.Doherty, Thomas (sin-bin 13-23, Kessell 64), Cattle (capt); Rimmer (Storer 60), Ward, Paver (Brits 66), McGlone (Smith 62), Nimmo (Myerscough 68), Ewers (Elloway 68), Burgess, Marriott
Yellow card: Thomas
Pirates' scorers: tries Pointer, penalty try, Burgess; cons Cook (3)
London Welsh: Davies, Scott, J.Lewis (Russell 76), Tonga'uiha (sin-bin 67-77), Ajuwa, Ross, R.Lewis; Lahiff (Moss 78), George (Ma`asi 60), Tideswell (Bateman 75), Mills (capt), Corker (Purdy 75), Beach (Jewell 72), Denbee, Jackson
Replacement (not used): Moates
Welsh scorers: tries Ajuwa, Scott, Tonga'uiha, Lewis; cons Davies (4); pens Davies (2); drop goal Davies
Yellow card: Tonga'uiha.
Referee: G Garner (RFU)
Aaron Penberthy makes a break. Picture by Phil Mingo/Pinnacle.
The Cornish Pirates will have to hope it is third-time lucky in their bid for the Championship title, after falling to a 66-41 aggregate defeat to London Welsh in their second successive final last night.
The Pirates lost last night's second leg 29-20 as they sought to overcome a 16-point reverse from the first game at Mennaye Field just over a week ago. That was where this tie was really lost, not so much at Oxford's Kassam Stadium, despite the game following a similar pattern.
They will take a little comfort from tries by Matt Evans and Ryan Storer, but plenty more from the performance of young fly-half Aaron Penberthy, particularly in the first half.
His maturity impressed yet again alongside more experienced men such as Rob Cook, Gavin Cattle, Phil Burgess, Ian Nimmo and Alan Paver. These men will all come back to fight another day.
Last night's battle began almost an hour before kick-off. Both sides made significant changes to their previously stated team selections. The big surprises for Pirates were the inclusion of Gloucester-bound centre Drew Locke – who broke his collarbone in January – and Penberthy in place of Ceiron Thomas at ten.
Burgess was due to take a position among the backs, but he reverted to his usual position of flanker, with Dave Ward retaining his place at hooker.
Ben Maidment also made a late recovery from the knock he suffered in the semi-finals against Bristol and took Kyle Marriott's place at No.8.
Welsh were equally deceptive with their pre-match announcements. As Pirates' head coach Ian Davies predicted, Exiles skipper Jon Mills did start in the second row, with Lee Beach preferred in the back row to Martin Purdy.
Penberthy wasted little time making his mark on the occasion, giving Pirates an early lead with a long-distance drop goal in the third minute. Locke also looked lively, creating line-break chances for Maidment and winger Matt Evans before his evening was brought to end by an apparent injury later in the half.
The Exiles' former Plymouth Albion full-back Alex Davies brought the sides level with a penalty, but Cook restored his side's lead soon after.
Pirates showed glimpses of promise but were struggling to make progress in the Welsh 22. The hosts, with that aggregate advantage to hand, were content to chip away at the scoreboard whenever possible.
The consistent kicking of Davies gave them the perfect platform for such a strategy and he, once again, brought parity to the scores with just under 20 minutes gone.
Pirates needed some magic to give them hope and they got it through Cook. The Exiles spilled possession on a rare trip into the Pirates' 22 and Cook led the counter, chipping towards the right corner once he passed into the Welsh half.
Although his own hopes of regaining ball in hand were ended with a crude body check in midfield, Evans picked up possession in space and charged to the line for the opening try of the night, with Cook converting.
There could have been another, with ten minutes of the half remaining. Burgess made a break from just outside the Exiles' 22, but a moment's indecision, when confronted by two remaining red shirts in defence, cost him the chance and the hosts eventually cleared the danger.
However, the Pirates were fortunate to retain their seven-point lead by the half-time interval, after the concession of a late penalty in kickable range for Davies. But he sliced his strike wide of the right post, leaving the visitors with much still to play for in the second half.
Davies did reduce the difference early in the second half and the Pirates' back David Doherty gave the hosts another chance, forcing Evans into a holding-on penalty offence as he tried to rescue his fellow winger's charged-down clearance.
The kick sailed over the right post and it took a lengthy spell for the television match official to confirm its success in bisecting the upright. It was a crucial decision and brought London Welsh's aggregate lead back up to 15 points.
Then, with less than 20 minutes to go, the Pirates found themselves worse off than they had started the game as Davies hit yet another kick through the posts.
That was a demoralising blow for the visitors and it was no surprise when Welsh centre Hudson Tonga'uiha sped through a tired-looking Pirates' defence for a try, converted by Davies.
The Pirates did manage to drive replacement Ryan Storer over with five minutes remaining, but there was still time for Welsh to add another through their own replacement Jack Moates, darting into the right corner for a try converted again by Davies.
London Welsh: Davies, Ajuwa, J Lewis (Jewell 66), Tonga'uiha, Scott; Ross, R Lewis (Moates 74); Lahiff (Moss 72), George (Ma'asi 54), Tideswell (Bateman 66); Mills (capt) (Purdy 76), Corker; Beach (Russell 76), Denbee, Jackson
Welsh scorers: tries Tonga'uiha, Moates; conversions Davies (2); penalties Davies (5)
Cornish Pirates: Cook; Evans (McAtee 67), Pointer, Locke (Cooper 28), D Doherty; Penberthy, Cattle (capt) (Kessell 57); Rimmer (Storer 66), Ward (Elloway 63), Paver; McGlone (Myerscough 57), Nimmo; Ewers, Burgess, Maidment (Marriott 50)
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans, Storer; conversions Cook (2); penalty Cook; drop-goal Penberthy
Referee: D Rose (RFU)