A summary of the 2012-2013 league season
This page summarizes the league games involving Cornish clubs in the Championship and National League 2 South that took place in the 2012-2013 season. (There were no Cornish clubs in National League 1 in this season.)
Three tries from Canadian wing Matt Evans helped the Cornish Pirates to an opening day win at St.Peter's as the RFU Championship season got underway, writes Dick Straughan.
The newly-promoted Islanders started strongly and went ahead through an early Ross Broadfoot penalty – only to be pegged back by a Kieranb Hallett strike for the Pirates.
Having withstood the early Jersey storm, the Pirates began to assert themselves more on the contest and spurned several good scoring chances before they finally took the lead late in the half.
With a minute of stoppage time played, pressure and patience paid off as the ball went wide to the left wing and Evans finished with a try in the corner.
But Jersey were again fired up as the second half began, capitalising on a sloppy restart to earn a penalty converted by Le Bourgeois.
Now trailing 8-6, Jersey had momentarily put the game in the balance – until Hallett's sublime grubber kick released Evans for his second try down the left flank. The Pirates' fly-half then converted it with a sublime touchline conversion.
Hallett and Le Bourgeois both missed penalties before Jersey hooker Steve Boden was sin-binned for fighting.
Then, with the game again going into stoppage time, Evans completed the scoring after Ryan Storer had made a mess of a home scrum.
Jersey: Bryce, Cooper, Bishop (Le Bourgeois 38), Sanders, Dawson, Broadfoot (Copsey h/t), Griffiths; Barrington (McCarthy 50), Boden (sin-bin 69-79), Evans, Hannay (capt)(Markham 50), Anderson, Thompson (Nihill 72), Vaioleti, Trower (Felton 72)
Replacement (not used) O`Brien
Jersey scorers: pens Broadfoot, Le Bourgeois
Yellow Card Boden
Cornish Pirates: Pointer, Bedford, Riley, Fatialofa (Cheesman 78), Evans, Hallett (Penberthy 80+1), Cattle (capt) (Kessell 76); Andrew, Elloway, Prescott (Storer 76), Barry (Lyons 61), Johnson, Marriott, Burgess, Maidment
Replacements (not used) Semmens, Paver
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans (3); con Hallett; pen Hallett
Referee S.Lee (RFU)
Despite a delayed kick off caused by travel difficulties, Redruth opened their National Two South campaign with a hard-fought victory.
Under the new coaching regime of Adrian Edwards, Ashley Morcom and Steve Evans, seven of the Reds' squad made their league debut.
Four of the newcomers plied their trade at Level eight last season while Redruth colt Jake Rayment was one of the youngest players ever to appear in a league game for Reds.
The visitors were quickly out of the blocks and were awarded a penalty in front of the posts for Paul Thirlby to put the visitors three points up with two minutes on the clock.
Both sets of backs showed an early desire to run the ball, with the pace of Redruth's left wing, Frazer Kellythorne, soon catching the eye.
Quick thinking by Titans' live-wire scrum-half Mike Pope saw him take a quick tap from a penalty in midfield to scamper over for a try, converted by Tony Yapp, to give the hosts a 14th-minute lead.
An exciting backs move culminated in a clever flip of the ball by Romey Vassell to put Craig Bonds over in the opposite corner. Thirlby added the extras to put the Reds back in front.
The lead was short-lived as Taunton back-rower Dean Menzies-Taylor drove over from short range to touch down for an unconverted try.
The dominant Reds' pack soon set up the opportunity for last season's top try scorer, Tom Duncan, to cross for one of his trade mark scores from the base of the scrum, putting the visitors back in front. A long-range penalty by centre Brett Turner made it all square with 20 minutes left on the clock.
For the final quarter Redruth took control. Duncan crossed to complete his brace, Thirlby converting, and then added another penalty. The final ten minutes saw the visitors efficiently close the game down to hold on for a creditable victory.
Reds' skipper Chris Fuca was especially delighted with the performance of the debutants but admitted he had felt very nervous about his first game as captain. "It's nice to get the first one out of the way," he said.
Head coach Edwards, felt that the difficult journey hadn't had an influence on events. "We knew they would come at us hard and we weathered their attack in the first half. Effort and team spirit is the key for us. I'm pleased with an away win."
Saturday sees Redruth host the Cornish All Blacks for the "Inferno In Kernow" in what is sure to be a full-blooded encounter in which the opening results will count for nothing.
Taunton: Gabitass (Conway 66), Claydon, Plummer, Turner, Giblett, Yapp, Pope, Morgan, Cooper (Beddard 71), Haines (Sinel 62), Ward, King, Harvey (Capt.) (Childs 69), Taylor-Menzies (Lee 69), Charlton
Taunton scorers: tries Pope, Taylor-Menzies; conversion Yapp; penalty Turner
Redruth: Bonds, Notman (Westren 79), Vassell, Parsons, Kellythorne, Thirlby, Goodfellow, Joyce (Williams 51), Brown, Jacques, Heath (Rayment 78), Cook, Fuca (Capt.), Hambly, Duncan
Replacements (not used): Turner, Peacock
Reds' scorers: tries Bonds, Duncan (2); conversions Thirlby (2); penalties Thirlby (2).
Referee: K Lewis (RFU).
The Cornish All Blacks had victory snatched from their grasp less than a minute from time in this opening National League Two South game with promoted Chinnor at Polson.
Losing your first game, and at home, is not a good start, but a campaign does not begin and end on one Saturday and All Blacks' skipper Tom Rawlings was far from discouraged.
He said: "We played good rugby and should have won it. We gave it away. Half of me wants to jump up and down about the good rugby we played – we scored four tries and got two bonus points."
The Cornishmen started well. Chinnor tight head Joe Pickett was sin-binned in the very first minute for punching and nine minutes later, Lewis Paterson scampered over on the right for the first of his hat-trick of tries.
Full-back Kieron Lewitt added the extras, but by the 18th minute Chinnor were ahead. A penalty for not rolling away was kicked by fly-half James Cathcart and then flanker Liam Gilbert sent full-back Henry Colver over.
Cathcart's conversion was given but looked just wide. The All Blacks again infringed, in a ruck, and the ball was again shipped wide to Chinnor wing Mark Chase, who raced over.
The All Blacks hit back with a second touchdown for Lewitt, who converted to see his side trailing by a point at the interval.
A Lewitt penalty and Paterson's converted hat-trick try saw the All Blacks move in front. But back came Chinnor to level it through Goode, and the visitors snatched back the lead on the hour with a fine Cathcart penalty goal.
Paterson charged down a kick along the left and sent in replacement scrum-half Richard Friend for Lewitt to add two more points. But Cathcart landed his third well-taken penalty and there was only one point in it again. Now disaster struck.
Friend was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on. In the 80th minute Chinnor mounted a final attack and wing Thomas Gray, in plenty of space, raced over for victory.
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Bright, Paterson, S Chapman, Tidball; Murphy, Webber (Friend 64); Mathias, Hurdwell, Bayliss; Hilton, Tripcony; Lord, T Rawlings (capt), B-J Chapman (Bolwell 70)
Replacements (not used): Hales, Ryan, Kneebone.
All Blacks' scorers: tries Paterson (3), Friend; conversions Lewitt (3); penalty Lewitt
Yellow cards: Lewitt, Bright.
Chinnor: Colver; Chase, Goode, Stoop, Gray; Cathcart, Jones; Stock (Whelan 69), Tattersall, Pickett (Whelan 1-11, Berry 69); Blewitt (Wood 61), Smith; Gilbert (capt), Williams, Kava
Replacements (not used): Davies, Fielding
Chinnor scorers: tries Colver, Chase, Goode, Gray; conversions Cathcart (2); penalties Cathcart (3)
Yellow card: Pickett
Redruth took the honours in the first Cornish derby in National League 2 South this season at a sun-drenched Recreation Ground, reports Bill Hooper.
Dubbed the "Inferno in Kernow" in the pre-match billing, it was Redruth who were to prove to be the red-hot team as they got off to a cracking start with three tries during the opening fifteen minutes, leaving the men in black to play catch up rugby all afternoon.
Redruth played at a tempo and with a physicality that the All Blacks just couldn't match.
Centre Sam Parsons made the most of a quick tap penalty to cross after just five minutes, before scrum-half Greg Goodfellow exploited a large hole in the All Blacks' defence just moments later for the Reds' second try.
The Red onslaught continued as lock Luke Collins reached over the line to dot down the first of his two tries.
Paul Thirlby added just one of the three conversions, but then went on to kick all his remaining goals.
The Cornish All Blacks got into the game as recent signing, winger Luke Tidball, made the most of some space to score in the Piggy Lane corner, Kieron Lewitt adding a fine conversion.
Redruth continued to dominate, with centre Romy Vassell catching the eye in the backs, whilst in the forwards man-of-the-match Darren Jacques got through a lot of work -- as did fellow prop Peter Joyce in his final game as a Redruth player before joining the Cornish Pirates.
Thirlby kept the scoreboard ticking over with a couple of penalties as the half hour mark approached.
A rare visit down towards Hellfire Corner saw the All Blacks come away with a second try, as prop Tim Mathias barged over from a maul.
Thirlby, with a third penalty, made the half-time score 26-12 to the Reds.
For a way back into the game the Cornish All Blacks needed an early score in the second half.
Instead it was the Reds who increased their advantage, as winger Frazer Kellythorne made the most of more weak tackling to run in from forty meters to the Piggy Lane corner for the bonus-point try.
Thirlby was again on cue with the conversion and two further penalties to stretch out further the Reds' advantage.
With the game now in the final quarter Redruth ran in a fifth try, with Collins getting his second score following some great work and hard running by No.8 Tom Duncan and replacement flanker Neil Broadbank. Thirlby's conversion made the score 46-12.
To their credit, the All Blacks showed strong character to score two further tries in the final ten minutes to travel back up the A30 with a try-scoring bonus point -- thanks to scores from winger Richard Bright and replacement Mike Roach, with Jake Murphy adding a final conversion.
Redruth 46 pts: tries Parsons, Goodfellow, Collins (2), Kellythorne; penalties Thirlby (5); conversions Thirlby (3)
Cornish All Blacks 24 pts: tries Tidball, Mathias, Bright, Roach; conversions Lewitt, Murphy
Redruth: C Bonds, T Notman (L Vinnicombe 50), R Vassell, S Parsons, F Kellythorne, P Thirlby, G Goodfellow (T Peacock 64); D Jacques, R Brown (N Turner 70), P Joyce (C Williams 56), L Collins, D Cook, C Fuca (capt) (N Boradbank 53), O Hambly, T Duncan
Cornish All Blacks: K Lewitt (R Friend 50), R Bright, L Paterson, S Chapman, L Tidball, J Murphy, N Webber; T Mathias (A Meredith 71), T Hurdwell, N Bayliss (M Roach 66), J Tripcony, B J Chapman, M Rawlings, T Rawlings (capt) (L Duke 77), J Lord (M Bolwell 66)
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Darren Jacques
Nat Saumi's new-look Plymouth Albion side came within a whisker of sending the Cornish Pirates to defeat in their opening home game of the season, only to be denied by a Rob Cook penalty two minutes from the end of a pulsating derby, writes Dick Straughan.
Albion dominated much of the game in terms of territory and possession and should have been well ahead at the interval.
However, early dominance, which saw Pirates' prop Paul Andrew sin-binned for killing the ball on his own line, went unrewarded through poor decision-making and saw several good try-scoring chances go begging.
Coupled with a poor place-kicking display from fly-half Paul Roberts, Albion had to settle for a 7-6 half-time lead through a converted Herbie Stupple try, against two Kieran Hallett penalties.
The Pirates roused the home crowd with the first of another brace of Matt Evans' tries just two minutes into the second half, but Albion regrouped to quickly reclaim the lead.
Centre Bevon Armitage picked a hole in the Pirates' defence from 5 metres after a spell of pressure, but Roberts` conversion was wide.
With Albion's pack now firmly on top, they extended their lead on 68 minutes, driving over after a penalty and close range lineout. Canadian Number 8 Aaron Carpenter was credited with the score but again the try went unconverted.
With eight minutes to go the Pirates' pack finally gained the upper hand in Albion territory, forcing the visitors deep into their own 22. With an advantage being played by the referee, they shipped the ball wide at pace for Evans to score in the corner.
Plymouth still led by a point after Rob Cook's conversion sailed wide, but with time almost up they looked nervous.
The Pirates' pack again drove from the restart, winning a slightly fortuitous penalty in front of the posts and Cook stepped up to steal a victory against the run of play.
Cornish Pirates: Cook, Bedford (Storer 4-13), Riley, Fatialofa (Cheesman 69), Evans, Hallett (Penberthy 69), Cattle (capt) (Kessell 53); P.Andrew (sin-bin 3-13), Elloway, Prescott (M Maidment 49), Lyons, Johnson, Marriott, Burgess, B.Maidment (Buckle 69)
Replacement (not used) Semmens
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans (2); pens Hallett (2), Cook
Yellow Card Andrew
Plymouth Albion: Messer, McAtee (Bowen 69), Bailey, Armitage, Arnott, Roberts, Rowley (Cushion 76); J.Andrew (Hopkins 80), Vickers, Fairbrother, Beukeboom, Stephen (capt), Stupple (Nasiga 53), Hocking Nasiga, Carpenter
Replacements (not used): Fisilau, Cowan-Dickie, Ashcroft-Leigh
Plymouth scorers: tries Stupple, Armitage, Carpenter; con Roberts
Referee M.Carley (RFU)
Despite bringing them only two National League Two South points, Saturday's 24-24 draw with Hartpury College will have given the Cornish All Blacks heart after their defeat at Redruth the week before.
A draw was a fair result but the Cornish might have snatched victory ten minutes from time if the usually unerring boot of full-back Kieron Lewitt had not missed the final conversion by a whisker.
The lead changed hands three times with never more than a few points separating the sides. The students – almost a misnomer for a team boasting several members who had played at a much higher level and had not sat an academic exam for years – had a big pack and a set of backs who threw the ball about dangerously.
Initially, the home pack had to fight hard to contain their opposite numbers and to scotch running attacks out wide, but by early in the second half they had got the measure of their opponents and spent long periods in the Hartpury half and 22.
The All Blacks' head coach Spike Rainford was heartened by his charges' performance. He said: "It was a massive improvement, in both ball retention and in not rushing in attack. We tried to play phases and played much better as a team, with the forwards and backs linking together better.
"Last week at Redruth we allowed them to run through the middle, and we gave them space and allowed them to keep it tight in the middle of the park. We could have closed it out at one point, but we performed as a team, which was what we wanted. It was something to build on."
Hartpury were making an art form of coming up offside and Lewitt soon had the chance to land a penalty after some exhilarating home three-quarter play.
The visitors responded soon after with the first of their three tries, the backs cutting through the middle and taking it wide for scrum-half Bradley Field to pass inside to wing Jack Hayes to cross.
The lead was soon extended when the All Blacks were penalised for not rolling away and Craig Jackson kicked the goal.
Lewitt and Jackson traded a further successful penalty kick apiece, before the All Blacks mounted some fine attacking runs and Lewitt landed his third goal three minutes before the interval to bring the halftime score to 11-9 to Hartpury.
Soon after the re-start the students' lock Sam Raven went off and immediately his replacement, Brandon Walker, scored after some powerful scrums and rolling mauls.The conversion failed and the All Blacks countered at once, taking play close to the visitors' line wide out on the left.
They won a scrum and when Hartpury disrupted the drive by standing up, home scrum-half Neilson Webber quickly tapped the penalty and wove through to score. Lewitt stroked over a touchline conversion to the roar of the crowd and it was 16-16.
The All Blacks nudged ahead just before the hour. Attacking relentlessly, they formed a ruck on the 22 midfield, passed the ball coolly back to Jake Murphy in the pocket, and the fly-half dropped an impeccable goal.
The visitors countered from the kick-off and with surprising ease raced through on the right with their wings combining to put Hayes over. The conversion rebounded, and then, despite solid defence by the Cornish, Hartpury won a penalty which Jackson kicked to put his side five points clear.
But the All Blacks came yet again, kicked to the right corner, and from the line-out drove relentlessly towards the line. No.8 Josh Lord almost made it before lock Tim Mathias drove over to level it again and clinch the draw.
With just eight minutes remaining in this tense Westcountry derby at the Memorial Stadium, it looked as if the Cornish Pirates would win in Bristol for the first time in seven years.
But an inspired double substitution at half-back by Bristol head coach Liam Middleton and 13 unanswered points ended the Pirates' unbeaten start to the season.
It was harsh on the Cornish side, who had battled back from an indifferent first half of errors and penalties conceded to take the lead on 50 minutes and then dominated the middle period of the second half.
However, injuries again proved their undoing with skipper Kyle Marriott forced off with a hamstring problem, prop Ben Prescott picking up a knock and then flying wing Matt Evans being stretchered off in the closing seconds after a heavy collision left him briefly unconscious.
Pirates' head coach Ian Davies said: "The intensity was there and we deserved the victory, if not a losing bonus point at least.
"We had to work a lot harder in the first 40 than we wanted to because of the penalty count and unforced errors. We were confident, though, after going in at the break only four points down after Bristol had thrown everything at us, and we upped the tempo in the second half."
He added: "Bristol struggled with that but by the end when we ended up with three props on the field and a hooker in the back row it became very difficult to control the game."
The home side made a strong start and, with the Pirates conceding a string of penalties at the set-piece and breakdown, took an early lead through two Matt Jones' penalties.
Yet, just as against Plymouth seven days earlier, the Pirates managed to hang in the game and believed they had scored a try from Matt Evans -- only for referee Sean Davey to call the move back for a forward pass by Junior Fatialofa.
Kieran Hallett restored parity on the scoreboard, slotting two penalties of his own, but the game edged away from the Pirates again when lock Darren Barry received a yellow card as he killed the ball close to his own line.
Bristol took their time trying to make the man advantage count but finally found a chink in the Pirates' defence with centre Luke Eves scooting through to score under the posts. Jones converted.
Bristol pushed on again at the end of the first half but wasted good scoring chances for Mike Tagicakibau and Matt Williams, leaving Hallett to punish them again with a third penalty to make it 13-9 at half-time.
The Pirates were a different proposition after the interval, playing with tempo and precision. Hallett struck again to cut the home lead to a single point and then they took the lead with Evans' sixth try of the season.
Gary Johnson won a line-out on the right flank and quick ball out to the left via Kessell and Riley put the Canadian speedster in to score. Hallett missed with the shot for the extras and Jones quickly reduced the Pirates' advantage to one with his third penalty.
With the crowd growing increasingly restless and the home backs flat and lacking penetration, Middleton introduced Ruki Tipuna and Tristan Roberts for Jones and James Grindal. Roberts fluffed a 70th-minute drop-goal in his first attacking foray but the Pirates were heavily disrupted by the loss of Marriott.
Pressure close to the Cornish line yielded a penalty as Ryan Storer barged into a ruck from an illegal position and Roberts made it 19-17.
Flanker Iain Grieve then wasted a chance to set Williams up for a try before Roberts struck again from 30 metres after the Pirates were pinged at the breakdown.
Then after Wes Davies had limped off, leaving the Pirates down to 14, Bristol stole a turnover on their own 22 and Tipuna attacked, eventually releasing Williams to score.
Roberts landed the conversion before a final assault deep in stoppage time led to Evans being rendered unconscious following a sickening collision with Tagicakibau. He will be a severe doubt for next weekend's home clash with Newcastle Falcons.</p>
Bristol: Goodridge, Tagicaikibau, Eves, Gadd (Mosses 77), Williams, Jones (Roberts 64), Grindal (Tipuna 64); Traynor, Lawrence, Douglas, Glynn (Townson 71), Winters, Pennycook (Grieve 64), Merriman (capt), Eadie
Replacements (not used) Channon, Thompson
Bristol scorers: tries Eves, Williams; cons Jones, Roberts; pens Jones (3), Roberts (2)
Cornish Pirates: Davies, Bedford, Riley, Fatialofa (Penberthy 78), Evans, Hallett, Kessell (Cattle 67); Andrew, Elloway (Yeandle 64), Prescott (M.Maidment 64), Barry (sin-bin 25-35, Lyons 8-13, 57, Johnson, Marriott (capt) (Storer 72), Burgess, B.Maidment (Morgan h/t)
Pirates' scorers: try Evans; pens Hallett (4)
Yellow Card Barry
Referee S.Davey (RFU)
Redruth maintained their winning start to the season with a hard-fought National 2 South win over promoted Bournemouth at the Recreation Ground, reports Bill Hooper.
It was a result and a performance which won't linger too long in the minds of the Reds' supporters.
Redruth fluffed the kick-off, handing immediately the advantage to their opponents. However, Bournemouth failed to capitalise as a drop-goal attempt sailed wide of the posts.
Redruth worked their way into the visitor's half thanks to a strong run from No.8 Tom Duncan, earning a penalty which fly-half Paul Thirlby slotted between the posts.
The Reds' scrum slowly got the advantage over their opponents and a series of scrums up in the Piggy Lane corner eventually saw Duncan power over for a well-deserved try.
Thirlby kicked a well-judged conversion in the tricky breeze for a 10-0 score-line.
Redruth continued to create try-scoring opportunities during the first-half, but referee Luke Haskins ruled that they were held-up on numerous occasions -- much to the consternation of the Redruth faithful and coaching team.
Eventually the Reds increased their advantage. Once again it was Duncan who powered his way over from another scrum from five meters out.
With half-time fast approaching, Redruth suffered a double blow. Lock Luke Collins was sin-binned for a professional foul, then, moments later, Bournemouth got their first try through No. 8 Gavin Hart from a catch-and-drive -- to leave the Reds 15-5 up at the break.
It got worse for the Reds early in the second half as Bournemouth's winger Rory Trow took an interception in the Redruth half to canter into Hellfire corner.
Both Sam Parsons and Romy Vassell worked hard in mid-field for the Reds and it was a blow when the former Newquay Hornets player had to be helped from the field on 70 minutes.
Bournemouth were pinged by the referee, allowing Thirlby to kick a second penalty to put his side 18-10 ahead.
In the dying moments Bournemouth tried to pull back the deficit. Dean Bonds, on for Vassell, got back in the nick-of-time to win a race for the touchdown.
Skipper Chris Fuca was yellow-carded for knocking the ball out of a Bournemouth player's hand following the award of a penalty. With the penalty marched a further 10 metres forward Stevenson finally succeeded with the final kick of the game to take a losing bonus point back to the South Coast.
Redruth 18 pts: tries Duncan (2); penalties Thirlby (2); conversion Thirlby
Yellow Cards: Collins (39), Fuca (79)
Bournemouth 13 pts: tries Hart, Trow; penalty Stevenson
Redruth: C Bonds, T Notman, R Vassell (D Bonds 70), S Parsons, F Kellythorn, P Thirlby, T Peacock (N Simmons 55),; D Jacques (D Job 72), R Brown, C Williams, L Collins (L Collins 75), C Bailey, C Fuca (capt), O Hambly, T Duncan
Replacement (not used): J Tresidder
Bournemouth: D Pollard, R Trow (P O'Brien 70), D Connolly, S Chislett, A Edwards, B Stevenson, S Hardcastle; B Featherstone (R Carrell 39), D Cawley, A Manning (capt), W Brooks, C Forrest, J Peart (L Andrews 61), C Grace, G Hart
Replacements (not used): B Stewart. A Spikings
Referee: Luke Haskins (RFU)
A strong forwards-based performance from Newcastle Falcons in terrible conditions at the Mennaye Field ensured that the promotion favourites maintained their unbeaten start to the season, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates played the first half into the gale from the south-east, defending wave after wave of phase play and penalties which yielded a 4th minute penalty for Falcons' full-back Jimmy Gopperth.
The response from the home side was strong, with Kieran Hallett missing a penalty and Number 8 Ben Maidment getting the crowd on their feet after a strong drive deep into the Falcons' 22. Finally the pressure told and Hallett levelled the scores with a 20 metre penalty midway through the half.
Gopperth`s second penalty five minutes from the end of the half restored the three point Falcons' lead and then, in first half stoppage time, they claimed the opening try as hooker Rob Vickers was bundled over from short distance. Gopperth converted.
The Pirates turned around in the second half trailing 13-3 but with the elements at their backs, yet it was the Falcons who killed the game off on 54 minutes as giant Samoan flanker Taiasina Tu`ifua rounded off a sustained period of pick and drive play with the second try. Gopperth`s kick made it 20-3.
Gopperth himself had a chance of a third try on the hour, only to knock on close to the Pirates' line. The Falcons finally killed the contest in the 5th minute of added time as wing Tom Catterick claimed the touchdown in the middle of a driving maul.
Cornish Pirates: Hallett, Bedford, Riley (Vinnicombe 71), Fatialofa (Cheesman 62), Davies (Cattle h/t), Penberthy, Kessell; Storer (Andrew 55), Elloway (Semmens 73), Paver (Joyce 67), Lyons (Barry 67), Johnson, Morgan, Burgess (capt), Maidment
Pirates' score: pen Hallett
Newcastle Falcons: Gopperth, Fielden (Tait 69), Crockett (Helleur 74), Tu`ipulotu, Catterick, Hodgson, Lawson (Pasqualin 78); Golding, Vickers (Thompson 64), Tomaszczyk (Hall 65), McLeod (del Fava 50), Hudson, Hogg (capt), Tu`ifua (Wilson 55), R.Mayhew
Newcastle scorers: tries Vickers, Tu`ifua, Catterick; cons Gopperth (2); pens Gopperth (2)
Referee: G. Macdonald (RFU)
Kieran Hallett's penalty four minutes into second half stoppage time saved the Cornish Pirates' blushes in South Yorkshire on Friday night as they battled back to grab a draw, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates had gone into the game keen to end a run of successive defeats against the winless Knights, but looked to be heading for a shock defeat when home hooker Rhys Buckley claimed a converted 80th minute try.
But a penalty awarded to the Cornish side shortly after the restart and marched ten metres closer to the posts after some afters by the home pack, gave Hallett the perfect chance to level the game. And the summer signing from Nottingham nailed the shot from 40 metres.
A largely insipid contest was short on points-scoring opportunities in the first half, with Jamie Lennard's early penalty for the Knights cancelled out by Hallett. But with a minute of the half remaining Bath dual-registered flanker Joe Buckle went over from close range to put the Pirates 8-3 up.
Lennard's boot cut the lead to two on 52 minutes before Chris Planchant scored a try in the corner to put the Knights ahead, and Castle Park's faithful began to sense victory.
With four minutes to go Alex Cheesman restored the Pirates' lead with a second try superbly converted by Hallett, only for Buckley to seemingly snatch the victory back for the Knights.
Hallett levelled the game and the Pirates take home two points but there will be little else to remember from this game.
Doncaster Knights: Mama, Flockhart, Simpson, Tincknell, Lewis, Lennard, Hallam (Silver 70); Davies (Brown 70), Buckley, McGovern (Cronin 60), Hoy (Parsons 46), Challinor (capt), Kettle, Bradford (sin-bin 37-47, Boyde 60)), Planchant (Sowery 80+2)
Replacements (not used): Parsons, Barrett
Knights' scorers: tries Buckley, Planchant; cons Lennard; pens Lennard (2)
Yellow card: Bradford
Cornish Pirates: Evans (Penberthy 65), Bedford, Riley, Cheesman, Kessell, Hallett, Cattle (capt) (Fatialofa 26); Storer (Andrew 65), Yeandle (Elloway 57), Paver (Joyce 60), Lyons, Johnson (Burgess 49-53), Morgan, Buckle (Burgess 57), McGlone (Ewers h/t, sin-bin 79)
Pirates' scorers: tries Buckle, Cheesman; cons Hallett; pens Hallett (2)
Yellow card: Ewers
Referee: D Gamage (RFU)
Newlyn boy Jack Nowell looked to be well on his way to a Championship debut to remember for his home-town club when he capped a solid display at full-back with a 40th-minute try last Sunday.
The 19-year-old, currently dual-registered with the Cornish Pirates and Exeter Chiefs, scored the third of three first-half tries to give the Pirates a 21-10 lead and at that stage of the game things were looking good.
However, 40 minutes and one London Scottish fightback later, the mood in the Pirates' camp was a sombre one after Phil Godman's penalty with the last kick of the game snatched a 25-24 win for London Scottish.
"All the boys are really disappointed because we know that we are a lot better than that," said Nowell.
"In the first half we came out and did what we were meant to do and stuck to our game-plan. In the second half we didn't do that, but we showed in that first half what we can do.
"Now we have to take that out of this game and bring it to next week."
The highly-rated England Under-20 international had been on the radar for the Pirates last season but instead joined Plymouth Albion on loan, before a knee injury sustained in January while playing for the Chiefs ended his campaign early.
Now back to full fitness, he is hungry for game-time and was clear on what went wrong for the Pirates in London.
"The words in the dressing room at half-time were to go out and keep doing what we were doing," he explained. "London Scottish did play better in the second half but a lot of it was down to us with little mistakes and knock-ons. It was so disappointing."
Nowell was modest about his own try in which he showed great strength to hold off several tacklers in rounding off a flowing move inspired by Kieran Hallett, Junior Fatialofa and Wes Davies.
While he is keen to impress Rob Baxter and the rest of the coaches at Sandy Park, he is content right now on making his mark for the Pirates.
He said: "It's always nice to get a try in a game, and obviously I would love to get playing regularly at the Chiefs. But I love playing at the Pirates because it is good rugby and good systems, and I look forward to coming down."
A first half try hat-trick from winger Lewis Vinnicombe helped secure Redruth's fifth win on the trot, writes Bill Hooper.
With barely 60 seconds on the clock Vinnicombe flew in at Hellfire Corner for the opening try and then, barely four minutes later, the winger was in again in the same corner, having brilliantly handed-off the covering Canterbury player.
Despite the early double blow the visitors got back into the game with a try and conversion from fly-half Tom Best.
Redruth elected to scrum a penalty near the Canterbury line and the long pass from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow found Vinnicombe, who again crossed in Hellfire Corner for his third try.
The try-scoring bonus point was secured just after the half-hour mark as Redruth broke away down field with Craig Bonds slipping the scoring pass to skipper Chris Fuca.
With half-time fast approaching, Redruth scored a fifth try through Goodfellow, who set off from a ruck just on halfway, dummying his way through the Canterbury cover to score a fine individual try near the posts. That try capped a fine performance from the scrum-half that saw him deservedly take the man of the match award.
Paul Thirlby converted the final two scores of the half to give the Reds a deserved 29-7 advantage at half-time.
The second half proved a scrappier affair than the first for the Reds. No.8 Tom Duncan once again got on the score-sheet as he drove over for Redruth's sixth try after 53 minutes. Thirlby added his third conversion.
Redruth then made changes from the bench, which allowed Canterbury to score a couple of tries during the final quarter from both their centres, David Devlin-Jones and Alex Veale. The later score was converted by Best.
Canterbury looked to salvage a try-scoring bonus point of their own near the end but stout Redruth defence kept them out, despite losing lock Damien Cook to the sin-bin with five minutes to go.
Redruth: T Notman, L Vinnicombe (M Westren 50), C Bonds, S Parsons, F Kellythorn, P Thirlby (N Simmons 62), G Goodfellow; D Job (D Jacques 47), R Brown (N Turner 72), P Joyce, C Bailey, D Cook, O Hambly, C Fuca (capt) (N Broadbank 62), T Duncan
Redruth scorers: tries Vinnicombe (3), Goodfellow, Fuca, Duncan; conversions Thirlby (3)
Yellow Card Cook (75)
Canterbury: M Beaumont, A Moss, D Devlin-Jones, A Veale, M Melford (A Kwaku 11), T Best, P Marshall (C Tandy 40); J Green, T Rogers, M Pinnick (S Goode 58), T Sherson, J Darley, R Comfort (R Corr 21), S Rogers, P Kelly (capt) (N Wakefield 62)
Canterbury scorers: tries Best, Devlin-Jones, Veale; conversions Best (2)
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Redruth man of the match: Greg Goodfellow
Martin Rice played his first competitive game of rugby in two and a half years to help the Cornish All Blacks return to winning ways with a convincing bonus point victory at Polson Bridge.
The 30-year-prop had been sidelined since April 2010 by a mixture of injury and work commitments on the family farm.
It was his first appearance for the All Blacks since 2005, when he left the club to join Plymouth Albion.
It was crucial for the All Blacks to get a win as they started a run of four matches against sides in and around them in the table which could see them climb into the top half of the division, and head coach Cliff Rainford was naturally delighted.
"It was everything, and more, on Saturday," said Rainford.
"I was very happy with how it went, in terms of our build-up during the week, and the result.
"We really should have had even more points, and we had opportunities where we went for tries when we could have put more penalties over, and it would have been nice to have got over 40 points, but it was a really good turnaround, coming off the back of our defeat at Henley.
"It was a very good performance up there but the scoreline was against us, but on Saturday we put the performance and the scoreline together, which was very pleasing."
In addition to the return of Rice, there was also a first start for young centre Toby Borrow, and Rainford said: "They both acquitted themselves very, very well and gave us a lot of go-forward.
"We also had Lloyd Duke coming on after only seven minutes, and he played very well at openside flanker after Tom Rawlings had moved up from seven to hooker after the loss of Tom Hurdwell through injury, and again equipped himself very well out of position.
"It was very pleasing the whole squad played a part in the win, which made it all the better."
Rainford added: "Toby is a big, strong, powerful runner and is a great addition to have, and gives us options for our runners to run off him. He also defends very well."
The game was fairly evenly matched in the first half, and Southend took the lead with a second minute penalty by Jack Jones, but that was wiped out by three points from All Blacks' full back Kieron Lewitt, who had another excellent day with his boot, providing 18 points to the home tally with seven successful kicks.
Southend had a strong pack, but the All Blacks' defensive work was impressive.
However, more home indiscipline saw Jones slot three more points to make it 6-3 to the visitors, while the All Blacks lost blindside flanker Mike Rawlings to the sin-bin.
That was the last time Southend troubled the scoreboard, though, as the All Blacks moved up a gear.
Experienced lock Ben Hilton claimed a try, converted by Lewitt, who then added three penalties, with one of them a monster effort from inside his own half, and the hosts led 19-6 at the interval.
The All Blacks got the second half off to a perfect start with a first try of the season by winger Liam Yeo, created by Borrow, after 41 minutes.
They continued to give away penalties, but Southend were not able to capitalise.
Home lock Jamie Tripcony grabbed his side's third try in the 58th minute, before centre Lewis Paterson went over for his seventh touchdown of the season, and the crucial bonus point try for the All Blacks, 11 minutes later, with Lewitt converting both.
The All Blacks could have added further scores in the closing stages to make the final scoreline even more emphatic, but they were very pleased with their day's work at the office.
Having lost their unbeaten record at Worthing the previous week, Redruth got back to winning ways with a seven-try win over a hard-working Chinnor side who will feel disappointed to be have been defeated so heavily. Indiscipline was to cost them dear.
Already trailing 24–14 and down to fourteen with replacement lock Ed Vickers in the bin, the visitor’s resistance crumbled following Reds' skipper Chris Fuca’s 68th minute try, followed shortly after by scrum-half Frank Jones’ red card for foul play.
The win, and especially the second half performance, pleased Redruth’s Director of Rugby, Adrian Edwards. He said. “It was a good game and I am really pleased to bounce back this week with a five point win. We’ve been guilty of perhaps not playing for the full eighty, but last week, despite the loss, we put in a full eighty and again this week we didn’t let our foot off the pedal and put away those late scores.
“Despite the red and yellow cards for Chinnor it was a game played in good spirit.
Edwards also played tribute to centre Sam Parsons, who was playing for the final time at home before moving to Australia. “You don’t like to lose players of Sam’s quality but we have to move on and today was a great way for him to finish with a try and the man-of-the-match award.
Playing down the slope, Redruth got off to a great start with an early try from winger Fraser Kellythorn after just six minutes.
Paul Thirlby had a mixed day with his goal kicking. Following a penalty miss from the Reds’ fly-half, Chinnor kicked long from the dropout, only for centre Lewis Vinnicombe to run the ball back up to the visitor’s twenty-two. The ball was carried on by flanker Owen Hambly, who chipped through for Parsons to gather and score.
Before the first quarter was over Redruth had a third try, with Kellythorn finishing off a good move in the corner. Thirlby kicked the first of his three conversions for 17-0.
Chinnor got back into the game with a well-worked try, following a catch-and-drive, scored by prop Joe Pickett. Fly-half James Cathcart added the extras.
Despite some good possession Redruth were denied further scores before the break as the visiting defence kept the marauding Reds at bay.
After a solid start to the second half by the visitors they again conceded a score as Redruth’s No.8, Tom Duncan, squeezed over with the bonus point try after 51 minutes, Thirlby adding a fine conversion from the touchline.
Kellythorn was then unlucky to see a third try chalked off by the officials for a forward pass in the build up.
The game was beginning to open up, and Chinnor moved the ball wide to score a fine try in the corner through winger Philip Seymour. Cathcart was again on cue with the extras.
Chinnor then lost replacement lock Ed Vickers to the bin for a professional foul, which allowed the Reds to kick to the corner and score a simple try through Fuca.
As Redruth laid siege to the Chinnor line referee Paul Kimber brandished a red card to Jones for foul play.
Again the Reds kicked to the corner. Chinnor’s resistance had all but crumbled and Duncan claimed his second try of the game from the drive. Thirlby rubbed salt into the visitor’s wounds with the conversion, as did replacement back Ashley Hosking, who dropped a fine goal shortly after.
Hambly completed the try-scoring with the Reds seventh try and Thirlby added his third conversion to send the Redruth faithful home in good spirits.
Redruth: C Bonds, Notman (D Bonds 60), Vinnicombe, Bonds, Parsons (Hosking 70), Kellythorn, Thirlby, Simmons; Jacques, Brown (Turner 70), Job (Drew 70), Cook, Bailey (Collins 47), Hambly, Fuca (capt), Duncan
Redruth scorers: tries Kellythorn (2), Parsons, Duncan (2), Fuca, Hambly; conversions Thirlby (3); drop-goal Hosking
Chinnor: Colver, Seymour, Goode (Hopwood 28-41), Stoop, Fielding (Hopwood 62), Cathcart, Jones; Winpenny (capt), Holyard (Whelan 51), Pickett (Berry 62), Mowbray (Vickers 51), Smith (Hastings 76), Gilbert, Sawyer, Kava
Yellow Card Vickers (67); Red Card Jones (74)
Chinnor scorers: tries Pickett, Seymour; conversions Cathcart (2)
Referee: Paul Kimber (RFU)
Redruth head coach Adrian Edwards has vowed to continue with the club's policy of giving young players their chance to make the step up to senior rugby.
Edwards watched his Reds' side make it seven wins out of eight, thanks to a 31-23 victory at Lydney on Saturday, to stay second in National 2 South behind leaders Henley.
It has been a dream start to the campaign for Edwards, who took over from David Penberthy during the summer.
But while Edwards has brought in several players from outside the club since his appointment, he has made full use of the Reds' extremely talented youth ranks.
Edwards has introduced a number of players from the developments and colts, and as results show, it has been a decision which has been fully justified.
He said: "We have got Jamie Tresidder, Stuart Morrison and Bossman (Adam Hosking) helping run the development team.
"We all agree the future of the club is long term, this has to come from the Colts and the development team, the less money we get from the RFU the more we have got to produce our own players.
"We are doing that, they are getting regular rugby which they did not have last year, we have had six or seven players this year who have played in the development team and come into the first team.
"We have got to put the result (at Lydney) in perspective, we had a lot of youngsters in key positions and we keep winning, it is good for the club's future."
Sam Parsons played his final game for Redruth on Saturday, before moving to Australia.
And while Edwards admits his absence will be a blow, he believes there is enough strength to deal with his departure.
He said: "Sam Parsons will be a big loss as a player but we have got Greg Goodfellow (back after suspension) and Luke Collins to add to this team."
One player to catch the eye in Saturday's latest success was Ashley Hosking, who kicked three penalties.
Backs coach Steve Evans said: "Ashley Hosking did well, the first kick at goal he had was very good and probably settled his confidence.
"His all round control of the game was generally good, to be fair for his first game at a place like this he did ok. His kicking was good we was looking to involve people."
Redruth will face a much sterner test this weekend when they face fifth-placed Hartpury College away from home.
The Cornish All Blacks put the disappointment of defeat at Clifton quickly behind them as they got their campaign back on track with a bonus-point success over Taunton.
It was just the result they needed against a side coached by former Polson Bridge favourite Tony Yapp, and who included lock Chris Bentley, who was with Aviva Premiership side Exeter Chiefs last season.
Delighted All Blacks' head coach Cliff Rainford said: "I am really happy and very pleased with the performance.
"After the week before against Clifton, it was great to get a good victory at home to take into another home game against Lydney on Saturday.
"I am really happy for the guys, because we knew we hadn't played our best rugby at Clifton, and to turn it around in seven days is really pleasing."
Taunton were still very much in the game in the early stages of the second half, when they only trailed 18-17 and had the wind and the slope in their favour, but they were hit by 21 unanswered points in the space of ten minutes to kill them off.
"It was probably the most mature and controlled game of rugby I have seen the All Blacks play this year," admitted Rainford.
"We set our stall out at training on Tuesday and Thursday on what we wanted to try and do and how we wanted to play the game, and in what areas of the pitch, and went out and did exactly that, which was really, really good and very pleasing for me."
Both backs and forwards combined well throughout the game in what Rainford agreed had been a fine team effort.
"We used all 20 players, and everybody did really well," he said.
A penalty by All Blacks full back Kieron Lewitt and a Yapp drop goal for Taunton made it 3-3 after 10 minutes, before Lewitt slotted another successful kick.
In the 21st minute, a break by fly half Jake Murphy set up a try for centre Lewis Paterson, with Lewitt adding the extras to make it 13-3, but Taunton – who also had former All Blacks Aron Struminski and Gary Kingdom in their starting line-up – hit back when centre and skipper Jemba Bull exploited some poor tackling to cross, with Brett Turner converting.
The All Blacks then lost lock Ben Hilton to the sin bin, but they actually managed to score another try while he was off the field, with scrum half Richard Friend sending left wing Liam Yeo racing away down the blindside to score to make it 18-10 to the hosts at the break.
Four minutes after the interval, the Titans got to within one point with a try by tight-head prop Gordon Howells off the back of a ruck, with Turner converting, but the All Blacks then enjoyed a devastating spell.
No.8 Josh Lord stormed over from a ruck, Hilton added another try, and then Friend put in Lord for his second, with the accurate Lewitt converting all three for a 39-17 lead.
However, Taunton refused to give up, and in the last quarter they came spiritedly back again as they searched for bonus points.
All Blacks' replacement Lloyd Duke put in a try-saving tackle on Titans hooker Robbie Beddard, but the visitors did manage a late consolation score through openside flanker Edward Lee, with Yapp supplying the extras.
The Cornish Pirates are back in business after their Championship victory over Leeds yesterday.
The Pirates showed plenty of positive signs at Mennaye Field, on the way to a 21-8 win over the Yorkshire side.
Tries from Matt Evans and Gary Johnson – and 11 points from the boot of fly-half Kieran Hallett – helped the Cornish side achieve their first Championship success since September 9.
Confidence had been partially restored by some positive results in the British and Irish Cup against Carmarthen Quins and Dundee High, but this was a more substantial test of their progress over recent weeks.
Although the Pirates' head coach Ian Davies will look for better performances as the season continues, there were moments yesterday that showed his side are capable of hitting previous heights once again this term.
Their tries showed ability and tenacity in equal measure. The first arrived after just five minutes.
A Leeds attack was thwarted in the Pirates' 22 and a quick break ensued. Flanker Ben Maidment had possession with limited support on the half-way line so opted to chip down the left wing.
Evans chased gamely and, when visiting centre Josh Griffin failed to gather properly, he seized possession and managed to reach top speed before Leeds could regroup.
The wing brushed off some desperate last-ditch tackles and touched down under the posts for an unconverted try.
Leeds came back impressively with a purposeful running game. The Pirates came under pressure and conceded a penalty, which was slotted away by fly-half Joe Ford.
But for all Leeds' good work, the first moment of outstanding quality came from the Pirates' full-back Jack Nowell.
The young Exeter Chief – who is on dual-registration with the Pirates – ran the ball from deep, going from 22 to 22 before finding centre Junior Fatialofa, who smartly offloaded to Phil Burgess.
The flanker saw his route to the line blocked but he retained possession. Support arrived and the Pirates skilfully worked the ball out to the other wing where lock Johnson applied the finish, with Hallett adding the extras.
It was a psychological blow for the visiting side, whose ball carrying efficiency dropped notably thereafter, as conditions at Mennaye Field deteriorated.
The closest they came to points over the next ten minutes came from two missed Ford kicks – one a drop goal, the other a penalty – as the Pirates asserted themselves.
The excellence of Nowell played a large part. He was secure under the high ball, positive with his running and accurate when kicking from hand, expertly turning defence into attack on numerous occasions.
One such moment brought the Pirates possession in the Leeds' 22 after stealing the visitors' line-out ball.
The subsequent pressure brought a penalty which Hallett kicked between the posts. He added one more before the half-time break to give his side a 15-point advantage as the sides left the field.
And while Leeds opted to kick a penalty into a corner at the start of the second half, they failed to win their own line-out and the chance was gone.
Meanwhile, the Pirates' captain Laurie McGlone instructed Hallett to kick for goal when his side faced a similar scenario and extended their lead once more.
Leeds persisted with their quest for tries and it paid off in the 52nd minute when captain Jacob Rowan rumbled over for an unconverted score.
Home replacement David Lyons was sent straight to the sin bin after disrupting the breakdown area. However, Ford missed the penalty from 15 metres, in an easy position.
The Yorkshire side were a man up for only six minutes before James Doherty was shown a yellow card for a professional foul, committed as he tried to tidy up his full-back Steve McColl's fumble under a high ball.
Aaron Penberthy missed his penalty attempt, but a second yellow card for Leeds, this time for Rowan, who hauled back Phil Burgess as he chased Gavin Cattle's kick towards the try line, severely impacted his side's hopes of a late comeback.
Cornish Pirates: Nowell, Pointer, Riley, Fatialofa, Evans (Davies 74), Hallett (Penberthy 70), Kessell (Cattle 66); Andrew (Storer 79), Elloway (Yeandle 52), Paver (Prescott 79), Barry, Johnson (Lyons 52, sin-bin 65-75), Maidment, Burgess, McGlone (capt)
Yellow card: Lyons
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans, Johnson; con Hallett; pens Hallett (3)
Leeds: McColl, Wilson (Goss 70), Griffin, Burdon, D.Doherty, Ford, J.Doherty (sin-bin 73); Lockwood, Graham (Nilsen 66), Tussac, Green (Smith 66), Myerscough, Beck, Walker (Baldwin 27), Rowan (capt) (sin-bin 76). Replacements (not used) –Harris, Hooper, Hampson
Yellow cards: J Doherty, Rowan.
Leeds' scorers: try Rowan; pen Ford
Referee: D Rose (RFU)
For the third year running the Cornish Pirates surrendered a lead at Billesley Common and for the third year they were forced to settle for a draw, writes Dick Straughan.
It mattered not that the Pirates extended their unbeaten run to four games, because this was a game they really should have won.
Apart from a brief period in the first half when Aaron Penberthy was in the sin bin, Moseley never threatened the Pirates line, but in the end the boot of Ollie Thomas and poor decision-making from the Cornish side saw the contest peter out as a stalemate.
Penberthy had given the Pirates a 3rd minute lead but they never added to that in a first half they dominated.
Two further Penberthy penalties after a strong start to the second half made it 9-0 to the Cornish side and the game looked almost safe, but then came the twist in the plot.
Moseley introduced former Pirate Thomas from the bench and three penalties in eight second half minutes tied the scores.
Kieran Hallett had a late chance to win it for the Pirates after the Moseley scrum had imploded inside their own half but his kick was wide.
Moseley: Carter, Mogenson, S.Hunt, Hayter, W.Robinson (Thomas 53), Hughes, Brown; Thorpe (Herriott 71), Caves, Voisey, Lockley, Lawrence (Hicks 53), Pons, O.Robinson, Pienaar
Replacements (not used) – Wilkes, Burrows, Mather, B.Hunt
Moseley scorers: pens Thomas (3)
Cornish Pirates: Nowell (Davies 63), Pointer, Riley, Hill (Cheesman 49), Evans, Penberthy (Hallett 59), Cattle (Kessell 55); Storer (Joyce 63), Elloway (Yeandle 59), Paver (Storer 73), Lyons (Barry 79), Johnson, Maidment, Burgess, McGlone
Yellow Cards Penberthy
Pirates' scorers: pens Penberthy (3)
Referee M.Carley (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks made it back-to-back wins for the first time this season, but they were made to fight all the way by struggling Lydney.
The Forest of Dean outfit came into the contest having lost eight of their nine league games this season, but a number of those defeats had only been by a small margin.
It was an important win for the All Blacks, going into a one weekend break, and left them savouring the heady heights of sixth position in the National Two South table.
"In the first half we played at Lydney's level, but in the second half we got to grips with it, and it was a good result for us," said All Blacks' head coach Cliff Rainford.
"They were never going to be an easy team to beat. They only lost by a few points to Taunton and Clifton recently, so I was happy with the win.
"They are a big side, they have a big pack, and it took us a while to realise that we had to play a little bit wider than we were doing to get the advantage and break the gain line.
"Once we did that, we took control of the game reasonably well."
The All Blacks had to survive a late onslaught from their visitors as they sought a try to secure a draw, or even a win.
"I said to the guys afterwards that there were several games last season where we were only a few points up with five minutes to go, and let the opposition in and threw the game away," explained Rainford.
"But for us to hold out for about five to six minutes, and then turn the ball over without giving any penalties away, was very mature and educated of us, so I was more impressed with the last five minutes than the rest of the game really, because we really showed that we are now starting to know how to close a game out."
All Blacks lock Barrie-John Chapman had a particularly impressive game, and Rainford said: "He relished the chance to carry the ball. He is always going to make you yards, but a lot of guys carried the ball well during the game, like Mike Rawlings, Josh Lord and Ben Hilton.
"The guys worked really hard, with two tries coming from the pack."
Rainford even had to name himself on the bench, with props Martin Rice and Neil Bayliss both unavailable for the encounter.
"Aled Meredith has been playing at hooker while Tom Hurdwell has been out injured, and the idea was for Aled to start at two and for Tom to get maybe 30 minutes in the second half to play himself back in after his injury," said Rainford.
"But as it turned out, I had to ask Aled to play at three and for Tom to come in at hooker and play the full 80 minutes, and they did that and coped very well.
"I was only going to go on if anything serious happened."
Full back Tony Wicks kicked Lydney ahead with a fifth-minute penalty, but within three minutes, the All Blacks had scored a try, with good work by Jake Murphy and Tom Rawlings sending in Mike Rawlings for his first of the season, with full back Kieron Lewitt converting.
Lydney cut the deficit to one point at the break with another penalty by Wicks, after Lewitt had struck an upright with a chance of his own. The All Blacks pulled clear again four minutes into the second period when No.8 Josh Lord finished off a catch-and-drive line-out move to make it three tries in two games for himself, with Lewitt converting, and the hosts led 14-6.
Both sides missed further penalty chances, before Wicks slotted two more to suddenly make it 14-12.
However, with eight minutes remaining, Lewitt was on target again, and the hosts then saw off Lydney's late rally to claim four valuable points.
Redruth put the disappointment of defeat at Hartpury College the previous week behind them with a hard-fought win over Dings Crusaders at the Recreation Ground.
Redruth, playing down the slope first half, got off to the perfect start as winger Tom Notman side-stepped an attempted tackle to cut in-field and score near the posts with just two minutes on the clock. Fly-half Paul Thirlby kicked a fine conversion in the slippery conditions.
Dings showed they were a dangerous side with fly-half Mitch Burton and full-back Mark Woodrow constantly trying to kick them into good field position.
However, it was Redruth who looked to carry the greater threat during the first half with the pack constantly driving forward with notably lock Damien Cook, No.8 Tom Duncan and prop Darren Jacques putting in some huge drives. Youngster Neil Broadbank, playing in the back row, was another who put in a good show before being replaced early in the second half, as he is set to captain Cornwall U.20’s in their match at Dorset & Wilts on Sunday. In the backs, apart from Notman, both centre Lewis Vinnicombe and full-back Craig Bonds enjoyed fine games.
A quickly taken tap penalty by Duncan again saw the Redruth forwards drive into Dings’ twenty-two, resulting in the visitors conceding a penalty in front of their posts, which Thirlby kicked to increase the Reds' advantage.
Redruth had further chances during the first half but could not take any advantage as Dings’ defence held firm. The best chance, a kick through, again from Notman, but the dead ball line beat the flying winger.
Redruth managed to get an early score in the second half with Thirlby’s second penalty awarded when Dings’ prop Mike Flook obstructed Redruth winger Dean Bonds as he attempted to follow his chip ahead.
Dings looked for a way back into the game, but the nearest they were to come was when a long-range penalty from Woodrow struck the posts, allowing Redruth to clear.
Thirlby compounded Dings' frustrations with a third penalty after 60 minutes to put his side more than two converted tries ahead.
Dings laid siege to the Redruth line for large periods of the final quarter but they couldn’t find a way through the Redruth line of defence. Rob Dempsey had a good run towards the Piggy Lane corner but was hauled down just short of the line. A further blow to the visitors was when Burton was forced to leave the field with either an ankle or knee injury.
Having come on as replacement for Nick Simmons at scrum-half, Greg Goodfellow was proving a handful for the Dings’ defence. His persistence paid off with the final play of the game. Following more good work from Jacques and Duncan, he spotted a gap to streak in for Redruth’s second try from twenty five meters out to make the final score 21-0 to the Reds.
After the final whistle Redruth’s director of rugby and head coach Adrian Edwards was pleased with his side’s overall performance. “Dings have shown they are a tidy side over the past few weeks, so to nil them on our own patch is a very pleasing performance indeed”.
Redruth: C Bonds, T Notman, L Vinnicombe, F Kellythorn, D Bonds (G Thirlby 65), P Thirlby, N Simmons (G Goodfellow 51); D Jacques, R Brown (N Turner 75), C Williams (D Job 75), D Cook, C Fuca (capt), N Broadbank (B Priddey 47), O Hambly, T Duncan
Redruth scorers: tries Notman, Goodfellow; conversion P Thirlby; penalties P Thilby (3)
Dings Crusaders: M Woodrow, J Oakley, M Brooker, S Cox, T Stevens (R Dempsey 49), M Burton (J Luck 75), J Venner (J Nowell 65); M Flook (M Hudd 56), A Bellamy (D Wheeler 49), J Lloyd, E Hack (capt), D Bufton, S Uren, S Williams, J Joyce
Referee: Shane Lewis (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Darren Jacques
The Cornish Pirates clicked in style at the Mennaye Field on Sunday, running in eight tries past a Rotherham Titans side who looked as if they just wanted to board the bus for home, writes Dick Straughan.
Without a head coach following the resignation of Andre Bester, they were rudderless and could muster only nine points from the boot of fly-half Garry Law in a one-sided first half.
The Pirates, for their part, scored an early try through the impressive Laurie McGlone and added further touchdowns from Phil Burgess and Rob Elloway.
They should have had more and even before Titans lock Toby Freeman was sin-binned for a series of fouls at the breakdown the home pack was well on top.
A half-time lead of 22-9 was quickly extended by Burgess's second try soon after the break as the Pirates pack again drove over the Titans line, although the Yorkshire side did battle back to score two tries of their own.
Hooker Ted Stagg benefited from a 14-man driving maul close to the Pirates' line and then again from a similar move either side of a second score for McGlone.
That, however, was the catalyst for the Pirates to kick on again with Junior Fatialofa scoring his first try since returning to the Cornish club in the summer after superb work by Burgess.
Wing Ben Mercer then added his first try for the club in the 79th minute, before Burgess completed the scoring and a memorable hat-trick, seizing a loose ball and sprinting clear from half-way.
Cornish Pirates: Davies (Kessell 73), Pointer, Riley, Fatialofa (Cheesman 70), Mercer, Penberthy (Hallett 73), Cattle (capt); Storer (Paver 66), Elloway (Semmens 70), Prescott (Joyce 53), Lyons (Barry 53), Johnson, Maidment, Burgess, McGlone
Pirates' scorers: tries Burgess (3), McGlone (2), Elloway, Mercer, Fatialofa; cons Penberthy (4), Hallett; pen Penberthy.
Rotherham Titans: F Mulchrone, Homan, Blackett, Gill, Doneghan, Law (capt), C Mulchrone (Williams 54); Cahill (Gadd 47), Baines (Stagg 30), Davies (Denman 47), Freeman (sin-bin 24-34), Sanderson, Rieder, Ellyatt (Taylor 62), Kirwan (*****s 66)
Replacement (not used): Styles
Yellow card: Freeman
Titans' scorers: tries Stagg (2); con Law; pen Law; drop goals: Law (2)
Referee: J Meredith (RFU)
True grit and a never-say-die spirit enabled the Cornish All Blacks to snatch a precious 27-22 away win six minutes from the end of this National Two South clash at Bournemouth.
It was nip-and-tuck all the way with the lead changing hands four times, as the All Blacks went smoothly through attacking phases one minute before losing their shape and direction the next.
In this clash between two mid-tablers, the Dorset club were a tough nut to crack, piling on the pressure for extended periods and giving the All Black forwards as good as they got in the tight.
The visitors found themselves under pressure from the start yet were the first to score. A failed touch-kick bounced infield straight into the hands of Kieron Lewitt, who was following up swiftly. The full-back shot down the wing, linked with Richard Bright and the pacy wing easily outpaced the defence to score wide out.
Lewitt, whose metronomic boot as usual brought him a glut of points (12 this time) from the conversion of his side's tries and two penalties landed soon after the re-start, added the extras.
Home fly-half Ben Stevenson, who had had a couple of penalty chances early on but missed them, finally succeeded in the 12th minute, and for the rest of the quarter the All Blacks found themselves under increasing pressure.
Their backs were handling well but then losing possession and Bournemouth moved inexorably upfield and scored from a five-metre scrum, scrum-half Sam Hardcastle nipping through on the blind to put his side ahead.
Ten minutes later, after a lot of play in midfield, the home side struck again, a powerful drive from another scrum close in seeing flanker Frazer Wilford over for Stevenson to add a good conversion and make it 15-7 at half time.
It was a different All Blacks' side that came out after the break. They rediscovered their form and began to put phases together with businesslike recycling and off-loading backed up by driving forward play.
By the 52nd minute they were firmly back in the lead – a drive upfield and from 15 metres out scrum-half Richard Friend shot through to the line, and then Lewitt kicked his two penalties, as Bournemouth lost composure and Stevenson was carded for foul play. 20-15 to the visitors.
However, Bournemouth suddenly got a second wind and responded once more with aggressive attacking play. The All Blacks were forced onto the defensive. Their hosts drove fiercely and after the visitors were deemed to have downed three scrums in front of the posts, a penalty try was awarded to the Chapel Gate men.
The conversion nudged them in front again with 18 minutes left. The All Blacks, though, got the last word and the win, matching power with power and recycling expertly. A series of pick-and-drives and the pack were poised to strike. They mauled unstoppably to the line and prop Tim Mathias scored.
A delighted All Blacks team administrator, Jim O'Hara, said: "It's a good time for us. We're beginning to put a string of wins together. In the early season we met some very good teams but experience has allowed us to get back to winning ways, despite having a very small squad."
Redruth's players put a difficult week off the field firmly behind them as they produced their best performance of the season to gain a superb bonus point win at Shelford.
The National 2 South club's first half performance was arguably their best since Cinderford were put to the sword at the Recreation ground back in November 2008.
And it all came after the club revealed last week that it was still heavily in debt, meaning a number of cost-cutting measures have had to be implemented.
Redruth took a 14 point lead into the interval and after Nick Simmons touched down the bonus point try eight minutes into the second period there was only going to be one result.
Head coach Adrian Edwards said: "It started on Tuesday night when we had a meeting, a lot of the boys stayed and did weights and said we will stick together, we had a record turnout at training on Thursday.
"I am absolutely overwhelmed, gob smacked and so pleased that the boys have put in a performance. They could easily have taken other options. I would say it is one of the best when I have been involved with Redruth.
"In the second half we did not rack up the points but to defend the way we did and prevent Shelford from scoring a try on their own patch, the tactical kicking was outstanding and anybody involved in Cornish rugby should be proud of that performance today.
"We have forwards and backs that can score tries in difficult conditions. Our nine is a threat, our kicking was good and we performed in every department.
"Our defence was good, our line speed was excellent, Shelford looked to play but they were not allowed to, we put them under pressure.
"You always get a bit nervous when you start that well in games like this because you think teams like Shelford will come back but we did not give them anything at all.
"There is still a long way to go with all the other things we have to sort out but I think it proves to a lot of people at Redruth that the players do care, we are a quality team and they deserve all the support they get."
Forwards' coach Ashley Morcom echoed Edwards' praise of Redruth's players.
He said: "The week was quite difficult the players seemed to play out of their skins to prove a point, to prove we are a force to be reckoned with and hopefully we can carry this on to next week.
"I think we had the complete polished game in the first half, we had a good kicking game, a good running game, hopefully this is the start of something good.
"They played out of their skins today, the catch and drive for the first try set the tone.
"Before the match we said that as long as we stick together and play for each other there is no reason why we cannot come away with a win which is what we did."
With Luke Collins returning to the second row Redruth fielded their strongest front five since the Launceston game, all the big men contributed, looking for work and overpowering the home eight.
In the back row with Owen Hambly unable to travel former Camborne captain Ben Priddey started in the Reds' back row, Nick Simmons moved to the wing to see the return of Greg Goodfellow.
In the opening minutes Craig Bonds was tackled into touch near the corner flag while Priddey was prominent in the early stages carrying well.
In the third minute Paul Thirlby spurned an easy penalty chance to kick for the corner. Redruth were rewarded handsomely with an enormous catch and drive ending with Priddey touching down an unconverted score.
Shelford hit back quickly, they looked to use a driving maul to start attacks while skipper Nigel Conroy contested for the ball on the ground and flanker Scott Jackowski disrupted Reds' ball if it was not protected.
The hosts got on the scoreboard with a 25 metre penalty from Steve Smith after the Reds were penalised for not releasing in a tackle. After 18 minutes Smith fired over an enormous penalty from near the half way line following an offence at a scrum to put Shelford in front briefly.
A very good kick chase down the middle of the field led by Paul Thirlby forced a weak clearance from Shelford, Tom Notman seized his chance, took responsibility to run strongly through the defensive line to touchdown to the right of the posts for an unconverted try after 22 minutes.
Shelford scrum half Charlie Baker was injured trying to stop the Reds' winger and had to be replaced while they also lost the influential Conroy, a Cambridge blue, to an injury in quick succession.
There was some tremendous rugby from Redruth and they always looked likely to be the next side to score.
From a set move the decoy runners held the defence for Tom Duncan to stroll through midfield and put Lewis Vinnicombe away, the Reds' centre touching down under the bar after an arching run took him around the cover defence, Thirlby converting.
Thirlby was off target with a long range penalty but on the stroke of half time he added three points with a kick from the 40 metre line to give the Reds a 20-6 advantage at the break for oranges.
Shelford coach Dick Matthews looked a worried man as he went down the tunnel at half-time and a determined Shelford side came out after the interval but Redruth held their thrust and a clever cross kick from Goodfellow found Simmons who brushed off a couple of tacklers to touchdown in the left hand corner, a good composed finish after 48 minutes.
Shelford had a lot of possession in the final quarter but Redruth showed a lot of determination in defence to force errors, Aki Lea and Redmond Newberry ran strongly and Alex Kelsall looked to counterattack but the Reds always found an answer.
Redruth used their bench in the final quarter, Murray Westren looked composed at full back after replacing Vinnicombe.
With five minutes to go Thirlby kicked a 40 metre penalty after a high tackle to take him past 100 points for the season.
The Cornish Pirates slumped to their heaviest defeat of the season as they surrendered their five game unbeaten run on a chilly night at second-placed Bedford Blues, writes Dick Straughan.
After a sloppy start by the Pirates, Bedford took control with three Jake Sharp penalties inside the first 16 minutes as referee Greg MacDonald punished the Pirates at the breakdown.Had Aaron Penberthy slotted his two early penalty attempts the Blues may have been forced to play a different game but they survived the sin-binning of full back Mark Atkinson, and then made it 12-0 as Sharp struck again on the half hour.
For the Pirates, Burgess went close before the foul which led to Atkinson's yellow card and the pack drove over the Blues' line moments later only to be penalised.
It wasn't until the third quarter when Kieran Hallett came on for the injured Penberthy and landed two quick penalties that the momentum of the game threatened to shift.
But the Pirates again lost their way and Neil Cochrane's converted try in the 66th minute killed the game.
Sharp added two more penalties for Bedford before Brendan Burke rounded off Atkinson's break in stoppage time for a second home touchdown. Sharp converted.
Bedford Blues: Atkinson,Kohler, Burke, Staff (Vass 73), Bassett, Sharp, Baldwin (Veenendaal 61); Fearn (Reeves 47), Cochrane (Spurling 76), Boulton (Seal 63), Howard, Gulliver (Rae 68), Gillanders, Harding, Tupaid (Fox 68)
Yellow card: Atkinson
Blues' scorers: tries Cochrane, Burke; cons Sharp (2); pens Sharp (6)
Cornish Pirates: Kilmartin, Pointer, Riley, Fatialofa (Cheeseman 68), Mercer, Penberthy (Hallett ht), Cattle (Kessell 73); Andrew (Prescott 61), Elloway (Yeandle 73), Paver (Andrew 73), Barry (Lyons 68), Johnson, Maidment (Buckle 68), Burgess, McGlone
Pirates' scorers: pens Hallett (2)
Referee: G MacDonald (RFU)
A superb first half performance from the Redruth pack laid the foundations for a morale- boosting win for the whole of the Redruth club following recent off the field events, reports Bill Hooper from a rain sodden Recreation Ground.
Henley got the first score, a penalty after just three minutes kicked by their prolific goal-kicker James Comben.
The Redruth forwards slowly began to dominate the set-piece with the front-row of Darren Jacques, Richard Brown and Craig Williams immense. Whilst at full back Murray Westren, a late call up to the starting XV, had a fine game dealing with the high balls the Hawks constantly hoofed his way.
Pressure from the Reds told after thirteen minutes as they drove towards the line following a scrum only from Henley to wheel, referee Jonathan Healey had no hesitation in awarding a penalty-try, which fly-half Paul Thirlby converted.
A charge downfield by Jacques led to a penalty allowing Thirlby to increase the Reds' advantage to 10-3.
Just before half-time Redruth scored a crucial second try, following yet another scrum near the Henley line, No.8 Tom Duncan drove for the line but was brought down short, however Brown was on hand to complete the score. Thirlby's second conversion giving Redruth a useful 17-3 lead.
Henley looked to play their way back into the game during the second half, however conditions had deteriorated dramatically that coupled with Redruth's excellent defence mean't that it wasn't until the sixty second minute that the Hawks added to their score, a second Comben penalty.
The Hawks' frustrations were compounded with a yellow card for their winger Xavier Andre whose high-tackle on the excellent Westren was more ill-timed than malicious
Henley finally got a try through replacement lock Dave Manning four minutes from time to at least leave the gloom of Hell Fire corner with a losing bonus point.
Redruth: Westren, Notman, Bonds, Kellythorn, Simmons, Thirlby, Goodfellow; Jacques, Brown, Williams, Cook, Collins, Fuca (capt) (Bailey 60), Priddey (Hambly 55), Duncan
Replacements (not used): Cope, Job, Hosking
Henley Hawks: Allen (capt) (Manning 47) , Andre, James, Wells (Carter 37), Briggs, Comben, Shaylor; Maddocks, Dwyer (Penny 40), Hadfield (Milford-Scott 40), Winterbottom (Woodward 60), Clements (Dwyer blood 65-68), Payne, Newman, Stapley
Yellow Card Andre (69)
Redruth scorers: tries penalty-try, Brown; conversions Thirlby (2); penalty Thirlby
Henley Hawks scorers: try Manning; penalties Comben (2)
Referee: Jonathan Healey (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks moved up to the heady heights of sixth place in the National Two South table by routing bottom side Barking at a very wet and muddy Goresbrook.
After making a sticky start to the season, winning only one of their first six league games, they are now on a four-match winning streak, and have taken the victory spoils in five or their last six outings.
The visit to Barking in the east end of London had classic banana skin potential.
The hosts had not won a game all season, were conceding an average of more than 53 points a match, and were coming into the contest off the back of a 78-0 thrashing at Taunton Titans.
But their players were keen to impress a new coaching team recently installed, under director of rugby Nick Warren, and with a strong wind and incessant rain likely to prove a great leveller, the All Blacks needed to turn in a professional job.
The club met the expense of an overnight stop at nearby Basildon to aid preparations, and despite not arriving at their hotel until 1am the previous night, the players duly delivered on the pitch, running in nine tries and converting eight of them in a fine all-round display.
Barking did not help their cause by having tight-head prop Sam John sent off after 34 minutes for an alleged butt, but they deserve enormous credit for the way they kept going in the second half.
Despite already trailing 42-0, they pounded away at the All Blacks' try line until the bitter end, but a mixture of errors in the slippery conditions and some heroic defending by the visitors kept them out. Barking have now conceded 139 points and scored none since their new coaching team was installed, but if they show the fight they displayed last Saturday during the rest of the season, there is still hope that a team which only 18 months ago got within seconds of being promoted to the Championship can avoid the ignominy of a second successive relegation.
The All Blacks got the match off to just the start they wanted, with a try after only four minutes.
A drive off a line-out was illegally stopped by Barking, and referee Keith Lewis had no hesitation in marching under the uprights to award a penalty try, and full back Kieron Lewitt slotted the simple conversion.
A period of Barking pressure then came to nothing, before the All Blacks bagged three tries in a ten-minute spell to have the bonus point all sewn up by the 25-minute mark.
Blindside flanker Mike Rawlings collected the first after a close-range line-out – a tremendous break out of defence by Lewitt and centre Lewis Paterson led to a five-metre scrum, from which No.8 Josh Lord crashed over for the second; and then the impressive Paterson raced in from 45 metres, and with the immaculate boot of Lewitt converting all three, the All Blacks led 28-0.
Barking then shoot themselves in the foot by losing flanker Michael Anderson to a yellow card, and in the aftermath of Lord dotting down his second pushover try, converted by Lewitt, John was dismissed for an offence spotted by a touch judge.
A 35-0 half-time lead was extended five minutes after the break, when Lord appeared set to collect his hat-trick at the back of a driving maul until Barking infringed and gave away another penalty try, with Lewitt making it six out of six with his boot.
Barking then enjoyed their best spell of the match, keeping the All Blacks out for the next 26 minutes and showing great attacking purpose themselves, until a late flourish saw tries by lock BJ Chapman with a 25-metre break; teenage centre Sam Chapman after he latched onto a delightful grubber kick through; and scrum half Richard Friend following another pushover scrum, with fly half Nielson Webber converting two.
In the last quarter of the match, the All Blacks gave young forwards Duncan Hales and Fred Bulut league debuts off the replacements' bench.
The Cornish Pirates returned to winning ways in the RFU Championship with a hard fought victory over second-placed Nottingham in the mud at the Mennaye Field, writes Dick Straughan.
Persistent rain, fog and a pudding of a pitch made life hard for both teams and dictated the style of play from the outset as the game quickly became a battle between opposing packs of forwards.
Nottingham took advantage of their early territorial dominance, landing a fourth minute penalty from points machine James Arlidge, but the Pirates regrouped to level the scores quickly as Kieran Hallett slotted a kick against his former club.
Parity was only brief, however, as the East Midlanders won a penalty on half way and from the ensuing lineout deep in Pirates territory drove over for the opening try. Arlidge took his personal points tally for the season to 130 as he landed the conversion for a 10-3 lead.
The Pirates had already established that tight forwards play was their most effective weapon of attack and a ferocious onslaught on the Nottingham line at the end of the first half was rewarded with an unconverted try from hooker Rob Elloway.
Hallett missed an early second half penalty for the Pirates before Arlidge missed two wind assisted efforts for Nottingham. The on 55 minutes Hallett found the target with a 20 metre kick and the Pirates led.
In a fiercely contested final quarter the Cornish Pirates spurned several opportunities to make the game save as they wasted try scoring chances close to the Nottingham line.
But with the game in injury time and Nottingham driving forward in search of a penalty inside the Pirates half the home pack dug deep in defence, drawing a penalty of their own. Skipper Gavin Cattle kicked the ball dead to seal a significant victory.
Cornish Pirates: Davies, Bedford, Riley, Fatialofa (Hill 77), Mercer, Hallett (Kilmartin 80+2), Cattle (capt); Andrew, Elloway, Paver, Lyons, Johnson (Barry 37), Tyas (Buckle 69), Burgess, McGlone
Replacements (not used): Joyce, Yeandle, Kessell
Pirates' scorers: try Elloway; pens Hallett (2)
Nottingham: Jackson, Lewington, Streather, Munro (Forsyth 73), Crane, Arlidge, Romans; Parr (Bower 64), Duffey, Holford, Montagu, Rouse, Cooper, Wilson, Shaw (Calladine 64)
Replacements (not used): Malton, Quinn, Barnham, Joe Cobden
Nottingham scorers: try Wilson; con Arlidge; pen Arlidge
Referee: R Campbell (RFU)
The strength of the spirit in the Redruth camp was evident as they held on in the last 15 minutes when Southend mounted attack after attack to try and save the game.
In truth, such was the dominance of the Redruth pack that the game should have been wrapped up before the hour mark.
Some good chances were missed but the will of the Reds in the closing stages brought an 11th win of the campaign and their fifth on the road, to keep them in fourth place just four points behind leaders Henley.
And head coach Adrian Edwards was delighted with the victory.
He said: "It is a win on the road again and a massive reverse from the last time we were here.
"We always knew this was going to be a tough fight, they were not going to roll over and die here.
"The last time we had a week off we were not brilliant but at the end the defence was outstanding.
"We could have been broken at the end but we held them out -- that's the sign of a good team. I would have taken a 22-15 win before the game.
"The forward play was tremendous, the scrum was brilliant; we were turned over a couple of times in the line out. I think if we had scored from the first catch-and-drive the game would have been different.
I am not going to be critical of any of the players after what we have been through. To come to a place like this after a really long journey and still win.
"Southend played with massive spirit and were a dangerous threat at times but we had more than 70 per cent possession and when we were in their half we could have been more clinical. We bombed a couple of tries and missed some kicks. It could easily have been a bonus point win.
"Grant Thirlby had a good game, Adam Cope got another 60 minutes experience and Murray Westren had another game at full back and is learning. It's great for the club we are going to keep them and develop them.
"Regardless of Southend's position in the league we have had to come away and turn around a 40 point reverse last April and we have done it."
This was a game of 31 penalties. Southend who have a poor discipline record this season conceded penalties trying to disrupt the Reds forward drive but the tables were turned in the final 15 minutes when Redruth were penalised eight times in a row, giving Southend opportunity to keep the visitors in their own 22.
In the end, the difference between the teams was that Redruth have build on the hard work pre-season to establish a winning mentality that has brought 11 wins in 13 games , while Southend have just three wins from 13 attempts could not find a way to save the game when given plenty of chances.
On a mild day the ground was soft under foot after heavy rain in midweek. Grant Thirlby was given a start in midfield with Adam Cope on the left wing in an inexperienced back line.
Redruth were immediately on the attack, with Southend conceding four penalties in the opening minutes. A
fter missing with his first shot at the posts Paul Thirlby stroked over his second attempt from 40 metres to give them the lead.
Jack Jones missed with a penalty chance for the hosts. but Southend stunned Redruth with a well taken try.
Following a 22 metre drop out, full back Mark Billings supported well after a line break in midfield to run 40 metres unopposed for a try that Jones converted.
Redruth had the better of territory and possession but Southend took their chance well to pull further ahead after 19 minutes.
Driving forward play sucked the Reds' defence in and a well weighted cross kick saw Billings beat Murray Westren to the touchdown in the right hand corner.
At full back Westren looks to be a player with a future showing composure in defence. However, from the Reds best bit of back play he cut through the defence with ease but was chopped down by the cover defence with Tom Notman unmarked.
The league's leading try scorer Tom Duncan celebrated his move to the Pirates with his 11th touchdown of the season going over from close range after a dominant Redruth scrum drove the home defence back. Paul Thirlby converted.
Ten minutes later Redruth conceded a penalty for not releasing and Jones kicked a penalty from in front of the posts to take the lead back to five points.
After being penalised ten times in the first half it was no surprise when Southend's Danny Cleare was shown a yellow card for an offside offence in the 22. It was the Essex team's 16th card of the season.
Redruth took advantage of the extra man, Southend did well to hold the Reds scrum ,but after Paul Thirlby was stopped just short of the line Craig Bonds reacted quickly to pick up the loose ball and dive over under the crossbar for Thirlby to convert as the reds took a two point lead into the interval.
Redruth dominated the early stages of the second period and it seemed like another score at this stage could put the game to bed with conditions getting more difficult but they failed to take their chances including messing up a chance of a catch and drive try.
With the pitch starting to cut up the decisive score came after 65 minutes when a driving maul by the Redruth forwards created plenty of space for Duncan to go over for his second try wide out on the right that was unconverted.
In the closing stages under the floodlights on the temperature dropping and the surface slippery Southend made tremendous efforts to score, three times they went for a catch and drive try but each time the reds forwards drove them back to hang on to a precious seven point lead.
Luke Collins made an astonishing run from inside his 22 to take play to half way but the ball was turned over and play was soon back near the Reds line.
Since the Hartpury defeat the Redruth defence has been much tighter with three tries conceded in four games and that determination ultimately saw them home.
Redruth ran in five second-half tries to extinguish any threat from visitors Clifton of causing a pre-Christmas upset prior to next Saturday's festive Cornish derby at Launceston.
Despite leading 7-3 at half-time, Redruth were very much under the cosh for long periods of the first half. The visitors had three very good try-scoring chances in the opening period but failed to take them.
A few choice words in the dressing room and a little tinkering with the backline saw a fired up Redruth take control in the second half.
Despite making hard work of the win, Redruth director of rugby Adrian Edwards was satisfied with the result that keeps Reds near the top of the table.
"We made a few changes for today with Dan Job starting in the front row, Ashley Hosking at fly-half, but these are calls that we need to make," he said.
"The players need game time as you never know when they will have to step in due to injuries or suspensions; on the whole I feel the players who came in did quite well.
"It's a difficult week as people's minds perhaps start to think towards next Saturday's game at Launceston. Having got this game out of the way we can now properly focus on next Saturday and what will be a tough challenge up there.
"Launceston won't be lacking for motivation playing us so hopefully it's going to be another of those great Cornish rugby occasions."
From the kick-off it was Clifton who dominated with their backline causing the Reds a few headaches. Full-back Will Pomphrey looked very dangerous when in the line.
Despite their domination all the visitors had to show for their efforts was a penalty kicked by Bradley Barnes, whilst gilt-edged try scoring opportunities were spurned.
Redruth gradually got the upper hand through their forwards, with both locks Damien Cook and Chris Bailey excelling in the loose. They took the lead when electing to scrum a penalty near the Clifton line, the forward drive shoved the visiting pack over the whitewash, presenting Tom Duncan with a simple try, Ashley Hosking added the extras. Despite other more chances the score remained 7-3 to Redruth at half-time.
Redruth shuffled their backline at the break, introducing Murray Westren at full-back. He made an immediate impact, setting up Tom Notman for Redruth's second try. The flying wing slipping two attempted tackles on the way to scoring.
Despite missing the conversion Hosking kicked a penalty to further stretch Redruth's advantage.
Clifton, shaken by Redruth's strong start to the second period, looked to play their way back in to it. A period of pressure in the Reds' 22 saw home prop Craig Williams yellow carded.
The visitors took advantage to score an unconverted try from a catch-and-drive through skipper John Levis.
In the final quarter the Reds upped the tempo, a fine break from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow – a constant threat at the base of the scrum – set up hooker Richard Brown for a try, Paul Thirlby on for Hosking adding the conversion.
Despite a second penalty kicked by Barnes for Clifton, it was Redruth who ran riot in the closing stages.
Prop Darren Jacques claimed the bonus-point try after being driven over by his pack. Luke Collins claimed the fifth try as he powered over impressively in the scoreboard corner.
Finally centre Frazer Kellythorn finished off some good work from Craig Bonds and Duncan to claim the final try, to which Thirlby added the conversion with the final kick of the game. Redruth should travel to Polson Bridge for next Saturday's Cornish derby in good heart.
Redruth: T Notman, N Simmons, C Bonds, G Thirlby (M Westren 40), F Kellythorn, A Hoskin (P Thirlby 57), G Goodfellow; D Job (D Jacques 47), R Brown (N Turner 71), C Williams, D Cook, C Bailey (L Collins 47), C Fuca (capt), B Priddey (D Job 63-69), T Duncan
Yellow Card – Williams (59)
Clifton: W Pomphrey, M Smith, S Harrison, J Kelly, S Smith, B Barnes, J Allen; W Davis (H Smith 74), P Fincken (S Evans 74), C Bullimore (A Golledge 74), M Westlake, P Butcher, P Schmid, T O'Keeffe, J Levis (capt) (G Verano 78)
Replacement (not used): C Cavan
Redruth 39 pts: tries Duncan, Notman, Brown, Jacques, Collins, Kellythorn; conversions Hoskin, P Thirlby (2); penalty Hoskin
Clifton 11 pts: try Levis; penalties Barnes (2)
Referee: Paul Kimber (RFU)
Cornish All Blacks' five-match winning run came to a halt at on-fire Worthing, but they made their Sussex-based hosts work for their victory.
Worthing have been hammering any opposition put in front of them recently, including leaders Henley Hawks 49-5, and that seemed to be the situation when they led the Cornishmen 21-0 after half an hour.
But the All Blacks hit back with an impressive spell either side of the break, and their hosts had to do a lot of defending in the second half, meaning they only managed one more score.
All Blacks' assistant coach and club captain Tom Rawlings said: "We have been in pretty good form over the last few weeks and wanted to go up and win the game and keep that run going before Saturday's derby match against Redruth. Unfortunately, it didn't go to plan, but we played some good rugby.
"Two small errors early in the first half led to them taking a good lead, but we pulled it back with a great break up the middle by Sam Chapman, who fed Liam Yeo for our first score.
"In the second half, we played really well and they only scored one try, and we got one of our own.
The All Blacks lost hooker Tom Hurdwell and tight-head prop Neil Bayliss to the sin-bin, which did not help their cause.
Rawlings said: "The referee was a bit inconsistent, but the fact we held out, despite being down to 14 men for 20 minutes, and we were in the game throughout, was a big plus."
The All Blacks sprung a surprise by starting with young flanker Lloyd Duke at openside flanker, in place of Rawlings, who was on the bench.
The All Blacks made a disastrous start, with a looping missed pass in midfield by scrum half Richard Friend intercepted by home winger Jack Maslen, who ran 35 metres to score a try in the 10th minute, with scrum half Jack Govett converting.
A minute later, Maslen struck again, after full-back Matt Farnes burst through on the blindside of a scrum before feeding his team-mate, and again Govett added the extras.
It became 21-0 on the half-hour when No.8 Charlie McGowan dotted down near the posts after a series of line-outs and scrums, and another Govett conversion gave Worthing plenty of breathing space.
The All Blacks got a try back, when young centre Chapman broke two tackles and slipped a pass inside to winger Yeo to cross near the uprights, and full back Kieron Lewitt converted to make it 21-7 at the interval.
Worthing lost winger Alex Nielsen to the sin-bin near the end of the first half, and the All Blacks started the second period in fine fashion.
They eventually made their possession and pressure pay, in the 67th minute, when centre Lewis Paterson, who has been linked with a move to Championship side Plymouth Albion, broke through some weak tackling and went in near the corner for a fine individual try.
All Blacks' Hurdwell and Worthing's McGowan were each handed a yellow card in a lively final quarter, and they were then followed off the field by Bayliss.
Worthing scored the final try though, to end the All Blacks' hopes of taking home a losing bonus point.
A penalty was kicked to the corner, and McGowan finished off a line-out move for his second try, with Govett knocking over his fourth conversion.
The Cornish Pirates completed a season double over Plymouth Albion as they battled hard to secure the cross-Tamar derby in foul conditions at Brickfields.
Three Kieran Hallett penalties proved telling with Albion scoring the only try midway through the second half through Luke Cowan-Dickie. But a missed conversion from fly-half Paul Roberts and three missed penalties from the Albion ten hurt the home team.
The Pirates dominated the first half playing a solid territorial kicking game and running the set piece. Hallett landed his first penalty on 18 minutes after Alan Paver had been felled by an illegal Sam Matavesi tackle, and then struck again three minutes later as Albion centre Toby Howley-Berridge infringed at the breakdown.
Albio's only threat in the first half came four minutes into injury time as Roberts blazed wide with a penalty from 40 metres.
Plymouth gained some parity in the set piece after the break but Hallett`s third penalty after 55 minutes punished the Devon side following two more penalty misses by Roberts.
But on the hour they finally made the breakthrough as flanker Sam Matavesi drove over from two metres with the home pack camped on the Pirates line. Roberts was again off target with a wide-angle conversion.
With time running out Albion secured a lineout 5 metres from the Pirates line but conceded a penalty followed by three more in quick succession as the Cornish team drove them back into their own 22. Gavin Cattle sealed the win with a kick to touch extending the Pirates winning run to four games.
Plymouth Albion: McAtee (Arnott 74), Warner, Howley-Berridge, Fisilau, Bowen, Roberts, Rowley (Lewsey 68), L.Cowan-Dickie, Vickers (T.Cowan-Dickie 58), Morton (Fairbrother 61), Ashcroft-Leigh (Tovey 71), Nasiga, Stephen (capt), Matavesi (Sprangle 70), Carpenter
Replacement (not used): Rogers
Albion scorers: Try L.Cowan-Dickie
Cornish Pirates: Davies, Bedford, Riley (Hill 62), Fatialofa (Riley 65), Mercer, Hallett, Cattle (capt); Andrew (Storer 74), Elloway, Paver, Lyons (Johnson 57), Barry, Tyas, Marriott (Cheesman 62), McGlone
Replacements (not used): Semmens, Prescott, Kessell
Pirates' scorers: pens Hallet (3)
Referee G.MacDonald (RFU)
Cornish Pirates made an early break for a top-four Championship finish by beating their great play-off rivals Bristol at Mennaye Field yesterday.
Last season's Championship semi-finalists are both battling to reach the same stage this term, so yesterday's 32-17 result was significant.
Particularly pleasing for head coach Ian Davies was the acquisition of a four-try bonus point after touchdowns from Phil Burgess, Kieran Hallett, Ben Mercer and Tom Riley. Bristol, meanwhile, left Cornwall empty-handed.
Davies said: "I wanted us to take four league points and leave them with nothing. We knew, if we did that, we would go fourth in the table. With conditions the way they were and the fact we were playing Bristol, I didn't think we would be able to get the bonus point as well.
"To come away with five points is fantastic and we couldn't ask for more than that or a better start to 2013."
Such an outcome seemed unlikely during a scruffy opening to yesterday's match.
The Pirates won a penalty almost straight from the kick-off, but fly-half Hallett missed despite being allowed two attempts from just outside the 22 – the first miss came when the wind blew the ball over just before he struck it and the second after he was sportingly allowed to try again by visiting captain Ruki Tipuna.
Hallett got another chance and made better contact with his kick to give the Pirates the lead.
The first try soon followed for the home side. Both sets of backs traded high balls before Pirates' full-back Wes Davies decided to run it forward. He chipped over the Bristol midfield and, although his run was stopped off the ball, Burgess made up the ground and showed fine footballing skills and pace to dot down after kicking and chasing around the scattered Bristol defence.
Hallett added the conversion and then a drop goal as the hosts dominated territory and possession in the first half.
The visitors came close to scoring with one menacing-looking forward drive but the Pirates repelled them and touched down their second try moments later. Hallett, who was in the midst of his best performance for the club since his summer move, completed a fine home move for his side's second try – but he failed to add the extras.
Bristol gave themselves hope, breaking into the Pirates' 22 and earning a penalty, which fly-half Adrian Jarvis scored to bring the deficit back 15 points at the break. It was the lift they needed and they returned for the second half a much-improved side, putting the Pirates under severe pressure. It soon told with Tipuna setting up prop Kyle Traynor for their first try, with Jarvis converting.
The shift in momentum saw the Pirates make more mistakes. Wes Davies kicked straight into touch and then a home line-out was overthrown as the blue and white shirts poured forward.
It felt as though the next score would be crucial and it was the Pirates who got it through Mercer, who squeezed in on the left for a try converted by Hallett.
Bristol still came forward, but it was clear a large part of their second-half resolve had been broken and the hosts were motivated by the prospect of a bonus point, if they could find one more try.
A yellow card for prop Jason Hobson hardly helped Bristol's cause. He smiled and mockingly gestured that his feelings had been hurt as he was booed to the sidelines.
With their pantomime villain off the field temporarily, the visiting side were rarely a threat to Pirates. That continued until replacement Marco Mama scored his side's second try, converted by Jarvis, in the final five minutes. It mattered little as the game was already safe and the Pirates' agenda had changed to chasing that potentially crucial bonus point. They kicked a late penalty into the corner and it proved to be the right decision, with Riley coming in at pace into the Bristol 22 and crashing over under the posts for a try converted by Hallett.
It was just reward for a street-wise and highly motivated performance from the Pirates. They begin the new year in a strong position, in the British and Irish Cup as well as the Championship – 2013 promises more intriguing times for the Penzance side.
This 26-18 victory over the second-placed Gloucester students at Hartpury was the All Blacks' sixth from seven National Two South matches and will put the rest of the league on red alert as the Cornishmen are gathering momentum.
Elated All Blacks' head coach Cliff Rainford said: "It's probably one of our best performances of the season."
Although it ended two tries apiece, the All Blacks took a lead just before the interval that they never lost. Centre Lewis Paterson bagged the visitors' tries, with fly-half Jake Murphy, who had a masterful game, dropping two goals and the laser-boot of full-back Kieron Lewitt adding two conversions and two penalties.
Saturday's league loss was only the College's third this term and Launceston's triumph clearly shocked them.
Rainford puts his charges' revival down to three things – a settled side, the 20-man squad system, and sticking to the game-plan. He said of the Hartpury match: "Our defence was outstanding. As a unit we defended very well and that gave us turnover ball and a good platform to play off.
"We tried to stifle anything that Hartpury wanted to do. They have a strong pack and their backs like to run it wide. And we took our opportunities very well. Also, with Sam Chapman out with a broken finger, Neilson Webber came in at 12 and he gave us a lot of continuity in that area; and Lewis Paterson rattled in a couple of tries."
Things did not start well for the visitors with the College attacking with a will from the off and skipper and hooker Chris Fortey scoring in the first two minutes from scrappy play close in. The All Blacks replied immediately, working upfield to allow Murphy to drop his first goal. Fly-half Luke Cozens then extended the home advantage to 8-3 with a penalty, before some midfield play brought a lineout from which Murphy released Paterson, who was tackled on the line but stretched successfully for the try. Cozens snatched back the lead with another penalty, 11-10, before Lewitt retaliated with two in quick succession to give his side a 16-11 interval advantage.
With home blindside James Head off sin-binned, the visitors went for the kill. Two good 20-yard driving mauls, two three-quarter moves, and Paterson was over in the corner for Lewitt to add a fine conversion and give his side a 12-point cushion. Then All Black No.8 Josh Lord was carded and Hartpury too saw their chance, centre Seb Rodwell barging over and replacement fly-half Tim Stevenson adding the extras to narrow the gap to 23-18.
Murphy struck his crucial second goal and the visitors were two scores in front again. Hartpury came back hard in the last quarter, camping on the visitors' five-metre line, their pack scrummaging fiercely resulting in All Black scrum-half Richard Friend being sin-binned. But the visitors kept their cool and their shape, and held on.
The Cornish All Blacks did the double over Dings Crusaders in style at Polson, bagging a four-try bonus point and proving their current National Two South record of seven victories from eight outings was down to consistent form, not luck.
The 32-10 victory moved the Launceston outfit up into sixth place. They posted one of their best away wins (30-19) at the Bristol club in September and went even better in this return game.
Their success was more significant than might be thought, because the visitors had also been on a bit of a roll, with a fine home win over second-placed Henley Hawks in mid-December, and are known for their big pack and physicality.
They also boasted the league's top points-scorer and most successful kicker in full-back Mark Woodrow. That said, the All Blacks' head coach Cliff Rainford has been working overtime to forge a well-coordinated team that sticks to its game-plan, makes its first-up tackles and maintains momentum for the full 80 minutes, not just for an hour.
Recent results amply reflect Rainford's efforts. He said of Saturday's triumph: "It was a very good performance and we got two scores from the wing and another by the second row.
"It really was a great result and in the first half we gave away only one penalty. We kept our heads and our discipline, and we stuck to our game-plan."
Man-of-the-match, scrum-half Richard Friend, who likes to play close to his pack, was on cracking form, always poised at the breakdown to launch attacking moves; wing Richard Bright, who is becoming adept at following up and beating defences to the line, crossed twice; the pack gave the visiting eight a lesson in driving-maul technique; and Friend and fly-half Jake Murphy are developing into an impressive halfback combination.
The All Blacks attacked relentlessly from the off and spent most of the first 40 in Dings territory.
Leading 20-3 at the break they were, if not clear and away, certainly scenting victory; by the hour they had it in the bag, well ahead, at 32-3.
Dings' big forwards showed flashes of power and drive but after the interval found themselves driven yards backwards time and again, and their rangy backs, in stark contrast to the pacy and inventive home three-quarters, hardly launched a move all match.
Frustration duly earned them a yellow card for hooker David Wheeler in the 25th minute (offside and pulling down the maul), and, just before half-time, a red for centre Sam Cox for a flurry of punches on Murphy, which ended with the fly-half lying dazed at the bottom of a free-for-all pile-up.
Some ill-discipline just after the hour also saw the All Blacks' try-scorer, lock Ben Hilton, sin-binned.
Friend shot away infield from a ruck and was almost over before Murphy jinked inside from a maul and sent Hilton over at the posts.
Full-back Kieron Lewitt, who yet again could hardly miss with the boot (three conversions and two penalties) added the extras and kicked a penalty after Wheeler's indiscretion; Friend hacked astutely along the wing with Bright racing through to score; and Woodrow and Lewitt traded penalties after the half hour.
The ball was becoming as slippery as soap in the relentless rain, but from the re-start the All Blacks, with the elements now at their backs, carried on where they left off.
Bright kicked downfield, the pack drove fast-forward from the line-out, and Friend shot away to score.
Dings' forwards then mounted a short-lived spell of attack but several attempts at a pushover in the corner were met with a wall of defence, and it was as-you-were when Bright hoofed it along the touch and raced 30 yards to bag his second. 32-3.
Late on Dings were surprisingly awarded a penalty try from a collapsed pushover attempt (converted by Woodrow) – but it must have brought them scant consolation.
Redruth racked up their 13th win of the season to remain in touch with their title rivals - but it was a victory that was not without a little controversy.
Leading 26-3 with 63 minutes played, referee Veryan Boscawen called a halt to the game with conditions deteriorating as heavy rain continued to batter the Chapel Gate pitch.
And after speaking to both captains, Chris Fuca and Alan Manning, the decision was made to abandon the game.
While Bournemouth coach Tim Collier, the former Cornish All Blacks' player, was unhappy with the decision, the result will stand.
League rules state: "If a match is abandoned solely because of weather conditions when 60 or more minutes have been played, then the score at the moment of abandonment shall stand and be deemed the final score in the match."
In truth, Redruth were well ahead with the bonus point already in the bag, some outstanding defensive play had countered all Bournemouth's efforts to score and in the bar after the game home officials were generous enough to admit they could see no way back for their side.
And ahead of some crucial games, with the Reds sitting in third place in National 2 South, head coach Adrian Edwards admitted: "This was a tough game for us today, we spoke about it in the week, we had a couple of people missing and it was always going to be tricky on the road.
"We have got Barking on Saturday and they will have their own risks for us. They have got some sharp players then we go into a big month with Canterbury, Worthing, the Cornish All Blacks and Chinnor."
Heavy rain overnight and at Saturday lunchtime left the pitch soft, the option of using a second team pitch was considered and rejected with both teams happy to start.
On a dank day, the floodlights were on from the start and torrential rain started to fall at the interval. With the driving rain in their faces, Redruth put in an outstanding defensive show in the first 15 minutes of the second period as the temperature dropped and the light faded in unpleasant conditions. The hosts repeatedly tried to bludgeon their way over the line with catch and drive moves and pick up from the back of the scrum. This was Redruth's first visit to Chapel Gate, which is part of a multi sport complex with hockey, cricket and football, near Bournemouth Airport, some way out of the town in the village of Hurn.
The Reds had not played a league game for four weeks, but a midweek training session with the Cornish Pirates ensured the forwards were well prepared and showed little sign of a lay off.
It was a special day for teenager Jake Rayment, who started in the Reds' second row for the first time. Last season's Under-17s captain was not overawed and in future years we can expect to see a lot of him in a Red shirt.
Redruth adapted their tactics to cope with the loss of top scorer Tom Duncan, who was playing for the Pirates, while Luke Collins was injured and Chris Bailey away on a field trip as part of his University course.
With the wind at their backs Redruth got off to a good start, Paul Thirlby was wide with a penalty attempt from 35 metres as Bournemouth came in at the side of a ruck in the second minute.
Greg Goodfellow used his towering box kicks, but caught the blindside defence off guard with a break from a scrum 40 metres out which created a cap for Tom Notman to run in a try after 11 minutes. Thirlby converted.
A couple of minutes later, good all round team play saw handling going left involving Goodfellow, Thirlby, Lewis Vinnicombe and Nick Simmons, ending with Craig Bonds diving over to the right of the posts for a superb try that Thirlby converted.
Boscawen, a young referee from the London Society with Cornish ancestors, on his first RFU appointment, was tested, but some stamping by Frazer Wilford on Rayment gave him the chance to impose his authority.
Redruth's lineout was not perfect, but the scrum was strong, driving Bournemouth back on their own ball, the hosts had some subtle variations with their pick and drive play but they did not threaten the Reds' line.
Bournemouth full-back Dan Pollard, a former London Cornish player, was wide with a 30 metre penalty attempt, but fly half George Drake hoofed over a kick from 35 metres after 33 minutes to get the hosts on the scoreboard.
With the interval approaching an inspired bit of thinking by Fuca, with a long crossfield punt, caught the defence off guard and Notman showed some composed football skills to hack on and win the race for the touchdown, Thirlby adding the extras to give the Reds a comfortable 18-point lead.
The heavens opened during the interval and Redruth kept Bournemouth waiting before coming out of the dressing rooms. From the restart Redruth were under pressure and found it difficult to get out of their 22.
The Reds lost Richard Brown with a leg injury, to be replaced by Neal Turner soon after the restart, and Goodfellow with a cut above an eye, with Frazer Kellythorn coming on and Simmons moving to scrum half.
Bournemouth had several goes at catch and drive from lineouts close to the line but the Reds' defence was superb, maintaining intense concentration and determination in damp, cold and gloomy conditions.
After 15 minutes non-stop defence with little respite, Redruth eventually got out of their own half, they showed good patience to recycle the ball as they worked up the right hand touchline. Kellythorn picked a clever line to take a pass from Simmons to cut across the cover defence in a 30 metre angled run to score wide out on the right. Thirlby's conversion was just wide of the near post.
Redruth's players celebrated not only a very well-taken try but it was also effectively game over in the worsening conditions.
A few minutes later, with Rob Heath, who has been out since the opening game of the season with a broken thumb on the touchline waiting to come on for Rayment, the referee spoke with the captains and the players were soon back into the dressing room.
CORNISH All Blacks produced a superb second-half comeback to stun promotion-chasing Henley Hawks in an absorbing contest at Polson Bridge.
It was the proverbial game of two halves, with Henley leading 15-3 at the break, but the All Blacks digging deep to come storming back and upset their second-place visitors from Oxfordshire.
It was a result and performance that delighted All Blacks head coach Cliff Rainford, who has now seen his side win eight of their last nine matches.
"In the first half, we didn't keep the ball as well as we should have done, and let Henley play a little bit too much rugby, and we ended up defending for most of that opening period, and we were relieved to go in at half-time only 15-3 down," he said.
"They are second in the league and have been putting a lot of points on teams, so to only be one or two scores down was not too bad.
"With the opportunities we got in that first half, we were also trying to score from first-phase ball, and it was never going to happen.
"We had a chat at half-time and decided to play some rugby in the second half, rather than defend for the next 40 minutes, and the guys worked really, really hard.
"We defended excellently throughout the whole game, and you also have to bear in mind that for 12 minutes we were down to only 13 men, after receiving two yellow cards, and we only conceded one score in that whole time.
"That was a massive bonus and gave us belief in what we could do, and we went out and built a score, taking points when we got into the red zone.
"Kieron Lewitt kept the scoreboard ticking over with penalties, and the pack played really, really well, we got our noses in front, and then closed the game out with some really mature rugby.
"We hadn't played at home for a while, and to let our own supporters see the same sort of performance we put in away at Hartpury College was really good and really pleasing, and it was a very pleasurable afternoon, though I think I got a bit older in the last five minutes of the game!"
Rainford added: "Everybody played well, but Mike Rawlings had a massive game, as did brother Tom; the front five worked hard all through the match; Martin Rice came on with 30 minutes to go and played really well; and Kieron's kicking was unbelievable in not the best of conditions, and under the pressure of playing the second in the league team."
Henley had only suffered three defeats all season, and posted 60 points or more on teams on seven occasions this campaign, and they looked on course for another victory at the interval.
Centre Danny Wells kicked his side into a sixth-minute lead with a penalty, and finished off a break by lock Josh McNally off a line-out on the 22 to make it 8-0 by the end of the first quarter.
The loss of No.8 Josh Lord and fellow back rower and captain Tom Rawlings to sin-binnings in the space of a minute did not help the All Blacks' cause, and just before the interval, the hosts' 13 men conceded when Wells was on the end of a pass by hooker Liam Dwyer for his second try, and added the conversion.
Henley then lost full-back Martin Nutt to a yellow card after a bout of fisticuffs, and Lewitt's injury-time penalty made it 15-3 at the turnaround.
The Hawks started to wilt in the second half as the All Blacks came roaring back, and with Lewitt's boot in fine fettle, the hosts chipped away at the deficit.
Two penalties made it 15-9 against a team who also lost McNally to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle, and with 11 minutes remaining, the All Blacks took the lead, when Lord touched down after a superb drive by the forwards, and Lewitt slotted the simple conversion to give the hosts a one-point advantage.
Lewitt then provided a 72nd-minute penalty to take his own match tally to 14 points and put the icing on the cake for Rainford's men.
Starved of any competitive rugby since mid-December, Redruth’s faithful supporters finally got to see a game in 2013 and with it a win to savour against the league leaders Worthing Raiders who suffered their third loss of the campaign.
A return to the Rec too for fly-half Aaron Penberthy, on loan from the Cornish Pirates as he looks to gain some match time on the road back to full fitness following his operation. And what a return it proved to be for the former Red.
Despite looking rusty and slightly disorganised during the first half Redruth turned on the power during the second half to record a bonus point win, with Penberthy scoring the fourth try to clinch the win. Worthing for all their dominance during the first half should have been much further ahead at half-time that they were not, was to haunt them by the final whistle.
Redruth’s Director of Rugby, Adrian Edwards though delighted with the win conceded that his side had taken it’s time to find top gear. He said. “It’s fantastic to get the bonus point win. First half you could see that we were lacking match sharpness, the boys were about half a yard off the pace to the breakdown, at half-time we discussed it, these boys don’t really need telling what to do they are experienced enough and can work it out for themselves. The great thing about this squad is that they never give up. The scrum really came to the fore during the second half, we put Worthing under tremendous pressure and that led to our scores”.
From the kick-off it was the Raiders who dictated play, which was rewarded with a try when centre Kiba Richards sliced through the Redruth cover to put fellow centre Ollie Richards in under the sticks. Joe Govett added the simple conversion.
Worthing - for whom full back Alex Neilson proved a constant threat all afternoon - were almost in again moments later, however Red’s winger Tom Notman made good ground to cover and snuff out the danger.
Slowly Redruth got into the game. Having kicked to the scoreboard corner Redruth mounted an attack resulting in a charged down clearance leading to an unconverted try for Ben Priddey.
Despite some good breaks notably by Frazer Kellythorn and Lewis Vinnicombe Redruth were unable to pierce the well-organised Worthing defence.
Govett extended the visitor’s lead with a penalty as Reduth’s forwards strayed offside at a ruck.
Notman was once more called in to clear the danger as the Raider’s again bore down on the Redruth line.
Priddey then turned try saviour as he got back to foil the ever-dangerous Nielsen to leave the Raiders just 10-5 up at the break.
Redruth looked a different side at the beginning of the second half playing down the slope the forwards began to take charge with Darren Jacques and Damien Cook to the fore.
An attacking scrum down in Hellfire corner saw Tom Duncan pick and drive for the line for Redruth’s second try, Paul Thirlby’s conversion go in off an upright.
Just four minutes on Duncan was at it again. Following good work from Craig Bonds, Vinnicombe and Jacques, Duncan was driven over from a ruck. Thirlby added the extras for a 19-10 lead.
Worthing showed their pedigree as they struck back to regain the lead.
First a mix-up by Redruth in defence allowed Worthing an attacking platform in their twenty-two. Worthing skipper Matt Miles took a quick tap penalty which led to Kiba Richards crossing for a second Worthing try, Govett adding a fine conversion form out wide.
Then a chip and chase by flying winger Jack Maslen bamboozled the Red’s defence in-goal allowing Maslen to pounce on the loose ball and claim the try.
Having fought back so well were the Reds about to let the game slip away? No way. “Cometh the hour, cometh the man!” Redruth got back downfield. A patient build up saw the forwards drive for the line before the ball was moved wide to Penberthy who stepped the defence to cross under the posts and secure the bonus point. Thirlby’s conversion sealed the vital win and give Redruth the boost they needed before next Saturday’s trip to Polson Bridge.
Redruth 26 pts: tries Priddey, Duncan (2), Penberthy; conversions Thirlby (3)
Worthing 22 pts: tries O Richards, K Richards, Maslen; conversions Govett (2); penalty Govett
Redruth: C Bonds (A Penberthy 57), T Notman, L Vinnicombe, N Simmons, F Kellythorn, P Thirlby, G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown (N Turner 71), C Williams, D Cook, L Collins (D Job 77), C Fuca (capt), B Priddey (O Hambly 57) (J Rayement 66), T Duncan
Worthing: A Nielsen, J Maslen, K Richards, O Richards, L Peters, B Dudley, J Govett; P Cleveland (M Pointing 64), M Miles (capt), J Burns, W Stutchbury, J Redmayne. J Heaver, S Hewick, R Smith
Replacements (not used): K Dawson, J Smith, J Metters, O Luke
Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)
Redruth man of the match: Damien Cook
It's amazing how the threat of relegation on one side and complacency on the other can turn form on its head – and that's what happened at Warners Bridge Park where Southend posted a shock 20-17 National Two South victory over the Cornish All Blacks who had won eight of their previous nine matches.
By half-time the visitors were 13-3 adrift and, when they did recover something like their usual powerful momentum, they found they had left it too late.
Head coach Cliff "Spike" Rainford said: "We were probably expecting to win and I think that made us less focused than we should have been. Southend are obviously desperate to avoid relegation and we somehow got sucked into their game. We just had an off day. Occasionally you do."
On top of this, the All Blacks had quite a few opportunities to score, especially in the second half, but squandered them. They were also missing the metronomic boot of fullback Kieron Lewitt, who was ruled by injury. Add to this a referee who seemed to some to be unclear when to award a penalty try and you have recipe for defeat.
The All Blacks, on the attack early on, won a penalty award in the fifth minute. It was a difficult kick from about 35 metres wide out but fly-half Jake Murphy landed a fine goal. Fifteen minutes later the Essex club's backs mounted a handling move which ended with left wing Mark Billings touching down in the corner; and when there was hesitation between the All Blacks' halfbacks and a kick from Murphy failed to find touch, Southend ran it back at them, breaking tackles, and their No.8 Daniel Legge scored, again wide out.
Full-back Andrew Frost kicked a penalty in front of the posts and All Blacks' lock Ben Hilton was sin-binned for coming in at the side, the Essex men 13-3 up at half time.
From the re-start the visitors got into rhythm and began slowly to narrow the gap, their driving forward play having a telling effect, although it took them 25 minutes to add to their score. They won a lot of early possession and territory, and Murphy had another penalty shot but missed, before they battled to the home line and, after several driving mauls which Southend brought down, were awarded a penalty try which Murphy converted to make it 13-10.
But Southend were determined to maintain their first half effort, kicked a penalty downfield and won a line-out and another penalty. Their scrum-half Sam Arnott was about to tap it when the referee signalled him to wait. The All Blacks were caught napping as, instead of waiting, Arnott tapped, made the line, and was awarded a try, Frost adding the extras to make it 20-10 with ten minutes left.
The All Blacks again battled to the line. Time and again Southend brought down the driving maul in front of the posts. Three of their pack were sin-binned but still the referee would not award a penalty try. Finally, in the 80th minute, Hilton crossed for Murphy to convert for 20-17. The All Blacks came yet again but it was too late.
This shock defeat will be a wake-up call to them ahead of the local derby with Redruth at Polson Bridge next Saturday.
Cornish Pirates moved back into the Championship play-off places after a 31-18 bonus-point victory over Doncaster Knights yesterday.
The Knights may be battling relegation but the Pirates' ability to engineer try-scoring opportunities in a Mennaye Field mud bath should not be underplayed.
The game was in doubt during the hours leading up kick-off, but both teams were happy for the match to go ahead despite the weather in west Cornwall, where four seasons were often seen in as many minutes.
Fortunately, that was also the number of tries Pirates produced, with hooker Darren Semmens scoring twice before Laurie McGlone and Matt Evans added the other two.
Pirates took the lead within the first five minutes, despite the early loss of prop Alan Paver to injury on his 300th appearance for the club. A catch-and-drive was finished by Semmens, but there was a mass brawl before fly-half Kieran Hallett could add the conversion.
Referee Matthew Carley showed two yellow cards – one for the Pirates' McGlone and the other for Doncaster prop Thomas Davies.
The Knights were also up for a fight with the ball in hand and they set up a rolling maul of their own in response. And although they were held up at the first attempt, hooker Rhys Buckley applied the finish at the second time of asking. Wing Doug Flockhart was unfortunate to miss the conversion, misjudging the crosswind marginally.
Pirates then extended their two-point lead to five with a well-taken penalty from distance by Hallett.
It was just as well he did as his side were soon on the receiving end of another powerful drive from Doncaster. Pirates pulled it down as it lurched towards their try line but Buckley soon added his second try of the game to level the scores.
Flockhart was again unable to add the conversion but traded penalties with Hallett as the half drew to a close with a second yellow card for Pirates when Darren Barry pulled down a Knights' line-out.
Another drive try from Semmens put Pirates back in front and they went further ahead through Hallett's penalty as the hour mark approached.
McGlone finished another drive to score Pirates' third try of the game, but the bonus point try came with just five minutes remaining after some excellent play in midfield from full-back Wes Davies to set up an Evans chase into the left corner.
Canadian international Evans then made way for new loan signing Ashley Smith, who could hardly have picked less suitable conditions for his debut. But the London Welsh man did enough to suggest he could be a valuable player for Pirates until the end of the season.
There was also still time for Knights to score a third, unconverted try, with another forwards move touched down by replacement Sam Pailor.
Redruth finally achieved a league win at Polson Bridge to complete a league double over their Cornish rivals.
Roared on by a sizeable contingent from Redruth amongst the large crowd the Reds held off a spirited comeback in the second half from the All Blacks to squeeze home by the smallest of margins.
It was a typical derby game, tight, error-strewn and at times feisty, but never dirty. A game of two halves. That mattered little to the Redruth players and supporters; all that mattered was the win and at the final whistle the largest smile at Polson was that of Red’s skipper Chris Fuca. He said after the final whistle, “I am hugely proud of all the boys for that massive effort. However, I must pay tribute to Launceston -- they came back well. A few of our boys were carrying knocks. Damien Cook and Luke Collins were pretty much running on empty near the end but I just asked everyone for one final effort near the end to see us home. The boys responded and saw us home and I’ll take that win any day”.
Redruth’s Director of Rugby Adrian Edwards was equally as delighted with his side’s result. “I am just pleased for everybody associated with Redruth Rugby, past, present and future. It’s a result that everyone who has been associated with the club over the years has strived for and this result will mean a lot to so many people.
Asked if he felt his side should have been further ahead at half-time? “There were a couple of times in the first half when we could have taken chances but didn’t get. In these type of derby games it’s very tight. We knew at half-time that they would come back at us and I thought they were going to get that try near the end to win the game. We got a couple of penalties and managed to see out the game, pegging them back in their twenty-two”.
Launceston’s skipper Tom Rawlings, though disappointed at having lost, was fulsome in his praise for Redruth. “I thought it was a well deserved win for Redruth today, well done to them, though I am hugely gutted that we didn’t win the game after our fight back during the second half. Earlier in the season we were made to look silly down there, but today we put in a big eighty-minute effort. Ill discipline came back to haunt us again today. You can’t win games with players in the bin. It’s something we have got to look at quickly”.
From the kick-off Redruth dominated both with possession and territorially. Penalty chances came their way as they elected to kick to the corner and lay siege to the All Blacks' line. Under intense pressure, the penalty count against the home side mounted.
Paul Thirlby opened the scoring with a penalty from just outside the twenty-two as Launceston were again guilty of infringing.
Moments later referee Tom Foley had had enough and brandished a first yellow card at All Blacks lock Ben Hilton. Redruth maintained the pressure and before long Launceston were down to thirteen men as prop Neil Bayliss was invited to join Hilton for a breather!
Eventually Redruth turned pressure into points. A further penalty was kicked to the scoreboard corner and from the drive an attacking scrum awarded. The Redruth pack shoved the Launceston forwards back towards their line, with Tom Duncan looking set to score try number sixteen of the season. The All Blacks came in at the side and Mr Foley immediately signalled a penalty-try, Thirlby’s conversion giving Redruth a deserved ten point lead.
With just seven minutes before the break it was Redruth’s turn to find themselves down to fourteen men as Duncan was shown a yellow card for not releasing. Full-back Kieron Lewitt stepped up for the home side to kick their first points and leave the half-time score 10-3 to the Reds.
Aaron Penberthy started the second half in place of Murray Westren, which saw as last week Paul Thirlby move to full-back, with Penberthy paying in his accustomed role of fly-half.
Launceston were marched back ten meters following a penalty to the Reds, allowing Penberthy a shot at the posts but his effort sailed to the right of the sticks.
Launceston came back much more during the second half with scrum-half Richard Friend calling the shots.
As the pitch began to cut more the Redruth forwards looked to drive the ball, with prop Darren Jacques again putting in a huge shift.
Launceston slowly pegged back the Redruth lead with penalties from Lewitt on 54 and 61 minutes to set up a tense finish.
Lloyd Duke, on as a replacement, started a fine diagonal run towards the scoreboard corner from his own half. The move was taken on by No.8 Josh Lord. With the line beckoning a fine last-ditch tackle by Penberthy saw the intended pass to Friend lost forward and Redruth cleared the danger.
With time fast running out Goodfellow looked to keep Launceston pegged back in their twenty-two. Thirlby saw a penalty chance just fall short of the posts, and when the next penalty came their way time was up. The ball was booted off the park and the celebrations began.
Cornish All Blacks 9 pts: penalties Lewitt (3)
Redruth 10 pts: penalty-try; penalty Thirlby; conversion Thirlby
Cornish All Blacks: K Lewitt, R Bright, L Paterson, N Webber (M Kneebone 66), L Yeo, J Murphy, R Friend; M Rice (T Mathias 50), F Bullit, N Bayliss, BJ Chapman (L Duke 64), B Hilton, J Tripcony (T Mathias 25-30), T Rawlings (Capt), J Lord
Replacements (not used): A Meredith, D Hales
Yellow Cards Hilton (14), Bayliss (20)
Redruth: M Westren (A Penberthy 40), T Notman, C Bonds, N Simmons, F Kellythorn, P Thirlby. G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown, C Williams, D Cook L Collins, C Fuca (Capt), B Priddey (O Hambly 63), T Duncan
Replacements (not used): D Job, N Turner, D Bonds
Yellow Card Duncan (33)
Referee: Mr T Foley (RFU)
Launceston man-of-the-match: Richard Friend
Redruth man-of-the-match: Darren Jacques
A spirited second-half comeback by London Scottish saw them snatch a late victory at Mennaye Field and leave a big dent in the ambitions of Cornish Pirates to reach the Championship play-offs this season.
The Pirates had led 17-0 with 46 minutes on the clock after Canada international Matt Evans raced in for his second try of the game and his tenth of the campaign, but the Exiles changed their entire front row and let former Redruth No.8 Mark Bright off the leash.
Suddenly the momentum of a largely stop-start contest changed and the visitors were able to take control of the rest of the game, dominating field position and territory.
They dictated the tempo and flow and picked their moments to score, with Bright and ex-Plymouth Albion man James Love claiming tries.
Love sealed the win five minutes from time as he slotted a routine penalty from the Pirates 22 after the hosts infringed at the breakdown.
It was the second time this season that London Scottish had overturned a hefty deficit to beat the Pirates, after winning at the Athletic Ground in September. This defeat leaves the Pirates fifth in the table but fighting a bitter battle with Leeds and Bristol for the final play-off spot and this reverse, only their second at home in the competition, could well be one they rue.
The Penzance side took a 14th-minute lead with a Kieran Hallett penalty.
The visitors then lost scrum-half Jamie Stevenson to the sin-bin after an illegal tackle on Laurie McGlone, and with the penalty count rising against them they conceded more points as the Pirates scored their first try.
Tom Kessell sniped from the base of a ruck deep in the Scottish 22 and attacked the blindside, feeding Evans to score in the corner as the defence failed to cover. Hallett landed a fine touchline conversion and the Pirates were comfortable at 10-0.
Former Redruth centre PJ Gidlow was next to receive a yellow card from pedantic London referee Simon Harding after a huge collision with Tom Riley in midfield was adjudged to have been illegal.
Hallett missed an early second-half penalty but the Pirates quickly added a second try as Phil Burgess hit the line at pace and punched a big hole in the Scottish defence. The ball was shipped left from the breakdown, with Ben Mercer's sleight of hand releasing Evans to score. Hallett converted.
London Scottish immediately changed four of their pack including the entire front row, and quickly got on the scoreboard with Love's first penalty. Soon it was the Pirates struggling for good ball and there were few surprises when Bright capitalised on a series of penalties, driving over for a converted try on the hour.
The Pirates kept kicking away half-decent possession all too readily and the Scots kept applying pressure. Ben Maidment saw yellow as the Pirates kept infringing, and from an attacking five-metre scrum the Exiles struck.
This time it was Love squeezing in at the corner after a blindside raid by Stevenson. The wing slotted a conversion to level the scores and then, with the Pirates still unable to respond, applied the killer touch with his second penalty near the end.
With injuries sustained by McGlone (head) and Paul Andrew (ankle), the Pirates will be worrying about their fitness along with that of prop Alan Paver and skipper Gavin Cattle ahead of next Saturday's difficult game at leaders Newcastle Falcons.
Cornish Pirates: Davies, Mercer (Pointer 71), Riley, Fatialofa, Evans (Smith 71), Hallett, Kessell; Andrew (Storer 59), Elloway, Prescott (Joyce 71), Lyons (Johnson 55), Barry, Marriott (capt), Burgess, McGlone (Maidment 48, sin-bin 67-77)
Replacement (not used) Semmens
Yellow card: Maidment
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans (2); cons Hallett (2); pen Hallett
London Scottish: Thompson, Love, Grove, Gidlow (sin-bin 40-50, Reay 76), Mantella, Godman, Stevenson (sin-bin 19-29); Mayhew (Irish 47), Kwasnicki (Allen 47), Fry (Mackenzie 47), Spivey (Karonias 79), Hotson, Russell, Calder (Pennycook 47), Bright (capt)
Replacement (not used): Bolt
Yellow cards: Stevenson, Gidlow
London Scottish scorers: tries Bright, Love; cons Love (2); pens Love (2)
Referee: S Harding (RFU)
Six tries and a five-point win: you can't argue with that – the Cornish All Blacks, in the words of their coach, are "back on track". A 39-21 victory at Polson over Clifton, sets the Cornish club on the winning trail again.
The Bristolians, tenth in the National Two South table to Launceston's seventh, had beaten the Cornishmen in their three previous encounters, so the rot had to be stopped. It was – in the end.
Up to the hour mark the visitors gave as good as they got, trailing by only four points, 25-21; and they never bowed the knee.
Initially, what their pack lacked in technique it made up for in weight (their Michelin-man props were almost as wide as they were tall) and early on its juggernaut power gave the All Blacks a lot of trouble in the tight; and the visitors' backs were rangy, fast and dangerous, particularly in the first half.
However, the All Blacks' well-honed technique in scrum, maul and ruck eventually had the heavy visitors in all sorts of trouble in turn, while the home backs too were a formidable unit in attacking versatility.
Scrum-half Richard Friend released them time and again with long, perfectly weighted passes, wing Richard Bright was always looking for attacking opportunities and scored two tries, lock Barrie-John Chapman was a key figure in attack, with No.8 Josh Lord another who excelled (a pity he ended on a down note, red-carded for punching during a melée of fisticuffs and cardings in the 85th minute).
Both sides attacked continually from the kick-off. In a counter-attack All Blacks' skipper, flanker Tom Rawlings, constantly in the right place, broke down the middle, linked with Neilson Webber and the centre released Bright to race over.
Clifton hit back immediately, a fluent three-quarter move ending with full-back Ben Foley cruising over wide out and converting. Home fullback Kieron Lewitt landed a penalty to snatch back the lead after sustained rucking and running almost saw Bright over again; and just before the half hour two relentless, 15-yard driving mauls to the line saw Lord break off to score and make the half-time score 13-7.
Right from the re-start Chapman stormed down the right, Rawlings was there to take it on, and from a ruck lock Ben Hilton crossed for Lewitt to add the extras. Back came the visitors, their scrum-half Callum Braley making an incisive run through and No.8 Thomas O'Keefe scoring for Foley to convert.
A pinpoint-accurate cross-kick from home fly-half Jake Murphy was beautifully taken by Bright on the right and the wing blitzed over for his second try to make the score 25-14.
Home prop Neil Bayliss was sin-binned for deliberately coming in at the side and there was a flurry of replacements on both sides before the visitors hit back again, awarded a controversial penalty try in front of the posts, despite their hooker being forced right up and out of the drive. Foley converted to reduce the arrears to 25-21.
It was still anybody's game.
However, in the last ten minutes the home pack took control: a line-out, a drive infield and replacement hooker Tom Hurdwell was over, Lewitt, now on song with the boot, converting for 32-21.
Then Bright shot away and almost bagged his hat-trick, and finally – before the injury-time eruption of ill-discipline on both sides – the All Blacks' pack capped victory with an unstoppable pushover which ended with a penalty try, Lewitt's boot again adding two more points.
Coach Cliff "Spike" Rainford said happily: "Our main objective was to get back to winning ways and get five points, and that's what we did. We feel we're back on track."
Redruth captain Chris Fuca was candid in his assessment of the Cornish side's one-point defeat at National Two South rivals Chinnor for their first defeat in more than three months.
The Reds trailed by 18 points adrift as the game approached the final quarter and staged a thrilling fight back. They even had a kick to win the match but Aaron Penberthy's conversion attempt fell short.
"We made too many errors and gave ourselves too much to do," said Fuca. "Chinnor are a really good side and we did not pay them enough respect in the first half.
"To fight back like that – and get two bonus points – I am happy with, but we will have to build on this and get ready for next week.
"Chinnor had more hunger than us in the first half. We complained to the referee too much; we did not play smart in the first half – they pinned us back and we did not have answers.
"It was nice to have a chance to win the game but it was a real hard kick for Aaron [Penberthy].
"There were two or three chances in the first half we did not take and it could have been a different game."
A converted try from Owen Hambly got Redruth back into the game from 18 points down and relentless forward play pinned Chinnor inside their own 22. The hosts rode their luck, conceding ten penalties and picking up four yellow cards, playing most of the final ten minutes with 13 men.
An unconverted try from Darren Jacques got Redruth within a converted score with four minutes to go and in the final dramatic finish Craig Bonds was stopped just short.
Redruth were then held up over the line and two scrums went down before the visitng pack could put the shunt on.
In the last play of the game Murray Westren touched down in the right-hand corner but Penberthy's conversion was short and the game lost.
For the first hour Chinnor had played some tremendous rugby, they had an impressive kicking game and took advantage of some poor kick returns from the Reds to open up the game for some strong running three-quarters and just after the interval had built up a 20 point lead before Redruth started to get to grips with them.
The hosts took the lead with a penalty by Henry Colver after ten minutes before Redruth were rewarded for a dominant scrum with a penalty try converted Penberthy.
Two well taken tries in quick succession by Adrian Hales, after a quick throw, and Liam Gilbert, from a lineout, left the visitors reeling.
Redruth had a couple of good chances with a catch-and-drive try chalked off for an obstruction and a Nick Simmons beak in midfield was not converted into a score in the right-hand corner.
A second penalty by Colver after 29 minutes quickly followed by an individual try by Will Millett after a chip-and-chase into the right-hand corner put Chinnor in the driving seat.
Penberthy pulled back a penalty on the stroke of half time following a high tackle on Westren but strong running from the home backs saw Matt Goode run in a try soon after the restart that Colver converted to open up a 20-point gap.
A massive surge by the Redruth pack ended with Dan Job touching down a try that Penberthy converted after 45 minutes.
Chinnor struck a vital blow on 56 minutes when good play down the left wing ended with Gilbert crashing over for his second try of the game before the Redruth rearguard action started.
The final few minutes were incredibly tense with referee Guy Steele-Bodger put under immense pressure as Redruth looked for a winning score and the hosts did everything to stop them.
Redruth got back to winning ways with with an eight try win over Barking at the Recreation Ground to put behind them their loss last week up at Chinnor. No.8 Tom Duncan continues to lead the National League 2 South try-scoring table adding a further three tries to stretch his tally to eighteen this season.
Despite Barking’s lowly position at the foot of the table they pushed Redruth all the way, before once again, the Redruth pack proved the decisive factor in creating the platform for the win.
Redruth got off to an excellent start with an early un-converted try scored by Duncan, following a good break from winger Tom Notman in mid-field.
Redruth rode their luck as the visitors had a try chalked off for a forward pass. A good period of pressure in the Barking twenty-two was rewarded when hooker Neal Turner, who enjoyed a lively game, was driven over from a catch-and-drive. Fly-half Ashley Hosking added the conversion.
On the half-hour mark Redruth added a third try, from a scrum, scrum-half Greg Goodfellow broke down the blind side to set up Duncan for his second try in the scoreboard corner.
Barking then made the most of an error in the Redruth defence which allowed centre Jay Udo-Udoma to score under the posts. Skipper and fly-half Craig Ratford added the conversion as he did a penalty shortly after to leave the half-time score 17-10 to Redruth.
The East London side then shocked the Reds scoring a second try just thirty seconds into the second half through winger Charlie Baffour-Awuah, Ratford’s conversion tying up the scores.
Redruth immediately struck back, skipper Chris Fuca claimed the re-start and feed Notman who scored in Hell Fire corner to secure the try-scoring bonus point.
The Redruth pack began to dominate the Barking eight with young lock Jake Rayment catching the eye, whilst fellow lock Damien Cook was at his rampaging best. The back row of Fuca Duncan and Neil Broadbank were always in the thick of the action.
Prop Darren Jacques powered over for Redruth’s fifth and sixth tries both coming from catch-and-drives, Paul Thirlby, on as a second half replacement converting the first of Jacques’ brace taking Redruth to 34-17.
Tempers became frayed on a couple of occasions towards the end of the game with referee Nick Williams content to just let the players settle down.
However, Williams had no hesitation shortly after in awarding Redruth a penalty-try as Barking wheeled the scrum as Redruth drove for the line, Thirlby’s conversion making it 41-17.
Duncan then completed the points scoring with his third try of the game to seal a fine second half performance from Redruth and send the Redruth faithful into the club house to watch the International in good cheer!
Redruth’s Director of Rugby Adrian Edwards was pleased with his side’s performance. He said. “It was a hard-fought win, Barking played with a lot of spirit and pushed us at times. After last week’s loss it was important to get the bonus point win.
“We changed the team a little this week, some of the changes were enforced we’ve still got a few players out injured such as Lewis Vinnicombe and Luke Collins, whilst Dan Job has also picked up an injury and a couple of others like Owen Hambly and Ben Priddey are away, but some of the youngsters today such as Jake Rayment and Neil Broadbank played exceptionally well.
“Hopefully we will have Collins back next week but then where do you fit him in after Jake Rayment’s great game, it will give us more strength on the bench that’s for sure”.
Despite the defeat Barking’s Head Coach Nick Warren felt his side had shown some good spirit. He said. “We travelled a bit short today, but the youngsters who came in didn’t let us down. Redruth is hard place to come and these boys will have learned a good lesson about National League rugby on the road.
Warren felt that that inexperience cost them when they fought back to level the game at the beginning of the second half. “Having got back we then conceded immediately after and handed the initiative back to Redruth and that deflated us. Redruth then did a clinical job on us attacking in our weak areas and pulled away again on the scoreboard”.
The Cornish Pirates were forced to endure an eight-try romp by league leaders Newcastle Falcons at a freezing Kingston Park on Saturday night but left with their pride intact after their much weakened team battled to the bitter end of an entertaining contest, writes Dick Straughan.
Heavy snow in Newcastle during the morning had left the game in doubt but a Herculean effort by the Falcons groundstaff got the pitch playable and the crowd who braved the bitter cold witnessed the Falcons' best performance of the season.
This was no consolation to the Pirates, who went behind to a converted Will Welch try after only three minutes, but they fought back strongly and the impressive Aaron Penberthy cut the lead with a 45 metre penalty.
The Pirates were dangerous but couldn't find a killer touch and Newcastle responded with three more tries in the half as they proved ruthless in attack. James Hudson, Scott McLeod and Oliver Tomaszczyk all crossed to give the Falcons a 26-3 lead.
Newcastle played the second half on the front foot but still the Pirates ran and tackled forcing the Falcons to work for the remainder of their points.
Former Scotland international scrum-half Rory Lawson scored their fifth touchdown before Welch added his second, but it took until 13 minutes from the end before the home side crossed the Pirates line again.
This time the giant Samoan international Taiasina Tu'ifua set up Jamie Helleur, then with five minutes remaining centre Alex Crockett ran in from 20 metres and Gopperth's fifth conversion sealed the 50-point haul.
Newcastle Falcons: Catterick (Hodgson 60), Higgins, Tait, Helleur (Crockett 69), Shortland, Gopperth, Lawson (Fury 65); Shiels, Thompson (Mayhew 65), Tomaszczyk (Hall 65), McLeod (Goode 73), Hudson, Wilson, Welch (capt) (Tu`ifua 60), Hogg
Falcons' scorers: tries Welch (2), Hudson, McLeod, Tomaszczyk, Crockett, Helleur, Lawson; cons Gopperth (5)
Cornish Pirates: Davies, Mercer, Pointer (Riley 56), Bedford, Smith, Penberthy, Kessell; Storer (Andrew 73), Semmens (Hambly 63), Joyce (Prescott 63), Johnson (capt), Barry (Lyons 56), Cheesman, Burgess, Tyas (Marriott 63)
Replacement (not used): Elloway
Pirates' scorer: pen Penberthy
Referee: S Lee (RFU)
Redruth totally outplayed Lydney at the Recreation Ground, scoring 11 tries without reply to maintain their push at the top of National League 2 South, reports Bill Hooper.
Perhaps a little guilty of slow starts against Barking and Chinnor in previous weeks, there was no such sluggishness against the Forest of Dean side as the Reds tore at their visitors from the kick-off.
Ben Priddey got through a tremendous amount of work in the back row and he was involved in the build up to Owen Hambly's try in the fourth minute which opened the Reds' account.
Lydney's best scoring chance of the game came shortly after when a strong run from his own half by Alex Hall saw the full back hauled down just short of the line by Nick Simmons.
Simmons was soon back involved at the other end, scoring his side's second try.
Scrum-half Greg Goodfellow was on fire, his scorching breaks finally paying dividends as he scored Redruth's third try.
The try-scoring bonus point was wrapped up before half-time when Craig Bonds finished off a break from Paul Thirlby, who had kicked three out of four conversions for a 26-0 half-time score.
It was more of the same after the break. Tom Notman scored Redruth's next two tries, with Thirlby adding a further conversion before departing the fray.
Simmons then completed his brace as Notman turned provider following a great run by the full-back from his own half.
Lock Damien Cook then got in on the act, crashing over for try number eight, with replacement Murray Westren kicking the first of his three conversions.
Neal Turner was on hand to finish off some great work for the next Reds' score.
Fittingly, it was the sheer pace of Goodfellow that rounded off the show for the Reds scoring the final two tries to set up next Saturday's mouth-watering home match against Hartpury College.
Redruth 69 pts: tries Hambly, Simmons (2), Goodfellow (3), C Bonds, Notman (2), Cook, Turner; conversions Thirlby (4), Westren (3)
Lydney 0 pts
Redruth: T Notman, N Simmons, C Bonds (B Drew 50), S Evans, D Bonds, P Thirlby (M Westren 59), G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown (N Turner 60), C Williams (J Drew 65), D Cook, J Rayment (L Collins 50), C Fuca (Capt), B Priddey, O Hambly
Lydney: A Hall, J Hannam, C Holder, P McCallister, J Sterry, M Dodge, M Williams; L Green (S Wichcombe 59), B Lewis (S Fisher 51), P Price, S Thomson, P Kiely, M Taylor (Capt), C Farrell, C Daniell
Replacements (unused): W Jones, J Innes, T Wicks
Referee: Luke Haskins (RFU)
Local derbies are often close-run things and this one at Hyde Park, which saw the Cornish All Blacks complete the National Two South double over Taunton Titans, 22-17, was no exception.
In the end the All Blacks deserved their win, thanks to the overall dominance of their pack and three cracking tries. That said, they led only narrowly 12-9 at the interval and then, having surged further ahead 22-9 by the 53rd minute, lost momentum in the final quarter and saw the resurgent Titans come roaring back to within five points.
Taunton opened the scoring in the third minute with fullback Gary Kingdom landing a penalty after the Titans had worked powerfully up to camp in the visitors' 22 (he went on to score the lion's share of his side's points with three further goals in the 23rd, 31st and 69th minutes).
The All Blacks arguably won the game in the next 15 minutes with some superb attacking and handling rugby which earned them two tries in eight minutes and put them 12-3 ahead. They won a turnover, prop Tim Mathias made a determined 20 metres and passed outside to Neilsen Webber, and the centre breezed through a glaring gap to score.
Then No.8 Barry-John Chapman, who had a storming game, picked up near halfway, burst through tackles and linked with his backs to send full-back Kieron Lewitt in under the posts to score and convert.
The All Blacks now began to make handling errors and mistakes and Taunton reasserted themselves, with their pacy backs, led impressively by skipper, centre Jemba Bull, looking dangerous; but they lacked penetration and the visitors' defence was consistently rock-solid.
The Titans' only further first half reward for their efforts was two more Kingdom penalties.
The All Blacks' pack, the fulcrum of their game, was a constant thorn in Taunton's side – despite suspension having deprived it of its influential No.8 Josh Lord and prop Neil Bayliss.
The visitors now attacked from all angles, Lewitt landed a penalty, and in the 52nd minute they kicked to touch from a penalty award, won the throw-in (Titans' line-out was frequently in disarray), and from a catch-and-drive and innumerable rucks and mauls prop Martin Rice crossed near the posts for Lewitt to add the extras and increase the lead to 22-9.
In the last half hour, however, the All Blacks were under some sustained pressure. Taunton were now fired up and taking the game into the Cornishmen's 22.
James Forrester kicked through, followed up, and with the ball jumping about in-goal, the fly-half managed to touch down to reduce the lead to 22-14.
Kingdom's conversion rebounded but the Titans were soon in the 22 again with the All Blacks defending for their lives – which they did well. Home wing Jack Claydon might have crossed if he had fielded a beautiful cross-kick, but All Black wing Richard Bright contested the ball and Claydon knocked on.
Kingdom kicked his fourth penalty 11 minutes from time, but the All Blacks held out for a crucial away win.
All Blacks' head coach Cliff Rainford said: "We played very well in the first 20 minutes and then defended very well. Taunton played some very good rugby but our pack was the key and gave us the go-forward which released our backs for some really good tries."
His opposite number, Tony Yapp, said: "Launceston probably had the edge. They were more experienced; and our set-piece didn't really function. We didn't play that well and our line-out let us down, but we put Launceston under quite a lot of pressure.
"We have a young side and Launceston know how to see games out."
Leeds Carnegie drove a dagger into the heart of the Cornish Pirates play-off aspirations as a strong second-half display in their 37-25 win at Cross Green all but ended their quest for a top-four Championship finish.
The Pirates fell behind to a first-minute penalty from on-loan Harlequins fly-half Rory Clegg but responded strongly.
Grant Pointer linked well down the right flank with Ashley Smith and the wing took play right to the Leeds line where a desperate Stevie McColl tackle halted him.
However, patient recycling and the power of the Pirates front row saw Paul Andrew burrow over the try line.
Kieran Hallett missed an 11th-minute penalty as he slipped but the fly-half made amends moments later, capitalising on a Phil Nilsen knock-on on the Leeds 22. Hallett dribbled the ball through the home cover and then raced under the posts to touch down. His conversion put the Pirates seemingly in control at 12-3.
However, a steadily rising penalty count against the Pirates and the impressive kicking of Clegg began to edge Leeds back into the contest and two penalties midway through the half saw them visibly grow in confidence.
Centres Oli Goss and Fred Burdon were proving a real handful with their elusive running and only the width of a post prevented Clegg levelling the scores with a penalty.
Leeds lost French prop Damien Tussac to the sin-bin just before the interval as referee John Meredith ran out of patience with the persistent infringing by both sides, but Hallett's penalty was quickly cancelled out by a Clegg 45-metre effort leaving the Pirates 15-12 ahead at the break.
The second half belonged to the Yorkshire side. Clegg missed an early penalty before McColl scythed through the Pirates defence and charged down the left flank with the line at his mercy. Then, inexplicably, he dropped the ball and the chance was gone. The respite lasted four minutes.
The introduction of former Pirates scrum-half James Doherty re-energised Leeds and he created space for another ex-Mennaye man, lock Matt Smith, to gallop home from 15 metres for a rare try.
Clegg made it a seven-point home lead on the hour with another penalty and then punished Ian Davies' men again four minutes later. This time Pirates lock Darren Barry had been harshly penalised for going off his feet at the breakdown on his own 22. The second row appeared to legally strip the ball at a ruck but replacement referee Tom Foley thought differently. Now the gap was ten.
The introduction of Aaron Penberthy gave the Pirates more direction in midfield and he struck a long-range penalty to edge the Pirates back into losing bonus point territory.
Wing David Doherty scorched home with six minutes left for his 12th try of the season as he finished a splendid blindside move before Smith hurt his former club in the fourth minute of stoppage time from an unstoppable driving line-out.
The Pirates grabbed a late consolation through wing Matt Evans. The Canada international raced through a static home defence from 22 metres out after Gavin Cattle's pass had created space. Penberthy kicked the conversion from in front of the posts.
Leeds: McColl, Clark (Currie 37-47), Goss, Burdon, D.Doherty, Clegg, Hampson (J.Doherty 64); Harris (Imiolek 72), Nilsen (Freer 48), Tussac (sin-bin 37-47, Currie 72)), Green, Smith, Baldwin, Rowan (capt), Burrows (Walker 64)
Replacements (not used) – Phillips, Walker, Ford
Yellow Card –Tussac
Leeds scorers: tries Smith (2), D.Doherty; cons Clegg (2); pens Clegg (6)
Cornish Pirates: Pointer, Smith, Riley, Fatialofa (Cattle 54), Evans, Hallett (Penberthy 65), Kessell; Andrew (Storer 27), Elloway (Semmens 65), Prescott (Joyce 60), Lyons, Johnson (Barry 60) Burgess, Cheesman, Marriott (capt) (Tyas 65)
Pirates' scorers: tries Andrew, Hallett, Evans; cons Hallett, Penberthy; pens Hallett, Penberthy
Referee J.Meredith (RFU) (T.Foley 65)
Redruth director of rugby Adrian Edwards was the first to admit his men were beaten by a better side after Saturday's 26-19 National League Two South defeat at home to Hartpury College.
This was the Reds' first loss at the Recreation Ground all season and it took an outstanding performance from the Students to accomplish such a rare feat.
Hartpury matched Redruth and more all over the pitch, stifling the home side and forcing uncharacteristic errors on the way to a 21-0 lead in the opening half.
The positives for Edwards came as his side fought off a growing sense of disenchantment to finish within seven points following scores from Lewis Vinnicombe and Murray Westren as well as a penalty try.
Edwards said: "They were really good and played some great rugby – a really good team. At 21-0 down, it could have got worse but we came back and could have got something else.
"The spirit from our guys was tremendous and we will take a lot of positives from the game as well."
The size of the challenge was immediately apparent. While the Reds cut through Lydney at will the previous week, three minutes of toil in possession yielded little or no territory against Hartpury early on and the otherwise excellent Darren Jacques was then penalised for not releasing the ball.
The situation was hardly helped when centre Steve Evans was forced off with a knee problem, forcing a reshuffle in the back line with Westren's introduction. Unsurprisingly, a period of pressure ensued with Hartpury's catch-and-drive coming within a metre of the try line only for Reds to turn the ball over and clear.
Harpury were not to be denied, however, and scored the first points – a penalty kicked through the posts by full-back Craig Jackson. They extended that lead with a try in the 15th minute when flanker Liam Wilkinson went over in the left corner for a Jackson-converted score.
Jackson then added a try of his own three minutes later, dotting down a grubber kick in the opposite corner, this time without the conversion.
A better spell from Redruth might have yielded points against a lesser side, but Hartpury absorbed it all and maximised every opportunity – whether it be a favourable bounce of the ball, a refereeing decision or a home mistake – with clinical efficiency.
Even as they came under pressure, rare breaks into Reds territory drew another two infringements and Jackson took the chance to extend his side's lead to 21 points with his second and third penalty kicks at goal.
It needed some resolve, inspiration, ingenuity and, possibly some luck, to bring Reds back into the game. It came from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow, who exploited a rare bit of space to break, following a Jacques turnover, from his own half.
Goodfellow's pacy and elusive running got him past the bulk of Hartpury's defence and he found Vinnicombe, with a pass that could easily have been judged as going forward, to put the centre through for a try under the posts, converted by Paul Thirlby, which lifted spirits in the Rec just before half time.
The first points of the second were always going to be crucial with momentum seemingly in the Reds' favour for the first time in the match. But it was Hartpury who got them through Wilkinson, running in his second try in similar fashion to his first.
The introduction of top-scorer Tom Duncan into the back row lifted the home side once more and they applied pressure again. Several scrums were halted illegally by Hartpury deep in their own 22 and referee Dean Richards eventually lost patience, awarding Redruth a penalty try which Thirlby converted.
However, Hartpury's mental strength impressed as much as their technical ability throughout. There was no panic despite the Reds' stirring fight back. They even maintained impressive poise after yellow cards for Chris Fortey and Dylan Rodrigues in the latter stages.
Redruth could never be faulted for effort and pulled one final score back through Westren to earn a losing bonus point but their eventual defeat now means their hopes for promotion recede, especially with a hugely testing away trip to Canterbury ahead next weekend.
Redruth: C.Bonds, Notman, Vinnicombe, Evans (Westren 6), Simmons, P.Thirlby, Goodfellow; Jacques, Brown, Williams, Cook, Collins, Priddey (Duncan 48), Hambly, Fuca (capt)
Replacements (not used) B.Drew, Turner, Rayment
Redruth scorers: tries Vinnecombe; penalty-try, Westren; cons Thirlby (2)
Hartpury College: Jackson, Reynolds (Haile 6), Dancer, Rodwell, Marsden, Burns (Stevenson 70), Field; Gibbons (Cano 70), Fortey (capt) (sin bin 71), Crompton, Graulich, Raven, Thomas, Wilkinson (Walker 63, Rodrigues 73 sin-bin79), Evans
Yellow Cards: Fortey, Rodrigues
Hartpury scorers: tries Wilkinson (2), Jackson; con Jackson; pens Jackson (3)
Referee D.Richards (RFU)
Saturday's narrow National Two South defeat by Lydney at Regentsholme was a match that the Cornish All Blacks lost rather than the Gloucestershire men won.
The Cornish had a last-gasp chance to level it with the conversion of their third try in the dying moments but fly-half Jake Murphy's kick agonisingly rebounded from an upright to leave his side two points short, 19-17, at the final whistle.
If ever a match fitted the clichéd description "a game of two halves", this was it. By half time Lydney had posted 16 points without reply; by the final whistle they had added just three more points while the visitors had scored three tries. The rugby was played largely by the All Blacks, as the 3-1 try ratio in their favour well reflects.
The All Blacks knew they could be facing a backlash after Lydney's crushing, 69-point whitewash by Redruth the week before, and, sure enough, the Glouestershire men, back to something like full strength, played a canny first half, kicking accurately to the corners and for territory and eschewing handling moves.
The strategy worked well, with the All Blacks pinned back and through frustration conceding penalties, which home fly-half Anthony Wicks converted with commendable accuracy from all round the pitch.
He kicked three goals in the 13th, 29th and 35th minutes and his side finished off the half with their only try just before the interval, their pack mounting a rolling maul and after two further phases releasing centre Daniel Chui close in to cross at the posts for Wicks to add the extras.
The All Blacks were on the attack from the re-start. In the first minute their pack put together some driving moves from which wing Liam Yeo raced over in the corner. Fifteen minutes on saw a blip in the visitors' attacking momentum, when Wicks, who bagged all but five of his side's points, landed his fourth penalty when All Black lock Ben Hilton was sin-binned for coming in at the side.
But the All Blacks kept coming and in the last five minutes it was all one-way with the visitors touching down two more tries – the returned Hilton crossing after a series of driving mauls close in, and three phases of combined play ending with replacement full-back Martin Kneebone racing two thirds the length of the pitch to score.
The All Blacks' head coach, Cliff "Spike" Rainford, said: "Lydney's not an easy place to go. In the first half they kicked to the corners and pinned us back and we didn't get much possession. We also gave away penalties.
"But in the second half we scored from the kick-off and went on to score twice more. In fact we crossed three times from mauls but it took eight minutes before the referee finally awarded a try.
"That was eight wasted minutes that we could have done with. We got a loser's bonus point, and other results have helped us, but our result was nevertheless very disappointing."
Cornish Pirates got their Championship season back on track, but the going was certainly tough during a 17-14 victory over Moseley at Mennaye Field yesterday.
On another day, a bonus-point victory might have been a reasonable expectation. But in the swirling winds and with intermittent rain showers engulfing Penzance, this narrow three-point, three-try success represents a job well done.
Two touchdowns from on-loan London Scottish man Ashley Smith and one from fellow wing Matt Evans were just enough to see them clear.
They were playing against a motivated, relegation-threatened Moseley side, who declared before the game that the injury-hit Cornishmen were more vulnerable than usual on home soil.
Instead, the win for Pirates brings a three-game losing streak to an end ahead of a tough round of fixtures that could determine the success or failure of an entire campaign.
Moseley, with a strong wind behind them in the first half, made the better start. After narrowly failing to score the game's first try, they took three points from a penalty kicked by former Pirates full-back Ollie Thomas.
Pirates soon responded. Smith's break and chip down the right got them into the Moseley 22 and their first try eventually came from Evans on the opposite flank.
Fly-half Aaron Penberthy was unable to convert, kicking into a fierce wind from close to the touchline and Moseley soon retook the lead with another Thomas penalty.
Penberthy, meanwhile, fared little better from the other side with a penalty attempt of his own as a hard-fought half gradually drew to a close.
There was still time for controversy before the break when Pirates lock Gary Johnson was shown a yellow card following a melee just inside the Pirates' half. But, despite the reduced number in their pack, Pirates stood up the pressure well to see out the half just one point behind.
The visitors' lead was extended to four points within five minutes of the restart, however. Thomas judged the wind expertly to kick an early second-half penalty between the posts after the Pirates' debutant hooker Will Tanner was penalised for standing up in a scrum.
Pirates soon asserted themselves on the half. A catch-and-drive for the line was held up but they had more joy in wide areas, scoring through Smith who was unmarked on the right-hand side. Penberthy then added an excellent conversion.
Smith then found himself on the end of another try-scoring move on the hour mark. A Phil Burgess chip and charge put Thomas under pressure inside his own 22. He was then penalised and Gavin Cattle's quick tap penalty and pass found Smith with a simple run-in for his second try.
However, that progress was partially undone after some poor work from the restart and Moseley eventually mauled their way to their first try through prop Ethan Waller.
It did not prove costly in the end, as Pirates gave as good as they got in the latter stages. However, they may need to find something more in challenging league fixtures against Rotherham Titans and Bedford Blues before a season- defining British and Irish Cup clash with Munster.
Cornish Pirates: Pointer, Smith, Riley, Bedford, Evans, Penberthy, Cattle (capt); Storer, Tanner (Elloway 54), Joyce (Prescott 54), Johnson (sin-bin 34-44), Lyons (Barry 73) Burgess, Cheesman (Tyas 79), Marriott
Replacements (not used) Cook, Hallett, Davies
Yellow Card Johnson
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans, Smith (2); con Penberthy
Moseley: Thomas, S.Hunt (B.Hunt 79) , King, Carter, Robinson, Hughes, Glynn (Brown 73); Waller (Warren 77), Wilkes (Williams 73), Evans, Lockley (Powell 55), Lawrence, Mason (Robinson 55), Pons (Dickinson 55), Pienaar
Moseley scorers: try Waller; pens Thomas (3)
Referee R.Campbell (RFU)
Redruth forwards coach Ashley Morcom was clear in his assessment of the Reds' display as they went down to a 20-12 defeat at Canterbury on Saturday that knocks their National League Two South promotion chances.
"It was very disappointing, you cannot take anything away from it, we under-performed and maybe they over performed," said Morcom.
"Maybe we should have kicked the corners more. We did it once and they struggled to get out and we won a penalty from it.
"We knew what Canterbury were about, we had a game-plan, but it did not pay off."
Making their first visit to Merton Lane, Redruth found the pitch soft after heavy rain. A sluggish start saw Canterbury grab the initiative with David Devlin-Jones creating a try for Kwaku to touchdown in the third minute, Scott Browne converting from the left touchline.
Prompted by Fiji's most capped player, Nicky Little, Canterbury played some decent rugby and for much of the first quarter Redruth were on the back foot. It was no surprise when the hosts increased their lead with an unconverted try by Jim Green following a pick-and-drive on the Reds' line after 19 minutes.
Once Redruth imposed themselves on the game, kicking into the Canterbury 22, the Kent side struggled to get out, conceding two penalties before a five-metre scrum gave Tom Duncan the platform to power over for his 19th try of the season.
A hamstring injury forced Duncan off just before the interval but the writing was on the wall as the Reds went into the break trailing 12-5. At the start of the second half, Canterbury immediately took play to the Reds' line and skipper Wim Baars burrowed over for an unconverted try in the left hand corner.
Redruth showed good spirit. Owen Hambly was getting through a tremendous amount of work in the back row, and for a period they were able to play in the manner that has brought them so much success this season.
Retaining the ball through a number of phases, Redruth created a score for Fraser Kellythorn, who ran strongly to touch down between the posts. Paul Thirlby converted to pull the Reds back into the game at 17-12 after 51 minutes.
A foolish incident in the 56th minute led to red cards for Redruth's Greg Goodfellow, for an alleged butt, and Canterbury flanker Jesse Liston, for punching in retaliation.
Brown popped over a penalty from in front of the posts for a high tackle on 62 minutes to put the result beyond doubt.
With Thirlby playing at scrum-half, Redruth never threw the towel in, enjoying a lot of possession in the final quarter – but it was all in their own half.
An injury-hit Cornish All Blacks were unlucky not to have snatched victory in this National League Two South clash at the Davy Field which Shelford won by the narrowest of margins, 16-15.
It was an abrasive, confrontational match with two strong packs and on the balance of play the All Blacks were the better team, despite being short of a number of key men and having to put their middle-aged coach on the bench.
Nevertherless, their new players on the day really stepped up to the plate superbly.
They outscored the Cambridgeshire club in tries, 3-2, were ahead 10-8 at the break, and, if the usually laser-accurate boot of full-back Kieron Lewitt had landed just one of three difficult conversions, the Cornish might well have come home with four points in the bag instead of just one.
To give credit to Shelford – one rung above their visitors in fifth place in the table and who had won the first leg at Polson in September, 29-13 – they starved the All Blacks of ball from the re-start and their defence was solid.
It was a 15-man game from the off. The All Blacks had points on the board by the fifth minute.
Shelford had launched a handling move in the backs, but from a line-out and a maul, visiting centre Lewis Paterson pounced at the base of the scrum and crossed wide out.
The hosts soon narrowed the gap with a penalty in front of the posts kicked by centre Rory Hutchinson after the All Blacks had killed the ball.
For the next 20 minutes possession was even with play largely in midfield and each side occasionally threatening the other's 22.
Then on the half-hour the Cornish struck again. Mounting some slick handling moves in the backs with good offloading, which sucked in the defence, they worked upfield. Prominent new lock David Parish charged down a kick, and from the ensuing scrum No.8 Josh Lord picked up and forced his way over from five metres out to make it 10-3 to the All Blacks.
Back came Shelford with their No.8 Aki Lea charging upfield. He was tackled but offloaded to lock Edward Mills, who hacked on.
The ball went loose in-goal and Mills, somewhat dubiously, was adjudged to have got the touchdown to leave the half-time scores 10-8 in favour of the All Blacks.
The Cambridge men went ahead for the first time in the 45th minute. They charged down a Lewitt kick and reached the visitors' line.
All Black wing Sam Chapman kicked the ball dead but from the five-metre scrum Lea crossed for an unconverted try.
Their lead was stretched to 16-10 soon after by a simple second Hutchinson penalty for handling in a ruck. The All Blacks – with fly-half Jake Murphy, Paterson, Chapman, scrum-half Richard Friend, and Parish all prominent – now attacked relentlessly from all angles with Shelford desperately hanging on.
They surged into the home 22, kept possession, and after several mauls their pack drove powerfully to the line and Paterson popped up, picked up and dived over the ruck to score.
But in the last 15 minutes the Cambridge men were on the attack again. There was no further score and Shelford completed the league double by the narrowest of margins.
All Blacks skipper, flanker Tom Rawlings, was far from disappointed. He said: "Despite losing I was really happy with our performance.
"At Lydney last week we really didn't play well. At Shelford we almost won, perhaps should have won. But we played for the full 80 minutes and we did get a bonus point.
"Of the new players Dave Parish played well, and wings Sam Chapman and Martin Kneebone too.
"We might be considered to have been a little hard done by in a number of ways: Shelford's first try was rather dubious and their second was a very scrambled affair, courtesy of our error."
DINGS CRUSADERS: M Woodrow; A Slowik (J Nowel 52), R Dempsey, S Cox, J Oakley J Cooke 65-71); M Burton, S Plummer; M Hudd, D Wheeler, J Lloyd, E Hack (capt), D Bufton, J Joyce, S Williams, M Uren (V Murrell 66)
Yellow Card: Wheeler
Dings' scorers: try Hudd; con Woodrow; pen Woodrow (3)
REDRUTH: T Notman; L Vinnicombe, C Bonds, S Evans, D Bonds; P Thirlby, G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown, C Williams (J Drew 50), J Rayment, L Collins, C Fuca (capt), N Broadbank (S Heath 50), O Hambly
Replacements not used: N Turner, M Westren, A Hosking
Reds' scorers: tries Goodfellow, Vinnicombe; cons Thirlby 2
Referee: Luke Haskins (RFU)
Beware playing clubs in danger of relegation – they can fight like cornered tigers, as the Cornish All Blacks found against struggling Bournemouth at Polson.
In the end the Cornish bagged an emphatic 35-22, but the lead changed hands three times and it was neck-and neck until the 72nd minute when the visitors were ahead 22-16.
However, a late surge of powerful attacking play brought three well-executed All Black tries and victory.
Bournemouth showed their intent from the start and were 7-0 up after four minutes. The visiting forwards made good ground and one move ended with flanker Tom Vaughan-Edwards crossing for full-back Dan Pollard to convert.
The Cornish responded immediately with full-back Kieron Lewitt, who had his best kicking boots on, landing a penalty for a high tackle.
Recording his 101st outing for the team, he went on to post a total of 15 points, slotting two more first half penalties and adding the extras to all but the last of his side's four tries.
Within two minutes Bournemouth had stretched their lead to 10-3 with a Pollard penalty for not releasing.
Lewitt's boot narrowed it to one point with his two further goals and the All Blacks took the lead just after the half hour with the visitors under pressure, going offside and deliberately knocking on.
Driving attacking play was then rewarded when Jake Murphy found Liam Yeo and the wing went in under the posts. Back came the Dorset men with a very well-worked threequarter move which brought a try for centre Scott Chislett; so the interval score was 16-15 to the Cornish.
Bournemouth snatched back the advantage when Sam Hardcastle shot away from the base of a ruck to shoot untouched right through the defence to score, with Pollard converting.
Home skipper flanker Tom Rawlings was sin-binned and with him Vaughan-Edwards, who had already had one card for a dangerous tackle, now earning a red card.
But now, six points adrift with seven minutes left, the All Blacks went into overdrive. Centre Lewis Paterson touched down at the posts; number eight Josh Lord went over at the posts after unrelenting pressure close in; and victory was rounded off by Paterson going over for his second.
All Black head coach Cliff Rainford said: "Bournemouth were fighting relegation and that made it difficult for us. We knew we would be in for a hard game and that they would give everything. We had also had a two-week break and had not played at home for five weeks. It was rough and tough but sometimes you have to play ugly to win. At the end we've won and got five points."
Redruth slipped to a fourth consecutive defeat as Shelford came from behind to take the spoils at a shell-shocked Recreation Ground, reports Bill Hooper.
A lack of control and precision haunted the Redruth performance throughout the game. Shelford sensed that the home side were there for the taking. To their credit they took their opportunity, scoring five tries to avenge Redruth's win on their own patch back in November.
The omens weren't good for the Reds when they lost No.8 Owen Hambly during the warm up to a muscle spasm.
Young Jake Rayment stepped up from the bench to play in the back row, with skipper Chris Fuca moving to No.8.
Redruth began the game encouragingly; an early penalty from Paul Thirlby got them on the board. Thirlby then added the conversion to a fine try from winger Tom Notman in the scoreboard corner.
Shelford had already shown to carry a threat, with their big No.8 Aki Lea making some telling bursts. They made the most of some slack Redruth defending when scrum-half Charlie Baker snipped through to score, Adam White added the conversion.
Redruth's own scrum-half, Greg Goodfellow, was showing some fine form with a couple of great breaks. It came as no surprise that the Red's No.9 should score their second try just before half-time from one such break, Thirlby's conversion giving Redurth a deserved 15-7 advantage at the turn.
Immediately after half-time Shelford struck. Again the dangerous Lea was involved in the build up, which eventually saw fellow back row Jamie Cullen squeeze over for an un-converted try.
Prop Darren Jacques constantly carried a threat for the Reds with some powerful carries and was deservedly named man-of-the-match.
Redruth responded with a couple of penalties from the boot of Thirlby to stretch their advantage to 21-12.
Back came the visitors, with replacement Jake Billows finishing off a catch-and-drive to score Shelford's third try. Richard Brady's conversion cut Redruth's lead to just two points, 21-19.
Redruth exerted pressure down in Hell fire corner with a series of scrums that eventually saw referee Mr Maxwell-Keys award a penalty try, Thirlby's conversion giving Redruth a 28-19 advantage.
However, it was the visitors who finished the stronger. Baker scored his second try of the game as he squeezed over to claim the try-scoring bonus point. Brady added the conversion, as he did a penalty shortly after to put Shelford 29-28 up.
Redruth couldn't even hold on to the losing bonus point as Shelford scored a fifth try through lock Redmond Newberry with Brady adding the extras to secure a 36-28 win and make their Easter trip to Cornwall a happy one.
Redruth 28 pts: tries Notman, Goodfellow, penalty-try; penalties Thirlby (3); conversions Thirlby (2)
Shelford 36 pts: tries Baker (2), Cullen, Billows, Newberry; penalty Brady; conversions White, Brady (3)
Redruth: M Westren, T Notman, C Bonds, S Evans, D Bonds (F Kellythorn 63) P Thirlby (A Hosking 72), G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown (N Turner 53) C Williams (J Drew 63), D Cook, L Collins, J Rayment (M Gidlow 50), R Heath, C Fuca (Capt)
Yellow card Billows (80)
Shelford: S Chiwanga, M Johnson, A Barnard, R Brady, J Naylor, A White, C Baker; M Anderson (L Beales 53), N Conroy (Capt), S Mullins (M Gregerson 48), E Mills, R Newberry, S Jackowski (J Billows 46), J Cullen (A Hutchinson 49) A Lea
Referee: Mr Craig Maxwell-Keys
The Mennaye Field crowd were treated to an RFU Championship Easter Sunday cracker but it was Bedford Blues who claimed the spoils of victory with a strong second-half performance, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates started brightly on a freezing cold afternoon in West Cornwall, taking the game to the Blues from the outset. Flanker Phil Burgess quickly established himself as a menace in open play, whilst fly-half Jonny Bentley, on his return to action after 17 months on the sidelines, showed glimpses of his old magic.
Junior Fatialof's barnstorming break drew a penalty on 8 minutes and full-back Grant Pointer stepped up to give the Pirates a deserved lead, but the Bedford response was quick to come and former Pirates' ten Myles Dorrian set about his own personal points haul of nineteen for the game with a 14th minute penalty to level the game.
Dorrian struck twice more before the half hour mark in a helter-skelter first half, but the Pirates struggled with handling errors and a malfunctioning lineout which gave the Blues possession and frustrated the home team.
Centre Tom Riley should have scored for the Pirates, only to knock-on when well placed and Bentley was forced off with a turned ankle just before the interval, but the Pirates did respond when Matt Evans carved a path through the Blues' rearguard and Fatialofa crashed over the line for an unconverted try.
Trailing by one point at the break, the Pirates started the second half slowly and Dorrian and Darryly Veenendaal orchestrated the midfield for the Blues. Wing James Stephenson was proving a tricky customer for the home defence and he set up Dorrian`s 43rd minute try in the corner.
The Australian converted and then, after Neil Cochrane`s breakdown offence had given Kieran Hallett three points back for the Pirates, linked well with Stephenson to set up Josh Bassett for his 11th try of the season. Dorrian banged over the extras for a 23-11 lead.
Three minutes later the Pirates were reduced to fourteen men as Fatialofa smashed into the ball-carrying Dan Seal in front of the Pirates' posts but failed to roll away. Another simple penalty brought another easy three points for Bedford but the Pirates were not finished.
With Dorrian again probing in the home 22 the Pirates seized on a loose pass and broke, first with Tom Kessell and then Matt Evans, who showed great composure before offloading to Phil Burgess for a try at the posts. Hallett converted but the Pirates couldn`t claw back any more as Bedford defended well, forcing errors in a scrappy final ten minutes.
For Bedford their recent wobble in form now appears behind them with the play-offs firmly back on track whilst the Cornish Pirates have a cup quarter-final against Munster next week as they look to take something from a tough season.
Cornish Pirates: Pointer, Mercer, Riley, Fatialofa (sin-bin 54-64, Bedford 66), Evans, Bentley (Hallett 37), Kessell; Andrew, Elloway (Semmens 66), Joyce (Prescott 52, Joyce 59), Barry (Lyons 66), Johnson, Marriott (capt) (Cheesman 55), Burgess, McGlone
Replacement (not used) Cattle
Yellow card Fatialofa
Pirates' scorers: tries Fatialofa, Burgess; con Hallett; pens Hallett, Pointer
Bedford Blues: Ransom, Stephenson, Burke (Dodge 55), Atkinson, Bassett, Dorrian, Veenendaal (Baldwin 66); Reeves (Fearn 48), Cochrane (Spurling 74), Seal (Cooper 66) Howard, Tupai, Gillanders, Fox, Barrell (Armes 48)
Replacement (not used) Sharp
Blues' scorers: tries Dorrian, Bassett; cons Dorrian (2); pens Dorrian (4)
Referee M.Carley (RFU)
The Cornish All Blacks posted their biggest National Two South win of the season with this 74-10, 11-try hammering of Barking at Polson Bridge.
They took their time to reach lift-off but, once flying, never let up and towards the end the London club must have been longing for the final whistle. That said, it would have been understandable if they had become demoralised and crumbled, but to their credit they never gave up and, if they earned little reward for it, kept attacking throughout. They had a fast back division and in centre and captain Scott Shaw and scrum-half James Fouracre two players who were quick in both thought and deed.
But that was about it for the Londoners. Their pack was pushed all over the place and they could not match the All Blacks for attacking speed, ingenuity, variety and experience. By the middle of the second half the game had become almost a training exercise for the Cornish.
On an individual level, goal-kicking high-flyer, full-back Kieron Lewitt, excelled himself, bagging a personal tally of 29 points from two tries, the conversion of all but the fourth, eighth and ninth tries, and a penalty.
Barking came out all guns firing, knowing they would be in for a gruelling 80-minute battle, and they managed to stay level until the 16th minute. Thereafter they fell ever further behind.
The home backs opened the scoring with scrum-half Richard Friend whizzing through in the 22 and jinking and swerving to the line. Five minutes on came the visitors' only try, Fouracre picking up in loose play and releasing Shaw to race in unopposed from 30 metres out and fly-half Oliver Forrest lofting a fine conversion. It was only a blip in the All Blacks' progress.
Lewitt landed his penalty for offside and then wing Liam Yeo linked with Lewitt who flipped a cheeky pass for wing Richard Bright to cross on the right; and just before the half hour Forrest kicked a penalty.
The home backs mounted attack after attack and would have scored even more but for some poor final passes. Fly-half Jake Murphy, who is fast developing into a really accomplished play-maker, dummied through to the posts; Barking's Shaw almost got clear, and home lock Ben Hilton touched down after a series of pushover attempts which astonishingly started on halfway. At the interval it was 29-10, with the match as a contest over.
The second half saw the All Blacks add 45 points without reply with play becoming largely one-way traffic.
Murphy chipped neatly, the ball sat up and Yeo scored; the backs in midfield made ground and flanker Barry-John Chapman sent Lewitt in; another series of scrums and drives in front of the posts brought a try for No.8 Josh Lord; and after replacements all round, Lewitt got his second score after some clever trick passing, jumping to gather a well-weighted high ball from centre Sam Chapman. Then in the 22 centre Neilson Webber and Yeo combined to put flanker Lloyd Duke over; replacement wing Kyle Moyle snatched up a ball from a ruck on halfway and raced swerving in and out all the way to the line.
And a thumping victory was rounded off with replacement wing Martin Kneebone intercepting in his own 22, almost reaching the line before passing to Friend to score.
Hard-grafting skipper, flanker Tom Rawlings, was highly satisfied. He said: "We've three games left and we want to finish the season on a high. We were good at raising the bar and the score on the board showed it."
After seeing his side demolished in a ten-try rout at promotion-chasing Henley, Redruth forwards coach Ashley Morcom paid tribute to the rampant Hawks outfit.
"They are a very good side, you cannot take that away from them, they outplayed us," he said.
"It is a tricky day to come away to Henley when the sun is blazing down.
"I felt that we stood off them a bit and let their big runners get up a head of steam and run right over the top of us.
"If we had chopped them down early it may have been a different game but we ended chasing the ball too much. We gave them too much respect.
"Full credit to our guys, they stuck at it and it showed in the last 15 minutes when we started to put some pressure on them and came away with 19 points."
After losing scrum-half Greg Goodfellow in midweek to a three-week suspension imposed by the RFU following his sending-off against Canterbury, Redruth were swimming against the tide from the opening minute when a mistake gave Henley field position in the Reds' 22.
Hawks took the lead with a simple penalty from Will Robinson after the visitors were penalised at the first scrum.
After a yellow card for Owen Hambly inside nine minutes, the game was over as a contest by the time he returned as tries by Liam O'Neill and Xavier Andre, both converted by fly-half Robinson, saw the Hawks 17 points clear after 18 minutes.
Henley were playing a very attractive brand of rugby in ideal spring-like conditions but Redruth did not help their cause by turning the ball over and speculative kicks merely saw the Hawks run the ball back at them.
With big forwards Matt Payne, Josh McNally and Robbie Stapley repeatedly breaking through close to the fringes to open up the field for a fast backline, the Reds scrambled well in defence to hold Henley to just a further try by Payne converted by Robinson as they went into the break trailing by 24 points.
At the start of the second half Redruth could find no answers to stem the tide as Henley ran in five tries in 17 minutes, the pacy former Wasps player O'Neill and the hard-running Andre completing hat-tricks, scrum-half Luke Carter darting over for a try, while Richard Briggs scored in the left-hand corner. Robinson converted three as Henley had 60 points up inside an hour played.
This was the ninth time this season Henley have passed 60 points and Redruth looked to be in for complete humiliation but they pulled themselves together and had the better of the final quarter as all the replacements got a run.
Cornwall under-20 skipper Neil Broadbank ran well to get the Reds' first try that Ashley Hoskin converted, before Tom Notman got hold of a loose ball in space and ran in the second down the left wing after 73 minutes, Hoskin again converting.
Henley added a catch-and-drive try through Payne but in the final play of the game fly-half Hoskin intercepted and ran 40 metres for an unconverted score as Redruth were glad to get on the bus and head back to the Recreation Ground.
With games against fellow promotion contenders Hartpury College and Worthing looming, Henley are on fire at the right time as the season looks set for a thrilling finale.
On a beautiful, warm sunny afternoon on a drying but very sandy pitch in Dulwich on Saturday, London Cornish produced an outstanding and timely performance to banish their winter blues in the nick of time, spectacularly busting their 8 match losing sequence in London 2 South-West and lifting them up a place to 9th, 6 points off the drop zone. The win saw the exiles register their highest points score of the season and Old Alleynians concede the most in a single game at home, in the process leaving the hosts in a perilous position in the table. Cornish registered 3 goals, 4 tries and a penalty to a goal, a try and a penalty, the visitors landing 27 unanswered points in a scintillating second half.
Cornish have had to carefully marshal their resources in the latter stages of the season given the injury crisis, but were finally able to call upon former England U21 International Simon Brading at 6, so uniting him with open side Phil Jones and no 8 Andrew McEwen for the first time this season. With Skipper Dave Theobald able to start a match clear of the heart problem that has dogged him this season for the first time, and top try scorer Nick Harlock able to start only his third match since January, this was undoubtedly the strongest side Cornish have fielded since Christmas. Dave Hill was preferred at lock to partner Tim Oakes, and Dave Soar was moved to fly half, ensuring a robust and aggressive edge to the side across the park.
Playing away from Dulwich in the opening half, Alleynians had the first chance to score on 3 minutes but pulled a kickable penalty wide. They were made to pay for their profligacy 3 minutes later when the first of many lung busting McEwen carries saw him power over halfway to the home 22, and after Luke Spells darted through a gap, player/coach and former county scrum half Tom Sincock fed Phil Francis to link with Harlock, who stepped his man and crashed over for his 9th try in the 12 league matches he has started this season, though the conversion attempt flew wide. To their horror and that of their supporters, the exiles quickly surrendered their lead when a pass on their 22 was knocked forward by an onrushing defender and when the ball bounced up with everyone expecting the unsighted referee to blow, the lad simply gathered the ball and ran in rather sheepishly for the equalizing score, this conversion attempt from wide right smacking the post and falling the wrong side. Spurred on by the injustice of the try against them, Cornish responded on 17 minutes, Sincock angling a great chip in behind the OA’s right wing, and when it bounced awkwardly 5 out the home full back knocked it into touch to concede a penalty. Brading grabbed the ball, took a quick tap and fed wing Robin Heymann with a cutout pass that gave the elusive flyer the chance to dive over for another unconverted try. Back came the home side on 21, a carbon copy chip in behind eluding the exiles cover with an oblique bounce that landed squarely in the hands of the OA wing to feed his fellow back to scamper over and round toward the posts, the conversion giving his side the lead for the first and only time in the match. What was becoming clear was that Cornish would be dominant when there was structure in the game, and the OA’s had delivered when attacking from broken play. This was further evidenced on 25 as a lineout set play won by the irrepressible Dave Hill just inside the home half saw prop Mike Bond peel round and over the gain line, first Jones, then Oakes, Theobald and McEwen all involved smashing their way forward prompted by Sincock until Brading drove over from 5 out, Spells converting to give his side a 17-12 lead. The topsy-turvy scoring in the half was not over yet as Cornish were pinged for holding after a crucial Harlock tackle had snuffed out a scoring chance deep inside his own 22, though the 3 points narrowed the lead to 2. OA’s had their best spell of the half now, kicking a further penalty to the corner only for McEwen to hold them up and then Francis to thump his way out of the 22, Soar clearing the lines and the whistle going for the break shortly after, Cornish 2 to the good.
A frenetic opening to the second half saw both sides turn the ball over and Alleynians twice kick the ball dead when well placed. On 51 the home side had a chance to take the lead but their penalty from wide right fell short and left of the posts. Gradually, the power of the Cornish pack and dominance in the tight began to wear down the tiring home side. Cornish brought on Mark Osei-Tutu at 6 for Jones, Brading moving to 7. On 54 minutes another McEwen break (picture 6) saw his side pen OAs in their 22 for 6 minutes, a respite not even forthcoming from a knock on as Carew-Gibbs had began to nick the ball against the head. On 58 Soar hit Harlock blind only for the full back to be held up over the line for a scrum V. Two penalties were won at the scrums and just when a penalty try seemed inevitable, McEwen picked from the base as the Alleynian scrum sped backward and plunged over the line for the vital bonus point try (picture 9), though the extras went begging. Osei-Tutu is such a powerful weapon against a tiring side, and it was he who picked up the baton on 64, a thundering run supported by a Sincock snipe driving play back into the OA 22, and as Iain Short carried over the gainline in midfield, the home side was caught offside. Spells lifted the penalty between the posts and his side over one score ahead at 25-15. On came Oli Low for Theobald and Tom Wapshott for Harlock as the exiles sought to preserve a few key players for the last weekends action. Now, as if a switch had been flicked, you could see the confidence return to Cornish colours for the first time in ages and the lead was extended on 68 when Soar, enjoying his finest game in an exiles shirt, lifted a beautifully flighted chip just out of the reach of the home outside centre inside the OA 22, Spells plucking the ball out of the air, drawing the covering wing, and then sending Francis away to dive over for a try (picture 12). Though not converted, the lead was now an unassailable 30-15. 5 minutes later and it was Soar again in the thick of the action, him charging down an Alleynians kick on half way, McEwen the quickest to react, him thundering clear of the cover straight down the middle of the pitch (picture 13) and just having enough legs to outlast the desperate cover to score by the posts, Spells driving the score out to 37-15. A sporadic Alleynian attack with minutes remaining was snuffed out in the 22 when Carew-Gibbs again held the ball up in a maul, and with time running out, Cornish won a couple of penalties to drive play onto the home 22. From a set piece wide right, Soar hit Francis on a beautifully executed switch for the flying wing to arrow through a gap, round the cover and smash across the line under the posts for Spells to round things off at 44-15.
This heavy defeat will have dealt a shattering blow to Alleynians survival hopes as this was their last home game and would have been one they expected to win, given the two sides respective form coming into the match. They now need to win both of their remaining away matches and hope results elsewhere go in their favour. Cornish were about to enter the last chance saloon prior to this match, and pulling this one out of the fire in such spectacular fashion places their destiny firmly in their own hands. They will be keen to carry this form into training and their final match next weekend to finish the job.
Rotherham Titans ran out winners tonight as they shared 69 points and eleven tries with the Cornish Pirates in their re-arranged RFU Championship fixture at Clifton Lane, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates opened the scoring after just nine minutes as they set up a driving maul from which Ashley Smith profited with his third try for the club but the Titans quickly got back on level terms with a try of their own from Curtis Wilson.
Kyle Moyle then missed a long-range penalty for the Pirates before Rotherham took the lead after pinning the Pirates back in their own 22. Sheridan claimed the score and Styles slotted the conversion to make it 12-5 but this time it was the Pirates who quickly hit back.
Another penalty kicked deep into touch and a well-worked driving lineout brought a score for Tom Kessell and, despite missing the conversion, Moyle soon added a penalty in front of the posts to put the Pirates ahead by one.
However, a strong finish to the first half by Rotherham brought two more tries in three minutes through Pearce and Freeman, either side of Moyle's second penalty, to give the Titans a bonus point and a 24-16 interval lead.
The second half was barely a minute old when Tom Kessell grabbed his second try of the game, converted by Moyle, but Rotherham again immediately hit back with another powerful catch-and-drive move. This time hooker Ted Stagg grabbed the try.
Prop Gareth Denman was the next to claim a try after more powerful work by the Titans' pack, before Number 8 Pearce bagged his second of the game after a scintillating burst from Wilson. Changes from the bench for the Pirates then shifted the momentum of the game with Darren Barry pulling a try back as the Pirates secured a bonus point.
Styles missed a penalty for the home side on 70 minutes as the Titans looked to make the game safe but after a remarkable passage of scoring in the contest the final quarter passed without incident with the Titans holding on to win.
Rotherham Titans: Styles, Doneghan, Sheridan, Nonu, Wilson, McKinney, Williams; Kilbane, Stagg, Denman, Patrick, Sanderson, Freeman, Ellyatt, Pearce
Replacements: Thomson, Gadd, Stout, Thomas, Rieder, Gill, Mulchrone
Titans' scorers: tries Wilson, Sheridan, Pearce (2), Freeman, Stagg, Denman; cons Styles (3)
Cornish Pirates: Moyle, Kilmartin, Mercer, Hill, Smith, Bedford, Kessell; Storer, Tanner, M.Maidment, Lyons, Barry (capt), Tyas, Cheesman, B.Maidment
Replacements: Joyce, Semmens, Johnson, Marriott, Burgess, Cattle, Riley
Pirates' scorers: tries Smith, Kessell (2), Barry; pens Moyle (2); con Moyle
Referee D.Richards (RFU)
Redruth put an end to their five match losing streak, outscoring their visitors by six tries to four in an entertaining match played in difficult conditions, reports Bill Hooper from the Recreation Ground.
Playing towards Hell Fire Corner in the first half though against the breeze, the Redruth pack soon got on top of their Essex opponents with two Chris Fuca tries scored from set scrums near the Southend line, Paul Thirlby adding the conversion to the second score.
Southend profited from an error in the Reds defence to kick to the corner and set up a drive to send lock Alan Barker over for an unconverted try.
Redruth maintained their forward pressure to reap their reward just before half-time. A series of scrums near the visitor's line saw the ball booted out of the scrum in desperation leaving referee Mr Watters little choice but to award a penalty try, which Thirlby converted for a half-time score-line of 19-5.
The Reds got the second half off to a great start to secure the try-scoring bonus point as backs Lewis Vinnicombe and Tom Notman combined to send full back Notman in for the first of his two tries in the scoreboard corner.
Southend should good spirit to strike back from the re-start, a break from scrum-half Sam Arnott putting prop Todd Bailey in for their second try, full-back Rob Kirby landing his only successful kick from five attempts at goal.
Back came the Reds, a powerful drive from flanker Matt Gidlow set up a fifth try for the Reds scored by hooker Neal Turner with Thirlby again adding the extras in the tricky wind.
Southend hacked the ball into the Redruth 22 forcing the Reds to concede a five metre scrum. In the confusion that followed No.8 Daniel Legge bagged a try for his side.
Notman and Vinnicombe again combined to send the full-back sliding in for his second try of the game to seal the win, Thirlby adding his fourth conversion from wide out.
Vinnicombe was shown a yellow card late in the game for a professional foul as Southend looked for a try-scoring bonus point. The pressure finally told as flanker Chris Green gave Southend a point to take back to the east coast.
The Redruth faithful were just happy to see the club's poor run put behind them and now look forward to their favourites finishing the season on high in their last two games.
Redruth 38 pts: tries Fuca (2), penalty-try, Notman (2), Turner; conversions Thirlby (4)
Southend 22 pts: tries Barker, Bailey, Legge, Green; conversion Kirby
Redruth: T Notman, L Vinnicombe, C Bonds (C P Williams 72), S Evans, B Drew, P Thirlby (A Hosking 70), N Simmons, D Jacques (J Drew 60), N Turner (R Brown 51), C Williams, D Cook, L Collins, M Gidlow, O Hambly, C Fuca (Capt) (N Broadbank 70)
Yellow Card Vinnicombe (80)
Southend: R Kirby, D Cleare, C Vaughan, T Ashton, L Macgeachy, B Burr, S Arnott (J Daley 72); J Armitage (C Stachen 70), C Keenan (A Ferrier 51), B Todd, A McClintock, A Barker, C Green, H Hudson (S Fombo 44), D Legge
Replacement (not used): D Ox
Referee: Phil Watters (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Matt Gidlow
The hallmarks of this dour Canterbury tale were non-stop rain, a swirling wind, and the Cornish All Blacks' first whitewash of their National Two South season, as they went down 10-0 to the Kent club at Merton Lane.
At Polson in early December they had disposed of Canterbury 34-27, but this time they found their hosts were up for it.
In a mid-table encounter in which the sides had to battle the elements as much as each other, it was the forwards who dominated play in an inevitably tight game strewn with errors and dropped passes.
A try per half was enough to give Canterbury their revenge and, on balance, they deserved their win. They had a strong, well-drilled pack and an effective, well-organised defence.
Not that the All Blacks played badly. Short of some key players, they gave as good as they got and in the final 20 minutes were camped in the home 22, hammering away at the Canterbury line without reward. Prop Tim Mathias crossed from a tap penalty close in but it was adjudged not to have been taken from ten metres, and the referee, instead of calling play back, awarded Canterbury a penalty.
All Blacks' captain Tom Rawlings said: "The conditions weren't great but we had the wind and the slope in our favour in the first half and didn't make best use of them.
"They scored a try but if two penalty kicks from our fullback Kieron Lewitt hadn't been blown wide, we would have gone in at the break 6-5 up. Not conceding in the first half was probably the key to their win. But our boys dug deep and played some good rugby. In the first half the referee penalised us off the park but in the second half he changed completely which, to say the least, was confusing."
It was largely even throughout in both territory and possession. In the ninth minute there was a knock-on. Canterbury wheeled the scrum, mounted a forward passing move and then their No.8 came off the drive on the blindside, caught the All Blacks napping and scored. The visitors then piled on the pressure but Lewitt's usually unerring boot failed with two penalties in the last five minutes of the half, to leave Canterbury 5-0 up at the break.
There was only one further score – just after the hour after a series of scrums Canterbury pushed the All Blacks off the ball but were then forced wide. The ball went into touch and from the line-out Canterbury ran it, and centre Juan Delval crossed wide out.
In the last quarter the All Blacks really piled on the pressure again but, relentless as their attacks were, they just could not find a way through.
London Cornish recorded back-to-back bonus point wins for the only time this season to secure their place in London 2 South-West for a 7th consecutive season in 2013-14. The exiles dominated Hampshire Cup Winners Portsmouth for long periods of the match to register 6 tries to the visitors' 1 at the Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields on Saturday. The win lifted Cornish to a final placing of 8th in the division on a glorious day for the club across its 4 teams as both the Choughs and Dukes won their respective Championships.
In overcast conditions with light rain falling, Cornish played towards the scoreboard end in the first half, the same squad of 18 from the previous week's vital win at Old Alleynians called upon to finish the job, though Mark Osei-Tutu was given a start in the back row with Phil Jones benching on this occasion.
Like Cornish, the visitors have suffered no end of injuries in the second half of the season, and sitting in a comfortable mid table position following last seasons relegation from London 1 South, could have been forgiven for being a little less motivated than their hosts. From the off that difference was apparent, the exiles hammering their way into the Hampshire sides 22 until winning a scrum around 10 out wide right. The Cornish pack has not given best to any side in the league in the tight this season, and this was to be their finest day. Driving the underpowered Pompey pack over their line, no 8 Andrew McEwen simply dropped on the ball to give his side a lead they never relinquished, Luke Spells adding he extras. 5 minutes later and Cornish won a penalty after another huge shunt caught the visiting pack offside, though the kick from way out just missed right. There was to be no respite however, for when the drop out went out on the full, and then Pompey conceded a penalty at the scrum, Cornish elected to kick for the corner. Will Carew-Gibbs has finished the season throwing great arrows, and he hit Tim Oakes to set a rolling maul, driven inexorably over the line for loosehead Mike Bond to claim a rare try, also converted by Spells. Utterly dominant for a period now with Simon Brading and McEwen frequently smashing holes in the visiting defence, the home side went close on 24 minutes following a fine howitzer kick from Brading, but the visitors won the ball on the floor to clear. Finally, on 26 minutes, Portsmouth showed as an attacking force, twice turning down kickable penalties to kick to the left hand corner, but in gradually heavier rain they couldn’t secure clean lineout ball, though a knock on kept them inside the exiles 22. 2 more penalties conceded by Cornish saw one of their forwards binned, and he looked on as first Ian Short and then Luke Spells smashed the visitors back outside the 22 and then Carew-Gibbs won a penalty on the floor for holding. Just after the half hour mark, a huge spiraling Nick Harlock kick from just outside his 22 flew to 5 out from the visiting 22. Dave Hill snaffled the Pompey throw in, and Cornish once more set the maul only to be held up over the line. This time player/coach Tom Sincock demanded the ball from the scrum, and when he hit Dave Soar, the in form fly half threw a cutout pass to Harlock arriving at pace to draw a man and send wing Robin Heymann into a the tiny amount of space he needs, one soft shoe shuffle all that was required to sashay inside his opposite number and crash across the line for a try, this one once more converted by Spells to launch his side out to a 21-0 lead. 4 minutes later Cornish were back, Soar having launched another penetrating kick deep into Portsmouth territory with a freshening wind at his back. When the ball was knocked on at the lineout, the exiles produced a tremendous scrum with wing Phil Francis packed down to make up the numbers, to drive Portsmouth over the line for McEwen to claim a carbon copy effort of his first try (and his 4th try in the last 2 matches), though this one landed the bonus point but was not improved. With a couple of minutes remaining in the half, Portsmouth twice produced neat moves at the front of lineouts to snipe their way into the exiles 22, but when they attacked in midfield Spells won the ball on the floor for holding. With the last act of the half, a virtuoso run by the effervescent Carew-Gibbs from halfway nearly produced the try of the season as he pirouetted away from tackles but knocked on as he was challenged 5 out.
Though 26-0 up, Cornish would now have to play into the increasingly unfriendly elements. Portsmouth also upped their game, and had their first reward on 43 minutes when the referee spotted an errant hand in a ruck and the visiting kicker found his range. Now the rain began to drive down more heavily and mistakes from both sides increased. On 51 minutes, when Sincock elected to snipe blind after Skip Dave Theobald had produced a trademark barreling run, the exiles created an overlap but after Short and Spells linked up the final pass flew into touch wide right just 5 metres out. Cornish held territory for some minutes at this point as Pompey just couldn’t clear, Oakes and Carew-Gibbs combining to take play to the shadow of the posts but the ball knocked on at the resultant ruck. On came Jones for Osei-Tutu at 7 as the exiles sought to finish the game as a contest. 5 minutes later Cornish won a series of scrums and penalties wide left until, on 58 minutes a set play saw Soar and Spells hit the freshest player on the park Jones on a superb line crunching through tackles to smash over for a converted try (pictured). This brought on Oli Low for Theobald at tight-head. With the rain ever heavier, the more Portsmouth chased the game the more they made unforced errors, twice knocking on in midfield mid pitch. Short had been carrying a knock to shoulder and was also replaced, Tom Wapshott on in his place, Francis moving to centre. With 66 minutes on the clock, Brading, finishing the season in superlative form, broke two tackles just inside his own half before offloading to the elusive Harlock who burst clear to be felled well inside the Portsmouth 22. Bond took the ball on before Sincock popped the ball to the powerful Low to crunch his way over a would-be tackler and over the whitewash for the final exiles try of the season, this one not converted. A brief flashpoint between the two packs followed a few minutes later, and this seemed to ignite the lumpier visiting side, who finally awoke as an attacking force. They repeatedly smashed into and around the fringes to drive their way into the Cornish 22, and despite multiple phases being repelled, they finally gained their reward when one of their wings broke a tackle in midfield to clear away from the cover and splash his way over for a converted try. When the final whistle sounded shortly afterward, there could be no doubt as to which side had deserved the comprehensive win.
Winning the County Cup against the odds will have made Portsmouth’s season, and though they may have hoped for a higher finish in the league, they will begin next season buoyed by their Cup success. We look forward to seeing them next season.
Cornish have demonstrated what level they can achieve with some stability and decent availability. There has also been an additional component that has aided the late season improvement that has seen them to safety – in the last 3 weeks the exiles have been training twice a week following a request from the players. This level of commitment may well be extended permanently for next season, and with the success of the other teams at the club, there are finally plenty of smiles at LCRFC! Roll on 2013-14…
Nottingham secured second place in the RFU Championship regular season as they pipped the Cornish Pirates in an eight-try thriller at Meadow Lane, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates had travelled to the East Midlands after bruising encounters against Munster and Rotherham Titans in the preceding week but started positively against the promotion hopefuls and never relaxed.
Matt Evans missed a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the sixth minute, knocking on with the line at his mercy before Rhys Crane grabbed the lead for Nottingham as they broke from their own 22.
James Arlidge converted before Evans opened the Pirates' try-scoring account, but Alex Lewington then took the Green & Whites lead to 14-5 with a converted touchdown at the end of the first quarter.
It looked ominous for the Pirates when Lewington added his second score in the 39th minute and the ever dependable boot of Arlidge made it 21-5, but Darren Barry`s huge 50 metre break set up Cattle for a try in stoppage time and the game was on again.
Evans claimed his second try following a brilliant Tom Riley break and Kieran Hallett quickly added his own converted touchdown as the Pirates raced into a 26-21 lead after 53 minutes.
Nottingham were under huge pressure and Phil Burgess and Ashley Smith went close to adding further tries for the Pirates as the game became more and more fragmented.
But with Burgess in the sin bin Nottingham drove over from close range with flanker Tom Calladine claiming the decisive try to tie the game. Arlidge's late conversion sealed a home victory.
Nottingham: Savage (Jackson h/t), Lewington, Streather (Cobden 57), Munro, Crane, Arlidge, Romans (Barnham 57); Harris, Duffey (Malton 57), Holford (Bower 75), Montagu, Rouse, Cooper, Calladine, Shaw (Eggleshaw 73)
Replacement (not used): Price
Nottingham scorers: tries Lewington (2), Crane, Calladine; cons Arlidge (4)
Cornish Pirates: Moyle, Mercer, Riley, Hill (Smith 65), Evans, Penberthy (Hallett h/t), Cattle (capt) (Kessell 65); Storer (Andrew h/t), Elloway (Tanner h/t), Joyce, Lyons (Burgess 52, sin-bin 69-79)), Barry, Marriott (Tyas 65), Cheesman, McGlone (sin-bin 80+4)
Yellow cards: Burgess, McGlone
Pirates' scorers: tries Evans (2), Cattle, Hallett; cons Penberthy, Hallett (2)
Referee: L Pearce (RFU)
The Cornish Pirates ended their Championship season with a first win in four games but were made to battle all the way by a resilient Jersey side at the Mennaye Field, writes Dick Straughan.
The Islanders travelled safe in the knowledge that they had survived their battle against relegation and, after a shaky start in which they went behind to a Kieran Hallett penalty and lost flanker Fred Silcock to injury, fought back strongly.
Fly half Mike Le Bourgeois levelled the scores before the Pirates lost their way, conceding two tries as they lost lock Gary Johnson and flanker Phil Burgess to the sin bin.
A penalty try gave Jersey the lead as Johnson infringed at a ruck on his own line and wing Ed Dawson grabbed the second after a fine break by scrum-half Dave McCormack inside the home half. It could have been worse but Jersey's impressive Number 8 Guy Thompson knocked on close to the Pirates line in stoppage time.
The Pirates, however, were a different proposition after the break and quickly set about turning around the 17-6 deficit with a more powerful display.
Jersey lost hooker Dave Felton to the sin bin for killing the ball and from a penalty and driving lineout from the offence Pirates' flanker Phil Burgess drove over the line to score.
Kieran Hallett cut the arrears to just three with a penalty from in front of the Jersey posts and then prop Paul Andrew forced his way over in the corner for his side's second try.
Hallett made it 22-17 with a penalty on the hour and then added two more as the Cornish side turned their dominance into an eleven point lead, before Jersey rallied, claiming a third try with the final play of the game. Le Bourgeois scored at the posts, converting his try with the last kick of the season.
Cornish Pirates: Moyle, Davies, Riley, Hill, Evans (Mercer 65), Hallett, Cattle (capt) (Kessell 71); Andrew (Storer 65), Semmens, Joyce (M.Maidment h/t), Lyons (B.Maidment 61), Johnson (sin bin 15-25), Tyas (Cheesman h/t), Burgess (sin bin 17-27, Tanner 79), B.Maidment (McGlone 43)
Yellow Cards Johnson, Burgess
Pirates' scorers: tries Burgess, Andrew; pens Hallett (6)
Jersey: Bryce, Foster, Stelling (Sanders 79), Bishop (capt), Dawson (Copsey 79), Le Bourgeois, McCormack (Dudley 57); McCarthy (Landick 68), Felton (sin bin 44-54), Brennan (Gethings 61), Anderson (Voss 57), Markham, Silcock (Lane 7), Buckle, Thompson
Yellow Card Felton
Jersey scorers: tries penalty, Dawson, Le Bourgeois; cons Le Bourgeois (3); pen Le Bourgeois
Referee T.Foley (RFU)
This exciting, fast-paced, National Two South clash at Polson will probably have assured league leaders Worthing of promotion, but the Cornish All Blacks fought furiously to the very end and the Sussex club had to pull out all the stops before finally running out worthy 19-7 victors.
They won the try count 3-1 and were that crucial bit quicker in both thought and deed, always back in defence, swift to exploit attacking opportunities, and masters of support play.
They were also a big bunch, particularly up front, and boasted some of the league's top try-scorers among their rangy backs. The mid-table Cornishmen had nothing to lose or gain but gave their all and at times had the visitors on the back foot in disarray.
This was the 200th game, and his last one at home, for the All Blacks' quality No.8, Josh Lord, before he goes as player-coach to Truro next season. He was accorded the honour of the captaincy and led the side out for what ended up being a frantic battle, the intensity of the final minutes erupting into a loss of discipline all round with so many stoppages, injuries, yellow-cardings, and chaotic comings and goings that you would have thought you were watching American Football.
Lord, an inspiring leader, said of the match: "Worthing had a very good defence and came up very fast and it put a lot of pressure on us and on our thinking time.
"They are a very good, open-field, attacking side. We used the kick to touch and before we knew it they had broken through and scored. It was a good lesson in taking your chances when you can.
"But overall we gave a great performance and could have finished off with another score and put more points on the board."
He said of his leaving the All Blacks after so many years: "I'm obviously very sad at going. It's a strange sort of feeling, moving on to pastures new and leaving behind a lot of friends I've made over the years at a fantastic club."
In the opening ten minutes Worthing almost got clear with an intercept and gave two penalties away before posting their first try. Awarded a penalty, they took the scrum in the 22, spun it right and full-back Kieran Leeming brushed off defenders to cross. Scrum-half Joe Govett's conversion failed and then the visitors lost their hooker and captain, Matt Miles to an arm injury, followed by the All Blacks losing their openside flanker, Tom Rawlings, with a leg injury.
The home side came close several times but Worthing cleared and their big men countered powerfully, making good ground for lock Charlie McGowan to go cruise over on the left, Govett converting.
The Cornish hit back on the half hour, with scrum-half Richard Friend – who is inhabiting the number nine jersey ever more consummately and was shooting off in all directions like a firecracker all afternoon – blitzing right through a ruck and almost reaching the posts.
The All Blacks were finally rewarded for their efforts with a try in injury time. Some forward driving in the 22 ended with lock B-J Chapman storming through almost to the line, before a kick to the corner by full-back Kieron Lewitt produced a penalty award.
The ever-alert Friend tapped quickly and shot through to the line with half the Worthing pack on top of him. Lewitt added he extras to give the visitors a 12-7 interval lead.
The second half saw constant attack and counter-attack, but there was only one further score – probably the game's best – in the 48th minute. Worthing mounted a copybook attack with plenty of support, wings Kiba Richards and Alex Nielsen, Govett and others combining superbly to send in lock Will Stutchbury. Govett converted to make the score 19-7.
There was a flurry of replacements and yellow cards and the rest of the half was a hectic stalemate with home prop Neil Bayliss breaking clear in the final moments.
At the ensuing ruck on the line, the All Blacks looked to have scored but were adjudged to have been held up and were denied what would have been a deserved losing bonus point.
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom summed up a dismal performance by his side as they were crushed 50-17 at Clifton.
"Basically we did not turn up for the first half. It was disappointing," he said.
"They were the better side and we have got to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and go into next week all guns blazing.
"It was a very loose game and it just proves the sort of rugby Clifton play. When they played Chinnor here it was 54-50. They have a very Brazilian way of playing rugby as they want to score more points than you and are not too worried about defence.
"The problem for us was that the game was so loose that we lost all our structure. We were breaking lines left right and centre but got into places we are not used to and played into their hands."
For Clifton – very much in the relegation mix with Lydney, Bournemouth and Taunton – this was a must-win game and a win against already relegated Barking in their final home game will ensure their safety.
Clifton's greater desire was evident from the off with a try for Sam Harrison after just two minutes that he then converted.
Star of the show was England under-20 scrum-half Callum Braley, who is dual-registered with Bristol. He was able to prompt a strong running backline that Redruth had few answers to.
Craig Williams, starting at loose head as Darren Jacques' ankle injury had not cleared up, had a decent game. The Drew brothers, Jon and Ben, started together for the first time, showing a lot of promise, and there was plenty of graft from Damien Cook.
With the bonus point try coming as early as the 29th minute, Clifton were in an unassailable position with a 26-point lead before Redruth started to make any impression on the game.
Clifton were awarded a penalty try after 12 minutes when lock Pete Butcher was obstructed. Roberts converted and followed up with touchdowns for Paul Fincken and Braley, one converted by Roberts.
A yellow card for skipper Fincken let Redruth into the game as they touched down unconverted tries through Owen Hambly and Neil Turner, and possibly should have got a third before the interval.
The first score in the second half was going to be crucial but Clifton broke away for James Golledge to touch down three minutes after the restart, Roberts converting to take the score to 33-10.
Redruth were creating chances but they did not have much luck and after being camped on the Clifton line they were denied a further score by the referee. Hambly was tackled just short of the line after picking a very intelligent line.
The best try of the afternoon came from a powerful burst down the wing by Will Pomphrey. Redruth scrambled well in defence but Clifton showed patience to go through three phases before Fincken was able to go over for his second try in the left-hand corner as the game went into the final quarter.
All too often Redruth found gaps in the Clifton defence but got isolated and were turned over or kicked the ball away to give the Bristol side the chance to counter attack. Golledge got a second try under the posts that Roberts converted.
Hambly again picked a good line to cut through the defence to score to the right of the posts for Paul Thirlby to convert with three minutes to go.
Redruth went for the bonus point try but the afternoon ended in predictable fashion as Roberts raced away to touchdown an unconverted try in the left-hand corner in the final play of the game to end a painful game for the Reds.
Redruth and Taunton served up veritable try-fest for the spectators at the Recreation Ground, reports Bill Hooper.
Redruth's win sees them finish fourth in the National League 2 South table, whilst the two points that Taunton secured sees them safe for another season at this level.
Taunton started the game brightly, taking an early lead with a try scored by scrum-half Michael Pope, which full back Gary Kingdom converted for the first of five successful conversions.
Redruth got back into it with a try from their scrum-half as Greg Goodfellow, back from suspension, who twisted and turned to force his way over the line for an unconverted try.
The Titans again made the most of some slack tackling by the Reds as winger Tom Popham finished off an arcing run, with Kingdom adding the extras.
Former Launceston and Cornwall U.20 player, Aron Struminski, now with Exeter Chiefs but on loan at Taunton, was another who caught the eye for the Somerset club.
Redruth were next to score as a counter attack from their own twenty-two saw forwards and backs combine, with winger Nick Simmons rounding off the flowing move.
Goodfellow bagged his second try of the game, selling a dummy and breaking upfield to out-pace the cover and score a fine individual try in the Piggy Lane corner.
The bonus-point try arrived for the Reds when flanker and current Cornwall U.20 skipper Neil Broadbank crossed just after the half-hour mark. Thirlby was on the money with all three conversions.
Taunton kept in touch on the scoreboard with their third try, scored by prop George Cooper in the scoreboard corner, to leave the half-time score 26-19 to the Reds.
The second half was barely a minute old when Taunton scored their fourth try of the afternoon as centre Alex Wilcockson crossed under the sticks, Kingdom's conversion tying the scores.
It was still nip and tuck as Redruth's man-of-the-match, prop Craig Williams, scored his side's fifth try, only for Kingdom to reply in kind for the visitors and then put his side ahead with the conversion.
Further good running from Struminski led to Wilcockson getting his second try of the game and Kingdom's extras gave the Titans a nine point lead with half an hour remaining.
Redruth put on the pressure and a series of scrums up in the scoreboard corner finally saw referee Jonathan Healey run under the sticks to signal a penalty-try. Thirlby's conversion cut the deficit to just two points.
Thirlby then rounded off the scoring with the winning try and conversion to leave the Reds 45-40 victors of an enthralling and spectacular finale to the season, which should keep the faithful happy during the summer recess!
Redruth 45 pts: tries Goodfellow (2), Simmons, Broadbank, Williams, penalty-try, Thirlby; conversions Thirlby (5)
Taunton Titans 40 pts: tries Pope, Popham, Cooper, Wilcockson (2), Kingdom; conversions Kingdom (5)
Redruth: T Notman, L Vinnicombe (B Drew 40), C Bonds (A Hosking 68), S Evans (M Westren 54), N Simmons, P Thirlby G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown (N Turner 54), C Williams (J Drew 68), D Cook, L Collins, N Broadbank, O Hambly, C Fuca (Capt)
Taunton Titans: G Kingdom (Capt), T Popham, A Wilcockson, L Plummer, A Struminski, J Forrester, J Conway; G Cooper, G Cooper, M Manton (D Morgan 45), D Lee, B Turner (S Prior 60), T Lee, J Childs, B Harvey
Replacements (not used): K Brooking, D Webber, T Yapp
Referee: Jonathan Healey (RFU)
Redruth-man-of-the-match: Craig Williams
The Cornish All Blacks suffered a disappointing end to their season as they went down to a third straight defeat.
The result also cost them sixth place in the final table, as their Oxfordshire-based rivals leapfrogged them.
It leaves the All Blacks lying in seventh – the same position in which they finished the 2011-12 season.
Victory saw Chinnor complete the double over the Cornishmen, having beaten them 33-29 at Polson Bridge on the opening day of the campaign.
All Blacks' skipper for the day, Ben Hilton, who was deputising for the injured Tom Rawlings, said: "It is the story of our season really.
"Chinnor are a good side, they played well, and their fly half was class, but I am not sure we managed the game the best we could.
"Perhaps we had one eye on the end of the season, or the county games coming up. We also had to have a reshuffle in our back row, with Tom out injured.
"We could have won the game, and it is one of a good six or seven matches where that has been the case this season.
"If you add up all the points we have let slip, that we shouldn't have, we could have been in the top three and in the mix."
It was a farewell game for Josh Lord – his 201st appearance for the club – after eight years at Polson Bridge before he heads off to take over as player-head coach at Western Counties West side Truro.
There were also one or two others possibly playing their last games for the All Blacks before summer moves to new pastures.
Chinnor got off to a good start at Kingsey Road as they scored a catch-and-drive try after only nine minutes through skipper and loose-head Joe Winpenny.
They doubled their advantage eight minutes later when the All Blacks were left flat-footed by a blindside move and right winger Pip Seymour raced in from 38 metres to make it 10-0.
Fly half Will Millett missed both conversion attempts, but added a penalty in the 28th minute, for holding on in the tackle, to extend Chinnor's lead to 13 points.
The All Blacks got their first points on the board on the half-hour mark when Chinnor killed the ball and full back Kieron Lewitt slotted the kick to make it 13-3 at the interval.
The visitors then came storming back into the match when centre Lewis Paterson broke through the home defence to cross for his 17th try of the season, and Lewitt converted to cut the deficit to only three points and leave him on 259 points for the season.
However, Chinnor's response was swift, as they collected their third try of the game only three minutes later, when Millett sidestepped at a ruck to give centre Leo Fielding a clean run to the posts, with Millett adding the simple conversion to make it 20-10.
Once more the All Blacks replied, with a penalty from fly half Jake Murphy, in the 62nd minute.
But, with 14 minutes remaining, Chinnor added a crucial fourth try, which followed a mistake by the All Blacks, when Murphy's attempt to kick a penalty to the corner saw the ball go dead.
Chinnor went long with their drop-out kick, and indecision by the All Blacks saw the hosts gain a line-out inside their 22, and from a catch-and-drive, Winpenny bagged his second try of the game, with Millett converting.
The All Blacks mounted a late rally, but they failed to score and had little to celebrate as they stopped off at Cheltenham on their way home.