A COMMITTED and passionate Redruth performance brought a 21-17 victory over Canterbury on Saturday to ease National League Two South relegation worries at the Recreation Ground.
Tries from Mike Allen, Murray Westren and Luke Jones were just reward for one of their best home performances of the season against a Canterbury side positioned second in the table.
A super strike by full-back Westren gave Redruth the lead within the first two minutes.
His side made a positive start, drawing a penalty from their high-flying opponents and they spent the majority of the opening ten minutes inside the visitors’ half.
Only a break by Canterbury wing Kwaku Asiedu caused concern but the Reds quickly regrouped and applied pressure once more.
Another two kicking opportunities subsequently came Westren’s way. He missed the first with the angle against him but doubled Redruth’s lead with the second.
The pace, intensity and technique shown by Redruth in the opening 25 minutes certainly deserved a score and it came after a long spell probing along the Canterbury 22.
Fly-half Rhodri McAtee twisted and turned on his way to the left corner and although he appeared to have lost his footing, it took three to bring him down.
Allen arrived in support and was just able to force his own over the try line for a touchdown only confirmed by referee Nick Williams after consultation with his assistant. Westren’s conversion hit the right post from a tight angle but Redruth could have had another try moments later when scrum-half Greg Goodfellow broke with blistering pace from inside his own half. However, a chip and chase as he approached the visiting 22 was just too strong for wing Jones to catch.
It took Canterbury 34 minutes to reach the Reds’ 22 and they were clinical enough to take points when they did so. Fly-half Guy Hilton reduced the gap to eight points with a close-range penalty.
After an opening half of such quality, it only seemed fair that Redruth scored a second try before the interval. A cross-field kick from McAtee was picked up skilfully by Jones and his sharp pass inside to Westren set up a clear run to corner.
It was always going to be difficult for Redruth to maintain their efforts after the half-time break, but apart from an opening burst from Canterbury, the home side picked up exactly where they left off.
A catch and drive forced the visitors back more than ten metres, well into their own 22, and Goodfellow picked just the right moment to take the ball off the back of the maul and set up Jones in the corner for an unconverted try.
The chase was now well and truly on for the fourth-try bonus point, and Redruth’s forwards were forcing errors and indiscretions from their Canterbury counterparts.
Indeed, visiting No.8 Robert Lennox was sent to the sin bin for his part in stalling the home pack as they surged to the try line in the 67th minute.
A knock-on from Redruth allowed Canterbury to clear and they went on to have their best spell of the game despite being a man down. Asiedu, as previously threatened, did break for a try in stoppage time, converted by Reuben Meares.
A penalty try in the 85th minute then created a flattering final score and a losing bonus point from Canterbury’s perspective.
It was, to all intents and purposes, a comprehensive win for Redruth – the only real pity being the lack of that fourth try their five-star display deserved.
A delighted head coach Ashley Morcom said: “The boys played really well. To get back at Canterbury after we lost up at their place was massive. Today, I felt they didn’t look like beating us at any stage.
“We do need to get as many points as we can and hope results elsewhere go our way as well to help. It is crucial that over the next seven weeks we grab as many points as we can.
“If we go away from home and don’t manage to win, we have to take a bonus point or maybe two. We still have to go to some hard places – Bishop’s Stortford, Cambridge as well as Shelford next week. But if we play like we did today, we can turn any side over.”