REDRUTH were well beaten, 48-12, by National Two South leaders Hartpury College leaders, who ran in seven tries in a result that leaves the Cornish side needing two wins from the last four games of the season to avoid relegation.
Head coach Ashley Morcom was happy with the commitment and effort a patched-up Reds side put in.
“The boys played well in to the wind in the first half,” he said. “We conceded ten points early on but them stuck with them.
“We had a little bit of a lull for three minutes and let them in for two tries. Apart from that we stuck it to them.
“Second half we were a little bit under-powered up front and it told in the end. We called on players to play out of position, they gave it everything but we were overpowered.
“You can see why Hartpury are top of the table – there are reasons and they showed that today,” he added. “They had three tries from turnovers, we coughed the ball up and they caught us napping when we over-committed on moves and capitalised.
“It is all about moving forward now; we came hoping to take a point we came close a couple of times but we have to move on now. We have got four tough games to go.”
Playing into a stiff, cold wind, Redruth opened brightly keeping the ball for the first couple of minutes but found they were running into a brick wall defence and, when the ball was turned over, Gloucester starlet Stef Reynolds ran in a try from the halfway line, which Billy Burns converted.
Burns added a penalty a minute later and the Reds were ten points down with just four minutes gone.
Although under pressure for a long period, Redruth were composed and coping well. Skipper Chris Fuca took a heavy knock but played on with a sore neck.
Two tries in a couple of minutes put the result beyond doubt after the half-hour mark; the first from a quickly taken free-kick saw Barnstaple boy Ben Vellacott feed the former Gloucester favourite Terry Fanolua, who ran straight and hard for 30 metres to go over near the posts, with Burns converting.
A poor restart gave Hartpury another springboard to attack and Craig Jackson ran in an unconverted try.
A 22-point deficit was harsh after all of the Redruth efforts. Greg Goodfellow and Luke Jones both had a couple of good runs but the Cornishmen could not match the collective organisation of the students.
At the start of the second period, Scotland Under-20 international Vellacott, who looked a sharp operator, ran in the bonus point try after a break by Burns.
Redruth never caved in and played some good rugby, with Sam Parsons paving the way for Craig Bonds to touch down Redruth’s first try.
A powerful driving maul from the 22-metre line saw Hartpury captain Chris Fortey go over for a try after 57 minutes, quickly followed by a length-of-the-field effort from Reynolds. Only good cover from Tom Notman prevented the flying wing from completing his hat-trick.
A lucky bounce from a probing kick by Jackson saw Alex Woodburn go over for the home side’s seventh try after 73 minutes.
In the final play of the match, some spirited play by the Reds ended with John Stevens running 30 metres for a try that Ashley Hosking converted.