Redruth 29 Bishop’s Stortford 25
A thrilling finish from Redruth saw them earn a 29-25 comeback victory over National League Two South rivals Bishop’s Strotford at the Recreation Ground.
The Reds were 22-7 down at half time after a lacklustre opening 40 minutes but responded well to record a bonus-point, five-try win.
Man-of-the-match No.8 Matt O’Leary was on the scoresheet alongside backs Tom Notman and Rhodri for the Cornish side, who were also awarded two penalty tries.
After a scrappy but energetic start from both sides, Bishop’s Strotford produced a three-try 15-minute burst to establish a healthy lead.
Centre Nick Hankin scored the first touchdown with a speedy run into Hellfire Corner for an unconverted try. Visiting fly-half Marcus Cattell missed the conversion and a penalty opportunity moments later, but it mattered little as wing Joss Liney’s impressive pace soon brought his side their second try.
The third then came almost immediately, this time from hooker Sam James, to give the Reds a seemingly insurmountable task to win the game with barely 20 minutes gone.
To their credit, Ashley Morcom's men regrouped well, even if they remained short of their best. They applied pressure in the visiting 22 and won a series of penalties – with prop Sean Edwards earning a yellow card in the process.
Referee Nick Williams eventually lost patience and awarded Redruth their first penalty try, converted by Murray Westren. The momentum was firmly in the Reds’ favour when Declan Caulfield joined Edwards in the sin bin.
However, Redruth points failed to materialise despite the numerical advantage. Indeed, Bishop’s Stortford extended their lead just before the break through No.8 Mark McCraith’s try.
Redruth made a strong start to the second half following the introduction of scrum-half Greg Goodfellow from the replacements’ bench. They were awarded a second penalty try on the hour mark, converted by Westren, and Notman later finished superbly in the corner to set up a tense finish.
A Castell penalty bumped the Hertfordshire side’s lead back to six points but Redruth fought back again.
A great run from Goodfellow down the blindside set up O’Leary for his try and Brett Rule had a conversion attempt to put his side in front. However, despite making excellent contact with his kick it drifted wide.
Skipper Chris Fuca opted to take a scrum when the next kickable chance came and it paid off when Notman and McAtee combined to round off a tenacious period of pressure in the latter stages and take the win in thrilling style.