Shelford 6 Redruth 28
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.