Taunton Titans 15 Redruth 25
THE Reds gave themselves the perfect boost for Saturday's "Inferno in Kernow" at home to the Cornish All Blacks by opening their National 2 South season with a hard earned victory in Somerset.
The Reds, under the new coaching regime of Adrian Edwards, Ashley Morcom and Steve Evans, gave league debuts to seven players.
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.
It was an encouraging performance by the visitors who had a somewhat fraught journey to the game with heavy traffic preventing them from reaching Hyde Park until 30 minutes before the scheduled kick-off.
This saw the kick off delayed for 15 minutes but h ead coach Edwards, felt that the difficult journey hadn't had an influence on events in a game which saw the lead change hands five times. He said: "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, our pack was dominant and the youngsters did well. We created chances but it's early days and there's still plenty of work to do."
Redruth began well and a Paul Thirlby penalty from in front of the posts gave them a 3-0 lead after only two minutes.
But Taunton then hit back when some alert work by home 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 7-3 lead after 14 minutes.
Back came the reds and a flowing threequarter move ended with debutant's Romey Vassell's astute pass putting Craig Bonds over in the corner, with Thirlby converting to put the Reds back in front at 10-7.
But their lead was short lived as Taunton back row forward Dean Menzies-Taylor drove over from close range for a try, which was not converted, which gave them a 12-10 interval lead.
After the break great work by the Reds' pack gave last season's top try scorer Tom Duncan the chance to cross for one of his trade mark scores from the base of the scrum putting the visitors back in front at 15-12.
But Taunton were far from finished and a well struck long-range penalty by centre Brett Turner made it all square 15 15-15 going into the final quarter.
However, the visitors then took control with Duncan scoring his second try. Thirlby converted and then adding another penalty.
The Reds then closed the game down in the closing ten minutes to seal an excellent win which bodes well for the rest of the season.