EXMOUTH 13 REDRUTH 35
THE Redruth scrum got the upper hand in the final half hour to power the visitors to a crucial 35-13 bonus-point win over an Exmouth side that looked to be on course for victory early in the second half.
On the day the rub of the green fell the way of the Reds as they picked up their first win away from the Recreation Ground for 12 months, making the most of their chances for a morale-boosting win in their battle to avoid being sucked into the National Two South relegation battle.
Redruth head coach Ashley Morcom was pleased with his side’s performance.
“It was massive for us to come away from home and get five points,” he said. “We knew coming here would not be easy and Exmouth proved that.
“Full credit to our guys – they played some really good rugby and when chances came we took them. Once our scrum got on top towards the end that was crucial; our decision-making was good as well.”
The match went ahead after an early-morning pitch inspection and Redruth were given first use of a gusting wind, getting off to a flying start with Tom Notman taking his chance well to touch down in the second minute when the defence hesitated.
Ashley Hosking’s place kicking was another important component and he converted the try and added a penalty after five minutes to give Redruth a 7-0 lead.
Exmouth responded with some lively rugby as they retained the ball well for a long period and kept Redruth on the back foot. Patient play in the Redruth 22 ended with Dave Bargent going over for a try after 17 minutes.
The visiting forwards laid the foundations with some good play in the home 22 and Greg Goodfellow opened up a gap for Matt O’Leary to dive over for a try that Hosking converted after 22 minutes.
Redruth were conceding too many penalties and Craig Williams took a yellow card for not rolling way after a tackle but Rob Avery-Wright, kicking into the teeth of the gale, was wide with the penalty.
Trying to run down the grandstand side, Redruth were turned over and Exmouth worked Joe Watson-Brooks over for a try wide out on the right.
Hosking’s kicking was very composed in the tricky wind and a 30-metre penalty just before half time saw Redruth take a ten-point lead into the interval that did not look to be enough in the conditions.
When Avery-Wright put over a long-range penalty at the start of the second period, the game looked to be going the way of the Cockles and he had a chance six minutes later as the wind seemed to drop but his attempt was just wide.
This proved to be a turning point as Redruth upped their game, stopped conceding penalties and started to squeeze the life out of Exmouth.
The visiting forwards were carrying well and a couple of penalties at scrum time allowed them to control territory and keep play in the Exmouth half with Hosking’s third penalty restoring a ten-point lead with 25 minutes to go.
At the start of the final quarter a good chase from Matt Bowden caught Cornwall wing Richard Bright in possession deep inside the 22 and the Exmouth man took a yellow card for not releasing as Redruth put the squeeze on and forced Exmouth into conceding penalties.
The hosts were briefly down to 13 men after replacement Tom Emery saw yellow for killing the ball near the line and Redruth took their chance to put the game out of the Cockles’ grasp with a catch-and-drive try for inspirational skipper Chris Fuca from a five-metre line-out after the home side stood off.
In the closing stages Exmouth contained Redruth’s effort for a pushover try but Ben Priddey picked his spot to go over near the posts for Hosking to convert.