REDRUTH 31 CANTERBURY 19
by Chris Fullbrook
To beat Redruth in their own backyard Canterbury knew they would have to raise their game to repeat their win in Cornwall last year. It took the City side a while to adapt to the soggy pitch and they went behind after ten minutes when fly-half Richard Kevern slipped a tackle to dart in for the opening try which he also converted. This score spurred Canterbury and the tight five, who battled hard all day, set the foundation for their reply. From a midfield scrum fly-half Ollie Best put JJ Murray in space to ghost through the defence and score under the posts allowing Best to add the extra points. Redruth, using the pitch and the elements wisely, took control of the game retaining possession despite a dogged and resolute Canterbury defence. The constant pressure eventually sucked in the visitors for Alex Cant to score to the delight of a vocal crowd, Kevern adding the extras. Close games are won and lost by moments of brilliance or unfortunate errors and it was such a moment that allowed Redruth their third try. Having having withstood further pressure a knock on by the city side at the base of a scrum reversed the set piece giving the Cornishmen an excellent attacking platform and Number eight Bradley Howe crashed over from close range. Kevern again added the conversion . Canterbury rallied towards the end of the half and having won a penalty after a promising break from Tom Best, kicked to the corner. From the resulting lineout a City catch saw Dan Smart put Kyan Braithwaite in from close range. Ollie Best kicked a splendid conversion from out wide against the elements to narrow the gap to 21-14. So Canterbury came out for the second half confident of a repeat of last year’s performance but having withstood an early Redruth advance and turning over possessionat at a lineout, a knock-on allowed the home side to build once again. Despite determined defensive work, including a try saving tackle from Ollie Best, Jack Hodge barrelled over from close range allowing Kevern to convert. Undeterred, Canterbury continued to fight back and went close after the hour when a break from the backs saw Harry Sayers being tackled short of the line. Continued pressure and excellent handling in difficult conditions then paid off as Seb Clark took an inside pass and crashed over from ten yards but the conversion attempt slipped wide. It was, however, Redruth who had the last word with Kevern taking his personal tally to 16 points with close range a penalty goal from the final play of the game.
Canterbury: A.Moss, K.Thompson, JJ Murrray, T.Best, H.Sayerss, O,Best, D.Smart, J.Green, T.Rogers, S.Kenny, R.Cadman, M.Corker, J. Rigby, S.Clark, K. Braithwaite, A.Cooper J.Otto, A.Wake-Smith, L.Whetton