Wharfedale 28 Redruth 21
Wharfedale recorded its best-ever start to a league season with this 6th successive victory. And make no mistake – the Dalesmen were up against a very good team.
It was a quite superb full-blooded game, with selection of a man-of-the-match an invidious task. The Greens’ stand-off Joe Ford would maybe edge it, but from a lengthy list of candidates on both sides.
After a thrilling first half left the sides barely separated at 20-18 at the interval, the Greens dominated the bulk of the second period, allowing the visitors no serious scoring opportunity after their stand-off Mark Scrivener had given them a single-point lead with a 54th-minute penalty.
Nevertheless, despite mounting almost continuous pressure on the stubborn Redruth defence, the Dalesmen needed a slice of luck with the crucial try (61 mins) that restored their lead. Prop Tom Horner charged a clearance kick close to the left corner, knocking the ball upwards, then catching it, before slipping to flanker Latu Maka’afi for the touch-down.
Ten minutes later, centre Mark Bedworth dropped a goal from 30 metres out to complete the scoring, if not the hectic action.
The first half featured some sparkling play. For Wharfedale, full-back Luke Gray opened the scoring (8 mins) with a magnificent individual try, weaving through from 40 metres to the posts, leaving Ford a routine conversion. The stand-off landed 2 towering penalties (17 and 25) – the second from 5 metres inside the home half – and on 32 minutes his pin-point cross-kick left defenders helpless, Bedworth scoring unopposed. Ford converted splendidly, from near the touch-line.
The visitors were not to be outdone, contributing an excellent move at the close of the half, culminating in winger Lewis Vinnicombe’s try in the left corner. Earlier, they had matched Wharfedale blow for blow, with a converted penalty try (12), and 2 Scrivener penalties (20 and 29).
Wharfedale: L Gray; D Hall (I Culligan 78), C Malherbe, M Bedworth, S Horsfall; J Ford, D Matthews (A Black 56); T Horner, G Hindle (S Graham 80), M Chivers, O Renton, A Allen, L Maka’afi, D Solomi, R Baldwin.
Redruth: A Winnan (J Semmens 60); L Vinnicombe, C Bonds, A Thirlby, N Pedley; M Scrivener, M Richards; D Jaques (P Joyce 71, blood), O Hambly (M Gidlow 77), P Joyce (S Heard 46), D Cook, R Carroll, B Stroud (C Fuca 72), L Calder, F Cliverd (T Duncan 77).
Referee: Andrew Taylorson.
If you want to read what Redruth coach Dave Penberthy thought about the match, visit http://www.redruthrfc.com/News/single.aspx?id=2131