AN EYE-CATCHING VICTORY DOWN IN CORNWALL
Redruth RFC v Luctonians RFC
Saturday 16th September 2023 – The Recreation Ground
Match Reporter – Alex Smith
Luctonians maintained their 100% record at the start of this National League 2 West season, with an eye-catching victory down in Cornwall. Facing an opponent they lost twice to last season, Lucs always looked in control of this contest and in the end ran out deserved 18-45 winners against Redruth at The Recreation Ground.
The visitors started brightly on a benign afternoon of weather in the far south-west, but came away pointless from early pressure and it was the home side who opened the scoring with their first visit to the Luctonians 22, as forward pressure told and loosehead prop Tommy Phillips buried over for a converted score, with Rhys Brownfield adding the extras for 7-0 after seven minutes. This is a Lucs side, however, that is full of belief currently and they hit back almost immediately, as winger James Wheeler would step inside the cover for his first score, and scrum half Louis Silver added an excellent touchline conversion for 7-7 after nine minutes.
Redruth would re-take the lead through a Brownfield penalty on 17 minutes, before another Luctonians indiscretion went punished four minutes later for 13-7 after the hosts got the better of the midfield exchanges for a period of time. But it wouldn’t take long for Charlie Grimes, fresh off the back of a hat-trick last weekend, to get amongst the scorers once more, as he was put in the right-hand corner by the Lucs’ halfbacks to tighten things to 13-12 after 24 minutes.
And it was from this point onwards that Lucs would really begin to dominate proceedings as they started to get the upper hand in most areas. Wheeler would go over for his second score after lovely hands put him away and he ran in from 25 metres out on the left wing, with Silver once more adding the extras for 13-19. A couple of other chances came and went before the half was out, but the hosts’ stout defensive effort kept the six point gap at the break.
Half Time Score
Redruth RFC 13 v 19 Luctonians RFC
The Herefordshire men did not let up as the second period began, and it took them just two minutes to secure the try-bonus point, as Tom Jones went through a gap created by strong forward work and the vision of Silver, who would also knock over the conversion for 13-26.
The try of the game and probably the key score to dampen the spirit of Redruth, was delivered on 49 minutes with a 90 metre effort that started with a scum deep inside the Luctonians 22. Number 8 and man of the match Caleb Montgomery picked up from the base and with a combination of speed and strength beat two defenders before releasing the elusive Grimes, he beat a player himself before chipping over the top of the cover defender, racing on and retrieving to score next to the posts in what was a quite brilliant effort. With Silver again from the tee adding the extras for 13-33 with half an hour still to play.
Redruth is a notoriously tough place to go and the hosts showed a glimmer of that hard-edge as they scored from another driving maul, this time centre Sam James dotting down, after they pinned Lucs in the corner for successive assaults at the line. With the conversion missed that was 18-33 with a third of the game remaining, but any chance of a comeback was quickly snuffed out just four minutes later as Josh Watkins scored when he gathered a superb chip over from Silver for 13-38 on 57 minutes.
Fittingly as the game fizzled out in the final quarter, the visitors added the last try, as Seb Robinson dotted down at the back of a maul, with fly-half Jones adding the conversion for a final score of 18-45.
Full Time Score
Redruth RFC 18 v 45 Luctonians RFC
To put this result in perspective, you must go back to April 2008 to find the last time Redruth were beaten by a greater margin at their home ground. This was a clinical performance from Ryan Watkins’ men, and sees them sit 2nd in the league after three games on maximum points alongside Exeter University. Lucs are on the road again this coming Saturday, as they have a relatively local trip to Bournville in Birmingham, where they will look to maintain this excellent start to the season.
Tomo from the Touchline
Listen HERE on BBC SOUNDS to Tomo speaking, after the final whistle, from the touchline with Trevor Owens in the BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester studio, live on his Saturday show.