IN weather conditions much improved from what had been experienced playing at Camborne in midweek, a week ahead of their opening game in this season's Greene King IPA Championship an also much stronger Cornish Pirates side got into their stride with this worthily fought victory.

There was a minute's silence pre-match for Redruth and Cornwall rugby legend 'Bonzo' Johns, and for a former Pirates gate-duty man, Peter Cogbill. Both, sadly, had recently passed away.

At the start of this contest the Reds showed confidence to take the game to the home side and when called upon they also defended well.

It was the Pirates, however, despite the setback of losing the services of skipper Chris Morgan with a head injury, who would claim the first points, thanks to fly-half Kieran Hallett whose penalty strike sailed cleanly through the Newlyn posts.

Keeping positive, the visitors were quick to hit back and take the lead, when following a number of catch drives, and with the Pirates' lock Will Graulich having been yellow-carded, Greg Goodfellow scored a try which was converted by full-back Murray Westren.

The game was proving entertaining for supporters and after full-back Matt Evans crossed for a try at the old Western National corner, Redruth all but immediately responded with another of their own.

It was a truly superb effort. Lock Todd Prisk and skipper and flanker Chris Fuca were well involved, but it was the run, side-step and finish by hooker Richard Brown that provided a worthy memory moment. Westren once again added the extra two points.

Prop Paul Andrew rumbled over for a converted score that saw the Pirates back in front, and a second try for Evans, converted also by Hallett, made it 22-14 at the break.

During the interval there was a collection made by the Penzance Branch of Cancer Research UK, which realised the worthy sum of £334.

A converted try scored by alert scrum-half Tom Kessell opened up a 15 points gap right at the start of the second half, but the Reds still refused to buckle.

There were many familiar faces in their squad, but when replacement Ashley Hosking appeared perhaps unlucky to find himself directed to the sin bin, their task was almost inevitably made just a little more difficult.

Doing well to intercept a Westren pass, Hallett ran three quarters the length of the field for a try that he also converted.

The Pirates then added two more tries in the match through replacement scrum-half Mike Pope and replacement hooker Tom Channon.

A chance to pass the 50m mark was in sight, but time ran out to end a match from which both sides had nonetheless derived benefit.

Cornish Pirates: 15 Matt Evans, 14 Luke Jones, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Rheon James, 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Kieran Hallett, 9 Tom Kessell; 1 Paul Andrew, 2 Aaron Carpenter, 3 Adam Jamieson, 4 Will Graulich, 5 Darren Barry, 6 Chris Morgan (c), 7 Alex Cheesman, 8 Laurie McGlone.

Replacements (all used): Tom Channon, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Tyler Gendall, Will Carrick Smith, Brad Howe, Joe Atkinson, Matt Bolwell, Mike Pope, Laurence May, Tom Hendrickson, Max Bodilly.

Yellow card: Graulich Redruth: 15 Murray Westren, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Neilson Webber, 12, Sam Parsons, 11 Jack Kessell, 10 Rhodri McAtee, 9 Greg Goodfellow; 1 Jess Tompsett, 2 Richard Brown, 3 Craig Williams, 4 Todd Prisk, 5 Chris Bailey, 6 Chris Fuca (capt), 7 Owen Hambly, 8 Kyle Marriott.

Replacements (all used): John Drew, Locryn Williams, Tom Phillips, Tom Simmons, Jon Lamson, Peter Joyce, Ashley Hosking, Dean Bonds, Dan Rutter, Tom Notman, Lewis Thomas.

Yellow card: Hosking.

Scorers: Cornish Pirates – tries: Evans (2), Andrew, Kessell, Hallett, Pope, Channon; cons: Hallett (4); pen: Hallett.

Redruth – tries: Goodfellow, Brown; cons: Westren (2).

Referee: David Proctor (RFU) Attendance: 843