Clifton 30, Redruth 35

Redruth gave its passionate supporters an early Christmas gift with this excellent win at in-form Clifton, writes Bill Hooper.

There was no “still on the bus” syndrome for the Reds this week as they made a fast start scoring after just two minutes through lock Todd Prisk, who found himself out wide for the scoring pass from flanker Mark Grubb, to run in for an unconverted try.

The see-saw nature of the game was soon set as Clifton replied swiftly with an unconverted try from wing Tom Jones, following some slick passing.

Two Fraser Honey penalties re-established the Redruth lead before the end of the first quarter. There was then a long delay following an injury to Clifton hooker Luke Statford.

Brad Barnes cut the deficit with a penalty as Redruth lost No.8 Ben Fox to the sin-bin for foul play.

The Clifton forwards got a good maul going near the Redruth line for No.8 Niall Gibbons to power over for a second unconverted try and regain the lead 13-11 on the 30 minute mark.

Just before half-time Redruth had their own pressure on the Clifton line with Prisk bagging his second try of the game that Honey converted to give the Reds a useful 18-13 lead.

Clifton made a bright start to the second half as the forwards made the most of a ruck and a second Redruth yellow card, near the Redruth line for flanker Jack Clement to squeeze over, Barnes’ conversion saw the lead change hands once more.

It was short-lived, as back roared the Reds, scrum-half Jack Oulton broke from a ruck to chip through for the on-rushing Dean Bonds who beat the cover to the touchdown, with Honey again on the money with the extras as the game entered the final quarter.

Gibbons then got his second try of the game for Clifton following another ruck near the Redruth line. Barnes again added the extras for a slender two-point lead.

Honey and James Dixon exchanged penalties as both sides nervously saw the clocking ticking towards 80.

Redruth threw everything at Clifton in the dying moments, camped on their line, Oulton moved the ball wide to full-back Matt Shepherd who in turn found Connor Gilbert, the young centre kept a cool head to cut back inside and dart over the line, leaving the Clifton defender prostrate on the ground. Honey added the conversion for good measure and the Reds returned home with all five points and back-to-back home games to look forward to before Christmas. Kick-off Saturday v Bournemouth is 2pm.

Redruth: Shepherd, Vinnicombe, Simmons, Gilbert, Bonds, Honey, Oulton; Hodge, Brown, Tompsett, Pascoe, T Prisk, Fuca, Grubb, Fox (c). Reps: Ma’asi, Williams, J Prisk, Stacey, Simmonds.

Redruth scores: Tries: T Prisk 2, Bonds, Gilbert; Cons: Honey 3; Pens: Honey 3.