Taunton 33 Redruth 33
Honours even in a 10 try thriller played in the Taunton sunshine - Report by Ed Bawden
In a cracking game of Rugby between fourth and fifth in the league played in blazing heat the result was in doubt right up to the final whistle with both teams scoring five tries.
The pitch was in great condition and the Reds were boosted by a host of loyal fans making the trip to Hyde Park. Redruth were later arriving than planned due to M5 traffic but got off to a flying start taking a 12 point lead.
Taunton playing some good rugby score four converted tries without reply to take charge of the game, but with the influential Sam Prior in the sin bin Redruth pulled back to 28-26 as the game entered the final quarter. A Freddie Fraser try saw Taunton lead by seven until Reds saviour Jack Oulton touched down for Brett Rule to convert with a couple of minutes left.
The temperature was well into the twenties as the teams kicked off. Redruth used Scrum power to force a couple of early penalties before Kyle Marriott went over for an unconverted try after six minutes.
The Reds had better of field position and a set move from a line out saw Lewis Vinnicombe go over unopposed near the posts for Brett Rule to convert after 26 minutes.
Redruth started to lose momentum when Chris Fuca went off injured and lost Oulton to the sin bin for an off the ball incident, the referee confirming details with his assistant Andy Coles before producing the yellow card.
With Prior making big inroads into the Redruth defence Taunton responded with three tries in eleven minutes before the break through Blake Lugg, Prior and Conor Harbinson all converted by Gary Kingdom.
Early in the second half Redruth trying to play out of the danger zone turned the ball over near the line and Taunton took their chance well skipper Nick Mason touching down the bonus point try again converted by Kingdom as the hosts looked in complete control.
Redruth battled back with catch and drive tries from Richard Brown and Chris Fuca both converted by Rule to make it a two point game.
As the game opened up, Taunton created space for Freddie Fraser to go over wide out on the left with fifteen minutes to go. Some smart play from Lewis Webb looked to have put Prior in for a winning score but Dean Bonds made an important stop.
A penalty from a scrum gave Redruth a chance to kick into the corner with time almost up, after successive forward drives, Oulton picked his time to dive in and touchdown against an upright, Rule chipping over the conversion to level the scores.
At the end a probing kick from Oulton looked to create a winning score but Redruth were pulled up for some pushing as the scores remained locked.
With two games left to play Taunton now lead the Reds for fourth place by a point, Redruth welcome London Irish to the Recreation ground on Saturday week for the final home game of the season before travelling to Henley to complete fixtures. Taunton travel to promotion chasing Chinnor before ending the season against Redingensians, so fourth place may not be settled until the final kick of the season.
Tries; Lugg, Prior, Harbison, Mason, Fraser
Con; Kingdom 4
Yellow Card; Prior
G Kingdom; T Popham, N Mason (Capt), D Frost, F Fraser; L Webb, O Massey-Birch; A Chase, A Spurdle, C Tribble, S Lonsdale, B Lugg, S Persey, C Harbison, S Prior
Reps: J Gatford, E Roofe, T Rhodes, A Gibbs, T Thompson
Tries: Marriott, Vinnicombe, Fuca, Brown, Oulton
Con; Rule 4
Yellow card; Oulton
D Bonds; L Vinnicombe (Rep P Nonu 48 Min) , N Webber, S Parsons, M Bowden; B Rule, J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown (Rep L Powell 78 Min), C Williams (Rep J Tompsett 60 Min), B Howe (Rep B-J Chapman 60 min), S Buzza, C Fuca (Rep B-J Chapman 30-54 Min), M Grubb, K Marriott (Capt)
Reps not used C Gilbert
Ref Charlie Gayther (RFU)