Dings Crusaders 23
By John White
A LAST minute penalty from Redruth fly-half Fraser Honey denied Dings a share of the spoils in an entertaining National League Two South clash at The Recreation Ground. As the scoreline suggests, there wasn’t much to choose between the sides all afternoon, but Honey’s sweet late strike dragged the home side across the line.
It wasn’t looking good for the home side shortly after the interval. They trailed 16-12 at the turnaround, were playing up the slope away from Hell Fire corner and saw right wing Lewis Vinnicombe receive his marching orders after being shown two quick-fire yellow cards, which automatically equated to a red, for verbally abusing referee James Milliner-Woodcock.
But Dings were unable to take advantage of their numerical advantage, and to compound matters, were reduced to 14 men themselves when prop Duncan Ferguson was sin binned for a late shoulder charge.
Both sides gave the ball plenty of air in the opening quarter and it was the visitors who got on the scoreboard first with a sixth-minute penalty from skipper Steve Plummer. Redruth responded on eight-minutes with a try from prop Jess Tompsett, converted by Honey to make it 7-3.
Plummer kept Dings in touch with his second penalty on 13-minutes, before Tompsett pounced on an error for an unconverted try on 18-minutes to make it 12-9. But it was Crusaders who went into the sheds in front. From a turnover deep in Dings’ territory, the ball was swung out to debutante winger Jack Bates, who saw off a couple of would-be defenders and was tap-tackled inches from the line. From the ensuing ruck centre Marcus Brooker burrowed over for a try converted by Plummer to nudge Dings into a 16-12 lead at the interval.
The visitors started well in the second-half and set up camp in the Redruth half. Vinnicombe saw red, and Dings must have believed that a rare win at The Recreation Ground was on the cards. But the sending-off seemed to galvanise Reds, and at times you could have been forgiven for believing it was the home side that enjoyed a man advantage.
Honey cut the gap to a point with a 47th minute penalty, before putting Redruth ahead with another three-pointer to make it 18-16 on 61-minutes. Wing Dean Bonds touched down for an unconverted try on 65-minutes to take Redruth 23-18 ahead. Dings fly-half Luke Arscott scrambled over for his first try since he touched down against the same opposition in the final game of last season. Plummer added the extras to level the scores at 23-23 on 69-minutes.
But Crusaders strayed off-side on the halfway line and Honey coolly stepped forward to slot the winning penalty in the final play to give the home side a narrow victory.
Redruth Tries: Tompsett (2), Bonds; Penalties Honey (4). Conversions: Honey.
Dings tries: Brooker, Arscott. Penalties: Plummer (3). Conversions: Plummer (2).