Defensive lapses cost the Bees dear in Cornwall
By Richard Smith
Muddy encounter at Redruth yields just a single losing bonus point
The Bees attempt to ease their relegation worries were left mired in the Cornish mud as a 29-25 defeat saw them slip to the bottom of the table.
Two defensive lapses early in both halves ultimately cost the visitors both the win and vital league points, in a game that could have again been won by the Bees – a recurring theme this season.
The Bees kicked off in a torrential downpour with the pitch quickly turning into a quagmire. Jack Jolly gave the Bees an early lead with a penalty, however Redruth struck back almost immediately when centre Jack Simmons carved his way through the Bees’ defence to score the opening try, converted by fly half Aaron Simmonds.
Jolly cut the deficit with his second penalty, but Redruth edged further ahead when Loma Kivalu finished off a catch-and-drive for the home side with Simmonds successful with the conversion.
The Bees had some good pressure leading up to half-time and when Redruth were reduced to fourteen men, with Nonu sent to the bin, they capitalised from a scrum near the Redruth line being awarded a penalty-try.
Adam Nunney was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet just before the break – he was deemed to have knocked the ball on over the try line after charging down a clearance from Redruth. Despite this, the game was evenly poised at 14-13 at the break.
Redruth began the second half with a bang as burly centre Nonu, now returned from his spell in the bin, set up Simmons for his second try under the stick. Aaron Simmonds made it three out of three from the kicking tee.
It looked as if Redruth had put the game to bed when they scored their fourth try from a catch-and-drive with hooker Matt Gidlow getting the touchdown. But with the sun breaking through the Cornish gloom, the Bees launched an attack which saw full back Corey Venus go in at the corner. Jolly’s fine touchline conversion narrowed the gap to just 6 points.
Redruth winger Brad Janes went close in the corner following a good burst down the touchline, only for the Bees to scramble the ball into touch. Simmonds then kicked a penalty to make it 29-20.
With just five minutes to go, a post scrum altercation led to a red card for Redruth’s No.8 Brad Howe, with Danny Wright also shown yellow.
A catch and drive from the line out yielded a losing bonus point for the Bees - Adam Nunney going over for an unconverted try, but time ran out for the Midlanders to yank the result out of the Recreation Ground mud.
Clifton are the visitors at Portway this weekend (Saturday 2nd February, KO 2.30pm).
Bees v Redruth: 1. JP Nel, 2. Stewart Pearl, 3. Nick Bingham, 4. Andy Weaver, 5. Matt Spink, 6. Ashley Scriven, 7.Michael Stephens, 8.Umraan Jadwat, 9. Jack Jolly (C) (2P,1C), 10. Harry O’Brien, 11 Matt Dight, 12. Adam Nunney (T), 13.Nathan Tilsley, 14. Dan Kelly, 15, Corey Venus (T). Pen Try (1). Replacements: 16. Matt Probert, 17. Zane Raimondi, 18. Danny Wright (YC), 19. Marcus Brown, 20. Joe Foreman.
Referee:- Andrew Wigley