Redruth 13pts Launceston 28pts

The after match comment of Redruth player/coach James Lancaster "We were beaten by a better team on the day" summed up this Cornish derby.

Choosing to play down the slope with the wind, Launceston took the initiative with a massive penalty from the half way line kicked by Simon Porter in the opening minutes and never allowed the Reds to get into the game.

Victory came at a heavy cost for the visitors. Their leading try scorer, South African Mike Heyns, broke his collar bone in the opening minutes.

Prior to the match Andy Hawken an outstanding stalwart of 15 years league rugby for the Reds announced his intention to retire at the end of the season. A former club captain, Hawken has had a glittering career that included playing for the Barbarians, playing at Twickenham and captaining hiscounty. It will be a very fine player that exceeds his record number of league and cup appearances. His influence and decision making in the Reds' forwards will be missed.

The supporters' player of the year trophy was presented by club chairman Ron Spencer to Sam Heard in front of the grandstand in recognition of his sterling efforts in the front row this season. Heard ,just 21 years old, could be the cornerstone of the Reds pack for the next decade.

Before the biggest crowd of the season, well over 2000, Hawken was given the honour of leading out the team on his last appearance at the Recreation Ground.

Offside gave Porter the chance to put the visitors in front early in the game and his kick from near half way sailed confidently between the posts.

The basis of Launceston's win was in the forwards where Redruth were being out muscled and out thought. Launceston had an edge in the scrums in the early stages although the Reds were looking to use Lancaster to attack off wheeled scrums. In the line outs, where Neil Corin usually wins a stream of quality possession, Launceston were able to disrupt play without penalty and Redruth could not build a platform from which to attack.

All three of Launceston's tries came from catch and drive moves from line outs close to the goal line. The first after 27 minutes followed a penalty awarded on the advice of touch judge Trevor Hunter to referee Paul Dix, the dynamic Launceston pack driving over for a try credited to flanker Wayne Sprangle.

In a good spell as the interval approached Reds hooker Glenn Cooper showed great determination to force his way over in the corner for an unconverted try following a line out to narrow the gap to three points, but in injury time the catch and drive brought at try for Steve Dyer which Porter converted to give the All blacks a 15-5 advantage at the break.

What appeared a harsh penalty for an off the ball obstruction from the restart of the second half gave Porter a simple opportunity close to the posts to get a vital three points for the visitors.

A spell of pressure brought Redruth a penalty through Scott Martin after 47 minutes, but despite the efforts of Lancaster, Launceston were able to keep the Reds at arms' length.

Hymans flattened Porter with a late challenge and was fortunate to escape with just a lecture from the referee. This gave the penalty that created the opportunity for Dyer's second try in the scoreboard corner after 53 minutes converted by Porter to open up a 17 point advantage.

After 68 minutes Launceston's fiery Kiwi lock Johnny Griffiths was shown the yellow card for throwing a punch in front of the posts. Redruth immediately took advantage with Hymans running in an unconverted try in Hell-Fire corner.

Another score at this stage could have made the closing minutes very interesting, but Porter was controlling the game and a foolish penalty for a late obstruction by Lewis Vinnicombe gave Porter the chance to put the game out of Redruth's reach with a 77th minute penalty.

Launceston lost replacement Neil Keane to a yellow card in injury time but it made little difference as the Cornish All Blacks finished comfortable winners.

Redruth: C. Bonds; L. Vinnicombe, A. Hymans, P. Thirlby, S. Martin (rep N. Pedley 60m; B. Brown (capt), M. Richards; N. Croker, G. Cooper (rep S. Harrison 60m), S. Heard (rep A. Flide 65m), N. Pryor (rep S. Griffiths 32-40m), A. Hawken, N. Corin, J. Navin (rep S. Griffiths 54m), J. Lancaster.