REDRUTH made a disappointing start to their league campaign when they were defeated 27-13 by Blackheath at the Recreation Ground.

Redruth had high hopes of victory following good performances in pre-season fixtures which brought four wins by wide margins.

The side chosen to face Blackheath, a club over which the Reds did the "double" last season, flattered only to deceive with the try count of 4-1 against showing much more hard work is needed.

Man of the match was visiting winger Charlie Abban with three cracking tries.

The respective 2nd XVs kicked off at 1 pm, the visitors winning 16-5. Steve Larkins crossed for the Reds only score.

Several players took part in parts of both fixtures against Blackheath.

The expected large crowd did not materialise for this double header.

With the advantage of the conditions in the first half, the Reds were looking for a good start with points on the board.

Two penalty goals from Brown brought six points, but a try actually scored was not allowed on the intervention of a touch judge who picked up a misdeed by one of the Reds youngsters which was out of order.

The visitors, who have signed a number of new players, soon started to play to a pattern and looked good.

For 20 minutes the Reds could not build on their six point lead and as the interval closed a sweeping move by the visitors saw them score the first try by hooker Alex Natera. It came from a catch and drive by the visiting forwards.

Early in the second half Churcher had a kick charged down and the visitors responded well to set up a try for speed merchant Abban, no stranger to the home crowd.

The Reds pulled back points when with about a dozen players involved, full-back Nathan Pedley crossed close to the uprights for Brown to convert for a single point lead.

The Reds brought on Chapple, Geraty, Heard and Pascoe, but still could not take control.

Blackheath forwards Natera, Mark Colegate, Lee Evans and Winstanley plus the half-backs, all impressed, but it was Abban who scored a well-taken try after he beat three defenders to touch down.

The Reds went close, but could not finish good work by Lancaster, Brown, Harrison, Hawken and Croker.

A penalty extended Blackheath's lead to 13-20 and with time runing out Abban completed his hat trick of tries with a 60 metre run which Brain converted.

Redruth are away to Rosslyn Park on Saturday.

Scorers - Redruth - try: Lancaster; pens: Brown (2); con: Brown.

Blackheath - tries: Abban (3), Natera; pen: Brain; cons: Brain (2).

Redruth: N Pedley, N Edyvean, C Bonds, M Richards L Vinecombe, B Brown (capt), M Churcher, A Flide, S Harrison, N Croker, A Hawken, S O'Sullivan, J Navin, J Lancaster and N Corin. Reps used: L Chapple (Churcher), M Pascoe (Hawken), Geraty (Harrison), Heard (Flide).

Blackheath: J Griffin, C Trace, C Bain, D Fitzgerald, C Abban, T Dann, M Percival (capt), M Hathaway, A Naters (rep Kray 65m), D Penny, L Evans, M Colegate, I Collings, J Winstanley (rep Englebrect) and A Momicham.