Hartpury back in promotion race with victory over Redruth
Hartpury stormed back into the National Two South promotion race with a stunning victory at second-placed Redruth.
Three points behind their opponents having played a game more heading into Saturday's fixture, the Gloucestershire outfit knew that a loss would represent a crushing blow to their promotion ambitions.
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But an outstanding first-half performance, in which Hartpury turned around at the break 21-7 ahead, was enough for John Barnes' team to inflict a first home defeat on the Reds in nearly a year.
The hosts started brightly with some early pressure, but it was Hartpury who opened the scoring through the boot of Jackson in the twelfth minute.
Flanker Liam Wilkinson extended the visitors' lead four minutes later with a try on the left following Sean Marsden's fine scoring pass, improved by Jackson.
And the college side were in dreamland when Jackson won the foot race to Billy Burns' chip over the top just seconds later, the Scotsman grounding the ball to make the score 15-0.
Redruth too often found themselves on the wrong end of referee Dean Richards' whistle, much to the audible frustration of the home crowd, and their indiscipline cost them six more points as Jackson struck penalties in quick succession.
But the Cornishmen did manage to respond on the stroke of half time when scrum half Greg Goodfellow streaked away from a tapped penalty in his own 22 before releasing Lewis Vinnicombe under the posts. Paul Thirlby converted.
Hartpury's defence, as it had in the first period, was tested early after the restart, but Wilkinson ran in his second try five minutes into the half after a strong carry from Gareth Evans.
The hosts knew a swift and muscular response was required to avoid a thrashing, and they mustered it when referee Richards punished a series of Hartpury infringements at five-metre scrums with a penalty try.
The Reds continued to press only to be met by a steely rearguard, but their cause was aided when Chris Fortey was yellow-carded with 10 minutes remaining.
Replacement centre Murray Westren duly crossed for five points shortly afterwards to bring Redruth to within a score at 19-26.
And the home side looked set to snatch a draw when Hartpury hooker Dylan Rodrigues, having replaced Brandon Walker to cover Fortey's absence, was himself dispatched to the sin bin for a tip-tackle.
But the 13 men of Hartpury showed great determination to hold out for the final five minutes, securing what could prove to be a hugely significant four points at the end of the season.
REDRUTH: C Bonds; T Notman, L Vinnicombe, S Evans (M Westren 6), N Simmons; P Thirlby, G Goodfellow; D Jacques, R Brown, C Williams; D Cook, L Collins; C Fuca, B Priddey (T Duncan 48), O Hambley. Not used: J Rayment, N Turner, J Drew
HARTPURY COLLEGE: C Jackson; S Reynolds (R Haile 6), A Dancer, S Rodwell, S Marsden; B Burns (T Stevenson 70), B Field; J Gibbons (R Cano 70), C Fortey, D Crompton; W Graulich, S Raven; N Thomas, L Wilkinson (B Walker 63, D Rodrigues 73-75), G Evans
Referee: Dean Richards (RFU)