St Just 39, Redruth Albany 5
THE Saints ended 2013 in fine style running in seven tries against Albany in testing conditions.
St Just started well and took the lead after two minutes when winger Josh Richards showed good footwork to beat his opposite man and score. Richards scored again shortly after, rolling out of Albany's tackle attempts to score out wide after good hands from the Tigers' back-line.
After 15 minutes Richards was in the thick of the action again, Lock Sam Marment drawing the defence and off-loading to Richards who raced 50 metres before being brought down with a last ditch tackle just short of the line, scrum half James Maddern was first on the scene and added St Just's third try from close range.
Despite the visitors' best attempts they couldn't contain the Tigers and conceded again on the half-hour mark. After hooker Paul Stevens rumbled 40 yards up-field, the ball was spun wide, with Asher Richards releasing winger Dan Batten who sped around the outside and scored in under the posts. Fly half Simon Barnes landing the conversion despite the strong wind.
Three minutes before the interval Barnes added the hosts fifth try, spotting a gap and racing in from 20 metres to make it 27-0 at the half.
Despite the scoreline Albany showed great spirit in the second half and put together some good phases of rugby, but the Tigers defence held firm, and after 55 minutes a long pass was intercepted by Batten who raced in under the posts from 60 metres, full back Steve Walsh converting.
Five minutes later St Just scored again, Marment ripping the ball from an Albany maul and touching down out wide. Albany responded well, and looked to run from anywhere on the pitch.
St Just defended well, with centres Danny Robins and Nick Usher showing up well, but five minutes from time Albany scored a deserved consolation try after some good pick and driving from their pack.
St Just will hope to carry this form into the New Year as they look to secure second place in the league.
St Just: L Douglas, P Stevens, Prowse, Marment, D Stevens, Lea, Oats, A Richards, Maddern, Barnes, Batten, Robins, Usher, J Richards, Walsh. Replacements: P Douglas, Odendaal, Collins, Dove, Cock.
St Just return to league action on Saturday January 4, but will be hosting a match on Boxing Day when the Over 30s take on the Under 30s. All welcome, and those interested in a game are asked to bring their boots along.