Cambridge remain in pole position after scintillating win

Redruth v Clifton
Redruth continued their excellent recent form with a win over Clifton
©Daniel Barbary

At this stage of the season, it is only natural for teams with something to play for to feel nerves creeping into their performances. However, that did not apply to National Two South leaders Cambridge on Saturday.

They demolished bottom club Launceston at Volac Park to stay five points clear at the top of National Two South with four games left to play while their title rivals the Old Albanian got their job done efficiently against Worthing Raiders.

Also in the top half, Redruth remain in the top four and the Redingensians continued their sensational recent form with victory away at Bury St Edmunds.

Down at the bottom, Dorking picked up a vitally important win over relegation rivals Southend Saxons while there were also crucial victories for Canterbury and Chinnor.

Cambridge 109-0 Launceston

Cambridge maintained their five point lead at the top of National Two South and did so in style as they ran in a staggering 17 tries to defeat bottom club Launceston at Volac Park.

The league leaders dominated as they scored 12 tries in the first period with winger Michael Ayrton scoring four and full-back James Stokes claiming a hat-trick. Centre Albert Portsmouth ran in a brace while Gerhard Boshoff, Louis Rawlings and James Ayrton all scored a try apiece.

Gareth Baxter, Lawrence Hutchinson, Portsmouth and replacement Jack Green added further tries after the break before Michael Ayrton scored his fifth try of the afternoon to complete the rout for Cambridge.

The visitors, who are already relegated, fell to their 25th defeat in 26 games this season and didn’t present a challenge for Cambridge whose title challenge is still on course with four matches left to play of the season.

Old Albanian 27-3 Worthing Raiders

The Old Albanian made it five wins in a row as they continue to hunt down Cambridge in the title race after this victory over Worthing Raiders.

The second placed side opened up a 14-point lead early in the second half after tries from Matthew Gallagher, James Spiers and Johannes Lombaard.

Worthing’s points came on the 20 minute mark via the boot of George Montgomery and despite the OA’s being reduced to 14 men on two occasions during this contest, the Raiders couldn’t add to their total during the afternoon.

Instead, the home side strolled to victory as William Johnson and Spiers again touched down to keep the OA’s on the coattails of Cambridge with just four weeks left of the season.

As for Worthing, they are now 13th in the table and sit just four points clear of the relegation zone after two wins from their last six games.

Bishops Stortford 43-10 Barnes

Bishops Stortford picked up their 12th home win over the season thanks to a comfortable victory over Barnes at Silver Leys.

Stortford, who sit third in the table, had too much for Barnes as the home side scored seven tries on their way to their third straight win.

William Roberts and Jonathan Neville both scored braces, with Sean Edwards, Thomas Banks and James Rae also touching down.

Barnes’ points all came in the first half thanks to a try from Daniel Holmes and five points from the boot of Tom O’Toole.

Stortford remain 12 points behind the Old Albanian while Barnes stay in the top six after only their third defeat in 11 matches.

Redruth 27-16 Clifton

Redruth battled hard to secure their 19th win of the season as they fought off the challenge of Clifton at the Recreation Ground.

A try from Kyle Marriott gave The Reds an early lead, but two James MacKay penalties for Clifton made it 8-6 at the break.

After half-time, Clifton added another MacKay penalty to take the lead, but that was short lived as a score from replacement Hugo Culverhouse and a Penalty Try put the home side back in front.

Clifton replied with their first try of the game as William Pomphrey crossed 10 minutes from the end, but a minute later, Samual Stevens dotted down for Redruth to seal their seventh win from their last eight games as they remain in the top four.

Canterbury 25-21 Taunton Titans

Canterbury are now eight points clear of the relegation after narrowly beating Taunton Titans in an exciting encounter.

Back to back wins for the City Men has put them in a superb position to avoid the drop while Taunton’s season continues to go out on limb.

First half tries from Thomas Burnes and Thomas Best as well as a penalty from Best wasn’t enough to give the home side the lead at the break as two Gary Kingdom penalties and scores from Jonathan Hole and Dan Frost put Taunton 13-18 up at the interval.

Best was in the points again just after the hour as he levelled things up with his second try of the afternoon, but that didn’t last long as Kingdom landed his third penalty three minutes later to restore Taunton’s lead.

But the telling moment in the game came 10 minutes from the end as replacement Cameron Townley darted over to give Canterbury the lead and ultimately clinch them the win.

Bury St Edmunds 28-31 Redingensians

The Redingensians survived a late fightback from Bury St Edmunds to seal their seventh victory in a row.

Trailing by 24 points with 15 minutes to go, Bury responded with a Penalty Try as well as scores from Mark Kidson and William Affleck to add to Samuel Sterling’s first-half touchdown.

But tries from George Drury, Conor Corrigan, Robbie Stapley and Tom Vooght as well as 11 points via the boot of fly-half Michael Chandler made it seven wins in a row for the Redingensians who are now up to seventh in the table after promotion into this division last season.

Despite their stirring fightback, Bury’s four game winning run came to an end, but they remain 10 points clear of the drop with four games left of the campaign.

Chinnor 39-31 Old Elthamians

Chinnor moved eight points clear of the relegation zone with victory over the Old Elthamians.

Samuel Angell converted his own try before Oliver Vidgeon’s try drew the OE’s level.

Chinnor’s Jonathan Phipps, Oscar Heath and Alaifatu Fatialofa sealed the bonus point for the home side before Neil Dewale crossed for the OE’s on the stroke of half-time to make it 31-14 at the break.

Henry Lamont added a fifth try for Chinnor before the OE’s replied through Craig Dowsett and a Penalty Try.

With 10 points separating the two sides, Angell nudged over his first penalty of the day three minutes from the end before Matthew Bresson completed proceedings by dotting down the Old Elthamians’ fifth score of this contest.

Dorking 39-26 Southend Saxons

Dorking picked up a crucial win in their battle against the drop as they moved to within four points of safety thanks to victory over relegation rivals Southend Saxons.

A double from Ryan Jeffrey helped Dorking into an 18-5 half-time, with Iain Meads replying for Southend.

Benjamin Marfo touched down after the break for Dorking before George Jackson secured the bonus point after a Penalty Try was awarded to Southend.

Cameron Pimlow extended Dorking’s lead while tries from Mark Billings and Marcus Bloomberg earned the visitors a bonus point.

Dorking took advantage of Worthing’s defeat to the Old Albanian to move closer to safety while Southend are nine points further back after this damaging defeat.

National League Rugby