Wadebridge Camels 45, Sidmouth 5
MATT Ballard scored four tries as the Camels made an excellent return after a three-week break from action by sweeping aside lowly Sidmouth at Molesworth Field, writes Nigel Walrond.
It was a vital bonus-point win as Bideford, the team the Camels need to climb above to get out of relegation trouble, also won at home to Clevedon.
They are now two points behind the north Devon outfit, but having played two games more.
Clevedon have also been dragged into the mix by that defeat though, and are now within seven points of the Camels, but on the same number of games as the Cornishmen.
Camels' director of rugby David Elston said: "It was a solid performance for 60 minutes but we lost shape at the end.
"We gave senior debuts to Harry Baker and Seb Purvis, while Shaun Hawkey returned, having not played for us for the last two seasons."
The return of former Cornwall scrum half Hawkey is a big boost to the Camels, as his experience will prove invaluable in the crucial run-in to the end of the season.
The Camels suffered an injury blow when an accidental clash of heads with a team-mate in a tackle saw blindside flanker Ben Collings, who recently returned to the club from Launceston, forced to go off.
They also lost hooker Ballard midway through the second half to a blood injury, but not before he had bagged four touchdowns.
The Camels ran in seven tries in a game well refereed by Simon Lord, with four of them coming in the first half.
Cornwall Under-20 lock Baker celebrated his debut with the game's opening try, converted by James Grubb, before Ballard added three touchdowns, with one on the half-hour mark and two more in first-half injury time, with Grubb converting two of them for a 26-0 interval lead.
Ballard grabbed his fourth try early in the second half, while further touchdowns were provided by centre Mark Kempthorne and veteran former Cornwall county lock Julian Wilce with a pushover score, with Grubb adding the extras to two of them.
Sidmouth's only score came in the second half with a try by lock Gavin Pearson, but full-back Dan Retter missed the conversion.
Camels will be hoping to build on this victory when they face a tough trip to third-place Weston-super-Mare-based Hornets on Saturday.
Wadebridge: Jake Grubb, Angwin, James Grubb, Kempthorne, D Hawkey, Purvis, Shaun Hawkey, Treleaven, Ballard, Burnard, Baker, Wilce, B Collings, M Grubb, Gynn (capt). Reps all used: Cullis, R Johns, J Tarby.
Scorers: Wadebridge: Tries: Baker, Ballard (4), Kempthorne, Wilce; Cons: James Grubb (5). Sidmouth: Try: Pearson.