Trinity Guild 5 Alcester 32
Midlands Five West (South)
ALCESTER recorded their sixth league win in a row on Saturday to consolidate second place and keep up the pursuit of leaders Birmingham Civil Service, who are the only side to have beaten them in league rugby this season.
After a slow start in this game, Alcester ran in six tries and returned from Coventry with a comfortable, bonus point victory.
Changes to the pack saw veteran Dave Marriott replace teenager Zacc Cutting in the front row and Louis Smith return to the second row, whilst in the centres Jamie Clarke was back after a month out due to work commitments.
It was the home side who started the better, led by their impressive half backs and a pack that dominated early on, and only Alcester’s determined defence kept the score level as Ben Hope and George Green led the rearguard action.
Gradually Alcester came back into the game as Ryan Clark stretched the home defence with his exciting line breaks, although it was his talismanic captain Jack Green who opened the scoring by crashing through, against the run of play, for the first try of the game.
When Clark sprinted through to score Alcester’s second try, the game changed as Alcester gained control which they would hold on to throughout the rest of the match.
Phil Birks came on into the back row as an early substitute and his physicality reinforced his team’s dominance. Further tries from Louis Smith, Jack Green and a contender for try of the season from full back Tom Pedley gave Alcester an emphatic 27-0 lead at half time, after Glyn Smith had converted one of the scores.
The second half saw Alcester’s pack take total control and produce their best set piece performance for a long time. Jason Richings was outstanding and named man of the match as the Alcester scrum marched forward time and time again.
It was off the back of one of those forward drives that scrum half Sam Smith picked up for a straightforward score but that was Alcester’s only try in a second half in which they rarely had to move out of third gear.
The home side did cross the line once for a consolation score late on but this was as emphatic as it gets for an Alcester team travelling to Coventry, where over the years away wins have often proven all too rare.
Alcester’s final league game this year is the visit of third placed Wellesbourne to Kings Coughton on December 20.