Alcester 31 Atherstone 7
Midlands Four West (South)
TEENAGER Alex Chiles was the hat-trick hero as Alcester claimed their opening win of the season at the first time of asking on Saturday with an excellent five-try, bonus point victory over their North Warwickshire opponents.
Left wing Chiles has now scored five tries in just two appearances so far this season and is clearly one to be watched at Kings Coughton.
Having been promoted at the end of last season, this was a tough looking opening fixture for Alcester against opponents who finished in the top half of the league last season and are always bolstered by an experienced and weighty pack on which their game is based.
Starting up the slope in the first half, Alcester scored the only points of a fairly even opening 40 minutes of few scoring chances when Chiles latched on to a kick through by fly half Sam Smith to cross the line and ensure his side led 5-0 at the break.
The second half started in a similar fashion, with the visitors having the edge up front but Alcester looking more dangerous out wide, although there were no further scores before the game sprung into life just before the hour mark.
A dog-legged home defence was ruthlessly exploited by one of the Atherstone centres, who raced in unchallenged for his side’s try which was converted to give the visitors the lead.
However, this score spurred Alcester into life and in a dominant final quarter of the game they ran in four more tries.
Chiles doubled his and his side’s try count with another well taken finish having reacted quickest to Sam Smith’s probing grubber kick through the visitors’ defence.
Moments later he completed his hat-trick when he intercepted an Atherstone back line move to sprint in for the score from just inside his own half and substitute Josh Godson converted.
Now ten points clear at 17-7, Alcester proceeded to play their best rugby of the game to make the game safe. Firstly skipper Jack Green literally smashed his way through the Atherstone defence – sending an opponent spiralling backwards at contact – which created space for scrum half Robbie Parker following up in support to dart in for his side’s fourth try which Godson converted.
Back rower Ben Hope scored the fifth and final try from the back of a solid scrum as he broke clear to force his way over and again Godson added the extras.
This was a good all-round team performance by Alcester’s young side, who showed great togetherness to come through in this one.
Up front man of the match Louis Smith at lock and back rower Phil Birks led the fronting up to the physical challenge of their more experienced opponents whilst out wide, in addition to hat-trick man Chiles, centre Lee Avery-Sherwood underlined again what a good acquisition he is proving to be for Alcester with a gritty performance in defence and attack.
The Kings Coughton men travel to Birmingham Civil Service on Saturday to face opponents who pipped them to the title in last season’s promotion-winning campaign.
Alcester 2nds were without a game and this weekend host Kidderminster Carolians 3rds.