Redditch 31 Claverdon 8
Midlands Four West (South)
REDDITCH secured their league survival in style and ended as high as sixth thanks to an impressive final day win over third placed Claverdon.
As it was, results elsewhere meant the Kingfishers would have survived regardless of their own efforts, but this was nevertheless a good way to the end the campaign.
Head coach James Shotbolt wanted maximum effort from his Redditch side to ensure they were not relying on favours elsewhere and he certainly got it as the hosts started very brightly and launched wave after wave of attack, which was rewarded by a successful penalty from man of the match Bryn Williams to make it 3-0.
Good defensive work from Claverdon held Redditch at bay for some time but, when number eight Nathan Marthews went over, things looked positive for Redditch and Williams converted to make it 10-0.
The outstanding Will Heath then sent a crossfield kick into the hands of captain Mark Green to score, which was shortly followed by another try by Matt Allen as the hosts reached half time with a 20-3 lead.
After a few substitutions at half time, fresh legs helped Redditch to continue their domination, but Claverdon did not lie down and attacked from every angle to keep Redditch on their toes.
Two more penalties from the boot of Williams allowed Redditch to open up a considerable lead going into the final quarter before a final try from back row Phil Goddard sealed a bonus point win which ensured the Kingfishers finished two places and two points ahead of local rivals Alcester.
After the game Redditch said goodbye to club legends Simon Fitzpatrick and Paul Green who had played their last ever first team home game. The duo have played for the club for many years and all members of the team and club want to thank them for their hard work and dedication over those years.
Redditch continue to train in the coming weeks as, after this weekend’s tour to Newquay, they are hosting touring side Northolt of north west London on April 30.
Redditch will be playing in the North Midlands Vase final on May 8 (11.15am) against either Bredon Star or Aston Old Edwardians at Dudley Kingswinford RFC. Coach and tickets are available from Redditch RFC.