Kings Norton 12 Upton-on-Severn 29
Midlands Four West (South)
INJURIES and unavailability once again left Kings having to field a much-changed team for Saturday’s fixture against promotion-chasing Upton, but the makeshift home side did put up a decent showing in difficult circumstances.
The home side began brightly but were soon defending deep in their own half from where Upton’s forwards forced their way through and opened their account after eight minutes with a converted try.
Kings’ forwards soon forced their way into their visitors’ half as they enjoyed a good spell until Upton eventually broke out.
However, home winger Pete Crompton collected a clearance kick to return the ball with interest. Kings’ forwards followed this up, forcing Upton to defend stoutly, but they eventually conceded a penalty for holding on and the home pack drove the resulting scrum forward for a pushover try as Sam Back, Alex Stylianou and Shane Rees all claimed the score.
The game was played in good spirit as Upton’s lively backs became a constant danger, but Kings defended and counter-attacked well, only to concede two more converted tries to end the half with a 14-point deficit 21-7 down.
During the break Kings reorganised their pack and shuffled their defensive options, resulting in a much better second period with plenty of possession.
The Upton attacks often came to nothing as they found the home side determined to attack and close them down for long periods.
Forwards Richard Revell, Ben Boyce and Chris Hands all worked hard with good support but Upton’s speedy runners proved the difference as Kings gave an easy penalty away in front of their posts which was converted before the visitors won a scrum to spin the ball along their backs and score a final try out wide.
Kings pushed hard in the final ten minutes and gained a second pushover try through Revell to end the game on a positive note.
Next up Kings face a crucial visit to nearby Alcester on Saturday as both sides look to move clear of danger, after which they host Rugeley in the third round of the Midlands Junior Vase under the Hopwood Park floodlights on Wednesday (8pm).