Kings Norton 12 Alcester 3
Midlands Four West (South)
KINGS NORTON enjoyed some welcome relief in what has been a difficult campaign so far as two tries in the final quarter of the game secured victory over a frustrated Alcester at Hopwood Park on Saturday.
This second win of the league season lifted Kings above local rivals Redditch into eighth place and within two points of Alcester, who are seventh and two points better off.
On a damp and greasy afternoon at Ash Lane, a tight encounter ensued and the visitors led until the final quarter of the game thanks to fly half Jamie Randall’s first half penalty kick.
Alcester kicked off with the wind at their backs and pinned Kings in their own half for around 20 minutes by running the ball at every opportunity and midway through this sustained period of pressure the visitors scored the only points of the opening half after the penalty was awarded for holding on.
In such conditions, running rugby was always going to be difficult, but from the hosts’ perspective they were at least able to use their forward power to deny much ball for Alcester’s faster back division which threatened but was unable to cross the Kings line due to either handling errors from a slippy ball or stout defending by the home side.
Alcester did have another penalty which they missed and Kings missed their only penalty when the ball hit an upright five minutes before the interval.
As the game wore on, Alcester were unable to contain the pack that were operating two divisions above them last season and the home side took the lead from a rolling maul courtesy of their forwards, before they made the game safe with a second try from a short range scrum late on.
Jay Rawlings touched down for the first try which Kings captain Shane Reeds converted and then with ten minutes remaining a similar situation saw the skipper dive over himself as the ball squirted back, although this time his conversion flew just wide.
Alcester will aim to bounce back this Saturday, but they face a stern test as they host unbeaten league leaders and old adversaries from Nuneaton, Manor Park.
Kings are on the road at Atherstone, who have just one win to their name from six matches.