Redditch 10 Claverdon 24
Midlands Four West (South)
PROMOTION hopefuls Claverdon were the more clinical of the two teams and deservedly took the spoils on Saturday despite a fairly even encounter at Bromsgrove Road.
Redditch still showed they have plenty of muscle with long periods of possession, but ultimately just lacked an attacking edge to convert pressure into points.
The Kingfishers began brightly with plenty of ball, but it was not long before the impressive Claverdon defence pounced with a quick turnover in midfield. The ball was hacked on and a swarm of Claverdon players made it to the ball first for the opening try.
The visitors doubled their advantage shortly afterwards thanks to a defence-splitting run from their large outside centre and it could have been worse for Redditch as Joshua Holt made a tackle in the try area which led to the Claverdon winger knocking on despite having already crossed the line.
Redditch tightened their ranks in defence and managed to apply pressure of their own. The scrummaging and lineouts were working well and Holt managed to convert some of the pressure into three points.
Redditch had their best period at the start of the second half. Claverdon defended valiantly for a long period as nearly every team member tried to drive themselves over the whitewash and eventually Ben Stanyard took it upon himself to take a quick tap penalty and crash over from five metres out to bring Redditch back to within seven points.
This seemed to wake Claverdon up and they came back at Redditch strongly. Redditch defended well themselves and only conceded at the end of a ten-minute period when they were down to 14.
The Claverdon fly half copied the Redditch score by tapping himself at short range and crashing over between the posts.
Redditch tried hard in the last 15 minutes to get back to within bonus point territory, but Claverdon managed to snuff out the attacks across the park and keep alive their slim hopes of a top two finish.
Mid-table Redditch return to action at Coventrians on March 21.