Cheltenham North 8 Woodrush 11
Midlands Three West (South)
THIS match on Saturday proved to be a pretty turgid post-Christmas affair but nonetheless it was a valuable win on the road at a ground where Woodrush have had little success over the years.
Cheltenham sent Woodrush crashing down to Midlands Four West (South) at the end of the 2012/13 season, so this was a sweet response from the boys from Icknield Street and completed the double for the season over the men from Gloucestershire.
The win allowed Woodrush to move within a point of leaders Dunlop, who were beaten 20-19 by visitors Bedworth, who are third and a point and position below Woodrush.
Josh Tomlinson opened the visitors’ account after just one minute with three points from the boot, but North replied with a well worked try after 12 minutes which gave the home side the edge.
A try wide out from coach Jon Ford nudged Woodrush back into the lead on 15 minutes but, try as both sides might to play with some pattern, the game was constantly broken up by the whistle and the score remained the same until the home side managed to slot over a penalty ten minutes into the second half to level the score at 8-8.
Woodrush managed another penalty from Tomlinson two minutes later but the only real talking point from here on in was how on earth the game merited five yellow cards – three for the Rush in the shape of Marcus Tomlinson, Ford and Luke Russell – when there appeared to be nothing of any particular malevolence going on between the two sides.
Saturday’s home fixture against fourth placed Pershore is another vital game for the men in green if they are to stay in contention in what is turning out to be a brilliantly entertaining shoot-out for the top two slots.