Alcester 31 Burbage 24
Midlands Three West (South)
ALCESTER registered their first win of the league campaign at the fourth attempt and did so in style with a bonus point victory over their Leicestershire visitors.
Burbage remain with just a point to their name but the Kings Coughton side now have eight as they moved within a win of three sides above them heading into Saturday’s trip to Coventry Welsh, who sit pointless at the foot of the table.
The hosts started brightly playing up the slope and soon demonstrated their best rugby of the game.
They quickly gained the ascendancy when Ed Gough slotted over a penalty after Burbage were penalised for being offside and Gough doubled the score ten minutes later with another successful kick.
The opposition then started to get into game by using their large pack to sustain periods of pressure and Burbage took the lead courtesy of their number eight who crashed over the line and the score was converted.
They had the opportunity to extend their lead on the half-hour mark with a penalty but the kick sailed wide.
Mistakes from Alcester allowed Burbage to advance further and the home side elected to run from their own 22 instead of clearing the ball downfield. The ball was turned over from a ruck and the opposing scrum half scored.
The last few minutes of the first half were busy as Matt Johnson charged down a Burbage kick and won the chase to the ball to ground it over the line to score Alcester’s first try.
However, there was still time for the opposition to play back downfield and they extended their lead with another try just before half-time to head into the break with a 21-11 advantage.
Alcester staged their comeback in the second half and were able to close the gap with another successful penalty kick before the game became scrappy for the next quarter of an hour.
However, Alcester were able to rally and scored twice in quick succession as firstly Josh O’Connor made a break and fed the ball to Jamie Harland for the inside centre to add to his growing try tally.
Straight from the kick-off Lewis Walker went down the pitch to put Alcester ahead and Burbage were then reduced to 14 men when a yellow card was brandished for a purposeful trip, but Alcester did not take advantage of their extra man.
When back to a full complement, Burbage forced a penalty and levelled the score but Alcester’s hero Harland was back at what he does best, dodging out of tackles and scoring his side’s bonus point try.
Gough added the conversion and sealed the win for Alcester.