Berkswell & Balsall 20 Alcester 8
Midlands Three West (South)
JAMES HIBBARD scored Alcester’s sole try as they were beaten in their opening league game of the season on Saturday.
Hibbard’s try was enough to put the visitors 5-3 up at half-time and they extended their lead to 8-3 through Max Biltcliffe’s penalty, but the home side were spurred on and scored two converted second half tries and a penalty kick to secure victory.
Alcester 2nds were beaten 49-12 by visitors Bedworth 3rds.
Facing stronger opposition for the second week running at Kings Coughton, injuries and unavailability robbed Alcester of several regulars including skipper Sam Fell, forcing them into putting out a side with several players playing out of position.
The visitors were without a 1st XV game and had several senior side players in their ranks, which showed in a one-sided first half which saw Alcester playing up the slope and against the wind as their opponents ran in five first half tries.
With the elements at their back in the second half, Alcester put up a good fight and enjoyed sustained periods of possession in Bedworth territory for the first time in the game.
Bedworth scored two further tries somewhat against the run of play, before Alcester got on the scoreboard, first of all through Rupert Daffern, quickly followed by skipper for the day Henry Jenkins who forced his way over through a pile of bodies. Scrum half Lewis Hopkins converted the second try.
The visitors reasserted their authority towards the end of the game to cross twice more and run out comprehensive winners.
Debutant Will Mitchell was named Alcester man of the match. Normally a flanker and having been out of the game for several seasons, he was asked to initially start at inside centre, before filling in at prop when an injury forced a reshuffle.
Alcester’s first team host Coventry Welsh on Saturday and the 2nds visit Harbury 2nds.