Redditch 5 Alcester 34
ALCESTER ran in six tries to emerge victorious in Saturday’s pre-season encounter between these two local rivals who once again competed for the Firefighters’ Trophy.
Midlands Four West (South) outfit Redditch opened the scoring through winger Harvey Habgood who touched down in the corner to complete a well worked team move, but that was to be their only points of the game.
After suffering from a shoulder injury unrelated to rugby, Lewis Walker proved he had not been deterred when he drew Alcester, promoted to Midlands Three West (South), level.
Alcester’s Mat Ashby was then held up just short of the line before moments later Walker made it over the whitewash, only for the ball to be knocked on in the process.
Alcester’s attacking efforts were rewarded when Ben Hope scored at the end of the first quarter to put the visitors 10-5 up.
Redditch came back fighting in the second quarter but Alcester showed good defence to prevent the Bromsgrove Road side from making any progress.
Alcester youngster Cian Allen demonstrated good pace, strength and the future talent he could bring to the side in seasons to come when he made a break down the wing, but he too dropped the ball forward in contact.
Alcester’s good set of hands through the pack was constantly let down by one poor pass and some handling errors in the crucial moments, although number 8 Mika Pieri demonstrated his infamous powerful hand-off, beating a couple of defenders before offloading to new-boy Dan Marcus to score his first try for the club which Max Biltcliffe converted to put Alcester 17-5 ahead at half time.
Despite earlier handling errors, Alcester managed to move the ball swiftly through the back line on one second half occasion and into the hands of Pieri to score, but the ‘try’ was disallowed by a controversial refereeing decision which deemed there to have been a forward pass in the build-up.
Winger Oli Morrison scored Alcester’s fourth try to bring the score to 22-5 at the end of the third quarter and Biltcliffe was next to add to the points tally by fooling the defence with a dummy pass and scoring between the posts before converting his own try.
Jamie Harland scored the last try of the match before Marcus became the fourth kicker of the day to try his hand at converting, but he slotted his attempt wide.
On Saturday Alcester visit Southam in the first round of the Warwickshire Shield, whilst Alcester 2nds play their first game in the new WRFU Merit League Three when they host Old Laurentians.