Pinley 64 Alcester 5
Midlands Three West (South)
SATURDAY’S visit to Coventry will quickly go down as a day to forget for Alcester who were comprehensively beaten by a typically physical and feisty Pinley side.
The writing was on the wall early on for Alcester as Pinley scored twice in the opening quarter to lead 12-0 and the visitors suffered an injury blow with full-back Jamie Harland limping off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Chris Howell.
The game was over as contest long before half-time when the hosts led 40-0.
Leaders Pinley outmuscled their visitors and scored repeatedly from the back of a scrum or a driving maul after a catch and drive at a lineout.
In the second half the home side scored first, but there was some respite from the home domination for the visitors when Simon Gardener crossed for Alcester, but it was no consolation.
Alcester were consistently missing tackles which allowed Pinley to advance and have clear breaks to the line with little defensive opposition.
Pinley ran in three more tries to leave a deflated Alcester side longing for the final whistle to arrive.
One bright spot on a disappointing day was the return of Ben Hope as a second half substitute after a long injury lay-off.
The Coventry side look destined for an immediate return to Midlands Two as they sit eight points clear at the top of the table with four matches remaining.
Eighth-placed Alcester host promotion hopefuls Shipston on Saturday.
Alcester 2nds 39 Pinley 2nds 34
A LAST-GASP try from man of the match Josh O’Connor ensured Alcester recorded a narrow win over their opponents from Coventry in one of the games of the season so far at Kings Coughton.
After an even opening quarter, Alcester scored three tries in five minutes. O’Connor opened the scoring with a try which came from a scrum midway inside the Pinley half and he was then instrumental in a brilliant second try.
After blasting through three attempted tackles on a 40m run, he was then finally snared by the full-back 20 metres from the line which allowed the visitors’ defence to recover. However, good support play and interchanges of passes through several Alcester hands set Luke Spencer free to the line.
Dom Evans crossed for his side’s third try shortly afterwards.
To their credit, Pinley regrouped and the rest of the half belonged to them as they ran in four scores.
Spencer was sin-binned for the incident which led to the last try before half-time as his high tackle near the line saw the award of a penalty try and brandishing of the yellow card by the referee.
With numbers restored and with the slope and wind at their back in the second half, Alcester fought back and tries from Lewis Hopkins, Neil Loy and Elliott Evans, with two Spencer conversions, kept Alcester in touch.
The visitors scored two further tries of their own, before O’Connor’s late match-winner snatched it for the home side.
Alcester U16s 27 Old Saltleians U16s 5
ALCESTER U16s put in a good performance on Sunday to beat their opponents from Birmingham.
The home side took the lead but their visitors soon levelled the score, however that would be their only points of the game.
Alcester soon shut up shop against Old Saltleians’ attacking line as they showed the defensive structure they have been concentrating on in training with the guidance of some first team senior players.
Alcester took a slender 10-5 lead into the break but motored on after half-time, scoring three more tries and a conversion to conclude a pleasing performance.