24th Jan, 2019

Alcester face losing skipper Birks for opening game of 2019

Editorial Correspondent 3rd Jan, 2019 Updated: 9th Jan, 2019

ALCESTER return to action on Saturday when they travel to Coventry Welsh in Midlands Three West (South).

Alcester lie seventh in the table, three places and 16 points better off than their hosts who are based in Holbrooks in Coventry.

The Second XV also travel to face Bromsgrove Veterans. Both kick offs are 2.15pm.

The Red and Blacks kept busy over the festive period with a 38-11win at home to  Old Yardelians in  an A team fixture.

Veteran hooker Adrian “Dexie” Derrick returned to action after a long injury lay off, but actually ended up turning out for the visitors who arrived short of front row cover. Nevertheless, it was great to see him back on the field and hopefully have him available for the remainder of this season’s campaign.

The home side dominated the first half and led 26-0 at the break thanks to two tries from Glyn Smith and one each from Antony Cauvin and Shaun Nash. Smith converted three of the tries.

In the second half Alcester lost club captain Phill Birks to a rib injury and following his departure Old Yards came back into the game and scored two tries and one conversion.

Birks is now a doubt for his side’s next game, which is a huge blow to Alcester’s aims of recording a fifth successive win as he has been instrumental in the good run of form in recent weeks.

The home side scored two more tries of their own to reassert their authority on the game, with Louis Smith and a guest player from Old Yardleians both crossing the line with Smith adding another conversion.

A few days earlier, Alcester hosted their annual Boxing Day fixture where the Chairman’s team, captained by Sam Fell, outscored the President’s XV, led by Birks, 46-36.

The President’s side raced into an early lead and actually led 31-12 at the break, but with the benefit of the slope in the second half, and after the traditional half-time refreshment of a glass of port, the Chairman’s side took control.

Lewis Walker marked his recent return to action with a hat-trick of tries for the Chairman’s side whilst Alex Chiles made his first appearance since the start of the season, having finally shrugged off a troublesome ankle injury.

Will Silk and Jake Watts both returned to the game after coming home for Christmas from their time living and working abroad, whilst veterans Darren Gwillym and Stu Phillips, club director of rugby, both put their boots back on and made significant contributions to the game, with Gwillym running in one of the scores for the President’s side.

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