Alcester 50 Old Laurentians 13
ALCESTER took advantage of a break in league action to secure a morale-boosting win over Rugby outfit Old Laurentians.
Five of Alcester’s eight tries came from their centre partnership which has been prolific in the last few seasons, with Jamie Harland scoring his second hat-trick of the season and Jack Green adding a brace.
The visitors struck first with a try on seven minutes from a lineout catch and drive, but Alcester hit straight back when Harland dummied his way into space and to the try-line after a good run from fly-half Ed Gough who added the conversion.
The Rugby visitors regained the lead when the home defence strayed offside and the visitors ‘kicker slotted over the resulting penalty, but that was the final time Old Laurentians were in front as the home side took control of the game.
On 15 minutes Alcester scored again with Green running an incisive angle after a flowing move had set him free. Gough again converted.
Midway through the first half the home side increased their lead when a solid scrum set the platform for a move which saw wing Ollie Morrison score in the corner. Gough continued his fine form and added the extras.
The fourth Alcester try came on the half-hour mark when Harland spotted a big hole in the visitors’ defence to break the gain line and he then shrugged off several attempted tackles to cross for his second score.
Turning around 28-8 ahead at the break, it was not long before Alcester scored again, this time through full back Lewis Walker who joined the attacking line and raced in under the posts. Gough made it five out of five for conversions.
With their lineout functioning well for the first time in several weeks, Alcester were getting a regular flow of possession and Green was next to score, racing in from well inside his own half for his side’s sixth try.
With the backs dominating the scoresheet, last season’s player of the season Matt Ashby made sure the forwards contributed points to proceedings with a try, capping off another good performance.
The defensive effort was taking its toll on the visitors when they lost two players to injury in one incident, as defenders collided and had to leave the field. With their only other replacement used, they were forced to play the remainder of the game with 13 men, so Alcester dropped a player to at least try and keep it competitive.
The 13 men of Old Laurentians were galvanised and enjoyed their best period of the half with sustained pressure on the Alcester line, which saw the home side concede three penalties in quick succession and the referee send the perpetrator of the third one – flanker Ben Hope – to the sin-bin, so numbers were evened up for the few minutes of the game which remained.
The visitors crossed for their second try in the closing stages, before Alcester reached the half-century of points with the very last play of the game. Harland reacted quickest to a loose ball in midfield and kicked ahead, before winning the race to the ball near the line and picking up and diving over.
Alcester will be hoping to take this form into the resumption of league action and the visit of fellow strugglers Burbage for a first ever league meeting between the two sides. Kick-off at Kings Coughton on Saturday is 3pm for this Midlands Three West (South) fixture.
ALCESTER 2nds lost 17-7 to Old Laurentians 3rds, with Scott Carmichael scoring Alcester’s try.
Elsewhere, Alcester’s St Nicholas Primary School won Sunday’s West Warwickshire Tag festival at Alcester RFC, with Mappleborough Green Primary School finishing a close second.
Eight local teams competed in a round-robin format, braving the wet and muddy conditions to do so.