Redditch 14 Harbury 14
Midlands Four West (South)
REDDITCH were denied a valuable victory on Saturday as their south Warwickshire visitors rescued a share of the spoils through a penalty with the final kick of the game.
It was a kick in the teeth for the Kingfishers, who by that time should have had the four points sewn up, but in a match of dubious decisions from all involved they struggled to take advantage of their overall dominance.
Harbury opened the scoring with a penalty kick, but Redditch upped the tempo and began to assert their authority on a game that was already looking scrappy in the slippy and windy conditions.
Following a storming 60m run from Barry Foster-Smith, Redditch were camped in the Harbury red zone. Player-coach Simon Fitzpatrick was denied a try on the line but, from the ensuing scrum, Jack Duffy was illegally prevented from scoring and a penalty try was awarded, converted by Sam Gladwin.
Redditch took their foot off the gas for a spell which allowed Harbury back into the game and another penalty kick made the score 7-6.
However, slowly Redditch built the pressure until they were again deep into Harbury territory but now playing against 14 men as a yellow card had been shown to a visiting forward for foul play.
Again from the scrum, Duffy picked up and drove forward, and this time he was ably supported by skipper Gareth Davies who scored before Gladwin again added the extras to give the hosts a 14-6 half time lead.
The second half was not a memorable one as handling errors and poor decisions from both sides blighted the match and in many people’s eyes the referee also did not enjoy his best day.
On the occasions Redditch did move the ball wide they looked very threatening, but it was too little too infrequently and they were unable to increase their lead.
Although the home defence was pretty sound, Harbury did manage to break through after a concerted period of pressure for a try that went unconverted.
The final few minutes were a very nervous affair for home fans and players alike as what had looked like a comfortable victory was in danger of becoming a defeat.
As it was, the match ended all square and man of the match for a disappointed Redditch was Matt Allen who had a solid game at wing forward with some important tackling and strong carries.
Redditch, who are still looking nervously over their shoulders, are without a league game this weekend. When they do return to league action, matches against Keresley and Kings Norton will go a long way towards defining their season.