Bishops Castle & Onny Valley 15 Redditch 10
Midlands Five West (South)
SECOND-PLACED Redditch saw their advantage over third-placed Chaddesley Corbett cut to two points as they were beaten by a determined home side who showed just why their league position is an unfortunate one.
They may have been in the lower reaches of the league, but Bishops Castle’s results told a different story as they do not like conceding points. In fact they had conceded 41 points less than Redditch and many games they had lost were by just the odd score.
The Shropshire side were not to be underestimated but that is exactly what Redditch seemed to do as a lethargy enveloped the side. Their urgency of previous weeks had been left behind and the visitors were ultimately frustrated by an extremely well-drilled home defence which would not yield easily.
An early series of penalties allowed Redditch to chip away at the territory but the key lineout was lost, all the ground gained was conceded and the home scored an unconverted try.
Redditch replied with a penalty kick through Will Spires and Dan Lenham had a solid half driving forward but was injured off the field by the break.
Scrum-half James Mills did his best to rally the troops, showing many how tackling should be done, but still the home side held firm.
Redditch struggled to find the key to unlocking the hosts’ defensive formation. When it was fractured play, Redditch saw some daylight but once the game settled the shutters were drawn up once more and frustration began to creep into the Kingfishers’ game.
A penalty and converted try extended the lead for the home side until Redditch eventually woke up to the fact they were losing.
Some changes in personnel and positions livened their game up and Matt Allen scored a typical barging try converted by Will Heath.
Despite being second best for much of the game, Redditch had a chance to steal it at the death but the last pass would not go to hand and the opportunity was lost.
On the positive side for Redditch, Jack Shelton showed a lot of promise in attack and defence and was named their man of the match.
Redditch visit Hereford side Greyhound on Saturday for a fixture which promises to be just as difficult.