Shipston 20 Alcester 14
Midlands Three West (South)
ALCESTER remain firmly entrenched in fifth place with just two matches remaining after a narrow defeat in south Warwickshire on Saturday.
The men from Kings Coughton were disrupted by early injuries and fell behind to a penalty kick in the opening stages.
The first of Alcester’s injuries came to Jack Kendall who received a nasty cut to his head which required six stitches and Phil Birks was next to leave the field with a dead leg but was later able to return to the pitch.
Alcester were also missing Lee Avery-Sherwood who was resting a head injury from the previous game but, despite the injuries, Alcester were able to maintain a period of sustained pressure but were unable to translate this into points.
The Red & Blacks came close when Max Biltcliffe executed an accurate cross-field kick but the ball was not collected cleanly.
An altercation between a group of players distracted Alcester from play, allowing Shipston to exploit the broken defence and score a try which extended their lead on the stroke of half-time.
Jack Horton scored the first try of the second half and Biltcliffe successfully converted to take Alcester within three points of their opponents but Shipston scored again and, despite man of the match Matt Johnson scoring another try for Alcester, the home side claimed victory.
Coach Keith Beech was adamant the injuries were the only thing stopping Alcester from coming out of the fixture victorious as Alcester’s previous winning performance against leaders Rugby St Andrews proved they are capable of beating loftier opposition.
Alcester, who took a losing bonus point from the game, host Upton on Saturday.
Alcester’s second team also lost to Shipston as they went down 31-10.
Kyran Flynn and Alex Chiles scored Alcester’s points and Matt Johnson’s younger brother Ed was named man of the match.
The second team travel to AEI Rugby on Saturday.