Coventry Welsh 36 Alcester 10
Midlands Three West (South)
THE NEW year got off to a disappointing start for mid-table Alcester as their four-match winning run was ended by lowly Coventry Welsh on Saturday.
Alcester looked a fraction of the team they have been in recent weeks. With key players missing and a post-Christmas slump clearly evident, they suffered defeat to a side they have consistently struggled against over the years.
The King’s Coughton men were without four of their regular starting pack including skipper Phil Birks who is out with a rib injury and full-back Jamie Clarke who broke his fibula in a friendly fixture over the festive period.
Alcester started brightly and scored early on with no sign of what was to come as Ross Gard put them ahead within a few minutes.
The home side came back into the game using their larger pack and scored their first try in the 25th minute and, from then on, Alcester went into their shell and already looked a beaten side.
Alcester would have been better advised to use their speed out wide but poor game management kept play tight and Coventry Welsh used their bigger forwards to better effect, with their tight head prop scoring two of their six tries.
Alcester seemed reluctant to tackle after Josh O’Connor was sin-binned after being adjudged to have made a dangerous tackle and the retaliation from this event saw a Coventry Welsh player receive a yellow card too.
By half-time the score was 14-5 but after the break the game continued in similar fashion. Despite another yellow card for the home side after their fly-half was penalised for not releasing in the tackle, Alcester were unable to capitalise on the extra man.
Alcester’s only bright spot in the second half was courtesy of Jack Green who scored his team’s second try but a lack of morale showed and poor defence saw the home side score four second half tries.
As the Standard went to press, Alcester were looking for a friendly fixture this weekend after original opponents Dunlop withdrew from the league, whilst the second team invite Shottery to King’s Coughton.