Birmingham Civil Service 22 Alcester 34
Midlands Four West (South)
ALCESTER continued their fine start to the league season with their second bonus point win in a row on Saturday.
Without back row stalwart Phil Birks, Fijian number 8 Meka Pieri stepped up for his first game of the season for Alcester and collected the man of the match award along with two crucial tries.
The home side started much the better with an early penalty followed by the first try of the game to lead 10-0 after the first quarter.
Alcester were far from their best and appeared to be struggling again against the team that pipped them to the league title in Midlands Five West (South) last season and who were the only side to beat them in the last league campaign.
Early substitutions saw Pieri come on for Matt Alderman and Geraint Hill replace Jason Richings who was struggling with an injury, but the changes made an immediate impact as they added aggression and pace to the team.
Back row forward Jamie Clarke charged through to close the gap with a try which was converted and within a few minutes Alcester were ahead when winger Jake Grainger sped in at the corner to make it 12-10.
Poor discipline from Alcester allowed Civil Service back into the match with two converted penalties to put the home side 16-12 up at half time.
Another penalty saw the home team stretch their lead before Alcester speedster Alex Chiles crossed to close the gap to 19-17 and Pieri then grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with two fine tries in ten minutes to put his team ahead and they never looked back, despite another penalty for Civil Service.
Flanker Ben Hope added a fifth try which he converted himself to secure the win, complete with another bonus point.
Alcester’s next league match is the visit of Claverdon on October 10, but before that they are due to entertain Warley in a friendly this weekend.
Alcester 2nds 19 Kidderminster Carolians 2nds 36
ALCESTER 2nds hosted a strong Kidderminster development squad and gave their best performance of the season so far in running their visitors close.
Kidderminster’s 1st XV operate two levels higher than Alcester’s in the league structure and have started well this season, so this was testament to skipper Rupe Daffern’s hard work in being able to get a side out to compete in a fixture that could arguably have been a 1st XV game.
Alcester were able to call on their strongest 2nd XV of the season to date, with Phil Birks unable to travel for 1st XV action but available for this fixture, whilst the experienced duo of Scott Carmichael and Tom Heneghan featured for the first time this season.
It was the fitter visiting side though who dominated the opening half and ran in four unanswered tries for a 22-0 half time lead.
Fearing another heavy defeat, Alcester really upped their game in the second half and outscored the visitors by three tries to two, as Alcester’s tries came from Ollie Morrison, Elliott Evans and Sam Fell, with Matt Ashby adding two conversions.
Alcester 2nds travel to local rivals Claverdon this weekend.
ALCESTER U16s suffered a 41-5 defeat at Kenilworth on Sunday as they were unable to follow up the previous week’s superb start to the season and their convincing win over Pinley, finding Kenilworth a much tougher proposition.
They did not start well and were three tries and 19 points down inside the first quarter of the game, but they steadied in the remainder of the first half and came closest to scoring when Kody Turner was only thwarted by a well-timed tackle by the home full back.
The second half proved to be a much closer affair as Alcester competed from the kick-off but the competitive nature of the game proved costly to both sides.
Injuries to Adam Currien, Steven Coe, Reiss Bassett and Harry Adams saw the Alcester squad stretched to capacity and meant Matty Stone, who was already carrying a knee injury, had to fill in.
This also meant some players playing in unfamiliar roles such as Sam Sullivan (winger) and Billy Spires-White (centre) but this did not detract from the game. Kenilworth did not escape the injury blight, losing their No 10 with what looked like a serious knee injury.
Alcester continued to battle and, despite conceding another four tries, they never gave up and in testament to their never-say-die attitude they finally managed to cross the line.
The forward pack moved play deep within the opposition 22 and from the base of a well formed ruck Kyle Turner picked up and drew the defence before offloading to his brother and man of the match Kody, who despite close attention stretched over the line to score his first Alcester try.