Woodrush 64 Ledbury 0
Midlands Three West (South)
WOODRUSH produced a highly impressive display as they thrashed their fellow mid-table side from Herefordshire on Saturday.
This was a rearranged game and this interminable winter was not going to let up for the return encounter against a Ledbury side who had the better of Rush in the first fixture much earlier in the season.
With no prospect of any rugby at Icknield Street owing to waterlogged pitches, Woodrush turned to neighbours Birmingham & Solihull who generously offered a pitch and the risk of a further postponement was averted.
The pitch in question has something of a slope on it but this was more than made up for by the firm footing and the visitors gamely elected to kick up the slope and into the wind in the first half.
After 15 minutes it was honours even as both sides tested the weather and pitch conditions with varying degrees of success.
With the slope at their back, the home team were enjoying more of the territorial advantage and a remarkable break by lock Jake Jones from just outside the visitors’ twenty-two saw him break three tackles and crash over between the posts for Steve Smart to slot over an easy conversion.
The next ten minutes saw the home side move up through the gears as every move ended up on the left-hand side of the pitch and each one resulted in a try for Jordan Maddocks who bagged possibly the quickest hat-trick in the club’s history which, at the tender age of just 17, is some achievement.
All were scored wide out but Smart slotted two out of the three and, with a bonus point in the bag after just 25 minutes, confidence among the men in green and white surged.
James Evans was a constant menace at outside centre and he broke clear on the half hour to score superbly and Tom Wagg completed the home side’s first half performance by touching down between the posts to leave the hosts 38 points to the good.
The home crowd were enjoying what they were watching but there was no complacency whatsoever as the slope plus the wind made the result no foregone conclusion.
Indeed, Ledbury had the better of the exchanges in the first ten minutes of the second half, threatening to balance the one-sided nature of the contest so far.
However, the away team’s resolve was broken with a quickfire brace of tries from Evans who sprinted clear on both occasions to score the second home hat-trick of the afternoon and end the game as a contest.
Lewis Lawlor added to a fine all-round performance with a 30m sprint to the line himself and Carl Bucknall, who had spent much of the afternoon shivering at full back, crossed to close out proceedings with the biggest victory for anyone in this league all season.
There is no doubt this is a very competitive league and no side can expect to beat any other by just turning up. As Woodrush found at leaders Rugby St Andrews, you just have to be a little off your best to take a drubbing and this game was something like that, with Ledbury never being far off the pace, although there is no doubt this was the most complete performance by Rush all season.
On Saturday Manor Park are the visitors to Icknield Street and the weather forecast looks much kinder. The home support, based on this performance, will hope for another strong showing against Nuneaton opponents who are always a handful.