Redditch 3 Bromyard 35
Midlands Four West (South)
AFTER a pre-season of promise with encouraging displays at summer tournaments and a quiet influx of new faces, Redditch were brought down to earth with a bump when Bromyard came visiting on Saturday in the first league game of the season.
Herefordshire outfit Bromyard were relegated last season and are determined to bounce back at the first opportunity and this was evident in what was a dominant display.
The game started frantically as both sides threw summer training to the wind and just enjoyed running around with the ball. Slowly the game settled into a pattern although the opening try came fortuitously when a speculative chip ahead bounced kindly into Bromyard arms for them to score out wide, unconverted.
The score inspired Bromyard to play a more controlled game and their more experienced and heavier pack started to turn the screw.
A penalty conceded for a scrum offence gave Bromyard three more points before a driving maul was held up until a sudden rip and peel away caught the Redditch defence unawares and another try was conceded.
Redditch fought back well and Will Baillon at full back made a lot of ground with strong running and returning stray kicks to the front line.
The home forwards had attacking opportunities close to the line but were unable to convert possession into points. The new half back partnership of James Mills and Ashley Mooney varied their attacking game but at times the sense of direction was lacking and promising opportunities fizzled out.
However, on the stoke of half time a Mooney penalty put Redditch on the scoreboard and raised hopes of a fightback at 13-3 down at the break.
Running into a breeze in the second half though, Redditch just could not find their rhythm and a yellow card for Dan Oscroft for a high tackle gave Bromyard the edge.
The visitors took advantage of the extra man to run in two tries – both from having the weight advantage in the scrum.
By then Redditch heads were down, but the two later tries flattered a Bromyard team who ultimately saw off a Redditch side who seemed to run out of ideas once the chips were down.
Adam Curren and Jack Mertens made their Redditch first team debuts at 11 and 13 and will hope for better games to show off their talents in the weeks to come. Baillon was named the Kingfishers’ man of the match.
Redditch travel to Burbage for what promises to be a tricky encounter on Saturday.