Greyhound 0 Redditch 14
Midlands Five West (South)
PROMOTION-CHASING Redditch returned to winning ways but were made to work hard for their victory by their lowly hosts on Saturday.
After the previous week’s lacklustre display in Shropshire, Redditch knew a repeat performance in deepest Herefordshire would undermine their promotion campaign and they did not disappoint.
Injuries meant a few changes in personnel but it was the bulk of the previous weekend’s side which did the business against a stubborn home side.
Redditch started well, dominating the opening exchanges and keeping the home side penned back. Space was hard to come by but territory was key, as the longer Greyhound could be held in their own half the better the chance of exploiting it.
Tom Saddington in the backs and Jack Bacciocchi in the forwards had some big plays and the confidence this pair instilled was plain to see. Redditch felt as if it was only a matter of time until they scored and that was the case.
Midway through the first half the opportunity arrived from a lineout won cleanly and from the ensuing drive Stuart Brooks was able to break from the melee.
Slipping a couple of tacklers, he stretched out to score with men on his back. Will Spires added the extras and, although Greyhound fought back, the Kingfishers’ defence stood solid and rebuffed all attempts.
The second half was pretty much the same scenario as the visitors dominated the scrums, created more opportunities and looked the better side.
The deserved second try came from the ever-dancing feet of Will Baillon who, having looked threatening all afternoon, eventually managed to evade the tacklers to score and Spires again converted.
The final quarter turned out to be a little trickier than planned after Bacciocchi was shown a yellow card for a clumsy tackle, so Redditch had to up their defensive game that little bit more to fend off an eager, but eventually pointless, home side.
During this spell Clarke Parker in particular tackled relentlessly in what was a tremendous performance.
Man of the match went to Leo Fanthome who was making his debut on the wing. There were solid tackles and determined running from the debutant, who also boasted a golden voice when serenading his team-mates in the changing room.
On Saturday Redditch are back on home ground with a game against Keresley. Having lost a close-fought match in Coventry in November, Redditch will be looking for revenge to cement their top two position.