Redditch 29 Aldridge 17
North Midlands Vase quarter-finals
THE KINGFISHERS ended a recent run of disappointing results with a convincing victory over their Black Country visitors in the Vase on Saturday.
It was revenge for Redditch against the side who knocked them out of the same competition last season and is a confidence boost ahead of Saturday’s Midlands Four West (South) visit of Harbury to Bromsgrove Road.
Taking the initiative from the start, Redditch applied pressure to the Aldridge line and won a scrum 10m out. Skipper James Mills switched the attack to the blind side where Lewis Saddington strolled over for the opening try.
Wanting to wrap the game up as soon as possible, Redditch kept the pressure on and were rewarded with a brace of tries from No 8 Nathan Marthews – the first finishing off a solid attacking move and the second a pick and drive from a 5m scrum.
Mills added one conversion to rattle up a 17-0 lead and a comfortable position to take to half time.
The support work throughout the game was commendable, penalty count was pleasingly low and the overall teamwork showing great promise.
The second half was a a lot less fluid than the first as a series of injuries interrupted the flow of the game and, although there were moments of excitement, the result was never in doubt and Redditch chose to take no risks, playing to their strengths up front and their pace on the wings.
Stu George scored his first try following a straightforward movement along the back line and beating his opposite man for speed.
At 22-0 up, Redditch perhaps took their foot off the pedal, with a long delay for a head injury not helping.
Aldridge rallied and, having already responded with a penalty kick, they stole a converted try when Redditch lost focus, thus raising the visitors’ hopes and putting the home side back on the offensive.
Harvey Habgood ran out of support after a 60m break which would have wrapped up the game, but shortly afterwards Jamie Holloway breached the defensive wall and set up Stu George for his second try of the game which Mills converted.
In the closing minutes Aldridge made an interception to make their scoreline look more respectable but it was too late to influence the result.
John Wormington in the Redditch back row spoiled and tackled at every opportunity and was named man of the match.
Match report courtesy of Brian Carr.