Aldridge 40 Redditch 25
North Midlands Vase Plate quarter-final
THE PROSPECT of Redditch attending finals day at the end of the season was blown away in the first half hour of Saturday’s game as Aldridge opened what proved to be an unassailable advantage.
Although Redditch took the lead with a Sam Gladwin penalty, they were soon facing defeat after conceding four tries in 20 minutes, leaving their cup dreams in tatters.
A combination of determined straight running, excellent support work and poor tackling allowed Aldridge to run in tries from forwards and backs and open a 26-3 lead.
There were moments when Redditch looked dangerous, with their backs especially keen to run the ball, but Aldridge did not give them any room to move and were also dominant in the scrums, which meant Redditch were playing largely off the back foot and struggled to put together much that would threaten the home line.
Eventually Redditch did get their breakthrough when the speed of Gladwin allowed him to run past the despairing defenders and score a try before half time to give his side a glimmer of hope at the break.
Indeed, hopes of a comeback were sparked when the visitors’ man of the match Barry Foster Smith stormed through for a second Kingfishers try shortly after the break.
However, the tackles and support work then let Redditch down once more and Aldridge stretched their lead and did not really look like relinquishing it.
Mark Green outstripped his man for pace to score the third Redditch try and Bryn Williams scored the visitors’ fourth after Aldridge had scored a try themselves in between.
However, Aldridge were worthy winners, as they seemed to want the victory more than Redditch did and once the visitors had woken up it was too late.
On Saturday Redditch will need to leave memories of this game far behind as they resume their Midlands Four West (South) campaign at Coventry Welsh.