Alcester 19 Manor Park 6
Midlands Three West (South)
FIFTH placed Alcester now sit just five points adrift of the second promotion place thanks to a hard earned victory over their Nuneaton-based visitors on Saturday.
The win sealed the Kings Coughton side’s second double in as many weeks and makes it five triumphs from the last six outings in the bid to overhaul the three sides directly above them, led by second placed Shipston.
However, it was not plain sailing for Alcester, particularly in the opening stages when they were immediately put on the back foot in heavy conditions playing up the slope.
A penalty kick put Manor Park in front but it was not long before Jack Green scored his 21st try of the season and fly half Max Biltcliffe slotted home a conversion to give the hosts the advantage.
Lee Avery-Sherwood received the first yellow card of the game for persistent infringement from the home team and with this extra man Manor Park piled on the pressure.
Their number eight made it over the line but dropped the ball in the process of grounding as a result of an Alcester defensive tackle.
A second penalty kick for Manor Park before the break meant the visitors were within one point of Alcester at half time but in the second period Alcester had the elements on their side and it showed as centre Jamie Harland scored early on, followed by another successful conversion from Biltcliffe.
Alcester started to rack up a high penalty count which eventually led to Matt Alderman being sin-binned for ten minutes but, despite this, the Alcester pack, led by man of the match hooker Tom Harris, dominated and came close to a pushover try on more than one occasion.
It was out wide where Alcester scored the decisive try when Green made the break and fed his brother Josh O’Connor who used his strength to shrug off the defence and score in the corner.
On another day Alcester would have extended their lead with further scores but the grind of the first half took its toll and drained the home side’s energy.
Alcester 2nds went the opposite way to Manor Park but it was the hosts who secured a 43-5 victory as Jacob Turner scored Alcester’s only points.
Both teams take a break from league action this weekend, with friendly fixtures yet to be arranged as the Standard went to press. Alcester’s first team resume league duties at fourth placed Old Coventrians on February 17.