Kings Norton 18 Redditch 10
Midlands Four West (South)
DESPITE a second half scare when their visitors struck back with a brace of tries, Kings generally held the edge to complete the double over their local rivals in a hard-fought return fixture on Saturday.
The first half was a dour affair with few scoring opportunities as both sets of forwards attempted to gain the upper hand and cancelled the other out.
The few breaks by both teams’ fast men were snuffed out by good defence, although Kings did take a narrow advantage with a 32nd minute penalty when a strong burst through the defence by Chris Mynott forced the visitors to concede a penalty in front of their posts and captain Shane Rees converted the simple opportunity to give the hosts a 3-0 interval lead.
The second half became a far more entertaining affair as the players began to move the ball wide as and when the opportunity came.
Kings were soon awarded a second penalty which Rees converted and they then had a strong spell as their forwards began to gain momentum, although Redditch defended resolutely.
Kings almost scored from a typical forward drive but the ball was adjudged to have been held up over the line.
However, they kept the pressure on and finally, with 65 minutes played, Sam Back crashed through to touch down before Rees narrowly missed the conversion.
Kings seemed to be in control with a deserved 11-point lead but, spurred on by this setback, Redditch came into their own with some good running from defence and from one Kings long range clearance which failed to make touch they gathered the ball well.
The full back set off on a strong run which led to the visitors scoring in impressive fashion in the left-hand corner.
Before Kings could regain their momentum, Redditch piled on more pressure which resulted in a bout of ‘handbags’ and saw both teams lose a player to the sin-bin.
Redditch still had their tails up and soon scored a similar second try in the same corner to close the gap to a single point, thus setting up a grandstand finish.
Kings moved up a gear to come back strongly and, spurred on by strong bursts from Ben Boyce, Kris Fenn and Will Greenwood plus a spell of forward drives through a tiring Redditch defence, Alex Stylianou collected a pass to crash through a bunch of players to touch down close to the posts.
Captain Rees converted to finish the scoring and seal a hard earned victory.
Sixth placed Kings travel to Coventry to take on Stoke Old Boys on Saturday.
KINGS 2nds gave a good account of themselves at Bournville 2nds despite a mismatch due to the visitors fielding a weakened team.
The game was played in good spirits and one of the highlights for Kings in a 36-14 defeat was Ellis Wilkes scoring his first senior try.