18th Jan, 2020

Redditch run riot ahead of key game

Redditch Editorial 9th Jan, 2020

Dixonians 0 Redditch 61

Midlands Five West (South)

REDDITCH made it three wins in succession with a convincing success against rock-bottom Dixonians to move into the top three ahead of Saturday’s vital game against fellow promotion hopefuls Five Ways Old Edwardians.

The Kingfishers will go into the clash against the second-placed visitors – who sit two points above Redditch having played a game more – buoyed by a nine-try demolition in which the opposition did not register a single point.

In recent weeks the attacking has never been in doubt but at Rowheath on Saturday the opposition did not get a look in. In fact, they rarely transgressed into Redditch’s 22m.

When they did stray into unknown territory, they were quickly rebuffed with full-back Will Baillon having a busy afternoon running the ball back at them – more often than not with interest and being the spark for many tries.

It was his burst from deep that opened the scoring when he passed to Tom Saddington who in turn fed Jack Mertens who made it to the line, although it nearly cost him his head.

It set a pattern for the day – hard, direct running and close support for the offloads. It did not always pay off, as many final passes strayed forward and silly penalties were given away but Dixonians were unable to capitalise on the errors.

The second try was again created by Baillon as he was hauled down short of the line but managed to offload to the alert Connor Morris who finished the move off.

The forwards were having a decent tussle in the loose, all of them enjoying a run with the ball, breaking tackles and setting up second and third phase ball. From a 5m scrum, the active James Mills at scrum half found Tom Saddington who managed to stretch out an arm to place the ball on the line.

A 19-0 lead at the break was encouraging but the Kingfishers knew they had left a lot of points on the pitch as avoidable errors had marred the performance. If they are to be serious contenders in this league they need to eliminate the faults and capitalise on the possession and territory, which they did in the second half.

Six tries were run in after the break, beginning with Clarke Parker collecting a tricky bounce from a clearance kick and heading straight for the try-line. He was hauled down short of his target but skipper Matt Allen was on hand to pick up the pieces and score.

Man of the match Jack Bacciocchi continued, with his fellow pack members, to drive froward – at times playing skittles with the opposition. He was also responsible for a sublime offload to Stu Brooks in a busy attacking phase which ultimately led to Allen scoring another under the posts.

Replacement Will Heath was the beneficiary of the next attacking move when after a forward drive the ball was spun down the line to him at outside centre and he dived to the line.

Saddington then found himself in an ocean of space with half the pitch to go and no great determination to prevent him scoring the seventh try and within a minute he had scored his hat-trick try after linking up with a move down the left wing.

By now home hearts had had enough and the Redditch players were rampant. Any opportunity to run straight was taken, which led to the final try scored by Brooks who had gone very close in previous attacks.

Mention must go to Will Spires who converted eight out of nine tries and has an 84 per cent success rate in the last two games.

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