Pershore 47 Redditch 5
Midlands Four West (South)
REDDITCH’S relegation was mathematically confirmed on Saturday as they were beaten by a bigger and more physical side but for the most part they held their own and competed well, even when the outcome was beyond doubt.
The Kingfishers soaked up the early pressure and had spells looking dangerous themselves but when the killer punch came it was a simple overlap that was their undoing.
Pershore had some big lads who were hard to stop when they got up to speed but Redditch countered that by hauling them down before ground was made. However, if they escaped, they scored.
Redditch lost an attacking scrum in the Pershore half so, with the back line out of position, it was a formality to burst though the gaps and score between the posts despite the valiant chase by Phil Harding.
The third try was similar – a breakdown in midfield and quick counter-attack – with the scorer heading for the posts and Harding unable to reach his man.
It was getting frustrating for Redditch as the 50/50 decisions seemed to be going against them and dissent cost them a penalty. The kick lost them ground and the centre cut through the porous defence for another home try.
The final try of the first half resulted from a sliced kick. The attack was stifled but a penalty conceded from which the scrum half dived over unopposed. All tries were converted to give the home side a 35-0 half-time lead and a real battering looked possible.
Despite the scoreline, Redditch still had their moments. Adam Currien had a couple of breaks from full back but on one occasion literally hit a brick wall in the shape of the Pershore No 8, whilst Tom Saddington showed some classy moves at inside centre with the ever-active Jack Mertens outside him. Tackles from all quarters were going in hard, but Pershore always seemed to be that little bit sharper and little bit stronger.
However, the Redditch scrum was rock solid and the longer the game went on the more dominant it became, shoving the home side’s larger pack backwards on occasions.
Old warhorse Duncan Davis, as replacement, brought his vast experience to bear at close quarters although he left his handling skills in the dressing room. Wingers Harding and Harvey Habgood showed their quick feet were useful in attack as well as defending.
The second half was a much better showing from Redditch as they could have collapsed but came out stronger and more determined. Unlucky to have a try disallowed for a lateral pass, they kept probing and asking questions, much to the frustration of the home side.
Tom Saddington grew into the game, Will Spires at fly-half mixed the game up and the whole pack started to make decent ground, with the Allen brothers Matt and Michael leading the charge.
Yet, despite the improvement in performance, it was Pershore who hit back with two more tries.
Although the game was well out of reach and result a formality, it was Redditch who finished the stronger and Currien fielded a stray kick and made 30m before setting up the rucks from which Tom Saddington eventually scored.
Redditch conclude their home campaign with a clash against Bedworth on April 6, which is also sponsors day.