Evesham 25 Kings Norton 8
Midlands Four West (South)
A MUCH-CHANGED Kings team were beaten at fellow high-flyers Evesham on Saturday as the hosts cemented second spot in the table.
The visitors’ team contained three sets of brothers and they started well as they attacked Evesham from the off, gaining an immediate lead from a penalty as the home side strayed offside.
Leon Rees, brother of captain Shane, slotted the ball through the uprights.
Kings maintained the pressure for the next ten minutes before Evesham finally cleared their lines with a long range clearance from which Kings conceded a similar penalty and the home side levelled.
The remainder of the first half saw the evenly matched squads foraging for clear scoring opportunities, mostly created by searching long range kicks, and finally with just a minute remaining ineptitude behind the goalline by the visitors allowed Evesham to gather a poor clearance from the disarray caused and return the ball with interest for an unconverted try in the right-hand corner.
Beginning the second half 8-3 down, Kings again started on the front foot but they were rocked back when, having conceded a penalty on the halfway line, they watched Evesham increase their lead with a massive long range effort which sailed through the posts after 47 minutes.
Kings then hit back five minutes later when full back Ben Manners fielded a long range clearance and raced downfield, handing off tacklers at speed to score a solo effort in the right corner.
Evesham gained in confidence but found it difficult to break down Kings’ defence until with just 15 minutes remaining they finally managed to drive the ball over the line for a converted try.
Kings replied with their forwards pressing hard again but they finally lost control at a maul, crucially fumbling the ball when a score was likely.
Evesham now had their tails up and eventually scored a final converted try as their wing dived on to a loose ball kicked through Kings’ defence.
The last five mins saw the visitors on the attack but Jack Manners’ race to the line was stopped by a dubious tackle and the game fizzled out without further incident.
Kings, who remain fourth but now trail Evesham by seven points, will lick their wounds and regroup before they return to league action in the new year with a home derby against Redditch on January 10 (2.15pm).
Prop Kris Fenn goes on the attack for the visitors. Picture by Roland Bailey. (s)