Alcester 29 Harborne 60
Midlands Senior Vase round two
ALCESTER were undone by a second half try-blitz from their Birmingham visitors who progressed by a margin of victory which at one stage looked unimaginable.
In the first half Alcester looked more than comfortable against their opponents and, with the wind and slope at their back, they dominated the early proceedings.
The home pack were able to dismantle the visitors’ scrum and shunted their opponents back over the line, allowing No 8 Phil Birks to pick up and dive over for the opening score.
Teenager Jamie Harland, making his first senior start in an unfamiliar position of fly half, took a quick tap from a short range penalty to double his side’s lead.
Harborne got their first points on the board with a penalty kick, before they came inches short of a first try which was prevented by an excellent tap tackle by Alcester full back Frazer Jackson as the visitors looked destined to score.
Alcester’s veteran centre Scott Carmichael powered over for a third try which was converted by Jackson for a 17-3 lead to the home side.
Skipper Jack Horton was next to score for the hosts and Jackson again converted for a 24-3 lead and at this stage Alcester looked set for a big victory.
However, the visitors had other ideas and by now had started to get a regular flow of possession from their lineout which was dominant throughout.
The Harborne number 10 showed his class, firstly when scything through an unorganised home defence to score, before he went on another incisive run and found one of his centres on the crash ball, who powered between the posts.
In between these scores, Alcester hooker Mike Nason had been sin-binned for team persistent infringement by the referee who, not for the only time in the afternoon, frustrated the home side with some of his decisions.
The visitors scored again before the break and at half time they trailed just 24-20 after seemingly being near to out of the game only 15 minutes before.
The home side were not helped by an injury to full back Jackson who was enjoying another good game when he left the field with an ankle problem.
Harborne scored five unanswered tries and starved the home side of territory and possession for throughout most of this period.
The game had soon gone for Alcester and it was no surprise when the visitors brought their score to 60 with their final try of the game.
The Kings Coughton men will look to dust themselves down from this disappointment when they return to Midlands Three West (South) action at home to Ledbury on Saturday (3pm).
ALCESTER 2nds were put to the sword by a strong Shottery side who won 45-5.
Alcester battled hard throughout but were undone by seven tries from the home side, two of which were scored by former Alcester players Dom Skinner and Ed Benskin.
Stuart Whitehead scored Alcester’s try in the second half. Fly half Sam Fell was named man of the match.