Redditch 5 Coventrians 36
Midlands Four West (South)
THE KINGFISHERS remain without a point after two matches following a disappointing defeat against a Coventrians side who made better use of their equal share of possession.
As was the case the previous weekend, Redditch had a few opportunities early on, including when Josh Kearney ran out of legs after picking up a loose ball with the line at his mercy.
Having started the run 60m from the try-line, he was hauled down short of glory and the visitors counter-attacked, picking up three points from a penalty kick.
Shortly afterwards they increased their lead with a try from their outside centre following an attack from a scrum when the defensive tackles were not strong enough.
Injuries to both sides made for a stuttering pattern of play with neither side able to get into any settled pattern.
Jack Duffy was next to make ground for Redditch after stealing a lineout ball, but the hosts were unable to capitalise on the territory gained or the possession, so once more the advantage swung back to the visitors who, with the aid of some lucky bounces and elaborate juggling, extended their lead fortuitously.
It was the sort of try which could knock the wind out of the side conceding it and raised the spirits of the scorers, who went into the break 15-0 to the good.
The second half followed much the same pattern, with the referee seemingly tiring more than the players as he made some decisions from a fair distance.
The home pack gained dominance in the loose and especially in the tight scrum where, on another day, they may have had a stream of penalties in their favour, but not on Saturday.
Coventrians’ attacking flair had more penetration than Redditch’s and the visitors gained territory and a scrum 10m out from which they easily scored their third try.
Virtually straight from the kick-off they ran the ball hard and fast back at Redditch and scored another try to put the result beyond doubt and secure the bonus point.
Although somewhat dejected, Redditch did not give up and if anything redoubled their efforts. Richard Hebbard and man of the match Matt Allen had their moments driving forward and tackled valiantly and Sam Gladwin had a couple of opportunities to claw back points from penalties but fell agonisingly short.
Eventually the home pack were rewarded for their efforts when a dominant driving maul allowed skipper James Mills to score in the corner but it was too little, too late.
The visitors had the final word with a well taken try on the final whistle.
Redditch were overall found wanting in their tackling and lacked a little penetration going forward, but when they fix those elements they should start to reap the rewards.
The Kingfishers travel to Coventry Welsh on Saturday.
REDDITCH 2nds claimed a tight 38-34 victory over Droitwich 3rds.
The Kingfishers’ second string, known as the Rangers, took the lead when old-stager Wayne Sharpe intercepted a pass and showed a clean pair of heels to everyone before touching down. Kit Hemming converted.
Almost immediately the Droitwich outside centre fed an overlap on the left to score and make it 7-7 but Aaron Hibbert was next to cross, converted by Hemming, to give the hosts a 14-7 lead.
Redditch’s third try was fortuitous as a knock-on was missed and Hemming took advantage to score, although the extras were missed.
However, Droitwich rallied and scored four tries either side of the break to open a ten-point lead, but Redditch were not finished and, after working their way up to the 22, they were awarded a scrum.
With the giant Mike Adams taking over from veteran Garry Mills at half back, the scrum ball saw Adams break from the base of the scrum to scorch over. The conversion brought the difference to three points.
As Droitwich attacked from the kick-off, a loose kick bounced favourably for Sharpe who needed no invitation to fly 60m and place the ball adjacent to the posts.
This was followed by some football skills by Stu George who picked up and dived over to put Redditch 38-29 up and, despite Droitwich then scoring the try of the game, it was Redditch who prevailed.
For the fourth time in the match Droitwich were unable to add the extras and this, in the end, was the difference between the teams.
The 2nds host Old Yardleians 3rds in their first Merit Table match on Saturday, when the Exiles have a fixture at Kidderminster.