WOODRUSH had to settle for a losing bonus point after going down 7-3 at fellow pacesetters Dunlop in the tightest of encounters in Midlands Three West (South).
There were strong performance all round but Rob McKeon, Dom Smith, Sam Jones and the skipper Jon Deeks led the way in what ultimately was a game dominated by the two forward packs.
Woodrush had taken the lead with a 20th minute penalty from Steven Smart but a converted try handed the Coventry hosts the victory to move three points clear at the top of the table.
It became apparent from the outset that the weather was going to play a massive part in the occasion with the powerful and swirling wind playing havoc with either sides attempts to pass the ball over even short distances.
Dunlop pressed in the early encounters and much of the action took place in the visitors’ half.
The influential player-coach Dan Lavander was lost to an entirely accidental elbow to the head after just five minutes.
However, the wind was marginally behind the men from Icknield Street and what might normally be a simple clearance kick from Board disappeared in the gale over the home dead-ball line and one of many scrummages left the home tram under pressure and coughing up a penalty on the half way line on 20 minutes.
Smart’s penalty kick was little more than a chip off the tee but it sailed easily over the give the visitors a marginal advantage which they maintained until half time.
It occurred to the numerous away supporters at half-time that three points might be insufficient given the prevailing conditions but Woodrush played the conditions exceptionally well, bringing their running backs onto the ball and keeping a strong sense of discipline against a determined home defence.
Dom Smith, into the fray for Lavander carried strongly from eight and Matt Culley, making his league debut broke with great vision from full back in a move which broke down on the home 22m line.
However, as with the first half, each time the men in green and white made ground it was returned with interest from the boot predominantly of the home number 12 who was instrumental in the Dunlop game plan.
Indeed it was he who pounced on a mistake from the visitors under their own posts which resulted from one such lengthy clearance to put the home team in front for the first time in the game on 65 minutes.
Far from admitting defeat Woodrush spent the last 15 minutes of the game camped in the home twenty two in the teeth of the howling gale and despite Deeks going very close from a short pick and go simply could not get over the Dunlop line.