Woodrush 41 Alcester 29
Midlands Three West (South)
ALCESTER were unable to complete the double over local rivals Woodrush as the hosts ran away with the game in the second half to win by 12 points.
The result ensures Alcester, who have finished their campaign, will end the season in eighth place and The Rush, who complete their season at Berkswell & Balsall on Saturday, will finish seventh.
The visitors started the game well with James Bates chasing and catching his side’s kick-off, allowing his side to maintain the early possession. Bates continued to impress throughout the first half, making his way around the park.
Alcester pressed the line before Max Biltcliffe grubber-kicked through the home defence for Jack Green to dive on the ball over the line and Biltcliffe slotted over the conversion in front of the posts.
The home side then thought they had scored but the honesty of their touch judge called that the player had his foot in touch and it was disallowed. Moments later and after a few missed tackles, they were successful in crossing the line and levelled the score.
Green ran over three-quarters of the pitch to set up next the next try. The vice-captain showed his infamous power, handing off multiple defenders before Biltcliffe made a questionable looping pass which luckily worked in his favour as the ball made its way to Will Silk scored in the corner. Biltcliffe sliced the conversion wide.
Woodrush were quick to retaliate again. After more missed tackles, they scored on the left wing and with another successful conversion they took the lead for the first time in the game.
Both teams were playing honest, clean rugby and it was 20 minutes before the referee awarded a single penalty.
Green continued to stand out for his side as he scored his second try of the game with another powerful try and regained the lead for his team.
Woodrush enjoyed dominance for ten minutes – kicking a penalty and then scoring a converted try – after Alcester failed to collect the ball and the bounce took it out of their control and into the path of a Woodrush player.
In a back and forth game, Alcester were next to keep the scoreboard ticking with a penalty kick. However, more missed tackles and overlaps on the wings were Alcester’s main disadvantages which their opponents exploited and scored every time to extend their lead to nine points.
Biltcliffe narrowed this gap by throwing a dummy and fooling the defence to crash under the posts and then kicked his own conversion as the home side took a 31-29 lead into the break.
The second half started slower and neither team looked close to scoring until 15 minutes in when Woodrush pressed the line but were penalised for holding on and Alcester were able to clear the ball out of the danger zone.
The home side suffered multiple injuries and were forced to make substitutions but Woodrush then had an opportunity to score the first points of the second half, only for their penalty kick to rebound off the uprights.
Their run of misfortune continued as they were held up over the line as they attempted to put any Alcester hopes of a win to bed.
However, their persistence was rewarded and after ten minutes of sustained pressure Woodrush finally got the try they were working for.
Woodrush slotted over another penalty kick before the final whistle and it left too little time for Alcester to stage a comeback.
Both sides began to tire and injuries niggled at both teams before what felt like for Alcester an agonisingly lengthy second half finally came to an end and Woodrush walked away with the win.
Alcester 2nds 19 Old Leamingtonians 38
ALCESTER 2nds started the game strongly by scoring the first two tries of the match courtesy of Lewis Hopkins and Alec Aucott but that was as good as it got for the home side.
Old Leamingtonians scored two good, quickfire tries before Alcester veteran Scott Carmichael was forced to leave the field with a head injury.
The visitors added another score and went into the break with a 19-12 lead.
Alcester began to tire due to lack of replacements. Their visitors had lent them two players and two forwards found themselves in the centre positions.
Old Leamingtonians scored three second half tries to Alcester’s one which was claimed by Matt Jupp.