Rugby union
Redditch bag crucial win in fight for survival

By Liam Moakes 20/02 Updated: 21/02 15:02

REDDITCH bagged just their second Midlands Three West (South) victory of the season as they saw off visitors Southam 10-6 on Saturday but crucially it proved enough to lift them out of the bottom two.

The return from injury of Simon Fitzpatrick proved key as the pack took a grip of the game to help the hosts on their way to four points which lifts them above both Old Yardleians and also Evesham following the latter's five-point deduction.

The Kingfishers seemed to want the result just that little bit more than the opposition and deservedly won after scoring both of the game's only tries.

Redditch began the game at a frenetic pace with the youthful back row of Richards, Ingram and Duffy tackling anything that moved and Fitzpatrick playing a key role in moving the Redditch pack forward and getting past the gain line.

Two chances went begging before Redditch got the first score ten minutes into the game. As the Redditch pack drove a scrum forward, Mark Morris received the ball on the front foot and jinked his way over the line from close range.

After the first quarter the pace of the game started to slow and Southam began to work their way into Redditch territory.

The hosts defended well, but Southam played in the right areas and forced two penalties in front of the posts to lead 6-5 at the break.

The second period was very evenly matched with both defences on top and few chances being created on a pitch cutting up after the heavy rain earlier in the day.

The turning point came in the last quarter following the sin-binning of an influential Southam player for infringement at the lineout and Redditch smelt points and began an onslaught of the Southam pack, who were down to seven.

A series of five-metre scrums put huge pressure on the visiting team and a try seemed inevitable and it duly arrived when James Mills at scrum half saw the opportunity to pounce and picked up from the blind side of the scrum before scampering his way over.

Southam seemed to run out of will and energy after that and the Redditch defence stayed solid to claim a vital victory.

The Kingfishers' next two fixtures are on the road against promotion-chasing Shipston tomorrow and Coventry-based Pinley on March 3.

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