Rugby union
Redditch out of drop zone despite loss

By Liam Moakes 05/03 Updated: 08/03 12:40

REDDITCH were beaten 37-10 at Pinley in Midlands Three West (South) on Saturday but had climbed out of the bottom two by the end of the afternoon's fixtures.

The Kingfishers' goal difference improved to 24 better than second bottom Old Yardleians by virtue of the Shirley outfit's crushing 107-0 loss at leaders Earlsdon, whilst Evesham - who had five points deducted for their failure to field a front row in a recent fixture - were beaten 29-0 at home by Old Leamingtonians and remain two points adrift at the bottom of the table.

Whilst the final scoreline at Pinley does not look too impressive, Redditch deserve credit for turning in a spirited performance until they ultimately ran out of steam in the final quarter.

Indeed, with 20 minutes remaining, Redditch had a penalty attempt to take the lead, but in a frantic few minutes Pinley scored a brace of tries and then ran in a further three as heads dropped.

Pinley looked a much more physical unit and took the lead early in the game from a driving lineout which led to a try which was unconverted.

Redditch responded and managed to get a penalty from their first venture into opposition territory, scored by Dave Matthews.

The hosts started to apply more and more pressure as the half went on with Redditch tackling for their lives, but the home crowd were silenced as Pinley pushed too hard trying to exploit an overlap and Edwin Grey intercepted a long pass and ran in unopposed to put the visitors ahead.

Redditch tried to hold on until half time, but the crucial sin-binning of Simon Fitzpatrick on his own line allowed the big Pinley pack the opportunity for a converted score with the final play of the half.

Pinley were the more powerful team in the second half, but their constant indiscipline gave Redditch the opportunities to stay in touch with possession and territory.

The turning point occurred as Redditch attempted a long penalty from range to take the lead and within moments two huge Pinley clearance kicks put Redditch back on their own line and Pinley scored from both to knock the stuffing out of Redditch.

Redditch have the daunting task of taking on leaders Earlsdon at Bromsgrove Road tomorrow as the visitors arrive protecting a 100 per cent record, before a crucial encounter at Evesham on March 24.

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