By Liam Moakes 03/09 Updated: 03/09 15:18
WOODRUSH made an impressive start to the new season under the leadership of new coach Mark Pearson as they defeated newly-promoted visitors Ledbury 26-12 in the North Midlands Shield first round on Saturday.
The home side took an early lead when second row Luke Russell crashed over from close range and then Steve Smart added a penalty.
The try of the match came from winger Lucas Hooper who had the strength to force his way past his bigger opposite number to score in the corner.
Smart added another penalty and Hooper could have added another two tries to his tally, but should have gone on his own when he passed inside to Andy McGrann who got tackled short of the line and in the second instance a crucial tackle from the Ledbury scrum half held him up over the line and prevented the touchdown.
Ledbury scored a breakaway try when Woodrush's concentration lapsed but scrum half Titch Thomas restored the healthy margin just before half time.
Russell made the ground but was tackled short of the line and Thomas dug it out and borrowed through himself before Smart converted.
The second half was a more even affair with Woodrush playing into the sun and Ledbury narrowed the gap with a converted try.
Smart added a penalty to record Woodrush's only points of the half although captain John Board should have put the result beyond doubt when he ran through with ten minutes remaining, only to drop the ball when he attempted to touch down.
Tomorrow (2.30pm) Woodrush begin their Midlands Three West (South) campaign at home to relegated Cheltenham North.
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