By Liam Moakes Thursday 27 September 2012 Updated: 27/09 12:07
ALCESTER bounced back from the disappointment of defeat in their opening Midlands Four West (South) match to hand out a thumping of their own as they defeated visitors Five Ways Old Edwardians 50-10 in the first round of the Midlands Junior Vase on Saturday.
With Alcester's squad having had a major overhaul in the summer, there were once again several changes from the side that took to the field in Coventry the previous week, although there was certainly no lack of cohesion in a bright start by the home side, playing up the Kings Coughton slope in the first half.
Ten minutes in they took a deserved lead. Left wing Steve Douthwaite, who was a constant threat throughout the afternoon, made the hard yards with a strong run, from which quick recycled ball found its way to fly half Sean Sudworth who fashioned an opening for centre Jack Green to storm through a gap in the defence to open the scoring.
The score visibly lifted Alcester and flanker Matt Alderman and Sudworth both went close to doubling the hosts' total, before the Kings Coughton men did add to their account with the try of the game.
The Alcester's forwards drove on and caught lineout ball close to the left hand touchline before the ball was spun into midfield and some intricate play by Sudworth and his backline fashioned an opening for Will Harcourt.
Alcester's right winger still had plenty to do when he received the ball just inside the visitors' half, but he set off on what is fast becoming his trademark - a speedy and powerful run - evading and breaking several tackles on his way to the line.
Despite continuing to enjoy the better of things, the home side had to settle for a 10-0 lead at the break.
With the slope at their back in the second half and in bright and dry conditions conducive to running rugby, Alcester's young side cut loose and were able to demonstrate their superior handling skills, running in six tries in the half.
Lock Dan Finn opened the scoring in the first half, powering through a gap in the Five Ways defence to score under the posts, and Sudworth converted.
This score was followed by a second try for Harcourt, following another good run, and a score for replacement centre Matt Hurleston who won the race to his own kick ahead to pounce on the loose ball over the line. Sudworth converted both of these tries.
Left wing Douthwaite finished off another flowing move for a well deserved score, before the Hopwood-based visitors got their first points on the board with a penalty after Alcester had been penalised for hands in the ruck as they defended a Five Ways attack.
Skipper Ben Hope restored Alcester's advantage with a well taken try, following some more skilful handling, before Green - now operating at hooker - outpaced the visitors' defence to cross for his second try. Sudworth added the extras for these two final home scores.
The visitors showed great commitment in keeping going throughout and scored a try of their own in the closing stages, but they were well beaten by an Alcester side who, if they can keep players fit and available and add a couple more back to the squad that are still on the sidelines, should more than hold their own this season.
They face a stern test tomorrow when they return to league action at home to Atherstone, who completed the league double over them last season and currently sit top of the table with two wins from two.
A DEPLETED Alcester 2nds hosted an invitational side formed of employees, suppliers and customers of DX - the largest independent mail, courier and logistics operator in the UK and Ireland - in a game played to raise money for the company's chosen charity, Teenage Cancer Trust.
Former England and Northampton Saints player Frank Packman was part of the victorious DX Lions side that outscored their hosts by five tries to one in a 31-7 victory.
In fact, Alcester's try was scored by a borrowed DX player as the visitors built on their slender 5-0 half time lead to run away with the game in the second half.
The DX side also featured former Alcester player Andrew Harden-Sweetnam, returning to the area to take on his former team-mates.
Alcester 2nds return to league action tomorrow when they visit Bedworth 3rds.
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