Thursday 25 October 2012 Updated: 30/10 15:05
Alcester 10 Keresley 6
ALCESTER claimed their first Midlands Four West (South)
win of the season in a nervy encounter against fellow strugglers Keresley on Saturday.
The home side, yet again forced into making numerous changes including their fifth different fly-half of the campaign, did not get off to the best of starts.
Scrum-half Joe Sears was adjudged to have strayed offside at a scrum and resulting penalty was converted.
The first quarter was a fairly even affair, with the only other clear scoring chance going to the visitors who failed with another penalty after an infringement at a ruck by the Alcester pack.
The key moment of the game came after 25 minutes. A clean take at a lineout by Phil Birks, was moved quickly to the backs where no 10 Simon Gardner fired a miss pass to outside centre Jack Green who hit the line at pace and broke a tackle, before feeding right wing Hadley Ravenhall to race in and score under the posts. Ravenhall converted his own try.
Now firmly in the ascendancy, Alcester created another opening but when Keresley cleared the danger, the home side were rocked as skipper Ben Hope was yellow carded for holding on at a ruck.
Moments later the visitors reduced the deficit to 7-6 with a second successful penalty kick just before half time.
With Hope still in the sin-bin, the visitors forced another penalty shortly after the break, but the kicked was dragged wide.
When Hope returned Keresley maintained the pressure and were denied a try by the determined Alcester defence who held the attacker up over the line.
Going into the final quarter, the King’s Coughton nerves were evident on the field as well as on the touch line, however they were momentarily eased when Gardner sent over a well struck penalty kick to increase the lead.
By now Alcester had been forced into several positional and personnel changes through injury and this added to the sometimes disjointed nature of their play.
As a result the visitors finished the strongest and the Kings Coughton men were left to hang on.
Keresley were again held up on the line in the closing stages and, from the resulting scrum, only a try saving intervention from scrum half Sears prevented the Coventry men from snatching victory.
Alcester, who have moved up above local side Warwickian on points difference, visit Claverdon this Saturday on the home side’s vice-president’s day. Kick-off at Ossett’s Hole Lane is 3pm.
Meanwhile, Alcester RFC are holding their annual bonfire and fireworks evening on Friday, November 2 and all are welcome to attend.
The gates open at 6.30pm with the bonfire being lit at 7.30pm and the firework display starting at 8pm.
There will be refreshments and other stalls on the evening and plenty of free parking. Entry costs £5 for adults and £3 for under 16s with admittance for pre-school children free of charge.
ALCESTER U16s recorded a much-needed and well deserved
A BRACE from former Fulham star Barry Hayles
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