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By Liam Moakes Monday 03 December 2012 Updated: 06/12 13:01
WOODRUSH came tantalisingly close to overcoming higher league opposition on Saturday but were eventually beaten 35-29 by visitors Aston Old Edwardians in their North Midlands Shield second round encounter.
Aston Old Eds, who play a level above Woodrush in Midlands Two West (North), will now visit Pershore in the last eight but their progress was far from serene in what was a see-saw clash.
The visitors took an early lead with a try in the corner after some slack defending by Woodrush but Steve Smart landed a penalty to narrow the deficit.
Aston converted two penalties themselves before the referee awarded them a controversial penalty try after an alleged trip to make the score 18-3.
However, a good try by Woodrush hooker Paul Moppett, coming through on the crash ball, converted by Smart, kept the score to 18-10 at half time.
In a crazy spell at the start of the second half though, lack of discipline from Woodrush allowed the visitors in to score three tries in the space of ten minutes and open up a 35-10 lead.
This was a wake-up call for Woodrush and centre Andy McGrann took over the captain's role and moved to scrum half and rallied the troops.
Winger Ed Lerna came on and also made a difference, scoring midway through the second half, with Josh Tomlinson converting.
Number eight Matt Playford crashed through for the next try, again converted by Tomlinson, and lock Luke Russell powered his way over for the last Woodrush try which cut their arrears to six points.
However, Aston clung on to their slim lead in the dying minutes and go through to the next round.
Woodrush return to Midlands Three West (South) action tomorrow with a visit to Pinley.
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