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By Liam Moakes Thursday 20 December 2012 Updated: 03/01 12:01
ALCESTER saw off fellow Midlands Four West (South) strugglers Warwickian 24-3 at Kings Coughton on Saturday to move above their victims and out of the bottom two.
Alcester’s second league win of the campaign was a crucial success as they look to win what appears to be a three-way battle between themselves, Warwickian and bottom placed Keresley to beat the drop.
The hosts were once again forced into several personnel changes due to injury and work commitments, which included a first start of the season for Meka Pieri and another recall for veteran Director of Rugby Nick O’Connor, who was forced into action to answer the latest availability crisis at Kings Coughton.
The first half lacked any real quality from either side, with the only scores coming from the kickers’ boots.
Home full back Jamie Randall levelled the score through a penalty five minutes before the break, after the visitors had led for much of the half through a penalty of their own inside the first 15 minutes.
Both sides also missed a penalty kick each in a mistake-ridden first half, which typified the basement scrap this game was.
The Warwickian forwards held the upper hand in the first half and camped on the Alcester line for two sustained spells, with only some determined defence by the home side keeping their opponents out, and leaving the half time score level at 3-3.
Alcester coach Keith Beech made a change at the break by introducing Robbie Parker at scrum half and the diminutive No 9 and his team-mate Fijian Pieri - who had moved from his first half outside centre position to No 8 - were the pick of the home players in the second half as the home side asserted their authority turning around with the slope at their back and with their forwards having now achieved parity in possession up front.
After a scrappy opening to the half, Alcester took the lead with a well worked try which was carved out by fly half Andy Smith, who found centre Matt Hurleston running an incisive line which saw him crash over under the posts. Randall converted.
Buoyed by this score, Alcester doubled their lead straight from the restart, as the Warwickian kick was well taken, before the ball was moved through several pairs of hands at pace.
As the home side progressed deep into their opponents’ territory, skipper Ben Hope rounded off a superb score - one of the best team efforts of the season so far for Alcester - which Randall again converted.
Now well on top, the Kings Coughton men scored the try to make the game safe with another well taken score. Pieri picked up at the base of a scrum deep inside Warwickian territory, before moving the play infield.
The Alcester backs stood the ball up well in the centre and popped to scrum half Parker on the burst, who raced in under the posts for a trademark score.
Randall added another conversion to round off the scoring and secure an important win for Alcester.
The Red & Blacks are in home league action again tomorrow when they face another newly-promoted side Coventrians, hoping to avenge their season opening defeat from the reverse fixture in Coventry.
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