Rugby union
Alcester claim priceless victory in derby

By Liam Moakes Thursday 07 February 2013 Updated: 13/02 12:21

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Buy photos » Alcester prop Jason Richings has his eyes on the ball against Claverdon. (s)

AFTER a lengthy break from action enforced by the weather conditions, Alcester enjoyed a crucial 17-15 victory over local rivals Claverdon at Kings Coughton on Saturday.

The win has opened up a five-point gap between Alcester and second bottom Warwickian in Midlands Four West (South) and a ten-point advantage over bottom placed Keresley.

In a second half in which the lead changed hands three times, it was a long distance kick from fly half Jamie Randall that secured victory for the hosts.

From between the halfway line and 10m line, Randall managed to find some firm footing on a sticky pitch and thumped his kick between the uprights with less than three minutes of the game to go.

The win was nothing less than the home side deserved as they played with a much better shape than has been seen for much of this season and the game plan that had been mapped out undid the opposition.

Scrum half Robbie Parker, who has missed much of the season due to injury, was instrumental in this win, organising his pack and feeding quick ball to his back line.

Going up the hill, against the wind and with the sun in their eyes, Alcester could not have asked for a tougher start and, when the ball was turned over in midfield, the pacy visiting back line made the most of the mistake to score first.

Claverdon extended their lead after a break down the field to go 12-0 up but in front of a large crowd the signs of an improved performance were already there.

Lock Chris Walmsley was outstanding throughout, taking the game to the opposition with his charging runs, hooker Tommy Harris was involved with everything good about the Alcester game and his props Jason Richings and Nev Teasdale gave their team the foundation they needed in the set piece.

Alcester's first try came from centre Jack Green, who ran an unstoppable line after half backs Parker and Randall had created him some room.

At 12-7 down at half time, the home side took the lead when impressive flanker Joe Sears pounced on a stray pass and sprinted through under the posts for a try converted by Randall.

Young full back Hadley Ravenhall then replaced Rikki Bowers who had made an encouraging first team debut and other substitutions included Chris Hanley making his debut at second row.

Into the last quarter and the game could have gone either way. Alcester had the chance to pull further clear but the kick sailed wide, only for the visitors to edge back in front with a penalty of their own.

Alcester were not to be denied their win, however, and Randall made no mistake with his long range kick to win the points, which gives the Kings Coughton men a real boost in their battle for survival.

Alcester host mid-table Coventrians in a rearranged fixture tomorrow (2.15pm).

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