ALCESTER bowed out in the first round of the newly-formatted Warwickshire Vase competition, after losing 19-10 to hosts Coventrians in a fast and frantic start to the new rugby season.
Where quality may have been absent there was no lack of commitment nor enthusiasm from an Alcester team missing a number of last season’s first team regulars at the Black Pad ground.
Early on Coventrians threatened to overrun their younger visitors and scored the first try of the game.
Alcester then suffered an early injury set back when George Green, playing his first game in the front row, had to leave the field because of a hand injury. Green was replaced by veteran prop Nev Teasdale.
Alcester began to impose themselves and young winger Alex Chiles benefitted from the improvement in his team’s performance to ran through for a try. It was nothing less than they deserved, and despite the missed place kick from skipper Jack Green, at 7-5, there was now little between the two sides.
Against the run of play, however, the home side extended their lead with a second try, before man of the match Chiles collected an interception to race into score from the halfway line for Alcester.
At 12-10, the game was in the balance before injuries to Alcester full back Ryan Clark and No.8 Skinner, left the visitors stretched to their limits. Alcester still had their chances to secure the victory, but it was Coventrians who scored the final try of the match late on to secure the win.
Alcester have one further week to prepare for the start of their league campaign which begins at home against Atherstone on Saturday, September 19, with a 3pm kick off at King’s Coughton.
n Alcester 2nd XV suffered a heavy 17-83 home defeat to Spartans 4th XV.
The scoreline didn’t do justice to a plucky performance from a side that was still being pulled together in the run up to kick off and that was bolstered in numbers by four players from local friends and foes Shottery who were without a game.
Spartains ran in five unanswered tries before Shottery loanee Pete Wharton forced his way over for a try, converted by Paul Taylor, to leave the visitors leading 36-7 at half-time.
Early in the second half, the home side were dealt a painful blow when young forward Dan Simons was forced off with a dislocated shoulder and a wrist injury, in his first senior appearance for the club.
The visitors ended the game as a contest in the second half running in five more tries, before Alcester skipper and man of the match Rupe Daffern crossed the line twice inside ten minutes.