ALCESTER 2nd XV went down to a 36-14 defeat to Coventry hosts Pinley 2nds in their Warwickshire Shield fixture on Saturday.
The sun was out in full force and provided surprisingly tough playing conditions along with a squad that included many players who hadn’t played together before, and many whose first game it was in 17 months.
After a pretty even and strong start by both sides, Pinley then took control and ran in three tries in 15 minutes and began to find a rhythm in their game, gained confidence in their play and it was looking like a possible cricket score outcome.
The home side were 17-0 ahead before Alcester had a chance at getting any points on the board, but the penalty kick at posts was slotted wide.
It was another ten minutes before Alcester had the opportunity again. Substitute Mark Burrell gave clear instructions to team mate Chris Howell about where and when to place his chip kick, which Burrell successfully scooped up and crossed the line. Glynn Smith added the extras.
Pinley immediately responded and bulldozed over in the corner for their fourth try, before adding their fifth two minutes later to lead 29-7 at half time.
The second half was a much more competitive affair and Alcester managed to hold their opposition to just one try as the half ended in a draw.
Phil Birks made an impact as soon as he entered the pitch as a half-time substitute, scoring under the posts for Alcester’s second try. Seb Cortes kicked the conversion before leaving the field injured not long after.
Pinley had the last say of the match with their final try and claimed the win 36-14.
Alcester 1st XV play their first league game of the 2021/22 season at home next week as they welcome Woodrush to Kings Coughton.