ALCESTER RFC suffered their first defeat of the season after slipping to a 23-5 loss against Burbage in Leicestershire in the Midlands 3 West (South) Division to bring an end to their perfect start to the campaign.
Captain Max Biltcliffe scored Alcester’s only try of the match in the second period as the away side failed to recover from a poor first-half showing which Burbage dominated from start to finish.
The result leaves Alcester in fifth place after three matches having opened the season with home wins against Woodrush (31-8) and Bromyard (10-0) – whilst their opponents move top of the standings.
The visitors were outmatched by Burbage in the opening 40 minutes as they struggled for possession and territory and gave away several penalties to allow the hosts to pile on the pressure.
Burbage edged in front from a penalty after Alcester were caught offside before the away side missed the chance to draw level when Ed Gough’s penalty from distance went wide of the posts.
And they were made to pay for that miss when another Burbage penalty extended their lead before the home side scored the game’s first try from the base of a ruck at close range.
That sent Burbage into the break with a healthy 16-0 lead but Alcester responded at the beginning of the second-half much to the delight of coach Dave Miles.
Alcester caught and drove from an attacking lineout which allowed Biltcliffe to crash over from the back of the maul and put the visitors on the scoreboard.
However, they were unable to make the most of a similar opportunity soon after before Jack Green was given a yellow card after Alcester had conceded a host of penalties in quick succession.
Burbage added one further converted try late on after Alcester had failed to deal with a high ball but the visitors will have been content with their second-half display whilst debutant Dwayne Cruikshank impressed in the backs.
Elsewhere, Alcester’s second XV suffered a heavy 83-0 defeat against Shipston’s third team after their original opponents, Berkswell & Balsall, pulled out of the fixture.
However, Shipston’s third team was bolstered by members of their first team after they were awarded a home walk over and were without a game which led to the hefty defeat.
Both Alcester teams have a week off from league action before the first team entertain Coventry Welsh on Saturday, October 23.