Alcester suffer third defeat on the spin

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Shaun Nash (left) was man-of-the-match for Alcester. Photo: Paul O’Sullivan

RUGBY UNION

Midlands Three West (South)
Berkswell & Balsall 20-7 Alcester

ALCESTER head coach David Miles believed there were some positives to take from the 20-7 defeat to Berkswell & Balsall, but bemoaned a lack of ruthlessness when it was needed most.

Both teams went into the fixture having not yet won a game in their 2019/20 campaigns.

The home side came out on top and were the better of the two sides in what was a scrappy affair.

Berkswell were denied their chance to take an early lead when Oliver Eburne missed a penalty kick before proceeding to miss all attempts at posts, including four conversions.

However, they made up for it by breaking Alcester’s line of defence to score three unanswered tries before half-time to take a 15-0 lead.

The home side opened the scoring in the second half too before Alcester’s efforts finally paid off.

Man-of-the-match Shaun Nash’s one-handed offload set up Will Mitchell to cross the whitewash.

Captain Ed Gough slotted over the only successful conversion of the game and despite eliciting some celebrations by the large travelling crowd, it also caused frustration that Alcester did not attempt any further kicks at posts when awarded a penalty.

The Red and Blacks’ pack were dominating the scrum, which unsettled the home side and the breakdowns were becoming scrappy as frustrations boiled over.

With five minutes to go, Berkswell hooker Mark Connors was shown a red card after he led with his head during an altercation.

Alcester were unable to capitalise on the extra man and were left feeling disappointed when the final whilst blew, feeling hard done by from decisions that did not go in their favour.

Head coach David Miles said: “The difference between both sides was their execution and we needed to have cool heads in key moments.

“A major positive was our dominance in the scrum, who turned over their ball on more than one occasion.”

Alcester take on Old Laurentians 2nds in a friendly on Saturday while the Red and Blacks’ second string meet OLs 3rds.