Alcester up to seventh after edging out Manor Park

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Phil Birks was Alcester's man of the match. Photo: Paul O'Sullivan

RUGBY UNION

Midlands Three West (South)
Manor Park 10-12 Alcester

ALCESTER moved up to seventh in the league table with a gritty and determined win at Kings Coughton on Saturday.

In a game that was scheduled to be played at Manor Park’s ground in Nuneaton, it was switched in midweek when the Griff Coton Sports Ground fell victim to the recent weather conditions.

Alcester’s try-scoring hero was Josh O’Connor, who bagged both tries to cancel out those by the visitors, but ultimately it was Matt Ashby’s brilliant touchline conversion that was the difference between the two teams.

Alcester’s ground survived an early morning pitch inspection, but it was still very heavy underfoot, particularly at the bottom end of the pitch which the home side defended in the first half.

The opening quarter of the game was scoreless and was played almost entirely in Alcester’s half, with the visitors dominating possession and territory.

They were met with some disciplined and determined defence and on the two occasions when they looked like they might breach that line, a final pass was spilled by the Nuneaton men to keep the scores level.

In the 25th minute and after another period of sustained pressure, the Manor Park forwards managed to rumble over the line for the first try.

The home side were spurred into life following this and enjoyed their best period of pressure in Manor Park’s half, which culminated in centre O’Connor powering through three attempted tackles to bring his side level.

Ashby brilliantly converted the try from the touchline with a long-range kick.

The scoreline remained 7-5 at half-time, with Alcester enjoying the better of things in the closing stages of the half.

The opening stages of the second half were a very even affair, but as the match entered its final ten minutes the visitors were now back on top.

After another period of pressure near the Alcester line, they forced a second try in the corner, despite the home side and their supporters claiming that the try-scorer had been bundled into touch before touching down.

To Alcester’s credit they regrouped for a final push in the closing stages and from the most fluent move of the half, they created an overlap for O’Connor to dive over for his second try which gave the visitors no time to hit back.

There is a sterner test awaiting Alcester on Saturday when second-placed Old Coventrians are the visitors to Kings Coughton for a 2.15pm kick-off.

Warwickshire League, Division Three
Alcester 2nds 36-12 Manor Park 2nds

IT was a double win for the Alcester teams which has been a rare sight at Kings Coughton in the recent seasons.

Alcester’s tries came from a Scott Carmichael brace whilst Scott McGee, Max Biltcliffe and Sam Fell crossed the whitewash.

Sidney Tunstall also scored a length of the field try, his first score for the club.

Glyn Smith and Pete Taylor added three conversions between them.

Director of rugby Stu Phillips had a few people to thank for their contribution to the game.

“It was a great first game for Tom Hickey, he’s a great prospect for the future and it was a very well-deserved man of the Mmtch for Oliver Clark,” he said.

“I would like to mention Alec Aucott and Darren Davis, who have made the difficult decision to hang their boots up.”

The 2nds visit Old Coventrians Archers on Saturday.