Claverdon back to winning ways
CLAVERDON claimed a much-needed victory on Saturday as they edged out visiting Coventrians to get back on the winning trail following back-to-back defeats in Midlands Four West (South).
The Lions received the kick-off and tidied up, with Sam Turrell clearing the ball up to the halfway line.
Coventrians’ tidy line-out saw them feed a hard running forward to the centre of the field.
However, solid defence from James Williams and Josh Smallwood forced the penalty, allowing the hosts to move up the pitch.
Steve Grimsley found his man at the line-out and Claverdon mauled up the field.
Jack Johnson then fed Williams, who pushed the ball through the backs to wide man James Gibney, who was brought down into touch in the corner.
Coventrians then cleared their lines. With a wet and muddy ball, the match saw a high number of scrums.
A solid front three performance from both sides saw evenly match scrums all day.
The last ten minutes of the first half saw Coventrians pile on the pressure through their bigger pack and hard running centre.
Claverdon soon crumbled under the pressure and conceded a penalty just wide of the posts.
With the terrible conditions in the air and underfoot, the Coventrians fly half hit the posts with the kick.
The ball fell into Turrell’s hands and the centre cleared for the half-time whistle as both sides went into the break scoreless.
After the interval Williams started with a deep kick into the Coventrians half, making them play out with the rain in their faces.
From a Coventrians line-out they shipped the ball through the backs, only for the ball to be dropped by the centre.
Quick thinking saw Williams put boot to ball and race for the line.
Having crossed the whitewash, Williams was denied for not having control of the ball and that led to a 5m scrum.
The engine room of Nick Green and Scott Alford caused a slight wheel in the scrum which caused problems for the Coventrians No.8.
As he tried offloading to the scrum half, quick reactions from James Barton saw him turn the ball over.
Following the turn over, Alex Haynes picked the ball up from the back of the ruck to bury his way through for the first score of the game.
The successful conversion put the Lions 7-0 up.
Much of the second half was played in the centre of the field, with both teams attacking and defending with great determination and neither gaining much advantage over the other.
Claverdon did increase their lead following a couple of penalties that allowed them to work their way up field.
The Lions eventually got the three points to move 10-0 ahead as the Coventrians backline were deemed offside.
With ten minutes to play Coventrians threw everything at Claverdon.
After several phases and good ball retention Coventrians were awarded a penalty which they kicked into the corner.
Following a strong maul their forwards knew it was their time to score and after several picks from the ruck they found themselves over the Claverdon line to reduce the deficit to 10-5.
The Lions held on, though, to come away with the victory.