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Alcester make it seven wins from seven in Counties Two Midlands West (South) with close victory over Manor Park

A HAT-TRICK from Jack Green and a last-minute try from Mark Burrell helped secure Alcester’s seventh consecutive league win, with a 34-31 success over Manor Park on Saturday.

Dwayne Cruickshank also crossed the whitewash to help the Red and Blacks continue their dominant streak in front of a sizeable home crowd of more than 100 spectators.

The visitors, sitting in second place in the league, started strongly and aggressively, with a series of scrums on Alcester’s line. They were eventually awarded a penalty, before taking a quick tap and diving over to open the scoring.

Alcester then had 20 minutes of scoring opportunities.

Firstly, Manor Park were offside in their 22. which gave Tom Burgess the chance to slot a penalty right in front of the posts, before hitting the uprights with his second chance just minutes later.

Cruickshank, who was playing at full-back, had made an impactful start to the game and made a great break down the field. After several off-loads, the ball made it to Green who was set free to score.

Less than two minutes later, a well-worked line-out move saw the front peel away and the ball make it out wide to Green to score his second.

Despite Alcester looking dangerous with the ball in hand, the game was still end to end. A poorly judged kick ahead, and a lucky bounce in the visitors’ favour, saw Manor Park’s centre gather the ball and crash over the line.

Alcester’s fate turned when they received two yellow cards in quick succession for separate incidents, which saw them reduced to 13 men.

Manor Park capitalised and after a period of pressure on the home side’s line, it was their hooker who crashed over for his second and put his side 17-15 ahead at the break.

Before Alcester were back to their full strength of players, Manor Park added another from short range to extend their lead.

Ollie Hopkins, who came on as substitute for his first team debut, made a great break before offloading to Cruickshank to score Alcester’s third, but the home side still narrowly trailed the game.

Manor Park’s pick and drive game was impressive and they were yet again able to use this to their advantage to add another try to their points tally.

As the game continued to be an end to end affair, Alcester retaliated quickly and Green crashed through several tackles to complete his hat-trick.

Burgess slotted over the conversion and there was just two points in the game with 15 minutes left on the clock.

The visitors started to lose their grip on the game as they received two yellow cards within five minutes for dangerous tackles and were now in a similar position to Alcester earlier in the game.

Hopkins looked to have regained the lead for his side but his foot was deemed in touch as he crashed over the line. Alcester were spurred on by this and applied the pressure, camping on their opposition’s line.

A line-out on the 10m line saw the ball whipped out the back of the resulting maul and shipped wide to Alcester’s top try scorer Burrell, to crash over.

The conversion was missed but Alcester had done enough to claim the victory. Alcester travel to Coventry on Saturday to take on fifth-placed Old Wheatleyans as they look to continue their immaculate start to the season.

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