Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Pershore fall short in Midlands rugby final
5:00pm Monday 17th March 2014 in Sport
PERSHORE'S Twickenham dream was shattered by an RFU Midlands Senior Vase final defeat to Stewarts and Lloyds.
Their run to the national knockout stages was ended by the Corby visitors, who triumphed 28-15 in Wyre Piddle.
On a perfect playing surface with sunny conditions and a slight breeze, the teams proved evenly matched with two huge forward packs battering each other.
Pershore missed an early chance to take the lead after a driving maul from a line-out and Stewarts and Lloyds went ahead soon after with a penalty.
Their lead was quickly doubled from a similar position before the forward battle continued with Martin Hope and James Martin carrying well but often defence was key.
The scrums were reasonably even but the visitors' variation and speed in the line-out caused problems.
On 30 minutes, Pershore got off the mark when a loose pass was picked up by centre Adrian Hanson and he found winger Stefan Ellis, who scored a fine solo try.
Skipper Lewis Dolphin missed the conversion but Pershore were guilty of a line-out overthrow, which gifted an easy try to make it 11-5.
Pershore pulled back a penalty on the stroke of half-time through Dolphin and then began the second-half well.
Alex Peel took a quick penalty and won a further set-piece, condemning the Stewarts and Lloyds loosehead prop to the sin-bin as a result.
Pershore won a scrum five metres short of the line and the front row of Peel, Jameson Lane and Lee Synnuck angled it to give Hope a straight run.
Hope then cleverly arched his burst and popped inside to Dolphin, who scored a try which he converted under the posts.
But again Stewarts and Lloyds responded with vigour, using the driving line-out effectively as Pershore lost Luke Hardiman for 10 minutes for collapsing a maul.
From the next line-out, they turned pressure into points when the pack marched over for a converted try, regaining the lead at 18-15.
Pershore pressed with Tommy Hayes and Hanson going close but a Stewarts and Lloyds penalty extended their advantage.
With Pershore chasing the game, their opponents capitalised on a turn-over in midfield as the winger scored a fine converted try under the posts to seal the win.
Fourth-from-bottom Pershore are back in Midlands Three West (South) action at Mill Lane on Saturday against struggling Kings Norton (3pm).
Meanwhile, bottom-of-the-table Evesham lost 22-21 at home to fourth-placed Old Wheatleyans in the same division after a brave effort.
They visit leaders Pinley on Saturday, while Bredon Star head to Ross-on-Wye in Gloucester Division Two.