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A home semi final for Pershore RFC

Stockwood Park 13 - 20 Pershore

Last Updated: Feb 3, 2014 06:57pm
Wyre Piddle, Wychavon
By Karl Evans
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A home semi final against West Bridgford on 22nd February was the reward FOR Pershore as they triumphed in Luton, beating Stockwood Park 20-13.

Despite the recent wet weather the pitch was in reasonable condition but the strong winds going diagonally across the pitch made kicking and passing difficult for both teams.
Pershore started going up the slope and against the wind. The Pershore forwards were to the ascendency from the start. The set piece in particular functioned excellently. Toby Grace and Greg Shaw were both towering in the lineout and the entire front 8 showed superior power in the scrum throughout the game. The visitors used the driving maul from a lineout to good effect. From one such lineout Grace again took the ball 10 metres from the line. Martin Hope then steered the maul to crash over the line for a 5-0 lead. Captain Lewis Dolphin missed the kick. Once Stockwood Park were back in possession it was easy to pin Pershore back in their own territory. At the midway point in the first half the hosts were in the lead after scoring a try of their own and a penalty. Park were good at keeping possession and offloading in the tackle but Pershore’s aggressive defence kept the hosts out for the remainder of the half. Pershore had chances to take the lead with a series of 5 metre scrums, but it was winger Ash White who crossed the line to give Pershore a 10-8 half time lead.
Pershore were confident going in to the second half, with the wind and the slope, but it was Stockwood Park who struck first, scoring and unconverted try to take the lead. Hope soon struck again, this time after another powerful scrum the prolific scoring number 8 went over for another unconverted try. At 15-13 the game was on a knife edge. Both kickers traded missed penalties. Park seemed to be able to string together many phases of play without mistake, but came up against excellent defence. With 7 minutes left winger White took on his opposite winger for a second time and scored another unconverted try. Pershore played cleverly in the final minutes to run the clock down and hand Stockwood Park thier first defeat of 2014. The win was certainly more poignant for Pershore who are mourning the loss of Chairman Robert Willson-Taylor (Spud) who lost his battle with cancer earlier in the week. With that in mind it was an emotion filled dressing room after the game.
Pershore are back to league rugby next week when they entertain Shipston, 2.15 kick off

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