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A Narrow Loss for Atherstone 1st XV

Atherstone RFC 1st XV 7 – 13 Harbury RFC 1st XV

Last Updated: Mar 12, 2014 10:11am
Atherstone, North Warwickshire
By Julie Douglas
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A hard fought encounter saw Atherstone narrowly lose against a strong opposition and whilst they have maintained their third place position in the league.

Although the chances of promotion are now very slim, the firsts have many positives to be taken from this match and from the season as a whole.

From the start of the match both sides battled for territory and possession launching attacks and counterattacks as they tried to assert their authority on the game.  Defensively, Atherstone showed tremendous resilience as they soaked up the pressure put on them by the opposition. Harbury put points on the board first with a successful penalty kick in the first 12 minutes of the match.  Excellent tackling from Adam Bird in fullback ensured that Harbury were unable to cross the whitewash.

As the intensity of the match grew so too did the unforced errors and infringements providing Harbury with an opportunity to extend their lead with another successful kick to the posts.  Undeterred the home side regrouped and launched a series of attacks all of which were met with fierce defence from the visitors. 

With five minutes of the half remaining and with Atherstone building for another attack, a wayward pass was intercepted by a Harbury player who then sped up the park hotly pursued by the men in black.  With absolute determination the player evaded all attempts to stop his run and crossed under the posts for an easy conversion bringing the half time score to 0 -13.

Winger Dave Hill continues to impress with his blistering runs forcing Harbury to vigorously defend.  Hill was well in for a try early in the first half however the Harbury fullback put in an immense tackle to stop the break.  The visitors turned up the pressure as they looked to increase their lead however solid defence ensured kept them out of the in-goal area.

Eventually the men in black broke their duck with a well worked catch and drive from the line out.  The forwards went into action moving the ball towards the line with John Perry touching down for the five points.  Andy Redman added the extras to cut the deficit to six.

Harbury continued to pressure their host however with steely determination the home side formed a highly effective barrier to keep their opponents out.  As in the second half, Hill found himself chasing a chip from Redman only to be denied a try by a cruel bounce of the ball yards out from the line.

Having thrown everything they could at Atherstone, Harbury were unable to add to their score in the second half and as the final whistle went the men in black were left considering how different the game might have been without the first half interception try and the cruel bounce of the ball in the second half.  A losing bonus point ensures Atherstone stay 3rd with four games left to play.

 

 

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