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Colts enjoy a hard-earned draw

Dudley Kingswinford 10 - Evesham RFC Colts 10

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2013 06:09pm
Evesham, Wychavon
By Ben Salcedo
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Evesham Colts continued their solid start to the season with a hard-earned 10-10 draw away to Dudley Kingswinford.

Both teams struggled for fluency in this North Midlands Colts League clash, but this did not prevent an enthralling encounter being played out. The wind and rain made conditions tough to handle the ball, but where quality offensive play was lacking, excellent defensive work shone through on both sides.

DK had complete control of territory in the first half, but were unable to turn this dominance into significant points. This was due to Evesham’s outstanding defence led by Man-of-the-Match Ash Icke. The inside-centre was rock solid in the tackle and forced several turnovers to blunt DKs attacks. He was backed-up with good tackling up-front by forwards Fred Hopper, Iain Stoddart, Matt Camp, Adam Johnson and Dom Berry. Wilf Watson and Matt Kinnersley provided the cover defence in the back line, both made try-saving tackles as DK looked poised to score. However the home team did manage to evade the cover on one occasion mid-way through the half. A impressive turn of speed from their right winger saw him touch down in the corner but the conversion was missed from the touchline. Mike Harris excelled again for Evesham with the boot, his clearance kicks gave the visitor’s their only real respite from defence. Josh Sands chipped in with a few box-kicks but, more importantly, he marshalled the defence well from scrum-half. Other than an interception by Connor Greatrix, and half-breaks from James Williamson, Berry and Icke, Evesham had no forward momentum with ball-in-hand. Until the last play of the half. The visitors won a scrum in DK’s half, clean ball allowed Harris to cut across the defensive line from outside half. He fed Watson who broke the line and swerved around the full-back to score under the posts. Harris made the conversion for a 5-7 lead at the break.
The second half was much more even in terms of territory and possession, but whilst there was little scoring the action was still gripping. DK regained the lead early on with a second try. After the home side won a short kicking battle for territory their big forwards forced their way over the line with a succession of mauls and rucks. The conversion was missed, and minutes later Evesham drew level with a Harris penalty kick. The penalty was won as Iain Stoddart and Josh Perry combined in a tackle, forcing DK to hold on to the ball on the floor. Neither team really had a clear cut chance to score from there on, but both certainly tried. Harris came closest for Evesham, missing an ambitious penalty kick from close to half-way. He followed it up with a barn-storming run, but DK’s defence was as strong as Evesham’s. Substitutes Kieron Nicholls and Alex Stoddart both contributed with excellent tackles along with Martin Di Franco, who’s work rate in the loose was impressive. The conditions meant a tough day in the lineout, Joe Beirns's consistency at front jumper was tested, but he won most of the visitor’s ball in the air. Evesham’s scrummage was much improved from last week, but there is still room for improvement.

Evesham entertain Walsall next Sunday in another League match.

 

 

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