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Confident 52-10 Win for Warwickshire

County Championship Shield Campaign

Last Updated: May 7, 2014 03:49pm
Ufton, Stratford-on-Avon
By Paul Bolton
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WARWICKSHIRE began their County Championship Shield campaign in confident form with a 52-10 win over Buckinghamshire at Nuneaton’s Liberty Way ground.

Warwickshire were beaten semi-finalists last season and suggested that they will again be a force to be reckoned with by running 40 points in the second half.

Two tries from hooker Paul Wilkes (Old Coventrians) from driving mauls and a conversion from Nuneaton fly-half Ben Cooper nudged Warwickshire into a 12-3 half-time lead.

Warwickshire played a more expansive game after the break and soon broke Buckinghamshire’s resistance.

The tries came thick and fast with wing Theo Knight (Nuneaton), flanker Chris Zutik (Broadstreet), replacement hooker Mike Worthington (Sutton Coldfield), centre Andy Murray (Broadstreet), wing Niall Beckett (Kenilworth) and full-back Corey Venus (Broadstreet) following in an entertaining contest.

Leicestershire were beaten 22-19 by Essex in the other Pool One match at Vipers where they paid the penalty for failing to turn pressure into points.

Leicestershire were 19-3 up at one stage but Essex gave them a lesson in finishing by scoring three tries in a ten minutes period in the second half which sealed the win.

Wing Blane Howe (Hinckley) and lock Mark Deaville (Hinckley) scored first half tries for Leicestershire, the second of which was converted by South Leicester’s Mark Lord.

A penalty try, awarded for persistent offending by Essex, which Lord improved appeared to have put Leicestershire in control.

But Essex made the most of their attacking opportunities when centre John Wylie (Brentwood), full-back Greg Bannister (Westcliff) and centre Chris Dudman (Westcliff) rattled in tries, two of which Dudman converted to go with a long range first-half penalty.

Staffordshire were edged out 18-12 by Cumbria, last season’s beaten finalists, in their opening Pool Two match at Workington.

Staffordshire were depleted by injuries and the unavailability of Leek players who were on RFU Intermediate Cup final duty, but pushed Cumbria hard.

Centre Henry Vaka (Longton) and flanker Carl Williams (Stoke) scored Staffordshire’s tries with Ash Martin of Stoke adding a conversion.

The result was in the balance until Cumbria kicked downfield, built the pressure and scored a late winning try.

The County Championship Shield continues on Saturday May 10 when Buckinghamshire host Leicestershire at Amersham & Chiltern, Warwickshire play Essex at Broadstreet and Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire open their campaign against Cumbria at Sleaford.

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