Coventrians 15 - 37 Harbury

Midlands 4 West (South)

Last Updated: Jan 7, 2014 09:04pm
Harbury, Stratford-on-Avon
By Jerry Birkbeck
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After a disappointing couple of matches, in the league and then the Junior Vase, Harbury were looking to move forward in 2014. They did this with some style in an excellent team performance in challenging conditions.

The heavy rain over the previous twenty four hours had cast some doubt as to whether the match would be played. Indeed Harbury’s home fixture for the 2nd XV against their counterparts from Pinley was cancelled on Saturday morning. However, Coventrians pitch drains well, although the overnight rain had led to the markings being washed out and re-done prior to the game.

Harbury, were aware that this game could be awkward, as it could well be a forward dominated match and that the underfoot conditions would be difficult. This was borne out as the pitch cut up during the course of the game and Harbury’s physio EMMA HICKMAN was called on to deal with twisted ankles and knees as the heavy surface took its toll on players.

Harbury started brightly with their pack very much in the ascendancy and this was typified by an excellent rolling maul, from a well taken lineout by Tom Kittendorf that took play 30 metres down the pitch with prop DAVE HEYDON being forced over for the touchdown. Outside half RICH CLARKE adding the conversion. Harbury scored a further try from a sharply taken 5 metre tap penalty by CHRIS MILBURN for a 12-0 lead. Coventrians responded with a penalty and try to reduce the deficit. However, two well struck penalties from CLARKE put his side 18-8 ahead at the break.

Harbury dominated the opening exchanges of the second half and added an early score through another try through a forward pick up and go and the ball worked wide to wing GEORGE BOSTOCK who choose an excellent line to drive over into the corner. The well struck conversion attempt drifting marginally wide.

Coventrians then enjoyed a period of pressure as Harbury conceded a number of penalties. Sound defence kept the hosts at bay but a five metre scrum in their favour, though well controlled by the Harbury pack, was well picked up by the home number eight who choose a good running line and touched down under the posts and the conversion was added and reducing Harbury’s lead to eight points.

This spurred Harbury who then finished the stronger side with another two excellent forward tries, The first from a line out take by Milburn and from the resulting maul lock GAZ EVANS crossed the line. This was followed by another catch and drive from the line out touched down by LUKE DUNNE. Both brilliantly converted by CLARKE to give his side a thoroughly deserved victory.

An excellent team performance with the forward play of the highest calibre, coupled with determined and forceful play in the backline.

Harbury are at home to Coventry Welsh on Saturday in Round 12 of the League.



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