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Last Play Agony for County U18s

North Midlands RFU

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2013 05:58pm
St. Stephen, Worcester
By Paul Bolton
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North Midlands Under-18s suffered an agonising 26-22 defeat against Staffordshire at Stourbridge.

North Midlands were leading 22-12 at one stage but conceded two converted tries in the last eight minutes of the match, the last of them to the final play of the game.

North Midlands conceded a penalty which gave Staffordshire the chance to launch one final attack and full-back Charlie Venables (Denstone College) wriggled free to touch down under the posts for a try that he also improved.

North Midlands were left to regret squandering scoring opportunities during a second half that they dominated in an error-strewn and penalty-riddled contest.

North Midlands, who were edged out by Warwickshire in their opening match two weeks ago, were strengthened by the availability of five players from Worcester Sixth Form College and they produced another committed performance against opponents who were dangerous on the break.

A try from a driving line-out by lock Austin Allison (Bromsgrove School and Worcestershire) and a conversion from fly-half Luke White (Bromsgrove School and Worcestershire) gave North Midlands an early lead but Staffordshire were soon back on level terms when centre William Wedgwood crossed for a try that Venables improved.

Staffordshire went in front with an unconverted try after a sustained attack but flanker Mathew Kinney (Ellesmere College and Shropshire) capped a fine individual performance with another  close range try which pulled North Midlands level.

White regained the lead when he slotted a penalty on the stroke of half time and he appeared to have made a more decisive contribution with a fine solo try when he darted over ten minutes into the second half and added the extras.

But North Midlands could not turn territory and pressure into further points and Staffordshire’s persistence and patience was rewarded with 14 unanswered points at the death.

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