Ninth Bonus Point Secured

Atherstone 57 - 3 Alcester

Last Updated: Jan 7, 2014 09:14pm
Atherstone, North Warwickshire
By Atherstone RFC
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Atherstone RFC continued their outstanding form on Saturday securing another bonus point win in their push for promotion giving them a total of nine bonus points and an impressive total of 378 points scored in eleven outings.

Whilst the Ratcliffe Road outfit have held on to their second place spot there is no room for complacency as the promotion battle is likely to go down to the wire with an end of season encounter with third place Woodrush.
The home side had no difficulty in shaking off the cobwebs from the Christmas break as they dominated their opposition starving them of territory and possession securing their four try bonus point within the first thirty minutes. The pack proved to be too strong for Alcester as throughout the game they forced their opposition back in the set pieces and spoilt lineout ball ensuring that Alcester had limited opportunities to create attacking platforms. Dave Whittaker opened Atherstone’s account with an unconverted try which came from a solid scrum on Alcester’s 5m line. As the pack drove forward, Whittaker picked up at Number 8 to burst through for the try. The second try of the match came from a lineout on the visitor’s 22m line which was taken cleanly byBob Greenway. In a well-rehearsed move, the pack surrounded their colleague and rolled the ball towards the try line. Dean Merrick carried the ball over for the try which was duly converted by Andy Redman.
James Redman showed his strength as he wrestled off four defenders to score the third try of the match which came from a free kick ten metres out from the try line. Andy Redman added the extras. Andy Redman’s quick thinking saw him score the bonus point try from a 5m scrum. The pack was trundling forwards with Alcester finding it difficult to put the brakes on. The ball bobbled out of the back of the scrum over the line. Redman quickly grounded the ball for the try which he then converted taking the score to 26-0. In their frustration, the visitors were beginning to give away penalties which were used effectively by their hosts to add to their points tally. A tap penalty was collected by Tom Aherne just inside Alcester’s 22m. He powered through the defence to go over for the final try of the half with Redman once again successfully kicking the conversion.
Early in the second half, Whittaker scored his second of the match linking with Dan Powell and Aherne to power over the line for the try converted by Redman. Despite facing a 40 point deficit, Alcester were far from beaten as they took the slim pickings of possession to try and build attacks however their efforts went unrewarded as handling errors and infringements hand possession back to their hosts. Another tap penalty provided the platform for the seventh try of the match with Jamie Lawrence collecting the ball from Redman and ploughing through the defence to score an unconverted try. Youngsters Kai Ball and Joe Wakelin made their presence felt on the pitch working together to work the ball towards the try line. Unfortunately, Wakelin picked up a knee injury which is likely to see him out for the rest of the season during the passage of play which led to Dean Guycrossing the line for his tenth first team try. Redman added the extras. 
An infringement from Atherstone in their own 22 provided Alcester with a kickable penalty to put three points on the board. As the light faded and mud caked shirts made it difficult to separate the teams the home side closed the match with a second try for Lawrence converted by Redman to take the final score to 57-3.
Atherstone’s next league match will be away to fourth placed Barton-under-Needwood on January 18th. This will be a tough test for the Ratcliffe Road outfit the outcome of which will have a significant bearing on the end of season league positions.