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Pershore Forwards Dominate

Southam 1st XV 18 - 24 Pershore 1st XV

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2014 05:02pm
Wyre Piddle, Wychavon
By Karl Evans
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Pershore overcame Southam in Saturday's league fixture at Kineton Road, Southam.

With the ground  wet and heavy and a strong wind blowing down the pitch it was set up from the start to be a game dominated by the forwards, something which Pershore were certainly better equipped for. The Pershore pack were dominant throughout the game, taking clear control of the set piece and the tackle area. Although Pershore were going into the wind and up the slope in the first half they still managed to dominate both territory and possession for prolonged periods. Winger Ashley White got himself on the end of a blindside move to score in the corner. However Pershore were soon behind. The strong running home centre managed to break Nick Creswick’s tackle and score under the posts for a converted try. This was the only time that Pershore were trailing and within 5 minutes they were back in the lead. A dropped pass in midfield was hacked forward by Pershore fly half Adrian Hanson and it was centre Matt Cyphus who was quickest to react and was first to dive on the ball over the line. Lewis Dolphin converted to give Pershore a 12-7 lead. A few minutes before half time Pershore extended their lead. Strong running in midfield by Martin Hope and Karl Evans sucked in the home defence, the visitors then attacked the wider channel with flanker Greg Shaw breaking several tackles. Shaw then produced easily the pass of the match when he slipped the ball to prop Alex Peel who was supporting on his inside shoulder and he ran in unopposed. Dolphin again converted to give Pershore a 19-7 interval lead.

The forward dominance continued in the second half but the Southam defence were particularly resolute. Pershore had plenty of opportunities to score with Cyphus and lock Toby Grace making significant breaks but being tackled short of the line. Southam did manage a penalty to close the gap but soon after the prolific scoring Martin Hope extended the visitors lead. From a scrum five metres from the line the Pershore pack marched over as the Southam forwards crumbled under the pressure and Hope fell on the ball as it crossed the line for an unconverted try. Southam certainly had a never say die attitude and tried desperately to get themselves back in to the game. It was obvious that the only success they would have was to keep the ball away from the Pershore forwards but this was a difficult task as the back row of Hope, Hardiman and Baker covered every inch of grass. They did however manage to close the gap with 10 minutes left. Ashley White outstretched arm narrowly missed an interception and his opposite winger had an easy run in to score. The conversion was missed but a late penalty meant that Southam got a bonus point as the game finished Southam 18 Pershore 24

This Saturday Pershore will entertain West Bridgford RFC in the semi final of the Midlands Senior vase. Kick off is 2.15pm.

Photo: File pic

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