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Pershore Relish Home Opportunity

RFU Senior Vase Midlands Final

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:51pm
Wyre Piddle, Wychavon
By Paul Bolton
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PERSHORE will be able to enjoy the rare luxury of a match at their Wyre Piddle headquarters when they host Stewarts & Lloyds in the Midlands final of the RFU Senior Vase on Saturday March 15.

The Worcestershire club have been particularly hard-hit by the recent flooding and have played just one match at home since Christmas, but they have proved their resilience by moving to within two games of an appearance in a Twickenham final.

Pershore had to switch their Senior Vase Midlands semi-final against West Bridgford to Worcestershire neighbours Kidderminster Carolians but they were able to return to Wyre Piddle for the first time in 2014 for a recent Midlands Three West (South) match against Cheltenham North.

Now that the flood waters have receded and the forecast is for better weather, Pershore are looking forward to home comforts again for their match against Corby-based Stewarts & Lloyds for a place in the national semi-finals.

“There are still one or two damp areas but the pitch is fine and we are hoping that with the forecast of some warmer weather it will dry out further,” said Pershore’s back coach Tommy Hayes.

“The weather has disrupted our entire season. We’re about five games behind in our league programme and we had to switch the West Bridgford match to Kidderminster.

“The big issue has been continuity. When we have managed to play consecutive matches we have played some good rugby, the big problem has been playing two matches in a row.”

Training has also been an issue for Hayes and Pershore’s forwards coach Toby Grace, with the floodwaters forcing them to find other facilities in and around the town to keep their players match sharp.

“We’ve been to tennis courts and car parks, you name it we’ve been there,” Hayes said. “We’ve had to be creative in our training regime. It’s not been easy but the players have responded well.”

Pershore intend to use the Stewarts & Lloyds match as a homecoming celebration which will involve all sections of the club and also former players.

“We see the final not just as a big day for the first team but also as an opportunity for all the different sections in the club to come together and enjoy the occasion,” Hayes said.

“We intend to make the most of the experience and we are going to invite along some of the old faces who perhaps haven’t been down to the club so much in  recent years to get them involved again.”

But a day of celebration for Pershore will also be tinged with sadness following the recent death of their chairman Robert ‘Spud’ Willson-Taylor after a brave battle against cancer.

“We will be thinking about Spuddy and the memories of what he gave to the club over many years will be a motivating factor for us,” Hayes.

“It’s a great shame that he is no longer with us because he put so much of his time and his energy into the club over many years.”

Photo: File pic

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