Woodrush 6, Kings Norton 10
KINGS Norton produced a second-half fight back and recorded their first win over their local rivals for eight years in the Midlands Division Three West (South) on Saturday.
The wet conditions together with two closely matched and passionate teams ensured a close scoreline in this well-contested local derby.
The visitors started well but were unable to break through the home side’s determined defence as Woodrush gradually gained momentum.
The hosts were piling the pressure on Norton and took the lead when Steve Smart landed a penalty after 15 minutes after the Kings pack had illegally handled a tackle.
Norton centre Chris Carlin also produced a try-saving tackle after Woodrush skipper John Board went on one of his trademark runs to spark an attack.
As the home team attacked again down the left wing with the line in sight, a final forward pass saved Kings from falling further behind.
With their tails up Woods attacked through their forwards and won a second penalty opportunity which Smart easily converted to increase the home lead to six points at half-time.
The second period of play was a very similar affair with both sides determined to battle for victory.
Almost from the kick-off, Carlin had a great run only to be well-tackled well inside Woodrush territory.
The Ash Lane visitors kept the pressure on and won a penalty after just five minutes which Carlin converted to close the gap to just three points.
Kings now had their tails up and it was the turn of the Woodrush defence to feel the pressure. Much of the second half was played in home territory but with both sides struggling in the wet conditions many unforced errors occurred.
However, with 20 minutes played of the second period, Kris Fenn made the important score when he collected the ball close to the Woodrush line and crashed over for a try near to the posts. Carlin added the extras and Kings had the lead which they held onto until the final whistle.
Woodrush entertain Aston Old Edwardians in the second round of the North Midlands Shield on Saturday, while Kings Norton, who have a walkover against Lordswood Dixonians, go to the fixture pool.