Kingfishers enjoy thrilling derby win

Redditch Advertiser: Derby thriller: An Alcester player finds his way to the tryline is barred by Redditch’s defence Picture: CRAIG ROSS Derby thriller: An Alcester player finds his way to the tryline is barred by Redditch’s defence Picture: CRAIG ROSS

REDDITCH won a closely-fought Midlands Division Four West (South) encounter to secure a much-needed derby victory at Bromsgrove Road.

The Kingfishers had to weather a stirring end to the game by Alcester, who nearly won the match with a late penalty.

The hosts were reduced to 14 men when centre Rob Samson-Berry was caught by a high tackle.

Despite the disadvantage, Redditch opened the scoring when Phil Goddard was pushed over for a touchdown.

Their lead was extended following some good phases of rugby which stretched the Alcester defence.

A perfectly weighted cross-field kick by Tom Saddington found Bryn Williams in acres of space to double the advantage.

The Kingfishers seemed to be cruising, but the visitors struck back in quick succession shortly before the break.

Tom Alder kicked over a penalty, before Scott Carmichael touched down for a score which Alder converted to make it 10-10.

But the match continued to ebb and flow and Redditch took the lead again early in the second half.

Saddington took a quick tap-penalty after good pressure from the forwards and burrowed his way over the line from short range.

The conversion was added opening the lead to seven points.

But Alcester were far from done. The return of Ben Hope and man of the match, hooker Tom Harris strengthened the Warwickshire side’s line out and gave Alcester the territory they had needed to launch another comeback.

George Green was pushed over from a rolling maul to make it 17-15 and ensure a tense end to the match.

Alcester were handed a chance to snatch a last-gasp win when Joe Sears earned a penalty but Alder’s kick sailed wide and the visitors had to settle for a bonus point.

The Kings Coughton men will hope for better things when they entertain Coventry side Stoke Old Boys in the league fixture, while Redditch take on third-placed Atherstone away (both 2.15pm kick-offs) this weekend.

Meanwhile, Alcester’s seconds defeated their opposite numbers from Redditch 29-15.

Jamie Clarke led the way with one of his side’s five tries, with the other scores coming from Joey Cull, Lewis Smith, Chris Hanley and Ben Lunnon. Paul Taylor added two conversions.

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