NEW Ravens 12
Leamington Royals 44
NORTH East Worcestershire Ravens failed to capitalise on another encouraging first-half display and suffered a disappointing home defeat in the Midlands Premier League on Saturday.
They were left to rue several injuries and the sin-binning of key man Sean Sudworth in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Early on, Leamington took full advantage of a high kick deep into the Ravens territory which was taken well by full back Brad Sinclair, only for the match official to signal for offside.
From the resultant scrum, the visitors scored in the corner, which was converted to take a 6-0 lead.
Ravens hit back with a quality try as forward Liam Dunne made a tremendous break from the Ravens’ half and a great offload to Sean Flynn, who dashed 50 metres only to be caught yards from the line.
But Jack Keeling scampered home out wide for a try, this was just too far out for Dave Wimbury to convert.
The hosts were back over the whitewash when Dunne powered his way over for a try, unfortunately conversion missed again.
Just three minutes later, Leamington hit back with a try of their own, which came on the back of a Ravens mistake.
On the last play of the half, the home side scored another well-worked try when James Philpott waltzed over for a try in the corner to hand Ravens a narrow 12-10 half-time lead.
The second half started off with the Ravens’ defence on top until the 49th minute as two injuries forced them to make changes in key positions.
Leamington took advantage to score a converted try to give them the lead yet again.
But the turning-point in the game was on the 60th minute when Sudworth was sin-binned for an adjudged late tackle and Leamington took advantage of the extra man as they scored three converted tries.
Ravens didn’t give up as they made several decent breaks.
Keeling looked to have broken clear only to be ankle-tapped, to deny a certain touchdown.
There were several occasions when Ravens were attacking in Leamington’s final 20 to be denied by either forcing the play or handling errors with the tryline begging.
Leamington went on to score twice more in the final four minutes as Ravens’ defence tired.
On Saturday Ravens are at home for the third week in a row as they take on table-topping Northampton Demons in a tough encounter.