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Keresley win secures Alcester safety
3:58pm Monday 18th March 2013 in Local Sport
Keresley 15, Alcester 16
ALCESTER banished their relegation fears in the Midlands Division Four West (South) as they edged out bottom side Keresley on Saturday.
Victory means with two matches of the season left, the Kings Coughton boast an unassailable 11 points lead over second from bottom Warwickian.
They welcomed back number eight Mika Pieri for his first start of the season after long term injury, but club captain Stu Fletcher’s anticipated first start of the season was thwarted late on Saturday morning because of illness.
An away win at Keresley has been a rare occurrence for Alcester over the years but the visitors started well with Robbie Parker thriving with the extra space that he'd been given at full back and wingers Jamie Clarke and Will Harcourt both gaining ground and stretching the home side's defence.
Fly-half Jamie Randall handed them the lead with two penalties.
The visitors were pegged back when the home side mauled their way over the line from close in.
Poor rucking at the break down gave the home side's big pack some room and the scored two tries to edged 10-6 ahead.
But Clarke used all of his strength and pace to force himself over for an excellent score to put Alcester 11-10 up at the interval.
As the muddy conditions got worse and worse the second half became a war of attrition.
Keresley's powerful pack becoming more and more dominant in the scrum, with Alcester the more threatening from the scraps of possession that they could get their hands on.
Time and time again Pieri relieved pressure for his side with his strong running and it was no surprise to see him race over to score the first try of the second half which proved to be the vital score which clinched the win for his side and sealed the man of the match award.
The away side were reduced to 14 men when lock Jamie Miller was sin-binned for dragging down a maul and despite their brave defence they could do nothing to stop the home side driving over to score from a five metre scrum.
With just one point in the game, Alcester dug deep in the final stages, with Randall kicking cleverly and centre Brett Allard taking responsibility with his charging runs late on.
The home side failed to threaten again and Alcester were good for their win which has put them clear of the relegation zone and given them a rare double over Keresley.
Alcester host in form Harbury next Saturday in another league game, with the match kicking off at King’s Coughton at 3pm.
The seconds lost 31-0 Redditch at the weekend, despite a good display by Tom Saddington.
Meanwhile, the under-16s drew 5-5 with Harbury with Fred Badham touching down.
Alcester will be hosting their annual sevens tournament on Sunday, April 28 and entries are invited from all senior sides.
Entrance details can be obtained from the Alcester Pitchero website, or by contacting Andy Flynn on 07923 436184 or at email@example.com