Claverdon 30-0 Kings Norton
Midlands Five West (South)
CLAVERDON skipper James Williams contributed 15 points to help his side bounce back from defeat in their previous outing to claim a bonus-point win.
Kings Norton, a team that Claverdon did the double over last season, looked a shadow of their former self and couldn’t halt the hosts.
Despite playing into a strong gale early on, the Lions set out their stall in the first 15 minutes, enjoying large swathes of territory and possession.
Kings Norton struggled to get onside with the referee, particularly in the first half, and were caught offside in the centres for a simple three points from Williams to open the scoring.
Kings Norton did enjoy the upper hand at the scrum, and very nearly breached the Claverdon line but when they tried to move the ball wide, the quick defence from Seru Rokotuiloma and Tim Westmacott made life difficult.
Claverdon scored the first try with a good strike move from the lineout. Tim Westmacott cutting a great line off Williams and slicing between the Kings Norton defence, before drawing the full back and popping to Tom Johnson to score in the corner. The conversion missed into the headwind.
Claverdon, however, extended the lead with another Williams penalty shortly before half time to lead 11-0.
The key for the hosts in the second half was to score three tries and secure the bonus point, but to their credit, the 15 of Kings Norton made it difficult for 40 minutes.
Spurred on by some powerful running by their large forwards, Kings Norton made ground in and around the fringes before mistakes cost them possession.
But the scoring came at the other end. Good interplay between Williams and Westmacott got Claverdon to within 10 metres before he was hauled down by a high tackle. Conor Smith, fresh from the bench and a baby arrival, tapped the penalty and fed Johnson to score.
Williams added the conversion to extend the lead to 18.
Williams grabbed the third try shortly after with KN starting to tire. Finding himself up against forwards, Williams broke the line and spun past the covering defender to dot down. The conversion, though, missed to the right.
With 10 minutes or so to play, Claverdon were desperately seeking the crucial fourth score. Players guilty of wanting to be the hero made it more difficult for Claverdon who wasted many overlaps to try and bully their way through. Kings Norton were resolute and held firm on a number of occasions.
But the pressure finally told and James Barton crashed over from close range following a spell of 10 phases within five metres of the line. Williams took his tally to 15 with the conversion with a minute left on the clock.
On Saturday, Claverdon head to Manor Park.