Claverdon 33 Wednesbury 14
Midlands Junior Vase round one
CLAVERDON scored 23 unanswered second half points to see off Wednesbury at Ossetts Hole Lane on Saturday.
Following successive Midlands Four West (South) defeats, this Vase success was a welcome tonic for the Lions, who proved too strong for the Midlands Four West (North) visitors.
Wednesbury, relegated last season, headed to Claverdon with high hopes given the start Claverdon have made to this season but it is the Lions who gained momentum to take into Saturday’s league trip to Alcester.
Playing uphill in the first half, Claverdon started the brighter of the two and took the lead courtesy of a penalty from captain James Williams.
Wednesbury grew into the half and, with the wind at their backs, kicked smartly into the corners and applied pressure on the Lions deep in their own half.
The score was soon level thanks to a penalty from the Wednesbury fly half.
The first try of the game came somewhat against the run of play when Wednesbury nudged a couple of penalties into the corner to set up the drive.
The initial assaults were repelled before the ball was spun wide. Claverdon turned the ball over in midfield before Luke Allsopp hacked clear. The ball bounced kindly for the Lions before Thomas Williams was fed for a clear between under the posts and James Williams added the extras.
Wednesbury replied with a try of their own in somewhat comical fashion. The ball was chipped through and over the line before a Claverdon player dived on the ball.
However, the referee failed to see the grounding and awarded the try when the Wednesbury player tapped down, although the conversion was missed.
Wednesbury were still in the ascendancy and added two further penalties to go into half time with a 14-10 lead as the Lions’ Scott Conduit found himself on the wrong side of the law and earned himself ten minutes’ rest at the interval.
Playing with 14 men did not dampen the Lions’ spirit and the hosts knew a fast start to the second half would get them back into the game.
Playing down the slope helped significantly and the pace of the game quickened as both sides enjoyed clean line breaks.
James Williams added two straightforward penalties while Conduit was in the bin to give Claverdon a 16-14 lead.
Back to 15, the Lions did not hesitate in extending their tally. A set move from the back of the scrum saw Will Lawton break with James Williams who fed James Kirby to finish well in the corner.
James Williams added the extras from the touchline and the hosts’ lead was 23-14.
James Williams soon had a try of his own after Allsopp’s big tackle in midfield turned the ball over, before he regained possession and passed to Williams who dummied the full back and went between the posts.
Five became seven with a simple conversion and the Lions led 30-14.
James Williams took his personal tally to 23 with a penalty in the last few minutes to dispel any chance of Wednesbury getting back into the game and Claverdon could reflect on a job well done.