Claverdon 43 Pershore 38
Midlands Four West (South)
THE LIONS staged a brilliant recovery from a 35-12 half-time deficit to secure five points from an enthralling game of rugby on Saturday, writes Charlie Byrd.
On a dry day and hard pitch it seemed the match would promise a lot of running rugby with plenty of tries and it did not disappoint.
The hosts opened the scoring when Arthur Redwood made a dart up the right wing to get Claverdon within 20m and the forwards recycled the ball well and eventually scored through Chris Glover, who forced his was over the line from a pick and go before James Williams added the extras.
Pershore replied instantly with a try of their own before the Lions responded with a second score when Williams popped the ball inside to a rampaging captain James Barton who galloped 50m before offloading to Jack Johnson to finish the try off.
The rest of the first half was a very frustrating one for Claverdon as a plethora of basic errors gave Pershore ample opportunities to attack and the visitors took full advantage to score four further tries fully capitalised upon by their kicker to open a 23-point interval advantage.
With a stern half-time talking to still ringing in their ears, the Lions emerged for the second half intent on making amends and had every chance of doing so with the hill advantage and sun and wind on their backs.
The comeback began with Williams scoring probably the easiest try he ever has with a simple dummy before finding himself with nobody in front of him for the simplest of walk-ins.
From then on it was a Claverdon onslaught as a collection of brilliant tries arrived in all sorts of ways. Firstly, Tom Johnson picked a perfect line to slice the Pershore centres in half on his own 10m line before showing decent gas to finish the try off in the corner.
Replacement winger James Gibney then created a try finished by Barton who bullied his way over when one-on-one with the full-back.
Redwood then crossed after a brilliant pass from fly-half Williams cut out four players before captain Barton’s second try finished the hosts’ relentless scoring.
Pershore set up a nervous finale with a successful penalty before, with two minutes to go, Pershore got a lineout on their own 5m line and decided to try and run it all the way up the pitch, but they did not get very far as a turnover allowed Claverdon to see the game out.
Special mention goes to new Claverdon hooker Harry Stevens who produced a classy performance on his debut, but joint men of the match for the Lions were Johnson and Gibney.
The Lions will this weekend bid to advance in the Midlands Junior Vase when they visit Dixonians in the first round. The league campaign continues at Redditch on September 29.