Claverdon 81 Greyhound 0
Midlands Four West (South)
A FOCUSED Claverdon secured a second successive thumping win as they put their valiant but always up against it Herefordshire visitors to the sword.
The Lions played down the hill in the first half and it was not long before Matthew Dunster cut across the field, through some traffic and into open space. Finally brought down just outside the Greyhound 22, he managed to offload to supporting captain James Barton.
With only the full back to beat, quick footwork saw Barton run clear and under the posts and James Williams converted.
Williams then scored on the counter-attack and converted to make it 14-0 before Ford showed his pace and strength to score two fine individual tries – both converted – leaving the score 28-0.
Greyhound again started to make some headway after the restart through their big runners coming around the corner off the nine, but they were powerless to prevent Sam Turrell running 50 metres to add to the scoring.
Claverdon then showed their muscle when aggressive rucking from Ross Pollard and Chris Lowe allowed the forwards to rumble forward after Will Lawton found himself caught in a ruck for the first time. Working their way closer and closer, it was Ford who crossed for his hat-trick and 40-0.
The visitors had no answer and Lawton and Steve Grimsley – the latter from a clever lineout – also crossed to put the hosts 52-0 up at half-time.
Greyhound rallied at the start of the second half and may have scored but for an unsighted referee, but it was Claverdon who struck again when Grimsley sent a flat pass across the line to the hard-running Barton to crash over for his second try.
Quick, accurate hands from the backs put the supporting Harvey Skinner into space to go over following a strong hand-off for 64-0 and it was then time for Claverdon’s replacement nine to get on the scoresheet when more aggressive running and rucking created gaps, allowing Jack Johnson to snipe as good as he does to outpace the covering defence.
With the Claverdon pack dominating once again, another well-worked driving maul from the lineout saw them rumble on and Grimsley made it 76-0.
Several phases from both teams and turnovers from each eventually ended in a Claverdon penalty which they kicked into the corner. This time, however, a change of attack caught the Greyhound defence off guard and quick ball off the top allowed the back line to show what they are capable of and score just wide of the posts.
The third-placed Lions visit Harbury on Saturday. Report compiled by James Barton.