MARK Burrell’s last-minute try clinched a dramatic 34-31 victory for Alcester against Manor Park to extend the Red and Blacks winning run to seven matches.
Burrell crashed over at the death to steal the points after Jack Green ran in an impressive hat-trick of tries with Dwayne Cruickshank also touching down at Kings Coughton.
The result ensures Alcester remain top of the Counties 2 Midlands West (South) table and lead Manor Park in second by five points.
However, the home side fell behind when a quick tap and go penalty allowed Manor Park to dive over for the game’s first try following a series of scrums on the Alcester line.
The hosts reduced the deficit when Tom Burgess kicked a penalty from right in front, after Manor Park were caught offside, before he hit the posts from his second attempt just minutes later.
And Green then scored the first of his three tries after Cruickshank made a fine break down the field before the ball was offloaded several times and made its way to Green to score.
Green had his second try less than two minutes later from a well-worked move at a lineout as the front peeled away and the ball was moved out wide.
However, Manor Park hit back when the ball bounced in their favour which allowed the centre to gather the loose ball and crash over the line.
And things went from bad to worse for Alcester as the hosts received two yellow cards in quick succession, from separate incidents, to be temporarily reduced to 13-men.
Manor Park eventually made their numerical advantage count when the opposing hooker ran in his second try to send Alcester into the break with a two-point deficit.
And before Alcester had returned to a full squad of players, Manor Park struck again from close range to extend their lead.
However, the home side responded when replacement Ollie Hopkins made a great break on debut and offloaded to Cruickshank who scored Alcester’s third try.
Alcester’s hopes of maintaining their perfect start suffered another blow when Manor Park scored from another pick and drive
Green then completed his hat-trick after he broke several tackles to finish as Burgess slotted over a superb conversion to reduce the deficit to just two points with a quarter of an hour to play.
And the game swung in Alcester’s favour when Manor Green had two players sent to the sin bin, within the space of five minutes, for a pair of dangerous tackles.
Alcester thought they had regained the lead only for the officials to deem Hopkins’ foot was in touch as he crashed over the line.
The home side were camped on the Manor Park line in the closing stages and finally find a way through when the ball was passed out wide to Burrell who scored the match-winning try to the delight of the crowd.
Alcester are next in action away at Old Wheatleyans on Saturday, October 29 with kick-off at 3pm at Norman Place Road.