Aston Old Edwardians

Saturday 21st January 2012

by Glyn Brazell

Aston Old Edwardians 3rd XV 60 Kidderminster Carolians 3rd XV 3 Aston Old Edwardians 4th XV 30 Wednesbury 3rd XV 33

The hardy few who braved the weather and ignored the attraction of the Heineken Cup matches on Saturday, were rewarded with 2 highly entertaining and high scoring matches at Sunnybank Avenue.

The 3rds and 4ths took centre stage, with both games producing 63 points, although with contrasting scorelines.

The 3rds produced a scintillating display to run in 10 tries through a combination of forward strength and excellent running and support play in the backs. Oddly, give the final score, it was Kidderminster who took the lead with a penalty, but Aston responded immediately with a neatly taken try by Adam Irvine and another straight from the kick-off -this time with a blistering 60 metre dash by scrum half Michael Bromley.

With the old heads of Richard Markham and Neil Glasby kicking intelligently into the wind to rebuff any Kidderminster forays, and some typically astute performances from senior players Ian Davis and Steve Dyer, Aston were well in control of the game. Skipper Peter Carroll was next onto the scoresheet when he crashed over the line, to give Aston a 15-3 lead going into half time.

Wih a strong wind behind them, Aston were quickly off the mark again, with Paul Glenn scoring close to the posts. Kicking into the breeze had proved difficult in the first half, but with it now proving advantageous and Chris Roberts added the extra points. James Parkes, who replaced Mick Cowley was next to breach the try line showing a clean pair of heels to several defenders with a strong burst, again improved by Roberts.

Matt O'Hare, who had come on as a second half replacement made full use of the extra ball and space available to him compared to his usual 1st XV experiences, and he was next to touch down following a mazy 35 yard run. Steve Hobson capped an industrious performance in the pack by adding the next try, before O'Hare completed his hat-trick with a further 2 tries, with Roberts adding conversions for the final 4 tries of the game.

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The 4th XV also produced some highly entertaining rugby with a high level of skill, but ultimately fell just short - losing out 30-33 to Wednesbury. Aston took the lead through an Alan Webster try following some fine phases of play, and Sam Massey added a penalty shortly afterwards. Wednesbury responded with a forwards try and quickly took the lead through a breakaway try when it looked as if the home side were about to regain the lead. Making good use of the following wind, Wednesbury scored again just before half time to stretch their lead to 19-8 at half time.

Aston were well served by Dan Lastun, who worked tirelessly up front and showed that he was fully recovered from his injury, and there were also some stand-out performances from scrum-half and centre Luke Gilliland, with Sam Massey performing admirably at full back where he was bombarded with high kicks, but took all with ease.

With the elements in their favour, Aston fancied their chances, and a Marc Banks try quickly reduced the deficit to 13-19. However, Wednesbury extended their lead with a further 2 tries, both of which were converted, and Aston were facing an uphill battle. However, they pulled one try back before Callum Stafford kicked a penalty to take the score to 23-33. With time running out, Aston threw everything they had at Wednesbury and were rewarded with a further try, converted by Massey, and were desperately searching for the final score when the final whistle came.

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