RFU Junior Vase round 2 Wednesbury 22 – 17 Pershore
Pershore bowed out of the RFU Junior Vase completion on Saturday, just being outscored by a strong Wednesbury side.
Pershore played with the slope in the first half and will be disappointed not to have taken an early lead, when good drivng play allowed them to pressure the Wednesbury line only to be held up short. Further pressure from the visitors had the Woden Road outfit scrambling in defence and encroaching offside, but Pershore were unable to convert the penalties early on.
Once again, the Pershore back row of Hope, Jones and Hitchcock, were at the heart of Pershore’s attack and defence, making good ground for the visitors. however it was Wednesbury who managed the first score from a break away along with a conversion and penalty slightly against the run of play, to open up a 10-0 lead. The visitors continued to play the rugby and although Wednesbury defended strongly, Pershore opened their account with a bull dozing run into the corner for a 10-5 halftime score.
After the break, the match went from end to end, with Pershore driving hard up the middle from good set piece and Wednesbury working well in the loose and on the break. The home side looked set to extend their lead from one such break, only for Josh Hardiman to enter the fray with a bone crunching tackle, causing most in the crowd to wince!! From the resulting scrum Pershore drove the ball forward and Hardman samshed through his opposite number and raced away to the corner to score. Pershore continued their period of dominance with more hard work from the pack and were rewarded with a penalty try with the home team reduced to 14 from a yellow card. A wicked bounce from kick off allowed Wednesbury back into the match with an unconverted score to leave the Pershore just in front at 15-17 for the final 10 minutes.
The visitors continued to dominate the attack and looked set to extend their lead only missing out due to Wednesbury infringements in defence and although they were penalised, perhaps came off better in not allowing Pershore to score. The telling moment came a few minutes from the end when another fortunate bounce went Wednesbury’s way and a converted breakaway try snatched the victory from Pershore’s grasp.
Another immense afternoon around the field from Greg Hitchcock was just outshone by man of the match Josh Hardiman and although Pershore lost both teams played their part in an excellent afternoons rugby.
Pershore will look to take some of their cup performances into the league when they entertain Redditch at Pershore on 21st Oct.