Southam 23 - 30 Barkers Butts
Southam snatch a bonus point at the death to ensure league survival
Southam needed at least a bonus point out of this game to guarantee league survival, they made it, but made a very hard day of it by wasting hard won possesion with poor positional kicks and missed touches, giving Barkers too many chances to come back at them.
For the first sixty minutes this was a nip and tuck game and either side could of won. Early onSoutham lost centre Richard Lloyd Jones to injury and then wing forward Rob Shepherd, in that time neither side got any go forward until 23 minutes in a high Barkers clearance kick was well taken by full back Jon Lowden on the halfway and quickly spread to wing Will Clarke, Clarke rounded his man with a handoff and made ground into the Barkers 22, he drew the last man and fed wing Sam Bench, Bench still had some work to do, but rode the tackle and scored in the corner. Barkers came back from the kickoff and secured a penalty when centre Harry Hewson conterrucked hard on the 22, but kicked the ball out and Barkers took the penalty, six minutes later Barkers took the lead with another penalty from the 10m for lazy running. Southam took it back 4 minutes later with a Will Grindal penalty on the 22 for not binding at the scrum, Grindal got another 36 minutes in, with a 48m penalty for not releasing and finished the half with another penalty on the 22 for handling on the ground.
14 - 6
Southam soon increased their lead with a Bench break from the halfway into Barkers 22, the ball was recycled and a Southam got a penalty on the 22 for a no arms tackle, converted by Grindal. After this, Barkers got some go forward and started putting on the pressure, Southam kept them out, but poor positional kicking and missed touches gave Barkers repeated chances and after 13 minutes
the Barkers hooker broke through the line on the 22 and laid off in the tackle for the No.4 to score under the posts for a converted try. Minutes later Lowden was yellow carded for slapping the ball down, leading to a costly 10 minutes. Barkers attacked from 5m out, Southam regained the ball, but missed touch and Barkers ran it back, recycled once, spread the ball, the prop dummied and ran through for the try for Barkers to regain the lead at 17 - 18. From the kick off Barkers knocked on and were caught offside and Grindal put the penalty over from the 10m to put Southam back in the lead. Barkers came back to the Southam 22, again Southam regained the ball and again missed touch, Barkers drove up the middle and then spread it wide for the wing to get through 2 last ditch tackles for the try. As the game closed Southam were still on for the losing bonus point at 20 -23 and their was no pressure until at a Barkers ruck on the halfway, the scrum half nipped through at the base and the around Lowden for the converted try to make it 20 - 30. As the seconds ran out, Grindal just missed a penalty chance from 48m and then slotted another chance for a high tackle from the 10m to regain the bonus point.
FT 23 - 30
This was an up and down season for the young Southam team, but the potential is definitely there, shown by them getting the leagues equal highest losing bonus points (7) and if next season, they only have to get a little more clinical and turn some of those narrow losses into wins, they will surely move up the table.
MOTM Elliot Cook
League changes Midlands 2 (South)
Droitwich & Malvern go up to Midlands 1 (West)
with possibly Rugby Lions & Camp Hill dropping down
Old Yardleians & Berkswell & Balsall relegated
with Rugby St Andrews & Old Leamingtonians or Shipston coming up