Phase 2 of the warm up fixtures saw National 2 side Luctonians visit Averyfields on a very wet Friday evening. The rain was going to affect handling until the players worked out how to cling on to the ball. So to the first match which featured on paper the teams 2nd XV's, however there was plenty of first team experience on show for both sides coupled with up and coming talent.
The Lucs forwards tried to make progress with their main ball carriers, whilst Bourns looked for quick ball to get the backs moving. The defences cancelled each other out until right on half time when Alex Warner feigned a break on the short side and the dummy created the hole for the off load to Paul Sumner which Rhys Harrhy converted. The second period saw Bourns camp themselves in the Lucs 22. Bourns pounded the line for 15 minutes, but the Lucs defence was sound. Eventually the score came as a scrum nudged forward and number 8 Sam Rowe drove over - 12-0. As the game moved into the final moments a fine line break by the Lucs centre saw a consolation score as the Blues won 12-7.
To the first team game and it was clear that Lucs had strengthened up since last season. The backs were particularly strong at 12 and 13 and in the back row and it was the speed of movement and passing which created two early scores for the visitors aided by a missed tackle for the first try. Bourns bounced back straight away as the ball went loose in the in goal area and centre Ollie Neil reacted the quickest, so 12-7 to Lucs. In the second half, Lucs went into overdrive as their nifty backs created three scoring opportunities which were clinically taken. Bourns had plenty of possession but weren't able to convert and Lucs ran out worthy winners 33-7.
Two good hits against pretty decent National 2 opposition shows where our journey needs to head for. Next up local rivals and near neighbours Dudley Kingswinford visit Avery Fields on Saturday 31st August kick off 3pm. DK have lost the last two play off games in Midlands West and they will provide a tough test in the final warm up fixture before the season starts on 7th September.
If you can't wait, then our third team are playing in a development tournament at Droitwich RFC on the afternoon of Saturday 24th August.