This is a game that Southam could of won, but unforced errors gave Earlsdon too many points.
Earlsdon started at a pace and put the Southam line under pressure for 20 minutes, not helped by charged down kicks and missed touches. Southam kept them out with some strong tackling across the team and with returning wing, Ali Thorpe twice getting under the big Earlsdon prop to deny the try. After multiple scrums, prop Matt Catterall had to leave the field for blood and his place was ably filled for a critical period by veteran Jack Rumsey, who helped the scrum keep Earlsdon out and the score was still 0 - 0 after 25 minutes. Eventually Southam got some go forward from some deft kicks from fly half Harry Hewson and wing forward Pete Burnell. From a line out on the Earlsdon 22, the ball was spread and Thorpe looped into line, broke and fed the ball to centre Dick Lloyd Jones, who forced the penalty for not rolling away in front of the posts, converted by centre Charlie Munro. Southam fumbled the kickoff and gave Earlsdon field position, they drove up the field to the Southam line and their useful scrum half nipped under the posts for a converted try.
HT 3 - 7
In a hectic 10 minutes Southam went from zero to hero, the restart drop out did not go 10m and from the scrum, the Earlsdon scrum half looped the No8 and was through the line, full back Will Clarke brought him down, but the ball was recycled and Earlsdon centre found a mismatch and was straight through for the converted try. The same error happened from the kick off with the ball not 10m, Earlsdon again pushed down the right and Southam defended well and forced them out on the 5m. At the lineout the ball was overthrown and the Earlsdon scrum half was first there to take the ball straight through for the try. Then Southam got back in the game, breaks from Clarke and 2nd row Olly Tyrell got Southam upto the Earlsdon 22 and short pass at the ruck to a charging Rumsey found him through, free and clear for a try under the posts, converted by Munro. From the kickoff the ball was was driven on by 2nd row James Rawbone and then spread, with a neat hand from Lloyd Jones to Munro, Munro floated the ball Thorpe on the Southam 10m, Thorpe turned on the gas to win the race to the tryline, converted by Munro, bringing the score to 17 - 19. It was end to end stuff with Earlsdon pressing, the ball was ripped by Burnell in the Southam 22 and from the resulting scrum, Southam gave Earlsdon another try, when the Hewson clearance kick was charged down by the Earlsdon scrum half. Southam got back in contention with a Munro penalty just inside the 10m for slowing the ball at a ruck. Earlsdon got another try from easy penalties that got them down to the Southam 5m, at the lineout a rogue tapped ball was chased down by the Earlsdon forwards and driven on for the try, putting Southam out of bonus point range at 29 - 20. In the last minute Munro stepped and broke on the halfway, fed Thorpe to get up to the Earlsdon 22. The ball was recycled and spread into the middle and Southam got the penalty for offside at the ruck, Munro converted to secure the bonus point.
FT 29 - 23
An error strewn day for Southam, but with lots of positives in defence and attack. If they can cut out the mistakes and retain the ball, life in the league will become so much easier and wins will surely come.
MOTM Jack Rumsey