PERSHORE Rugby Club climbed above local rivals Evesham to third in Midlands Three West (South) with a hard-fought 24-5 win at Southam.
The contrast in form leading into the game was evident from the first minute when the second- from-bottom hosts fell behind.
A chip ahead by Pershore captain Andy Jenkinson was picked up close to the line by fly-half Matt Harwood who immediately popped the ball for scrum-half Adrian Hanson to score.
Hanson missed the conversion but then the spirited Southam pack disrupted the Pershore line-out and also carried the ball well, drawing the best out of the visitors’ defence.
A number of positional changes meant the Vale side lacked a little fluidity while in possession and they squandered a string of chances to extend their lead.
With a few minutes left before half-time, Southam were rewarded for their endeavours when they capitalised on a spilt ball in the Pershore midfield.
Their winger ran in unopposed to score an unconverted try to draw level at the interval.
Stern words from Pershore coach Tommy Hayes at the break seemed to do the trick as the pack came out with all guns blazing, making significant inroads into the Southam defensive line from the restart.
After flanker Kris Bassett again broke through the gain line, Pershore’s backs attacked the blindside. The ball found its way to debutant winger James Brack who had been lively all afternoon.
As he cut inside the full-back, he was felled by a dangerous high tackle and was unable to continue.
Pershore kept the pressure on and were awarded a scrum five metres from the Southam line.
The front row of Alex Peel, Ben Humphries and Karl Evans marched the pack over for prolific number eight Martin Hope to score an easy try which was duly converted by Hanson.
Soon after, Hanson scored his second which he converted.
The bonus point was sealed when winger Stefan Ellis made a break from his own half and he had too much pace for the Southam defence.