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Grindell on fire as Pershore win
2:00pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in Sport
PERSHORE Rugby Club held on by the skin of their teeth to keep the pressure on the Midlands Three West (South) top two.
They beat Southam 20-19 in a fiercely-contested match staged in Worcester due to their Wyre Piddle base being waterlogged.
Southam bombarded Pershore’s back three with high kicks and took an early lead with two close-range penalties from Will Grindell, taking advantage of indiscipline at the breakdown and offside infringements.
But Pershore responded quickly with their pack, weakened through injuries, getting a foothold in the game and driving a line-out.
Tommy Hayes, switched to number eight, went over for an unconverted try and the hosts piled on the pressure.
Pershore tried to play expansive rugby, typified by prop Lee Synnuck who danced his way through the defence.
The ball was spread quickly to Stephen Holmes and he broke through tackles with his signature hand-off to cross the line in the corner.
But Southam again attacked with further misdemeanours allowing Grindell to slot two more penalties to make the halftime score 12-10.
Player-coach Hayes then moved to outside-half and orchestrated the backs moves which began to penetrate, leading to prop Alex Peel releasing deadly finisher Stefan Ellis who touched down in the corner.
Pershore looked to be home and dry when another backs move saw Ellis draw the defence, putting full-back Adrian Hanson into space.
He chipped the ball through for captain Andy Jenkinson to outpace his opposite number and dive over to ensure a bonus point.
Southam countered well and were eventually rewarded with a good move out wide as Mike Mudd darted away to score their only try. The only conversion of the match was made by Grindell, setting up a tense last 10 minutes.
Southam missed two late penalties which would have sealed victory as Pershore, who head to Cheltenham North on Saturday (2.15pm), held on.