Pershore book RFU Midlands Senior Vase semi-final spot

First published in Sport

A HOME semi-final with West Bridgford on February 22 was Pershore's reward for beating Luton side Stockwood Park 20-13 in the RFU Midlands Senior Vase.

The quarter-final win was especially poignant for Pershore, who are mourning the loss of chairman Robert Willson-Taylor after a battle with cancer, so it was an emotion-filled dressing room after the game.

Despite the wet weather, the pitch was in reasonable condition but the strong winds going diagonally across the pitch made kicking and passing difficult.

Pershore started up the slope against the wind and their forwards starred with the set-piece particularly effective.

Toby Grace and Greg Shaw towered in the line-out and, to set up a driving maul, the former again took the ball 10 metres from the line.

Martin Hope steered the maul to crash over the line but captain Lewis Dolphin missed the conversion.

Park pinned Pershore back and took the lead with a try and a penalty, proving good at keeping possession.

The visitors' aggressive defence kept the hosts out and they had chances to go ahead with a series of five-metre scrums before winger Ash White crossed to seal a 10-8 half-time lead.

Pershore were confident with the wind and slope but Park struck first with an unconverted try to regain the lead.

However, prolific number eight Hope soon struck again after another powerful scrum although the conversion was again missed to leave the match on a knife-edge.

With seven minutes left, White took on his opposite winger for a second time and scored another unconverted try, which proved crucial as Pershore cleverly saw out the game.

They return to Midlands Three West (South) action on Saturday at home to Shipston-on-Stour (2.15pm).


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