A 17-0 defeat at fourth-placed Barkers Butts saw Evesham slip a place to ninth in Midlands Two West (South).

While the scoreline suggests an easy ride for the home side it was anything but.

Evesham played with determination and were unlucky to trail 5-0 at half-time.

The visitors dominated the set-piece and conceded the first try against the run of play.

Mike Diston missed a couple of penalty kicks which were made harder by a vicious cross-wind.

The points would have been just reward for Evesham's first-half efforts.

It was 30 minutes into the second half before the home side scored again after somehow keeping Evesham out with last-ditch defending.

A third try, this time converted, followed quickly after to complete the scoring.

Evesham travel to seventh-placed Silhillians on Saturday (2.15pm).

The colts continued their North Midlands League title push with a 20-7 bonus-point win over Bromyard helping to consolidate second place.

Bromyard beat leaders Camp Hill the week before but faced a strong forward display by the hosts who dominated the lineout, particularly in the second half when Ben Walters came on.

The early exchanges were fairly equal with both sides sharing possession but Evesham used their opportunities far better with George Bell and Romeo Johnson scoring in quick succession, the latter from a driving maul after a lineout.

Jonny Tarring was unlucky with both conversion attempts.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Bromyard having their share of possession but just not being allowed to benefit by the strong Evesham defence, particularly Ash Symonds crash tackling his opposite number.

Player of the match Patrick Atkins pinned Bromyard back into their own 22 with a testing kick for touch and he then scored from the resultant scrum.

It was not Evesham’s day with the boot though as Ruben Ibbotson’s conversion attempt was not successful.

Ollie Hyett completed Evesham’s scoring and secured the bonus point by diving over in the corner after sustained pressure but once again the conversion was wide, this time by Jasper Martin.

Bromyard scored a well-deserved consolation try under the posts with the last play of the match and this time the conversion was successful.

Cup rugby now takes over but Evesham will look forward to returning to league duty on February 2 at Bromsgrove.

Meanwhile, Pershore men return to action on Saturday at leaders Upton in Midlands Four West (South).

Bredon Star lost 38-13 at home to title-chasing Bream in Wadworth Gloucestershire Two North.