Spa battle back to edge tight clash

First published in Sport

Bedworth 14, Droitwich 16

MATTHEW Barnes’ second half try sealed a hard fought away win for Droitwich in the Midlands Division Two West (South) on Saturday.

An 11th straight league victory for Spa has cemented third place and also means they are chasing top two sides Old Laurentians and Kenilworth.

In a very tight game, Barnes’ second half touch down proved to be the difference after the away side had battled back from 11-0 down.

The game began at a frantic pace with neither side settling well.

Errors were present for both teams but it was Droitwich whose mistakes cost them significantly as poor decision making resulted in a penalty at the breakdown which enabled Bedworth to go 3-0 ahead.

Bedworth's large forward pack began to make in-roads and put Droitwich on the back foot and more pressure saw Bedworth force another needless penalty and ease them into a 6-0 lead.

Despite stern words behind the posts demanding a positive reaction, further damage was sustained as Droitwich seemed determined to give Bedworth more points.

Poor handling resulted in a dropped pass inside the 22 metre line which landed sweetly for the opposition, who had the opportunity to hack the ball forward and score a soft try.

Crucially the conversion was missed but Bedworth still had an 11-0 lead.

It was only now that Spa woke up. Better phase play and territory resulted in sustained pressure on Bedworth whose well-drilled defence was standing up to the test.

Despite their best efforts Droitwich could not break the line but two penalties successfully kicked by Ryan Handley made the scores 11-6 to give them a lifeline at half-time.

The second half saw the visitors continue with the same tenacity as they had finished the first.

They levelled the scores when James Shewell who finished off a fine team move.

With the defence of Bedworth finally beaten, Droitwich continued with the high tempo strategy and were able to score a second try minutes later, when Barnes finished off another well worked move to put Spa into the lead for the first time.

Spa had a nervy end to the match as Bedworth scored a penalty but they held on to ensure victory.

Droitwich have a week off from the league and entertain Banbury on Saturday, January 26 (2.30pm ko).

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