NORTH EAST WORCESTERSHIRE RAVENS 22, COVENTRY DRAGONS 60
NORTH East Worcestershire Ravens survived the torrential rain and battled hard against in-form Coventry at Finstall Park.
With pitches at Bromsgrove RFC hit hard by the deluge the previous day, club officials had to move the game to another pitch an hour before kick-off.
The Ravens went into the match with only nine players from last week’s first win of the season over Leamington because of work commitments and drafted in three new faces and four from their opponents.
Up against a team which has lost once this season, Ravens were set a testing challenge.
On four minutes, the Dragons went through Ravens’ defence for the first try of the game with the conversion missed.
The visitors went further ahead a few minutes later when Dean Thompson sold a dummy and ghosted through the gap for a converted try and a 10-point lead.
Soon after, the Dragons went over for their third score, this time by player-coach Lee Ashford.
Ravens were absolutely starved of possession in the opening quarter, having only touched the ball twice, and it looked like was going to be a miserable afternoon as the Dragons scored another try on 20 minutes.
Despite trailing 20-0, the hosts did not let their heads drop and they started to gain possession which resulted in man-of-the-match Rhamal Blake barging through three tackles to score out wide in the corner.
Sparked into life, Ravens produced some excellent defensive work to deny the Dragons on several occasions, only to be caught out by a bounce as the visitors went over for try number five.
The hosts hit back as Rory Humphreys and Sean Flynn combined to score a try, converted by Sean Sudworth, to reduce the arrears to 26-10.
However, Coventry extended their lead before the break when Ashford bagged his second touchdown of the game.
Two more quick tries cemented the visitor’s control but Ravens battled on and Sudworth sold an outrageous dummy for a gap to open up for a try, which he successfully converted Ravens bagged the try of the game when Blake raced onto Sudworth’s looping pass, powered past three tacklers and scored under the posts for a try.
Blake almost set up another score but as the hosts faded, Dragons took advantage by scoring three more tries.
Ravens will be hoping to build on an encouraging performance at home to Wolverhampton on Saturday (2.30pm).