Upton-upon-Severn 17, Droitwich 22
DROITWICH bagged their first win of the season in the Midlands Two West (South) after seeing off their county rivals in a thrilling encounter.
After two defeats, Spa got back on track and also picked up a bonus point after scoring four tries.
Having come out on top against Upton in both the league and Shield last season it would have been naive to suggest Droitwich would be favourites.
With Spa having lost both opening fixtures it was the home side who came into the game with form and momentum behind them having earned a credible victory against Banbury.
Droitwich came under instant pressure and after some good work by the home forwards, Upton scored the opening try through hooker Liam Maloney following a driving maul.
Sean Walker came close to replying but saw two long-range penalty attempts miss the target.
However, Spa were reduced to 14 men when centre Mark Strutt was sent off after he was adjudged to have headbutted Upton full-back Luke Cooke.
But Droitwich rallied and James Shewell levelled the scores with his first try of the season.
Upton took the lead again when Rich Jeyne’s touched down and Chris O’Neil kicked the conversion.
Once again the visitors fought back and good play by Craig Mortlemans and Shewell allowed prop Dean Goddard to score in the corner and make it 12-10.
Droitwich then took the lead as a move involving Nathan Broderick, Mortlemans, Ian Young and Steve Buijnsters set-up Rob Poke for a score. With the try converted, Spa were now leading 17-12.
Young then increased their advantage when he broke and scored in the corner.
But Spa had to defend doggedly in the final 10 minutes and despite Upton pulling a try back, the visitors held on for victory.
Spa will be looking to gain their first home victory when they welcome relegated Bedworth back to the Glyn Mitchell Memorial Ground on Saturday (3pm ko).