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Spa fall to KCs reverse
8:00am Friday 15th March 2013 in Local
Kidderminster Carolians 14, Droitwich Spa 3
DROITWICH lost ground in the race for a top-three place in the Midlands Three West (South) after they lost a hard-fought Worcestershire derby.
Spa were hampered by injuries to a host of key players with Nathan Broderick, Ian Young, Craig Mortlemans and Matthew Barnes all unavailable.
With so many absences, former Worcester fly-half and current vice-president Duncan Hughes and Steve Duffield were persuaded to come out of retirement.
Defeat means Droitwich remain in fourth, six points behind Kidderminster but with a game in hand.
In the first-half, Kidderminster had the lion’s share of possession but were met with strong physical defence and the Spa opened the scoring with a Ryan Handley penalty.
But the hosts hit back and piled on the pressure. After a melee, Spa saw Matt Jupp sin-binned as tensions rose.
Despite the hosts pressure, Droitwich stood firm and went into the break with a 3-0 lead.
The second-half began much as the first ended. A series of scrums close to the Spa line were repelled as the visitors continued to thwart KCs.
With 15 men back on the field and buoyed by a strong defensive effort, Spa were now set up to launch attacks of their own.
But poor ball retention and loss of possession were compounded by Kidderminster executing a fine territorial game. Eventually, Chris Pinner converted a penalty to level the scores.
Droitwich were struggling to gain territory and were succumbing to Kidderminster’s kick and chase game.
One resulted in the only try of the match, when a penalty was kicked deep into touch and after a series of rucks Pinner crossed the line. The conversion was missed.
A Pinner penalty and a drop goal from Andy McLellan extended the hosts’ lead and inflicted a narrow loss on Spa.
Despite some fine individual performances, namely veteran 42-year-old Nicholas Godfrey and young Stef Buijnsters, there is plenty for Spa to work on to salvage what had been a fine season until recent results.
With the return of forwards Alex Bull, Alex Saddington and Dean Goddard set to boost Spa’s season in the coming weeks, attention is turned to title favourites Kenilworth away on Saturday (3pm ko), as the players look challenge for the upcoming semi-final of the North Midlands Shield.
Victory against the winners of Pershore-Aston Old Edwardians could mean a potential final against KCs.