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Upton in Shield KO to start the term
11:10am Thursday 19th September 2013 in Sport
UPTON opened their season with a narrow 15-14 defeat at Kidderminster Carolians in the North Midlands Shield first round.
Having been relegated from Midlands Two West (South) last season, Upton no longer face KCs in the league structure and were not at full strength.
But the performance led them to believe all the hard work over the summer with new coach Stu Brooks may pay off.
Upton started brightly in the first 20 minutes, unsettling their hosts through Oli Jones, Rich Clive and Max Macfarlane in the back row.
They were strong at the breakdown and Dan Keyte put them ahead with a penalty.
After a few phases of forward rucks, Keyte put in a grubber kick from halfway and Alex Pimlow outpaced the cover to score.
Keyte extended the lead to 11-0 with a second penalty on 20 minutes.
KCs started off-loading in the tackle, which caused problems, and the penalty count increased.
The hosts kicked to gain field position and scored with full-back Dan Aldersey at the bottom of a ruck when a chip over the top was finished off under the posts and converted.
KCs added a second try when, from Upton losing a scrum on their five-metre line, the prop buried over.
Rich Clive was sent to the sin-bin for an infringement before the score and Chris O’Neil followed for a trip with KCs captain Chris Pinner’s penalty putting them 15-11 up.
Upton started the secondhalf with only 13 men but kept hold of the ball for the first 10 minutes as the play became entrenched around halfway.
Keyte reduced the arrears with a penalty but, despite their best efforts after a halftime downpour, could not score again.