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Ledbury hit red-hot form
2:41pm Friday 27th September 2013 in Sport
LEDBURY Rugby Club recorded their fourth consecutive win of 2013-14 with a 33-17 league triumph at Shipston-on-Stour.
The Ross Road outfit have opened with two North Midlands Shield successes and a Midlands Three West (South) victory double.
Ledbury’s promising start continued with the most impressive of their wins at relegated opposition despite a third of the regular squad being injured or unavailable.
They played down a considerable slope in the first-half and full-back George Bennion put them ahead with a seventh-minute penalty.
Shipston spent 20 minutes pressurising the visitors’ try line with their game plan consisting of strong forward running around the fringes of the breakdown or off the inside centre.
They were constantly held up by courageous Ledbury tackling and their frustration was increased when Bennion doubled the lead with another penalty after 27 minutes.
Having resisted the hosts, Ledbury’s excellent scrum and line-out then provided good possession for their dangerous backs to gain consistent ground.
This created an opportunity for skipper Jock Welch to power over from a well-constructed driving maul from 20 metres just before the break. Shipston reduced the deficit to 11-5 with a try following a missed touch kick.
Both teams sought the try at the beginning of the second period that could prove the crucial point of the match. Once again, Welch grabbed it from a line-out drive 10 minutes in.
Flanker Ali Day finished another forward move to increase the lead to 21-5 as Ledbury’s backs continued to look more dangerous.
Debutant Adam Free and winger Jamie Rayfield both went close before the latter dived over five minutes later to seemingly seal the win.
Shipston refused to lie down and threw caution to the wind in an attempt to close the gap.
They gave their supporters hope with two tries but Ledbury had the last word when fly-half Kieram Hallam, who directed play well with Tom Houlbrooke, broke away to put Free in with the last move of the match.
Ledbury are one of four teams that have won both league games so far and their next fixture is on October 5, at home to Southam who have a similar record.
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