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The lights go out on Upton in derby tie
11:30am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in Sport
UPTON Rugby Club’s new floodlit pitch was christened with a rescheduled Midlands Three West (South) fixture against local rivals Pershore last Friday night, but it was the visitors who claimed the points, winning the game 12-7.
The two south Worcestershire sides put on a magnificent game, full of the grit and determination that you expect from a local derby at this level.
Upton started the brightest and, despite the obvious size disadvantage, really took the game to Pershore through a series of rolling mauls.
Their early dominance was soon rewarded with a penalty, but Chris O’Neil just missed in the windy conditions.
The rest of the half then belonged to Pershore. Using the strong wing behind them and their big-running forwards, they pushed forward into Upton territory.
The home side tackled their hearts out all night, but it was two sin-binnings that proved costly and led to defeat.
Firstly, stand-in skipper Oli Jones was sent to the bin after 20 minutes for a late tackle and, from the resultant scrum, Pershore drove over the line with Martin Hope touching down for a converted try.
Upton brought Rob Heeley and Stu Brooks into the front row after the half-time break and, with the wind at their backs and the crowd roaring them on, they dominated the first 20 minutes of the second period.
They continually drove the ball on up front through the impressive Max Macfarlane and then span the ball wide with O’Neil, Alex Pimlow and in particular Will Miekle looking dangerous for the hosts.
Finally, the equalising score came when Pershore failed to clear their lines and Will Miekle attacked before sending Alex Pimlow over the line. O’Neil converted to make it 7-7.
The derby game became tense as both sides looked for a winning score.
But it was Upton’s second sin-binning that was their downfall.
As Pershore took a quick tap, Benji Airdrie took the man out early and was sent to the bin.
From the resultant fivemetre scrum, the Pershore winger scored the decisive try in the corner.