Upton return with Manor Park victory

Malvern Gazette: Upton return with Manor Park victory Upton return with Manor Park victory

UPTON recorded their second straight Midlands Three West (South) victory but, more importantly, put in a performance that shows things are improving for their young side.

Having beaten Ledbury the previous week, Upton travelled to Nuneaton-based Manor Park and claimed a thrilling 27-25 success.

Upton played some good phase rugby up the hill in the first-half and took the lead through a Dan Keyte penalty.

However, Park soon replied with a penalty of their own, before taking the lead with a try from their number eight, who barged through an attempted double tackle from coach Stu Brooks and Rob Heeley.

Upton, though, continued to use their pack to drive the ball forward and they levelled the score when, instead of taking an easy penalty kick, Keyte asked his forwards to scrum and the visitors pushed the home side over the line for Chris O’Neil to touch down.

Just before half-time, Upton scored a crucial try when Chris Thomas stole the ball in the line-out and it was span out wide.

Centre Luke Sheppard drove the ball up into midfield and the ball went wide again to the left wing where Will Miekle was on hand to scythe through and score in the corner to make it 15-10 at half-time.

Upton took their foot off the gas after the break and Park reduced the arrears with a penalty, before scoring their second try after some weak tackling from the visitors.

Once again, Upton used their forward platform to create space for their backs who tried to find the gaps to score. Alex Pimlow was held up just short of the line, but the pack recycled quickly.

Scrum-half James Gammond fed Heeley and he cleverly fed O’Neil, who barged through three tacklers for Upton’s third try which Keyte converted to make it 22-18.

Despite having two players in the sin bin, Park took a quick tap-penalty and drove over for a converted try to make it 25-22 with 10 minutes to go.

Upton secured the deserved win when the pack scrummaged well from 10 metres out and the ball was fired wide to Pimlow, who went round his outside man to touch down.

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