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Ledbury up to third as they conquer the conditions
Updated 6:51pm Friday 31st January 2014 in Sport
LEDBURY moved into third place in Midlands Three West (South) following a 23-10 victory at basement boys Evesham.
The game was played in increasingly difficult conditions with the saturated ground, strong wind and heavy rain making expansive rugby impossible.
In the circumstances, the Ross Road team showed excellent commitment and good sense in using the tactics necessary to secure the win.
Ledbury faced the wind in the first-half and defended well when forced back into their own 22 as Evesham sensibly kicked for position.
When the opportunity arose, full-back Matt Hallett ran the ball dangerously into the opposition half.
After one such run, Ledbury marched the Evesham scrum backwards and, from the ensuing penalty, centre George Bennion opened the scoring with a 25th-minute penalty.
Evesham hit back with a converted try five minutes later when Ledbury could not clear their lines and the loose ball fell straight to a home player.
Skipper Jock Welch finished off a line-out drive soon afterwards to move Ledbury a point ahead before Evesham brought the half to an end with a penalty to turn around 10-8 in front.
At this stage, the weather deteriorated further, negating the advantage Ledbury hoped for from the wind in the second period.
Nevertheless, the visitors increasingly dominated the game with their scrum consistently proving an excellent source of possession.
Ledbury put themselves into a strong field position after 55 minutes and this allowed head coach and scrum-half Paul Rudland to dive over and ease Ledbury ahead.
Bennion added a second penalty 10 minutes later and, although Evesham battled gamely, they were never able to threaten to Ledbury’s lead.
Number eight Gary Nicholson, who was outstanding in attack and defence throughout, crashed over in the corner for Ledbury’s third try with Bennion converting from the touchline.
Ledbury return to Ross Road tomorrow when they take on Shipston-on-Stour and, as the game will be followed by live coverage of the France and England Six Nations match, a large crowd is expected.