Upton Rugby Club off and running in 2014

Upton Rugby Club off and running in 2014

Upton Rugby Club off and running in 2014

First published in Sport

UPTON Rugby Club opened their win account for 2014 in their first game at home since December 7, beating Manor Park 36-25 in Midlands Three West (South).

After the previous week’s comprehensive loss to Shipston with a weakened team, Upton were back to almost full strength.

In sunny conditions on a drying pitch, they put in a well-drilled performance to secure five points.

Upton went ahead after five minutes when they drove over a scrum from five metres with Max Macfarlane touching down.

However, Park soon took the lead after they kept the ball well through the phases for their hooker to drive over and then added a penalty.

Upton initially seemed shell-shocked and struggled to maintain a structure but, 10 minutes before half-time, the old guard took charge.

Rob Heeley went blind from scrum-half James Gammond’s pick-up and fed Matt Bookham, playing his second game in a week after almost five years retired.

The flanker span out of two tackles and fed Alex Pimlow with the speedster racing down the left wing and leaving the full-back behind to score under the posts.

Chris O’Neil converted to make the half-time score 12-10.

Upton’s second-half display was much better than the first but they struggled to really shake off Park.

Macfarlane scored Upton’s third try after Chris Thomas took good line-out ball.

Then player-coach Stu Brooks dotted down after the Upton pack again claimed a line-out and drove over from five metres.

O’Neil converted both to increase the lead to 26-10.

Park hit back through a try after good forward play but Upton again added to their advantage when O’Neil was held up short only for the referee to award a penalty.

Pimlow took a quick tap and fed Heeley, who popped to Macfarlane for his hat-trick try.

Park scored their fourth try but Upton secured victory when, from a flowing right-wing move, Martin Muleko scorched through a gap in midfield.

As he was tackled, veteran openside Oli Jones was in close support and he fed Pimlow, who rounded the full-back again to score out wide.

Mid-table Upton visit second-from-bottom Kings Norton on Saturday.


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