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Upton deflate Dunlop with a fine league win
9:30am Tuesday 19th February 2013 in Rugby
JUBILANT Upton-upon-Severn stormed to a long overdue victory by beating Dunlop 28-0 in Midlands Two West (South) at Old Street.
Only their second league win of the season, with the first achieved on the opening day, put the bottom-of-thetable hosts within six points of Shipston-on-Stour and Leamington.
The game was rescheduled twice due to the recent poor weather which affected Upton’s availability this time as James Gammond, Tom Dodge and Matt Glading were all away.
Upton’s cause was not helped by injury-hit Dan Keyte missing out along with other first teamers and Chris O’Neil played with a bad cold.
But Dunlop also arrived with a depleted squad and, in wet conditions, Upton fancied their chances against normally fast, dynamic opponents.
O’Neil and veteran Matt Bookham led from the back row as their forwards drove into the heart of the defence.
With early dominance of possession, Upton’s clinical forward drives encouraged Dunlop to infringe at the breakdown and new fly-half Tom Bryant kicked three fine penalties.
The visitors put some pressure on Upton’s line but then their captain was sin-binned for throwing punches followed by a second row for killing the ball at the breakdown.
Struggling Dunlop tried outrageous moves but a switch kick from a 22-yard drop-out fell straight to O’Neil who ran through three tackles from 30 metres to score a try.
An attempted quick lineout on half-way went to Bryant who raced in from 50 metres under the posts and the conversion made the half-time score 21-0.
Dunlop started the secondhalf well and were buoyed by Oli Jones’ sin-binning.
But, despite dominating possession for the first 10 minutes, they could not score with Liam Moloney and debutant Matt Perrins making a superb last-ditch tackle under the posts.
From the resultant fivemetre scrum, Upton turned over the ball and Bryant saw the opportunity to counter.
Perrins found Dan Aldersey who went on a 50-metre run before feeding Martin Muleko and the Kenyan cut inside to find support.
Upton recycled but, as the ball spilled out, young centre Matt Dunwell picked up, handed off his tackler and ran in from 40 metres to score. Bryant converted to make it 28-0.
As Upton tired, they tried to search for a bonus-point try but, in worsening conditions, could not find the killer pass in a well-deserved victory.