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Leaders edge out Ledbury
10:55am Friday 8th March 2013 in Rugby
LEDBURY Rugby Club suffered a narrow 22-12 defeat at home to leaders Old Leamingtonians in Midlands Three West (South).
They just failed to register an important bonus point but once again proved capable of competing with the best clubs in the division when fielding a strong team.
However, second-from-bottom Ledbury are still paying for their poor start to the season, losing the reverse fixture 55-14 in November before their revival.
Old Leamingtonians played with the confidence of a team expecting a comfortable win to cement their promotion push.
But, despite scoring an unconverted try after nine minutes, it was evident from the outset the visitors had a hard match on their hands.
The Ross Road hosts enjoyed enough chances to have gone into the half-time break on levelterms.
However, they lost second row Matt Cleland to a yellow card just before the interval and the visitors capitalised on his absence to score their second try.
Old Leamingtonians extended their lead after 63 minutes with a controversial penalty try despite constant wheeling of the Ledbury scrum by the visiting pack.
At 17-0, the match looked beyond the home side but they battled on. When skipper Jock Welch touched down following a line-out drive with 13 minutes left, there was a glimpse of a comeback.
They nearly closed the gap to one score but a breakaway try secured the win for Old Leamingtonians with five minutes remaining. Even then, Ledbury pressed forward and full-back Jamie Rayfield finished off a flowing move with a try under the posts.
Fly-half George Bennion converted but the referee blew for full-time before play could resume.
Ledbury head to Coventry tomorrow (3pm) to face another team in the relegation mix in Old Wheatleyans