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Pimlow's hat-trick in defeat for Upton
4:30pm Wednesday 30th October 2013 in Rugby
UPTON Rugby Club were edged out by just two points as they exited the National Senior Vase following a 31- 29 defeat at Handsworth.
Coach Stu Brooks experimented with his side, leaving Chris O’Neil and Oli Jones on the bench and withdrawing Rob Heeley altogether from the match day squad.
This enabled the playercoach to start his first game as well as young Sam Buck on the wing and George Ainge on the bench.
Despite going behind to an early converted try, Upton commanded the first-half using both their power and pace to tear through a big cumbersome Handsworth side.
Alex Pimlow was the main beneficiary with a hat-trick from outside-centre, but there was a first club try for 18-year-old winger Will Miekle, as well as a 50-yard dash from number eight Max Macfarlane.
Fly-half Tom Bryant managed to convert two of the tries to give Upton a 29-7 lead just before the break, but then came 90 seconds of sloppiness that may have led to their downfall.
Upton knocked-on at the re-start and, from the resultant scrum, Handsworth scythed through to score and make the half-time score 29-14.
After the interval, Upton once again knocked-on from the re-start and then proceeded to get bombarded with forward drives for 40 minutes.
Upton’s Achilles’ heel was their discipline and silly penalties gave the home side the chance to kick into the corner and continually drive the smaller visiting forwards down the hill.
Despite countless attempts, Handsworth were kept at bay, but ultimately their advantage of weight over Upton and the slope told as they scored three driving maul tries.
The final conversion gave Handsworth a two-point advantage with two minutes to go.
Upton tried to strike back and created two halfchances for the backs late on the Vase clash.
First, Miekle broke free but was hauled down and then Pimlow, Dan Keyte and Ainge combined on the right wing but again were held up short and Handsworth cleared their lines for a slender victory.