Upton hammer Ledbury in local derby

3:22pm Wednesday 23rd April 2014

UPTON ended local rivals Ledbury's season with a 40-10 defeat under the Old Street floodlights on Good Friday.

Having played the corresponding Midlands Three West (South) fixture under Ledbury’s lights in October, the hosts were determined to put on a better show.

Their poor discipline had previously allowed the Herefordshire side to kick themselves to a 14-5 win.

In sunny, warm conditions on a dry pitch, Upton used their fast, running forwards to dominate the more forward-orientated visitors.

Playing in front of a big crowd, Upton started at a fast pace with returning hooker Rob Heeley getting in early touches after a month-long absence.

Upton were on top in the scrum this time which allowed cover scrum-half Dan Aldersey to release back rowers Chris O’Neil, Matt Dunwell and Max Macfarlane on rampaging runs.

They went ahead after 10 minutes when, from a scrum just inside the Ledbury half, number eight Macfarlane picked up and went through three tackles to score. O’Neil converted.

The game became niggly as the visitors lost players to injury and then the referee brandished three yellow cards, one to Upton’s line-out talisman Chris Thomas and two to Ledbury.

The Worcestershire outfit made their extra man count as Macfarlane scored his second try, once again taking three men with him over the line.

O’Neil converted to make the scoreline 14-0 at half-time.

Ledbury lost their hooker at the break and the game descended into a near-farce when they had a man sent off for a late tackle on skipper Dan Keyte.

With Ledbury unable to field a front row, they were reduced to 11 men until their two earlier sin-binnings returned.

After no further incidents, the majority of the second-half was played with Upton fielding 15 players and Ledbury 13.

Once Macfarlane sealed his hat-trick of tries to make it 21-0, Upton took their foot off the gas.

Ledbury replied with two tries to slightly worry their opponents but they both went unconverted.

Home player-coach Stuart Brooks urged his players to raise their levels and in the final 15 minutes they did.

O’Neil, now playing at fly-half for the injured Keyte, made a break on halfway to feed prop Brooks on the wing and he showed pace to score in the corner. O’Neil converted.

Macfarlane then burst forward from halfway for his fourth try before Tom Bryant scored a blistering effort from full-back, showing strength and speed to run in.

O’Neil finished with five conversions from six to complete the scoring.

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