Seven up for Ledbury to remain on top

Ledbury 15, Atherstone 7.

LEDBURY maintained their position at the top of Midlands Four South (West) with their seventh consecutive victory against Atherstone at Ross Road.

Although the home team dominated the second-half, it took a 72nd-minute penalty from fly-half Charlie Hiram to secure the win.

It was a disjointed match with neither side able to impose themselves.

Ledbury attempted to move the ball at pace despite the slippery conditions, although they went close on a number of occasions. It was not until the 22nd minute that they scored their first try.

The ball went through numerous hands and phases until Atherstone ran out of tacklers and hooker Andy Beeching dived over near the right- hand touchline.

Atherstone hit back a few minutes later with a converted try following errors from Ledbury as the greasy ball slipped over the try-line and, for a while, Ledbury struggled to regain the lead.

However, in their most fluent move of the match, Jamie Rayfield ran an excellent supporting line to score his 11th try of the season and Ben Smith’s touchline conversion meant the home team led 12-7 at half-time.

Atherstone’s forwards soon tired after the break but Ledbury were never able to make the game safe due to a combination of poor handling and strong defence by Atherstone.

Despite not being anywhere near their best, the hosts were never really threatened but an improved performance will be needed tomorrow when they travel to third-placed Birmingham Civil Service (ko 2.15pm).

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