Upton-upon-Severn 48, Shrewsbury 11.

UPTON-upon-Severn recorded a comprehensive victory in this National Intermediate Cup second round game, which they hope will help ignite their league campaign.

Playing against Shrewsbury, who are in the parallel league to Upton, the home side knew a win was available due to their opponents’ poor start to the season.

Both teams went into this game with four successive defeats in their respective leagues.

Played on a hard pitch in sunny conditions, the hosts started brightly trying to run the ball on all occasions, however, their over exuberance often led to mistakes in the form of knock-ons.

Shrewsbury took the lead with a penalty but Upton were soon leading through a Liam Moloney touchdown after a number of pick-and-drives from the forwards close to the line. Chris O’Neil converted.

The visitors reduced the deficit with a second penalty and took the lead with a try of their own.

Upton were penalised just outside their 22-metre line and the quick-thinking visitors took a tap penalty and recycled the ball, before powering over for an unconverted try.

Upton responded immediately from the kick-off when, after retrieving the ball, they span the it and centre Rich Jeynes broke through two tackles to score. O’Neil converted.

The New Street side extended their lead as they started to realise that the way to win this game was to play structures. The forwards, through Guy Field and Russell Price, drove forward and laid good phase ball for captain and fly-half Matthew Cock to direct play.

The skipper span the ball wide and found full-back Patrick Jeynes, who scythed through to score.

This made it 19-11 at the interval as the try then went unconverted.

Upton lost Tom Dodge to the sin bin and number eight Luke Boulton broke his wrist.

Upton also lost their structure as the second period started and Shrewsbury slowly got themselves back into the game using their large pack to drive forward.

Dodge returned to the play but, soon after, Upton lost O’Neil and Jason Smart to the bin to leave them on 13 men.

As Shrewsbury drove Upton back, their flanker threw a punch and was penalised and, from the goalline, Alex Pimlow tapped and raced 100 metres to score under the posts which he converted.

With the return of O’Neil and Smart and the introduction of the fresh legs of Rob Heeley and Joe Ayers, the game became a procession in the final quarter.

Upton regained their composure, kicking to touch and working their line-out to give first phase ball to their attacking backs and were able to score a further four tries through O’Neil, Rich Jeynes, Alex Flower and Dodge.

However, with all of the tries being scored in the one corner, O’Neil and Heeley were only able to convert one between them.