Midlands West 1

Whitchurch 10

Newbold on Avon 13

Whitchurch coach Scott Sturdy insisted his side should have beat their league leaders Newbold on Avon on Saturday.

Despite outscoring their visitors by two tries to one, they struggled to convert and were edged out by a physically-strong Newbold, who were given their first test of the season.

And he is already switching his side's focus on next weekend as they look to take the positives and return to winning ways almost immediately.

"It was definitely a game we could have won," said Sturdy after more than matching their visitors from Warwickshire.

"To come away disappointed to lose against a side who were top of the table shows we have come a long way.

"No-one had come close to them this season, and they rocked up expecting to put 40 or 50 points past us, but in the end we were left thinking what could have been.

"We did not attack and play the way we wanted to, but we can take a lot of positives, and definitely deserved something from the game.

“It’s about how we react now. We’ve got another challenge against Old Hales, who will be very difficult to beat at home.

"We will train well this week, work on a few things, and be ready go to again on Saturday.”

Hooker Darren Blackhurst is the main doubt from last weekend’s hard-fought affair after being forced off with a knee injury.

Defeat saw Whitchurch slip down one place to sixth, while Newbold have now lost pole position to Bromsgrove who picked up maximum points from their 44-8 home win against lowly Moseley Oak.

Old Halesonians, themselves, will be looking to bounce back after losing ground following their narrow 29-28 reverse at Sutton Coldfield.

Whitchurch were up for the battle against Newbold, but soon found themselves 6-0 down after conceding a couple of early penalties.

Despite being allowed little room for manoeuvre, they broke the shackles when a swift move saw centre Luca Owen-Youens speed around the defence to cross under the posts. His conversion, however, hit the woodwork, although this did not ultimately prove costly.

After the break, Newbold looked to turn up the heat and, after battering the home line for a time, eventually found a way through to lead 13-5 with the conversion added.

The Reds remained resolute, though, and grabbed a second try late on – and a bonus point – when front row forward Steve Bloore powered over for his sixth try of the season from a line-out, but Owen-Youens failed to add the conversion.

Whitchurch remain in sixth place in the table after seven games with a 114-plus points difference.