Midlands 1 West

Worcester 43

Whitchurch 5

Whitchurch's hopes of claiming runners-up spot in the Midlands 1 West appear to be over after slumping 43-5 at in-form Worcester - their heaviest defeat of the season.

The Reds had won nine of their previous 10 outings, including four straight victories, but a weakened side were downed by their resurgent hosts who ran in seven tries, four of which were converted.

Defeat saw them slip six points off second placed Dudley Kingswinford, and five behind Newbold-on-Avon, who both had bonus point victories.

With two games remaining, there now seems little chance of making the promotion play-off, but the Edgeley Park men will want to make sure a highly creditable campaign does not peter out.

After suffering such a disappointing defeat, they now face a test of their mettle at home to runaway champions Bromsgrove on Saturday, before finishing away at Droitwich on Saturday.

Coach Scott Sturdy said: "It now looks like we're going to finish fourth, but that is still a fantastic achievement in our first season back in this division.

"With the players we had missing, we were scraping the barrel, while Worcester were very good and played some beautiful rugby.

"But, while they were excellent, we were poor, and it is the first time this season any side has put 40 points past us.

"We did not defend well, a few decisions did not go for us, and it was a bad day all round.

"We had a few chances, but did not take them, and were also unfortunate to have two tries disallowed."

After a slow start to the campaign, Worcester have emerged one of the form sides in the league, with victory over Whitchurch their fifth in a row.

The home side were soon on the front foot, scoring a couple of neat tries following excellent kicks to put themselves in the driving seat.

The Reds thought they have responded midway through the half, but Mike Oakden was ruled not to have grounded the ball over the line.

Worcester then rubbed salt into the wound by scoring their third touchdown for a healthy 17-0 interval advantage.

Centre Luca Owen-Youens continued his fine form for the Reds with an unconverted try after the interval, but the home side had the bit between their teeth and ran in four more scores to finish 43-5 victors.

Whitchurch looked to have crossed for a consolation try with the last play of the game, but Jed Towers' effort was chalked out as the final pass was ruled to have gone forward.