WHITCHURCH Rugby Club capitalised on a Ludlow collapse to win 24-23 in a topsy-turvy game at Edgeley Park on Saturday.

A slow start from the home side saw Ludlow race ahead with a penalty, a converted try and then a further two penalties into a 0-16 half time lead.

But after the break the introduction of three players coming back from injuries changed the whole face of the game.

Within ten minutes of the restart, Luca Owen Youens crashed over for a try.

Danny Nicholas missed the conversion by inches but the scene was set for a Reds revival.

The forwards were now taking complete charge and brutal attacks from Jake Rees, Mike Oakden, Tom Wellsbury and Jonathon Cope, interspersed with a rampaging Steve Bloore saw another try after twenty minutes of the half finished off by the returning Jack Furnival.

Nicholas converted to bring the game close. The match then seemed to turn on an inexplicable decision from the referee.

Whitchurch, now dominating every scrum, were pressing on the Ludlow line.

A series of three penalties for dropping the scrum or offside was followed by a fourth offence which the referee signalled as advantage.

The home crowd were shouting for a penalty try when the reds threw out a couple of wide passes.

The ball was intercepted and the Ludlow backs ran through for a converted try as the Whitchurch players were waiting for the whistle for their advantage.

None came and the home side were again falling behind.

They immediately struck back through Joe Mullock at scrum half who dummied and crossed for a try that was converted by Nicholas.

The pressure then grew even greater and a superb cross kick from Nicholas saw young winger Abe Spragge cross in the corner for the score that

put Whitchurch ahead for the first time in the game.

The kick was missed but Whitchurch held on for victory.

After the game coach Scott Sturdy was pleased with the win, but lamented his sides first half performance.

"Extremely pleased to get a bonus point win after a really poor first half," said Sturdy.

"It's was great to see the return of three our key players who all came on at half time and played a huge part in turning the game around.

"We now need to keep developing our performance over the next few weeks so we perform for 80 minutes on a Saturday and not 40."

Meanwhile Whitchurch seconds were narrowly beaten by Knutsford firsts 21-31 in a close fought game which could have gone any way.

Tries from Owen Stephens, Gareth Williams and Brad Taylor were all converted by Lee Blackhurst.

Captain Mike Richardson was delighted with the effort of his players and says he looks forward to even more players becoming available in the next weeks.