Whitchurch 41

Stourbridge Lions 10

WHITCHURCH continue their climb up the table after a crushing home win.

After five minutes of sustained pressure the visitors were award a penalty, which they duly scored to lead the game 3-0.

This stimulated a sparkling reaction as fly half Danny Nicholas tried his luck with a crossfield kick.

The kick was perfectly weighted and Abe Spragg was able to pluck the ball in his stride and, 50 metres out, utilised his speed to beat his opposition and score a try.

Unfortunately, the conversion was missed, and the game looked to spiral into a stalemate, with both packs looking to try and dominate the physical battle.

Five minutes before half-time the referee deemed Stourbridge had collapsed the scrum two metres out. Quick-thinking Joe Mullock took a tap penalty quickly and was able to dot the ball down. Nicholas converted the try for a half-time score of 12-3.

Mullock was standing in as captain for the afternoon as Cope recovers from a knock and it was clear he wanted to play a fast game. As the team regrouped at half-time the message must have been to speed up the game and go for the bonus-point win

Two minutes into the second half, Jack Furnival found himself in space and was able to crash over for his first try of the afternoon.

Whitchurch now felt they had free licence to play with the ball and winger Spragg found himself in space with two men to beat. Using quick feet and his blistering pace he made light work of the defenders and ran in for his second try.

Nicholas polished his boots and converted the try, taking the score to 24-3.

Within 10 minutes of the second half Whitchurch had secured the try bonus point.

Stourbridge soon found a second wind though and from a lineout they were able to secure the ball and set up a maul to drive over for their only try of the game.

The score was now at 24-10 and there seemed a glimmer of hope for the visiting team.

Whitchurch decided to replicate the driving maul and score one of their own at the opposite end.

Callum Southall – playing his first season in the first team – was able to capitalise on this and score his first try for the senior team.

Jack Furnival used the pack to drive Stourbridge over their own line and score his second of the afternoon. The final score came from Whitchurch’s power in the scrum.

A five-metre scrum was pushed back over the Stourbridge line and Jake Rees capped a fine performance with a touchdown under the swaying posts.

A conversion by Nicholas finished off an exhilarating performance by the North Shropshire men, man of the match going to back row Ian Hockenhull, who has improved considerably since returning from injury.

Whitchurch travel to Sutton Coldfield next.