Midlands 1 West

Whitchurch 36

Old Halesonians 17

Coach Scott Sturdy praised's Whitchurch response after quickly returning to winning ways in the Midlands One West when overcoming Old Halesonians at Edgeley Park.

After seeing their five-match winning run halted with a hard-fought 15-10 reverse at promotion-chasing Newbold-on-Avon the week before, the Reds

were keen to avoid a hangover in their pursuit of a top three finish.

And that they did as two tries apiece from No8 Jake Rees and tight head prop Tom Hale ensured a swift riposte, with fullback Matt Davies also crossing in a bonus point victory.

It kept Whitchurch in fourth spot, one point behind Dudley Kingswinford, and seven points adrift of second placed Newbold who suffered a surprising 57-0 hammering at leaders Bromsgrove.

"Next we've got Stoke which is going to be a really difficult game, but we need to keep the momentum going," said Sturdy.

"If we can win that, then we should finish fourth at the very least which would have exceeded the expectations at the start of the season.

"We need to keep testing ourselves, and games coming up against Stoke and Bromsgrove will do that, and will decide how high we finish."

After three games on the road, the Reds were happy to be back at home against Old Halesonians as they looked to consolidate their position among the top four.

The Worcestershire visitors, with a score to settle after losing 22-0 at home when the sides met earlier in the season, started brightly and were ahead with a converted try following a crossfield kick.

But the Reds hit back, fly half Danny Nicholas landing a penalty before converting the first of two tries from No8 Rees.

Tighthead prop Hale then went over after gathering offload, Nicholas again converting for a healthy 17-7 interval lead.

Two quickfire tries early in the second half effectively put paid to the visitors, both coming in similar style from rolling mauls following line-outs after the Reds had kicked penalties into the corner.

Hale went over for his second touchdown, and fullback Davies also crossed, with Nicholas adding one conversion for a 29-7 advantage.

Davies was then sin binned, and Old Hales – who also themselves had two yellow cards during the second period – took advantage to trim the deficit with a penalty and a well-worked second try, which they also converted.

But Whitchurch had the last word when Rees broke off the back of a scrum on the visitors' 22, and worked this way over the line for a fine solo score, which Nicholas also converted.