Midlands 1 West

Sutton Coldfield 12

Whitchurch 43

Whitchurch shook off an "average first half" by storming back to secure success at Sutton Coldfield to remain in promotion contention in the Midlands 1 West.

Victory kept the Reds in joint-third, one point off runners-up spot and still in with a chance of making the end of season play-off.

The Reds initially made hard work of their victory at Sutton Coldfield, trailing 12-10 at half time before powering back to score 33 unanswered points in the second half.

"To score seven tries away from home and come away with a bonus point was very pleasing, but unfortunately all the other sides did the same so we are in the same position with three games to go," said Whitchurch coach Scott Sturdy.

"We were average in the first half by our own standards, made some unforced errors, but give credit to Sutton Coldfield, they were a lot stronger than their recent run of form suggests.

"They played a decent brand of rugby from edge to edge, and if they play like that for the whole 80 minutes, then would not be far away. But we talked about things at half time, and were very good in the second half and executed our plans well.

"We scored some very well created tries and our defence was again excellent, and in the end if was a really good win."

Outside centre Luca Owen-Youens marked an impressive display with a hat-trick of tries as the Reds revelled in the drier conditions underfoot.

Fullback Matt Davies, wing Tom Skone, scrum half Joe Mullock and prop Steve Bloore also went over, while fly half Danny Nicholas weighed in with four conversions.

Whitchurch took the lead when Mike Gardiner dummied before feeding fellow centre Owen-Youens to cross.

Sutton Coldfield scored before the Reds got their second unconverted try when fullback Davies went over in the right corner after a swift move across the pitch.

With Mullock sin-binned for a infringement, the West Midlands hosts capitalised for a 12-10 interval advantage. But Whitchurch came out for the second half all guns blazing, scoring three tries in the first 12 minutes to take charge and claim a bonus point.

Still down to 14, they grabbed a third try when Skone scored, and Mullock marked his return to pitch with the next try.

Owen-Youens then bagged his second touchdown, Bloore barged his way over for the next score, while Nicholas converted both.

The scoring was completed when Owen-Youens notched his third touchdown of the afternoon after collecting a crossfield kick from Nicholas, who also added the conversion.

Whitchurch have now won nine of their last 10 outings including four straight victories, while Sutton Coldfield have lost seven in a row.