September 29th, 2016

Gritty Evesham show their resilience

Old Leamingtonians 7 Evesham 20

Midlands Three West (South)

EVESHAM kept pace with the top three as they secured a hard fought victory against a side who were two divisions above them last season.

Saturday’s win cements fourth place for the Vale side, who are just two points behind second and third placed Old Coventrians and Rugby Lions having won five of their seven league games this season.

Evesham expected a tough challenge on a miserable day at Old Leams, who had been relegated in 2014/15 whilst Evesham had been promoted, and to add to the occasion it was the hosts’ presidents’ day which meant a strong turnout of vocal support for the home side.

Playing against the elements in the first half, Evesham were aware of the pressure they would be put under.

Unfortunately for them, when trying to clear their lines, the Avonsiders had a kick charged down for the opening score which was converted.

This stunned Evesham into life. Identifying the conditions would not facilitate open, expansive rugby, Evesham tightened up and used their set piece as a way of gaining a foothold in the game and, following a well organised lineout maul, Zak Shotton crossed to make it 7-5.

With the game in the balance at the break, Evesham knew they would have opportunities to score in the second half with the elements in their favour.

The day started to brighten up which also allowed for running rugby to be played and, following good spells of pressure in the Old Leams half, Shotton managed to cross again for another unconverted score which made it 10-7 to the visitors.

With the pressure mounting, Michael Harris slotted over a penalty after the home side were caught infringing at the breakdown but, at 13-7, Evesham knew another score was needed in the final quarter to put the game to bed.

It arrived when captain Nathan Chambers picked from a scrum, handed off the oncoming flanker and scrambled over the line from 20 metres out before Harris added the extras to complete the scoring.

Evesham host mid-table Old Wheatleyans on Saturday.

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