STRUGGLING Evesham slipped into the drop zone in Midlands Two West (South) despite a battling effort in a narrow defeat at top six side Leamington.
Despite several players playing out of position due to a lack of available forwards, Evesham came very close to victory but instead they had to settle for a precious losing bonus point following a 17-14 defeat.
The result leaves Evesham in 11th place as fellow strugglers Spartans (Midlands) jumped above them courtesy of a surprise victory at Old Laurentians, who Evesham will face next on March 21 following a weekend’s rest.
Southam lie bottom but both Evesham and Earlsdon, who have a game in hand, have 23 points and Spartans 25 points.
Evesham took a while to settle into the game at Leamington, allowing the hosts to feed off their mistakes.
The home side scored two unconverted tries in the first half through Drew Sinnott and Conor Chamberlain but Evesham hit-back with a try for Will Bugg, converted by Tom Williams to trail 10-7 at the break.
Leamington scored again early in the second half as Joe Kinghorn dotted down, with James Dunne landing the conversion, before Evesham began to take more control of the game.
However, despite enjoying the lion’s share of possession, Evesham could only register a second score for Bugg, again converted by Williams.
PERSHORE felt disappointed to come away with only a 26-26 draw in their trip to second-placed Old Wheatleyans in Midlands Four West (South).
In-form Pershore used their dominant forward pack to control the game but Old Wheats showed why they are title contenders with some quality play.
Tries from Dave Oliver (2), Greg Hitchcock and Stef Ellis, coupled with three Oliver conversions, meant Pershore took three points from the game, but it could have been maximum points – only for a try to be disallowed right at the death.
The result, however, keeps up the pressure on the league’s top teams and the Piddle Park men will be more than pleased with taking 12 points from three games against three of the top teams.
They lie sixth in the table, three points behind third-placed Bromyard, before the sides meet at Piddle Park in a rearranged match on Saturday (3pm).