Evesham 40 Long Buckby 13
Midlands Senior Vase quarter-final
EVESHAM maintained their impressive form as they progressed into the semi-finals of the Midlands Senior Vase with a convincing victory over high-flying Long Buckby on Saturday.
Although it was bitterly cold, conditions were fair to facilitate an entertaining game of rugby.
Both sides approached the game in a similar fashion with emphasis being added to expansive attacking rugby.
The travelling side looked dangerous with a number of pacy and elusive runners in their back line and struck the first blow when, from the base of the scrum, the Long Buckby backs executed a neat set piece move and ghosted around Wilf Watson in the centres.
The conversion was successful, leaving Evesham 7-0 down with as many minutes played.
Having reassessed and gathered themselves, Evesham looked to hit straight back and they did so positively.
Although conceding a penalty in return, tries from Michael Diston, Scott Fairfax and Scott Boulton and a penalty apiece from Sam Hopkins and Michael Harris gave the hosts a 21-10 lead at the break.
With their confidence high, Evesham continued to test the visitors’ defence in the second period.
Good field position was provided by Harris and determined work up front in the forwards left the visitors with little opportunity to mount a comeback.
With pressure building, Joe Cafearo and Rob Wilkes both crossed the whitewash to dot down.
Consistently accurate off the tee, Hopkins notched a further two penalties to put the icing on the cake.
Man of the match in this thoroughly exciting and entertaining affair was Ashley Icke for his dogged and gritty performance at blindside flanker, as his figures for carries and tackles far exceeded those of his team-mates.
Fifth placed Evesham return to Midlands Three West (South) action on Saturday with a visit to Old Wheatleyans.