23rd Sep, 2020

Evesham come unstuck in closing stages

Liam Moakes 1st Nov, 2016 Updated: 1st Nov, 2016

EVESHAM captain Nathan Chambers said the feeling among the squad was one of frustration following Saturday’s 19-8 Midlands Three West (South) defeat at bogey side Ledbury.

The Vale side headed to Herefordshire on the back of a 16-16 draw at Woodrush last time out but came up short in their attempt to return to winning ways against a strong home side.

Evesham were very much in the contest throughout but some ill-discipline and injuries in key positions proved to be their downfall.

Chambers, whose mid-table side will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Manor Park, said: “We suffered injuries in key positions and the set-piece began to struggle.

“We are disappointed with the result having demonstrated some very confident rugby, but the conclusion is our concentration and discipline must remain high throughout.”

Both teams started Saturday’s match brightly and played entertaining rugby in front a large Presidents’ Day crowd.

With the sides exchanging blows in midfield without any major threat, it seemed it would be a game of fine margins.

Ledbury were the first to strike when, having beaten the gain line, Evesham conceded a needless penalty on halfway.

The hosts’ experienced fly half pushed his team deep into opposition territory. From the resulting lineout, despite aggressive maul defence, the Ledbury loose-head slipped free to cross and the extras were added.

The game then continued in a similar manner for the rest of the first half but, although expansive and fast-paced rugby was being played, both defences held firm.

The score remained 7-0 until late in the first half when Ledbury conceded a penalty 30m out and Evesham’s Sam Hopkins slotted it over nicely to make it 7-3 at the interval.

Evesham had a clear message at half time to express themselves in attack and limit the mistakes offered to Ledbury in defence and the visitors’ response was positive.

With the travelling side’s big ball carriers punching holes, following a neat offload Chambers managed to score and Evesham, who missed the conversion, led 8-7.

However, injuries struck and Evesham lost their momentum. This led to a number of penalties being awarded to the home side and Ledbury enjoyed comfortable field position.

Good composure and, at times, sloppy defending allowed the hosts to cross for a further two tries to seal victory and leave Evesham empty-handed.

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