Earlsdon 24 Evesham 20
Midlands Two West (South)
EVESHAM captain Nathan Chambers remained upbeat after his side suffered a frustrating defeat in Coventry on Saturday.
Having suffered an agonising last-gasp defeat to leaders Droitwich in their last league encounter, Evesham were determined to bounce back but, despite a valiant fightback, they had to settle for a losing bonus point.
Evesham remain fifth but are now ten points behind fourth placed Earlsdon ahead of Saturday’s visit of Southam.
Chambers said: “We left Coventry with a feeling of disappointment. On another day, with better execution and discipline, we could have overcome Earlsdon.
“Nonetheless, we will look forward to the return fixture in 2018 and are determined to return to winning ways at home to Southam on Saturday.”
Evesham started brightly, looking to impose their expansive attacking game plan on their hosts.
Through good set piece ball, Evesham were able to stretch their opponents out wide and this left the Earlsdon defence scrambling to cover the pitch, allowing scrum half Dan Humpston to link with Chambers and make a break in the defensive line and, through fantastic support play, openside Josh Perry was able to gather the captain’s pass to score. Mike Harris added the extras to make it 7-0.
For the most of the first half, neither team was able to keep hold of the ball long enough to exert pressure on their opponents. This led to discipline deteriorating and the home side having their second row sent to the sin-bin.
However, despite the one-man advantage, the visitors could not trouble the scoreboard. Instead, the hosts tightened their game and proceeded to rely on a forward-dominated game.
This provided a converted try as a reward and for the remainder of the first half the teams traded penalties, leaving Evesham 13-10 up at half time thanks to two Harris kicks.
With the elements in their favour in the second half, Evesham looked to keep Earlsdon pinned deep in their own territory but once more ill-discipline at the breakdown allowed the Coventry side to exit too easily.
Much as the same as the first half, tightening their game up to rely on forward drives enabled Earlsdon to make good headway into the Evesham half and further indiscipline resulted in Evesham hooker Zak Shotton being sin-binned and Earlsdon scoring two well taken set piece tries.
With time running out, Evesham found themselves, somewhat unjustly, 24-13 down and in a determined fightback centre Alex Jackson crossed for a late score converted by Harris.
However, despite these efforts, the clock got the better of the visitors.