Southam College 12
Alcester Grammar School 10
It may not have been an out of this world performance but losing is alien to the College 1st XV. Captain Bay Toner could be proud of the commitment of his team to seal a narrow victory.
The early exchanges were fierce and superb tackling by Tim Virr and Dom White repelled the quality AGS attack. Southam had the advantage at the scrum with Mario Palmer claiming several balls against the oppositions feed. Props James Butlin and the dynamic Callum Jayes deserve credit for this and were well supported by Len Eadon and Harry Upton. However, it was AGS who scored first after a good line out and quick passing creating a gap in the corner.
Southam responded with real character and dominated the second quarter with superb drives by Dom White, Kian Marks and Connor Bowmaster trapping AGS in their own 22. Excellent work by Hugo Rogers and Peter Armstrong created just enough room for Ryan Comyns to squeeze into the corner for the equaliser.
5-5 was a pleasing score at half time with the introduction of Warwickshire players Joe Tresadern and Finley Wilde to the action. Southam took advantage with James Butlin burrowing forward to be stopped tantalisingly close to the line. A clever break by Bay Toner and a quick pop pass released the ball to Connor Bowmaster who agonisingly juggled it before safely seizing the ball and scoring the try that put Southam in front. Joe Tresadern confidently struck over what proved to be the winning conversion.
A second AGS try came soon after. A penalty was correctly awarded to AGS but the referee failed to spot that Bay Toner was lying injured. Unfortunately AGS scored in the space effectively vacated by Bay. Crucially they failed to add the conversion.
AGS were unlucky not to add a third try after Southam conceded a number of penalties and failed to effectively clear the ball. However, an excellent break from Finley Wilde and typically brilliant support from Men of the Match Hugo Rogers and Peter Armstrong nearly grabbed a third Southam try.
So a narrow win against talented opponents to start the season. But more work is needed on line speed in defence and tactical awareness in different areas of the pitch to give the attack more structure. The Coach Award goes to winger Sam Clifton and Flanker Brandon Piesley for fine individual performances.