LRFC 1st XV Match Report v Upton on Severn home 5 Jan 2019
Ledbury 82 – Upton 7
Ledbury Kick Start the New Year with a resounding win over Upton. After a string of lacklustre performances in the run up to the Christmas break, Ledbury faced their closest local rivals, Upton, determined to banish the mince pies and play some running rugby.
The Upton side were unlucky in their first encounter back in September and, despite a string of bad results recently, are the only side to have defeated league leaders Pinley this season. So Ledbury were well aware of their capability after the close finish at the last meeting.
From the start, Ledbury chose to run the ball at every opportunity. Within minutes Matt Hallett scored after a quick lineout and within the next 15 minutes Hallett, Chris Stokes and Cam Hunter had scored for Ledbury and things were looking bleak for the visitors who had no answer to the off-loading and support of the rampant Ledbury side. This Barbarian style rugby was however risky and allowed Upton to burrow over for a well-earned forwards try which was converted. Two further tries by Hallett saw Ledbury 42-7 ahead at half time.
Playing down the slope in the second half, Upton were unable to capitalise and Hallett struck again, skipping through several tackles to open the second half barrage. Assal broke clear and an excellent probing kick was followed up by veteran Stokes for another try to take the score to 52-7. The demolition job continued with a further Hallett try outstripping the tired visitors. Jamie Rayfield crossed the line again after the Upton defence disintegrated once more. A few substitutions meant that regular back Hallett found himself playing at No 8 only to latch onto a clear path once more to the line, for his 5th try of the afternoon at the end of play. George Bennion contributed significantly with numerous successful conversions.
The scoreline belies the valiant Upton efforts, whose pack looked dangerous throughout, but ultimately the rub went against them through too many handling errors and gaping defence.
Next Saturday sees Ledbury away to Woodrush and they can make the journey with a spring in their step after such an emphatic start to the second half of the league season.
And do not forget the forthcoming Curry Evening on Friday 25th January with Stephen Jones, lead Rugby Correspondent with the Times and Sunday Times, presenting a preview of the forthcoming 6 Nations Tournament followed by a Q&A session. Tickets £20 in advance from The Pavilion Rooms, Ross Road, 01531 631788.