Uphill struggle for Spa after Bs’ first-half blitz


With a quarter of the game gone, it was unclear who was going to prevail in what was an open and entertaining Midlands Two West (South) clash.

However, the game eventually swung Berkswell’s way as the home pack set up three first-half tries, plus a bonus-point fourth try in the second, while continuing to frustrate the visitors’ attempts to score.

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The game was very open from the outset. Leamington, playing up the slope and into the breeze, were having to give way to Bs in the forward battle, but what ball they secured was used well by debutant scrum-half Sam Nunn.

In the 26th minute, Bs reprised their driving maul from a lineout routine, which has created so many tries for them this season.

A clean take was quickly transferred into a driving maul and hooker Nick Waite was the forward driven over for the score. Sam Bignall kicked the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

The touchdown led to a period of sustained pressure from Berkswell and a second try, this time unconverted, from a rolling maul, John Arnold getting the final touch.

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Minutes before half-time, the hosts stretched their lead to 17 points with a carbon copy of the first try, Waite again touching down.

Leamington played the second half with both gradient and elements on their side and were unlucky to knock on with the tryline begging after John Holland and Tom Daplyn had broken from deep in their 22.

After soaking up the Leamington pressure, Bs also had their chances but they could not make them count until ten minutes from time when an excellent break out of defence by prop Craig Mills set up their fourth try.

Collecting a loose ball in his own half, Mills set off on a run which saw him eventually overhauled by the covering Leamington three-quarters, 20 metres short of the line. He managed to set-up good second-phase ball, which the home backs played along the line and eventually back inside for fly-half Bignall to crash over. Unable to convert his own try, Bignall had nevertheless secured the bonus point for Berkswell.

Leamington again threatened in the final minutes, but Bs held out to keep their opponents pointless and complete a league double.

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