Hatch opens door to victory for Carolians

CLASSY Kidderminster Carolians continued their charge up the Midlands Two West South league table with a 36-29 success at Old Coventrians.

Head coach Ian Bletcher praised the resolve of his players, but insisted no-one was getting carried away with their progress.

He claimed: “We kept our discipline and worked really hard when it mattered. My only disappointment from the game was that Coventrians got a bonus point from it.”

Bletcher singled out 19-year-old full-back Jordan Hatch and said: “He had an excellent game. We were playing into very low, but bright, sunlight and Coventrians continually tested him with high balls.

“But together with wingers Mitch Hardwick and Lawrie Hughes, they dealt with it extremely well and then threatened Coventrians on the counter-attack.”

Carolians are at home to Old Leamingtonians this Saturday and Bletcher is determined to put the record straight.

He explained: “They beat us at their place early in the season with a score in the last minute. It was probably our lowest point and I want to put matters right.

“We’ve already told ourselves that we don’t want anybody doing the double over us this season.

“We’re in a good place at the moment, because I’ve got 23 to 24 players all fighting for a starting place in the First XV, which means some quality players are missing out.

“I also want to thank all our supporters this season because they’ve been magnificent.

“We must have had double the amount of support that Coventrians had last Saturday and it makes a difference when you’re away from home having 50 to 60 people shouting you on.

“I almost felt sorry for Coventrians, who ran onto the pitch to a ripple of applause – mostly from our own supporters!

Bletcher also thanked Wolverley School for allowing them to train there during the bad weather.

George Morgan opened the scoring against Coventrians in the first minute, beating a player in a one-on-one to touch down.

Coventrians pulled back a penalty, but the elusive Morgan again breached Coventrians’ defence before feeding Andy McLellan, who put in fellow centre Jake Evetts for a well worked try.

Morgan added the extras to hand KCs a 12-3 lead.

They were pegged back after Coventrians scored two penalties, but KCs hit back and Rob Delahay touched down, while Morgan converted.

The hosts paid the price for a sloppy start to the second half as their opponents scored a try to move within two points.

But the impressive Morgan spotted an inviting gap to dart through for a fine individual bonus point try.

McLellan then went over for a converted try which extended the lead to a more comfortable 31-17.

But KCs’ rivals refused to lie down and a converted effort saw them pull it back to 31-24.

But Hatch raced into space and the youngster stepped neatly inside the last defender for a vital sixth try which left the hosts now needing two converted efforts to win with nearly quarter of an hour to play.

Despite a late try and losing Chris Pinner to the sin-bin, KCs held on to win.

Coventrians’ normally reliable kicker also missed a penalty in front of the posts.

KCs kick off against Old Leamingtonians at 2.15pm.

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