KIDDERMINSTER Carolians confirmed their claim as title contenders in the Midlands Division Two West (South) defeating high-flying Spartans 22-3.

A seventh win in eight games has thrust the Marlpool Lane outfit into second place and they now only trail leaders Earlsdon by two points.

KCs have amassed 41 points from the last nine matches but they recorded their most important victory over Spartans, who they leapfrogged over.

Playing with the slope but against a strong wind on a difficult surface, KCs saw very little of the ball in the opening ten minutes and fell behind to an early penalty.

But scrum half Chris Pinner and left wing Laurence Hughes combined to allow centre Mitchell Hardwick to put in for a try.

A yellow card reduced the home side to 14 men and KCs extended their lead to 10-3 when number eight Layton Wilkinson powered over.

Before the conversion could be attempted torrential rain, hail and lightning gave the referee no option other than to take the players off the pitch but the storm abated after a ten minute break and play resumed.

Solid at the scrum and lineout and effective at the breakdown, KCs were playing the conditions well with their forwards continually driving Spartans back. Alex Baldwin added a third try which was close enough to the posts to enable fly half George Morgan to convert for a 17-3 half-time advantage.

As the second half progressed, the hosts tried to run the ball from all areas of the field and although they had a couple of spells of pressure, KCs defended powerfully to frustrate them.

Matt Rigsby secured another bonus point with the fourth score after replacement lock Jack Tunstall had put in the hard yards.

KCs next scheduled fixture is a friendly at Ludlow on Saturday.