Dunlop 22 Kidderminster Carolians 36
KIDDERMINSTER Carolians maintained their title push with a bruising win over Dunlop in the Midlands Division Two West (South).
The Marlpool Lane side have notched up 101 points over two games against Dunlop.
Victory means they remain one point behind leaders Banbury although Earlsdon are a real threat in third, two points adrift of KCs but with two games in hand.
They made a blistering start and were 12 points to the good after only eight minutes.
They opened the scoring when Rob Phillips strode unopposed through an inviting gap to touch down under the posts after good work by George Morgan, who kicked the conversion, and Ben Binnian.
Binnian’s good work at the lineout then allowed Morgan to touch down from a ruck.
The hosts replied with a try of their own and they hammered Kidderminster’s defence with a series of bruising attacks but the visiting defence held firm.
KCs weathered the storm and just before the break they punished Dunlop, using possession from a lineout on their 10-metre line to move the ball left to winger Laurence Hughes whose pace outflanked the first up defence before he passed inside to full-back Jordan Hatch for a fine try, which scrum-half Chris Pinner improved to give them a useful 19-5 interval lead.
A fine tackle from Jake Evetts allowed the Worcestershire side to hit Dunlop on the counter and Nick Martin raced away to score under the posts for the bonus point try, which Pinner kicked over.
The hosts made it 26-10 with a second score of their own.
Dunlop then scored a third try to put the result in doubt.
KCs were now wobbling but their rush defence paid dividends for the second time when centre Mitchell Hardwick was in the face of his opposite number and hacked the dropped ball upfield towards the left corner flag.
Martin was first to it and dived over to score his second try, which gave Kidder some breathing space at 31-15.
Alex Baldwin touched down and despite another converted effort from the hosts, KCs held on for the win.
They are next in league action at home to Earlsdon, on Saturday, March 22 in a clash that could have a major impact on the promotion race.