Kidderminster Carolians 13 - 26 Leek RUFC

KIDDERMINSTER slipped to the foot of Midlands 2 West (north) and facing a relegation battle with near neighbours Ludlow.

The teams meet next week and Ludlow are just two points and two places above KCs in the league.

Defeat to Leek came after a strong start but KCs failed to turn pressure into points.

Early scrum domination created a number of opportunities for the hosts until a knock-on and a high tackle allowed Leek to escape.

However a missed penalty to touch was run back at them by Tiene and Leek were under the cosh with their only threat coming from a crossfield kick intended for their No 11 but which the winger could not quite gather.

In the next KC’s attack centre Mike Humphreys almost managed to put Tiene away but the ball was knocked on and although again in trouble at the scrum Leek managed to clear.

Under intense pressure and having ridden out the storm with some dogged defence Leek began to get a foothold in the game and after twenty five minutes took the lead.

A grubber kick to the right corner resulted in a KCs lineout on their own five metre line which they safely won but the clearance kick was run back at them and quick ruck ball saw Leek’s No 8 Joel Booth go over for a try which centre Gary McDermott converted.

Four minutes later a long-range Kidder penalty attempt fell short and a kick ahead for Leek centre Nick Palmer put him in for a try, again improved by McDermott.

KCs responded with a series of concerted attacks in the last ten minutes of the half during which Leek’s scrum continued to have problems.

Right wing Arthur Morgan got the home side on the scoreboard with a try after they won a five metre scrum against the head.

Ten minutes into the second period KCs won a penalty on Leek’s ten metre line and Chris Pinner sent the ball sailing between the posts to reduce the deficit to 14-8.

There was than a long delay in play while Chris May-Miller was treated for a head injury following an incident which resulted in a yellow card for Leek flanker Andy Thompson.

After an attritional 20 minutes Leek skipper Luke Hardem brushed off tackles in midfield and sent in fly-half Sam Hunt for a third try with McDermott once more adding the extras.

Five minutes later Kidder hit back again when, awarded a penalty twelve metres out, they opted for a scrum and after working the short side No 5 Jess Smith went over for an unconverted try.

However right on the final whistle the visitors set up a well-organised rolling maul from a five metre lineout and hooker Ed Cheadle burrowed over for a bonus point try.

Next week’s fixture at Ludlow will kick off at 2.15 pm.