Kidderminster Carolians vs Clee Hill 11 September 2021

Clee Hill 14 KC 24

Report submitted by Kidderminster Carolians

This round of the North Midlands Shield competition was a local derby and a big game for Clee Hill as they are in a lower league than KC

The match commenced with KC having the upper hand, however due to the resilient Clee Hill defence it took almost 15 minutes for them to score. Sustained pressure in the Clee Hill 22 metre area yielded a penalty which was converted by Jack O’Hagen.

KC then added a well worked try through the forwards. This was a push over try at the third attempt from 10 yards claimed by Aaron Crawley and the conversion by Jack O’Hagen. The KC three quarters had their turn and came close to scoring however a grubber kick through went over the deadball line.

KC were now in the ascendancy and although enjoying territorial advantage, were unable to convert their possession into points due to solid defence from Clee Hill. At this point the Clee Hill scrum was under pressure as KC disrupted their set piece through good play from the front row of Aaron Crawley, Lee Wilks and Russ Gauden.

Just before half time a good move by KC was finished off by two veterans, Chris Pinner gave a short pass for Andy McLellan to make a 29 metre sprint to score close to the posts. Jack O’Hagen adding the conversion to take the score to 0-17 at half time.

Clee Hill came out in the second half much refreshed, while KC lost their sharpness maybe feeling that they had the game won. Clee Hill enjoyed much of the possession, only good defence by KC keeping them out, it was notable that they often retained the ball despite good tackling from KC.

For about 20 minutes both sides played some positive rugby with any scoring opportunities being snuffed out by good defence. KC players making good tackles included Jesse Burgess and replacements Henry Reid and Alex Hopkirk.

KC put together a great move where the ball went through six pairs of hands, finally George Tildesley passing to his brother Jim who scored under the posts. Jack O’Hagen kicked the conversion to cap a good day with the boot, four out of four.

The last five minutes was disappointing for KC as they lost focus and it became one way traffic as Clee Hill attacked the KC line and ran in two well deserved tries, both of which were converted. This was a just reward for the effort that Clee Hill put into the game, their performance belied their lower league status. Hopefully KC will learn that they must concentrate for the whole 80 minutes and not relax and allow the opposition back into the game.