KIDDERMINSTER Carolians climbed to the top of the table after a hard-fought victory against a tough and committed Barkers Butts.

With several members of the team experiencing sickness and feeling well below par, the withdrawal of powerhouse prop Joe Nicklin and unavailability of Tom Maher and Rich Sollom forced the Carolians into a revised line up.

The early stages of the match were very even and underlined the task facing the team who scored a good break away try by the impressive young flanker Will Roff after seven minutes. Good defence broke down a Barkers attack, and forwards and backs linked to create the score which was unconverted.

The score remained at 5-0 to the away side for the next thirty minutes with the strong Barkers scrum causing problems. The pressure exerted by the home side built and they scored a converted try just before half time to take an interval lead of 7-5 which was a fair reflection of the game and two teams who were committed to attacking rugby.

Carolians were forced into several substitutions with players clearly not at full fitness and the addition of both Rigsby brothers added stability to the scrum allowing a solid platform to launch more attacks. Captain Mike Protheroe scored a good try 12 minutes into the new half converted by Freddie Morgan. This galvanised the motivated Barkers side who launched a series of driving attacks which eventually resulted in a converted try in the 56th minute to take a 14 -12 lead.

Kidderminster’s unbeaten league run looked under severe threat at this stage and the greater resilience and excellent team spirit of the Carolians finally showed when an impressive performance by Captain Mike Protheroe was rewarded with his second try which was unconverted to regain the lead 14-17 in the 64th minute. Straight from the kick off KC’S launched a superb attack which was finished off in adroit fashion by winger Keiran James who left the last two defenders flat footed to score a try converted by Freddie Morgan.

With the score at 24-14, Kidderminster stepped up the pace and a penalty well struck by the increasingly impressive Freddie Morgan extended the lead in the last few minutes of the match. A final score out wide by Ryan Tiene ended the match with Carolians the victors 32-14.

Barkers should be given great credit for pushing the Kidderminster team so hard and the contribution they made to making the game a real advert for open. hard fought rugby!

The large number of Kidderminster supporters who made the journey to Coventry were rewarded with a great display of gritty, hardworking effort by the young Carolians side whose determination and team work underlined the progress made this season by all the players.

The defeat of early league leaders Kenilworth by next weeks opponents Earlsdon underlines the size of the task facing the home side.