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Oswestry aiming to respond after tasting defeat

Oswestry travelled to Birmingham to play Handsworth in front of a good amount of local supporters. The weather remained dry and Handsworth playing in red and white hoops kicked off taking the advantage of a slight slope towards the Oswestry defence. From the kick off the locals were quick to put early pressure on Oswestry carrying the ball deep into the Oswestry 22,.After surviving the early onslaught Oswestry fought their way out of defence with Max Rudd using his power to run forward crossing the game line being supported by Kele Raturoko who made good ground into the hosts half. Having won a scrum 10 yards out of Handsworth try line Callum Woodcock was able to run over and score the first try of the match much to the shock of the local support. The try was not converted and Oswestry took an early 5 point lead.


Almost from the Handsworth restart the locals found themselves in the Oswestry 22 and their large pack were able to push Oswestry back to their try line and score their first try. The conversion was successful and the locals took a 7 points to 5 lead.

Oswestry fought back with a great run by Rory Kershaw who dodged the defenders and run closer to their try line before being caught. The local fly half was quick to take advantage of the slope and kick Oswestry back into their defence line where they applied further pressure on the Oswestry defence. After 30 minutes of play the added pressure paid off and with a missed tackle they were able to run in their second try which was converted. The locals were now 14 points to 5 up.

With the local support cheering their team on Handsworth were using the ground to their advantage and apply further pressure. Oswestry conceded another penalty and Handsworth converted the kick further extending their lead to 17 points to 5.

Halftime came giving the coach Jordan Davies and Lee Rogers time to give their team advice knowing that they would have the advantage of the slope in the second half.

Oswestry kicked off and were quickly on the edge of the hosts 22 with Max Rudd completing another powerful run where Tom Williams made space passing to Lewys Cooke who was too quick and ran over to score the second Oswestry try. Iwan Ellis converted the kick and the score now stood at 17 points to 12.

Handsworth kicked the ball long from the restart and put pressure on the Oswestry defence line. The referee played advantage for an Oswestry infringement and the number 12 from Handswoth made a drop goal attempt which just missed. The locals then kicked the penalty and were 20 points to 12 in the lead.

Oswestry got back in the Handsworth half and pushed the locals back into their 22 and from good play by the Oswestry pack edged closer to the try line. Tom Williams used his speed to run over and score the third Oswestry try. The conversion was kicked by Iwan Ellis and the score now stood at 20 points to 19.

Oswestry got back into the Handsworth half and following an Oswestry attack Fabrizio Gaito who had come on to replace Connor Bishop was able to run down the wing and score a try. As he ran past the last defender the fullback was seen by the referee to deliberately foul the Oswestry player and Oswestry were awarded a penalty try. The fullback was given a yellow card. Oswestry were now 26 points to 20 in the lead.

Handsworth were keen to get back into the Oswestry half and keeping the ball within their large pack they were slowly driving Oswestry back. From an Oswestry handling error the hosts were awarded another penalty and the locals were now just 3 points behind Oswestry.

Time was running out and Handsworth were desperate to score and Oswestry were strong in defence but were deemed to commit another foul and Dan Smart was given a yellow card. Oswestry tried to hold out but from the calamity of tackling close to the Oswestry try line the referee awarded a try that was in dispute by Oswestry and the locals were now 28 points to 26 in the lead. The conversion was kicked and the locals were now 30 points to 26 up.

There was just enough time left for Oswestry to restart and the locals held on to the ball before kicking the ball out to secure the win.

Handsworth nominated Lewys Cooke as the Oswestry man of the match but Oswestry made Max Rudd the player who continued to look strong in defence and on the attack through what proved a difficult march. Joe Capener should be mentioned making his debut for the first team playing at 8 who played really well throughout. Oswestry now slip into 5th place in the league and next Saturday face another difficult fixture at home against Harborne.

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