Ravens are left reeling by late blow at leaders
Market Drayton Ravens tasted defeat for the first time this season after being edged out 34-27 by Counties Two Midlands West (West) leaders Bromyard.
The Ravens made the trip with a much-changed side, with nine players missing from the team that drew against Bridgnorth Bulls in their previous game.
The Ravens started brightly with Jon Salele returning a kick with a storming run down the wing and winning a penalty on the 10-metre line, which Alex Gammon knocked between the posts. Bromyard hit back immediately with a converted try.
Ravens were reduced to 14 when Apisah Vaileba was shown a yellow card and 10 minutes in the sin bin.
But despite being a man down, the Ravens hit back and cut the deficit with a try from Luke Walters, which was converted by Gammon.
A Bromyard penalty then made it 17-10 before Gammon replied with a three-pointer for the visitors.
And it was the Ravens who landed the next score when the ball was fed along the line to Walters. He was stopped just short of the line, but Tom Minshall was on hand to score. Gammon’s conversion saw Ravens lead 20-17 at half-time.
Bromyard’s forwards started to dominate proceedings after the break and their pressure resulted in a try to make it 22-20. Terita Tuickobia was then yellow carded and Bromyard took advantage with another unconverted score, but were then rocked when Gammon scored near the posts, with George Minshall’s conversion levelling the score at 27-27.
But with five minutes left to play another dominant scrum led to a converted score from Bromyard that sealed the win.
n Cleobury Mortimer beat Shrewsbury seconds 44-3 in Counties Three Midlands West (North) with tries from Alfie Todd (two), Jack Banford (two), Jack Samways, Jonathan Briton, Jack Wilkinson and George Smurthwaite. Ludlow seconds suffered a defeat in the same division, but Bishop’s Castle & Onny Valley beat Five Ways Old Edwardians 45-24 in Counties Four Midlands West (South).