Shropshire Star

Cheltenham hand Ludlow their first defeat of 2024

Ludlow failed to fire as they suffered their first defeat of the year in Regional Two Midlands West.


The Linney men were looking to add to a recent run of three straight victories but failed to hit form in a 24-10 reverse at home to Cheltenham.

The visitors cashed in on a number of errors from their hosts to head home with the spoils.

Ludlow head coach Mikey Jones had hoped to see his side close in on the top six following a mixed campaign that has seen his selection plans hampered by availability issues.

Successive wins against Worcester, Hereford and Berkswell & Balsall had raised hopes of a late surge up the table, but Saturday’s defeat has checked that progress and left Jones’s side sitting in eighth place, eight points off the top six, but with games in hand on all the sides above them.

Ludlow managed just one try against Cheltenham, which was scored by winger Luke Murrell. Jack Lines added the conversion and penalty.

Next up for Ludlow is another home clash – their fourth in succession – against 10th-placed Malvern on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Telford Hornets heaped more misery on Harborne as they ran in seven tries on the way to a convincing away day triumph in Counties One Midlands West (North).

On a grey day in Birmingham, Hornets put the division’s bottom team to the sword to claim a 45-15 success. Telford struck first when a good win in the lineout followed by a maul ended with Ryan Edwards touching down.

Harborne reduced the deficit with a penalty but were then left stunned as Dan Robinson raced through the home side to score a try-of-the-season contender.

Edwards added another try to put Hornets in charge at half-time, but Harborne hit back at the start of the second half to make it 19-8.

However, it was then the Hornets took charge as Charlie Wood sprinted away to score a pair of tries and then Edwards touched down for his hat-trick to make it 38-8.

Matt Bird added Hornets’ final try, though Harborne scored last to end the contest 45-15.

Hornets are back at home on Saturday when they entertain Newcastle (Staffs).

League rivals Shrewsbury went down 27-5 at home to league leaders Edwardians and next host Harborne on Saturday.