Rugby Union
Exiles are edged out

24/04 Updated: 24/04 17:16

Birmingham Exiles 12 Claverdon 20

MUCH-changed Claverdon gained a hard fought Midlands Four West (South) victory at lowly Exiles despite having Dave Carruthers sent off after just ten minutes.

Exiles belied their position in the table by opening the scoring with a well worked try and things got even worse for the visitors when tight head Carruthers was yellow-carded for handling in a ruck and then red-carded for dissent.

Skipper Conor Smith rallied his troops under the posts as the home side missed the resulting penalty.

From the restart the Lions stepped up a gear and soon took the lead after a good lineout win secured good ball on the edge of their own 22.

The resulting crash move saw fly-half Wyllie timing an inch perfect pass to inside centre Sam Harris. He broke through the defence at pace and drew the full back before off-loading to Barton who ran in under the posts despite attention from covering players. Wyllie added the extras.

Strong running from Lowe and Tilson made good yards, while tough tackling from Thorndale and Edsall kept Exiles in check.

It was not long before Claverdon scored again this time through a good lineout and great forward drive.

With the ball secure at the back of the maul the Lions forwards drove towards the home line before hooker Grimsley flopped over the line to score near the corner.

Claverdon continued to attack and from another line-out quick ball to the backs gave room out wide and despite the mercurial Wyllie’s bullet pass the Exiles centre read the situation and intercepted the ball in his own 22 before running the length of the pitch to score under the posts.

The easy conversion was added to leave the score 12-12 at half time.

Claverdon, with advantage of slope and wind, started the second half well with Wyllie keeping Exiles pinned in their own half with some arrow-like kicking.

The visitors got their noses in front again when Wyllie slotted over a splendid penalty.

Victory was sealed when Wyllie drew his man before finding Harris who again timed his run to perfection beating both centres and finding Daws who scored out wide.

Claverdon chased the bonus point fourth try but blew two or three good chances with wayward passes from Daws and Wyllie.

Still winning a game in tough conditions with 14 men for 70 minutes against a side much better than their league standing suggests is a good result.

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