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Thursday 29 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 11:37
Birmingham Civil Service 8 Claverdon 3
A MUCH improved performance failed to prevent Claverdon from suffering a narrow Midlands Four West (South) defeat at second placed Birmingham civil Service on Saturday.
It proved a dour forward battle in dreadful conditions on a narrow pitch with the hosts starting the better but struggling to break down a solid Claverdon defence.
Civil Service missed a penalty and the visitors thought they had opened the scoring with a try in the corner midway through the first half.
The forwards trundled the ball forward and dropped on the line but the referee adjudged them to be just short.
Points were put on the board soon after as the Service fly-half made no mistake with a penalty in front of the posts to give the home side a narrow half time lead.
Claverdon started the second half brightly and within five minutes fly-half James Williams pulled a kickable penalty wide.
Williams was again unfortunate not long after when his kick bounced off the post to safety.
The home side took full advantage of the double let-off and bounced back with the first and only try of the game.
Claverdon, inspired by excellent full back Rob Horsfall, hit back and Williams slotted over a 20-yard penalty to reduce the arrears to set up a tense finish.
More strong running and great rucking took the Lions close to the Service try line but they just could not find a way through for the all important try and the hosts were relieved to hang on.
Claverdon entertain Manor Park in the Warwickshire Cup this Saturday.
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