Claverdon rewarded for strong finish

Thursday 21 February 2013 Updated: 21/02 16:39

Claverdon 23 Coventrians 9

A STRONG second half performance helped Claverdon put their poor recent form behind them and record a welcome Midlands Four West (South) victory on Saturday.

The visitors started brightly but were unable to transfer pressure into points due to a solid Claverdon defence.

The Lions weathered the early storm before getting into their stride as solid lineouts and scrums, courtesy of hooker Steve Grimsley, provided a good platform for the backs and they were constantly breaching the Coventrians defence.

Outside centre Tom Johnson was at the heart of this and broke the line on various occasions with one such break leading to a penalty in front of the posts which fly-half James Williams converted.

Claverdon extended their lead with the first try of the game which was instigated by Johnson who intercepted a wayward pass and made good ground.

Twenty metres from the line he offloaded to flanker Andy Wenborn who in turn fed Steve Grimsley and he gave the ball to the supporting Bill Whetton who raced to score in the corner.

As has happened in many games this season and despite a warning from coach Scott Conduit, the Lions ket again conceded kickable penalties.

They gave away three, all of which were kicked, with a fourth crashing off the posts and luckily being cleared to safety.

Claverdon, trailing 9-8 at the interval, roared into action at the start of the second half boosted by strong physical running from Dave Carruthers, Anthony Jay and Olly Johnson.

Twenty minutes of pressure did not produce any further scores and the visitors almost stretched their lead as they closed to within five metres of the try line.

When Harvey Skinner illegally extended himself to stop quick ball, the referee had no choice but to send him to the sin bin.

Claverdon defended the resultant penalty well and instead of going further behind the 14 men took control.

From just inside the opposition half, Williams kicked a perfectly weighted ball out wide for his substitute brother Thomas Williams to pick up at pace and score in the corner.

Thomas Williams tried his luck from the touchline but pulled the conversion just wide.

Shortly after the hosts scored their third try to wrap up the game. A flat pass from fly half Williams found Johnson in space who cut inside to beat his opposite man.

He drew the next defender before offloading to winger Rick Wilding who made further yards before finding the fleet-footed Andy Wenborne who cut back inside and scored next to the posts.

Thomas Williams made no mistake with the conversion and completed the scoring with a well struck long range penalty.

Claverdon will be aiming to build on the success when they entertain Warwickian this Saturday.

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