Pershore 19 Leamington 14
SPA slipped to a disappointing Midlands Two West (South) defeat at rock-bottom Pershore on Saturday.
The hosts have shown a marked improvement in recent weeks and yet again their performance offered clear evidence that they will be a side to contend with next season.
Pershore had the best possible start and, despite two try saving tackles from Adam Preece and Alex Carroll, bulldozed over for an early unconverted try.
Spa hit back with some strong running from Simon Harry and John Holland, while Craig Smith made a break down the touchline and just failed to get his pass to wing Richard Staff.
The heavier and mobile Pershore forwards were certainly causing more problems than one might expect from a side languishing at the foot of the table.
Spa, and in particular Simon Harry and Craig Smith, had to do plenty of work in defence to keep the home side at bay.
Five minutes before the interval Spa scored a well worked try when Andy Anderson secured the ball from the base of the scrum and slipped a pass to “Patch” Northover.
The young scrum-half released Staff on a run which ended with a try in the corner. Northover claimed the extras with a superbly judged kick from wide out to provide a 7-5 half time advantage.
Pershore responded with a break through midfield to score under the posts, almost immediately from the restart.
They further increased their lead as they cleverly moved the ball from a scrum in their own half and hit Spa at pace to score a second converted try.
Spa, by their high standards, were not quite firing on all cylinders and took some time to recover from this early setback.
When the visitors did hit back they were met with stubborn resistance, which only began to creak in the latter stages.
Alex Carroll set winger John Raby on a run down the near touchline which was held up just short of the line.
Northover eventually skipped over for a try which he converted to bring Spa within touching distance of a win but, unfortunately, the clock was against them and they fell just short.
Spa travel to Kidderminster this Saturday (3pm).
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