Birmingham Exiles 10 Cleobury Mortimer 37
IN the opening half of their North Midlands Vase tie again Shropshire side Cleobury Mortimer, Solihull-based Exiles looked well capable of winning. The second half, though, was a different story as the visitors posted 24 points without reply.
Cleobury opened the scoring with a penalty goal from inside centre Allan Shields. Es response was prompt: a surging break by Loveridge started an attack that ended with open side flanker Jordan Pecheur crossing for a try in the right corner.
The visitors regained the lead as blindside flanker Colin Todd found space on the fringe of a ruck to dive over.
Once again, Exiles regained the initiative: some 20 metres out, the pack set up a rolling maul from which, now close to the line, second rower Joe Foy peeled off to crash over for a try that put the hosts ahead once more at 10-8.
Es Johnstone looked to have scored again soon after, in winning a chase to his own kick ahead, but the referee had slipped and had not seen the touchdown and so was unable to award the try.
As half time approached, Cleobury once more took the lead as Shields intercepted some 30 metres out and crossed close to the posts for a try that left his side 13-10 up at the break.
Ten minutes after half-time, Cleobury increased their lead: a break by Ben Howman led to a kick and chase and full back Dave Shorter won the race to touch down.
The visitors now proceeded to exploit this tactic, and a brace of tries from Alex Howman - the first very well converted from wide out by Shields – took the match out of Exiles’ reach.