Berkswell lost in the first round of the Intermediate Cup, despite being in control for most of game. Willenhall scored an opportunist try after 62 minutes, which turned the game on its head, after what had been a comfortable afternoon in the sun for Berkswell. It leaves them still seeking their first win of the season.
B’s dominated the first 15 minutes and Willenhall couldn’t break out of their half. Further pressure saw Berkswell camped in their opponent’s half, but they just couldn’t turn their pressure into points. The visitors began to assert themselves late in the half and went ahead with an unconverted try after 32 minutes. They followed that with a penalty, giving them an eight point lead at halftime.
In the second half things at last began to click for the home side. An unconverted try by Sam Bignell was just reward for their pressure and after 56 minutes a driving maul saw Nick Waite score, to give Berkswell the lead. Willenhall came back with a penalty, but two further home tries by Joe Styles - rounding off a good move on the right - and Jack Howle – sprinting through the cover to score wide out - gave B’s a healthy 20-11 lead.
A couple of missed penalties threw away the chance for B’s to move into a commanding lead which would probably have ensured victory. Then a wayward clearance kick by the home side saw Willenhall collect the ball and, with some fast footwork, cross the Berkswell line for a converted try. With alarm bells ringing - as the match reached its final few minutes - Berkswell conceded a penalty. The visitors kicked the points and took the lead by a single point.
Desperate defending by Willenhall kept Berkswell at bay and when the B’s were awarded a difficult penalty chance with two minutes remaining, about 30 meters from the posts, they elected to run it; Willenhall stopped the resulting drive and held on for victory and advancement to the next round. Berkswell were left to rue missed chances and their failure to turn pressure into points, particularly in the first half.
Scoring Summary :- Tries Sam Bignell (1)
Nick Waite (1)
Joe Styles (1)
Jack Howle (1)
Spartans (League – Midlands South West 2)
Saturday 26th September
Meer End Lane 3:00