Old Saltleians 3 Berkswell & Balsall 27
AN emphatic play-off victory saw Berkswell’s excellent 30th anniversary season culminate with promotion from Midlands West 2.
The side will now progress to Midlands 1 next season. B’s beat Old Saltleians, who had finished second in the Northern section of Midlands West 2, by playing to their strengths and demolishing their opponents in the forwards.
A controlling performance - and two tries - from coach Mike Walls at scrum-half, plus the speed and tackling of the B’s three-quarters, complemented the dominance of the front eight, to effectively secure victory by the beginning of the second half.
Old Salts took an early 3-0 lead but the first scrum on 16 minutes saw the Berkswell pack lay down a marker as they shunted the home side back.
After 20 B’s were awarded a five-metre scrum and with their travelling support baying for a pushover, duly delivered, No.8 Mark Galpin getting the touchdown and Bignall converting for a 7-3 lead.
A whirlwind start to the second half by Berkswell effectively sealed victory. Two tries in the opening five minutes gave them a significant lead. Galpin claimed a second pushover try with Bignall again converting before Walls picked-up a loose ball, dummied the last defender, and dotted the ball down for an unconverted try and a 19-3 lead.
With 11 minutes left the B’s pack destroyed the Old Salts eight with a series of scrums which ended with Walls stepping in to touchdown. Berkswell also had the last word with an injury-time penalty which Bignall kicked.