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Upton beat the weather but not Old Yardleians
6:07pm Wednesday 5th February 2014 in Sport
UPTON lost 12-3 at Old Yardleians in Midlands Three West (South) as they played their first full match since mid-December.
The weather continues to wreak havoc with the league schedule and their attempts to play at Kings Norton last time out were halted after just 30 minutes when the game was abandoned due to lightning.
Upton went into the Old Yardleians match, rearranged from early January, with little match fitness but some positive hope.
They have been able to keep in shape with training sessions around the flood water at their Old Street base and an indoor session at Worcester Warriors.
However, Old Yardleians are the surprise leaders in the league having based their game around their strong pack.
In wet conditions, Upton struggled early on in the scrum with Rob Heeley having to start on the bench due to family commitments.
This allowed the home side to take a foothold in the game and pin Upton back in their own 22. After 20 minutes, Old Yards took the lead when, from a five-metre line-out, they drove Upton over the line to make it 5-0.
Upton started to get a handle on the conditions with some strong runs from wingers Will Miekle and Martin Muleko and good kicking by skipper Dan Keyte. This was supplemented with powerful forward surges from Matt Dunwell, Olli Jones and Max Macfarlane.
With 10 minutes of the first-half remaining, Upton got on the scoreboard through a Tom Bryant penalty to trail 5-3 at the break.
Heeley came on at half-time and immediately Upton were on a par in the scrum and matters were helped when the Old Yards hooker was sin-binned for overzealous use of the boot.
However, with the pitch conditions resembling a cattle field, getting any phases of play was impossible and the majority of the half revolved around the half-way line.
But with 10 minutes to go, Upton gifted the win to Old Yards. With only seven in the scrum, having lost Sam Phillips to the sin bin after one too many infringements at the breakdown, Heeley lost it against the head and Old Yards went blind and kicked down field. The ball rolled into the Upton try area and as Bryant came across, he hesitated to allow the Old Yards winger chance to dive on the ball for a converted try to make it 12-3.
Upton continued to battle for a score that would have earned them a bonus point and threw everything at the home side.
This led to tempers flaring and resulted in the Old Yards number eight being shown a straight red for a head-butt on Chris Thomas.
However, Upton had no chance to use their numerical advantage and the result remained 12-3.
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