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Ledbury cement third spot in rugby table
4:47pm Thursday 27th February 2014 in Sport
LEDBURY resumed their Midlands Three West (South) campaign with a 35-3 home success over lowly Kings Norton in a rearranged fixture.
Having had no games for three weeks due to the widespread flooding, the hosts were inevitably somewhat rusty but dominated from the kick-off and their bonus-point win further cemented third place in the table.
The late rearrangement meant an entire squad with first XV appearances this season were unavailable but the club's increased strength in depth allowed them to field a competitive side.
They took the lead after just eight minutes when good line-out possession enabled prop Arron Almond to drive to within 10 metres of the line and centre Matt Hallett easily scored near the posts. Fly-half George Bennion converted.
The next 25 minutes saw Ledbury create numerous scoring opportunities without adding to their lead.
When Kings Norton converted a penalty with their first real attack on 34 minutes, the visitors' hopes of a surprise result rose, particularly as they would have the wind and slope behind them in the second period.
However, the Ross Road team responded immediately when, from scrums near the Birmingham side's try line, head coach and scrum-half Paul Rudland and then number eight Gary Nicholson crashed over. Bennion converted both to leave Ledbury in control.
Kings Norton made use of the elements in the second period to at least spend more time in the Ledbury half but they could not compete in the set-piece, particularly in the scrum where the hosts were once again impressive.
Chances came and went for Ledbury to secure the bonus point with a fourth try before forwards coach and flanker Elliot Bee took advantage of a quick penalty to put winger Jamie Rayfield clear.
Rayfield's excellent angle of running meant he touched down near the posts after 70 minutes.
Bennion converted and another superb individual effort by Hallett completed a satisfactory victory.
Ledbury face a challenging trip to fifth-placed Manor Park in Nuneaton tomorrow but the return of previously unavailable players will give even greater strength to pick from.