Ludlow Rugby Club slip to 16-14 defeat against Crewe and Nantwich in Midlands Two West (North)

Ludlow 14 pts Crewe and Nantwich 16 pts

HEAD coach Dave Irish says Ludlow paid the penalty for a refereeing error in Saturday’s agonising defeat against high-flying Crewe and Nantwich.

Crewe snatched victory with just seven minutes remaining at The Linney when they kicked a penalty which ‘appeared to slide to the left of the posts.’

“It was fairly controversial,” admitted Irish, who was on the field as a replacement.

“We were 14-13 up with seven minutes remaining when Crewe were awarded a penalty.

“Their kicker stepped up and the ball appeared to slide to the left of the left-hand post and the touch judges kept down their flags.

“But the referee overruled the touch judges and awarded the penalty.”

He added: “I was playing and I was in line with the posts and could see what happened.”

Fourth-placed Ludlow travel to Leek in Midlands Two West (North) this Saturday and Irish believes The Linneymen will take confidence from last weekend’s display.

“Mark Williams scored fantastic individual try and we were ahead until the referee’s mistake,” said Irish.

“Williams is playing some fantastic rugby – he is defending well and is setting alight the backs.

“I would much rather be in this position than the position we found ourselves in 12 months ago. “

In addition to Williams’ superb try, Will Sparrow kicked three penalties against Crewe.

Irish said: “It was a very keenly contested game and we had a mobile, but light-weight pack.

“Darren Brick played at eight so we missed his power.

“They had some big, strong runners and their open-side flanker was exceptional.

“We played some good, running rugby. “

Ludlow suffered a blow after eight minutes when Will Norton pulled groin muscle.

But Jim Alderson played well and Rhys Evans also shone.

Irish said: “We were not far away against Moseley Oak and, but for the rub of the green, we would have beaten the second-placed team, Crewe. We are fourth in table with five points more than Bridgnorth.”

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