Allan Shields delighted with Cleobury Mortimer Rugby Club's pulsating 29-23 derby victory over Tenbury

Ludlow Advertiser: John Hulland scores a try for Cleobury despite Will Gough’s tackle. Photograph by Keith Gluyas. John Hulland scores a try for Cleobury despite Will Gough’s tackle. Photograph by Keith Gluyas.

Tenbury 23 pts Cleobury Mortimer 29 pts

SKIPPER Allan Shields admitted he was delighted with Cleobury Mortimer’s pulsating derby victory over Tenbury at Palmer’s Meadow.

Ben Thomas, Josh Phillips, John Hulland and Tom Leach all scored tries for Cleobury, who have climbed to second spot in Midlands Four West (North).

Shields kicked three conversions and a penalty for Cleobury, who have another important match this Saturday, at home to Warley.

“Tenbury had made a lot of changes since we last played them,” said Shields.

“Tenbury chased us all the way and it was a very hard-fought derby.

“We weren’t at our best but it was brilliant for the lads to get a win at Tenbury.”

Cleobury opened the scoring in last weekend’s derby with a try from Thomas.

Will Gough levelled for Tenbury with a push-over try and Will Morgan added a second for the hosts.

But Phillips bagged an interception try for Cleobury, who led 12-10 at the interval.

Cleobury scored again through Hulland before a fine try from Ben King put Tenbury back in the match at 19-15.

King scored his second touchdown to put Tenbury 20-19 ahead. Cleobury hit back to regain the lead.

Tom Leach then ran through six or seven of the Tenbury players to score a fine try to extend Cleobury’s advantage to 29-20.

However, Tenbury were still not finished and King slotted over a conversion to complete the scoring.

Tenbury Pete Stevens blamed ‘poor tackling’ and ‘stupid mistakes’ for the narrow loss for the hosts, who are second-bottom in the table.

“Stupid mistakes and stupid tackling cost us,” said Stevens.

“We were unlucky – we were winning with 10 minutes remaining.

“But we picked up two bonus points from the match and that was pleasing.

“If we can stop giving away silly tries, I am sure we will start shooting up the table.”

“Leach took his try well but it was down to our pathetic tackling,” said Stevens.

Shields says Cleobury are happy to be in a promotion spot but admits there are some big matches ahead for his men.

“This is an excellent league with some very good local derbies and we could do with another season at this level,” said Shields.

“I was happy with third place and now we’re second, so we will see what happens.”

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