Bishops Castle 20 pts Cleobury Mortimer 0 pts

CLEOBURY Mortimer remain second in Midlands Four West (North) after their depleted side crashed to a derby defeat at Bishops Castle.

Mortimer host promotion rivals Clee Hill this Saturday and will welcome back skipper Allan Shields, who watched England’s exciting win over Ireland at Twickenham last weekend.

A brace of tries from Andy Dale propelled Castle to victory over Mortimer last Saturday and the home side were delighted to see the fit-again Jack Holloway come through unscathed.

Cleobury skipper Shields At one point, I know we had only 14 players for the Castle match and I think we travelled with the bar 15 and no replacements.

“To keep the score down to 20-0, I think the players would have been very happy with that.

“I spoke to Willie Bache and he said that our coach, Tony Heap, who is a prop, came out of retirement to play.”

“I am hoping we will have a few faces back for this weekend’s derby.

“We haven’t lost at home this season and that’s a record we will be trying to keep intact.

“Clee Hill will be another tough match but our pitch drains well and, whatever the weather brings this week, I am confident it will go ahead.”

Castle spokesman Pete Bevan believes his side must raise their match for the trip to table-topping Harborne, who must be smarting from a defeat against Tenbury.

Bevan said: “We were a bit rusty after four weeks without a match and it was a scrappy match.”

“We had Jack Holloway back and Charlie Haylett played around 40 minutes.

“Cleobury came with just 15 and were down to the bare bones. They dug deep and gave us a few anxious moments.

“Because Rob Davies had to work, I was moved to hooker and I haven’t played in that position for about 14 years and Cleobury won a lot of scrums against the head.

“If we play like that against Harborne, we know it will be a very difficult afternoon.

Peter Hughes kicked Castle 3-0 ahead before Haylett touched down and Ollie Corbett added a conversion. Dale sealed the win with his brace.

Bevan said: “our scrambled defence was very pleasing. However, we missed a lot of first-up tackles.

“Harborne put 40 points on us in pre-season and we know what to expect from them.”