Clee Hill 58 pts Five Ways Old Edwardians 3 pts

SKIPPER Matt Bowen believes teams have been surprised by promotion-chasing Clee Hill’s enterprising rugby this season.

Hill remain second in Midlands Four West (North) after racking up 10 tries in Saturday’s home mauling of Five Ways Old Edwardians.

Bowen was delighted the Hillmen fielded a second team for a 36-5 home success in a friendly against Chaddesley Corbett.

Bowen said it was the first time in 16 years that the club had hosted two senior Hill teams on a Saturday.

“We have a new head coach, Matt Cooper, this season and he’s been encouraging us to put the ball through the hands a lot more,” said Bowen.

“We used to be a team which kept the ball in the forwards and played a very forward-orientated game. But the training has certainly paid off and the players have certainly stepped up this season.”

Hill are three points ahead of Cannock, who have played one game fewer. They are next in action at Greyhound on March 22.

Bowen said: “Our game-plan was to try to hit Five Ways hard in the first 20 minutes - and that’s exactly what we did.” Hill stormed into a 20-3 lead at the interval.

Craig Breakwell snapped up a hat-trick of tries, while fly-half Steve Adams bagged a brace in a man-of-the-match display. Bowen and Charlie Evans also notched braces, with Dan Hart also scoring.

Meanwhile, Dan Romeo was in top form for Clee Hill’s second team in a 31-7 home victory over Chaddesley Corbett. Mike Morris and Adam Yarnold also crossed for Hill, with Josh Hughes kicking the rest of the hosts’ points.

Meanwhile, Bishops Castle are targeting fifth spot in the table after a comfortable 36-5 home success over struggling St Leonards.

Keith Evans grabbed a brace of tries, with Charlie Haylett, Andy Dale, Ed Roberts and Will Beddoes also crossing for Castle. Beddoes kicked two conversions and Jack Holloway, one.

Castle spokesman Pete Bevan said: “We scored three early tries but St Leonards worked hard and kept us honest. Our aim was to win and to pick up a bonus point.”

Castle travel to Bromyard this Saturday and Bevan is hoping that the Shropshire outfit can maintain their good form.

“We don’t want to finish any lower than fifth place in the table,” said Bevan. “With players having been out injured and others not available, fifth place would be respectable.”