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Luke Brittain scores maiden hat-trick in vital win
11:58am Friday 21st March 2014 in Sport
Tenbury 54 pts
St Leonards 18 pts
CAPTAIN Pete Stevens is hoping Tenbury Rugby Club can draw inspiration from their biggest home crowd of the season and take another giant step towards league safety.
Tenbury face rivals Bishops Castle at Palmer’s Meadow this Saturday after the club’s annual vice-presidents’ lunch at Penlu.
A maiden hat-trick from Luke Brittain and an outstanding display from former Ludlow star Dan Rawlings helped ease Tenbury’s relegation fears last weekend.
Tenbury romped to an eight-try success over basement boys St Leonards and are now three places and seven points above the drop zone in Midlands Four West (North).
“Dan Rawlings, at centre, was outstanding and he was a class above everyone on the pitch in our match last Saturday,” said Stevens.
“It was Luke Brittain’s first hat-trick and everyone is delighted for him.
“We have now picked up 15 points from our last three matches and the Bishops Castle fixture is another massive game for us.
“Hopefully, a big crowd will inspire us to keep our excellent run going.”
He added: “I have a selection issue because I can only have a 20-man squad and we have a lot of players available because the vice-presidents’ day is the most social day in our calendar.
“We have picked up some new signings from Ludlow and Rob Yeomans should be back on Saturday.
“But Bishops Castle are a tough side and are always very hard to overcome.
“They defeated us comfortably at their place earlier in the season.
“We could not get going and Brittain hurt his knee in the early stages of that game.”
Andy Black scored Tenbury’s opening try against St Leonards, which was converted by Will Gough, who kicked 14 points in total.
But St Leonards replied with a penalty and then seized upon a defensive mistake to grab a converted try to take a shock 10-7 advantage.
But Tenbury hit back strongly through tries from George Withers’ and Ian Bowkett, both converted by Gough.
Rob Phillips then dived over for a try, which gave Tenbury a 26-10 interval lead.
St Leonards replied with a penalty before Tenbury regained control.
Rawlings crossed and then Brittain went to complete his try-treble.
Stevens said: “We had Tom Rawlings, Andrew Wilkes, Ben King and Will Morgan all missing but St Leonards were no mugs.
“Brittain scored one of his tries after great play from Dan Rawlings who broke through two of three tackles. It was a huge win for us.”