LUDLOW stormed into the second round of the Midlands Intermediate Cup with a battling 31-19 victory over a well-drilled Evesham side.

But they had to come from behind after the visitors settled the better and opened up a 14-0 lead inside the first ten minutes.

In the end a five-try haul steered Ludlow through to help boost the side after an opening day defeat and to build to their Midlands Two West (North) match at Tamworth on Saturday.

Head coach Mikey Jones admitted: “It’s a bit of a relief getting that first win, particular as things didn’t go our way in the first game. It means we can go into our next game with a bit more confidence.

“The one thing we’ve noticed is that teams at this level are a lot more organised and tend to play settled sides. Last season [in Mids Three West] we’d play one set of lads at our place and there would be a different line-up when we went to theirs.

”It was important that we brought in more players ourselves and I’ve managed to bring six or seven lads back into the club so that we can compete at this level.”

Against Evesham, conceding back-to-back converted tries wasn’t the best start for Ludlow but they had closed the gap to 14-12 at the break.

Jim Alderson found the gap to dot down for the opening try for the hosts, Will Norton adding the conversion, and from the restart, a ball was charged down by centre Jack Lines who managed to gather and feed Mark Williams out wide who charged in for a try in the corner.

A more determined Ludlow side came out for the second half and they soon had their noses in front. A penalty was kicked to the corner and after the gathering the line-out, prop Anthony Marfell drove over from close range. Norton again added the extras.

Full-back Joe Doyle laid on the next score for Rhys Perkins who took over as scrum-half. Doyle collected his own kick ahead and then laid off a perfect pass for Perkins to go in under the posts, giving Norton the easiest of conversions.

Evesham were briefly on top again and brought the score back to 26-19 after bagging an unconverted try but it was the home side who had the last word.

A steal from Freddie Brick saw the ball quickly moved out to number 8 Matt Davies and then Mark Williams who got to within five metres. He then gave a deft back of the hand pass to Dylan Humphries who scored a debut try in the corner.

“I’m using the cup games to give some players who didn’t feature in the league game a chance,” Jones added. “They did well and it keeps everyone on their toes going into Saturday’s match.”