NEW Clee Hill skipper Charlie Evans believes his side is well-equipped to push for promotion this season after starting their campaign with a whitewash win over Essington.

Evans bagged a try and two conversions, while Dan Drinkwater, Tom Rawlins, Matthew Bowen and Matt Wilkes also crossed as Hill won the Midlands Four West North curtain-raiser 29-0.

Clee finished fourth last season, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Midlands Junior Vase and Evans – who has replaced Sam Link as captain – is confident of another fruitful campaign.

Evans – whose side host Greyhound in the first round of the Vase on Saturday – said: “We’ve started how we wanted to, with a bonus-point win, and we will be hoping to push for a possible promotion.

“We think we have a good squad. It’s a big squad and that’s important because all the games will be tough this season. Essington put up a good fight and we are not expecting anything to be easy.”

Elsewhere, Ludlow claimed an impressive 20-16 win at Old Halesonians to continue their unbeaten start to life in Midlands One West.

Joe Doyle, Jim Alderson and Charlie Doyle scored for Ludlow, who entertain early table-toppers Stoke in another tough test this Saturday.

Ludlow’s seconds edged a high-scoring affair with Bromsgrove thirds 33-29 as Dylan Humphries (2), Tom Perkins, debutant Yohan Delport and Rhys Evans scored tries. Perkins added four conversions.

Cleobury Mortimer top the early Midlands Three West North table after beating Willenhall 26-7. Tries came from Sam Bills, Harry Parker, Tom Leach and Alex Sparks, who added three conversions.

Promoted Tenbury paid the price for a poor first half as they lost their Midlands Four West South opener 25-19 at Bromyard despite a second-half fightback.

Tenbury trailed 22-0 at the break but scores from Callum Spires (2) and Ben Spires, plus two Zac Thompson conversions, earned them a losing bonus point.