CLEOBURY Mortimer, Clee Hill and Bishops Castle saw their unbeaten starts to the new rugby season come to an end as all three sides suffered first losses.

Mortimer fell 32-11 at home to Eccleshall in Midlands Three West North despite a try and two penalties from Alex Sparks.

First XV manager Aggy Desogus said the scoreline did not reflect the game, adding: “It was a close match, 10-6 to them at half-time, but they scored two late tries in the last five minutes.

“We had a few players missing – a couple were at a wedding and another has gone to Japan to watch the World Cup – and we struggled a bit in the second half.

“We have a very young squad – 11 of our 18 on Saturday have come from the Colts team and the majority of our players are 21 or 22 but if everyone stays fit, we should be able to compete.”

Clee Hill suffered a narrow 18-13 loss at Market Drayton despite tries from George Evans and Matt Bowen plus a Hayden Edwards conversion, and now host early leaders Rugeley this weekend.

Skipper Charlie Evans said: “They lived off our mistakes, that’s where their tries came from, but we had two tries disallowed which was a shame as even the opposition said they should have counted.

“Rugeley this Saturday will be difficult and we have a lot to work on in the week because we have to perform in this sort of game if we want to get promoted.”

Castle, meanwhile, narrowly lost 14-10 at Atherstone in Midlands Five.