Redditch returned to league action this weekend looking to restore some pride and keep in touch at the top end of the table. Their last outing resulted in a 66 – 3 drubbing at runaway league leaders Dunlop, but they restored some pride with a comfortable win in the mud against a dogged Old Edwardians outfit.
The Kingfishers started in typical fashion when playing at home by racing into an early lead playing up the slope. The pack dominated possession and forced an early penalty in front of the posts converted by Tom Saddington.
Immediately after, the home team pressed for more points and despite the wet and soggy conditions they looked to play the ball wide. Old Edwardians rushed up in defence leaving Andy Irvine to execute a perfectly weighted kick over the oncoming defence. Edwin Grey won the straight footrace with his opposite number to ground the ball and stretch the lead to eight.
Saddington extended the lead by another three after further infringement from the visiting forwards.
Before the break Old Edwardians got into the Redditch 22 metres for the first time and were duly rewarded with a score. From a screened tap penalty they hid their powerful strike runner well leaving him to crash over unopposed.
Winter officially arrived in the second period as conditions underfoot deteriorated and the game became a slog in the mud. The Redditch forwards dominated and pinned the opposition in their 22 m for the most of the half. Glen Francis led a strong scrummage stealing numerous balls against the head and Chris Oldfield put in a Man of the Match performance on his return from a broken jaw.
Eventually the pressure told, but it took until the last ten minutes before Redditch were comfortable. The visitors took to desperate measures by playing on their own line and Lewis Saddington pounced to intercept and score under the posts.
Coach Steve Joslin has targeted the next three league games before Christmas as 'must wins' to stay competitive at the top of the division going into the New Year. This week Redditch travel to Harbury aiming to get a monkey off their back. Despite pipping Harbury to the league title last season, they lost twice at the Warwickshire based club in both league and cup fixtures.