Uttoxeter 13 v 14 Tenbury
DONALD Hayes admitted Uttoxeter are in a rut after narrowly losing their Midlands Four West (North) encounter with high-flying Tenbury at Oldfields.
Uttoxeter nosed their way in front in the second half only to be beaten by a late penalty.
Director of Rugby Hayes said: “We are in a bit of a trough at the moment but we will climb up to the peaks we were at.
“We are a young and talented side with a new coaching staff and new regime and we are all still developing as a team and a club, but recent week performances have highlighted our shortcomings.
“The players are not performing to their ability but we know how we can fix it — and we have an agenda for the forthcoming weeks.
“The defeat makes promotion more of a challenge but we are right in the running and there is a lot of rugby still to be played in this campaign.
Tenbury missed two penalty kicks in the opening 15 minutes but made amends when turnover ball created overlap for the visitors to score in the corner.
Uttoxeter levelled the scores in the 35th minute after winning a line-out.
Matt Nance and Pete Allen took the ball forward before Paul Milward switched play back blind to allow Rob Armett to cross the line.
Uttoxeter had to make a half-time change when Jim Holmes was sent on after Shaun Gorman suffered a knee injury.
Tenbury took an 8-5 lead with a penalty on the 43 minute when Uttoxeter were penalised for hands in the ruck and then made another successful kick when the hosts were penalised at the scrum.
This deficit was reduced when 19-yearold fly-half Lewis Bain held firm under pressure and knocked over a penalty after Tenbury were pulld up for lying over the ball.
Uttoxeter took the lead after 66 minutes when winger Aaron Lakin crossed the line for his first try for the 1st XV.
It was scored in similar fashion to Armett’s effort, with Milward again changing play blind for Lakin to ease through a gap in the corner.
Uttoxeter could not retain the lead as their penalty count racked up. They were penalised for diving over the ball and Tenbury converted what proved to be the match-winning penalty in the 75th minute.
The home team had the chance to steal victory in the last minute, but Bain’s attempted drop goal drifted wide.
UTTOXETER 2nd XV had to concede their league game with Linley and are continuing their search for new players.
Anyone interested in joining the club is asked to contact Hayes on 07968 589634.
UTTOXETER under-nines continued their unbeaten record at Belper as they saw off the hosts and Bakewell in a triangular tournament.
The young Town outfit beat Belper 10-1 with a fine performance full of commitment.
It was 5-0 at half-time with tries from Ben Meads (2), Ethan Newton-Taylor (2) and Oliver Reid.
Belper hit back with their only try just after the break before Aiden Fletcher, Alfie Clowes, Kian Hall, Jack Hooker- Myles and Josh Campion completed the scoring for Uttoxeter.
Bakewell proved a tougher proposition for the Town youngsters and it was 3-3 at the break, with Newton-Taylor's hat-trick keeping Uttoxeter in it.
The Town stepped up their efforts after half-time and won 8-3 with further tries from Lucas Thornton, Meads, Reid and Fletcher.